All posts tagged: daniellepeters

To Stay on Target: The Immaculate Conception

On Thursday, March 25, 1858, standing in the Grotto of Massabielle, Lourdes, Our Lady identified herself as the Immaculate Conception. This self-revelation, four years after the proclamation of the dogma of this mystery of our faith, belongs to the core of her message to St. Bernadette and is unique compared to other apparitions. As the Immaculate Conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary resembles and proclaims God’s authentic, i.e. immaculate, concept of the human person created in his image and likeness. To say it differently: in Mary’s person radiates forth the authentic blueprint that God designed for each of his children. It follows that she is the ideal exception and we are the unfortunate rule of God’s wish for us! The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrated on December 8 honors Our Lady as the personification of the re-created order in Christ. Having been pre-redeemed and fully redeemed, Mary’s spiritual wealth constitutes that dimension of her being which is veiled to the outside and transcends time and matter. In its depth it is fully known only to God. …

A Desert Becomes a Forest

“We must not be afraid to go into the desert and to transform it into a forest!” With these words Pope Francis challenged hundreds of people gathered on April 24, 2016 for the “Village of the Earth” event which was promoted by the Focolare Movement and Earth Day Italy. During his surprise visit that lasted more than an hour, the Holy Father drew attention to “the many deserts in the cities.” Recalling his own experiences from Argentina, he noted that these deserts are located in the gated neighborhoods, in prisons, and wherever people live in subhuman conditions. Most deplorably, the pontiff observed, we find such deserts in every human heart! In a famous little book on modern education, The Abolition of Man, the English Christian apologist C. S. Lewis wrote on the same theme and even used the same metaphor and imagery that Pope Francis employed of transforming a desert into a verdant landscape. Desert experiences are ugly, and we avoid them when we can. Yet, the Bishop of Rome emphasized, “We must not be …

“Standing by the Cross of Jesus was His Mother” (Jn 19:25)

The crucifix pictured above uniquely interprets the last recorded encounter of the Blessed Mother and her Son, Jesus. Its Brazilian artist, Fr. Angel Vincente, created this crucifix in 1960 and gifted it to the Schoenstatt Shrine in Santiago, Chile. Due to the close union between Christ and Mary depicted on the image it received the name Unity Cross. The inseparable bond between Christ and his Mother is archetypical for the Church and hence for the relationship of each Christian to Christ. Both persons are placed within the confines of the Cross: Jesus, nailed through his hands and feet, and Mary with the cup in her hand, standing a little lower but still fully enveloped by the Cross’ outline. Mary’s gaze and arm are directed upwards. Mother and Son, the first redeemed and the Redeemer, look at each other. She loyally abides at his side in this cruel hour, and it appears as if the dying Jesus has elevated his Mother to the most possible intimate union with him. From crib to Cross, Mary is gradually …

Fiat et Consummatum est

Tomorrow we enter into the celebration of the Sacred Paschal Triduum, the climax of the liturgical year, commemorating the Last Supper, the Passion and Death, and the Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. This year, Good Friday falls on March 25, thereby superceding the Solemnity of the Incarnation (the Annunciation), which is normally celebrated on that day, marking exactly nine months before Christmas.[1] There exists, however, a custom that can be traced at least as far as Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240 AD), to make the Lord’s life on earth an exact number of years, even down to the day. Accordingly, March 25 became also the date of the Crucifixion. This tradition entered ancient martyrologies and was supported by homilists of the day. Subsequently, other customs developed. Calendars in the Middle Ages, for example, listed for March 25 the following events: The Creation of the World The Fall of Adam and Eve The Sacrifice of Isaac The Exodus of the Jews from Egypt The Incarnation The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus Christ The Last …

Mary, Mother of Mercy

Pope Francis’ Message for Lent in the Year of Mercy (LM) bears the title, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13). The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee. Signed on the Feast of St. Francis (October 4, 2015), the message is subdivided into three subheadings. Parts two and three focus directly on mercy, reflecting respectively on God’s covenant with humanity: a history of mercy and on the works of mercy. It is the first part, however, that is remarkable in that it directs attention to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since the papal Lenten messages began in 1978, this has never been done. A possible exception may be Lent 1988 occurring during the Marian Year; but even Mary’s Pope, St. John Paul II, did not refer to her more significantly than with a general salute. Surprising, also, is the title of the first subheading of Francis’ Lenten Letter: “Mary, the image of a Church which evangelizes because she is evangelized.” At first glance, this heading seems strange since it does not include …