Monday, January 30, 2012
which no unworthy affection
may drag downwards.
Give us unconquered hearts,
which no tribulations can wear out.
Give us upright hearts,
which no unworthy purpose
may tempt aside.
Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God,
understanding to know you,
diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
and a faithfulness
that may finally embrace you.
- St. Thomas Aquinas
Sunday, January 29, 2012
First Reading: Deuteronomy 18:15-20
15 The Lord thy God will raise up to thee a PROPHET of thy nation and of thy brethren like unto me: him thou shalt hear:
16 As thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the assembly was gathered together, and saidst: Let me not hear any more the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see any more this exceeding great fire, lest I die.
17 And the Lord said to me: They have spoken all things well.
18 I will raise them up a prophet out of the midst of their brethren like to thee: and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.
19 And he that will not hear his words, which he shall speak in my name, I will be the revenger.
20 But the prophet, who being corrupted with pride, shall speak in my name things that I did not command him to say, or in the name of strange gods, shall be slain.
Psalm: Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9
1 A canticle for David himself, when the house was built after the captivity. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day.
6 Praise and beauty are before him: holiness and majesty in his sanctuary.
7 Bring ye to the Lord, O ye kindreds of the Gentiles, bring ye to the Lord glory and honour:
8 Bring to the Lord glory unto his name. Bring up sacrifices, and come into his courts:
9 Adore ye the Lord in his holy court. Let all the earth be moved at his presence.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:32-35
32 But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God.
33 But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided.
34 And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
35 And this I speak for your profit: not to cast a snare upon you; but for that which is decent, and which may give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment.
Gospel: Mark 1:21-28
21 And they entered into Capharnaum, and forthwith upon the sabbath days going into the synagogue, he taught them.
22 And they were astonished at his doctrine. For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes.
23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
24 Saying: What have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know who thou art, the Holy One of God.
25 And Jesus threatened him, saying: Speak no more, and go out of the man.
26 And the unclean spirit tearing him, and crying out with a loud voice, went out of him.
27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying: What thing is this? what is this new doctrine? for with power he commandeth even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.
28 And the fame of him was spread forthwith into all the country of Galilee.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Vatican City, Jan 24, 2012 / 02:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI believes that in a noisy world of constant communication people need silence more than ever.
He outlined his thoughts in his message for World Communications Day 2012, which is entitled “Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization.” The Pope’s letter was released Jan. 24 at the Vatican press office by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
“When messages and information are plentiful, silence becomes essential if we are to distinguish what is important from what is insignificant or secondary,” the Pope says in a statement that will be read in Catholic churches around the world on May 20, 2012.
“This makes it possible to share thoughtful and relevant opinions, giving rise to an authentic body of shared knowledge,” he writes.
Pope Benedict recommends making this interchange possible by developing “an appropriate environment, a kind of ‘eco-system’ that maintains a just equilibrium between silence, words, images and sounds.”
He suggests that silence is required to make sense of the constant stream of information that people now receive via television, radio, the Internet and various forms of social media.
“In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves; ideas come to birth and acquire depth; we understand with greater clarity what it is we want to say and what we expect from others; and we choose how to express ourselves,” he says.
He also observes that silence can allow other people to express their thoughts. In this way “we avoid being tied simply to our own words and ideas without them being adequately tested,” and therefore, “space is created for mutual listening, and deeper human relationships become possible.”
Pope Benedict believes that this use of silence is “often more eloquent than a hasty answer,” because it “permits seekers to reach into the depths of their being and open themselves to the path towards knowledge that God has inscribed in human hearts.”
The Pope sees this need for silence as a part of Christian life from the earliest times. He points to the “eloquence of God’s love, lived to the point of the supreme gift,” which is seen “in the silence of the Cross,” when, after Christ’s death “there is a great silence over the earth.”
Silent contemplation also “immerses us in the source of that Love who directs us towards our neighbors so that we may feel their suffering and offer them the light of Christ, his message of life and his saving gift of the fullness of love,” he writes.
Archbishop Celli summed up the Pope’s message as reminding everyone that real communication involves pairing “words and silence” so that people are not “overwhelmed by the sheer volume of communication itself.”
