Join us for a fourth visit to the house of Our Lady of Guadalupe, you will be amazed and touched by this spiritual pilgrimage!
Call our Rectory (210)227-0126 ext. 210
Daily/Weekend Mass Times
Monday - Saturday: 12(noon)
Saturday: 12(noon) and 5pm
Sunday: 8am, 9:30 (Spanish), 11:00am, 12:30pm
Holy Days of Obligation
12:00pm, 5pm Holy Day Vigil
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Monday- Saturday: 10:00am to 11:45am
Children from ages 13-17 are attending Confirmation class with Harrison Denn and Joyce Benitez, as their teachers, on Tuesday evenings at the Rectory from 6:30pm - 7:30pm. The Sacrament of Confirmation will be held at Holy Redeemer Church.
Classes for RCIA Process for Children are held on Sundays at St. Joseph's Hall with Elvira Alonzo as their teacher. RCIA for Adults are held on Tuesday evenings with Sister Mary, Toby Hines and Brent Forrest as their teachers.
If you have any questions concerning the Faith Formation Program please call Bea at 227-0126 ext. 210.
September 14, 2015 by Liz Estler
In the second reading for today’s Mass, we hear, in Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians, that Christ humbled himself becoming obedient to death, death on a cross. And, because of this, God greatly exalted him (cf Philippians 2:6-11).
Jesus’ death on the cross reveals his utter humility, His obedience to the Father and His great love for both the Father and for us. Having told His disciples He would be lifted up, “just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert” (cf John 3:14-15), he was indeed lifted up on the Cross, for our sake, in the words of Isaiah, a worm and no man scorned by everyone, mocked and despised (cf Isaiah 22:7). Though he was crushed by sorrows he did not return evil for what was done to him, but rather asked His Father to forgive us, and thus returned a blessing instead.
We see that God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it (cf John 3:16-17). By His great act of love, Christ conquered sin and death and won for us everlasting life. This, then, is the triumph of the cross, the instrument of our salvation. It is from the mercy seat of the cross that Christ reigns. From there God speaks His eloquent Word of love and truth.
The sign of the Cross is a kind of synthesis of our faith, for it tells how much God loves us; it tells us that there is a love in this world that is stronger than death, stronger than our weaknesses and sins. The power of love is stronger than the evil which threatens us.**
We are called and sent to do the same: not to condemn but to love in a way that gives life, to be generous, compassionate and merciful in extending forgiveness, to lift others up and shoulder their burdens, to clothe the naked, give food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty, to visit the sick, the infirm and imprisoned, to give sight to the blind, comfort the afflicted, and admonish sinners, to lay down our lives for our friends, to speak the truth in love and be, like Christ, a light to the nations.
Would that we had already begun to reign with Him! May we share with others that great mercy and love and generosity which our Savior has already shared with us. May this upcoming year of mercy spur us on!
*St. Andrew of Crete, Homily X on the Exaltation of the Cross, PG 97, 1020.
**Pope Benedict XVI, September 14, 2008 Homily for the Eucharistic Celebration on the Occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes
Art: Cristo crucificado (Christ crucified), Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, circa 1677, PD-US, Wikimedia Commons.
Everyone living today in America in or near a city has a desperate need for the three S's: silence, solitude, and slowing down—both for psychological sanity and for prayer.
1. Silence. Kierkegaard, the great nineteenth century Danish Christian philosopher, spoke often of silence. Almost the last thing he ever wrote was about silence. He said: "If I were a physician, and if I were allowed to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence. For even if the Word of God were proclaimed in the modern world, how could one hear it with so much noise? Therefore, create silence."
Silence is necessary; it is not a luxury. Only words that come from silence carry power; words that come from noise, or only from other words, are shallow. Words from silence are like waves from the ocean; words from other words are like babbling brooks at best, at worst like emptying faucets and drains and toilets.
2. Solitude. Solitude is something any ancient sage would long for as a gift. Yet it is the very thing our society has imposed on its most desperate criminals as the cruellest torture it can contrive.
Solitude too is a necessity, not a luxury; for it is the necessary basis of true community. Community without solitude is like a hundred people in a circle each leaning on the next one. Soon the whole circle tips over.
3. Slowing down. Slowing down has become almost impossible today. Life is like a mad white-water river, and boats are capsizing right and left. What we need is to be led beside still waters, so that our souls can be refreshed.
