Mary is Jesus’ mother. Jesus is true God and true man. Two natures: one divine, another human. Both are united in the one divine Person of Jesus Christ. Rightfully the Ephesus Council in 431 defined Mary as the Mother of God. She is also our Mother. Mother of Hope.
Forty-nine priests: 44 diocesan and 5 Dominicans met at the Dominican Youth Center, General Santos City on 11 October 2011 to grow a little bit in Marian spirituality.
Fr. Rolando M. Castro, OP, professor, Ecclesiastical Faculties, University of Sto. Thomas, Manila was the sharer/spiriter.
October is the month of the rosary.
Mary is a Model of the Rosary because she is the most faithful disciple of the Lord. Like Jesus, Mary was always obedient to God’s will. “Fiat”, let it be done to me according to your word. (cf. Lk. 1:38).
The Rosary is a simple prayer. Christo-centric. A compendium of the Gospel. Meditation/contemplation is essential to the recitation of the rosary. (cf. Apostolic Letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae”, John Paul II, 2002).
There were instances when the recitation of the rosary helped defeat the enemies of the Catholic Church: La Naval against the Dutch and Lepanto against the Turks.
Thank you, Fr. Roland. Thank you, Fr. Bien, “recruiter” of resource persons. Thank you Dominican Fathers for hosting the recollection.
Assumption Mission at Bolul, City of Koronadal, celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary on 15 August 2011.
Mass presider and homilist was Bishop Dinualdo. Eleven Passionist concelebrated.
His homily focused on the theme: “Mary’s Assumption: An Inspiration in Our Valuing Life and Respecting the Environment”.
Our situation is a struggle between God and Satan; between life and death. (cf. Rev. 12: 1-6).
Mary’s “Magnificat” (Lk. 1: 39-56) is a song of praise, thanksgiving and hope.
Mary proclaims the greatness of the Lord for the many good things received from God.
She has confused the proud and deposed the mighty from their thrones. Sent the rich empty away.
But he raised the lowly to high places; gave food to the hungry.
Stewards of God’s creation (cf. Gen. 2:15) are today fighting the destroyers of God’s creatures through open-pit mining.
The proposed open-pit is 3 kms. long, 2.5 kms. wide and 800 meters deep. (7.5 sq. kms.). Waste Rock Storage Facility (WRSF), 500 has., is 70-355 meters above ground. Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) at Mal River Valley, 1,300 has., up to 280 meters high and 2.1 kms. long. Fresh Water Dam (FWD) on Mal River has a storage capacity of 215,000 ML.
Impacts: (1) clearing on 3,985 has. (1,310 has. are rainforest) and agricultural land. (2) destruction of biodiversity: flora – 1,000 species; fauna – 280. Most are endemic to Mindanao; (3) seepage of contaminated water from the open-pit mining to the entire Koronadal Valley Aquifers (Shallow – 50-100 meters deep); (4) climate change; (5) flashfloods. Note: SMI will CONTROL distribution of safe drinking water!
As conclusion: Bishop asked the people: “Will you oppose open-pit mining? Strong answer: “YES”. Will you sign the statement opposing SMI’s open-pit mining? “YES!” was their answer.
Sixty-five (65) clerics, diocesan and religious, attended the monthly recollection, 12 July 2011, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Polomolok,South Cotabato.
Theme: “Mary: Model of Discipleship of the Laity”.
Facilitator: Fr. Ivan Paul N. Obando, OP.
A. Mary’s spirituality (lived faith) is manifested in 3 words: (1) “FIAT”; (2) “MAGNIFICAT”; and (3) “FACITE” (Let it be done, magnifies, do).
- FIAT. “I am the handmaid of the Lord, said Mary, let what you have said be done to me” (Lk. 1:38). This was Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel’s message that she was chosen to be the Mother of the Son of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- MAGNIFICAT. “Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exalts in God my savior; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid” (Lk. 1: 46-48). Mary’s magnificat is a proclamation of her faith and hope in God’s faithful love for her and for Israel.
- FACITE. “Mary said to the servants do whatever he tells you” (Jh. 2:5). Mary’s intercessory role was seen in the wedding at Cana. Obedience to God’s will is the mark of Christ’s disciples.
B. LAY SPIRITUALITY.
Lay disciples live their faith in whatever situation in life they find themselves.
PCP II states: “The lay faithful seek the Kingdomof Godby engaging in temporal affairs and ordering them according to the plan of God” (n. 406; cf. Vat. II, Lumen Gentium, 31).
“It is in the world that they are called by God and hence ‘the world becomes the place and the means for the lay faithful to fulfill their Christian vocation’” (PCP II 406, Christifideles Laici, 15). It is in the world that they are to grow in holiness – family, work and recreation, economics, politics, culture, etc.
Elements of lay spirituality:
a) Genuine love for and personal commitment to Jesus.
b) Love for the Church.
c) Fidelity to the Church’s teachings and respect for the pastors.
d) Dedication to their families and to the apostolate of the family.
e) Love for neighbor especially the poor and needy.
f) Promotion of justice in the society where they live.
g) Regular reception of the sacraments and certain practices of devotion especially to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
C. MISSION OF LAITY. Sent to:
a) Be a community of families – the family is the Church in the home. The family is the primary community of Christ’s disciples wherein faith is initiated, nurtured and guided towards maturity. It is a foundation for Basic Ecclesial Communities.
b) Christian presence in society.
c) Service and evangelization.
d) Social transformation – this is the liberational and redemptive thrust of the mission of the laity – guided by the light of the Gospel in reading the signs of the times and by the Magisterium of the Church, they are called to reconcile and heal, and to promote integral liberation.
D. CONCLUSION. Mary’s words reveal to us her faith, her spirituality and her life, wherein she fully and responsibly accepted the will of God. She heard the Word of God and acted on it (CFC 1440).
Mary’s life and her words of faith, words of praise and gratitude and her word of obedience, inspire the lay faithful in their Christian journey. In the midst of many challenges today, they are filled with courage and hope by Mary’s example.
As their pastors, we can assist them in their growth in Christian faith, hope and love.