The Happy Priest Reflects on Being Alive with the Risen Lord, Now
times a very comical interview of Cardinal Timothy Dolan by John L. Allen Jr.
My favorite part of the book is where Cardinal Dolan describes the life of the Catholic Church.
"You know when I most experience 'the Church'? Every other Saturday morning I walk down, in street clothes, to a Franciscan parish near Penn Station. There I stand in line, usually eight or so people in front of me, for confession. Nobody knows I'm a bishop.
I watch the street people waiting for the soup kitchen to open; I see a mom and her little girl light a candle and say a prayer; I look into the church and see dozens of faithful there in silence before the exposed Eucharist; there's a young couple leaving the parlor after their marriage prep; there's an elderly lady crying in front of Our Lady's Chapel; over in the corner is the drop-off table for baby clothes for the young moms with a trouble pregnancy.
And here I am, a sinner in line with other sinners, just wanting to take Jesus at his word that he welcomes and forgives me. Bingo! This is the Church! Nothing purple about it" (pages 150-151).
The challenge for every Christian of the modern world is to make Jesus present to others by the authentic witness of a life lived with conviction that Jesus is truly alive.
My dear friends, love cannot be bottled up and contained. The transformation that takes place within us by grace, changes us into living members of the Church. Disciple and apostle are the same. "By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples" (John 15: 8).
Every member of the Catholic Church is called to holiness and every member of the Catholic Church is called to be an apostle. The Second Vatican Council (1962 - 1965) reminded the Church of this fundamental truth: every member of the Church is called to be a saint and an apostle.
"There are innumerable opportunities open to the laity for the exercise of their apostolate of evangelization and sanctification. The very testimony of their Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have the power to draw men to belief and to God; for the Lord says, 'Even so let your light shine before men in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven' (Matt. 5:16).
However, an apostolate of this kind does not consist only in the witness of one's way of life; a true apostle looks for opportunities to announce Christ by words addressed either to non-believers with a view to leading them to faith, or to the faithful with a view to instructing, strengthening, and encouraging them to a more fervent life. 'For the charity of Christ impels us' (2 Cor. 5:14). The words of the Apostle should echo in all hearts, 'Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel'" (1 Cor. 9:16).
Father James Farfaglia is the Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, TX. Click here and listen to Father's Sunday homilies. Visit Father on the web and check out his book Get Serious - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics, an inspirational and easy to follow guide for living a deeper spiritual life.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Sunday homily, Easter, Father James Farfaglia, Christian hope, Easter joy, peace, love, gift, conviction, apostolate, holiness, Vatican II, Second Vatican Council, Pope Benedict, Pope John Paul II
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