Category Archives: Begin again

July 22: ST. MARY MAGDALENE, Feast.

JULY 22
ST. MARY MAGDALENE, Feast.
The Sinner Turned Saint.

On July 22, we will be celebrating the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, the repentant sinner turned saint, the woman out of whom seven demons were cast (cf. Lk 8:2). A very beautiful woman, with long lovely hair, she met Jesus at Simon’s home and went to weep at his feet, feeling sorrow for her evil life, breaking an alabaster flask of ointment to  anoint His feet and wiping them dry with her long beautiful hair.

Jesus was touched with such sincere repentance arising from a great love but the Pharisee present in Simon’s house was scandalized and said to himself:

“if this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner (lk 7:39).”

But Jesus, reading the mind of those present, directed Himself to Simon saying:

“Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time i came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” He said to her, “your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “your faith has saved you; go in peace (Lk 7:44-50).”

  1. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, LIKE ANY HUMAN BEING, YEARNS AND EXPECTS FROM EACH ONE OF US SMALL DETAILS OF AFFECTION, as we have just read in the above Gospel passage. Mary Magdalene, no matter how great her sins were, had a tender and sensible heart which knew how to manifest its great love in small deeds.
  2. But above all, HER SINCERE REPENTANCE WON OUR LORD’S HEART AND FROM THEN ON SHE RECTIFIED HER WAYS, FOLLOWED AND SERVED JESUS IN AN UNCONDITIONAL MANNER, UNAFRAID FOR HERSELF, THINKING ONLY OF HOW TO SERVE THE LORD. Her love, determination and sensibility was beyond Our Lord’s death such that she was well-concerned on how to anoint with spices Jesus’ body in the tomb, even if she knew that there was no one who could help her and the other women remove the huge stone which sealed the entrance to Jesus’ tomb.
  3. Her love for Jesus became even more patent when not finding His Sacred Body, Mary began to weep (Cf. Jn 20: 1-2;11-18) and seeing someone whom she had mistaken to be the gardener said: “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away (Jn 20:15).”

MARY MAGDALENE, THE GREAT SINNER WHO RECTIFIED HER WAYS, STAYED FAITHFUL AND PERSEVERED ALONG THE PATH OF FOLLOWING JESUS AND FALLING IN LOVE WITH GOD WITH AN UNWAVERING LOVE, CONCRETE AND GENEROUS IN DEEDS, AND UNDAUNTED WITH THE DIFFICULTIES. For this, she received the reward to be the “first” to whom Jesus appeared after resurrecting from the dead [the word “first” in quotes for I believe that Jesus went to His Mother first, before appearing to Mary Magdalene] and received the mission to announce the great joy of  Jesus’ Resurrection to the apostles.
Dear friends: YOU AND I…WE TOO ARE SINNERS…CALLED BY GOD TO BECOME HOLY, TO BECOME SAINTS, IN SPITE OF OUR ERRORS, OUR PAST, RIGHT THERE WHERE GOD HAS PLACED US… SO? Let us move on then, dear brethren, let us fill ourselves with hope in our daily journey towards holiness, out of love for God, following the beautiful example of ST. MARY MAGDALENE, AN EXAMPLE OF SINCERE CONTRITION, UNWAVERING, FEARLESS AND FAITHFUL LOVE MANIFESTED IN CONCRETE DEEDS!

Cordially inviting you to like and follow our FB page in http://www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness and share our posts to help more people in their Christian life. Thanks! Fr. Rolly A.

 

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MAY CHRIST BE OUR LIFE. MAY WE ALLOW HIM TO WORK IN US. Summary vid + full text.

MAY CHRIST BE OUR LIFE.
MAY WE ALLOW HIS GRACE TO WORK IN US.

Dear brethren in Christ, below you have encouraging and consoling words taken from Pope Benedict XVI’s Address to the Youth during the prayer vigil on Sept. 24, 2011 in Freiburg. Words which would do us a lot of good if we meditate on it frequently.

