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9 How Did God Become Man?

Mary Kathleen Snd Pauline Books and Media ePub

Catechism  Jesus began life as a human being in the Virgin Mary’s womb by the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. no. 504).

Hundreds of songs have been written to celebrate a great mystery of our faith: the Incarnation. Carne means “flesh.” The Incarnation means that almighty God, who is spirit, becomes a human being, who is both body (flesh) and spirit. God the Son became a man named Jesus, who grew and got tired and hungry, who had human feelings and thoughts. What a wonderful mystery!

God became like us in everything but sin. Why? Because he has tremendous love for us. The Bible says, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). Jesus made up for all sin. Because of him, now we can become sons and daughters of God. We can share divine life.

Jesus wasn’t part God and part man. He was truly God and at the same time, truly a human person. This is a mystery we can’t fully understand. Because we can’t understand it, people have often held wrong ideas about Jesus. Religious teachings that contradict what the Church teaches are called heresies (HAIR-uh-sees). One heresy said that Jesus was not really human. Another taught that Jesus was just a good human who was adopted by God. The Church teaches that a divine nature and a human nature are present in the one person who is Jesus. And this means that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is actually the mother of God.

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15. War...Again!

Susan Helen Fsp Pauline Books and Media ePub

During this adventurous time in Bakhita’s life, she settled in for what would become a two-year stay at the Congregation’s missionary convent in Milan. There, young women interested in religious and missionary life received their training as sisters.

Sister Bakhita was impressed by the enthusiasm of the young women who prepared themselves for mission lands. They wanted to take the Gospel to people who still waited to hear the word of the Lord. Bakhita was assigned as doorkeeper, a task at which she excelled. Fewer people arrived at this convent than at Schio. Those whom she greeted here were the parents or close relatives of the novices.

Parents had various reactions to their daughters’ vocations. Some were thrilled. Others hesitated. They were honored that their daughters had chosen religious life, but they wanted them to serve God closer to home, in their own country. Why did they have to go to India or China? Didn’t the people of Italy need the Gospel message, too?

The people who knocked on the convent door in Milan were often troubled. Could Bakhita find the right words for them? She would look at them with her dark, gentle eyes and remind them, “How many thousands of Africans could accept the faith if there were missionaries to preach to them about Jesus Christ, his love for us, his sacrifice for the redemption of souls!” She would also promise prayers. She encouraged the young women, as well, to be joyful and generous in living their religious vocation.

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Fsp Pauline Books and Media ePub

Twenty years had passed since the end of World War II. Two childhood friends from Wadowice had lost track of each other over the years. It would have been logical for each to believe that the other hadn’t survived the horrible war. But that was about to change.

Jerzy Kluger, now a prominent engineer living in Rome, opened his newspaper one morning. He quickly skimmed the articles, as he did every day. A story about a talk given at the Vatican Council suddenly caught his eye. To be more specific, a name mentioned in the article seemed to jump off the page—the name Karol Wojtyla. Interesting, the Jewish engineer mused. Wojtyla isn’t that common a name. Could it possibly be Lolek after all these years? He sat staring at the article for a few minutes. Well, it wouldn’t hurt to check it out.

Reaching for the phone, Mr. Kluger dialed the Polish Institute in Rome. He was told that Archbishop Wojtyla was indeed staying there during the Council, but was out at the moment. Jerzy left a message, asking the archbishop to call him back. Karol returned the call as soon as he got home.

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24. Final Glory

Marianne Lorraine Trouv Fsp Pauline Books and Media ePub


Final Glory

It was August 11, 1253. Silence fell over the room where Clare lay ill in bed. Some of the friars had come, Brothers Angelo, Leo, Juniper, and Raynaldo. They were praying.

One by one, the sisters of San Damiano came up and said farewell to Clare—Agnes, Balvina, Amata, Benedetta, Benvenuta, Filippa, Beatrice, and the others. In tears, Agnes said, “Clare, I’ll miss you so much! How can I ever thank you for all you have done for me?”

Weakened from her illness, Clare could not sit up. But she smiled and whispered, “Agnes, the Lord himself will console you after I am gone.”

Just then, they all heard the bell ring. Filippa went to see who was there. She returned a little while later, holding a parchment in her hand.

“Filippa, what is that?” Clare asked.

“A messenger came from the pope. He brought this and said you must read it right away.”

“Please read it to me,” Clare said with a trembling voice. “I am too weak to do it myself.”

Filippa began to read the document. “The form of life of the Order of Poor Sisters is this: To observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ …” The sisters listened intently as she read on. Then they gasped. The pope had approved Clare’s rule! Taking the parchment in her hands, Clare kissed it over and over.

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8. God First

Susan Hellen Wallace, Sr. FSP Pauline Books and Media ePub

Although Thomas’s life at home and in politics was very demanding, he always made time for God. On most days, Thomas rose at 2:00 AM, washed, dressed, and went down to his study. Quietly closing the door behind him, he began his daily time of prayer and spiritual reading, which usually lasted until 7:00 AM. Thomas often flipped open his Bible randomly and read whatever he had turned to. On this day, his glance fell on a passage of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians:

Watch and be careful how you live; be not foolish, but wise.

Make the most of today’s opportunity,

because these days are evil. . . .

Try to understand what the will of the Lord is.

Thomas meditated and prayed over Saint Paul’s advice. I love peace and want to choose it always, Lord. But if trouble comes, help me to be wise and fair, and above all, faithful to you.

Soon enough, Thomas needed the graces for which he had prayed.

“I am being sent to Calais, France,” he announced to Alice one evening.

His wife looked up from her needlework in surprise.

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