Sunday, May 17, 2015

"Why are You Standing There Looking at the Sky"

Then the angels appear and say, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing and looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." (Acts 12:11)

In the Acts of the Apostles Jesus promises the power of the Holy Spirit, " will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Then right after saying these words, He ascends to heaven in all His glory, right before their very eyes. We can only imagine the look of awe and surprise on their faces as they watch Jesus ascend into the sky. Their mouths must have been wide open as they were staring into the heavens looking for Jesus.

The Catholic Church commemorates this special event with the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. The Ascension of Jesus completes his earthly ministry. For three years he taught and showed the love of God for all people. He reached out and healed those who were sick and in pain and he called sinners back to a relationship with God. He paid the ultimate price and showed us the full extent of God's mercy when He allowed himself to be crucified on the Cross of Calvary so that we might obtain eternal happiness with our God in heaven. Then He rose again from the dead on Easter Sunday morning and spent the next fifty days with His disciples teaching them further about what God expected of them in order that the good news of salvation would be spread to the whole world.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Bold Mission – Bright Future

The Holy Name Society has a Bold Mission – given to us by the Catholic Church - the Bride of Christ herself - to spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus in today’s society - which is disinterested at best - and in some parts of the world fueled by the ignorance of the teachings of Mohammed are violently opposed to any teaching from Jesus Christ or for that matter any practice of devotion to Jesus Christ. Our Christian brothers and sisters are being martyred at a staggering rate at the hands of Boko Haram in Nigeria and ISIS / ISIL in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.

At times it seems that the world has completely turned it's back on the teachings of Jesus Christ and many people appear to be literally running away from His love and mercy.

As members of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Name of God and Jesus - Holy Name Society members - we are called in a very special way to defend and protect the divinity of the Name of Jesus Christ and all it represents. As Holy Name Society members we are called by and strengthened by the Holy Spirit to work individually and collectively in our parish societies to carry out the Spiritual and Corporal works of mercy.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Joy from Sorrow - Strength from Joy

"You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here." (Mk. 16:16) These are the words that Mary Magdelene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome all heard when they entered the tomb where Jesus was placed after his crucifixion and death. They had come to anoint the body of Jesus. Scripture describes the one saying these words as a "young man in a white robe." This "young man" or angel was there to share the good news with them that Jesus rose from the dead. He tells them not to be amazed, but rather to go and share the good news with the disciples and Peter. The angel tells these women that Jesus will be in Galilee, where they will see the risen Lord.

The grief and suffering that Jesus' followers experienced on Good Friday as they watched Jesus die that agonizing death has been changed to joy. They thought that all of their hopes and dreams in the Messiah died with him on the cross. Instead, their lives will be changed forever with the joy of seeing Christ Jesus raised from the dead.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dynamic Transformation

The Confraternity of the Holy Name of God and Jesus is a Catholic (Universal) confraternity founded to publicly spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus Christ and teach reverence for the Holy Name of God. Through this apostolate, opportunities are provided to encourage members to strive for personal holiness and ultimately obtain their personal salvation. The Holy Name Society strives to show all men and women, even with all of our imperfections, that they can still praise, serve and love Jesus and witness to His word and make His presence real.

Members of the Holy Name Society show reverence for His name by using it properly in all communications and have a strong and devoted prayer life and encourage others to do likewise. In public, members of the Holy Name Society show love and respect for their neighbors, just like Jesus taught us by helping and serving others in their time of need. Holy Name Society members practice both the Corporal Works and the Spiritual Works of Mercy - for as St. James taught us, "faith without works is dead".

Belonging to the Holy Name Society develops Catholics in many ways including showing them how to grow in sacramental grace and strengthen moral virtues. This is primarily accomplished by frequent participation in the sacraments of Confession and Holy Eucharist. Confession, the sacrament of God's Mercy, reconciles us with God for all of our transgressions and gives us the strength to avoid these temptations of sin. The sacrament of Holy Eucharist feeds us spiritually to live out our lives as Christ taught us in the Gospel.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Mary the Mother of God - A Model of Life

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord commemorates the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce that she was chosen by God to be the Mother of our Lord.  Once Mary said her fiat ("yes"), the Holy Spirit descended upon her and she conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.  You can find this great story in the gospel of Saint Luke, chapter 1, verses 26 to 38.

This feast not only commemorates Jesus becoming true man, it also commemorates Mary's willingness to be completely open to the will of God. When the Angel Gabriel explains that she will become pregnant with a son, and that He will be the Son of the Most High, she is confused. She replies, "How can this be since I have no relations with a man?" (Luke 1:34).  Once the Angel Gabriel finished the explanation to Mary, she very openly responds, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, May it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38)  Mary's resounding - YES to the Holy Spirit is a model of selflessness and resignation to the will of God that all of us as members of the Holy Name Society can learn from and should strive to emulate.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Doing Nothing is Not an Option

Today's families are struggling for survival. broken with divorce, addictions to drugs, alcohol, pornography and many other sinful behaviors.

Jesus taught us the definition of true love and gave us a plan of how to take care of each other, unfortunately man has turned his back on our Creators divine plan for our society and our world and has instead created his own self centered definition of love. This has resulted in an incorrect view of the Sacrament of Marriage in our society. We are now turning a Sacrament designed by God to give us special graces and a divine plan for living together in peace, harmony and spiritual growth and are turning it into a Sacrilege against God and an assault on the human family.  Seems that man individually and collectively has forgotten that the primary purpose of his existence in this life is to to obtain the goal of eternal salvation.

The Supreme Court is getting ready to make a ruling this year on gay marriages. We must pray for Divine Guidance for deliverance from the evils of gay marriage which shamefully have taken over our country. The book of Genesis tells us through the story of Sodom and Gomorrah that the sin of homosexuality is indeed a very grave matter in God's eyes and requires us as faithful followers of Jesus Christ to love the sinner, but to hate the sin. We also know that the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which God ultimately destroyed by fire, would have been spared from destruction had there been only ten good men to pray for them (Gen.18:16-33).

Friday, January 2, 2015

What will we do for the Holy Name?

The Holy Name of Jesus...What holy thoughts, impulses and resolutions it provokes. What will we do for the Holy Name? We must do something. This at least we can do - love it more, use it more reverently, bless with it more, make it the sweetness of our mouths, the music of our ears, the love of our hearts, the light of our minds, the strength of our wills and the joy of our souls.

We can say it and say it again - with love, praise and devotion. We can use it in so many ways of praise, adoration, thanksgiving and in reparation for the many times His Name is defamed and used improperly...we can use it for ourselves and our friends and have our friends use it for us. We can even use it to honor GOD, in His praise; and to ask Jesus, Mary and Joseph to use it for us. We can meditate in prayer on the many glories of His Name.