Sometimes we forget that the Apostles faced challenges that are similar to ours. For example, when St. Paul is preaching to the Athenians, he is speaking to people who had a foundation of pagan culture.
Hearing of Paul and Silas singing God’s praises in jail makes me want to talk about a song I know. A song we all know. It goes: “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you.” It is a prayer, of course, but in fact it is a song. There have been thousands of musical settings created to sing it. But none compares to the incomparable sounds that Mary heard though the voice of Gabriel speaking the Words of God Himself!
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Immediately preceding the first of May, the Church celebrates the feast of a 16th-century pope whose memorial is particularly well-situated in such close proximity to a month dedicated to Mary.
Two friends went to Niagara Falls. They viewed the expansiveness of the falls from above. Then they went below, where they heard the water roar, as it tumbled over the edge and hit the rocks. As they stood there in awe and wonder, one said, “This has got to be the most unused source of power in the world.”
In 1917, the world was at war and Europe was the battlefield. On the periphery, far from the centers of power, Our Lady chose to reveal her message of peace to three young shepherds in the Portuguese countryside. On another part of that periphery, in rural western Ireland, lived another boy about the same age. He too was being schooled in that message in his poor but happy home as they prayed the Holy Rosary every night.