Father Bryce’s Message
October 15, 2017
Reflections: The Blood of the Martyrs is the Seed of the Church
I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
BLESSED STANLEY FRANCIS ROTHER
The first American diocesan priest to be beatified by the Church. A farm boy born into a faithful German Catholic family in Okarche, Oklahoma. His desire to be a priest showed up while in grade school. His parents let him enter the seminary. He completed high school, entered the college program, and ended the scholastic year with a C and a D, C in Latin and a D in English. The seminary sent him home. His bishop listened to his request for a second chance, because he believed that God wanted him to be His priest. He was sent to Mt. St. Mary’s seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. And was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in 1963.
Five years later he applied to be a missionary in Guatemala. He went to serve the native Mayan people, the Tz’utujil. He served, he loved and he was murdered by the government in 1981. He was the “Shepherd who didn’t run.”
The most amazing factoid of his biography is this. The parish he served was founded in 1543. There was not ONE vocation to the priesthood in over 400 years. Since 1981 there have been 9 priests ordained from that parish and there are 7 seminarians from that parish preparing to serve the People of God. Blessed Stanley Francis Rother, please pray for St. Bede Parish.
October 8, 2017
Reflections: Jesus, the Word of Eternal Love
“I have chosen you from the world, says the Lord, to go and bear fruit that will remain.”
H.U.von Balthasar’s book entitled: “Prayer” [chap.2]
“Such an interpretation is possible if we have the humility to believe; indeed, it is the only logical course, for the phenomenon itself permits no other view. This man is neither a mere man, nor is he “God” in the Jewish sense, i.e., the Father who created the world, chose the People of Israel and promised the coming Messiah. He is a man, yet not like us; he is “from God”, yet he is not simply “God” (Ho Theos). He is unique; he is emphatically not an ordinary man like the prophets, who were temporarily “burdened” with the word of God, temporarily God’s organs. Nor is he “a” God, disguised for the time being as a man. Rather, this human personality holding commerce with men is a Person in God; in his mission he not only speaks of the Father but also represents him, revealing him in every conceivable way, both actively and passively, with power and in weakness, in speech and in silence, veiling and unveiling. And it is this relationship which is the inexhaustible theme, the boundless field, of Christian Contemplation.
Although the Son alone becomes man, not the Father or the Spirit, the Son’s human life necessarily exhibits aspects of his relationship to the Father and to the Spirit.
In the Son’s “descent” into flesh he first of all reveals himself, his self-abasing, humble and obedient love. If we lay aside our prejudices and expose ourselves to the phenomenon of Jesus Christ (and this means, first of all, believing the facts,), we shall see in the Lord’s actions – from his birth and lowly childhood, through his “going about doing good: (Acts 10:38) to the final humility expressed in his washing of the disciples’ feet, in the Eucharist, in his passion, and in his surrender of the Spirit and his death – not only a sublime metaphor of eternal love, but Eternal Love itself. Moreover, Eternal Love is not only present in his man but also, in him, manifests and interprets its very nature and renders it visible. For although the deeds and sufferings of this man exhibit nothing inhuman or superhuman but remain within the framework of what is human, they only make sense if they are seen and expounded as expressing the nature of divine love.”