Dear friends, Christ is not so much interested in how often in our lives we stumble and fall, as in how often with his help we pick ourselves up again. He does not demand glittering achievements, but he wants his light to shine in you. He does not call you because you are good and perfect, but because he is good and he wants to make you his friends. Yes, you are the light of the world because Jesus is your light. You are Christians – not because you do special and extraordinary things, but because he, Christ, is your life, our life. You are holy, we are holy, if we allow his grace to work in us.

Benedict XVI,  Sept 24, 2011, Friburgo.

May our stumbles and falls lead us to towards Our Lord immediately and with his grace get up once again with more humility, hope, and love, allowing Him to transform us, and thus making Him the center of our life.

PHOTO CREDIT: Antonio Aguilar Ariza, Cristo de la Misericordia (La Rinconada, Spain).

FULL TEXT in http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2011/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20110924_vigil-freiburg.html

WHEN WE STUMBLE, LET’S GET UP WITH A HUMBLE AND CONTRITE HEART IN CONFESSION.

WHEN WE STUMBLE, LET’S GET UP
WITH A HUMBLE AND CONTRITE HEART IN CONFESSION.

 

Dear brethren in Christ, we were reminded by Pope Francis in during his Angelus Address on March 6, 2016, of the loving tenderness of Our Merciful God who awaits for us to return to Him to forgive and embrace us in the Sacrament of Confession (see: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/03/06/pope-francis-on-the-parable-of-the-prodigal-son-the-tenderness-of-our-loving-patient-and-merciful-god/ )

Having this in mind, I encourage you to consider in your personal meditation the words below of taken from St. Josemaria’s homily, “In the Footsteps of Christ”: words which will fill us with optimism and, at the same time, gratitude and hope in our daily struggle to respond to our divine vocation to holiness.

“What does it matter that we stumble on the way, if we find in the pain of our fall the energy to pick ourselves up and go on with renewed vigor? DON’T FORGET THAT THE SAINT IS NOT THE PERSON WHO NEVER FALLS, BUT RATHER THE ONE WHO NEVER FAILS TO GET UP AGAIN, HUMBLY AND WITH A HOLY STUBBORNNESS. If the book of Proverbs says that the just man falls seven times a day, who are we poor creatures, you and I, to be surprised or discouraged by our own weaknesses and falls! We will be able to keep going ahead, if only we seek our fortitude in him who says: ‘Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.’ Thank you, Lord, quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea, because you, and you alone, my God, have always been my strength, my refuge and my support.

If you really want to make progress in the interior life, be humble. Turn constantly and confidently to the help of Our Lord and of his Blessed Mother, who is your Mother too. No matter how much the still open wound of your latest fall may hurt, embrace the cross once more and, calmly, without getting upset, say: ‘With your help, Lord, I’ll fight so as not to be held back. I’ll respond faithfully to your invitations. I won’t be afraid of steep climbs, nor of the apparent monotony of my daily work, nor of the thistles and loose stones on the way. I know that I am aided by your mercy and that, at the end of the road, I will find eternal happiness, full of joy and love for ever and ever’ (St. Josemaria, Friends of God, n. 131).”

 

Cordially inviting you to visit and like our FB page in  www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness or sign-up to our website,www.catholicsstrivingforholiness.com, so we can have a wider apostolic reach and thus help more people in their Christian life. Thanks! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.

 

PHOTO SOURCE: Raphael, God the Father Blessing in http://www.myartprints.co.uk/kunst/raffael_eigntl_rafaello_santi//God-the-Father-Blessing.jpg

 

JANUARY 1: HAPPY NEW YEAR! New Year, new struggle, new life. AV greeting & text

JANUARY 1: HAPPY NEW YEAR!
New Year, new struggle, new life
AV greeting & text

 

Dear friends, in the next few days,  2017 is about to commence and I would like to take advantage and greet you and your loved ones a

HAPPY 2017!

A lot of people say with the popular saying, “New Year, new life”. And it is, for another year has begun and we have to thank God for the gift of life and the new opportunity to live our life to the fullest. Hopefully, it would be also from the spiritual viewpoint.

This would only be a reality if we renew our determination, with  the help of God’s grace, to begin in our interior struggle to become not only better persons, but better Catholics, who are thirsty to grow in their love for God and for others, especially to those around them, by corresponding more to God’s grace and allowing Him to transform us from within.

As St. Josemaria wrote:

“I don’t believe in the proverb that says: ‘a New Year, a new life.’ Nothing changes in twenty-four hours. Only our Lord, with his grace, can instantly convert a Saul from being a persecutor of Christians to an Apostle. He knocks him off his horse, he leaves him blind, he humbles him, he makes him approach another man, Ananias, to learn what to do. And Saul was one of the leading figures of Israel, educated at Gamaliel’s feet, and a Roman citizen to boot. Do you remember? Civis romanus sum, I am a Roman citizen. I like that. I also like you to feel true citizens of your country, with all the rights which that entails, because you fulfil all your obligations.

Do you think that an easygoing type who is reluctant to train seriously can hope to win an international athletics competition, without a great miracle? St Paul resorts to this simile, as do I. We have to struggle repeatedly and train every day – sometimes winning and sometimes losing – in little things that in themselves aren’t sinful and don’t have very significant moral implications, but which do indicate human weakness, a lack of love, a lack of generosity. ONLY BY FIGHTING IN THAT WAY CAN A PERSON AT LAST SAY TRUTHFULLY THAT HIS IS A NEW LIFE. ONLY THOSE WHO PERFORM THESE SPIRITUAL GYMNASTICS WILL REACH THE GOAL.”

Hence, let us approach this incoming year asking pardon from God for the many times we have not corresponded, thanking Him as well for all the blessings we have received during this year, and asking the Most Blessed Trinity, through the living intercession of Mary, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for His graces and mercy so that 2017 would be for us an joyous occasion not only for material well-being but also for our spiritual renewal and growth during this 2017.
Wishing you and your family all the best!

Cordially inviting you to like our FB page in www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness  so we can have a wider apostolic reach and thus help more people in their Christian life. Thanks! Fr. Rolly A.

Audio credit: “Egmont Overture Finale” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

PHOTO SOURCES: http://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/static.panoramio.com/photos/original/9078650.jpg

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1879741/images/o-FIREWORKS-facebook.jpg

 

“CHRIST IS NOT SO MUCH INTERESTED IN HOW OFTEN IN YOUR LIVES YOU STUMBLE AND FALL, AS IN HOW OFTEN YOU PICK YOURSELVES UP AGAIN.”

THE SAINTS HAVE FALLEN AS WELL, BUT THEY STOOD UP AND BEGAN AGAIN! THIS IS WHAT JESUS WANTS FROM EACH ONE OF US.

A beautiful and encouraging quote from our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS.
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24th Sunday OT C. THE PARABLES OF MERCY. Never despair! God, who is rich in mercy, forgives the sinner and rejoices in his conversion. Audiovisual summary and text.

24th Sunday OT C. THE PARABLES OF MERCY.
Never despair! God, who is rich in mercy, forgives the sinner and rejoices in his conversion
.

 

Dear brethren in Christ, today’s Sunday liturgy reminds us that Our Father God is rich in love mercy, always ready to forgive and rejoices in our conversion.

  1. In the 1st reading (Ex 32:7–11, 13–14), we see how God relented in punishing the Israelites for their disobedience and infidelity, demonstrating that His Love full of compassion and mercy goes beyond what is just and what we deserve.
  1. In the 2nd reading (1 Tm 1:12–17), St. Paul expresses his profound gratitude to Our Lord for the grace of conversion. He who “once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant” “was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life” and confesses that God poured his abundant grace in His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ in order to save humanity.

 

  1. And in today’s Gospel reading on the Parables of Mercy: that of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 1-32), Jesus Himself reassures us of God’s immense love and mercy, always ready to forgive and rejoices on our return as shown by the fact that each parable ends with a refrain describing His sentiments at the conversion of the sinner.

“‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”

“‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

“But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”

  • The Gospel teaches that no one is excluded from forgiveness and that sinners can become beloved children of God if they repent and are converted.
  • No matter how great our sins may have been, there is no reason for us to despair, for God has his arms always open and ready to welcome and forgive us and a sinner can change and become a saint with the help of God’s grace. Remember St. Peter, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Francis, St. Ignatius,….?
  • All we need to do is be humble and contrite and return to the Father’s house through the sacrament of Confession.

