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Cardinal Müller celebrates Mass at Arlington cathedral

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Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, spent the weekend in the Arlington Diocese, first delivering the commencement speech at Christendom College in Front Royal May 13 and then celebrating Mass at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More May 14.

The cardinal also received an honorary doctorate from Christendom.

Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and retired Bishop Paul S. Loverde were among those who concelebrated the Mass at the cathedral. Father Robert J. Wagner, secretary to the bishop, and Father Paul F. de Ladurantaye, secretary for religious education and for the liturgy, served as masters of ceremony.

Bishop Burbidge welcomed the cardinal to the diocese and assured him and Pope Francis of the continued prayers of the faithful in Arlington. In this month of May and on Mother’s Day, the bishop asked the Blessed Mother to watch over the cardinal as he continues his service to the church.

In his homily, Cardinal Müller discussed the theological virtues of faith and hope, which he said are deeply connected and both dependent on the person of Jesus Christ.

“The family brings hope to the world,” the cardinal said. “Today in the United States we honor mothers on Mother’s Day and give praise to the Father for the great gift that a mother is to the world.”

He said that a Christian mother, rooted with faith and hope in Christ, is a credible sign for the world of true Christian discipleship.

“Despite the great difficulties that secularization brings, we continue to have signs of hope,” the cardinal said.

In the Diocese of Arlington, “we see many brave and stable young couples who want to have children and who then care for them responsibly, providing for their education and looking out for their future,” Cardinal Müller said.

“Bringing a child into the world is precisely an image that acts as a powerful reminder that the hope that does not disappoint us is possible.”

The cardinal said that the family is the primary locus by which the church is “spread” to the world, the truth of Christ’s teaching is transmitted, and the church grows.

“With the indissolubility of marriage, enriched by the two-fold complementarity of masculinity and femininity, comes the communication of oneself to the other and the openness to generating a new reality, a child, thereby enlarging the existence of the parents,” he said.

“Each of us has been the object of God’s thought and love before we were the object of the thought and love of our parents. A child should therefore never be thought of as a ‘wanted child,’ as is so in vogue today.”

Cardinal Müller said the family, which resembles and is likened to the church, is the social reality that best expresses hope for mankind. “Both the church and the family challenge head-on the individualism that is so prevalent today,” he said.

The family, he added, is a dwelling place in this world that prepares us, and may be likened to the “eternal dwelling place” that Jesus talks about in the Gospel, “those that are prepared for us in heaven for those who love Him.”

“From the earthly dwelling of the family, to the eternal dwelling prepared for us, each time that we receive holy communion in faith, we grow in the theological virtue of hope, which strengthens our commitment to supporting, protecting, and building up marriage and family life so that the signs of hope, which is the rich fruit of family life, may be continually found in this world.

“To all the mothers here present today, and all mothers of this cathedral parish and throughout the Diocese of Arlington, I give you my most heartfelt blessing,” Cardinal Müller said.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017