INA NG PAG-ASA PROVINCE Provincial Chapter 2 017 October 25, 2017 Biga, Siilang, Cavite
During the Provincial Chapter 2017 from October 23-26, 2017 held at the National Shrine of Ouor Lady of La Salette at Silang, Father Rosanno Soriano, MS was elected as Provincial Superior.
Father Manuel Medina, MS was elected as the Vicar Provincial and Father Eugene Andaya, MS as the councilor.
On the photo from left to right:
Father Romeo Seleccion MS - Father Manuel Medina, MS - Father Rosanno Soriano, MS Father Eugene Andaya, MS-; Father Ronnie Rodriquez, MS
Call to Integrity
(Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time: Malachi 1:14-2:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:7-13; Matthew 23:1-12)
Today’s reflection is definitely off the beaten path.
Malachi’s strong words to the priests of his day, and Jesus’ criticism of the Scribes and reminded me of a curious, tangential episode in the history of La Salette.
During her Apparition, Our Lady of La Salette spoke privately to each of the children, telling them not to share with anyone what she said just then.
These “secrets” were not included in the Bishop’s approval of the Apparition in 1851, and the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette are, you might say, allergic to them, and show little interest in them.
In 1851, Maximin and Mélanie were persuaded to write down their secrets for the Pope. The letters were later lost, and rediscovered only in 1999.
Mélanie’s secret included the following: “Priests and Religious women, and the true servants of my Son will be persecuted, and many will die for their faith in Jesus Christ… Among the Ministers of God and the Brides of Jesus Christ, there will be some who will give themselves over to disorder, and that will be something terrible.”
But 28 years later, in 1879, Melanie published a much longer version, beginning with the following: “The priests, ministers of my Son, the priests, by their wicked life and their lack of piety in celebrating the sacred mysteries, by love of money, honors and pleasures, have become sewers of impurity.” There is no mention of some dying for their faith.
Recent Popes—Francis, Benedict XVI and John Paul II—have pledged to repair the great harm done, especially but not exclusively to children, as well as to the Church, by priests and religious.
St. Paul, on the other hand, never one to understate his ministry, writes: “We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children... Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.” There are similar passages in many of his letters.
God grant that similar passages be written in bold letters, so to speak, in the lives of all whose lives are dedicated to the service of God and his people.
Always and Everywhere
(Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Exodus 22:20-26; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Matthew 22:34-40)
Years ago, I attended a wedding where the couple composed their own vows. The groom began with the promise to respect and support his wife, in good times and bad, etc., and concluded with the words, “As long as we both shall love.”
He seemed not to realize that he had just implied that a time might come when they no longer loved each other! True love admits of no such possibility. It is ‘always’ and ‘everywhere.’ And true love is what Jesus is talking about in today’s Gospel.
Our Lady’s true and boundless love of God and neighbor is expressed at La Salette in the words, ‘my Son’ and ‘my people.” We find it in her gentle tone, her tears, her closeness to the children.
When she reminded Maximin of his visit to a farm at Coin, she showed how God’s love surrounds us at all times, in every place. She wants us to be imitators of her, responding to God’s love always and everywhere.
When in Luke’s Gospel Mary said to the angel, “I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word,” she didn’t mean just here and now, but everywhere and always. The same is true of her song, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. The Almighty has done great things for me.”
We might wonder what it means to love ‘with all our mind.’ We might think that there is little difference between loving with all our heart and all our soul; or we could try to explore each term for subtle changes of meaning. But this is no academic exercise. The meaning is clear: true love of God and neighbor is, by its very nature, ‘always’ and ‘everywhere.’
Examples abound among the saints. St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars, wrote a beautiful Act of Love that begins: “I love you, O my God, and my one desire is to love you until my dying breath.” He truly lived that prayer, personally and in his ministry to others.
Why God should want our love is a mystery. Yet it is so important, that he made it the greatest of all the commandments. He doesn’t need it; we do. And since it is only through his goodness that we have anything to offer him, he makes it possible.
Yes, we really can love God always, everywhere, truly.
(Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Isaiah 25:6-10; Philippians 4:12-20; Matthew 22:1-14)
“On this mountain,” proclaims Isaiah, “the Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face; the reproach of his people he will remove.” In telling the story of La Salette, we invariably speak of a mountain, of tears, and reproaches.
In tears on that mountain, the Blessed Virgin Mary reproached her people especially for their lack of a living faith.
Another image in common between La Salette and this reading from Isaiah, and with the Gospel, is the banquet. It occurs explicitly in Isaiah and Matthew, and implicitly in Our Lady’s message, when she speaks of the Mass. On the Mountain of La Salette she reminds us of the feast that the Lord has provided in the Eucharist.
The identification of the Eucharist as a banquet goes back at least as far as St. Augustine, who died in the year 430 AD. He wrote: “You are seated at a great table… The table is large, for the banquet is none other than the Lord of the banquet himself…; though host, he himself is both food and drink.”
In Matthew’s version of the Parable of the Wedding Feast, the invited guests refused to come. Some even engaged in gratuitous violence towards the messengers. Indifference and hostility toward religion in many places is a fact that Christians have to face.
The above quotation from Augustine is from one of his sermons, but it is not directly about the Eucharist. It is about martyrdom. The body derives little sustenance from a small host and a sip from the chalice, but the spirit is strengthened, encouraged, emboldened. As St. Paul writes, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”
From this point of view, we can put the Beautiful Lady’s words, about lack of reverence for the Mass, in the same context as what she says about the famine. She weeps because her people are faced with starvation, physically and spiritually.
In the Act of Consecration to Our Lady of La Salette we say: “May I so live as to dry your tears and console your afflicted heart.” One way to accomplish that goal is our faithful and loving participation in the Eucharist.