The Immaculate Conception with Fr. Mark Cyza

We discuss with Fr. Mark Cyza the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

For more on the Immaculate Conception from St. John Paul II:

HOLY MASS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 150th ANNIVERSARY
OF THE DOGMA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Wednesday, 8 December 2004

 

  1. Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” (Lk 1: 28).

We address the Virgin Mary several times a day with these words of the Archangel Gabriel. Let us repeat them with fervent joy today, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, remembering 8 December 1854 when Blessed Pius IX proclaimed this wonderful Dogma of the Catholic faith in this very same Vatican Basilica.

I cordially greet those who are gathered here today, especially the representatives of the National Mariological Societies who have taken part in the International Mariological Congress, organized by the Pontifical Marian Academy.Blessed Virgin Mary - Devotionals, Prayers, Chaplets, Novenas text and Mp3 audio downloads 4

I then greet all of you present here, dear brothers and sisters, who have come to pay filial homage to the Immaculate Virgin. I offer a special greeting to Cardinal Camillo Ruini. I renew to him my warmest wishes for the jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood and express to him my deep gratitude for the service that with generous dedication he has and continues to render to the Church as my Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome and President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

  1. How great is the mystery of the Immaculate Conception that the Liturgy presents to us today! A mystery that never ceases to invite the contemplation of believers and inspires the reflection of theologians. The theme of the Congress that has just been mentioned: “Mary of Nazareth welcomes the Son of God into history”, has fostered a deep examination of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary as a presupposition for receiving in her virginal womb the Word of God Incarnate, the Saviour of the human race.

“Full of grace”, “κεχαριτωµευη”: in the original Greek of Luke’s Gospel, the Angel greets Mary with this title. It is the name that God, through his messenger, chose to use to describe the Virgin. This is how he had always seen and thought of her, ab aeterno (from all eternity).

  1. In the hymn of the Letter to the Ephesians just now proclaimed, the Apostle praises God the Father “who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (1: 3). What a special blessing God addressed to Mary from the beginning of time! Mary was truly blessed among women (cf. Lk 1: 42)!

The Father chose her in Christ before the creation of the world, so that she might be holy and immaculate before him in love, preordaining her as the first fruits of filial adoption through the work of Jesus Christ (cf. Eph 1: 4-5).

  1. The predestination of Mary, like that of each one of us, is linked to the predestination of the Son. Christ is that “seed” that was “to bruise the head” of the ancient serpent, according to the Book of Genesis (cf. Gn 3: 15); he is the Lamb “without blemish” (cf. Ex 12: 5; I Pt 1: 19), immolated to redeem humanity from sin.

With a view to the saving death of the Son, Mary, his Mother, was preserved free from original sin and from every other sin. The victory of the new Adam also includes that of the new Eve, Mother of the redeemed. The Immaculate Virgin is thus a sign of hope for all the living who have triumphed over Satan by the blood of the Lamb (cf. Rv 12: 11).

  1. Today let us contemplate the humble young girl of Nazareth, holy and blameless before God in love (cf. Eph 1: 4), in that “love” whose original source is God himself, one and triune.

How sublime an act of the Most Holy Trinity is the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of the Redeemer! Pius IX, in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus, recalls that the Almighty “by one and the same decree had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of divine Wisdom” (Pii IX Pontificis Maximi Acta, Pars prima, p. 559).

The Virgin’s “yes” to the announcement of the Angel fits into the reality of our earthly condition, with humble respect for the divine will to save humanity not from history but in history. Indeed, ever preserved free from all taint of original sin, the “new Eve” benefited uniquely from the work of Christ as the most perfect Mediator and Redeemer. The first to be redeemed by her Son, she shares to the full in his holiness; she is already what the entire Church desires and hopes to be. She is the eschatological icon of the Church.

  1. Consequently the Immaculate Virgin, who marks “the very beginning of the Church, Bride of Christ, without spot or wrinkle, shining with beauty” (Preface), always precedes the People of God in the pilgrimage of faith, bound for the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 58; Redemptoris Mater, n. 2).

In Mary’s Immaculate Conception the Church sees projected and anticipated in her most noble member, the saving grace of Easter.

In the event of the Incarnation the Church encounters Christ and Mary indissolubly united: “he who is the Church’s Lord and Head and she who, uttering the first fiat of the New Covenant, prefigures the Church’s condition as spouse and mother” (Redemptoris Mater, n. 1).

  1. To you, Virgin Immaculate, predestined by God above every other creature to be the advocate of grace and model of holiness for his people, today in a special way I renew the entrustment of the whole Church.

May you guide your children on their pilgrimage of faith, making them ever more obedient and faithful to the Word of God.

May you accompany every Christian on the path of conversion and holiness, in the fight against sin and in the search for true beauty that is always an impression and a reflection of divine Beauty.

May you obtain peace and salvation for all the peoples. May the eternal Father, who desired you to be the immaculate Mother of the Redeemer, also renew in our time through you, the miracles of his merciful love. Amen!

 

 

IP#180 Adam English – The Saint Who Would Be Santa on Inside the Pages


Dr. Adam English has done an outstanding job of bringing to life the story of St. Nicholas of Myra.  Going deep into the historical documents, he travails between the myths and the reality of this extraordinary bishop who would become an iconic saint.  I love this kind of read…steeped in rich history and filled with an enthusiastic joy for the adventure of discovery.

