August 14th, 2022, 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Parish Family,
What does it mean to set the world on fire? What does a world on fire with the Holy Spirit look like? A world on fire with the Spirit is a world filled with people living in radical availability to Him.
Think about John Paul II. constantly searching for a chapel where Jesus was present in the Blessed Sacrament and spending as much time as possible with the Lord. He was rooted in prayer and sound doctrine, courageously teaching and defending truth. Neither Soviet Communists who tried to squelch religion nor western dissidents who attempted to reject the truths handed down to us could overcome the Holy Spirit who worked power- fully through Saint John Paul II.
Think about Mother Teresa. When invited to address the United Nations General Assembly in 1985, According to then-Secretary- General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar of the United Nations General Assembly, she was “the most powerful woman in the world.” This five-foot-tall Albanian nun who held no political office, commanded no armies, and had taken a vow of poverty changed the world, because she lived with the fire of the Holy Spirit. She encoun- tered the Holy Spirit in daily prayer with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, even through her many years of darkness. St. Teresa of Calcutta lived by the Spirit as she spread the love of Jesus, and denounced the evils of our time, especially abortion.
Think of people like Padre Pio, who changed the world from the altar and the confessional in a more-or-less obscure Italian city, and St. Jean Vianney, who did the same from a small town in France. Think of Blessed Carlo Acutis who, with a passion for computers and for the Eucharist, made a website cataloging Eucharistic Miracles before contracting leukemia and, during his illness, offering his sufferings for the Pope and for the Church until his death on October 10, 2006.
Indeed, we are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses.” Saints of every race, tribe, people, and lan- guage are standing before the throne of God in Heaven today praying for us and encouraging us to fix our eyes on the prize of Heaven. They, along with the angels, encourage us to “rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race.” We too can set our little corners of the world ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit . . . so long as we are set on fire first. To paraphrase St. Catherine of Siena: “If you are what you ought to be, you will set fire to all the world.”
How do we do that? How do we open ourselves to the fire of the Holy Spirit? After Pentecost, this is what the first Christians did. The Bible says that “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42). The study of Scripture, relationship with fellow disciples of Jesus, partaking of the Sacraments (especially the Eucharist), and prayer . . . this is what the early Christians did. God set them on fire with His love and, through them, the whole world. So let us run the race, encouraged by the saints, and fulfill Jesus’ desire that the world be ablaze with the fire of His love. (hprweb.com)
God bless you all, Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG