By guest writer Lauren Winter.
This morning I listened to the always enlightening Bishop Barron talk about Frassati. First of all, Bishop Barron is a national treasure and I 10 out of 10 recommend the Word on Fire Show. Secondly, let’s take a minute to talk about our boy, Frassati.
Frassati’s life is an example of how grace and faith can grow in the most surprising places. Frassati wasn’t raised in a faith-filled home like so many of the Saints. His father was a prominent Italian politician and his mother a well-known painter. His father was agnostic, and his mother was *vaguely* Catholic. Frassati wasn’t given a spiritual upbringing but found one for himself instead.
Even from a young age and without any humanly prompting he was captivated by the Eucharist and the liturgy. He would disappear for hours at a time and visit the chapels for Eucharistic adoration causing his parents to frantically search for him. (Now where have I heard that story before? *cough cough* finding at the temple *Cough cough*)
Similar to his surprising devotion to the faith, he also had a devotion to the poor. He gave all his money and all his time to the poor. He was truly a man of the poor. He was both their caretaker and their advocate. His love of the poor was so brilliant that when he died of polio at the age of 24 his funeral was a HUGE event. It wasn’t his prominent parents’ friends who overwhelmed the event, but the poor. His funeral was a massively-attended event because of the massive amount of people he attended to and cared for while he was living.
When we hear about mountain-climbing Frassati’s “Verso L’alto” we are reminded of his acceptance of grace and his determination to climb closer to Christ. Frassati was a man of action. First, he accepted grace into his life and then boldly ACTED. May he be an example to us all. To the heights!!! Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us.
Originally posted on Instagram.
Lauren Winter is a mother of three and owner of the apparel brand Brick House in the City, designing inspirational clothing for Catholic women as her contribution to the New Evangelization.
Advent is my favorite liturgical season. I become extremely excited when Advent is coming, and love observing it by wearing my purple “Advent scarves,” painting my nails to mirror the Advent wreath, and putting up my La Posada statue in my room. Unfortunately, during my first year of college Advent passed me by before I had a chance to fully embrace it. Knowing that my soul benefits a great deal from this penitential season of joyful waiting on Christ, I was determined to find a way to observe Advent, even though my home and seasonal accessories are miles away. Thanks to the internet and God’s guiding hand, I’ve found three ways to immerse myself in the season. I wanted to share them so that others who are seeking to supplement their Advent observation can benefit from them as much as I have.
- Fr. Barron’s Advent Reflections, via e-mail: Anything Fr. Barron does is always worth looking into, including these daily e-mail reflections sent straight to one’s inbox early every morning. They’re short, simple, but powerful and provide beautiful thoughts to keep one in the Advent mindset throughout the day.
- EWTN’s Advent Homepage: Each day has its own fragment from the Mass readings, a reflection, a little “Advent Action”, and a small prayer at the end. Once again, these are short and could be read in less than five minutes, but paired with Fr. Barron’s reflection the two help frame an outline for refocusing one’s spiritual life more fully in the spirit of the season. And the little “Advent Action,” even if the specific one is something not practical in one’s own circumstances, really helps keep the spirit of reaching out to others in the name of Christ at the front of the mind throughout the day.
- Advent Music through Grooveshark: Advent music is so beautiful, and it’s taken me a couple years to find enough to start a playlist out of. Music is such a perfect way to center the mind and heart by truly opening oneself to deeper, spiritual emotions. I like to listen to it in the background as I journal about the above two reflections, or sit still and meditate on it quietly as a prayer before bed. Here’s my playlist, I would love more suggestions!
- “People Look East” –Hereford Cathedral Choir (Holiday)
- “The King Shall Come” – from the album Christmas Choirs and Carols, Vol. 1
- “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent” – The Master’s Chorale
- “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”- Salisbury Cathedral Choristers
- “On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry”- Grace Cathedral Choir
- “Creator of the Stars of Night”- High Street Hymns
- “Star of Wonder”- Sara Groves
- “Winter Snow”- Audrey Assad
- “O Sanctissima”- from the album The Wonder of Christmas
- “Still, Still, Still”- John Schmidt
- “Gabriel’s Message”- Sting
- “Ave Maria”- Jewel
- And Winter Came… – the album by Enya
- Advent at Ephesus- the album by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles
How do you keep the Advent season?
The famous African bishop, doctor and Father of the Church, Saint Augustine of Hippo, once said, “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. ” He also said, “I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.”
One thing I have realized over the years is that if you can’t ‘market’ the gospel message effectively as Christ has commissioned everyone to (c.f. Matthew 28:16-20), you can at least start by ”marketing’ those that are marketing the Gospel quite well. In the process of ‘marketing’ those ‘marketing’ the Good News, you would pick up a thing or two to help you in your evangelism.
In the West one person who I think markets the Gospel quite effectively is Fr. Robert Barron of the Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, USA. I just love him not because he is a Thomist or a great theologian and academic, but because he knows how to make the Gospel message easily digestible to every listener. You can verify this by listening to his Sunday Sermons.
Now back to Africa — West Africa to be specific. I know a priest who is also a scholar and an exciting theologian and preacher as well. He can deliver the unchanging Word of the Living God to a changing generation in such a manner that there is a sync between the listeners/readers and the Word of God, which usually results in a metanoia (change of heart), and the transformation of the Christians into the perfect imitators of Christ Jesus our Lord and our God. Let me introduce you to Very Rev. Fr. John Kobina Louis from Ghana.
Fr. Louis has been a priest in the Holy Catholic Church for over 20 years and, like old wine, his sermons taste good and bring about transformation of lives. I recently made a website for him and created a Facebook page for his ministry as well without his knowledge. It’s about time we as a Church, the Redeemed people of God, help our priest spread their messages to reach all the four corners of the world to the greater glory of God. Kindly visit his website at www.frlouis.com and like his page here: Fr. John Louis
God bless you.
I’ve been working my way through Caritas in Veritate for what seems like forever now. And even though I’m halfway through, I already know that I will need to reread as soon as I finish because there is so much packed into those 30,000 words. When we were told that the new symposium would be “Mercy and Killing”, I knew two things.
1.) That I knew nothing about such topics, beyond that I constantly beg for mercy from God, while not entirely grasping the full implication of such a prayer.
2.) That somehow, Caritas in Veritate would have something to say about it.
Imagine my relief when I found that Fr. Robert Barron has a youtube video explaining Caritas in Veritate!
So without further ado: