Our Lady

Dear Friends,

As I write this column, we are in the midst of our Forty Hours devotions. The opening evening, Father Cooke provided much food for thought as he spoke about the mystery of redemption in the Cross of Jesus Christ and Jesus’ presence with us in the Most Blessed Sacrament which helps us discover our self. May we embrace Jesus, His Cross and His gift of Himself in the Eucharist to help us on this journey through such a complicated and convoluted world.

This weekend we are celebrating the twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, but September 15 is ordinarily the feast of our Lady of Sorrows and last Sunday (September 8) was the birthday of our Lady. These two feasts remind us of Mary’s pivotal role as the Mother of God and as our Mother who shares with us our humanity and intercedes on our behalf with her most Merciful Son. We can fly to her with trust knowing that we will be received by her and that she will help us with our every need. One of my most favorite prayers since childhood is the Memorare. Praying the Memorare brings me a sense of peace and help in times of worry, anxiety or trouble. I often recommend it to people ~

Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary,

that never was it known that anyone who fled to

thy protection, implored thy help, or sought

thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired

with this confidence, we fly unto thee, O Virgin

of Virgins, Our Mother; to thee do we come; before

thee do we kneel sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of

the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions,

but in your clemency hear and answer them.

Amen.

May we seek out the powerful intercession and help of our Blessed Mother as we grow passionately in discipleship and navigate such a confusing and often frightening world.

Saint Paul highlights the theme of our Scriptures this weekend in referencing his personal life and discipleship story. Our Scriptures report on our willfulness in going our own way and God’s intervention of mercy and healing towards us. Saint Paul identifies himself as a blasphemer, a persecutor and arrogant who received abundantly mercy, grace, faith and love in Christ Jesus. He asserts, “This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

Noting that he was the worst of sinners treated with such abundant mercy by the Lord reveals that everyone can take solace and refuge in the crucified and risen Jesus with trust and confidence for repentance and salvation. Jesus is our hope. In and through Him, we have life, the ful

lness of life. From Him, we receive forgiveness and healing of body, mind and soul. Let us make Paul’s words our own, “To [Jesus] the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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