Monsignor Paul Tighe, Secretary of the social communications council, explained to CNA that the Pope’s message “reminds us that the relevance of silence is equally important within the context of a digital environment.”
“Especially when we now find ourselves continually bombarded by messages, by ideas, by opinions, by news.
“And so the Pope is saying we need silence if we’re going to judge that, integrate it, make it our own and not simply be caught up in a flow of information.”
May God grant you,
in accord with the riches of God's glory,
to be strengthened with power
through God's Spirit in your inner self.
May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith;
so that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend
with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length
and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ
that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled
with all the fullness of God.
Now to God, who by the power at work within us
is able to accomplish far more
than all we ask or imagine,
be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
- First Reading: Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 And the word of the Lord came to Jonas the second time, saying:
2 Arise, and go to Ninive the great city: and preach in it the preaching that I bid thee.
3 And Jonas arose, and went to Ninive, according to the word of the Lord: now Ninive was a great city of three days' journey.
4 And Jonas began to enter into the city one day's journey: and he cried, and said: Yet forty days, and Ninive shall be destroyed.
5 And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least.
10 And God saw their works, that they were turned from their evil way: and God had mercy with regard to the evil which he had said that he would do to them, and he did it not.
- Psalm: Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
4 I have not sat with the council of vanity: neither will I go in with the doers of unjust things.
5 I have hated the assembly of the malignant; and with the wicked I will not sit.
6 I will wash my hands among the innocent; and will compass thy altar, O Lord:
7 That I may hear the voice of thy praise: and tell of all thy wondrous works.
8 I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth.
9 Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with bloody men:
- Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
29 This therefore I say, brethren; the time is short; it remaineth, that they also who have wives, be as if they had none;
30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
31 And they that use this world, as if they used it not: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
- Gospel: Mark 1:14-20
14 And after that John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying: The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel.
16 And passing by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother, casting nets into the sea (for they were fishermen).
17 And Jesus said to them: Come after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
18 And immediately leaving their nets, they followed him.
19 And going on from thence a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were mending their nets in the ship:
20 And forthwith he called them. And leaving their father Zebedee in the ship with his hired men, they followed him.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Vatican City, Jan 19, 2012 / 12:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI warned today of a “grave threat” to religious liberty in the United States that requires American Catholics to respond with intelligence and courage.
“It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres,” he said Jan. 19 in an address to a group of American bishops visiting the Vatican.
The Pope said he was particularly concerned with “certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion.”
Pope Benedict’s address was delivered to the bishops from the Mid-Atlantic states region, which includes the Archdioceses of Washington and Baltimore. They are in Rome this week on their regular “ad limina” visit to discuss the health of the U.S. Church with the Pope and Vatican officials. The two bishops from the Archdiocese for the U.S. Military Services are also participating in the meetings.
Pope Benedict said that over the past few days many of the bishops have expressed concern over attempts in the U.S. to “deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices.”
Meanwhile, other bishops raised the “worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship” without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.
At present, the Obama administration is considering imposing a contraception and sterilization mandate that would require all insurance companies to provide those services free of charge. The regulation has a religious exemption clause, but it provides very few exceptions for Church organizations.
Some states are also pushing Catholic adoption agencies out of business or severely limiting their work because they refuse to compromise the Church’s beliefs on same-sex “marriage.”
Pope Benedict said these issues highlight the need for an “engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.” The American laity must have the “courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate,” he said.
The preparation of such “committed lay leaders,” he told the bishops, should be the “primary task of the Church in your country.”
He noted that his visit to the United States in 2008 afforded him an opportunity to reflect on America’s historical experience of religious freedom, “specifically the relationship between religion and culture.”
“At the heart of every culture, whether perceived or not,” he said, “is a consensus about the nature of reality and the moral good, and thus about the conditions for human flourishing.”
In the United States this consensus is “enshrined in your nation’s founding documents,” which are grounded in a worldview shaped by faith and a commitment to ethical principles, he observed.