The book can be found here

“Adam English convinces us that the St. Nicholas we know is a cultural icon, as much Coca-Cola as Christian saint. But his real gift is in resurrecting through his painstaking historical detective work a flesh and blood St. Nicholas, whose courage and Christian generosity are worthy of emulation.”
–Greg Garrett, author of One Fine Potion

“A sensitive, erudite, and accessibly written introduction to the life and times of St. Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop of Myra in what is now Turkey. Having devoted his life to serving Jesus Christ, the real St. Nicholas invites us to a truer and more joyful celebration of Christmas.”
–Matthew Levering, Professor of Theology, University of Dayton

BKL#80 – Are you prepared for the Lord’s coming? – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts

Msgr. Esseff asks the question, “Are you prepared for the Lord’s coming?”  He challenges us to take a good look at our prayer lives and to prepare for the coming of Jesus in your life today.

Gospel MK 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

 

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30th, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.   

CW5 All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) – The Great Cloud of Witnesses: Guides for Prayer with Fr. Mark Cyza – Discerning Hearts

Fr. Mark Cyza discusses the origins of All Hallow’s Eve and it’s development into the secular celebration known as “Halloween”.  How should celebrate this time and what should our prayer reflect?

BKL78 – “How can we possibly love as God expects?” – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

BKL 78 ” Building a Kingdom of Love” – “How can we possibly love as God expects?  Only “through Him, with Him, in Him!”

Gospel MT 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine;

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30th, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.

FG#13 The Way of Trust and Love episode 2 – Fountains of Grace with Donna Garrett

Join host Donna Garrett, with Fr. James Perez, LC, as they discuss the spiritual classic “The Way of Trust and Love: A Retreat Guided By St. Therese of Lisieux” by Fr. Jacques Philippe.

Discussed in this episode, among other topics, from “The Way of Trust and Love”

The fact that we can’t save ourselves is something we acknowledge in words, but in fact we find it very hard to accept. We’d all like to be saved by our own efforts, to be strong and robust, to boast about our successes, to shine in other people’s eyes, even on the spiritual level. Worldly people want to be highly regarded because they have luxurious cars, expensive watches, designer clothes, professional prestige, and go around with beautiful people. As good Christians, we may want to stand out for our virtues, charisms, experience, and sound judgment. Then we consider that we are on the right path. But in fact we’re in danger of ending up with exactly the same mindset as the worldly people described above. Very often, without realizing it, we have a worldly outlook on the spiritual life: self-fulfillment, self-affirmation, expansion of ego, etc. And spiritual pride, we must be aware, is sometimes more destructive than social, worldly pride.

Fr. James Perez, LC, joins Donna for this series

We cannot be saved by what we do; we can only be saved by grace, when God’s freely given love comes, takes hold of us, and transforms us, sometimes gently and progressively, but sometimes in a spectacular way. In general, the transformation is fairly slow and progressive, without our always being able to notice the action of grace.

Philippe, Jacques (2012-06-07). The Way of Trust and Love – A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux (Kindle Locations 445-454). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

For other episodes in the this series click hereFountains of Grace w/Donna Garrett

You can find “The Way of Trust and Love” here

Fr. Jacques Philippe

RN18 – St. John Paul II – Laborem Exercens, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, and the Centesimus Annus – Regnum Novum with Deacon Omar Gutierrez

Deacon Omar Gutierrez

St. John Paul II – Laborem Exercens (1981), Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (1987), and the Centesimus Annus (1991)

John Paul II , sometimes called John Paul the Great, born Karol Józef Wojtyła 18 May 1920, Wadowice, Republic of Poland – 2 April 2005, Vatican City), reigned as Pope of theCatholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was the second-longest serving Pope in history and the first non-Italian since 1523.

We live at a very special time. The confluence of many things has brought forth the clear need to be able to articulate the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church in a way that is accessible and applicable. This is not to be an effort where high-minded theories are to be bandied about. Rather, this is a time of opportunity wherein we can apply the Social Doctrine to the concrete so as to bring about a New Kingdom, a Revolution. – Omar G.

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

Visit Omar’s “Discerning Hearts” page Catholic Social Teaching 101

BTP#36 – The Prayer of St. John Paul II – Special Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

In this episode, Dr. Lilles discusses The Prayer of St. John Paul II. He reflects on “Sign of Contradiction” The Lenten Retreat preached in 1976 by Karol Cardinal Wojtyla to Pope Paul VI and the papal household.

St. John Paul II

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of St. Elisabeth of the Trinity. For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for Dr. Anthony Lilles

BKL77 – “What is the garment you wear?” – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Gospel MT 22:1-14

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people
in parables, saying,
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
The king said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?’
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine;

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30th, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.

IP#100 Fr. Andrew Apostoli – Fatima For Today on Inside the Pages

Fr. Andrew Apostoli does a tremendous job covering all the varied aspects of the events of Fatima and the call  of Our Lady of Fatima. He conveys the “immaculate” heart of the message, as well as tackling the “controversies” that have plagued the events over the years.  Because of the prophetic nature of her messages, Our Lady of Fatima has been the subject of much controversy and speculation. In this book, Father Andrew Apostoli carefully analyzes the events that took place in Fatima and clears up lingering questions and doubts about their meaning. He also challenges the reader to hear anew the call of Our Lady to prayer and sacrifice, for the world is ever in need of generous hearts willing to make reparation for those in danger of losing their way to God.

 

 

Check out the book here

“As was so dramatically obvious during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Fatima in May, 2010, Our Lady’s apparitions in 1917 remain powerfully compelling for us today. There she was an evangelist, calling us to prayer, conversion of heart, and penance, pointing to Jesus and repeating her words at Cana, ‘Do whatever He tells you.’ This book brings it all home.”
-Most Reverend Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“For us, Fatima is a sign of the presence of faith, of the fact that it is precisely from the little ones that faith gains new strength, one which is not limited to the little ones but has a message for the entire world and touches history here and now, and sheds light on this history . . . Even now there is tribulation, in every conceivable form, and power threatens to trample down faith. Even now, then, there is a need for the answer about which the Mother of God spoke to the children at Fatima.”
-Pope Benedict XVI

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