Day: August 29, 2021

August 30, 2021 Reflection – St. Augustine – Part 1

We are challenged to have great faith!!!   August 30, 2021 Dear Family of Mary! Here is the August 25, 2021 Message from Our Lady, Queen of Peace: “Dear children! With joy I am calling all of you, little children, who have responded to my call: be joy and peace. Witness with your lives Heaven, which I am bringing to you. It is time, little children, that you be a reflection of my love for all those who do not love and whose hearts hatred has conquered. Do not forget: I am with you and intercede for all of you before my Son Jesus, that He may give you His peace. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (August 25, 2021) On Saturday, the Feast of St. Augustine (August 28), Fr. Kevin McKeever gave a most spectacular homily in St. Augustine’s honor. I have transcribed it for us. Today I present the first half and tomorrow the second. We will receive a great deal of peace from Fr. Kevin’s words: Homily for August 28, 2021, English Mass, Medjugorje – Fr. Kevin McKeever The servants in today’s Gospel all received a share in their Master’s riches in proportion to their ability. The weak are not meant to be envious of the strong because the Lord in His mercy has given them a lesser burden to carry our of consideration for the ability. But the strong are not meant to become proud or look down on the weak because by accepting the greater duties that are allotted to them, they realize that they will have to face a more demanding judgement. Today we see that in the life of St. Augustine. God lavished great spiritual gifts of wisdom, eloquence and knowledge upon him, and gave him the dignity of being a bishop in his Church. Yet for Augustine that was no reason for boasting. On the contrary, he said that the responsibilities placed upon him terrified him. But the grace of still being a Christian, loved by God, comforted him. As he famously said, “For you I am a bishop. With you, I am a Christian.” The immense grace that God lavished on St. Augustine from the moment of his conversion until the moment of his holy death, combined with his natural genius to produce an amazing abundance of spiritual fruit. The Church never ceases to draw a rich harvest from Augustine’s labors. Every time his books or sermons are read, studied and used in prayer. Anyone who has encountered St. Augustine through his writings, cannot help but have their heart and soul touched by the spirit of this saintly bishop and doctor of the Church. Just as God touched the heart of Augustine and set it aflame with love, so too does He continue to touch the hearts of all of us through St. Augustine’s work. The marvelous thing about Augustine’s voluminous writings is that he has something to say for every mood and every occasion. For example when we read his famous Confessions, we can reflect with Augustine about how the invisible hand of God’s providence guides every moment of our life. Even in the bad moments, we see that God is there patiently preparing us for something greater. With Augustine we can weep in penitence for our sins. And we can rejoice in the mercy of God. With him we can thank God for the beauty of His creation. And praise Him for all His mighty deeds. However Augustine can also give us a good shake to get us out of our complacency or to stop us from feeling sorry for ourselves. Augustine lived in very troubled times. And he often had to deal with parishioners who were always moaning and complaining about how bad things are. So he once said in a sermon, “Our Holy Scriptures do not promise us peace, security and repose, but tribulations and distress. So we must not complain. ‘As some of them complained,’ as the Apostle says, ‘and perished from the serpents.’ What fresh sort of sufferings to we endure that our fathers did not undergo? Yet you find men complaining about the times live in, saying that the times of our parents were good. What if they could be taken back to the times of their parents and should then complain. The past times that you think were good, are good because they are not yours here and now. Have we forgotten the flood, have we forgotten those burdensome times of famine and wars? They were written about to prevent us from complaining about the present time against God.What times those were.So we have rather cause for congratulating ourselves, than grounds for complaining about our own times.” And how relevant those words are for us. If we are lamenting our own times, whether it is because of COVID and restrictions, or because of war and terrorism, or even problems in the Church. Augustine could point us to his own times, never mind the disasters of other centuries, and tell us to be thankful for small mercies. Imagine facing the plagues that rocked the Roman Empire without the benefit of modern medical science. Or imagine being Augustine watching the Vandals attack his home town in North Africa. One year after his death, Augustine’s city of Hippo Regius was destroyed, never again to recover. We might think that the Catholic Church is in a bad way now, but Augustine could point to the scandals and schisms of his own day, which were so divisive that they often led to violence. He had to contend with the Manichaens, the Arians, the Donatists, the Pelagians. Those words might not mean much to you now, but all they meant to Augustine was headache, heartache and stress. No wonder he never had a moments rest as he tried to argue with them and correct them. So today, St. Augustine also stands before us as a reminder that all the paths of history, just like our own personal journey through life, stand under the loving guidance of God’s providence. So instead of being fearful, complaining, we are challenged to have faith, and patient trust in God. Willingly carrying our crosses as a precious way of sharing in the saving Cross of Christ. End of part 1! Part 2 tomorrow! (Homily of Fr. Kevin McKeever, August 28, 2021 – English Mass Medjugorje) In Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Cathy Nolan Mary TV 2021