Queridos hermanos y hermanas, les comparto con gran alegría que el 8 de junio de 2018, el Papa Francisco recibió en audiencia al Cardenal Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefecto de la Congregación de las Causas de los Santos. Durante la audiencia, el Santo Padre autorizó a la misma Congregación a promulgar el decreto sobre el milagro atribuido a la intercesión de la Venerable Sierva de Dios, Concepción Cabrera Arias (Conchita). Al hacer esto, la Iglesia ha abierto la puerta para que Conchita sea declarada Beata.
Como ya sabrán, Conchita es la fundadora de los Misioneros del Espíritu Santo y de otros institutos religiosos. Al declararla Beata, la Iglesia reconoce en ella a una mujer que, por su vida virtuosa y abnegada, y por la espiritualidad que vivió y transmitió de manera ejemplar (la espiritualidad que hoy llamamos la Espiritualidad de la Cruz), es para nosotros un modelo de santidad, una seguidora ejemplar de Cristo digna de la admiración de los fieles.
Conchita era una persona laica, casada, madre de nueve hijos que luego enviudó y supo vivir una relación profunda con el Señor. Como laica, mística y apóstol, Conchita personifica todo lo que el Papa Francisco recientemente nos invitó a vivir en su exhortación apostólica Gaudete et Exsultate, cuyo objetivo es "resonar una vez más el llamado a la santidad, procurando encarnarlo en el contexto actual, con sus riesgos, desafíos y oportunidades. Porque a cada uno de nosotros el Señor nos eligió «para que fuésemos santos e irreprochables ante él por el amor" (GE 2).
Creo firmemente que al declararla Beata, el Papa ha reconocido el papel importante y la contribución de las mujeres en la vida de la Iglesia y al mismo tiempo quiere que sepamos que la santidad es posible para quienes realmente la buscan. El ejemplo de Conchita me hace pensar en los cientos de mujeres que forman nuestra comunidad parroquial que anhelan una vida de santidad y pueden pensar que la santidad no es algo que puedan lograr. Para ellos y para todos nosotros, la beatificación de Conchita nos enseña que la santidad es posible si aceptamos la invitación del Señor a seguirlo. En el futuro, compartiremos más información sobre su vida y sobre cómo ella pudo responder a Dios en su propio estado de vida.
El proceso de canonización en la Iglesia Católica consta de cuatro pasos: 1) Siervo/a de Dios, 2) Venerable, 3) Beato/a, y 4) Santo. Concepción Cabrera está a solo un paso de ser declarada santa canonizada. Los invito a orar a ella por sus necesidades, hacerla una compañera para su camino espiritual, y ojalá pronto la tengamos en los altares. Dado que los Misioneros del Espíritu Santo dirigen esta parroquia, existe una fuerte conexión entre nosotros y Conchita. Unámonos para pedirle a Conchita su intercesión por cada uno de nosotros y nuestras familias.
P. Manuel Rosiles, msps
Dear brothers and sisters, it is with great joy that I share with you that on June 8th 2018, Pope Francis received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Holy Father authorized the same Congregation to promulgate the decree regarding the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Concepción Cabrera Arias (Conchita). By doing this, the Church has opened the door for Conchita to be declared Blessed.
As you all may know, Conchita is the foundress of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit and of other religious institutes. By declaring her Blessed, the Church recognizes in her a woman who, because of her virtuous and self-giving life and the spirituality she lived and transmitted in an exemplary way (spirituality we call today as the Spirituality of the Cross), is for us a model of holiness, an exemplary follower of Christ worthy of the admiration of the faithful.
Conchita was a lay person, married, mother of nine children, and then a widower who knew how to live a deep relationship with the Lord in her life. As a laywoman, mystic and apostle, Conchita personifies everything that Pope Francis recently invited us to consider and live in his Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, whose goal is "to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities. For the Lord has chosen each one of us “to be holy and blameless before him in love” (GE 2).
I strongly believe that by declaring her Blessed, the Pope has acknowledged the important role of women in the life of the Church, and at the same time wants us to know that holiness is possible for those who really seek it. The example of Conchita makes me think about the hundreds of women who form our parish community who long for a life of holiness and may think that holiness is not something they can achieve. For them, and all of us, the beatification of Conchita teaches us that holiness is possible if we say yes to the invitation of the Lord to follow Him. In the future we will be sharing more information about her life and how she was able to respond to God in her own state of life.
The process of canonization in the Catholic Church consists of four steps: 1) Servant of God, 2) Venerable, 3) Blessed, and 4) Saint. As you can see, Concepcion Cabrera is only one step away from being declared a canonized saint. I invite you to pray to her for your needs, make her a companion for your spiritual journey, and hopefully, soon we will have her on the altars.
Since the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit run this parish, there is a strong connection between us and Conchita. Let us join in asking Conchita for her intercession for each one of us and our families.
Fr. Manuel Rosiles, msps
Priests often insist to people to go to confession and receive communion. Ideally, and most normal, would be that we would have the opportunity and desire to confess regularly in order to receive Holy Communion every time we participate in the Eucharist. But, it would be naive on our part not to take into account that life is not perfect and that there are situations or some decisions that we have made in life for which it is not possible for us to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord in communion. So the obligatory question arises, “What to do then?” “Where do people who cannot receive the body and blood of Christ take part?”
The Church wishes nothing more than have all of her sons and daughters to fully participate in the sacraments, and that’s why she invites and places the means so that, for those who it is possible, solve their situations in regard to the sacraments.
But, if there are situations in which it is more complex or it is not possible to solve the situation, I propose two ways in which you can take advantage of the spiritual participation in the Eucharist. One of them is what Pope Paul VI tells us in a document entitled Dei Verbum (Word of God) in which he tells us the following: "The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy…”(# 21). In other words, the word of God also puts us in communion with Jesus because when the word of God is proclaimed, it is God himself who speaks to us, and our attentive listening and our welcoming reception with an open heart makes the Word produce fruit in our life.
A second way in which we can participate is through the so-called "Spiritual Communion". This is a small prayer that also puts in union with God those who cannot receive the Body and Blood of the Lord. The prayer is by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori and goes as follows:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Fr. Manuel Rosiles, msps
Los sacerdotes muchas veces insistimos mucho en que las personas se confiesen y se acerquen a recibir la comunión. Idealmente lo mas normal sería que todos tuviéramos la oportunidad y el deseo de confesarnos regularmente para poder recibir la sagrada comunión cada vez que participamos en la Eucaristía. Pero, sería ingenuo de nuestra parte no tener en cuenta que la vida no es perfecta y que hay situaciones o algunas decisiones que hemos tomado en la vida por la que no nos es posible recibir el cuerpo y la sangre del Señor en la comunión. Y la pregunta obligatoria es, ¿qué hacer entonces? ¿dónde quedan las personas que no pueden recibir el cuerpo y la sangre de Cristo?
Nada desea mas la iglesia que todos sus hijos e hijas pudieran participar plenamente de los sacramentos, y por eso invita y pone los medios para que, para aquellos a quienes les sea posible, regularicen sus situaciones en lo que se refiere a los sacramentos.
Pero, si hubiera situaciones en las cuales es mas complejo o no es posible regularizar la situación yo les propongo dos formas en las que se puede sacar provecho espiritual de la participación en la eucaristía. Una de ellas es lo que nos dice el Papa Pablo VI en un documento titulado Dei Verbum (Palabra de Dios) en la que nos dice lo siguiente: “la Iglesia ha venerado siempre las Sagradas Escrituras al igual que el mismo Cuerpo del Señor, no dejando de tomar de la mesa y de distribuir a los fieles el pan de vida, tanto de la palabra de Dios como del Cuerpo de Cristo, sobre todo en la Sagrada Liturgia.” (#21). Por lo tanto, la palabra de Dios también nos pone en comunión con Jesús porque al ser proclamada la palabra de Dios, es Dios mismo quien nos habla, y nuestra escucha atenta y nuestra acogida con el corazón abierto hace que la palabra produzca frutos en nuestra vida.
