January 28, 2019
St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Dear Family of Mary!
Today I want to share the homily for English Mass given by Fr. Maximilian Dalve on Saturday, January 26, 2019. Fr. Max speaks brilliantly about the heart in this homily, explaining much of what Our Lady says to us in this message:
“Dear children! Today, as a mother, I am calling you to conversion. This time is for you, little children, a time of silence and prayer. Therefore, in the warmth of your heart, may a grain of hope and faith grow and you, little children, will from day to day feel the need to pray more. Your life will become orderly and responsible. You will comprehend, little children, that you are passing here on earth and you will feel the need to be closer to God, and with love you will witness the experience of your encounter with God, which you will share with others. I am with you and am praying for you but I cannot without your ‘yes’. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Here is the homily!
January 26, 2019 English Homily by Fr. Maximilian Dalve
Reading the letters that St. Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus, all those pastoral letters (they are known as pastoral letters) we see the beautiful relationship that occurs between Paul and his collaborators. He had a certain paternity towards them, he felt fatherly love towards them. He would encourage them, correct them. To Timothy he said to take a little bit more wine for his sickness! So, we know that the health of Timothy was not always the best and that he was also a little bit timid. So, he would have to receive a spirit of power and strength, not of weakness. And he even speaks about the faith of his grandmother and his mother. It is beautiful. We see their warm relationship, familial relationship.
Now when I studied in Rome to prepare for the priesthood, we were told by the professors that the authority and paternity in the letters to Timothy and Titus was not of St. Paul. Somebody else wrote them. And this exegete made this theory, very strongly. If you said that it seems very much that St. Paul wrote it, they would dismiss you as a simpleton. You don’t understand high exegetes who make these beautiful and deep insights.
Nonsense, it is so obvious that St. Paul wrote it. They deny it is St. Paul because they say that the Church was already too well structured. But it was 20 years already for St. Paul. How much can change in 20 years! So, out of some futile reason they make a big thesis, big like a mountain, but they stand it on two toothpicks. Sooner or later, many times they collapse.
But these teachings gave us seminarians deep uncertainty. So, as we studied in Rome, we told our founder that if we pass the test after all these studies and keep our faith, we are safe!! Nothing will be able to destroy our faith.
How is this possible? Because to study intellectually, without prayer, leads necessarily to pride and haughtiness. And truth can never stand without humility. It needs a basic humility, at least. Without it people go astray.
There are some great authors who wrote centuries ago, and today. Just think of St. Thomas Aquinas. We celebrate him shortly. Or think of Pope Benedict XVI. His writings are high theology with deep truth combined. But it is not always the case. If we want to get further instructions, we must be very careful what we are reading.
It is not by only studying the Bible. We may go away from the truth. Think of it. People studying the Bible even made new churches! So how can this go together, if Jesus made One Church. This is obviously an error. We don’t need a lot of insight to understand this. The Church is just One. Peter, on this Rock I, Jesus, will build My Church. It is the Church of Peter, not Churches. This is obvious, but anyway…
We need to come together, but not initially in an intellectual way. First, we need to come by way of the heart, by welcoming one another. Of being again a family. It is a whole process. Truth must go with charity, and charity is truth.
So my counsel would be, not too much study of the Bible. Read the Bible. Listen to the Word of God. Listen to God in His Word. So read it in a prayerful way. I have downloaded the Bible which is read (audio version). It is a good translation. You can even listen to it when you drive the car or do some work in which your intellect is not involved too much. You can listen to the Word of God! I Love It! It is so beautiful to listen to the Word, to listen to the Letters of St. Paul, listen to Luke, to John, to the Acts of the Apostles.
“Shema Ysrael” means “Listen Israel” – not study Israel…So let it go through your ears into your heart. It forms there. The Truth! And if people tell us, because we don’t follow the high theoretical truths about the Bible, that it can’t be the paternity of St. Paul, why do they say this? Who is behind it? It is the Evil One who wants to destroy the authority of the Sacred Scripture. So, I said to one of those teachers, I said to him, “Whether it is St. Paul or not is actually secondary. Although for us it is very important, but first the principal author of the Sacred Scripture is the Holy Spirit.” Full stop.