Perhaps, you may say: “But what if I relapse again?”

God knows that!
In our life, as in the lives of the saints, we will experience victories as well as defeats, vigor as well as depression.

“The true life stories of Christian heroes resemble our own experience: they fought and won; they fought and lost. And then, repentant, they returned to the fray
(St. Josemaria, Christ is passing by, n. 76).”

What is important is to never tire ourselves of returning to the Father’s house many times even during the day (as the just man falls “seven times” a day) through frequent acts of contrition or if necessary, if there we have committed a mortal sin, through the sacrament of Confession to receive God’s embrace and thus make Him and the heaven rejoice.

As Pope Francis said:

“There are many humble people who confess their relapse. What is important in the life of every man and every woman is never to fall by the wayside. THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO ALWAYS GET UP AND NOT STAY ON THE GROUND LICKING HIS WOUNDS. THE LORD OF MERCY ALWAYS FORGIVES ME SUCH THAT HE GIVES ME THE POSSIBILITY TO ALWAYS START ALL OVER AGAIN. He loves me for what I am, He wants to lift me up, and offers me his hand. This is also a task of the Church: to make people know that there are no situations that one cannot get out from, that while we are alive, it is always possible to start all over, as long as we allow Jesus to embrace and forgive us
(Pope Francis, ‘The Name of God is Mercy,’ translation from Spanish to English mine).”

“Human life is in some way a constant returning to our Father’s house. We return through contrition, through the conversion of heart which means a desire to change, a firm decision to improve our life and which, therefore, is expressed in sacrifice and self-giving. We return to our Father’s house by means of that sacrament of pardon in which, by confessing our sins, we put on Jesus Christ again and become his brothers, members of God’s family” (St. Josemaria, Christ is passing by, n. 64).

Let us then humbly and contritely say many times during the day, without giving into tiredness or despair, “I will rise and go to my father (Responsorial Psalm).” And God will for sure will react as the father of the prodigal son: “While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.”

A Blessed Sunday and week ahead to you and your loved ones!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei.

 

AUDIO SOURCE:
“O Bone Iesu” in Catholic Gregorian Chants uploaded by Sarah Simon in archive.org
VIDEO PHOTO SOURCES:
Pompeo Batoni, The Return of the Prodigal Son
Nathan Green, The Good Shepherd (2 pictures) which can be ordered and bought at different sizes and editions in https://www.nathangreene.com (All rights belong to Hart Classics Edition: this picture was used only for didactic/educational purposes with advertising benefits for the painter as well.)
Lost Coin in https://www.ucg.org/files/image/article/lessons-from-the-parables-the-parable-of-the-lost-coin-seeking-lost-people_1.jpg
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, El Retorno del Hijo Pródigo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Conversión de San Pablo, Museo Nacional del Prado (Madrid, Spain)
Pope Francis: L’Osservatore Romano
Guercino, Return of the Prodigal Son (Institution:Diocesan Museum in Włocławek) in wikimedia.org

FIVE INSPIRING LIFE LESSONS FROM THE RIO 2016 OLYMPICS

FIVE GREAT LESSONS FROM SOME RIO OLYMPIC ATHLETES

Dear brethren in Christ, after the two-week long Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, we have witnessed an international event offers us great inspiring lessons useful in our daily life as Catholics striving for holiness. We could learn from the following lessons and apply them in our everyday life.

 

  1. SHOW YOUR FAITH AND GRATITUDE TO GOD. DON’T BE ASHAMED OF DOING SOMETHING GOOD. GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY.