Una segunda manera a través de la cual podemos participar es a través de la llamada “comunión espiritual”. Esta es una pequeña oración que también pone en contacto con Dios a quienes no pueden recibir el cuerpo y la sangre del Señor. Y la oración es la que a continuación presento cuyo autor es San Alfonso María de Ligorio:
Creo, Jesús mío, que estás real y verdaderamente en el cielo y en el Santísimo Sacramento del Altar.Te amo sobre todas las cosas y deseo vivamente recibirte dentro de mi alma, pero no pudiendo hacerlo ahora sacramentalmente, ven al menos espiritualmente a mi corazón. Y como si ya te hubiese recibido, te abrazo y me uno del todo a Ti. Señor, no permitas que jamás me aparte de Ti. Amén
P. Manuel Rosiles, msps
Quite possibly in your conversations you have heard this complaint or even, possibly, you have made this comment regarding a priest of the parish.
The truth is that each priest has his own personality, his own way of communicating the gospel message and his way of celebrating the Mass. Here in our parish we have the blessing of having several priests who celebrate the Mass for us and with us. I say we have the blessing because there are many other parishes that do not have a priest or only have one. Since we have several priests in our parish, it is easy for us to identify with one more than with another or to compare the different priests in the way they preside over the liturgy.
The role of the priest in the Eucharist is central, so much so that he is called the “president” because he is the one who presides, he is the one who guides the Eucharist. As a priest, I can tell you that this role places a great weight on the priest's shoulders because, although the Eucharistic Liturgy does not depend entirely on the priest, his performance does have a lot of weight in the celebration environment.
Fortunately, the celebration and atmosphere of the liturgy do not depend solely on the performance of the priest. The beauty of a Eucharistic celebration also depends on the ministers who assist the priest: the ushers, the lectors, the choir, the ministers of the Eucharist, the acolytes, and above all of the assembly, that is, each one of you.
In fact, in 1958 there was a gathering of bishops from around the world with the Pope. That meeting was called the Second Vatican Council, and from this meeting came some documents that have shaped the current church. One of those documents is entitled Sacrosanctum Concilium (The Sacred Council) and this document is about a reform that took place in the liturgical celebration of the church. Before this council, the priest celebrated the Mass only in the Latin language and the people did not have the opportunity to participate in the liturgy more than with their presence alone. They could neither respond, sing, read, or give communion, or anything that we now have the blessing to do. This document sets the tone for all the faithful, that is, all of you, to participate in the liturgy. The document says the following: “Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5).” (SC # 14)
Then, bearing in mind that the church document invites us ALL to participate in the liturgy FULLY (that is, with our whole being), CONSCIOUSLY (being present physically with our mind and our heart in the celebration), AND ACTIVELY (singing, responding, praying, receiving communion, listening attentively), the celebration does not only depend on the priest.
If at some point you still think that the priest is boring, let us think that the priest may also think that the assembly is boring if you do not do what you have to do in the liturgy.
Fr. Manuel Rosiles, MSpS
What can I answer to my children when they tell me they do not want to go to Mass because it’s boring?
Very often I meet parents who tell me that when their children reach a certain age, they no longer want to come to Mass, and that these parents can no longer force them because especially if they have already turned 18 years of age.
Although this subject is very extensive to be explained in this small space I want to summarize my answer in four points.
1. Perhaps the fact that they do not want to come to Mass is the result of you, parents, for making Mass optional. That is, if when your children were growing you taught them, with your testimony, that Mass was not that important, or that it could be skipped if there was something else going on. For example, if you skipped Mass to watch a football game, the message you gave them is that football game was more important than going to Mass. And if that was the case, guess what? now, there are more “important things” to do for your children than coming to Mass.
2. Do not force your children to come to the Mass. The relationship with God is a relationship of love. Love is not lived by force. Nobody would like to love someone by force or to be loved by force. I actually do not think it’s possible to love by force. The relationship with God is free and has to come from the heart. The ways of God are very different from ours, and many times He, in his wisdom, has different moments to attract our children to Him. Wait for God's time.
3. If your children think that the Mass is boring, ask them what they are doing so that it is not boring. Do they know the responses? Do they sing? Do they receive communion? Do they participate in any ministry? Mass is boring if you do not have the necessary disposition. That is, if I am predisposed and with the mentality that the Mass will be boring, it will surely be boring, no matter how good the music or the priest's homily is.
4. If you think that Mass is boring surely, unconsciously, it is being compared with some other events, and then you draw conclusions that the Mass is not as "fun" as those other events. Remember that Mass is not a circus or comedy show. It is not about going to Mass to have fun. It's about having an encounter with God. The context and what happens in Mass is unique. It is through what happens there and through our participation that we have that encounter.
Hopefully and this explanation helps a little to respond to their children when they tell them that the Mass is boring.
Fr. Manuel Rosiles, MSpS
Dear brothers and sisters,
Some of you have commented that there are some people who come dressed inappropriately for the liturgical celebrations. I agree with this observation. But what is the appropriate attire to wear for church? Who sets this criteria?
Before answering the question, let's think about the places we go to for the different activities we have. For example, if we go to the park, we usually do not wear dressy and elegant clothes. If we go to a gala dinner, we ready ourselves and wear elegant clothes. To play sports we dress in a specific way. For work, depending on what we do, we have an appropriate attire. That is, we dress according to the occasion.
When we come to church to celebrate the liturgy we come to an encounter with God, with the most important person in the universe. We come to receive His love, His forgiveness, His compassion, His mercy. God rejoices for that, and that is why he gives us the best of himself, and I believe we should be willing to give the best of us. This is an encounter of love with God. It is an important event. The liturgical celebration is also an encounter with our brothers and sisters who also deserve our respect. That's why, out of respect for God and for our brothers and sister, it is important to come dressed appropriately.
I would like to ask you, please, when you come to the liturgical celebrations avoid bringing sports clothes, slippers or flip flops (and this is for men and women). Shorts, shirts or blouses without sleeves must be avoided as it is not pleasant to be see the armpits of people. Gentlemen, preferably bring dress pants and collared shirts. And for the ladies, please do not bring low-cut blouses or miniskirts above the knee.
Remember that the church is a sacred place. We have to give it the respect it deserves, and one way to do that is to take care of our attire. The church is a place of encounter with God, it is not a place to come to sit or show off our clothes or our body. And it is not the place where we can go not caring what we are wearing. Maybe some of you will say that there are people who cannot afford or do not own proper clothes to wear. I believe that poverty is not the same as being dirty or laziness. I have seen people of very simple origin who, even in their poverty, worry about coming clean and neat to the church. That is to say, even in their poverty they worry about giving Him the respect and dignity that the church and liturgical celebrations deserve.
I hope we can grow respect for the house of God and express it with the way we come dressed in this encounter with Him.
Dear brothers and sisters,
I want to share with you this topic that comes from questions that people have asked me. The questions are: “How many times may I confess?” and “How many times can I receive communion in a day?”.
These questions made me think that perhaps it is good to remind us of the frequency with which the sacraments can be received. I am going to mention each sacraments and how many times they can be received.
Baptism: Can be received only once. One cannot be baptized more than once. That is why even the Catholic Church accepts as valid some of the baptisms that are made in other churches as long as they are done “…in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Baptism has the character of indelible or permanent, and thus, it cannot be erased or undone.
Confirmation: Can be received only once. This sacrament gives fullness to the sacrament of baptism.
Communion: May be received daily as long as the person is in a state of grace. In the past, before the papacy of Pius X, communion was only allowed on Sundays. It is important not to receive it more than once a day to avoid falling in excess or in the belief that the more times you receive communion the better. One time is enough to obtain the spiritual benefits of receiving communion.
Marriage: May be received more than once, only if one of the spouses dies. While they are married, the spouses cannot receive the sacrament of marry someone else.
