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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Monthly Archives: December 2010
Wednesday

We’re less than one week away from the start of the Neumann Year, an 18-month celebration of the life and legacy of this great Redemptorist, Bishop, and Saint!

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to participate in our daily countdown to the year’s beginning January 5, 2011.

Do you know what Neumann’s hobby was?
How many languages did he speak?
Why did he join the Redemptorists?

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to find these answers and more!

Friday

Baltimore Provincial Patrick Woods reflects this Christmas on the annual tradition of taking family photos around the holidays. Though he may be a little hard to see sometimes, Jesus is in those pictures…

(P.S. — Be sure to watch Fr. Woods’ Christmas message, available on our homepage beginning Christmas Day.)

I have it heard it said that families take thousands of photos of their first-born child. Almost every moment is photographed and captured. We have pictures of the little ones in their Halloween costumes, at their first birthday parties, at the zoo, riding a pony, and with food covering their smiling faces. They say that the second child has a beautiful photo album, but there are very few pictures in it. When the third child comes along, he or she doesn’t even have a photo album. I think it is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.

It could be said that we have no pictures of God. No one has ever photographed God, nor has anyone every painted his face. In the Old Testament, we are told that no one can see the face of God and live. It was forbidden to try to develop an image of God since they were considered idols and false gods. It was once considered wrong to try to capture the mystery of God with human images.

Certainly, as Christians we have moved away from that practice of not seeking to capture images of God that may help us pray and deepen our love for Him. Since God took flesh and came among us, artists and painters, sculptors, and creative men and women have sought to use very human elements to capture Jesus Christ. In almost every art museum, there are magnificent works of art that capture scenes from the life of Jesus from the Annunciation, to his birth, life, death on the cross, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.

But, suppose we want a picture of Jesus. Suppose we want to use our new Christmas present digital camera to capture the wonder of God and his image. I believe you can capture, at least in shadows and glimpses, the face of God. Go out on a starry night and look up at the heavens in all their glory and wonder and you will see the face of our God.

Go take a picture of the trees at autumn in all of their glorious colors and you will have a glimpse of God. If you are lucky enough to see the Grand Canyon, the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, the blue Caribbean Sea, the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean, the pulsating power of Niagara Falls, you will see the face of God.

You will see him in the rose in your backyard, in the sheltering trees of Central Park, in the warmth of a cup of coffee in the morning, or the taste of chocolate or a good glass of red wine. These are images and reflections of Him.

Take pictures of people. In the Scriptures we read, “Wherever there is love there is God.” As we hear sung in the Broadway musical, “Les Miserable” — “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Take pictures of soup kitchens, hospice workers, support groups, rescue workers, crossing guards, homeless shelters, young soldiers and firefighters, police officers and teachers, kind neighbors, home care attendants and the millions of people who seek to treat and care for one another in our society. Wherever there is love there is God.

Take pictures of the horrors of the destruction of the earthquake in Haiti because even in the darkest suffering, we believe that God is present and alive. But most of all take pictures of your spouse, your parents, your grandparents, your brothers and sisters, your friends, your co-workers, your fellow parishioners, and your neighbors, and you will see a shadow of the wonder and mystery of God. We are told in the Book of Genesis that human beings are made in the image of God. You want to see the face of God?  You will see him in the goodness and humanity of others.

Don’t miss Jesus. He is in the picture also. The God who chose to become a baby and be born among us, who took flesh and became like us in all things but sin is with us in those very special Kodak moments of family gatherings, just as he is with us in all the days of our life. When the angel Gabriel described Jesus, he quoted the prophet Isaiah: “He shall be called Emmanuel,” a name which means “God with us.” God is with us in all the moments of our lives because of his birth, his life, death and resurrection. He is Emmanuel. So enjoy the new camera, take lots of pictures, and know that the Lord God is smiling in all of them.

Merry Christmas and all God’s blessings on you in the New Year. 

Thursday

Please remember in your prayers Fr. Walter C. Karrer who died December 22 at St. Clement Health Care Center in Liguori, MO at age 90.

Fr. Karrer was novice master to many young Redemptorists from the Baltimore Province in the 1970s and 1980s. He had been suffering from complications following surgery for a broken hip.

Fr. Karrer made his final profession as a Redemptorist on September 2, 1944, and was ordained to the priesthood on January 2, 1947.

A funeral Mass was celebrated December 28 at 10 a.m. at St. Clement Health Care Center.

Please join us in praying for the repose of the soul of Fr. Karrer, and for the comfort of his family, friends, and fellow Redemptorists.

Thursday

2,000 years ago, an infant changed the world forever. The infant God, become human in Jesus.

God becoming one of us announces that no matter who we are, where we were born, regardless of circumstance, human life is a gift from God, bearing within its core the truth of God’s love. Each life — your life, my life — changes the world.

The Redemptorists live this belief every day as we reach out to the poor and abandoned. We work in the inner cities to help addicts, the homeless, and  people seeking hope in times of job loss. We stand at hospital beds and offer comfort in word and in the sacraments. We teach our younger brothers and sisters about the mercy and forgiveness of God. In all of our outreach, we bring with us the Gospel of God’s redeeming love.

 

The Redemptorists bring the Word of God to people who seek for truth and who long for community through our missions and retreats, through daily audios and podcasts, through Facebook and Twitter, and our newsletter, Plentiful Redemption.

We don’t and we can’t do it alone. We need you. Please pray with and for us, and please give generously to help bring hope to neighbors in need. Your gift today WILL make a difference

May our Redeemer, born in Bethlehem, God-with-us, bless you and all those you love,

 

 

Fr. Daniel Francis, C.Ss.R.
Director
Redemptorist Office for Mission Advancement
dfrancis@redemptorists.net

Thursday

Redemptorist Superior General Michael Brehl reflects in his Christmas message on the way Jesus’ coming among us as a human being changes how we see God and each other:

The mystery of Christmas teaches us that compassion is not pity that looks down on those in need from a position of strength and superiority. Rather, compassion is the recognition of our mutual vulnerability that responds through love in concrete situations. 

God responds through the Incarnation: Jesus embraces our humanity and mutual vulnerability and brings Good News to the poor. I believe that this is why devotion to the Infant Jesus was so important for Alphonsus. In the Babe of Bethlehem, he recognized the vulnerability of God who shares our humanity in order to redeem us. 

Following Jesus, and embracing our shared vulnerability with him, we are also called “to evangelize and be evangelized by the poor.” As Constitution 19 reminds us, “whoever follows Christ, the perfect human being, becomes more human.” In this spirit, we will seek and find new ways to bring Good News to the abandoned and the poor.

You can read his entire message here.