Letter - Easter 2024
Holy Ester 2024 “Our Redeemer has risen from the dead: let us sing hymns to the Lord our God, Alleluia” (from liturgy) Dear Brothers, with the arrival of Holy Easter, I would like to ideally reach each of you, wherever you are in the world, and offer... Czytaj więcej
Letter - Easter 2024
Holy Ester 2024 “Our Redeemer has risen from the dead: let us sing hymns to the Lord our God, Alleluia” (from liturgy) Dear Brothers, with the arrival of Holy Easter, I would like to ideally reach each of you, wherever you are in the world, and offer... Czytaj więcej

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Items filtered by date: February 2022

Thursday, 24 February 2022 19:44

Monthly Bulletin 004

Published in LAY ASSOCIATES (EN)
Tuesday, 22 February 2022 07:55

Rosary - February 2022

Published in LAY ASSOCIATES (EN)

Model Christians?

(2nd Sunday of Lent: Genesis 15:5-18; Philippians 3:17—4:1; Luke 9:28-36)

Who among us would be so bold as to hold herself or himself up as a model of Christian faith and life? Yet that is what Paul does in the second reading. “Join with others in being imitators of me, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us.”

This is not boasting, but an honest declaration of Paul’s dedication to Christ and the Church. He was keenly aware of having been chosen, privileged.

Abram, in the first reading, and Peter, James and John, in the Gospel, were singled out for special blessings. Abram received God’s promise and covenant; the disciples saw and heard wondrous things.

Others might have wondered, why them and not me? But Abram and the disciples could rightly ask, why me and not someone else? The Scriptures do not provide an answer.

At La Salette, why Maximin, why Mélanie, and not persons more suited to the task ahead? In our La Salette world, why you, why us?

Those who truly experience God’s presence are transfigured, sometimes suddenly, but more often gradually. We see this in the lives of many saints. Maybe you have seen it in people you know. Have you never thought in their presence, “It is good that we are here”?

How did they reach this state? Very likely, their transfiguration was intertwined with conversion, as they responded to the command from heaven, echoed at La Salette, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”

God took Abram outside to show him the stars. Jesus took Peter, James and John and went up the mountain to pray and reveal his glory before his final journey to Jerusalem.

The Beautiful Lady, revealed in light, attracts people first to herself, but ultimately to Jesus. She wants to transform pitiable sinners into saints washed clean in the blood of the lamb.

In the place of Abram or the three disciples, what promises would we hear, what wonders might we see? Not all of us will become models for others to imitate, but some may well do so. Why not you?

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

A Time of Testing

(1st Sunday of Lent: Deuteronomy 24:4-10; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13)

Lent is upon us. We have made resolutions, perhaps to attend daily Mass or say more prayers. We have imposed certain sacrifices on ourselves (fasting from electronic devices, for example), possibly in view of benefiting others. In a very real sense, we are testing ourselves.

By that very fact, we are exposing ourselves to temptation. We might start to wonder if we have taken on too much, or be inclined to make exceptions, to relax our discipline, or redefine prayer, fasting, almsgiving.

Lent and La Salette go well together. Both call us to conversion and place the crucified Christ before our eyes—not to mention the fact that the Beautiful Lady explicitly mentioned Lent in her discourse.

In the Scriptures, “tempt” and “test” are interchangeable. Thus, in tempting Jesus in the desert, the devil was putting him to the test.

Remember that the forty days of Jesus in the desert came when he was “newly baptized.” He had just heard the voice from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” This is why the devil introduces two of the temptations by saying, “If you are the Son of God.” We must not think that Jesus was not really tempted to prove that.

Similarly, a conversion experience typically is followed by a time of testing. Many pilgrims to La Salette respond to Mary’s call. The challenge for them will be when they go back down from the mountain and return to their everyday life, especially if people around them are not supportive.

In the first reading, a ritual is described which hints at the forty years during which the Hebrews wandered in the desert after God delivered them from slavery “with his strong hand and outstretched arm.” They tested the Lord many times. Today, God is still there, waiting for us to believe with all our heart, and to place our faith and trust in him.

Each of us finds our own way to observe Lent, but it is not purely personal. We will need each other’s prayers, sacrifices, and support if we want to truly journey with Christ in heart and spirit. Let us encourage each other to pray more, fast more, give more, as we dare to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.”

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

What’s in Your Heart?

(8th Ordinary Sunday: Sirach 27:4-7; 1 Corinthians 15:54-58; Luke 6:39-45)

There is an ad for a credit card that ends with the question, “What’s in your wallet?” Sirach, in today’s first reading, and Jesus in the Gospel, both ask, in effect, “What’s in your heart?” and they look for the answer in how we speak.

Sirach compares speech to the sifting of grain, revealing how much, or how little, substance there is in our mind and heart. At La Salette, Mary uses an even stronger image. “If you have wheat, you must not sow it. Anything you sow the vermin will eat, and whatever does grow will fall into dust when you thresh it.”

This is, first, a warning of the famine that lies ahead; but it is also an apt symbol of the state of her people’s faith, which has fallen into dust, blighted by indifference. This is a great tragedy.

The Gospel, too, reminds us of our faults. Jesus says, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?” It can be easy to criticize others, as if our personal behavior and opinions were normative for everyone else. This attitude, and perhaps many others, are not easy to overcome.

But all is not lost. Otherwise, the Beautiful Lady would never have come.

St. Paul, at the end of the long chapter on the resurrection, cries out: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? ... Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

Yes, we need to labor, to strive to live our faith with integrity. The victory is not ours to win, however. It is beyond our strength—but not beyond our reach. At La Salette Mary reminds us of the means placed at our disposal in the Church and in our personal lives, making it possible for us to share Christ’s triumph over sin and death.

Hope of victory is more than wishing for it. It is based on promises like that of today’s psalm: “They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God.” Is that in your heart?

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

What a Challenge!

(7th Ordinary Sunday: 1 Samuel 26:2-23; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49; Luke 6:27-38)

At La Salette, Mary reminded us of our obligation to honor the Lord’s Name and the Lord’s Day (Mass and rest), to respect the discipline of Lent, and to pray. These are all included in her call to submit.

There is ample material here for an examination of conscience. But today’s Gospel helps us to understand that doing what the Beautiful Lady asks is just the beginning.

Jesus makes it clear that he expects much more of his disciples than the observance of the Law. The commandments are the foundation, not the whole structure. Some of his listeners must have thought he was going too far in requiring a peaceful, even submissive attitude, towards their enemies. In our time, too, it is not easy to accept such demands.

Does our faith make us better persons? In the first reading we find an excellent model in David. His faith in the God of Israel never wavered. So, when he had the opportunity to destroy his mortal enemy, King Saul, he showed him mercy instead, rather than strike the Lord’s anointed.

This is what the world needs today. It’s what the world has always needed, and will always need. There never was and can never be an excess of charity, that love which is poured into our hearts by God. It will never be perfect or complete, because, as St. Paul says in the second reading, we bear the earthly image of the earthly man, Adam.

We need not be discouraged, however. We are never beyond God’s power to forgive. We can, by God’s grace, bear the image of the heavenly man, Jesus Christ.

At the same time, we must not be complacent, as though our thoughts and words and actions really do not matter to God. The Lord knows what we think and say and do, but he also knows our hearts. For example, when we carry out Jesus’ command, “Give to everyone who asks of you,” is our motive pure?

Oh, the challenge of being faithful and faith-filled! With all our heart, let us pray the words of today’s opening prayer: “Grant that we may carry out in both word and deed that which is pleasing to you.”

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)
Friday, 04 February 2022 14:47

Salette Info 2021

Published in LAY ASSOCIATES (EN)
Friday, 04 February 2022 08:56

Salette Info 2021

Published in INFO (EN)
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