The Priestly Order: It is received only once. The sacrament of the priestly order has three degrees in which an ordination is required for each: the diaconate, the priesthood and the episcopate. One man can be a deacon and needs to be ordained for that. To become a priest one must have been ordained a deacon. And to be a Bishop (which is an appointment that comes from the Pope) it is necessary to have been previously ordained both deacon and priest. This sacrament also has the character of indelible.
Reconciliation: Must be received at least once a year, but not limited to. One can, and should, receive it each time it is necessary, that is, each time the Christian knows that he has committed a sin, especially if a mortal sin has been committed. There are people who, although they have not committed mortal sin, have the good habit of confessing at least once a month.
The Anointing of the Sick: You may receive it more than once in your life. It is received when the person has a serious illness, when they are going to undergo a high-risk surgery, when there is danger of death due to the disease, or when death is imminent.
Do I have to feel good or have to forget the sins committed when they absolve me of my sins in confession?
Dear brothers and sisters,
Often people tell me they don’t know if God has forgiven their sins because they do not feel peace even after confessing them or memories of the sin still linger. They feel the need to confess again because they believe that, since they have not been erased from their minds or because they do not feel good, God has not forgiven them. The questions that arise are: “Do I have to feel good?” or “Do I have to forget my sins to be sure that God has forgiven me? Do I have to confess again or many times until I feel good?
The answer is that neither of the two things are indispensable for God to forgive. God forgives us even if we do not feel good or even if we do not forget the sins committed.
Of course, the experience of approaching the sacrament of reconciliation would be perhaps more pleasant if each time we approached the sacrament we felt good or if we no longer remembered the sins committed. But the truth is that it is not always like that. We don’t always come out with feeling good, and there are sins that we have committed that are very serious that perhaps we will never be able to forget.
But we cannot condition God's forgiveness to our feelings or our memory. God's forgiveness is a gift from Him to us and does not depend on how we are feeling. Forgiveness is a very great gift that surpasses us, and perhaps even disconcerts us. Many times we are the ones who feel unworthy to receive that forgiveness because we think that God cannot forgive something that great. Or it may be that it is difficult for us to accept forgiveness because we ourselves have not forgiven ourselves or because we put conditions when we forgive others.
But answering the questions that some people ask about forgiveness, the answer is that God forgives us once and for all and his forgiveness is not conditioned by anything or anyone of us. That’s the reality. Even if there is not a good feeling, forgiveness has been given to us. We have to live our lives as forgiven people, freed of those burdens that we carry on our shoulders because of sin.
Fr. Manuel Rosiles, MSpS
Dear brothers and sisters,
Have you noticed the body postures that we use when we participate in the Eucharistic celebration? In the Eucharist we sit down, stand up, walk (when we arrive, as we receive communion, and as we go forth after the Eucharist), we kneel down, we greet each other during peace, we extend our hands or open our mouths to receive the Body of the Lord, we sing, we answer, we keep silence. All of this is what we do with our bodies during Mass.
It is very important to be aware of everything we do with our body in the Eucharist because this helps us to understand that we are not only praying with the lips (words), or in the silence of our heart, or that only the priest is the one who speaks at Mass. In the Eucharist our entire body becomes a prayer to live this important moment with God. In other words, we pray with our whole being because our body expresses a prayer that is a search for union with God.
It is very important that we take care of our body and our behavior according to the place where we are and according to what we want to do in the Eucharist. It is important to live each moment and each expression of our body as an expression of our prayer because everything our body expresses is something that leads us to union with God.
The greatest miracle that occurs in our body during the Eucharistic celebration is that our body joins the body of Jesus when we receive Holy Communion. Because when we receive it in communion our body becomes the place where God wants to dwell, and in fact he comes to inhabit our body when we receive Him in communion and when we listen to His Word.
I invite you that when we participate in the Eucharist we do not move in a mechanical way without being aware of what our body postures say as a prayer to God.
Jesus gives us his body, soul and divinity. Can we give him our body and our attention in the Eucharist?