Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Psalm 145:10-14 and a Prayer


All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power,
to make known to the sons of men your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.
The LORD upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.

"Lord Jesus, help me to always trust in your saving grace, especially when I am tempted and put to the test. Help me to be faithful to you and give me the courage and strength to resist temptation, especially the temptation to compromise or to be indifferent to your word."

Monday, October 29, 2012

Psalm 1:1-6


Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hail Mary

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Reading 1 Jer 31:7-9

Thus says the LORD:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
exult at the head of the nations;
proclaim your praise and say:
The LORD has delivered his people,
the remnant of Israel.
Behold, I will bring them back
from the land of the north;
I will gather them from the ends of the world,
with the blind and the lame in their midst,
the mothers and those with child;
they shall return as an immense throng.
They departed in tears,
but I will console them and guide them;
I will lead them to brooks of water,
on a level road, so that none shall stumble.
For I am a father to Israel,
Ephraim is my first-born.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3) The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading 2 Heb 5:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
You are my son:
this day I have begotten you;
just as he says in another place:
You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel Mk 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
"Jesus, son of David, have pity on me."
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more,
"Son of David, have pity on me."
Jesus stopped and said, "Call him."
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
"Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you."
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?"
The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see."
Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you."
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

Sunday Morning Prayer


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.
Love me.
Know me.
Move me.
This, O Lord, is all I ask.
Amen.

— Patricia Leonard-Pasley

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pope says spiritually dry world needs faith of Christians


ATICAN CITY, October 24 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Pope Benedict XVI said at his Oct. 24 general audience that the world’s “spiritual desert” must be transformed into “fertile soil” by Christians who live their faith to its fullest.

“Faith is an agreement by which our minds and our hearts say their ‘yes’ to God, confessing that Jesus is Lord,” he said to a St. Peter’s Square packed with visitors, including large delegations of pilgrims who came to Rome for the canonization of seven new saints on Sunday, Oct. 21.

“And this ‘yes’ transforms life, opens the way towards fullness of meaning, thus making it new, full of joy and of reliable hope,” the Pope added.

The address was the second consecutive installment of the Pope’s series of teachings on faith, marking the Year of Faith he inaugurated on Oct. 11.

He asked a series of “unrelenting” questions about the nature of faith and the meaning of life before exploring them in depth.

“What is faith? Does faith still make sense in a world where science and technology have opened new horizons that were, until recently, unthinkable? What does it mean to believe today?”

The Pope also asked questioned the meaning of life and posited whether “there is a future for man.”

“Where should we direct the choices of our freedom for a successful and happy life? What awaits us beyond the threshold of death?”

He said these questions must be asked more than ever in a world in which “a sort of spiritual desert” is encroaching—a world where many people “believe only what we can see and touch” with their hands.

On the other hand, he observed, the number of people who feel disoriented is growing and, “in seeking to go beyond a purely horizontal reality, they are willing to believe anything and its direct opposite.”

Pope Benedict proclaimed that for these times, Christians need “a renewed faith education, which includes a certain awareness of its truth and the events of salvation, but that mainly arises from a real encounter with God in Jesus Christ, from loving Him, trusting him, so that our entire life is involved.”

Contrary to the tendency of science to create a non-spiritual outlook on life, he stressed that man does not live on actual bread alone: “We need not only material bread, we need love, meaning and hope, a sure foundation, a solid ground to help us live with an authentic sense even in moments of crisis, darkness, difficulties and daily problems.

“Faith gives us just that. It is a confident trust in a ‘you,’ that is God, who gives me a different but no less solid certainty, than that which comes from exact calculation or science,” Benedict XVI stated.

That spiritual bread is provided by Christ, the sure source of faith, hope and love.

The Pope also emphasized that faith is rooted in something concrete and historical – the example of Jesus, who “revealed His love without measure for man, for each one of us: on the Cross, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God made man, shows us in the most luminous way how far this love can go, even to the point of giving himself up in total sacrifice.”

Another aspect of faith that he reflected on was the child-like trust that it requires.

“Having faith, then, is encountering this ‘you,’ God, who sustains me and grants me the promise of an indestructible love that not only aspires to eternity, but gifts it; it is entrusting myself to God with the attitude of a child, who knows that all his difficulties, all his troubles are safe in the ‘you’ of the mother.”

John Evans of Melbourne, Australia, was impressed by the prayerful atmosphere in St. Peter’s Square, despite the large crowd of pilgrims waving banners and the noise of the loud speaker system.

“Despite all of the noise going on outside, the Church remained really focused,” said Evans, visiting Rome for the first time with his wife Annie. “I was sitting there listening to the Gospel of Mark, and for all this going on, the majority of people seemed to be listening to the word of God.”

In his address, the Pope commented on “the harsh words of the Risen Jesus who says: ‘Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.’”

“I invite you to reflect on this,” he encouraged the crowd. With “confidence in the action of the Holy Spirit, we must always … preach the Gospel” and give “a courageous witness of faith.”

Pope Benedict suggested Catholics recommit themselves to their baptismal promises as a way of preparing to share the faith.