Slowing down is also necessary, for it is the source of all effective activity—like the deeds and words of Christ. Like slowly pulling a bowstring, then suddenly letting it go. The shallow think that only restless souls are alive, but the deep know that only quiet souls are truly alive.
God provided nature for us for many reasons. Three of them are to help us to silence, solitude, and slowing down.
I know from experience that time spent with nature can be an investment in the Bank of Heaven. For there is a wonderful and mysterious power in nature to free us from noise, crowds, and rush, and to steep our souls in silence, solitude, and slowing down. I also know from experience that it is difficult to pray, and impossible to pray well, without silence, solitude, and slowing down.
Unfortunately, most of the people today who know this spiritual power of nature are not Christians but New Age flakes, earth-worshipers, or Buddhists. That is probably one reason why Christians are suspicious of this message: because it is being preached by such suspicious messengers. But it is part of the truth, and even non-Christians know it. Nature abhors a vacuum spiritually as well as physically; and in our spiritually-starved secularistic society, if we do not lead people to silence, solitude, and slowing down, someone else will. And it will sell. Even crumbs of it will sell to starving souls.
What happens when we just meander with nature for a while instead of making something happen? What happens when we forget clocks and obligations, and just watch waves, or stars, or clouds, or sunsets, or rivers? In my experience, at least two things almost always happen. One is natural, the other supernatural. The natural effect can be described as just an overall feeling of refreshment, like cool water in a desert, or a calm after a battle. The supernatural effect is that I can pray better, and want to pray more.
I think the natural effect helps cause the supernatural effect. It fertilizes the soil. It's like psychoanalysis: it's not religion, but it can remove some of the obstacles to true religion, like addiction, or obsession, or paranoia, or depression. I can't pray well if I'm obsessed, and I can't pray well if I'm noisy inside. I think we are sometimes too quick to pray, too impatient with preliminaries. Every house painter knows you have to spend more time in preparation than in actual painting. And every gardener knows you have to spend more time preparing the garden than seeding it. I suspect the same is true of prayer today.
Perhaps this was not so before the Industrial Revolution. Then, we had a very different relationship with nature and with time. Time was related to the cycles of nature and life—meaningful time, time measured by real events, not by clocks. We must learn to ignore clocks and return to real time. Only then will we escape the slavery of clocks. Clocks are our real Frankenstein's monster. We made them, and now they are stronger than we are.
Here is the most practical way nature aids prayer for me. I find that by far the biggest obstacle to prayer is the excuse that I have no time. But after I spend an hour doing nothing but watching waves on rocks, I find that somehow that excuse has lost all meaning; that time is not something I have but something I make as I go along like a spider spinning a web.
Different things in nature will do this for different people. For me, it is the sea. Even though I get bored easily, I can very happily sit for an hour and watch the waves. I think there must be something God put into the sea to remind us of himself—an image of infinity and depth and power and mystery and dynamic activity all at once. When I use abstract concepts, even the best ones I can find, they just don't hold it—like an open hand trying to hold the water of a wave. It has to emerge from the experience itself. Like the storm from which God answered Job, it remains a mystery.
But the "bottom line," the "payoff," is that I emerge from my hour with a lesson learned. Nature teaches me how to listen. How to listen to waves, and thus how to listen in general, and thus how to listen to God. This is an art I know we all need desperately. If we listened, to other people and to God, we would avoid most of our tragedies, wars, divorces, violence, drugs, broken relationships, pains. How can we have faith, hope, and love without listening? How can we enjoy heaven without enjoying listening? How can we be saved unless we learn to listen to God?
If nature can help even a few of us even a little way toward that goal, is this not something literally priceless? So try it. What can you lose?
For more on this talk, see the audio lecture/meditation:
The Sea and Spirituality
Proposed "Mother of the Americas" Project, for the New Evangelization! Building a "Civilization of Love"!
Be a part of History act with the Spirit. Donations most welcome! Donate Now!
A Christmas Gift to our lady!
Let us pray!
Long live Christ the King and Mary of Guadalupe! Saint Joseph, Father of the New Evangelization, pray for us!
|Pray the Rosary||Divine Mercy Chaplet and Litany of Loreto|
|When the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared to the native Indian Saint Juan Diego, she spoke these important words to him: “Am I not your mother? Are you not under my shadow and my gaze? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not sheltered underneath my mantle, under the embrace of my arms?” (Nican Mopohua, nos. 118-119).|