So today there are so many attacks against the Church. Not only from without, but also from within. And many times, it is from those who study a lot. And they think themselves to be very wise. But studying without praying! Mary said in her message yesterday, “You will feel the need to pray more!” Imagine if a liturgist is so engulfed in studying that he doesn’t have time to celebrate the liturgy …! For the Orthodox Church, the Church in the East, our brothers there, for them the cathedra… the place where you teach… is the choir where the monks pray. Most beautiful!
Yes, we are attacked. And we know who in the end is going against Christ. It is the devil. And if he gets one faithful he has a nice supper…. but he’s clever so he says: if I get the parish priest, I have the whole month to eat, to devour. But if I get to the bishop I have a whole year at my dispensary to eat and celebrate. But he’s clever. So, he thinks if he gets to the Book, the books of the seminarians, then he has won a great victory. So that was where he was working – the formation of future priests!
They might know a lot about Jesus, but very seldom they are taught, like St. Paul did to Timothy and Titus, to encounter Jesus. That was essential to them…to encounter Him…to make an experience. Therefore, Pope Benedict says faith begins, not with some laws or whatever, with some ethic, ….no faith begins with an experience of an encounter…. and this encounter in our hearts is peace. And it’s given to us. And if they call you therefore “simpleton” say, I give you praise! Thank you, Father! With Jesus pray: “He has hidden those things from the learned, the clever, from the wise and revealed them to Mary’s children.”
Yes, to encounter Jesus heart to heart! This communion again… it’s not a daily communion, it’s The Communion…there’s only one. There are not many Jesus’s, only one. Always the full Christ gives Himself to you. These readings today always enter the actual present moment. There in that moment lies Eternity. There is God. And He wants to meet you. He wants to unite Himself to you. And He is yearning, so vehemently, for you, that if you knew you would melt for joy!
And so, it is an experience of peace. Therefore, when he sends his missionaries – as we see today, the 72 – so there we are all in a certain way – today it’s our call. And He says, when you give your peace, you say, Shalom. If your peace goes to them, OK. If it comes back to you, it is an experience of peace. We can’t give what we don’t have… but what we have, if Jesus is in us, we can give it – it is He, the Holy Spirit who makes this through our poor humanity. When we see Titus, when we see Timothy, when we see Silas, when we see all those, even Paul himself, we see poor humanity. This perfect, sterile humanity doesn’t exist. Where the heart is excluded.
Some people today think that we must create a humanity where the heart is always by-passed. It is a by-pass of the heart. From the passions to the head. And they think they are very clever, but they don’t understand that they are directed by their passions, of vanity, of pride, of thirst for power, and they by-pass perfectly the heart. Then they come to such horrendous conclusions. We saw it yesterday in New York. Until the ninth month you can abort a child. And they think this is a great achievement of our culture. And they don’t understand that we have grown lower than the beasts. It is only to cry. How can we lose so much our humanity? To reach to certain horrible things. We cannot even name them.
And yet Mary says that this presence of Jesus in us might become…in her words, “In the warmth of your heart, may a grain of hope and faith grow.” And we know that this growth is Jesus. It is so important that it grows and that this warmth may pass from heart to heart, and hopefully even reach those hardened hearts who today accomplish such atrocious things. Because as Mary said yesterday, “This life is passing quickly.” Also may they be also saved. This is the one most powerful truth in the writings of St. Paul to Timothy, when he says, “God wants that all might be saved.” That is a powerful truth. God want that all be saved. And therefore let us become the missionaries, the apostles of love of Our Lady. Today she invites us and today she is looking for our “yes”. (Fr. Dalve’s homily can be seen at https://marytv.tv/english-mass-in-medjugorje/ Homily 01/26/19)
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2019