“The basis of our journey of faith is baptism, the sacrament which gifts us the Holy Spirit, making us children of God in Christ, and marks our entry into the community of faith, the Church,” he said toward the end of his address.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Psalm 33:11-19


The counsel of the LORD stands for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
The LORD looks down from heaven, he sees all the sons of men;
from where he sits enthroned he looks forth on all the inhabitants of the earth,
he who fashions the hearts of them all, and observes all their deeds.
A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
that he may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine.

The Rosary





"The word 'Rosary' means 'Crown of Roses,'
that is to say
that every time someone says the
Rosary devoutly,
they place a crown of one hundred fifty-three
red roses and sixteen white roses
upon the heads of Jesus and Mary.
Being heavenly roses they will never fade or lose their exquisite beauty."

Saint Louis Marie de Montfort

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Prayer for Today


Bl. Pope John Paul II  

O God, you are our Creator.
You are good and your mercy knows no bounds.
To you arises the praise of every creature.
O God, you have given us an inner law by which we must live.
To do your will is our task.
To follow your ways is to know peace of heart.
To you we offer our homage.
Guide us on all the paths we travel upon this earth.
Free us from all the evil tendencies which lead our hearts away from your will.
Never allow us to stray from you.
O God, judge of all humankind, help us to be included among your chosen ones on the last day.
O God, Author of peace and justice, give us true joy and authentic love, and a lasting solidarity among peoples.
Give us your everlasting gifts. Amen.

- Bl. Pope John Paul II

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Daily Saint


St. Hilarion
October 21

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Hilarion was born in a little town called Tabatha, five miles to the south of Gaza; he sprang like a rose out of thorns, his parents being idolaters. He was sent by them very young to Alexandria to study grammar, when, by his progress in learning, he gave great proofs of his wit, for which, and his good temper and dispositions, he was exceedingly beloved by all that knew him.


   Being brought to the knowledge of the Christian faith, he was baptized and became immediately a new man, renouncing all the mad sports of the circus and the entertainments of the theatre, and taking no delight but in the churches and assemblies of the faithful. Having heard of St. Antony, whose name was famous in Egypt, he went into the desert to see him. Moved by the example of his virtue he changed his habit and stayed with him two months, observing his manner of life, his fervour in prayer, his humility in receiving the brethren, his severity in reproving them, his earnestness in exhorting them, and his perseverance in austerities.

    But not being able to bear the frequent concourse of those who resorted to St. Antony to be healed of diseases or delivered from devils, and being desirous to begin to serve God like St. Antony in perfect solitude, he returned with certain monks into his own country. Upon his arrival there, finding his father and mother both dead, he gave part of his goods to his brethren and the rest to the poor, reserving nothing for himself.

   He was then but fifteen years of age, this happening about the year 307. He retired into a desert seven miles from Majuma, toward Egypt, between the seashore on one side and certain fens on the other. His friends forewarned him that the place was notorious for murders and robberies, but his answer was that he feared nothing but eternal death. Everybody admired his fervour and extraordinary manner of life. In the beginning of his retirement certain robbers who lurked in those deserts asked him what he would do if thieves and assassins came to him? He answered, "The poor and naked fear no thieves." "But they may kill you," said they. "It is true," said the holy man, "and for this very reason I am not afraid of them, because it is my endeavour to be always prepared for death."

   So great fervour and resolution in one so young and so tender as our saint was both surprising and edifying to all who knew him. His constitution was so weak and delicate that the least excess of heat or cold affected him very sensibly; yet his whole clothing consisted only of a piece of sackcloth, a leather coat, which St. Antony gave him, and an ordinary short cloak. Living in solitude, he thought himself at liberty to practice certain mortifications which the respect we owe to our neighbour makes unseasonable in the world. He cut his hair only once a year, against Easter; never changed any coat till it was worn out, and never washed the sackcloth which he had once put on, saying, "It is idle to look for neatness in a hair shirt."

   At his first entering on this penitential life he renounced the use of bread; and for six years together his whole diet was fifteen figs a day, which he never took till sunset. When he felt the attacks of any temptation of the flesh, being angry with himself and beating his breast, he would say to his body, "I will take order, thou little ass, that thou shalt not kick; I will feed thee with straw instead of corn; and will load and weary thee, that so thou mayest think rather how to get a little bit to eat than of pleasure." He then retrenched part of his scanty meal, and sometimes fasted three or four days without eating; and when after this he was fainting, he sustained his body only with a few dried figs and the juice of herbs.

   At the same time, praying and singing, he would be breaking the ground with a rake, that his labour might add to the trouble of his fasting. His employment was digging or tilling the earth, or, in imitation of the Egyptian monks, weaving small twigs together with great rushes in making baskets whereby he provided himself with the frugal necessaries of life. During the first four years of his penance he had no other shelter from the inclemencies of the weather than a little hovel or arbour which he made himself of reeds and rushes which he found in a neighbouring marsh, and which he had woven together.

   Afterwards he built himself a little cell, which was still to be seen in St. Jerome's time; it was but four feet broad and five feet in height, and was a little longer than the extent of his body, so that a person would have rather taken it for a grave than a house. During the course of his penance he made some alteration in his diet, but never in favour of his appetites. From the age of twenty-one he for three years lived on a measure which was little more than half a pint of pulse steeped in cold water a-day; and for the next three years his whole food was dry bread with salt and water.

