Friday, September 10, 2010

Spirit & Life Newsletter: Homily by Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula

On the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The following is excerpted from the homily given by HLI Interim President Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula on Wednesday, September 8, on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the Mass, HLI's mission was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

In this time of transition we come with humility and confidence to Our Blessed Mother to consecrate ourselves and the mission of Human Life International to defend life, family and faith according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Lord in His infinite wisdom has determined that we should take this opportunity on this Feast of the Nativity of his Mother: A feast marked by two initial miracles, first the Immaculate Conception of Mary and second that she was generated by Joachim and Anna that were considered incapable of bearing children. This feast provides us with a sign of hope, because it marks the dawn of our salvation. It is a beginning, and this consecration will mark for us a new start in our apostolate. This consecration will help us to strengthen our determination to continue in the service of the Lord even in the presence of many obstacles. We should never forget that there is nothing impossible with God, as the Archangel Gabriel recalled to Mary at the Annunciation.

St. Leo the Great says that through faith and love Mary conceived her Son spiritually, even before receiving Him into her womb, and St. Augustine tells us that she was more blessed in having borne Christ in her heart than in having conceived Him in the flesh. She conceived him first on her heart because since the moment of her conception Our Lady was being prepared by God the Father to be the mother of her son. After the Incarnation, we can meditate in the twice-repeated affirmation of St. Luke, which Mary kept all the sayings and doings of Jesus in her heart, that there she might ponder over them and live by them.
On June 13th 1917, on the feast of St. Anthony, in Fatima Our Lady showed to the three children her thorn-wreathed heart and said, "God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart." Here we have to remember that the sufferings of Our Lady were prophesied by Simeon who foretold that a sword of sorrow would pierce Our Lady's heart at the presentation of Christ in the Temple. In the first place this devotion entails acts of reparation. The thorns that surround the Heart of Mary represent our sins and our rejection of the love of Our Mother, and even the graces that we do not dare to ask because we are afraid of taking new and difficult responsibilities.

The best way to repair our sins and the sins of the world is through a careful fidelity to our duties. We cannot progress in virtue if first we do not discharge our duties with fidelity. Then through frequent and devout reception of the sacraments that will provide us with the necessary graces to fulfill our duties. We should give particular importance to the prayer of the Rosary; it should be done with attention and devotion to the particular mystery that one is praying. A Catholic should try to go to Mass frequently, but in reparation to Our Mother he should make a sincere effort to participate in the Holy Sacrifice every first Saturday of the month.

In second place the act of consecration. We have to remember as Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort teaches us: "The more a soul is consecrated to Mary, the more it is consecrated to Christ." It is she that leads us to her son, as it is shown in the magnificent icon of Our Lady Hodegitria. The story behind this icon is that Our Lady guided by her hand two blind persons to her Church and there she restored their vision. In these times of troubles and confusion we have to entrust ourselves to the guidance of Our Lady and she would lead us to the knowledge and love of her son. She will confirm us in our mission of defending life, family and faith. She will lead us to her merciful son who will console and strengthen us in all our tribulations.
The act of consecration requires a constant effort to imitate the virtues of Our Lady. Her spirit of recollection in prayer, that leads to an opening to the graces that our Lord has predestined our soul to receive. Her constant humility is a sober realization of our condition as creatures. This a virtue that Our Lady practiced all her life, but we can see it shining in particular way when at the Visitation she sang the Magnificat.

Along with the virtue of humility, our Blessed Mother's purity was a constant in her life; so that her heart, mind and soul were always immaculate. Purity is a particular important virtue for us that we are dedicated to the pro-life apostolate because a large part of the sins against life have at their origin sins against this virtue. Our Lady was patient; she knew how to wait for the times marked by God. In our apostolate we also require this virtue, because we might not see the results of efforts in our lifetime, but our children or our grandchildren will enjoy the blessing of a society free from the scourge of abortion. But we will certainly enjoy the crown that the Lord has prepared for us in Heaven if we remain faithful to our apostolate.

The times might be difficult, the challenges might seem insurmountable, but we should keep always our hope in Our Lady, who promised us in Fatima that "In the end my heart will triumph." So we entrust ourselves to her, praying to always remain faithful to her Son and to the mission that He has given to us. We pray also that she may give to the Board of Human Life International superabundant graces, as it searches for a new president.

Monsignor Barreiro SignatureMonsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula
Interim President, Human Life International
Lifelines Episode 2HLI LifeLines #2: Abortion Violence

In this new video, HLI's Raymond DeSouza makes the case for a needed correction in how the media portrays pro-life and pro-abortion activists, especially when crimes are perpetrated by one side or other. The simple truth is that abortionists have a truly terrifying track record of violence, and the pro-life movement is one of the most peaceful and non-violent sustained human rights movements in history. See the video here...