USAIN BOLT (JAMAICA)

KATIE LEDECKY (USA)

SIMONE BILES (USA)

CAROLINA MARÍN (SPAIN)

ZAZA NADIRADZE (GEORGIA) AND HIDILYN DIAZ (PHILIPPINES)

TIANNA BARTOLETTA, ALLYSON FELIX, ENGLISH GARDNER, AND TORI BOWIE

SIMONE MANUEL (USA)

  1. EVEN CHAMPIONS COMMIT MISTAKES. NEVER QUIT. HAVE THE COURAGE TO BEGIN AGAIN AFTER A GREAT FALL.

EPKE ZONDERLAND (NETHERLANDS)

  1. DON’T FRET AND LIVE ON YOUR PAST MISTAKES. THE PRESENT IS WHAT COUNTS. HOPE!

DANIEL LEYVA (USA)

  1. BE KIND: DO THE RIGHT THING. SELF-CONQUEST, RESILIENCE, GRATITUDE.

ABBEY D’AGOSTINO (USA)

  1. HARD WORK AND DILIGENCE, NOT ONLY OF THE ATHLETES BUT OF EVERYONE: THE ORGANIZERS, VOLUNTEERS, SECURITY, PERSONNEL…

 

 

1. SHOW YOUR FAITH AND GRATITUDE TO GOD. DON’T BE ASHAMED OF DOING SOMETHING GOOD. GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY.

USAIN BOLT (JAMAICA)

  • The fastest man alive, winner of 9 Olympic medals (4 in Rio 2016) and 11 World titles, is unafraid of what people may think. A Catholic, Bolt is known for making the sign of the Cross before every race, proudly wears a Miraculous medal of Mary, and kneels down to pray and give thanks to God after winning his race, and

KATIE LEDECKY (USA)

  • The sensational Catholic swimmer from US, with 5 Olympic golds (4 in Rio), 9 World titles, and 13 world records, says “a prayer or two before any race. The Hail Mary is a beautiful prayer and I find that it calms me.”
  • Not only that, after her 2012 Olympic triumph, she visited a convent to thank the nuns for their prayers. What is impressive is that Katie knows that there’s much more than swimming. In an interview she said:

“My Catholic faith is very important to me. It always has been and it always will be. It is part of who I am and I feel comfortable practicing my faith. It helps me put things in perspective.”

SIMONE BILES (USA)

  • The queen of Rio 2016 Olympic gymnastics, the bubbly 19-year old Biles, with 4 Olympic golds and 1 bronze, and 10 world titles in her possession, carries a Holy Rosary in her bag which was given to her by her mom, and which she normally prays. She also goes to Sunday Mass with her parents.
  • A girl with a difficult childhood, having been abandoned by an alcoholic mother, and put to foster care, she was later adopted by her grandparents whom she now calls and considers as her Dad and Mom. She is a role model for today’s for her life is an example that it is possible to succeed in this life in spite of a difficult past.

CAROLINA MARÍN (SPAIN)

  • The Olympic and World Badminton champion, Carolina Marín,is a devotee of Our Lady, Virgen de Rocío (Morning Dew). She declared that she always brings the Virgen de Rocío wherever she goes. In fact, she wears a medal and earrings of Our Lady.

ZAZA NADIRADZE (GEORGIA) AND HIDILYN DIAZ (PHILIPPINES)

  • The Georgian canoeist and the Filipina weightlifter thanked God and made the sign of the Cross after finishing their respective events.

TIANNA BARTOLETTA, ALLYSON FELIX, ENGLISH GARDNER, AND TORI BOWIE

  • The US women’s 4x100m relay gold medalists had to defy the odds in order to win the event. They were disqualified from the finals after Felix was bumped by a Brazilian runner. After protesting to the organization, they were granted to re-run again to beat the time clocked by China.
  • The team finally qualified and eventually won the gold, but without bowing their heads and saying a prayer of gratitude to God in front of the camera which was obscured by the Olympic seal.

SIMONE MANUEL (USA)

  • The first African-American woman to win a gold in a swimming event (100m freestyle) after rallying from behind the Canadian Penny Oleksiak, and breaking the Olympic record, said: “All I can say is all glory to God. … I’m just so blessed.”