   From his twenty-seventh year to his thirty-first he ate only wild herbs and raw roots; and from thirty-one to thirty-five he took for his daily food six ounces of barley bread a day, to which he added a few kitchen herbs, but half boiled and without oil. But perceiving his sight to grow dim and his body to be subject to an itching with an unnatural kind of scurf and roughness, he added a little oil to this diet.

   Thus he went on till his sixty-fourth year when, conceiving by the decay of his strength that his death was drawing near, he retrenched even his bread, and from that time to his eightieth year his whole meal never exceeded five ounces. When he was fourscore years of age there were made for him little weak broths or gruels of flour and herbs, the whole quantity of his meat and drink scarce amounting to the weight of four ounces. Thus he passed his whole life; and he never broke his fast till sunset, not even upon the highest feasts or in his greatest sickness.

   Anyone who considers the condition of man in this state of trial and the malice of the enemy of our salvation will easily conceive that our saint did not pass all these years, nor arrive at so eminent a degree of virtue and sanctity, without violent temptations and assaults from the infernal spirit; in all which he was victorious by the assistance of omnipotent grace. Sometimes his soul was covered with a dark cloud, and his heart was dry and oppressed with bitter anguish; but the deafer heaven seemed to his cries on such occasions, the louder and the more earnestly he persevered knocking. To have dropped the shield of prayer under these temptations would have been to perish.

   At other times his mind was haunted and his imagination filled with impure images, or with the vanities of the theatre and circus. The phantoms of the enemy St. Hilarion dissipated by casting himself upon his knees and signing his forehead with the cross of Christ; and, being enlightened and strengthened by a supernatural grace, he discovered his snares, and never suffered himself to be imposed upon by the artifices by which that subtle fiend strove to withdraw him from holy prayer, in which the saint spent the days and great part of the nights.

   St. Hilarion had spent above twenty years in his desert when he wrought his first miracle. A certain married woman of Eleutheropolis, who was the scorn of her husband for her barrenness, sought him out in his solitude, and by her tears and importunities prevailed upon him to pray that God would bless her with fruitfulness; and before the year's end she brought forth a son, A second miracle much enhanced the saint's reputation. Elpidius, who was afterwards prefect of the praetorium, and his wife Aristeneta, returning from a visit of devotion they had made to St. Antony to receive his blessing and instructions, arrived at Gaza, where their three children fell sick, and their fever proving superior to the power of medicines they were brought to the last extremity, and their recovery despaired of by the physicians.

   The mother, like one distracted, addressed herself to Hilarion, who, moved by her tears, went to Gaza to visit them. Upon his invoking the holy name of Jesus by their bedside, the children fell into a violent sweat, by which they were so refreshed as to be able to eat, to know their mother, and kiss the saint's hand. Upon the report of this miracle many flocked to the saint, desiring to embrace a monastic life under his direction. Till that time neither Syria nor Palestine were acquainted with that penitential state; so that St. Hilarion was the first founder of it in those countries, as Antony had been in Egypt. Among other miraculous cures, several persons possessed by devils were delivered by our saint.

   The most remarkable were Marisitas, a young man of the territory about Jerusalem, so strong that he boasted he could carry seven bushels of corn; and Orion, a rich man of the city of Aila, who, after his cure, pressed the saint to accept many great presents, at least for the poor. But the holy hermit persisted obstinately to refuse touching any of them, bidding him bestow them himself.

   St. Hilarion restored sight to a woman of Facidia, a town near Rinocorura, in Egypt, who had been blind ten years. A citizen of Majuma, called Italicus, who was a Christian, kept horses to run in the circus against a Duumvir of Gaza, who adored Mamas, which was the great idol of Gaza, that word signifying in Syriac, Lord of men. Italicus, knowing that his adversary had recourse to spells to stop his horses, came to St. Hilarion, by whose blessing his horses seemed to fly while the others seemed fettered; upon seeing which the people cried out that Mamas was vanquished by Christ. From the model which our saint set, a great number of monasteries were founded all over Palestine. St. Hilarion visited them all on certain days before the vintage.

   St. Hilarion was informed by revelation in Palestine, where he then was, of the death of St. Antony. He was then about sixty-five years old, and had been for two years much afflicted at the great number of bishops, priests, and people that were continually resorting to him, by which his contemplation was interrupted. At length, regretting the loss of that sweet solitude and obscurity which he formerly enjoyed, he resolved to leave that country, to prevent which the people assembled to the number of ten thousand to watch him. He told them he would neither eat nor drink till they let him go; and seeing him pass seven days without taking anything they left him. He then chose forty monks who were able to walk without breaking their fast (that is, without eating till after sunset), and with them he travelled into Egypt.

   On the fifth day he arrived at Peleusium; and in six days more at Babylon, in Egypt. Two days after he came to the city of Aphroditon, where he applied himself to the deacon Baisanes, who used to let dromedaries to those who had desired to visit St. Antony, for carrying water which they had occasion for in that desert. The saint desired to celebrate the anniversary of St. Antony's death by watching all night in the place where he died.

