Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Week of the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, 2013

Glory Be To Jesus Christ!Dear Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) Members and Benefactors,

What profound happiness is mine to unite with you during these days in which we honor the Divine Infant Jesus and His Holy Mother! Hope swells in our hearts! The prayers of the Divine Liturgy contain all Marian theology: Her divine motherhood, Her perpetual virginity, Her holiness, Her queenship and Her mediation. The Sign of the Cross is an act of Faith in the three basic dogmas of our holy religion and an act of consecration of ourselves to God. Each morning at the Sacred Altar, you are with me. Many names are still pouring in for the Christmas Bouquet of Masses and I am happy to continue offering these Masses throughout the month of January.

Our Eucharistic Jesus offers Himself to us so often and so readily that we might begin to take His tender presence too much for granted. Have we reached the point where we accept this miracle as if it were routine and commonplace? Let us ask forgiveness if we have. We must not let the multiplicity of God’s favors dull our relish or make us careless. How many millions there are in the world who live in the shadow of paganism and have never heard God’s holy Name or looked upon an Elevated Host! With what great fervor and gracious love, God draws us to the Catholic Church and lavishes upon us the fullness of His treasury of Grace. How can we thank Him sufficiently!

With every Holy Mass, we remember the simplicity and mystery that is Christmas. It is the day when Our Savior came visibly to earth. It is the end of our loneliness and the beginning of God-with-us! He left the tabernacle of Mary’s womb, as He left the palace of His Father’s House, to take His place with us. This very wonderful thing happens every day at the Sacred Mass. God leaves the right hand of His Father to dwell with us in visible form. Had we lived during the time of the Holy Family, there is little likelihood that we would have ever seen or heard of the Savior. Thanks be to God, we have been born into the Faith and we have known, again and again, the wonder of Christ-Mass! Each day, we are able to hold Jesus to our hearts, just as truly as Mary held Him within Her arms. We can hold Him forever and carry Him back to our homes and our work place. He is not a loan, He is a Gift! Let us show our gratitude to God for this great miracle by making every effort to receive Him in Holy Communion that Christmas may live forever in our hearts!

I impart to all of you my priestly blessing:

In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Fr. IVAN KOLODIY, Byzantine Rite, Greek-Catholic Church, UKRAINE

Truth Is The Spirit Of God!

Tell The Truth! Act The Truth! Always Be True!

This seems strange counsel for us to offer to ourselves. We feel that it is something of an insult to urge ourselves to the practice of truth. We are willing to hear about suffering, humiliation, detachment and penance, but truth is a delicate matter. Each one of us believes that we possess it. And, we do possess fragments of it, but not one of us is perfectly true. Truth must be nourished and cherished, because it is upon truth that our spiritual and moral life is built.

If truth be our goal, there is much in life that must be ignored and must be sacrificed. If truth is to reign in all of the avenues of our activities, then there are many things which must not be sought, which must not be fostered and which must not be done.

Our sense of self-preservation is an endowment from God. It is a great gift but, when over-cultivated, it can easily betray us into falsehood. Fear, prejudice and favoritism are influences that tend to distort the truth. As human beings, we fear humiliation. We are prejudiced against those who deprive us of glory. We favor those who cater to our pride.

We cannot fail in charity to the slightest degree without failing against truth. Even if what we say is true and we fail against charity, we are being untrue to the person of whom we speak. Even if what we do is an indifferent act but if, by doing it, we deprive another of a fraction of his/her rights, we are not being true. We should be able to look everyone in the face, while acknowledging to all that we have been fair and true to all. We are seeking to weave for ourselves the garment of light, and this is none other than the Spirit of Truth, the Divine Guest of our soul.

Do we feel discouraged at the sight of so gigantic a task? We need not be cast down. Fear must not enter the lives of those who are sincere with God. He is with us always – all we must do is turn to Him, for He abides within us. Our lives are spent with Him and, thus, in close companionship with Truth, we grow sensitive to discord and to all that rings false. Our lives become true. Our thoughts become true. Our words and our actions have a directness and a singleness that inspire confidence and trust. It is not always easy to be true. Truth is infinite, entailing sacrifice. The Spirit of Truth abiding within us will teach us the art of being true. It is our desire to be worthy of God’s trust, and our prayer to be souls of fidelity, upon whom He can always rely.

It is our aim to be among those who, with singleness of purpose, seek God and His Holy Will. It is a great happiness to be worthy of trust. To live in such a manner as to merit trust is all that God asks of us. Only He can reveal the truth to us in its vastness, its depth, its breadth and its height. Only He can teach us and give us the courage to live a life of honor, sincerity and faithfulness.

Capacity for suffering is the measure of friendship. Only the intimacy, which has grown strong enough to forget self and suffer pain, can unite two hearts. I can do and ask of a friend what I could ask of no other and the closer the beloved, the more I may ask and never hear denial.

Thus, it is with friendship with Christ Our Lord. It is of His friends that He can, and does, ask sacrifices. Am I intimate enough with Christ for Him to ask any sacrifice of me? Am I one of His chosen few, from whom He knows no refusal will ever come?

Deep down in the soul of everyone who determinedly follows Christ, there is peace which the world is as powerless to steal as it is to give. Union with Christ cannot be accomplished except through our sufferings – intellectual, physical and moral. These, Jesus permits to cleanse our hearts and bring us to perfect purity of love. And, did not Mary, His own beloved Mother, and even He Himself have to undergo suffering? In the process of His Passion, Jesus was forsaken by His own Apostles, denied vehemently by St. Peter, betrayed by Judas and abandoned by His Heavenly Father as He hung upon the Cross. We, too, must abandon ourselves to God’s Will.

“Love Him and keep Him for thy Friend!
When all go away, He will not leave thee, nor suffer thee to perish in the end.”

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