Saturday, November 26, 2016

Happy Feast Day (to us!)

This last day of the liturgical year, this Saturday in honor of Mary and day before the start of Advent (yes, it really is) is also the anniversary of death and the Feast of Blessed James Alberione, our Founder. As he approached the end of his life, he had this to say: “Here is a half-blind man, who is being led, and in moving along he is enlightened from time to time so that he can proceed further: God is the light.”

“Before God and man, I feel the gravity of the mission entrusted to me by the Lord who, had he found a person more unworthy and unfit, would have preferred him. Nevertheless, for me and for everyone, this is the guarantee that the Lord has willed and has done everything himself; just like the artist who picks up a paintbrush worth a few coins and is unaware of the world to be executed, were it even a beautiful picture of the Divine Master, Jesus Christ.”

But he taught us that Baptism means that the portrait of Jesus Christ is meant to be painted in each of us. This
"Christification" (the term is more typical in the Eastern/Orthodox traditions, but Alberione used it all the time) is the work of the Holy Spirit, the "finger of God's right hand," holding that divine brush and palette to form Christ in us.

Pray with Alberione:

Holy Spirit, in a profound spirit of adoration
I ask you unite my heart, my will, and my mind with those of Jesus.
May the affections of Jesus be my affections.
May the desires of Jesus be my desire.
Made the thoughts of Jesus be my thoughts.
May Jesus himself live in my heart, my will, and my mind.
I give Jesus my heart, so that he may be the one who loves others in me and with me.
I give Jesus my will, so that he may be the one who lives in me and with me.
I give Jesus my mind, so that he may be the one who thinks in me and with me.
I want what he wants.
In me may he love.
In me may he decide.
In me may he act.
And may it be he himself who fulfills his mission through me.

At the very dawning of the 20th century, as a young Alberione remained in prayer through the night before the Blessed Sacrament, “Particular enlightenment came from the Host, a greater understanding of that invitation of Jesus, ‘Come to Me, all of you.’ He seemed to understand the heart of the great Pope, the Church's appeals and the true mission of the priest. What Toniolo said about the duties of being Apostles today and of using the means exploited by the opposition seemed clear to him. He felt deeply obliged to prepare himself to do something for the Lord and for the people of the new century with whom he would live. …Projecting himself mentally into the future he felt that in the new century generous souls would feel what he had felt.”

In our own day, "the opposition" is as multifaceted as the media themselves. Deceptive philosophies, terrorist ideologies, hedonism and downright heresy all make use of communications technologies to defend and diffuse their perspectives. And yet media are also being used in exquisitely artistic ways to communicate what is true, beautiful and good! In the spirit of Blessed James Alberione, let us pray today for all those who live and work in the sphere of communication:

St. Paul, traveler for the Gospel, proclaimer of the Good News, you ask your fellow Christians to pray “that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified.”
Today God's Word travels most swiftly through the media. Living in the era of global communication, we use these marvelous means not only for information and entertainment, but also as a way of connecting with others. We recognize their potential for all that is good and beautiful, as well as for the opposite.
St. Paul, pray for those creative persons who produce all forms of media and for those who use their productions.
May the men and women who shape media messages, and those who receive those messages, promote human dignity and foster respectful communication. In this way, both the message and the medium will be channels for what is good, true, and beautiful.
Pray also for those who, like you, seek to proclaim God's word in this new place of evangelization.
Through the sometimes blaring and relentless voices of the media, may we be attuned to God's voice coming through these means: that tiny, whispering sound, which is often the way God speaks to us. And when we hear the soft voice of God's word, maybe be filled with “grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen.

“What marvelous things Jesus has in his Heart! Wonders of love and of grace, of vocations. The Lord wants to give us things that I don't think you can yet experience, just as Jesus told the Apostles that he had things that he was keeping to himself until the coming of the Holy Spirit, 'because you are not able to bear it'.” These words date to 1924, but the promise seems as new as ever. Join us today in praying for vocations who will allow Christ to be formed in them so completely that it will be He who makes use of new and developing technologies to communicate the Father and "draw everything to himself" (cf. John 12:32).

Today would be a good day to watch Media Apostle: the Father James Alberione Story!

Media Apostle (90 min): The Father James Alberione Story

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