Monday, May 31, 2010

The Visitation

Today we celebrate the beautiful feast of the Visitation. The Visitation is the 2nd Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. This is when Mary...pregnant with our sweet baby Jesus... travels the hillsides to visit her cousin Elizabeth...who just happens to be pregnant with John the Baptist! The moment Elizabeth saw Mary coming, the baby in her womb leapt with joy...for he knew that the baby Mary was carrying was indeed our Savior. Elizabeth was the first to proclaim Mary as the Mother of God. Today Mary proclaims the greatness of our Lord when she proclaims the Magnificat:

My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fr. Matthias Neuman's Homily for Trinity Sunday

Readings: Prov 8:22-31; Rm 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

Trinity Sunday is often a really scary day for a lot of Christian preachers. They fear two things mainly as they approach preparing a homily for Trinity Sunday. First, they fear getting lost in trying to explain a really complicated doctrine, filled with a plethora of technical terms—many of which they don’t understand themselves...much less trying to explain them to their congregations. Secondly, they fear boring their congregations to death. These are legitimate fears.

One preacher who faced these fears straight on was St. Augustine. He tried to figure out a way to explain the doctrine of the Trinity easily to his congregation of simple people. He came up with this way: he said the whole Christian teaching on the Trinity can be compressed into seven statements:

-The Father is God.

-The Son is God.

-The Holy Spirit is God.

-The Father is not the Son.

-The Son is not the Spirit.

-The Spirit is not the Father.

-There is only one God.

He said that if his people hold on to these seven statements, they would be fine.

That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t do much for our spiritual lives. We need something that enters into and makes a difference in how we live our daily lives. That was a problem I often faced while teaching the seminary course for many years on "The Christian Doctrine of God." How could I introduce something in the course that really made a difference in people’s lives and faith? That bothered me for a long time until about twenty years ago when I discovered a wonderful little book: The Triune God of Christian Faith. The author was Mary Ann Fatula, a Dominican sister, who was teaching theology at Ohio Dominican College in Columbus, Ohio. She beautifully develops the implications of the doctrine of the Trinity for Christian spirituality. Her key point is that the very fact of mutual relationships between the persons of the Trinity means that mutual relationship is the deepest reality in all of creation. The human ache for love and meaning can only be answered in relationship, in mutual relationships between persons and in mutual relationship with God. It reminds me of St. Augustine’s famous statement: "Our heart is restless, until it rests in You." (Confessions 1,1) On the human side it’s like Fr. Eric’s calligraphy print that I have right inside my front door over at the chaplain’s house: "To love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth." Listen to Sr. Mary Ann’s own words: "The apostles and disciples spoke of what they had actually experienced in their own lives. Thus, the love which had radically changed them impelled them to preach, drawing others to open themselves to the risen Lord and the healing power of His Spirit. ...Here was a whole new way to live, not enslaved and bitter and alone, but as persons in relationship, growing in freedom and love in the midst of a community who cherished them as equals." (p. 18) The whole of her book is a drawing out of the implications of this key idea: we are created to be persons in relationships of love. This is a direct reflection of the Trinitarian God whom we believe in and who created us.

To celebrate Trinity Sunday is really about celebrating mutual loving relationships in our lives. This topic bears careful examination. Last week’s issue of TIME magazine had as its feature article: "FaceBook...and how it’s redefining privacy." The rise of social networking programs on the Internet is changing people’s perceptions of privacy, intimacy and relationship. This is probably more significant to younger generations that are growing up with this social reality. But many of the questions affect all of us. This Trinity Sunday let’s be very aware of our own mutual loving relationships and what we can do to keep them healthy. Because every loving mutual relationship is in itself also a praising of our Triune God.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Vocation Essay by Jamaica H., 8th Grade

"He gives strength to the fainting, to the weak. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall; they hope that the Lord will renew their strength, and they will soar as with eagle’s wings." This is a short passage from Isaiah 40:25-31. In this verse young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, but the Lord will renew their strength, and they will soar as with eagle’s wings, really stands out. Priest, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters are the ones who receive this strength and will fly like eagles wings. They also show us how to soar.

Priest and deacons show us how to receive these strengths, and they help us soar. They do this by example through their work and ministry. A deacon plays a very important role in the church. They show like Jesus did how to be a servant and a follower. They help the priests and bishops, they are ready to do what they are asked and don’t complain. Much like God asked Jesus to die for us and our sins and did what he was told without complaining, deacons follow bishops’ commands. They show us how to be leaders at times and followers at other times. They help the parish by helping with food pantries and distributing the food to the needy. They help lead the community in doing well for all people, not just in the community but in the world also.

A priest is very important in the Catholic Church. He helps us see God through the distribution of the sacraments. A priest helps initiate the youth of today into the Catholic Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. Priests Baptize, to invite or bring us into the parish, and rid us of original sin. Also through the sacrament of confirmation we are finally initiated into the Catholic Church. They also help us through the sacrament of Reconciliation which helps us clean our soul and helps us get closer to God, through the forgiveness of our sins. We get to receive some of the powers of the Holy Spirit. We get to receive the strengths and wisdom that the Holy Spirit brings to us, which in turn brings us closer to God. A priest plays an important role in shaping us and eventually helping us get our wings so we may fly to God.

Religious brothers and sisters play a vital role in helping us see God every day. They show, teach, and prepare us to be with God for all eternity. They are examples and show us how to make our faith stronger through their strong faith and wisdom; they teach us how to pray the rosary in ways that we can be closer to Mary. They teach that by getting to know Mary we can know and draw closer to Jesus. They are the stairs that help us get to heaven and see God. They help me realize that sometimes I need to slow down and see the good in people and things, and see God in others. In turn I will be closer to God, and closer to seeing his divine mercy.

God reveals himself in many ways. Priest, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters are only pieces of the puzzle, the puzzle that helps figure out the way to see Jesus and receive the gift of his kingdom. If we follow their example we can receive our wings and fly.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fr. Matthias Neumen's Pentecost Homily

Readings: Acts 2:1-11; Rm 8:8-17; Jn 14:15-26

Fr. Theodore Brune was one of the most unique monks we have ever had at St. Meinrad. He was an incorrigible extrovert. There was nothing he enjoyed more than preparing for and managing a party or dinner. For years, as a brother, he worked in the guest department and was known far and wide. When we began our priory in Huaraz, Peru, he volunteered. While in Peru he saw the great need for priests in the country. So in his late 40s he decided to study for the priesthood; he was sent to a special English-speaking seminary for late vocations in Rome (the Bedae). He was there during my second stint in Rome, and he certainly made it lively. He was one of those people who, when he spoke, hardly ever finished a sentence. Halfway through one, he started another on a completely different topic. In Rome that problem was compounded by the fact that whenever he would try to speak Italian, his half-sentences were a mixture of Italian, English and Spanish words. (Whenever he would read the Gospel in church, whenever the name of Jesus appeared, he would always pronounce it by the Spanish Jesus and not the Italian Gesu.) But he was one of the most effective communicators I have ever seen. Somehow in that jumble of Italian, Spanish and English words, he could always get his point across and people knew what he was saying. We’ve all heard how real "communication" happens not just through the meanings of words, but even moreso by tone of voice and nonverbal means. Fr. Theodore Brune exemplified that to a T.

I’ve often wondered if the event with the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room and the preaching of the gospel afterward wasn’t something like that. It wasn’t just the message of the Resurrection of Jesus, but it was the spirited communicating of the Spirit-transformed disciples that moved people. The disciples’ message shone through their lives. It was the gospel incarnated into people's lives.

I’ve always found it very interesting the many ways that the Christian tradition has attempted to flesh out, specify and diversify this one great gift of the Spirit. St. Paul in his letters makes several attempts at this. In his first letter to the Corinthians he writes: "There are a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit. The Spirit is given to each person for a good purpose: the gifts of preaching and faith, healing and miracles, prophecy, tongues and interpretation." (12:4-11) In the Letter to the Galatians he has a different list: "What the Spirit brings, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control." (5:22) Later on in the Christian tradition catechism books will add a classic listing: the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord. This listing is borrowed straight from the Prophecy of Isaiah (11:2-3). This one gift of the Spirit is so rich that Christians haven’t been able to find enough ways to describe it. It is the overflowing gift of God.

