"I have been all things
unholy. If God can work
through me, he can
work through anyone."
Francis of Assisi
Last Updated on Saturday, 13 November 2010 20:36
|Sr. Mary Lou Eltgroth, OSF Regional Spiritual Assistant|
“I hope it doesn’t snow any more.” “I hope spring will finally come and stay.” “I hope the Twins have a good season.” We use the word “hope” so casually…and that is OK. But when we talk of the Virtue of Hope, it is something different .
The First Commandment: “You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) tells us (2084), “You shall fear the Lord your God: you shall serve Him…You shall not go after other gods. God’s first call and just demand is that humans accept Him and worship Him.” This is the First Commandment. It embraces faith, hope and charity—the Theological Virtues. It follows that we must necessarily accept God Words and have complete faith in Him and acknowledge His Authority. He is Almighty, Merciful and Infinitely Beneficent… Who could not place all hope in Him? Who could not love Him when contemplating the treasures of goodness, and love He has poured out on us? (2086)
When God reveals Himself and call humans, they cannot fully respond to Divine Love by their own power. Humans must hope that God will give them the capacity to love Him in return and to act in conformity with the commandment of charity. Hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God’s love and of incurring punishment. (2090)
The First Commandment is also concerned with sins against hope, namely despair and presumption.
By despair, humans cease to hope for their personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it for the forgiveness of sins. Despair is contrary to God’s goodness, to His justice—for the Lord is faithful to His Promises--and to His Mercy. (2091
There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high) or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or His Mercy (hoping to obtain His forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit.) (2092)
We have the Feast of Pentecost coming very shortly. Let us pray earnestly to the Holy Spirit to descend on us, individually and on the entire Secular Franciscan Order…that we may be faithful to living out our commitment made at our Profession. In the Gospel of Luke (18:1), we are told “to pray and not lose heart.” To that we need to add some of our own sacrifices and what a gift we have for one another.
Let us pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten and guide us as we follow The Rule and pray Scripture to be enlightened as to how Scripture is meant for me this day…how I can LIVE THE GOSPEL.
Peace and blessings, Sister Mary Lou
|Our Lady of Fatima|
May 13th - Feast Day for Our Lady of Fatima
The miracles that took place in Fatima in 1917 do not belong to a group of the faithful, nor do they belong to science. Before all else, it is an undeniable historical event. Three Portuguese children near the village of Fatima saw the Apparitions of a Lady. The children were Lucia dos Santos (aged ten), and her two cousins, Jacinta (aged seven), and Francis Martos (aged nine).
The miracle that took place in October was for all to believe.
May 13th, 1917
On her first Apparition, the Lady said "I come from heaven" and that she'll reveal her name later, and asked the 3 children to come at the same time every 13th of the month for six months. She then added, "recite the rosary every day to obtain peace in the world and the end of the war".
June 13th, 1917
On her second Apparition, the children ask if they'll go to heaven. The Lady says that Jacinta and Francisco will go to heaven soon. Lucia much later, because Jesus wanted Lucia to make the Lady known and loved. There were a few dozen curious people there. Again, the Lady asks the children to pray the rosary every day.
As the crazy spring weather starts to include something other than snow, I thought about our upcoming Regional Fraternity gathering. This meeting will focus on the National Visitation.
Two visitors (Pastoral and Fraternal) will be coming from NAFRA. The visitation requires up-to-date information on the Franciscan life of the fraternity, an examination of the leadership, review of Regional information and relationships within the council and fraternity members, checking the effectiveness of initial and ongoing formation, just to name a few.
For those fraternities that have had visitations within the last two years, you have had a glimpse of what the Regional Executive Council (REC) has been preparing for. The visitors will meet with the REC and Spiritual Assistants before the actual weekend activities begin. Once the Ministers of the Queen of Peace Fraternity start their meeting, the visitors will be spending time listening and talking with the Regional Fraternity.
We had some items to address after the last visitation three years ago. We think that we have addressed their concerns about leadership development (formation team, Spiritual Assistant class, formation workshops for the general OFS and specific to the Formation Director.) We still have some ideas that we want to implement and we will continue work on developing them.
The biggest challenge that every REC has faced is the large geographical region. This has meant long distance travel for both the REC as well individual members to different events. I don't know that there is a solution, but we are focusing on making sure every fraternity has the opportunity to participate in regional activities.
We are excited to note the 100th anniversary of Holy Trinity Fraternity, Dubuque, Iowa.
Their celebration will be in September.
Peace to all,
Kim Pappas, OFS