Thursday, June 30, 2011

God Bless the Holy Father!

May God Bless the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI on his 60th anniversary of being ordained as a priest!
Here is a story from CNA about Benedict,

On his 60th anniversary, Pope reflects on his vocation

.- “Thanks to the Lord for the friendship that he has bestowed upon me,” Pope Benedict said to a packed St. Peter’s Basilica as he celebrated his 60th anniversary of becoming a priest, a day that is also the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

“Thanks to the people who have formed and accompanied me. And all this includes the prayer that the Lord will one day welcome us in his goodness and invite us to contemplate his joy,” the Pope said.

Pope Benedict was ordained to the priesthood, along with his brother Georg, in the Bavarian town of Freising on June 29, 1951. Georg is with him in Rome today.

Appropriately, the music throughout today’s ceremonies seemed to have a distinctly Germanic feel, with pieces by Mozart, Bach and Handel included.

In his homily, the Pope repeatedly drew upon the words of Christ that were quoted to him by the bishop ordaining him 60 years ago: “I no longer call you servants, but friends.”

“Sixty years on from the day of my priestly ordination, I hear once again deep within me these words of Jesus that were addressed to us new priests at the end of the ordination ceremony by the Archbishop, Cardinal Faulhaber, in his slightly frail yet firm voice.”

“At that moment I knew deep down that these words were no mere formality, nor were they simply a quotation from Scripture. I knew that, at that moment, the Lord himself was speaking to me in a very personal way.”

At today’s Mass, Pope Benedict was wearing red vestments in remembrance of Saints Peter and Paul shedding their blood when they were martyred in Rome during the 1st century. He said that the life of the Christian – and particularly the life of the priest - is one that grows through joys and hardship. He drew upon another analogy of Christ’s – the vine and the branches – noting that for grapes to ripen and produce good wine “sun is needed, but so too is rain, by day and by night.”

“Is this not already an image of human life, and especially of our lives as priests?” asked the Pope as he looked back on his own experiences over the past 60 years.

“We need both sun and rain, festivity and adversity, times of purification and testing, as well as times of joyful journeying with the Gospel.”

“In hindsight,” he said, “we can thank God for both: for the challenges and the joys, for the dark times and the glad times. In both, we can recognize the constant presence of his love, which unfailingly supports and sustains us.”

The Pope said it is a close friendship with Christ that sustains the Christian – priests included – during such moments of darkness.

“What is friendship?” Benedict XVI asked, answering with an ancient Latin maxim.

“Idem velle, idem nolle – wanting the same things, rejecting the same things: this was how it was expressed in antiquity. Friendship is a communion of thinking and willing.”

The Pope then gave advice as to how to deepen that friendship with Jesus.

“The friendship that he bestows upon me can only mean that I too try to know him better; that in the Scriptures, in the Sacraments, in prayer, in the communion of saints, in the people who come to me, sent by him, I try to come to know the Lord himself more and more.”

Today’s papal ceremonies at St. Peter’s also included the bestowal of the pallium upon 41 new metropolitan archbishops from around the world.

The pallium is a white woolen liturgical vestment emblazoned with six black crosses. It symbolizes an archbishop’s pastoral authority and his unity the Pope.

Among the U.S. bishops present were Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle and Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio.

At the end of the Mass the Pope processed out to the applause of the congregation and the strains of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

To read Pope Benedict's full homily, visit: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/document.php?n=1002

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Prayer for Today

A Nice little prayer to help you along today.

Lord Jesus, today I renew my faith in your true presence in the Eucharist. I believe you come down from heaven to be present in the host at every Mass and remain with me in the Tabernacle. You are the source of my hope. I long to be more united to you through this gift of yourself.

The Sunday Reading


First Reading
Deteuronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a

Moses said to the people:
"Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God,
has directed all your journeying in the desert,
so as to test you by affliction
and find out whether or not it was your intention
to keep his commandments.
He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger,
and then fed you with manna,
a food unknown to you and your fathers,
in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.

