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Interview with Leila Lawler: Author of God Has No Grandchildren

By coming to Him through her, we will never flag in Christian joy. Our Lady of Guadalupe, cause of our joy, pray for us! Horsemen in brilliant Guadalupano colors led the way onto the central plaza, pausing at the church door to let in a young woman dressed in the bright mantle Our Lady of Guadalupe, accompanied by a bearded indigenous man dressed as Juan Diego.

Thirty Aztec concero dancers in plumage and shells followed them, all keeping their eyes fixed on the foot cathedral mosaic of la Guadalupana.

This IS Our Faith Lesson 19

They made their way to her, offering gratitude and prayers to God for sending his holy mother to the Americas in After the singing, they backed away toward their places for Mass, never turning their faces from hers. God sent his Mother to Mesoamerica during Advent , a Christmas gift, a birth of the Christian faith in the new world. In that year, ten years after Hernan Cortez landed in Veracruz, both Spaniard and Aztec were locked in a war of attrition, grinding toward mutual destruction. Each of them drew a Christmas tree.

I asked them: What does a fir tree have to do with the birth of the Messiah? And a little girl said it was because Jesus would carry a big piece of wood one day through the streets of Jerusalem. Yes, Christmas is the birth of the Messiah who would save his people by the wood of the cross. Advent is a time of greater prayer and penance to knock down the mountains and fill in the valleys in our lives: to dismantle sinful or simply exaggerated behaviors, and to fill in good habits that may be lacking, especially consistent prayer.

The answer to every confusion in our life, the strength for every weakness, is to come before the altar of God, like the Aztec warriors themselves did years ago in Tepeyac, and as they did yesterday in the cathedral. I want to thank all the people from our parish who attended this Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the patronal feast of the United States. Thank you for coming before the altar of God today as well. It came through John the Baptist, a simple preacher who lived in the desert. He wore animal skins and ate insects. He said very simply: Prepare the way for God to enter your soul.

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Make a straight path for him into your life. Straighten yourself out. We must send out the cards and buy the gifts and stage the parties, which are good things. But please do not neglect the real meaning of this season, which is to prepare our souls to receive Him. He was on his way to the Mass of the Immaculate Conception when she drew him in by flor y canto, by roses blooming among cactus and songs of delightful birds. Our lives can be ordered and peaceful, preparing for heaven even while on earth, so that nothing here can disturb us.

We only need to pray to the good God through Our Lady, and that prayer is how we make straight the path for God into our hearts this Christmas. Can I count on you to join Juan Diego and me on that day, at that hour, to meet her in our church here on Geary Boulevard? My father and mother walking down the aisle of a Manhattan parish in This year they are married for 65 years.

Let no man separate Three years ago on the feast of St. Pundits speculated that the Church would change her teaching on divorce. But marriage is not only a human relationship. It is primarily a relationship, through your spouse and children, with God. The Catholic Church does not recognize divorce, simply because divorce does not exist.

A man who separates himself from a woman he has validly and sacramentally married is still married to her. No divorce certificate from city hall can change that. Neither can any priest, bishop, or pope break the bond that God has forged. Again, however, the world is wondering if the Church will relax her biblical rules on sexuality.

How can the Catholic Church, pundits ask, possibly expect young people to be chaste? For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Our sex is a gift from God. We do not break the law of God. We break against the law of God. Someone suggested that if you are confused about your sexuality simply go into the bathroom, disrobe, and if you have any questions call him. Biology and the natural law matters. I know that many young people have been thrown into confusion by our confused culture, and many bear wounds from the pervasive social dysfunction of our time.

Young people, especially, have had the rug pulled out from under them in the sexual sphere. But the solution is not to pretend that we can create our own reality. The solution is to come back to the natural laws. Our Heavenly Father does not want us to break against these laws, which are beautiful, true, and good. He wants us to flourish by joyfully receiving the beautiful ways of nature. That is certainly true.

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One who loves another brings the beloved to God who is love. When it comes to male and female, love by its nature is fruitful, as in all the animal and plant kingdoms. Love blossoms effusively. Love wins because it transcends its own time and place in begetting new lives who carry that love far beyond the short lives of their mother and father.

It is this vocation to which God calls young people— to offer ourselves as He offered himself for another. Let us pray that the Church, in this synod, calls young people to no less than Jesus Christ in this Gospel. I will make a suitable partner for him. Let us pray to the Blessed Mother in this month of the rosary to show us how to love, and how to live, in the Sacred Heart of Jesus her Son.

A King invites guests to a wedding feast for his Son, but they ignore him. He invites them again, and some ignore him again, while others actually kill his messengers. On Friday an earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia killed at least and left 17, homeless. Why does God punish even the innocent in this way? I cannot say why God permits losses such as these, or even smaller run-of-the mill adversities.

Leila Marie Lawler, Author at

But some human beings do manage to trust God even in acutely difficult circumstances. They believe that He knows what He is doing. Earthly tragedies at least serve to remind us that here below we have no lasting city. We lapse unconsciously into thinking that we can live just fine without Him. But in reality our only hope is to live eternally with Him, because anything less than the infinite will never satisfy the human heart. Everything in this earthly life must be bent toward finding that Infinite One.

God allows natural disasters for this supreme good. He takes things away from us—he lets our property burn, he lets our health decline, he takes way friends and relatives—so that we will focus our hopes on nothing less than His perfect will, which we call heaven. People complain about getting older—losing our eyesight, our sense of taste, our cardio-vascular strength. The older we get the younger we get, because we are approaching our birth into a perfect life.

But we have to respond to the invitation. Jesus uses the forceful image of a king burning a city to drive home his point: we will burn if we do not receive the Bread of Life. Without the Eucharist we are defenseless against real evil in the world. But having received the Holy Eucharist, nothing can touch us; we are invincible because God almighty lives within us. The man not properly dressed So the king fills his banquet hall with guests.

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But then he comes across a man without proper vesture. The king becomes enraged again on a purely literal reading we would say this king needs anger management therapy. The king casts the poorly-dressed man out—outside of heaven—where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

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  4. Lesson: we must be clothed properly for the Mass. What we wear at Mass matters much. But even more important is to clothe our souls with grace, which we receive in prayer and sacrament. So many are lined up at the confessionals right now for that very purpose.

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    7. Bring them in! Finally, notice that the king orders his servants to bring in the people, from the highways and byways.

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      Not long ago I mentioned to a nice lady at Mass how much I miss seeing her husband at church. She spoke to him, gently, and he came back to Mass after many years. Sometimes it just takes a simple invitation. In other cases, we simply need to pray and offer sacrifices for those who are trying to live their lives without God.

      This is what Our Lady of Fatima asked of the three children: make everything you do a sacrifice for those who do not know God. Do not complain that your children, your spouse or siblings, your grandchildren do not go to Mass. Do something about it: make of everything a sacrifice for those entrusted to you, and the good Lord will do the rest.

      The last time I preached in this chapel was April of , and Mother Teresa was sitting in her wheelchair right beside where Sr. Prema is sitting now. The sound system kept cutting out, with the street noise as outrageous as it is today.