Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

11/2/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This is the day when we celebrate the Church triumphant

The Saints that we celebrate today are our heroes.  They inspire us to live out our lives with heroic virtue.We are all called to be saints.  We are all called to be heroes.  Now, more than ever, the Church needs new saints and new heroes.

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/2/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: All Saints, holiness, eternal life, holiness, Fr James Farfaglia


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - At an important point in the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi, a missionary gave him a book that contained the four Gospels.  This of course, was the Indian leader's first exposure to Christianity.  He read the Gospels with great interest, and was convinced that the principles taught by Jesus could resolve all of the political, social and economic problems of his country.

Gandhi had to travel throughout Western Europe in order to muster support for an independent India.  Traveling through Christian countries, he was dismayed only to conclude that the Gospels are wonderful indeed, but he did not see anyone living their teaching.  For this reason, Gandhi never converted to Christianity.

Today we celebrate All Saints Day.  We are all called to be saints.  Today's Gospel passage reminds us of the program.

The Beatitudes contain the essence of the Christian way of life.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices.  It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else.  It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement - however beneficial it may be - such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love" (CCC # 1723).

The Beatitudes of the Gospel turn all worldly values upside down.  The world pursues happiness in wealth, power, fame and sex, whereas the Gospel demands of us values that are essentially different.

The Beatitudes challenge us to choose: to live Christianity or to live by the standards of the world.  Do you want to give in to the demands of a worldly way of life, or have you decided to live true and authentic Christianity?  The choice to live the Gospel changes our entire life.  It tells us how we are to act, how we are to dress, how we are to speak and how we are to interact with people.  The choice to live the Gospel affects every aspect of our entire existence.

A number of years ago I was invited to give a retreat to a group of lay people in New York City.  A seminarian graciously accompanied me in order to help with the practical details.  Prior to the evening retreat, we had a number of appointments, and so that meant that we would have lunch in New York.  The seminarian really enjoyed Asian cuisine, so I accommodated his palate by inviting him to lunch at a Korean restaurant.

As we went to our table, we were met by a Korean woman who graciously attended us with delicate courtesy. Having had many years of experience at my father's restaurant, I was able to notice that her kindness, manners and spirit of service were far from ordinary. 

Towards the end of the meal, another Korean woman finished waiting on our table.  When we were ready, I asked her for the check.  She then proceeded to tell me that there would be no charge for the lunch because the first waitress took care of the bill.  I was very surprised and I asked her why she had decided to pay for our meal.  "She is Christian," was the unanticipated answer from the waitress.

"She is Christian," meant that all the other waitresses were not Christian, and that all though encountering a free meal in the middle of downtown New York City surprised me, they were not surprised at all.  They knew that this woman was different.  Because of her Christianity, she was different.

The Saints that we celebrate today are our heroes.  They inspire us to live out our lives with heroic virtue.  All of us have our favorite saints.  Because of the challenges that we face today, I am most especially inspired by the martyrs of Spain and Mexico.

1936 - 1939 marked the greatest persecution against the Catholic Church.  The place was Spain.  The persecution was brutal and thousands of Catholics were martyred. 

One of the martyrs was Blessed Victoria Diez Bustos de Molina.  Victoria became a public school teacher.  However, the historical times in which she lived became very difficult.  Before the civil war actually began, there was a very anti-catholic environment in Spain.  The government prohibited the teaching of the catechism in the classroom and demanded crucifixes be removed from the walls.  Victoria refused to comply. 

Eventually the civil war did spill over in the small town of Nornachuelos where she was teaching.  Father Molina, the parish priest, emptied the tabernacle and entrusted the Blessed Sacrament to Victoria.  Quickly Father was arrested; the church was ransacked and burned.

Around this same time, Victoria was teaching catechism to a group of women at around eight o'clock in the evening.  During the class, two armed men entered the classroom and demanded that Victoria leave with them. 

Victoria, together with Fr. Molina and eighteen others who were already in prison were awakened in the middle of the night.  They were forced to walk for three hours to a new destination: an abandoned mine shaft.  Each one was forced to stand upon a huge stone above a large pit where they were shot and killed. 

Victoria watched as the men were shot and fell into the pit.  Fr. Molina was the last man to be killed and then it was Victoria's turn.  The soldiers tried to convince her to save her life if she would only renounce her Catholic Faith and cry out "Long live the republic" and "Long live communism."  Victoria refused.  Instead she knelt on the stone, and with her eyes raised to heaven and her arms opened in the form of a cross she shouted, "Long live Christ the King!  Long live the Virgin Mother!"  Victoria was only thirty-three years old. 

We are all called to be saints.  We are all called to be heroes.  Now, more than ever, the Church needs new saints and new heroes.
-----

Visit Father James on the web at http://www.fatherjames.org and purchase his new book Get Serious! A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics.  Click here for the audio podcast of this homily.


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

6 types of men Christian women should dismiss for marriage Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Women, and men, should be wary of whom they shall live with for the rest of their lives. Marriage is not a temporary commitment, it lasts for a lifetime no matter how you will put it --- two people still shared the same vows to cherish one another through a sacred ... continue reading


Pope Franics to host major conference on climate change Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will host a major summit on April 28 entitled "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The conference will feature famous American economist, ... continue reading


Can Catholics Practice Yoga and Transcendental Meditation?

Image of

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

Among many Christians who are honestly seeking to deepen their prayer life, there is a genuine concern about erroneous forms of prayer. People should be careful to accept practices which diverge from the faith they have received, whether through the family or in a ... continue reading


Is there a war between feminism and the Catholic Church? American nuns' 'radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith' Watch

Image of The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ended an investigation into radical feminist ideals held by the U.S.'s largest nun group, warning the organization to fall in line with Catholic orthodox stances.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The year-long inquiry into American nuns by the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has concluded, and will not take any action against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the body that governs around 80 percent of nuns in the ... continue reading


Passionate pastor attempts to fix the missing spiritual link in churches across the U.S. Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Percy McCray suggests that leaders of faith should undergo in-depth training programs to better deal with cancer-stricken patients and their hurting families. According to McCray, as it stands now, most churches across the United States lack the proper ... continue reading


Dialogue: an essential ingredient for peaceful relationships Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

According to the New York Times, during a White House luncheon in 1954 Winston Churchill said, "To jaw-jaw [talk-talk] always is better than to war-war." While clearly not a pacifist, the United Kingdom's World War II prime minister had seen upfront the absolute horror ... continue reading


Pope Francis risks international outrage by using term 'genocide' to describe Armenia massacre Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Risking international opinion and possibly stirring up anger throughout Turkey, Pope Francis used the word "genocide" to refer to the mass killings of Armenians a century ago under the Ottoman Empire. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "In the past century, our ... continue reading


Pope Francis: Children 'can never be considered a mistake' Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis said Wednesday that children are never a mistake, and called adults out for building faulty systems that leave children exploited and abandoned, rather than treated as the blessings they are. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Brothers and sisters, think about this ... continue reading


Easter around the world: 10 amazing photos that caputre Easter celebrations

Image of Easter vigil

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians all over the world observed the Lenten Season and ended with the celebration of Easter Sunday, the symbolism of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Across the globe, believers from different countries celebrated in various ways. With the use of social media, ... continue reading


5 wonderful ways to remind yourself Jesus is always with you Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All our troubles and hardships may sway us from the idea that Jesus is always with us, no matter what we're doing or what we're currently going through. If anything, our hardships should bring us closer to Him. We sway from Him because for most of us, Jesus is just a ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 5:34-42
34 One member of the Sanhedrin, however, a Pharisee ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
1 [Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:1-15
1 After this, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee -- or ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 17th, 2015 Image

St. Anicetus
April 17: Anicetus was a Syrian from Emesa. He became pope about 155 and ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter