In the Holy Scriptures, angels are often depicted as messengers from the divine, with only three specific angels being named: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Oscar Wilde was a brilliant, witty author. He was jailed on a moral charge at the height of his career. The humiliation devastated him. It also purified him. In de Profundis, one of his later writings, he says: "Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground." The devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady has its origins in Sacred Scripture and Christian piety. This devotion always links the Blessed Mother with her Son's suffering.
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Let's imagine a scenario where two men correctly guess the winning lottery and end up with a prize of ten million dollars, splitting it equally—five million dollars each. While this is a significant sum of money, it has a vastly different impact on each man's life. One of the men is a multi-billionaire, and winning the five million dollars only adds about one percent to his current worth, which is insignificant for him. In contrast, the other man is a hardworking ditch digger for the city sewers, struggling to provide for his family. When news of their good fortune spreads, people will celebrate the ditch digger's success and forget about the multi-billionaire. This is because the lottery win will profoundly impact the ditch digger's life, transforming it for the better.
Three of the four gospels tell this powerful story about a withered hand. Each makes mention of this miracle, and all three use the same word to describe this man's condition: "withered hand." The term "withered" describes what once held life, but now the life is gone. (Like a flower.) That which was once strong is now fragile and weak. That which was once beautiful is now twisted and deformed.
Peter, a humble fisherman, experienced a profound encounter with the Divine that speaks to our daily experiences and struggles. Just imagine, after a night of tireless effort, Peter and his companions found their nets bursting with an abundance of fish. Their hopes must have soared as they anticipated the ease of selling such a catch. It's natural for us to think, "If Jesus could do it once, why not invite Him as a business partner for a joint venture?" Yet, Luke's Gospel surprises us.
Today, let me begin by asking you a question: What common thread connects Saints John Mary Vianney, Padre Pio, Francis Xavier, Rose of Lima, Bernadette of Lourdes, and Thérèse of the Child Jesus? Beyond their lives of simplicity, honesty, unselfishness, and unwavering dedication to Jesus, these saints share another remarkable trait. They are incorruptible; their remains defy decay and emit a sweet fragrance without embalming. Even after decades of passing, their bodies appear peacefully asleep, a testament to the authenticity that defined their lives.