Monday, April 30, 2012

You Are My Witnesses

By the will of God, Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word, is inextricably linked to the person and work of her Son. With her "yes", pronounced once and for all and renewed every day, She put herself at the Lord's disposal. Mary is the model and type of Church.
In the Lucan passage of the Visitation, we see Mary sets off for Ain Karim to assist her cousin Elizabeth. She had just received Jesus in her womb, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Flooded with joy, she began to walk quickly. Love pushes her to bring the Good News to Elizabeth: The Savior, Jesus, is among men. Maria cannot keep this grace for herself. As Pope Benedict XVI said: " that of Mary is an authentic missionary journey. It is a journey that leads her far from home, impels her into the world to places alien to her daily habits. Here, also for all of us, lies the secret of our lives as men and women and Christians. Our existence, as individuals and as a Church is projected outside ourselves. As had happened to Abraham, we are asked to come out of ourselves, from where we feel safe, to reach out to others in different places and surroundings. It is the Lord who asks this of us: You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses ... to the end of the earth" (Acts 1.8).Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) -



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

MORE THAN 22,000 BAPTISMS IN CHINA ON EASTER SUNDAY (VIS article)

Dear Pauline Family & Friends,

Let us thank God for the increase in Christianity in China.  

May God protect and grant abundant blessings to all the newly baptized in the world including those in China, so they will be courageous witnesses of the faith and make disciples of all nations.  Amen.

Please see VIS article below for more details.

QUOTE

MORE THAN 22,000 BAPTISMS IN CHINA ON EASTER SUNDAY
Vatican City, 24 April 2012 (VIS) - The Catholic news agency Fides has reported that 22,104 people were baptised in China on Easter Sunday. The statistics were collected by the Study Centre of Faith in the Chinese province of He Bei. The newly-baptised Catholics, 75 per cent of whom are adults, belong to 101 dioceses. In He Bei itself 4,410 people were baptised on Easter Day, 615 more than last year, while in Hong Kong, which has more than 360,000 faithful, there were 3,500 baptisms.

In evaluating these figures, it should be borne in mind that some dioceses do not celebrate all their baptisms at Easter. For example, in Shang Hai there were 379 Easter baptisms but the total figure could exceed 1,500 by the end of the year. According to Sr. Li Guo Shuang of the Study Center, "there are still some dioceses or communities which, due to communication difficulties, have not yet reported data to us. So we must emphasise that the figures are not complete, they may still increase".

UNQUOTE

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jesus, Lord of Divine Mercy, I trust in Your Love

Dear Pauline Family and Friends,

How great are God's works!  We bask in the grace-filled Easter tide and the recent Feast Day of Divine Mercy.

Let us continue to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the salvation of souls and ever be grateful to and more fully trust in Jesus Christ, Our Lord of Divine Mercy.

May God, Eternal Father, forgive us our sins and those of the whole world, through the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of His dearly Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord of Divine Mercy.  Amen.

May all be immersed in the ocean of Christ's Divine Mercy, including those revealed to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska*: 
  1. All mankind, especially all sinners
  2. Souls of priests and religious
  3. All devout and faithful souls
  4. All pagans and those who do not yet know Jesus, Lord of Divine Mercy
  5. Souls of heretics and schismatics
  6. Meek and humble souls, and the souls of  little children
  7. Souls who venerate and glorify the mercy of Jesus Christ, Our Lord
  8. Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory
  9. Souls who have become lukewarm
Amen.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Jesus, Lord of Divine Mercy, I trust in your love.
Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, pray for us.
St. Faustina, pray for us.
Blessed Pope John Paul II, pray for us.
Blessed James Alberione, pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts forever.  Amen.



(*N.B.:  Refer to Divine Mercy in My Soul:  Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Marian Press, 2007)


Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

HAPPY 7TH ANNIVERSARY TO HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI


Dear Pauline Family and Friends,

On the occasion of the 7th Anniversary of the election of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Chair of St. Peter, let us thank God for the wonderful gifts of the Holy Father's papacy in bringing humanity closer together to know God, to love God and to serve God.


H.H. Pope Benedict XVI leads us to Jesus, Divine Master, Way, Truth and Life amidst the challenges in the world.

Let us pray.  May our God in His Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence bestow abundant blessings on Pope Benedict XVI in order that he may continue his service to Christ and the Church, with the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, and through Mary, Queen of Apostles.  Amen.


Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, pray for us.
Blessed James Alberione, pray for us.


Many of us who have watched him in the audience at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican, during his visit to the United States, including at the United Nations, realize what a great gift Pope Benedict XVI is to us all.  Thanks be to God.  Long live Pope Benedict XVI!


Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"HOLY FATHER'S HOMILY ON HIS BIRTHDAY" (VIS article) (DELIVERED IN THE PAULINE CHAPEL)


HOLY FATHER'S HOMILY ON HIS BIRTHDAY
 
Vatican City, 17 April 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday morning in the Pauline Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, a Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated to mark two anniversaries the Pope is celebrating this week: his eighty-fifth birthday on 16 April, and the seventh anniversary of his election on 19 April. The Mass was attended by members of the College of Cardinals and by a group of bishops from the Pope's native region of Bavaria.

In his homily the Pope recalled how on the day he was born and baptised the liturgy "erected three signposts showing me where the road led and helping me find it": the feast of St. Bernardette of Lourdes, the feast of St. Benedict Joseph Labre, and Easter Saturday which in the year of the Pope's birth fell on 16 April.

St. Bernardette grew up in "a poverty we find difficult to imagine", he said. But "she could see with a pure and genuine heart, and Mary showed her a source ... of pure, living uncontaminated water, water which is life, water which gives purity and health. ... I believe we can see this water as an image of the truth which comes to us in the faith; unsimulated and uncontaminated truth. ... This little saint has always been a sign for me, showing me where the living water we need comes from, the water which purifies and gives life. She has been a sign showing me how we should be. With all our knowledge and abilities, which are of course necessary, we must not lose ... the simple gaze of the heart, which is capable of discerning the essential. And we must always pray to the Lord to help us retain the humility which allows the heart ... to see the simple and essential beauty and goodness of God, and to find the source from which the life-giving purifying water comes".

The Pope then turned his attention to St. Benedict Joseph Labre, who lived in the eighteenth century. "He was a rather particular saint who wandered as a mendicant from one shrine to another, wishing to do nothing but pray and so bear witness to what is important in this life: God. ... He shows us that, ... over and above what may exist in this world, over and above our needs and abilities, ... what is essential is to know God. He alone is enough". The life of the saint, who travelled to shrines all over Europe, "shows that the person who opens himself to God is not a stranger to the world of men, rather he finds brothers. ... Only God can eliminate frontiers, because thanks to Him we are all brothers".

"Finally there is the Paschal Mystery. On the day I was born, thanks to my parents, I was also reborn with the water of the Spirit. ... Biological life is in itself a gift, yet it begs an important question. It becomes a true gift only if, together with that life, we are given a promise stronger than any misfortune that may threaten us, if life is immersed in a power which guarantees that it is a good thing to be a man, and that the person is a benefit whatever the future may bring. In this way rebirth is associated with birth, the certainty that it is good to exist because the promise is greater than the threat. This is what it means to be reborn from water and from the Spirit. ... This rebirth is given to us in Baptism, but we must continually grow therein, we must ever and anew allow God to immerse us in His promise, in order to be truly reborn into the great new family of the Lord, which is stronger than all our weaknesses and all the negative powers that threaten us. That is why today is a day of thanksgiving.

"The day I was baptised ... was Easter Saturday. At the time it was still customary to hold the Easter vigil in the morning, followed by the darkness of Easter Saturday without a Hallelujah. This singular paradox, this anticipation of light in a day of darkness, can almost be seen as an image of the history of our own times. On the one hand there is the silence of God and His absence, yet the resurrection of Christ contains an anticipation of God's 'yes'. We live in this anticipation, through the silence of God we hear His words, and through the darkness of His absence we glimpse His light. The anticipation of the resurrection in the midst of evolving history indicates the path we must follow and helps us to continue the journey".

"I am in the final stage of my life journey and I do not know what awaits me. However, I do know that the light of God exists, that He rose again, that His light is stronger than all darkness, that the goodness of God is stronger than all the evil in this world. This helps me to continue with confidence. This helps us to continue, and I would like to thank everyone who, through their faith, continually makes me aware of God's 'yes'".

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

Dear Pauline Family and Friends,

May God bestow abundant temporal and spiritual blessings to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of his birthday 16 April.

Let us keep him in our prayers.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

EASTER SATURDAY: EASTER IS THE FEAST OF THE NEW CREATION (VIS article)


Dear Pauline Family & Friends,

May the peace of Jesus Christ, Our Divine Master, Way, Truth and Light, be with you this octave of Easter and always.

Let us continue to learn from our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI about the meaning of Easter.

There is an abundance of food for thought that is offered which magnifies our raison d'etre, as shown in the following excerpts:

  • "God’s new day - the day of indestructible life, comes also to us. "
  • "The cooperation of the living community of believers in the Church in some way resembles the activity of bees. It builds up the community of light.  So the candle serves as a summons to us to become involved in the community of the Church, whose raison d’etre is to let the light of Christ shine upon the world."

See VIS article below:
QUOTE  

EASTER SATURDAY: EASTER IS THE FEAST OF THE NEW CREATION
Vatican City, 7 April 2012 (VIS) - At 9 p.m. today in St. Peter's Basilica, the Pope presided at the solemn Easter vigil, which began in the atrium of the basilica where he blessed the new fire and lighted the Easter candle. This was followed by the procession towards the altar with the singing of the "Exultet". Then came the Liturgy of the Word and the Baptismal and Eucharistic Liturgies which the Holy Father concelebrated with cardinals.

During the course of the vigil, the Holy Father administered the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation to eight catechumens from Italy, Albania, Slovakia, Germany, Turkmenistan, Cameroon and the U.S.A.

Following the Gospel reading, the Holy Father delivered his homily, which focused on the triumph of light over darkness.

"Easter is the feast of the new creation", he said. "Jesus is risen and dies no more. He has opened the door to a new life, one that no longer knows illness and death. He has taken mankind up into God Himself. ... Creation has become greater and broader. Easter Day ushers in a new creation, but that is precisely why the Church starts the liturgy on this day with the old creation, so that we can learn to understand the new one aright. ... Two things are particularly important here in connection with this liturgy. On the one hand, creation is presented as a whole that includes the phenomenon of time. The seven days are an image of completeness, unfolding in time. They are ordered towards the seventh day, the day of the freedom of all creatures for God and for one another. Creation is therefore directed towards the coming together of God and His creatures; it exists so as to open up a space for the response to God’s great glory, an encounter between love and freedom. On the other hand, what the Church hears on Easter night is above all the first element of the creation account: “God said, ‘let there be light!’”".

"What is the creation account saying here?", the Holy Father asked. "Light makes life possible. ... Evil hides. ... To say that God created light means that God created the world as a space for knowledge and truth, as a space for encounter and freedom, as a space for good and for love. Matter is fundamentally good, being itself is good. And evil does not come from God-made being, rather, it comes into existence through denial. It is a “no”.

"At Easter, on the morning of the first day of the week, God said once again: “Let there be light”. The night on the Mount of Olives, the solar eclipse of Jesus’ passion and death, the night of the grave had all passed.


Now it is the first day once again - creation is beginning anew. ... Jesus rises from the grave. Life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. ... But this applies not only to Him, not only to the darkness of those days. With the resurrection of Jesus, light itself is created anew. He draws all of us after Him into the new light of the resurrection and he conquers all darkness".

"Through the Sacrament of Baptism and the profession of faith, the Lord has built a bridge across to us, through which the new day reaches us. The Lord says to the newly-baptised: 'Fiat lux' - let there be light. God’s new day - the day of indestructible life, comes also to us".

"The darkness enshrouding God and obscuring values is the real threat to our existence and to the world in general. ... Today we can illuminate our cities so brightly that the stars of the sky are no longer visible. Is this not an image of the problems caused by our version of enlightenment? With regard to material things, our knowledge and our technical accomplishments are legion, but what reaches beyond, the things of God and the question of good, we can no longer identify. Faith, then, which reveals God’s light to us, is the true enlightenment, enabling God’s light to break into our world, opening our eyes to the true light".

"On Easter night, the night of the new creation, the Church presents the mystery of light using a unique and very humble symbol: the Paschal candle. This is a light that lives from sacrifice. The candle shines inasmuch as it is burnt up. ... Thus the Church presents most beautifully the paschal mystery of Christ, Who gives Himself and so bestows the great light. Secondly, we should remember that the light of the candle is a fire. ... Here too the mystery of Christ is made newly visible. Christ, the light, is fire, flame, burning up evil and so reshaping both the world and ourselves. ... And this fire is both heat and light: not a cold light, but one through which God’s warmth and goodness reach down to us".

In conclusion, Benedict XVI recalled that the the candle "has its origin in the work of bees. So the whole of creation plays its part. In the candle, creation becomes a bearer of light. But in the mind of the Fathers, the candle also in some sense contains a silent reference to the Church. The cooperation of the living community of believers in the Church in some way resembles the activity of bees. It builds up the community of light. So the candle serves as a summons to us to become involved in the community of the Church, whose raison d’etre is to let the light of Christ shine upon the world".
UNQUOTE

Jesus, Master, Way, Truth and Light, have mercy on us.
Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, pray for us.
Blessed James Alberione, pray for us.
Mother Thecla Merlo, pray for us.


Let us follow Pope Benedict XVI & offer our "cooperation" and "become involved in the community of the Church, whose raison d'etre is to let the light of Christ shine upon the world."

May God bless you abundantly.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Jesus Christ is risen today! Alleluia!

Dear Pauline Family and Friends,

May God bestow upon you and your loved ones abundant blessings, hope, joy and peace as we celebrate the victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ Our Lord this Easter 2012 and always.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

Monday, April 2, 2012

WYD 2012 theme: St. Paul's appeal to "rejoice in the Lord always"

Dear Pauline Family & Friends,

Thanks a million to Pope Benedict XVI for highlighting that joy is a central element in the Christian experience.  May the World Youth and those young at heart respond positively to St. Paul's appeal to 'rejoice in the Lord always'.

See VIS article below  for full text:

QUOTE

JOY IS A CENTRAL ELEMENT OF CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE
 
Vatican City, 1 April 2012 (VIS) - At the end of this morning’s Mass for Palm Sunday, and before praying the Angelus, the Pope reminded the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square that today also marks World Youth Day (WYD) 2012. In this context he addressed a special greeting to the organisers of WYD Madrid 2011 and WYD Rio de Janeiro 2013, who were present at the celebration and who have recently participated in a congress in Rome.


"The theme of today's World Youth Day is St. Paul's appeal to 'rejoice in the Lord always'", Benedict XVI said.   "The joy arising from the knowledge that God loves us is a central element of Christian experience. In a world often characterised by sadness and anguish, this is an important testimony of the beauty and reliability of the faith.  Be joyful witnesses of Christ!"

UNQUOTE 

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC