Already, we are approaching the third Sunday in Advent or "Gaudete Sunday." Gaudete, from the Latin word which means "rejoice." We can now look forward to the joy of the Christ Child, the joy of the coming of Christmas. Advent season is also a time of Marian devotion with recent back to back feast days of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe.
St. John Paul II certainly had a special devotion to Mother Mary as well. In fact, he entrusted his priesthood to Mother Mary and consecrated himself and the entire world to her motherly protection. His papal motto was Totus Tuus, which means "totally thine." This motto signified his complete devotion to Our Lady. When he was shot by Mehmet Ali Agca on May 13, 1981 (the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima), in an attempted assassination, St. John Paul II attributed his survival to the Blessed Mother. He later recounted, "One hand fired the shot," he would say, "but another guided the bullet."
As we know, St. John Paul II, is regarded as a prolific writer, who published more than 50 major works and profound encyclicals including, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) and Veritatis Splendor: (The Splendor of Truth) and widely read books such as Love and Responsibility and Crossing the Threshold of Hope. He also wrote extensively about the Blessed Mother. In his book, Gift and Mystery, he gives credit to his father (for his Marian devotion) who regularly took him on pilgrimages to local Marian shrines.
While many are aware that St. John Paul that was a gifted writer, few are aware that he was a talented athlete, actor, and world class philosopher. Even less well-known, is that he was also a talented poet as well. He wrote about many topics close to his heart, especially his love for and devotion to the Blessed Mother. It wasn't until he became Pope for a number of years, that his poetry became known throughout the world. Recently, I came across one of his poems venerating Mother Mary and the wonder of Christmas entitled:
Her Amazement at Her Only Child
Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II)
Light piercing gradually, everyday events;
a woman' eyes, hands
used to them since childhood.
Then brightness flared, too huge for simple days,
and hands clasped when the words lost their space.
In that little town, my son, where they knew us together,
you called me mother; but no one had eyes to see
the astounding events as they took place day by day.
Your life became the life of the poor
in your wish to be with them through the work of your hands.
I knew: the light that lingered in ordinary things,
like a spark sheltered under the skin of our days-
the light was you;
it did not come from me.
And I had more of you in that luminous silence
than I had of you as the fruit of my body, my blood.
Like many Catholics, I have a devotion to St. John Paul II. He is the Pope I grew up with for most of my life and the Pope who epitomized strong leadership and yet a tender devotion to the Blessed Mother. More than ever in our chaotic world where the dignity of human life is ever more devalued, we need to remember that we have hope and joy that the Christ Child brings. During this Advent season, we can follow in the footsteps of St. John Paul II and learn from our Heavenly Mother to meet her Son in the "luminous silence."
Respect Life Events, news and Updates:
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- Archbishop Kurtz will be attending March for Life
- Our Lady of Guadalupe - Patroness of the Unborn
- Religious Freedom - Masterpiece Cake Shop
- Respect Life Month
Kentucky Right to Life New Adult-Friendly Bus Trip - March fo Life
Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery, Keynote Speaker for
Black Catholic Congress
Canada's Slippery Suicide Slope
Woman with Down Syndrome Competes in Miss Minnesota Pageant
If you are interested - we need to hear from you right away! So far, we have 15 adults and we need at least 40 in order to book the bus. Please call Jerry Durbin at 502-533-1695 or KRLA office at 502-895-5959.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery,
Keynote Speaker for
Black Catholic Congress
More than 400 who gathered for the Fourth Archdiocesan black Catholic Congress Dec. 9 heard from Cardinal Peter Turkson that in order to be just, one must respect a three-fold relationship with God, neighbor and creation.
The event took place at the Flaget Center, 1935 Lewiston Drive, and drew Catholics from 20 parishes in the Archdiocese of Louisville.
Cardinal Turkson, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, celebrated the day's opening Mass and presented the keynote address. During his address, he discussed Scripture, the meaning of justice and talked about crime in Louisville's black communities.
"I am honored to be in your midst," he said to an enthusiastic crowd that included mostly black Catholics. During his speech, Cardinal Turkson explored the prophecy in Isaiah chapter 61, which inspired the event's theme - "The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me: Act Justly, Love Goodness and Walk Humbly with Your God."
ANALYSIS: A government-appointed panel is reviewing the country's 17-month-old law on medically assisted death, assessing whether it should be extended to teens and the mentally ill.
by Charles Lewis
TORONTO - Canada's 17-month-old legalized euthanasia/assisted suicide regime, praised as a model of restraint and balance by its supporters, appears to be heading for a major expansion - raising the specter of a law that will help to kill new classes of people who are ill and suffering.
A government-appointed panel of specialists is now reviewing the law, enacted in June 2016. They have been tasked with recommending whether teenagers and the mentally ill should also have the right to end their own lives. The panel is also studying the possibility of allowing requests for assisted suicide through advanced directives authorizing it for those concerned about being left to linger in a vegetative state.
For some, the potential expansion is a frightening but inevitable part of state-sanctioned killing, regardless of the original restrictions.
"I think this is a hardening of conscience," Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto told the Register.
A woman who was called a "trailblazer" for becoming the first person with Down syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota pageant won the "Spirit of Miss USA" on Sunday.
Mikayla Holmgren, 22, was given the award after competing on Saturday at the pageant in Burnsville. It's the first time someone with Down syndrome has competed in a Miss USA state pageant, according to FOX9.
"I'm really good at them because it's my passion," Holmgren told KSTP of her pageantry experience. "It's really fun. As I do more pageants and I'm really proud of myself ... this is my dream."
Adoption means different things to different people. To me, adoption is synonymous with family, motherhood, and life. I cannot remember a time when adoption wasn't on my heart. From my early days of pro-life involvement as a teenager, it just seemed like the perfect solution to the crisis of unplanned pregnancies. It naturally followed that if I was saying "adoption, not abortion," it would only make sense that one day I would adopt.
At the tender age of 39, I finally put feet to my convictions and began the journey to my first daughter, Clara. It was a road fraught with paperwork, more than a little frustration, significant personal growth and, in the end, the greatest joy imaginable as I saw her little face for the first time, peering over the orphanage balcony at me in a small town in Bulgaria.
Several years after Clara came home, she and I hopped on an airplane and made our way to China to meet her little sister. Since no words can truly do the experience justice, I will spare you the details and leave it at this: China was hard.
As anyone who has adopted older children knows, the truly difficult work of adoption starts after the last of the paperwork is finished and the travel is behind you. Then it is time to begin the challenging miracle of making a stranger your own. It is work. There is grief. And frustration.
Our second reading today is taken from Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians-and it always takes my breath away. He says, "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks." For Paul, the coming of Jesus changed everything. His dying and rising turned everything upside down, so that the usual ways of thinking and acting are not longer valid. Grace has transfigured nature-and the three recommendations he gives are signs of this transfiguration.