   After travelling three days in a horrible desert they came to St. Antony's mountain, where they found two monks, Isaac and Pelusius, who had been his disciples, and the first his interpreter. It was a very high steep rock of a mile in circuit, at the foot of which was a rivulet, with abundance of palm-trees on the borders. St. Hilarion walked all over the place with the disciples of St. Antony. Here it was, said they, that he sang, here he prayed; there he laboured, and there he reposed himself when he was weary. He himself planted these vines and these little trees; he tilled this piece of ground with his own hands; he dug this basin with abundance of labour, to water his garden, and he used this hoe to work with several years together.

   St. Hilarion laid himself upon his bed and kissed it as if it had been still warm. The cell contained no more space in length and breadth than what was necessary for a man to stretch himself in to sleep.

   On the top of the mountain (to which the ascent was very difficult, turning like a vine) they found two cells of the same size, to which he often retired to avoid a number of visitors and even the conversation of his own disciples: they were hewn in a rock, nothing but doors being added to them. When they came to the garden, "Do you see," said Isaac, "this little garden planted with trees and pot-herbs? About three years since a herd of wild asses coming to destroy it, he stopped one of the first of them and, striking him on the sides with his staff, said, 'Why do you eat what you did not sow?' From that time forward they only came hither to drink, without meddling with the trees or herbs." St. Hilarion asked to see the place where he was buried. They carried him to a bye place; but it is uncertain whether they showed it him or no; for they showed no grave, and only said that St. Antony had given the strictest charge that his grave should be concealed, fearing lest Pergamius, who was a very rich man in that country, should carry the body home and cause a church to be built for it.

   St. Hilarion returned from this place to Aphroditon, and, retiring with only two disciples into a neighbouring desert, exercised himself with more earnestness than ever in abstinence and silence; saying, according to his custom, that he then only began to serve Jesus Christ. It had not rained in the country for three years, that is, ever since the death of St. Antony, when the people in deep affliction and misery addressed themselves to St. Hilarion, whom they looked upon as St. Antony's successor, imploring his compassion and prayers.

   The saint, sensibly affected with their distress, lifted up his hands and eyes to heaven, and immediately obtained a plentiful rain. Also many labourers and herdsmen who were stung by serpents and venomous beasts were perfectly cured by anointing their wounds with oil which he had blessed and given them. Though oil be the natural and sovereign antidote against poison, these cures by his blessing were esteemed miraculous. The saint, seeing the extraordinary honours which were paid him in that place, departed privately towards Alexandria, in order to proceed to the desert of Oasis. It not being his custom to stop in great cities, he turned from Alexandria into Brutium, a remote suburb of that city, where several monks dwelt.

   He left this place the same evening, and when these monks very importunately pressed his stay he told them that it was necessary for their security that he should leave them. The sequel showed that he had the spirit of prophecy; for that very night armed men arrived there in pursuit of him, with an order to put him to death. When Julian the Apostate ascended the throne, the pagans of Gaza obtained an order from that prince to kill him, in revenge of the affront he had put upon their god Mamas, and of the many conversions he had made; and they had sent this party into Egypt to execute the sentence.

   The soldiers, finding themselves disappointed at Brutium, said he well deserved the character of a magician which he had at Gaza. The saint spent about a year in the desert of Oasis, and, finding that he was too well known in that country ever to lie concealed there, determined to seek shelter in some remote island, and, going to Paretonium in Lybia, embarked there with one companion for Sicily. He landed at Pachynus, a famous promontory on the eastern side of the island, now called Capo di Passaro. Upon landing he offered to pay for his passage and that of his companion with a copy of the gospels which he had written in his youth with his own hand; but the master, seeing their whole stock consisted in that manuscript and the clothes on their backs, would not accept of it; he even esteemed himself indebted to this passenger, who by his prayers had delivered his son, who was possessed by a devil, on board the vessel.

   St. Hilarion, fearing lest he should be discovered by some oriental merchants if he settled near the coast, travelled twenty miles up the country and stopped in an unfrequented wild place; where, by gathering sticks, he made every day a fagot, which he sent his disciple, whose name was Zanan, to sell at the next village, in order to buy a little bread. Hesychius, the saint's beloved disciple, had sought him in the East and through Greece when, at Methone, now called Modon, in Peloponnesus, he heard that a prophet had appeared in Sicily who wrought many miracles. He embarked and arrived at Pachynus; and inquiring for the holy man at the first village, found that everybody knew him; he was not more distinguished by his miracles than by his disinterestedness; for he could never be prevailed upon to take anything, not so much as a morsel of bread, from anyone.

   St. Hilarion was desirous to go into some strange country, where not even his language should be understood. Hesychius therefore carried him to Epidaurus in Dalmatia, now Old Ragusa, the ruins of which city are seen near the present capital of the republic of that name. Miracles here again defeated the saint's design of living unknown. St. Hilarion, seeing it impossible to live there unknown, fled away in the night in a small vessel to the island of Cyprus.

   Being arrived there, he retired to a place two miles from Paphos. He had not been there three weeks when such as were possessed with devils in any part of the island began to cry out that Hilarion, the servant of Jesus Christ, was come. He expelled the evil spirits, but, sighing after the tranquillity of closer retirement, considered how he could make his escape to some other country; but the inhabitants watched him that he might not leave them. After two years Hesychius persuaded him to lay aside that design and retire to a solitary place which he had found twelve miles from the shore, not unpleasantly situated among very rough and craggy mountains, where there was water with fruit-trees, which advice the saint followed, but he never tasted the fruit. St. Jerome mentions that though he lived so many years in Palestine, he never went up to visit the holy places at Jerusalem but once; and then stayed only one day in that city.

   He went once that he might not seem to despise that devotion; but did not go oftener, lest he should seem persuaded that God or his religious worship is confined to any particular place. His chief reason, doubtless, was to shun the distractions of populous places that as much as possible nothing might interrupt the close union of his soul to God. The saint, in the eightieth year of his age, whilst Hesychius was absent, wrote him a short letter with his own hand in the nature of a last will and testament, in which he bequeathed to him all his riches, namely, his book of the gospels, his sackcloth, hood, and little cloak.

   Many pious persons came from Paphos to see him in his last sickness, hearing he had foretold that he was to go to our Lord. With them there came a holy woman named Constantia, whose son-in-law and daughter he had freed from death by anointing them with oil. He caused them to swear that as soon as he should have expired, they would immediately commit his corpse to the earth, apparelled as he was, with his hair-cloth, hood, and cloak. His distemper increasing upon him, very little heat appeared to remain in his body, nor did anything seem to remain in him of a living man besides his understanding, only his eyes were still open.

   He expressed his sense of the divine judgments, but encouraged his soul to an humble confidence in the mercy of his Judge and Redeemer, saying to himself, "Go forth, what cost thou fear? go forth, my soul, what cost thou apprehend? Behold, it is now threescore and ten years that thou hast served Christ; and art thou afraid of death?" He had scarcely spoken these words but he gave up the ghost, and was immediately buried as he had ordered.

   St. Hilarion died in 371, or the following year, being about eighty years of age; for he was sixty-five years old at the death of St. Antony. Hesychius, who was in Palestine, made haste to Cyprus upon hearing this news and, pretending to take up his dwelling in the same garden, after ten months found an opportunity of secretly carrying off the saint's body into Palestine, where he interred it in his monastery, near Majuma. It was as entire as it was when alive, and the cloths were untouched. Many miracles were wrought, both in Cyprus and Palestine, through his intercession, as St. Jerome assures us. Sozomen mentions his festival to have been kept with great solemnity in the fifth age. See his life written by St. Jerome before the year 392.

   If this saint trembled after an innocent, penitential, and holy life, because he considered how perfect the purity and sanctity of a soul must be to stand before him who is infinite purity and infinite justice, how much ought tepid, slothful, and sinful Christians to fear? Whilst love inflames the saints with an ardent desire of being united to their God in the kingdom of pure love and security, a holy fear of his justice checks and humbles in them all presumption. This fear must never sink into despondency, abjection, or despair; but quicken our sloth, animate our fervour, and raise our courage; it must be solicitous, not anxious. Love and hope must fill our souls with sweet peace and joy, and with an entire confidence in the infinite mercy and goodness of God, and the merits of our divine Redeemer.


Psalm 33:4-5, 19-20


For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
that he may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield.
Yes, our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

A Prayer for today

"Lord Jesus, set me free from fear and pride that I may be a servant of love and compassion for others. May the fire of your love inflame my heart that I may give generously and serve joyfully for your sake."

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Reading 1 Isaiah 53: 10-11

The LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity.

   If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

   Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.


Psalm 33: 4-5, 18-19, 20, 22

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.


Reading 2 Hebrews 4: 14-16

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.


Gospel Mk 10: 35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." He replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?" They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" They said to him, "We can." Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared." When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt.

   But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What, Who and Have Been

 
 
"God sees me for what I will become.
God accepts me for who I am today.
God forgives for what I have been in the past."
Victor M. Parachin

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Today's First Reading

The first reading caught my eye and imagination this morning. In a quick wrap up it is just a comment on how to basically live our everyday lives. Please take a look and reflect and let's see how really live our lives and what changes are required to live the correct way.

Reading 1 Galatians 5: 18-25

Brothers and sisters:
If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy,drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
   Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.

Psalm 1:1-6

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 
but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away. 
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 
for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Former NHL referee recalls how God changed his heart

WASHINGTON D.C., October 14 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Legendary referee Kerry Fraser is known for his trademark hairstyle and holds the record for most National Hockey League games called. However, Fraser’s life was most deeply touched by a different kind of call – one that led to his conversion to the Catholic faith.

“It was overwhelming and powerful,” he said, explaining that God reached out to him through his wife and never stopped calling.

Fraser told the story of his conversion at the second annual Courage Awards Reception, hosted by Catholic Athletes for Christ on Oct. 9.

The ceremony honored local athletes from Catholic high schools, and Fraser received the 2012 Courage Award for living and sharing his Catholic faith with others in an exemplary way.

The record-holding referee explained that he grew up in a household without a strong faith. Starting what would become a 30-year career in the NHL, he worked hard to be in control of his life.

“It was all about me,” he said, and that created problems. “It was me that needed to be fixed. I was broken.”