2. EVEN CHAMPIONS COMMIT MISTAKES. NEVER QUIT. HAVE THE COURAGE TO BEGIN AGAIN AFTER A GREAT FALL.

EPKE ZONDERLAND (NETHERLANDS)

  • He was the 2012 Olympic gold medal winner and was the man to beat in the Rio 2016 horizontal bar. He started his routine in a fantastic manner, soaring to the heights until he lost his grip on the bar and fell flat on his face, remaining motionless for several seconds. A lot of people have thought that it was understandable for him to just quit.
  • But the “Flying Dutchman” stood up, and with his temple, nose and cheeks bruised, and surely with his aching body, finished his routine, receiving a thunderous applause of the crowd.

3. DON’T FRET AND LIVE ON YOUR PAST MISTAKES. THE PRESENT IS WHAT COUNTS. HOPE!

DANIEL LEYVA (USA)

  • The US Gymnastics team was counting on him to improve their standing in the all-around team competition and have a place at the podium. Leyva, who was the 2015 World silver medalist in the event, after an incredible start, falls off and spoiled the chances of his team to win a medal, finishing 5th.
  • It was a hard blow for Leyva but he didn’t give into discouragement: he didn’t enclose himself in a destructive attitude of self-blame.
  • And here comes the individual competition, Leyva resurrects and ends his Rio 2016 stint, garnering 2 silver medals, one in parallel bars and the other…in horizontal bar.

4. BE KIND: DO THE RIGHT THING. SELF-CONQUEST, RESILIENCE, GRATITUDE.

ABBEY D’AGOSTINO (USA)

  • The 5,000m US runner, D’Agostino, the most decorated Ivy League athlete in track and field, got involved in a chain-reaction tumble with New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin. Instead of rushing to stand up and keep on running and recover the lost time and distance, she went to Hamblin, helping her up and urging her to keep on the race. They ran supporting each other in the next few meters with an almost 2-minute difference from the leader of the race.
  • Hamblin completed the 5km race without any problem, whereas D’Agostino arrived the finish line with a lot of difficulty, showing signs of pain. Later one, she revealed that she suffered a meniscal and anterior cruciate ligament tears, showing her great spirit of resilience and self-conquest.
  • With this show of true Olympic spirit, the organizing body rewarded them both a classification to the finals. Her kind gesture became viral and she explained later that: “Simple acts of kindness are recognised and people are drawn to them. It resonates with people. It’s cool to have something like that shine.” “Although my actions were instinctual at that moment, the only way I can and have rationalized it is that God prepared my heart to respond that way… This whole time here he’s made clear to me that my experience in Rio was going to be about more than my race performance — and as soon as Nikki got up I knew that was it.”
  • D’Agostino didn’t win a medal, but won the a new friend, Hamblin, and the hearts of millions of people around the world. Her kind gesture will be remembered for many generations.

5. HARD WORK AND DILIGENCE, NOT ONLY OF THE ATHLETES BUT OF EVERYONE: THE ORGANIZERS, VOLUNTEERS, SECURITY, PERSONNEL…

  • The 11,000 athletes who participated in the Rio Olympics, their managers, physiotherapists, all the organizers, volunteers and security officers, have worked hard to prepare, participate and celebrate this once-in-every-four-years worldwide sporting and entertainment event.
  • A lot of hours of hidden sacrifice, hard work, effort -virtues- all of which are unknown to us, have been carried out by a multitude of people. To all of you, our gratitude and congratulations.

 

Dear brethren in Christ, these are just some of the lessons we can learn: I’m sure there are a lot more! Let us not forget that our earthly journey is a race towards heaven. During our life on earth, we need to strive hard, with the help of God’s grace and persevere till we reach our end.

Along this journey, we will have ups and downs, victories and defeats, but what is important is our faith in God, the courage to begin again and stand up in spite of our past mistakes, the obstacles and difficulties which life brings to us and with self-conquest aided by God’s grace, hard work and diligence, let us carry out good works, virtues, for love of God and our neighbor for ours is a race towards heaven. Let us run our race, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” pressing on “towards our heavenly goal” in order to obtain the imperishable “prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (Cf. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 3:12-14).

Thank you Rio de Janeiro Olympic athletes, personnel, organizers, volunteers…!
May God bless us all!
Fr. Rolly A., priest of Opus Dei.