Blog Post - December 9th
S. Juan Diego| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Juan Diego
Thousands of people gathered in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe July 31, 2002, for the canonization of Juan Diego, to whom the Blessed Mother appeared in the 16th century. Pope John Paul II celebrated the ceremony at which the poor Indian peasant became the Church’s first saint indigenous to the Americas.
The Holy Father called the new saint “a simple, humble Indian” who accepted Christianity without giving up his identity as an Indian. “In praising the Indian Juan Diego, I want to express to all of you the closeness of the church and the pope, embracing you with love and encouraging you to overcome with hope the difficult times you are going through,” John Paul said. Among the thousands present for the event were members of Mexico’s 64 indigenous groups.
First called Cuauhtlatohuac (“The eagle who speaks”), Juan Diego’s name is forever linked with Our Lady of Guadalupe because it was to him that she first appeared at Tepeyac hill on December 9, 1531. The most famous part of his story is told in connection with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12). After the roses gathered in his tilma were transformed into the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, however, little more is said about Juan Diego.
In time he lived near the shrine constructed at Tepeyac, revered as a holy, unselfish and compassionate catechist who taught by word and especially by example.
During his 1990 pastoral visit to Mexico, Blessed John Paul II confirmed the long-standing liturgical cult in honor of Juan Diego, beatifying him. Twelve years later he was proclaimed a saint.
God counted on Juan Diego to play a humble yet huge role in bringing the Good News to the peoples of Mexico. Overcoming his own fear and the doubts of Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, Juan Diego cooperated with God’s grace in showing his people that the Good News of Jesus is for everyone. Pope John Paul II used the occasion of this beatification to urge Mexican lay men and women to assume their responsibilities for passing on the Good News and witnessing to it.
“In accepting the Christian message without forgoing his indigenous identity, Juan Diego discovered the profound truth of the new humanity, in which all are called to be children of God. Thus he facilitated the fruit meeting of two worlds and became the catalyst for the new Mexican identity, closely united to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose mestizo face expresses her spiritual motherhood which embraces all Mexicans. That is why the witness of his life must continue to be the inspiration for the building up of the Mexican nation, encouraging brotherhood among all its children and ever helping to reconcile Mexico with its origins, values and traditions” (Blessed John Paul II, canonization homily).
Saving the World:
Our actions many never make headlines. Not all of us are called or have the opportunity to be heroes in a dramatic way. But every time we make the hard right choice or extend ourselves in some life-giving way, we are helping to save the world.
Quote by Saint Padre Pio:
May Jesus govern, enlighten, vivify and transform your heart to His eternal love.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Six: 327-365
We enter, now, the last of the six notebooks that Saint Faustina filled with revelations from our Lord about His unfathomable and perfect Mercy. At this point, the Message of Mercy should be clear and evoking of a deep trust in the incomprehensible love of God. All that has been shared to this point reveals that God is relentless in His pursuit of you, seeking only to love you unconditionally and to draw you into His glorious life for all eternity.
The greatest obstacle to this call to holiness is sin. But it is abundantly clear that sin is no match for the Mercy of God. His Mercy dispels your sin in an instant, disposing of your past errors forever. God’s only desire is the present moment, for in this present moment He comes to you, descending from the heights of Heaven, entering into the inner core of your soul so as to form a perfect communion with you, lifting you up to share in His divine life.
This final notebook will be reflected upon as a summary of all that has been reflected upon thus far. Just like the reflections on the first notebook, the reflections for this notebook will be short and to the point. Once you finish this chapter you are invited to return to it often as a way of quickly and easily reminding yourself of the abundant Mercy of God. The Lord’s love is perfect in every way. Allow Him to speak this truth to you with clarity and conviction.
Reflection 343: Glorifying the Lord in All Things
It’s easy to be grateful only when things go well. But when times are tough we tend to turn in on ourselves in self-pity. But you must learn to glorify the Lord in all things. There are countless blessings and graces that God gives you for which you must experience immense gratitude. Family blessings, spiritual consolations, fulfillment of duties, etc., must all be occasions of gratitude. But gratitude must permeate everything in life, even hardships. Seek to glorify the Lord not only because of the “good things of life,” but also throughout the difficult things. Everything can be used by God for His glory and we must rejoice in that fact day and night (See Diary #1661-1662).
Reflect upon this “challenge.” Can you find joy in all things and offer praise and gratitude to God no matter what? God is worth it and He deserves your continual praise. He never leaves you and when you realize this it will be the source of unending praise and thanksgiving.
Lord, I adore You, worship You, praise You and thank You for all things in my life. Thank You for the blessings and for always being there when life is hard. Help me to grow in my gratitude for You and to rejoice always for Your Mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.