Schedule of Bishop Robert C. Morlino
Friday, September 19 - Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Presentation to All Permanent Deacons, Diocese of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Wednesday, September 24 - Thursday, September 25, 2003
Presentation to Priests of the Diocese of Hartford on the Occasion of their Convocation, Hartford, Conn.
Schedule of Bishop George O. Wirz
Saturday, September 20, 2003
5:00 p.m. -- Preside and Preach at Celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, St. Joseph Parish, Ft. Atkinson
Sunday, September 21, 2003
10:30 a.m. -- Preside and Preach at Celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, St. Aloysius Parish, Sauk City
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
7:00 p.m. -- Guest Presenter, Vocations Evening for Youth, St. Ann Parish, Stoughton
Thursday, September 25, 2003
3:00 p.m. -- Preside at Midday Prayer for Vocations, Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison
Mysteries of faith: The Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows
The days of September 14 and 15 bring to us the celebration of two very distinctive Catholic feast days: the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14 and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15. In recent days we have all been reminded of the terrorist acts committed against us on September 11, 2001, and as we pray for the victims of those
horrendous acts and their families in loving concern and sympathy, and as we pray for an end to all terrorism and violence, we do so very much reminded of the power of the Cross of Christ and the intercession of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who stood at the foot of the cross as Our Lady of Sorrows.
|"While we as Catholics never seek suffering in a masochistic way, we know that through our Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist, we are conformed to the cross of Jesus Christ, that is we know that only if we suffer and die with Him, will we also rise with Him."
Just as it is unique to our faith to include the human body in our highest expression of mysticism, that is the Eucharistic Liturgy and the reception of Holy Communion, rather than to seek to escape the limits
of the body, so too it is utterly unique that we would celebrate as festival days the Cross of Christ, that horrible instrument of torture and death which He freely took upon Himself to save us, as well as the sorrow which belonged to Mary, Our Mother, as she lived out her maternal cooperation in the cross of her Son, the central act of our redemption.
We suffer, die, and rise with Him
While we as Catholics never seek suffering in a masochistic way, we know that through our Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist, we are conformed to the cross of Jesus Christ, that is we know that only if we
suffer and die with Him, will we also rise with Him. Thus when suffering comes our way, as Catholics, we do not ask, "why me?". Rather, without having sought the suffering, we do realize that we signed up for that cross through our Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist, and we accept it as our participation in the energy of suffering, that redeems the world.
When Mary uttered her "yes" to be the mother of God, not knowing where that "yes" would lead her, she followed it through the relatively brief public life of her Son to the foot of His cross. There the "yes" that she uttered to the angel, when Christ was conceived in her womb, came to its fulfillment as her free maternal cooperation in the birth of her Son brought her to her free maternal cooperation in His suffering and death.
Thus the cross which conceals the glory of the Resurrection and therefore is to be exalted, became also her burden, so that she is rightfully called Our Lady of Sorrows.
Sadness in the human condition
These mysteries of the Exaltation of the Cross and the Sorrows of our Blessed Mother tell us clearly that sadness hangs around our humanity. To be human is to be like Christ, and to be like Christ is to suffer and die with Him that we might also rise with Him.
Thus sadness in our human, Christ-like life is quite predictable. When it comes our way we are called not to deny it or repress it or simply seek to escape it. We are called to give ourselves over to sadness when it comes our way so that that sadness of the suffering and death of Christ might always give way to the joy of His Resurrection.
That same mother, Mary the Mother of God, who is the mother of sorrows, is also the cause of our joy. The cross, which is an instrument of torture and death, through the Resurrection has exaltation as its final destiny. That is why we as Catholics celebrate the cross, celebrate the
suffering and death of Christ, and celebrate the sufferings of Mary His Mother. It truly is a great mystery. But only through entering into the likeness of His suffering and death may we enter into the likeness of His Resurrection.
Draw closer to Christ in suffering
On these wonderful feasts of September 14 and 15, the truth of our Baptism is brought powerfully to light, the truth which is the sense that we are called to make of our lives every day. Our American
culture tells us to avoid suffering and to seek pleasure at all costs. While we are not called to seek suffering, we are invited to draw closer to Christ in human suffering - Mother Teresa says so beautifully that, in human suffering Christ hugs us most tightly to Himself as He hangs on the cross. And Mary Our Mother, the Mother of Sorrows, would never be far from her Son in His suffering, nor will she ever be far from us.
The glory of the resurrection is not sugar coated - it is suffering coated. But at the kernel of all human suffering is the glory that shines on the face of Jesus Christ. And it is only through our experiences of suffering that we enter into that glory. Let us never forget it!
Praised be Jesus Christ. Thank you for reading this and God bless each one of you.
Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, announces the following appointment:
Reverend Donn J. Heiar, Jr., in addition to Pastor, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Brodhead, linked with St. Patrick Parish, Albany, as Administrator, St. Paul Parish, Evansville, linked with St. Augustine Parish, Footville, effective August 30, 2003.