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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: November 2011
Wednesday

Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent

“Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” In this proclamation, the prophet Isaiah not only captures the role of Jesus Christ, the comforter, he addresses the very essence of Christ — “like a shepherd he feeds his flock: in his hands he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.”
 
Yes! It is this Christ that we await. The only begotten Son of God, the Redeemer of the world, the one who proclaims, “I have come that they (all) might have life and have it abundantly.” In Psalm 85, we are reminded that we await the Christ in whose person “kindness and truth…justice and peace shall kiss.”
 
The story is told of a Jewish rabbi (and later convert to Catholicism), Israel Zolli, whose immense grief after the death of his wife during childbirth, led him to seek consolation in the Hebrew scripture and in the New Testament. Zolli writes, “All at once, and without knowing why, I placed my pen on the table and, as though in an ecstasy, I invoked the name of Jesus. I found no peace until I beheld him in a large unframed picture in a dark corner of the room…experiencing rather a perfect serenity of mind.”
 
This story of the grieving rabbi accurately demonstrates how Christ, by his very nature, by the very proclamation of his name and message, is able to bring comfort, consolation, peace, redemption, and mercy to all. In today’s Gospel, we see John the Baptist comparing his baptism with that of Christ — “I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Christ does not baptize his children with water rather he baptizes and nourishes us with the “oil of salvation,” an abundance of hope, serenity and love.
 
On this Second Sunday of Advent, this is the Christ that we anticipate; this is the baptism that our world so desperately needs. May Christ who is Comforter, Redeemer, Hope and Love, fill us with that grace necessary to comfort the sorrowing, to bring redemption to those most in need, to give hope to the hopeless and to be havens of love for all people!
 
Calvin Auguiste, C.Ss.R., professed his first vows as a Redemptorist in August 2011. He is a fourth-year philosophy student at St. John’s University in New York, NY, and is a member of the Redemptorist formation community at Immaculate Conception Church in the Bronx, NY.

 

 

 

Monday

Join us every Monday between now and Christmas, and listen to a different Redemptorist story each week! You’ll hear four of our confreres tell their own stories — how they became Redemptorists, where the Lord has led them (from Brazil to the home missions circuit, from Puerto Rico to the streets of Brooklyn), and what words of wisdom they have for the younger generation.

New videos will be posted to our homepage every Monday, and each installment will be archived on this page.

It’s a Redemptorist Life: Part 1 (Fr. Brendan Greany)

 

 

It’s a Redemptorist Life: Part 2 (Fr. Gerard Brinkmann)

 

It’s a Redemptorist Life: Part 3 (Fr. Andrew Costello)

 

It’s a Redemptorist Life: Part 4 (Fr. Louis Olive)

 

 

 

 

 

Friday

Since 1866, the Redemptorists have had a special mission to introduce people to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. This ancient icon of Our Lady is one of the most recognizable in the world, and she is a constant presence with us wherever we go. Her name and her image have traveled the globe thanks to our missions and preaching, yes, but her story also has been handed down through generations of families. Individuals who have felt God’s presence through that steady gaze, in those bright blues and golds, in the tender story of a Mother comforting her Son — those people are the ones really responsible for "making her known!"

If you would like to join us in this special mission of promoting the message of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, we’ve added a new item to our online Gift Shop that will get you started.

The new Mother of Perpetual Help Gift Pack includes several items featuring the famous icon — items for you to keep and to share with friends! You’ll find novena booklets, prayer cards, a magnet, bumper stickers and more in this special package. Click here for more information.

 

Thursday

Today, as we in the United States pause to give thanks to God for the many blessings in our lives, we share with you a few meal prayers written for use in our Redemptorist communities. This collection of blessings is made up of prayers inspired by Scripture and our Redemptorist rule of life:

All things are yours, Lord, lover of life. We bless you for the food that you once again offer us today. Strengthen our apostolic charity, the unifying principle of our whole life, so that, following Christ the Redeemer, we might fulfill your will for the salvation of the world. This we ask through you who lives and reigns with the Father and the Spirit, one God, forever and ever. (Wisdom 11:26; Constitution 52)

No one can claim anything except but what is granted him from heaven. Therefore, we thank you, Father, for these gifts, signs of your goodness. Fill us with missionary zeal so that, in our preaching, we may move women and men firmly and gently to a radical and definite decision for Christ. We ask this blessing in the name of Jesus Christ our Redeemer, forever and ever. (John 3:27; Constitution 11)

Excerpted from Grace Before Meals: Plentiful Blessings from the Redemptorist Community by Serafino Fiore, CSsR

Know that today, as we gather to give thanks, we remember all of our friends, families, benefactors, and all of those who join us in our mission to preach plentiful redemption! May God bless you today and always!

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
 
Each year as Advent comes upon us, we as Christians and as Catholics, are faced once again with the same dilemma. The Church is telling us it is the season of Advent, a time of recollection and preparation, and yet, all around us we see and hear the sounds of Christmas! It’s difficult not to get caught up in the joy and anticipation of such a wonderful season.
 
Christmas is a beautiful time of year, and it should draw us in and fill us with a unique type of warmth and love. But the Church asks us to take these four weeks of Advent and find some time — at least a little time — to quiet our minds and hearts and prepare a place there, within ourselves, for the voice of God.
 
Within the first two weeks of Advent we are asked to think not so much about Jesus coming to Earth as a tiny babe in Bethlehem, but rather, we are asked to take a more reflective look to the day when our Savior, Jesus Christ, will come again at the end of time. In the Apostle’s Creed we say that we believe “in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” Well, that’s what the Church is asking us to reflect on this Sunday.
 
This Sunday’s first reading from Isaiah is filled with a yearning for God to come back to us and to make God’s self known to us again. Isaiah prays: “Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways!” We are asking that, when God does come again, we might be found doing what God would have us do; that we might be living as the people God has made us to be. And in the psalm we pray: “Lord, make us turn to you.” We are saying to God: “Make us turn to you!” We say this because we know how easy it is to forget about God who is always so present to us, and yet, so easily ignored.
 
Let’s try not to forget about God’s love this Advent. Let us try to be watchful as Jesus asks us to be “watchful” in this Sunday’s Gospel. We don’t know when Christ will come again, but, we can ready ourselves for Him. We can be watchful and hope-filled with a childlike confidence that we are loved by Jesus and we have a home in Him.
 
These few weeks before Christmas, prepare a room in your heart for all of Christ’s children. You will meet them in the poor, the lonely, the anxious and the depressed. You will see them in the outcast and the stranger and those who simply feel as though nobody cares — especially at this time of year. By doing this, we remain watchful and ready for the coming of Christ, at the end of time, and yes, as a beautiful little child in the manger at Bethlehem. Prepare a very special room in your heart — for Him.
 
Anthony Michalik, C.Ss.R., professed his first vows as a Redemptorist in August 2011. He is a first-year theology student at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry. He is a member of the Redemptorist formation community in residence at Mission Church in Boston, MA.