His wife, Kathy, was Catholic and prayed to the Blessed Mother for her husband.

“Through the Holy Spirit and the grace of God, I was led every step of the way,” he said, reflecting on the events that led to his conversion.

In addition to the powerful witness of his wife and other people that God placed in his life, Fraser said that he experienced several “mystical events” that he attributes to God’s love and mercy, including one instance while driving to Pittsburgh, in which he saw an image in the sun of a baby in its mother’s womb and two joined hearts.

He converted to Catholicism in 1995, developed a deep devotion to the Rosary and began attending daily Mass, despite being on the road frequently for work.

As he began living his new Catholic faith and allowing the Lord to take control of his life, Fraser started to experience a profound peace.

“My life changed,” he said. “My heart changed.”

Despite the new challenges and obstacles that arose, Fraser always found an abundance of grace. His conversion touched both his family and his professional relationships.

“I was carrying the armor of Christ with me onto the ice,” he said.

Fraser told about how his faith influenced him in an encounter with player, Theo Fleury, a talented but “troubled” star who was known for his physical style of play.

In one 1996 game, Fleury showered Fraser with foul language and threw his helmet at him, calling for a fight.

Fraser said that his human reaction would have been to kick the helmet back in Fleury’s face, but instead, he looked for “a better way,” maintaining his temper and disciplining the player according to the rules of the game.

A few years later, Fraser recalled, Fleury came to him during a break in a game with tears in his eyes. A player on the opposing team, Tyson Nash, had been mocking Fleury about his drug and alcohol addictions, which he had been desperately working to treat, and he was overwhelmed.

While Fraser could have brushed him off or even ridiculed him, given Fleury’s attack on him in 1996, he chose instead to look upon the hockey player with the eyes of Christ.

“I saw a wounded human being there,” he said, explaining that he convinced Nash to apologize for his remarks.

Years later, he said, Nash confessed that the encounter had been a “life-altering situation” that prompted him to re-evaluate who he was and how he was acting on the ice.

“We never know what kind of effect we might have on people; how we can make a difference,” Fraser observed.

He explained that truly living out the Catholic faith will make a difference in the lives of those around us, even if we don’t always see the result. This is why we need to proudly “carry our Catholic faith with us and live it” in our schools, businesses and families, not acting ashamed or hiding it, he said.

Fraser encouraged student athletes to use their sports to glorify God, whether it is noticed or not.

“Continue to stay in the light. Lead by example,” he said. “Christ set the bar very high. But the reward is incredible.”

Psalm 119:41-48

Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; 
then shall I have an answer for those who taunt me, for I trust in your word. 
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your ordinances. 
I will keep your law continually, for ever and ever; 
and I shall walk at liberty, for I have sought your precepts. 
I will also speak of your testimonies before kings, and shall not be put to shame; 
for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
I revere your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.

Prayer of St. Theresa of Jesus

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift
of a Holy fear, and a respect of You
and all that You are.

In being mindful of this
help me to always
keep Your Name Holy.

Equip me to be concerned
with those things that
concern You.

May I seek to never offend
or sadden You.

Penetrate my innermost heart,
that I may set You, my Lord
and my GOD, before my face
forever and shun all things that
are not a part of Your will.

May I always remember
the forgiveness and Grace that You
offer and readily provide, to all
who come to You and ask for it.

I Love You and thank You! Amen…

Monday, October 15, 2012

Year of Faith

Year of Faith Logo

Psalm 113:1-7

Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! 
Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore! 
From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the LORD is to be praised! 
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! 
Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, 
who looks far down upon the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Italy's oldest Capuchin friar reflects on following St. Francis

.- As Catholics around the world celebrated the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct.4, the oldest Capuchin friar in Italy said his life as a follower of the 13th century saint “has been a blessing.”

Father Giulio Criminesi, 74, entered the minor seminary at the age of 12. In 1957 he began his novitiate at the very first monastery of the Capuchin order in the town of Camerino, and was later ordained a priest in Loreto.

In an interview with CNA, Fr. Criminesi said his life has always been full of joy, in the spirit of St. Francis.

“I feel fulfilled because I also want to be like him. My path to holiness is to walk in this direction, and therefore I thank God for this,” he said.

“Life as a Capuchin monk is of great importance to me, because as the years go by, I have learned more and more, I have found my path, what the Lord really wanted for me.”

The friar noted that throughout his life, he has aimed to place himself “in the Lord’s hands, always seeking to do what the Lord called me to do. And so no one moment has been more special than any other, my entire life has been a blessing.”

“Being a Capuchin friar to me means understanding what the Lord wanted for me and responding to that call,” he added. “It means understanding that Francis of Assisi, who followed Christ, was my ideal.”

A Reflection

While attending mass the second reading from today really struck a chord with me. Not sure why but once in awhile something peaks my curiosity and this time it was the second reading;

Reading 2 Hebrews 4: 12-13

Brothers and sisters: Indeed the word of God is living and effective, 
sharper than any two-edged sword, 
penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, 
and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. 
No creature is concealed from him, 
but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him 
to whom we must render an account.
 