"Do not forget the LORD, your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
that place of slavery;
who guided you through the vast and terrible desert
with its saraph serpents and scorpions,
its parched and waterless ground;
who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock
and fed you in the desert with manna,
a food unknown to your fathers."


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

R. (12) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.


Second Reading
1 Corinthians 10:16-17

Brothers and sisters:
The cup of blessing that we bless,
is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?
The bread that we break,
is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
Because the loaf of bread is one,
we, though many, are one body,
for we all partake of the one loaf.


Holy Gospel
John 6:51-58

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world."

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Sunday Reading

First Reading
Exodus 34: 4-6.8-9

Moses then cut two stone tablets like the former, and early the next morning he went up Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him, taking along the two stone tablets. Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with him there and proclaimed his name, "LORD." Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, "The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship. Then he said, "If I find favor with you, O Lord, do come along in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own."

Responsorial Psalm
"Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; And blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages. Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever. Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever.

Second Reading
Corinthians 13:11-13

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.

Gospel
John 3:16-18

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mary Garden

The one good thing about technology is you have access to a lot of things at all times. Late last year I changed my cell phone plan and got the Internet on it. So on the bus ride in to work and home I can check the news, scores other things and kind of kill the boredom. I have uploaded various sites including Catholic sites and I read the following article about a Mary Garden. Now it seems I as many of us have these flowers already in our gardens. Since reading this article I have been searching for a statue of the Holy Mother which in today's world might be harder than one thinks.

So here is the article from Catholic.net

A brief history of the Mary Garden is given and the 20 most popular Mary Garden plants are listed.
by Cheryl Dickow | Source: Bezalel Books
It is a Catholic tradition to acknowledge and honor the unselfish and holy life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. One way of doing that is for a family to plant, maintain and enjoy a Mary Garden.

In the Middle Ages, missionaries and travelers spread stories across Europe about flowers named after Mary and various times of her life. Mary Gardens that featured these flowers became popular there, and later the tradition made its way to America. Around 1932 it is believed that the first Mary Garden in the United Stateswas constructed on the grounds of St. Joseph's Church in the Woods on Cape Cod. in the United Stateswas constructed on the grounds of St. Joseph's Church in the Woods on Cape Cod.

Now, many flowers that symbolize the name of Mary grace gardens throughout this country. If you, too, would like to honor our Blessed Mother through flowers, perhaps you would like to create your own special garden spot that showcases plants that carry her name. The center focus of the garden is a statue of Our Blessed Lady. The size of the garden does not matter. In fact, people with limited space can use a small area and a few select flowers to surround their statue. If you are an apartment dweller, you can set up your Marian Garden in a window box or even use a small statue with a single flowering plant. Reflecting on Marian flowers can be a perfect starting point for meditating on the life of Christ through Mary.

To help set up a Marian Garden, flowers and their meanings are listed below. This list is far from complete but should give you enough information to begin. flowers and their meanings are listed below. This list is far from complete but should give you enough information to begin.