Some forty years ago I gave a retreat to the Sisters of the Holy Spirit in Pittsburgh, PA. I tried to give them a more modern perspective on this one overflowing Spirit of God. These are the gifts of the Spirit that I came up with:

Receptiveness - the perceiving and taking in the unique preciousness of a person or event.

Expansiveness - the willingness to try a diversity of approaches to reach a specific goal.

Self-confidence - the conviction that I have a unique contribution to make in God’s plan.

Sensitiveness - a keen awareness of emotions and beauty in persons and events.

Empathy - an aptitude for entering into and sharing another person’s feelings.

Humor - an attitude of joyful exuberance and playfulness.

Enthusiasm - an overflowing commitment to a person, ideal or task.

These all come from that one superabundant Spirit of God.

This Pentecost feast we should each take some time to try and discern what are our gifts of the Spirit and do I use them for the building-up of my community?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Come Holy Spirit!

Come Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

V. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.

R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Vocation Essay by Taylor B., 8th Grade

Deacons, Priests, Religious Brothers and Sisters invite us to learn the key to eternal happiness, to everlasting peace. They take us by the hand the way a loving mother would take a small child. They invite us to understand what God wants us to do in our life, and they help us develop our conscience. They give their lives to God, and in doing that they model the life God wants all of his children to live. These religious people invite us to come and see Christ in a new light.

All of these religious leaders give us their valuable time to help us better understand Jesus. They come to church daily and pray for us, so that we may trust in Christ and find our vocation in life whether it is as a religious or as a married person.

I believe firmly in what Father Eric Johnson once said, “Whether married, single, deacon, priest, or religious, our vocation in life is to believe in Christ’s word of salvation and promise. It is a call that leads us into deeper knowledge, love, and service of God, and summons us to the love and service of others.” I think Father Eric really knew what he was talking about when he said this.

God calls us and wants us to believe and trust in him like we would our parents, or our friends. We just have to let these religious leaders help us in our quest to answer Jesus’ loving question, “Will you follow me and become a servant of my children?”

Sr. Mary Cecile was a good example to us of how to live out or vocation in life. She was a loving person. This loving sister was in relationship with God as a nun for 61 years, since before she became a nun, in 1945, she was serving God. She now is in her heavenly home with God.

All of these religious leaders help us better understand our vocation in life, to know, love, and serve God.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fr. Matthias Neuman's Homily for Ascension Sunday

Readings: Acts 1:1-11; Eph 1:17-23; Lk 24:46-53

The Ascension of Jesus into heaven has remained a favorite of artists for many years. And more often than not they depict the Ascension taking place on a mountain top. (Perhaps they wanted to give Jesus a head start.) However, the two New Testament texts that describe the Ascension (Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles) make no mention of a mountain or even a high place.

Perhaps the artists place it on a mountain because mountains have a very prominent significance in Christian spirituality. That’s a point forcefully made in a book that I’m currently reading: The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: exploring desert and mountain spiritualities. The author is Belden Lane, a Presbyterian minister who has taught theology at St. Louis University for decades. He’s written a remarkable book, but also one that is very difficult to read. He works with three separate focal points that he wants to elaborate individually and then interweave with one another. The first point is the significance of deserts and mountains in biblical and later Christian spirituality. The second point is the experience of journeying with his mother as she slowly died from cancer. (That’s a fierce landscape in itself.) The third point studies the significance of various themes of apophatic spirituality in the Christian tradition. Apophatic spirituality is the effort that seeks a relationship with God without the use of any images. Most Christian spirituality is kataphatic; it works through images, images drawn from our human experience and then super-applied to God: God is all-good, God is all-loving, God is all-just. An apophatic spirituality relies on what we don’t know and can’t know about God. Like I said, it’s a tough read.

But it’s also a very rewarding read! It offers a lot of thoughts that just make me stop and reflect even more. Let me read you some passages that I plan to go over again and again. "When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, she was given six months to live.... Roles were reversed, as I (an only child) became mother to my mother....It was an experience of discovering an unlikely grace in a grotesque landscape of feeding tubes and bed restraints, wheelchairs and diapers, nausea and incontinence." (p. 25) "Flannery O’Connor once remarked that ‘sickness is more instructive than a long trip to Europe. She confessed that sickness before death is a very appropriate thing and I think those who don’t have it miss one of God’s mercies." (p.29) "When life confronts us with our limits, those who have lived with limits all their lives instruct us most profoundly." (p. 30) "All theologizing, if worth its salt, must submit to the test of hospital gowns, droning TV sets, and food spilled in the clumsy effort to eat. What can be said of God that may be spoken without shame in the presence of those who are dying." (p. 35) "Apophatic spirituality has to start at the point where every other possibility ends. Prayer without words can only begin where loss is reckoned as total." (p. 36) There’s a lot of material for reflection here.

What does the author say about the role of mountains in biblical spirituality? In biblical religion Yahweh is a God who repeatedly leads people into the desert and toward the mountains. God meets Moses on Mt. Sinai. Elijah encounters God on Mt. Horeb in a "still, small voice." The desert is the place of stripping and purgation; the mountain becomes the place of revelation. But it’s usually a revelation vastly different from what is expected by we mortals.

So perhaps the Ascension is best depicted on a mountain. What the Ascension signifies theologically is that all created things have been put under Jesus. He has become the true measure of all value, worth and goodness. What a paradox! This seeming failure, this humiliated and crucified man has become the lens which evaluates everything else in existence. That’s a revelation vastly different from what we might humanly expect. But it’s what we celebrate this Ascension feastday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Vocation Essay by Joseph E., 8th Grade

Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters help us hear God’s call in our lives in different ways. At first they can help us through prayer. Prayer means to talk and listen to God. And if you don’t talk to God how can you pay attention to him. They help you comprehend the meaning of prayer and how to pray. When we meditate we are quiet and secluded from the people around us. They teach us how to contemplate, and how to listen.

Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters also help us hear God’s call through experience. They have already been through what the youth is going through now. They know what it’s like, even though today’s society is different. They teach us how to live a Christian life. If we don’t live a holy life then we lose our sense of hearing. We would be death to the call God is trying to tell us. Holy men and women give us back our hearing just like Jesus would do. When I listen to the priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters in my life, it inspires me to find my holy duty as a Catholic child of God.

I have a sister teaching religion at my school. She’s a great person and role model. Just seeing people who have heard the call wants me to hear too. Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters also help us to hear God’s call by their advice they give to young Christians. It is the guidance to love God and to serve God’s people.

When you lost your way and turned toward sin, go to them for help. They will not lead you astray, but they will show you the way to righteousness. When you are on the path of virtue, hearing God’s call is ultimately up to you.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fr. Matthias Neuman's Homily for the 6th Week of Easter

In today’s gospel passage Jesus tells his disciples: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you." They are words that we pray every day in the Eucharist right after the Lord’s Prayer. They should be most familiar to us. Let’s stop for a moment and ask ourselves what these words really mean. What exactly is this "peace" that Jesus gives us?

If we would go to a Dictionary of the English Language we would find definitions like these: peace is "a non-warring condition of a nation or the world," "a state of harmony in a group or a person," ‘freedom from strife or dissention," "a state characterized by tranquility," or "a condition of public order." Two things seem to be common to all these definitions: an absence of conflict and the presence of a harmony between parties. But this is only common English usage, and may not pertain to a Biblical sense. Let’s go instead to the Christian tradition. I began with biblical commentaries. I’m sorry to say that they weren’t very helpful. The Jerome Biblical Commentary skipped over this passage altogether. And Fr. Raymond Brown’s massive commentary on the Gospel of John noted only that Jesus’ peace is the gift of salvation and that the phrase "Grace and Peace" became a common greeting among early Christians.

Then I thought to do some Google searches about famous Christians who had written about peace. I typed in "St. Augustine Peace" to see what would come up. It was not what I expected. It gave me a connection to the Peace and Plenty motel in St. Augustine, FL. Bummer. Then I remembered one of the most famous statements about peace in all of Christian Literature. It occurs in the Paradiso section of Dante’s Divine Comedy: "E’n la sua voluntade e nostra pace." (Canto III) "In His Will is our Peace." The context of the statement is fascinating. In this section of the Divine Comedy Beatrice is leading Dante through the various spheres of heaven. They have just entered the lowest sphere, the sphere of the moon. This is the sphere reserved for those people who have broken vows taken in their earthly life, but then have later repented. There they encounter a "transfigured woman" who is enjoying the heavenly bliss; she is Piccarda Donati of Florence. Piccarda had been a cloistered sister, but she was forced out of the convent by her brother who wanted to use her in a political marriage. She had a hard life. At one point Dante seeks to find out if she doesn’t really aspire to a higher sphere in heaven, to know what wonderful delights are being enjoyed in the highest spheres of heaven. That’s when she replies: "In His Will is our Peace." In effect, she is saying that this is where God’s will has placed her, she accepts that and she is fully at peace with that.

I think Dante has touched an important point here. Peace is first of all accepting those things we cannot change. And that’s very hard. We can create so much turmoil for ourselves by worrying about things that we have absolutely no control over. We want to change how someone else acts. We want to develop an ability that we have no aptitude for (e.g. playing the cello. My fingers were too short.). We want to change this or that in society. If we let things like that consume our minds (and they can), we will have no harmony, no peace. Here’s where the real force of Jesus’ saying comes in; why worry, he has already given us the gift of salvation. And so we have no need to worry; we have no need of anything else. If we focus on accepting that gift of salvation that he brings, then we won’t worry about things we can’t change.

At mass each day when we hear: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you," let’s make it a daily reminder to focus above all on the gift of salvation he brings and stop worrying about those things we cannot change. That’s the first step to truly knowing Christ’s peace in our hearts.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Vocation Essay by Zach B., 7th Grade

Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters are already doing God a favor by choosing to live their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They fully commit their lives to God by abstaining from sexual activity. But they can also invite people to “Come and See” God.

One way could be through evangelism. Some people will go door to door telling the good news of Jesus Christ. Others will hold up large signs at a sports event to spread the good news. People can also let people know who God is by just being a good person. If you live the way that Jesus tells us then people that don't know who God is will wonder why that person is always so nice and maybe want to be more like that person. Then if they ask that person why they act the way they do they will say “because I follow Jesus.” Then they might want to know more about this Jesus and they might start going to church.

Priests wear a black and white collar so that when they go out someplace people will recognize that they are a priest. Religious brother or sister can become teachers and teach kids and young adults the word of God. They can help young people grow in their faith and draw them deeper into the heart of God.

Anyone who is associated with the church is living their vocation by teaching God’s word through the mass. When people go to mass they are learning the teachings of the Lord. One of the ways a priest lives his vocation is by saying the mass. He is the one that teaches the people about the Bible and other important things. Without the priest people would hardly know what their beliefs are. The number of religious people around the world would decrease greatly and not many people will know God as they do today. This is how Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters are living their vocation.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fr. Matthias Neuman's Homily for the 5th Week of Easter

Readings: Acts 14:21-27; Rev 21:1-5; John 13:31-35

The second reading we heard this morning was from the Book of Revelation, specifically from the last three chapters which form a kind of conclusion to the whole New Testament. The words, "Behold, I make all things new," serve as a clarion call to open one’s vision and life to a future which will be shaped by a loving God. Here we have the full meaning of what Jesus’ Resurrection is all about. It’s a message of boundless hope and confidence for our human future.

But if we stop, think a moment, put our feet on the ground, we realize that’s only half of the Christian message. Before the resurrection there comes passion and death. Just as this reading from Revelation is preceded by persecution and suffering We can’t lose sight of those. The two poles of Christian faith are brokenness and Resurrection. How much of the Bible deals with human brokenness: Adam and Eve cast out of the garden, and Cain killing his brother, Abel—these just get the ball rolling, to be followed by Abraham and Sarah, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Job, etc. etc. right down to the passion and death of Jesus. But the ball of brokenness doesn’t stop rolling there; it continues right down into our own lives. That’s so evident when you go to visit the Hermitage, where human brokenness is present everywhere. But we needn’t go that far; the ball of brokenness rolls right through our own lives. Yet for each turn of that ball the Christian message cries out in the words of the Book of Revelation:"God will wipe every tear from our eyes." That’s the encouraging vision of Christian faith.

One of the great challenges of Christian faith is balancing brokenness and Resurrection, and a difficult balancing act it is. The scale can tip too far in either direction. It can tip too far on the side of brokenness. In that case the sufferings, pains, disappointments and failures of life tend to overwhelm us and the hope of Resurrection almost completely disappears. Lives begin to be lived in despair, discouragement and anger. There’s way too much of that these days. The scale can also tip too far on the side of Resurrection. That begins when people start to take the future totally in their own hands. They think: "The Kingdom of God will come sooner if we force it to happen." That leads to crusades, holy wars, forced conversions and persecutions. It can happen to any religion and has very often in the cases of both Christianity and Islam.

But for most ordinary people the scale doesn’t tip that far in either direction, but it definitely does list toward one or the other side. That creates the difference between people who are basically pessimistic or optimistic within their Christian faith. One of the things that occurred in the Catholic Church as a result of the Second Vatican council was a general shift from the pessimistic side to the optimistic side. When I was growing up, the great liturgical feast was Good Friday. The death of Jesus Christ saved us from our sins. But it also reminded us that life is difficult, that we are continually beset with grief and temptations. Our general religious mood was to be one of wariness, watching out for the dangers of sin. In a countermove the Council firmly placed Easter and Resurrection at the center of the Catholic vision. The halcyon cry of those years was: "We are an Easter people," people of hope who live openly by the Spirit. The scale had shifted in terms of general Church attitude, but we still find people in the Church who locate themselves more easily on one side or the other. It will always be that way.

In this Easter season it’s good for each of us to check where we are on the scale of brokenness and Resurrection. We are called by our faith to be a Resurrection people, but also never to lose sight of the brokenness of life. Let’s examine how we keep them in balance. How do we balance the pains and disappointments of life with the hope of a future completely reshaped by a loving God? Every Easter season asks us to explore this issue in our lives!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jesus' May Message

Each month, Anne, a lay apostle, receives a message from Jesus. This is the message for May. To read more about the locutions Anne receives from Jesus and His Blessed Mother click on this link: Direction For Our Times.

My dear apostles, how often you are challenged personally when you attempt to speak the Good News. This brings with it a temptation to connect the authenticity of the Good News to your personal holiness. Alas, you find that you fall short, of course, because you serve within the limitations of your flawed humanity. Does this decrease the force of the Good News you are called to share? Does this diminish the authenticity of the Good News? No. Your flawed humanity is rather testimony to the extent of the Good News. Yes, the scope of the Good News is such that each of My little apostles becomes a true herald, human flaws notwithstanding. You are each uniquely qualified to bring this Good News to a wounded world. You see, dearest apostle, it is through accepting your own pain and offering yourself for healing that you become My greatest example. You, in your willingness to accept healing and in your willingness to grow, show others what I am offering to the world in this time of Renewal. Beautiful humanity, how painful is My desire to heal you, to console you, to bring you to the Father where you will find eternal dignity and confidence. I ache with the desire that you accept My love. There are people who are waiting to experience Me, but it is through your acceptance of Me, with complete abandonment, that I will be brought to them. Do I burden you with My work? Do you find My friendship a heavy cross to carry? Let Me assure you, it is only in this cross that you will find your joy.