 The second half especially got me the " No creature is concealed from him"  It had me thinking how simple of a line but how defining as truly God knows and sees everything we do and we must act accordingly as it is to him we must render account of our lives.
 Yes for whatever reason as I age my attention span gets to be less. I think one it is at times in me and not wanting to take time but many times I think it is what we have become. Requiring instant information and basically scanning only what we want to see and know and not taking the time to read the complete package to get a true in depth perspective. 
 Funny a short passage as the second reading today really knocks me for a loop and in a simple form we have our overall lives with God summed up in a couple of sentences.
 Have a blessed Sunday and week!

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Wisdom 7: 7-11

I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
   I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire. Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands.


Psalm 90: 12-13, 14-15, 16-17

R. (14) Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Make us glad, for the days when you afflicted us,
for the years when we saw evil.
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

Let your work be seen by your servants
and your glory by their children;
and may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!


Reading 2 Hebrews 4: 12-13

Brothers and sisters: Indeed the word of God is living and effective, 
sharper than any two-edged sword, 
penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, 
and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. 
No creature is concealed from him, 
but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him 
to whom we must render an account.


Gospel Mk 10: 17-30

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

   You know the commandments: 
You shall not kill; 
you shall not commit adultery; 
you shall not steal; 
you shall not bear false witness; 
you shall not defraud; 
honor your father and your mother.
He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth." Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

   Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.

   All things are possible for God." Peter began to say to him, "We have given up everything and followed you." Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cardinal Dolan sees hope and promise for US evangelism

.- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York addressed the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization at the Vatican on Oct. 11, speaking about how positive and negative aspects of life in the U.S. affect the prospects of the Catholic Church flourishing.
“Perhaps because of our youth, we have many reasons for hope and promise,” he said, comparing the Catholic Church in the U.S. to the ancient Christian presence in the Middle East and Europe.
He said the U.S. is “actually very religious,” citing high belief in God and the divinity of Jesus Christ. The country also benefits “immensely” from the immigration of devout Catholics from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
“They bring us wonderful people with a vibrant faith, strong families, who, upon arrival in America, search for welcoming parishes, where they are faithful to Sunday Mass and the sacraments,” he said.
The bishops’ synod is meeting at the Vatican over the next three weeks to consider how to evangelize the contemporary world, especially those who are baptized but have drifted away from the Church.
Cardinal Dolan told the synod that the Church in the U.S. is “vigorous” in its educational and charitable endeavors, which he said make American Catholics “ambassadors of evangelization.”
Catholic teaching in the U.S. is “well known, if at times misunderstood or attacked.” The cardinal said even those who disagree with the Church “grudgingly admire” the Church’s “tenacious preaching” on human life, peace, justice and charity, care for the suffering and defense of marriage and the family.
He also listed several challenges.
“Especially toxic to the new evangelization is the fad to reduce religion to a hobby, limited to Sunday morning, and not a normative, positive influence on everything we do, dream, and dare,” he told the bishops. “Religion is personal, yes; but it is hardly private.”
He noted “vocal” anti-religious segments of society in parts of the entertainment industry, the press, academia and government.
“Such forces view faith — especially, pardon my thin-skin, the Catholic religion — as opposed to everything they see as liberating, enlightening, and progressive in the world, a repressive voice to be resisted and maligned,” Cardinal Dolan said.
He said the New Evangelization must respond and present faith in Jesus as “alive in his Church” and as “the premier force in history for all that is good, true, and beautiful in humanity.”
The cardinal also spoke of a decline in the willingness to participate in institutions.
He said many Americans say they have no trouble believing but do not want to belong to a church. This view seems “crazy” to Catholics who see that “Jesus Christ and his Church are one.”
He also criticized some Americans’ “chilling reduction of liberty to libertarianism” that either rejects concern for the needs of others, or embraces the idea that people “have the unfettered right to do whatever we want.”
Citing Pope John Paul II, the cardinal said that freedom is “the ability to do what we ought.” In response to views that reject this idea, he said the New Evangelization must connect freedom to “responsibility and reason.”
Cardinal Dolan lamented the “bureaucratic and judicial invasion” against religious liberty in the U.S., where the Catholic Church is presently fighting a federal mandate that requires many Catholic institutions to provide employees with free coverage for morally objectionable drugs and procedures.
“Recent intrusions upon the integrity of the Church, even presuming to define the nature of the Church’s ministers and ministries, imperil our right to live our faith, in obedience to Jesus, as a light to the world,” he said.
The cardinal concluded by thanking the ancient Churches for “evangelizing us.”
“Now, we Americans are honored to be partners with them in the new evangelization.”

New Link

Having hooked up to various Catholic sites or groups I have a lot of Catholic items to read through. This morning I was able to unearth this beautiful link in regards to Fatima. So I have decided to share;

http://www.fatima.org/

 Please try it out and enjoy. Nice interactive Rosary page as well!

Psalm 105:2-7

Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works! 
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! 
Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually! 
Remember the wonderful works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, 
O offspring of Abraham his servant, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.  