1. Lily Legend tells us that the Angel Gabriel held a lily in his hands when he came to tell Mary that she was chosen to be the mother of the Savior. Lilies are often depicted in pictures of Mary as an indication of purity and grace.
3. Rose The rose symbolizes Mary as the Queen of Heaven. The red rose represents sorrow. The white rose shows joy, and the yellow rose stands for the honor bestowed upon Mary.
2. Columbine This flower is often called Our Lady's Slipper. Legend says that this flower sprang from the earth where Mary's feet stepped when she was on her way to visit Elizabeth.
4. Violet The violet is a symbol of modesty and simplicity; humble acceptance to the words from the angel Gabriel...."Let it be done unto me according to Your will."
5. Carnation Legend says that the carnation bloomed on the night of Jesus' birth; a sign of Mary's joy at the Child's birth.
6. Oxeye Daisy It is said that when the wise men reached Bethlehem they looked for a further sign to guide them to the new king. King Melchior saw a white and gold flower and knew which building to enter.
7. Star of Bethlehem: The shape of the flower is said to resemble the star that the Magi followed to find the Christ Child.
8. Snowdrop The snowdrop is said to have bloomed in February when Mary took Jesus to the temple to present him to God.
9. Rosemary It is believed that Mary hung the linens of the Holy Child on the rosemary bush to dry. Afterwards, the bush carried a sweet aroma.
10. Forget-me-not The tiny blue flowers of this plant represent Mary's eyes.
11. Meadow Cress This plant is called Our Lady's Smock. It stands for the fine linens made by Mary's hands. It is said that Mary learned to weave as a young girl.
12. Lavender This fragrant plant represents purity, cleanliness and virtue – Mary’s spotlessness and chastity.
13. Marigold: Early Christians placed marigolds around statues of Mary in place of coins calling them Mary's gold.
14. Bluebells These bell-shaped flowers resemble tiny thimbles and represent Our Lady's working hands. They were often called Our Lady's Thimbles.
15. Speedwell: This plant is also known as Mary's Resting Place. A legend tells that its blossoms marked each spot where the Blessed Mother rested during the flight into Egypt.
16. Lily of the Valley Lily of the Valley is called Our Lady's Tears. It is said that her tears fell at the foot of the cross and turned into tiny fragrant blossoms.
17. Iris The Iris is a flower, like the Lily, that represents the Annunciation.
18.Herbs Almost any herb can be used in your garden to represent Mary. Soothing and healing herbs represent her heavenly love and mercy. Bitter or sour herbs represent her sorrows and sweet smelling herbs reflect Mary's spiritual sweetness.
19. Fuchsia These gently drooping flowers resemble pendant earrings. It is said that the child Jesus playfully hung these flower ‘jewels' on his mother's ears.
20. Fleur-de-Lis This is sometimes called the Ave Maria flower. There is a legend that tells of a fourteenth century knight. He was extremely wealthy but renounced his worldly possessions and entered a Cistercian Order of monks. He was very devout but not terribly smart. He could never remember more than the first two words of the Ave Maria prayer even though a teacher gave him numerous lessons. Since he loved Our Lady very much, he would continually repeat the first two words of the prayer, day and night: Ave Maria, Ave Maria. Some of the monks ridiculed him for his simplicity and told him that Mary would not listen to his unfinished prayer. He grew old and when he died, he was buried in the chapel yard of the monastery. As proof that Mary heard and loved his short but earnest prayer, a fleur-de-lis plant sprang up on his grave. On every flower shone in golden letter the words, Ave Maria. The other monks finally realized his great devotion for the Blessed Mother; and her devotion to him. Some of the monks ridiculed him for his simplicity and told him that Mary would not listen to his unfinished prayer. He grew old and when he died, he was buried in the chapel yard of the monastery. As proof that Mary heard and loved his short but earnest prayer, a fleur-de-lis plant sprang up on his grave. On every flower shone in golden letter the words, . The other monks finally realized his great devotion for the Blessed Mother; and her devotion to him.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Sunday Reading


First Reading
Acts 2:1-11

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34

R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

Bless the LORD, O my soul!

O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!

How manifold are your works, O LORD!

the earth is full of your creatures;

R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the LORD endure forever;

may the LORD be glad in his works!

Pleasing to him be my theme;

I will be glad in the LORD.

R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

If you take away their breath, they perish

and return to their dust.

When you send forth your spirit, they are created,

and you renew the face of the earth.

R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.


Second Reading
1 Cointhians 12:3b-7, 12-13

Brothers and sisters: No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.


Holy Gospel
John 20:19-23

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Homily for Today

Unto us it is given so we may blossom in Jesus! Good morning to everyone and welcome to our guests who have found their way to our humble...