Today, however, that consensus has been eroded “in the face of powerful new cultural currents” which are “not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity.”
Despite such hostility, American Catholics are still called to proclaim “a Gospel which not only proposes unchanging moral truths but proposes them precisely as the key to human happiness and social prospering,” Pope Benedict stated.
He also responded to those who attempt to restrict Christians’ voice in the public square or argue that their contribution should be ignored because of “majority rule.” This is a threat not just to Christianity but “to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate vocation, our relationship to God.”
Pope Benedict said that the Catholic Church’s tradition of respect for both faith and reason means that it can play a critical role in opposing current trends which are based on “extreme individualism” and promote “notions of freedom detached from moral truth.”
The pontiff also touched on what he called the “legitimate” idea of separation of Church and State. This does not mean, however, that the Church must be silent on certain issues or that the state can choose to ignore “the voices of committed believers in determining the values which will shape the future of the nation.”
Pope Benedict said he appreciated the efforts of the U.S. bishops to maintain contacts with Catholics involved in political life and help them “understand their personal responsibility to offer public witness to their faith.”
This is especially true when it comes to key ethical issues of today, which he identified as “the respect for God’s gift of life, the protection of human dignity and the promotion of authentic human rights.”
He concluded on an optimistic note by observing the rise of “a new generation of Catholics” in the United States whose “experience and convictions will have a decisive role in renewing the Church’s presence and witness in American society.”
The hope promised by this younger generation should be reason enough “to renew our efforts to mobilize the intellectual and moral resources of the entire Catholic community in the service of the evangelization of American culture and the building of the civilization of love.”
To read Pope Benedict's full address, please visit:http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/document.php?n=1059
Thursday, January 19, 2012
May you be the God I serve today.
Let me follow no tempting other.
May I see your face revealed
in each sister and each brother.
Fill my words with wisdom.
Let my mouth sing out your praise.
Let my heart compose this love song:
Lord, be with me all my days.
Surround me with your blessing
as I begin this day's new tasks.
Touch me with your fire.
This, O Lord, is all I ask.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Almighty and ever-living God,
I approach the sacrament
of your only-begotten Son
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
I come sick to the doctor of life,
unclean to the fountain of mercy,
blind to the radiance of eternal light,
and poor and needy to the Lord
of heaven and earth.
Lord, in your great generosity,
heal my sickness,
wash away my defilement,
enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty,
and clothe my nakedness.
May I receive the bread of angels,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
with humble reverence,
with the purity and faith,
the repentance and love,
and the determined purpose
that will help to bring me to salvation.
May I receive the sacrament
of the Lord's body and blood,
and its reality and power.
The lamp of God was not yet extinguished, and Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, "Here I am."
He ran to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me." "I did not call you," Eli said. "Go back to sleep." So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. "Here I am," he said. "You called me." But he answered, "I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep."
At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, "Here I am. You called me." Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, "Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, "Samuel, Samuel!" Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.
I waited, waited for the LORD; who bent down and heard my cry,
And put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and they shall trust in the LORD.
And put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and they shall trust in the LORD.
sacrifice and offering you do not want; but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts and sin-offerings you do not require;
so I said, "Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll.
so I said, "Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll.
To do your will is my delight; my God, your law is in my heart!"
I announced your deed to a great assembly; I did not restrain my lips; you, LORD, are my witness.
First Letter to the Corinthians 6:13c-15a.17-20.
"Food for the stomach and the stomach for food," but God will do away with both the one and the other. The body, however, is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body;
God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ's members and make them the members of a prostitute? Of course not!
But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God."
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?"
He said to them,"Come, and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Anointed).
Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Kephas" (which is translated Peter).
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
O Jesus, I come before you
at the beginning of this day.
Take, Lord, and receive my heart:
the words of faith that I speak,
the works of justice that I do,
my joys and sufferings.
When I come to the eucharistic table,
gather my offering to your own
for the life of the world.
At the end of the day,
place me with Mary, your mother,
and for her sake take me to your heart.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Take, O Lord, and receive
my entire liberty, my memory,
my understanding and my whole will.
All that I am and all that I possess
you have given me:
I surrender it all to you
to be disposed of according to your will.
Give me only your love and your grace;
with these I will be rich enough,
and will desire nothing more. Amen.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; But upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: Your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.
Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, For the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.
O God, give your judgment to the king; your justice to the son of kings; That he may govern your people with justice, your oppressed with right judgment,
That abundance may flourish in his days, great bounty, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth.
May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, the kings of Arabia and Seba offer gifts.
May all kings bow before him, all nations serve him.
For he rescues the poor when they cry out, the oppressed who have no one to help.
He shows pity to the needy and the poor and saves the lives of the poor.
If, as I suppose, you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for your benefit,
(namely, that) the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly earlier.
which was not made known to human beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem,
saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage."
When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet:
'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.'"
Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage."
After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
O supreme, eternal Good!
What moved you to enlighten me
with the light of your truth?
You yourself, the very fire of love,
you yourself are the reason.
For it always has been and always is love
that constrains you to create in us
your own image and likeness,
and to show us mercy by giving your creatures
infinite and immeasurable graces. Amen.
Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins elevated to cardinal
Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins got the call to join the 700-year-old inner circle of Pope Benedict XVI in a message on his smartphone.
“I was in Washington yesterday working on translation for the new liturgy when I got an email on my BlackBerry to call the nuncio’s office in Ottawa,” Collins told the Star Friday morning.
“I was kind of overwhelmed. I just said, ‘I’m deeply honoured. Thank you very much.’ ”
Collins, 64, is one of 22 new cardinals named to the College of Cardinals, the pontiff’s ecclesiastical advisory board that dates to the 12th century in the Roman Catholic Church. The cardinals, once known as the princes of the church, also elect the pope.
“My main responsibility will still be the archdiocese,” Collins said. “A cardinal has somewhat further scope for the whole church. One of the important things we need to do is preach the gospel.”
Collins has already served in special roles at the request of Benedict XVI. Last year, he was appointed to a panel investigating sexual abuse in Ireland.
About that inquiry, he said the church needs to be “very involved in the life of society — addressing problems in society and helping and encouraging people to deal with that.
“If someone is suffering, if someone is in trouble, if someone is in need, the religious people are the first to respond.”
He praised the devotion and goodness of the vast majority of the archdiocese’s Catholics.
This year, the Pope also assigned Collins as his representative in Canada to recruit Anglicans who wanted to join the Catholic Church but retain their traditions.
In the coming year, Collins is looking forward to being a part of Benedict XVI’s campaign for a “new evangelization.”
He described it as “reaching out in a secular society to preach the gospel, to bring the joy and energy of Christ in a society that sometimes gets a bit jaded and cynical.”
The Pope, he said, “is seeing very clearly the issues of the whole church. He’s always encouraging bishops to speak out. He’s just an amazing man. He’s written wonderful books, short ones which I find of find helpful.”
Collins was born and raised in Guelph, the son of a circulation manager at the Guelph Mercuryand a legal secretary. As a boy, he served mass at The Church of Our Lady and still goes back there when he visits his sisters in Guelph.
He and his fellow cardinal-designates will be formally elevated in a ceremony Feb. 18 and 19 in Rome.
Collins has been archbishop of Toronto since 2007 and a priest for 38 years. Previously, he had served as bishop of St. Paul, Alta., and archbishop of Edmonton.
He will be the 16th Canadian cardinal and the fourth in the Toronto archdiocese, the largest in Canada with 1.9 million Catholics and 225 churches celebrating mass in more than 30 different languages.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
If you consider that he is righteous, you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness is begotten by him.
See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.
Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness.
You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Mary, I love you.
Mary, make me live in God,
with God, and for God.
Draw me after you, holy mother.
Mary, may your children persevere
in loving you.
Mary, mother of God
and mother of mercy,
pray for me and for the departed.
Mary, holy mother of God, be our helper.
In every difficulty and distress,
come to our aid, O Mary.
O queen of heaven,
lead us to eternal life with God.
Mother of God, remember me,
and help me always to remember you.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.
Pray for us, O holy mother of God,
that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray to Jesus for me.