Perusing the pages of human history, and comparing ages long past, peoples distant from one another, and the most different cultures, we notice one common denominator: the presence of egoism, power struggles, greed and all the other vices related to pride. It is not surprising, since our first parents, Adam and Eve, fell into the trap of the evil one, thinking that by their disobedience they would become ‘like gods’ (cf Gen 3:5).
When taking a look at Ecclesiastical writings of diverse eras, our attention is called by the frequent affirmations of Pontiffs, Bishops and holy men lamenting the adversities that the Church was passing through in their days.
Ever since the beginning, God established matrimony as an indissoluble alliance and granted it a blessing that was “not forfeited by original sin, nor washed away by the flood.” In elevating matrimony to the dignity of a sacrament, Jesus Christ not only made this union more indissoluble and holy, but also willed that it reflect His own fidelity to the Church.
What joy for a mother to receive a flower form her little child! Her joy would surely be greater if her little one did not just offer her one rose, but a beautiful bouquet. What joy would be hers if, on a very special day all her children were to decorate the house with more than 175 thousand flowers?
As everyone knows, the famous saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” insinuates an adaptation to the customs and culture of the places we visit, in order to feel more at ease and be more easily accepted by the inhabitants. This norm is applied, obviously, to those practices that don’t offend good morals, for it’s also true that as good Catholics we should never frequent places where this could occur. Even more, in places where our faith might be put at risk.
Throughout the ages, stories of heroes – whether true or legendary – have thrilled the hearts of the young. As a result of the disinterested courage and idealism characteristic of their age-group, adolescents dream of great undertakings. To such hearts, burning with desire for heroism, the Church has always presented models that would stimulate true valor, perfect audacity, and authentic generosity – in a word, sanctity. Who is not touched by the courageous lives of young people such as Saint Agnes, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, and Saint Maria Goretti?
All Christians know, especially in moments of doubt and affliction, where and how to find God and obtain relief for their souls. Prayer, whether mental or vocal, is where we have the certainty of finding God, as he himself has promised us: ‘where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’(Mt 18:17).
‘Charity begins at home’. This popular expression clearly transmits the attitude that an apostle of the Gospel should have. In fact, no one can give to others what he himself doesn’t possess.
‘You water the hills from your lofty abode; the earth is sated with the fruit of your works’ (Psalm 103:13). This simple material reality presented by the sacred text – of rain that irrigates the mountains, giving rise to springs and streams that in turn water the Earth – was chosen by the Angelic Doctor for his inaugural lecture at the University of Paris.
When the Queen of Sheba heard of the great wisdom of Solomon, she allowed no obstacle to impede her undertaking the difficult journey to meet this great monarch, despite the fact that protracted expeditions at the time were perilous adventures. She made all these efforts just to encounter an earthly king, and to observe his wisdom. Impressed with all she had seen and heard in Jerusalem, and after presenting the richest of gifts to the king of Israel, she returned to her country, filled with admiration (cf. 2Chron 9:1-12).