Prayer for Today

O my divine Savior,
transform me into yourself.
May my hands be the hands of Jesus.
May my tongue be the tongue of Jesus.
Grant that every faculty of my body
may serve only to glorify you.
Above all, transform my soul
and all its powers
so that my memory, will, and affections
may be the memory, will, and affections of Jesus.
I pray to you to destroy in me
all that is not of you.
Grant that I may live
but in you, by you and for you,
so that I may truly say with St. Paul,
"I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me."


- St. John Gabriel Perboyre, CM

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pope opens Year of Faith, calls for return to Vatican II documents

.- Pope Benedict XVI opened the Year of Faith in Rome with a call for a new evangelization rooted in an authentic interpretation of the documents of the Second Vatican Council.
“I have often insisted on the need to return, as it were, to the ‘letter’ of the Council – that is to its texts – also to draw from them its authentic spirit, and (it is) why I have repeated that the true legacy of Vatican II is to be found in them,” the Pope said Oct. 11 to approximately 30,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the opening Mass of the Year of Faith.
Speaking on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the Pope said that “reference to the documents saves us from extremes of anachronistic nostalgia and running too far ahead." Thus, “the new” can be welcomed “in a context of continuity.”
In scenes deliberately reminiscent of the opening of the Second Vatican Council on Oct. 11, 1962, the Mass began with a grand procession of over 400 bishops from around the world. During the liturgy, the same book of the Gospels that was used throughout the three years of the council was placed on the same golden throne that cradled it 50 years ago.
Pope Benedict also chose to concelebrate Mass with 14 of the 70 surviving Council Fathers.
As a young priest and academic, Pope Benedict XVI was present at the Second Vatican Council in an advisory capacity to Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne. Today in his homily the Pope recalled how he felt during those years.
“During the Council there was an emotional tension as we faced the common task of making the truth and beauty of the faith shine out in our time, without sacrificing it to the demands of the present or leaving it tied to the past,” he recalled.
He lamented that when the council closed in 1965 many Catholics misinterpreted its documents and “embraced uncritically the dominant mentality.” In doing so, they placed in doubt “the very foundations of the deposit of faith, which they sadly no longer felt able to accept as truths,” he said.
But the Second Vatican Council “did not formulate anything new in matters of faith, nor did it wish to replace what was ancient,” Pope Benedict stated. Rather, it was concerned with seeing that “the same faith might continue to be lived in the present day, that it might remain a living faith in a world of change.”
For that reason, the Pope said he hopes the Year of Faith will “revive in the whole Church that positive tension” between “the eternal presence of God” that transcends time but “can only be welcomed by us in our own unrepeatable today.”
Despite predictions of an increasingly secularized world, Pope Benedict said that he sees “innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life.” These signs include the upsurge in popularity of traditional pilgrimage routes such as the Way of St. James in northern Spain.
Towards the close of the Mass, Pope Benedict XVI reenacted his predecessor Pope Paul VI’s conclusion of the Second Vatican Council by issuing a series of “Messages to the People of God,” including rulers, scientists, artists, women, workers and the young.
American journalist Kathryn Lopez of the National Review Online received the message to women, while Scottish composer James MacMillan was entrusted with the message to artists.
Pope Benedict concluded the ceremony by entrusting the Year of Faith to Our Lady, praying that “the Virgin Mary always shine out as a star along the way of the new evangelization.”

Psalm 111:1-6

Praise the LORD. I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. 
Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who have pleasure in them. 
Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures for ever. 
He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and merciful. 
He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pope promotes rediscovering Rosary during Year of Faith

VATICAN CITY, October 8 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Pope Benedict XVI is suggesting that families and parishes rediscover the prayer of the Rosary in the Year of Faith, which begins later this week.

“With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel, so that it shapes all our lives,” the Pope said Oct. 7 in his Sunday Angelus comments.

The Rosary, which comes from the Latin for “garland of roses,” is a traditional Marian prayer that involves meditating on the episodes of Christ’s life, ranging from his incarnation and birth to his death and resurrection.

Speaking on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Pope Benedict recalled how his predecessor Blessed John Paul II promoted the Rosary in his 2002 apostolic letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae.”

“I invite you to pray the Rosary personally, in the family and in the community, learning at the school of Mary, which leads us to Christ, the living center of our faith,” Pope Benedict told pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.

The pontiff prays the Rosary every evening while strolling in the Vatican Gardens with his personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein.

Moments earlier during Sunday Mass, the Pope opened the 2012 Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization. The gathering is meant to advance efforts to re-evangelize the modern world. He asked for prayer for its success and for the Year of Faith, which begins Oct. 11.

“May these events confirm us in the beauty and joy of our faith in Jesus Christ which comes to us through the Church!” he said, before imparting his apostolic blessing.

“Entrusting these intentions to our Lady of the Rosary, I invoke upon all of you God’s abundant blessings!”

Prayers for Today

Lord Jesus, you are the master of the universe, and yet you wish to listen to me and guide me. You know all things past, present and future, and yet you respect my freedom to choose you. Holy Trinity, you are completely happy and fulfilled on your own, and yet you have generously brought us into existence. You are our fulfillment. Thank you for the gift of yourself. I offer the littleness of myself in return, knowing you are pleased with what I have to give.
 Lord, teach me through the “Our Father” to pray more deeply.

 
Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith.
I trust in you: strengthen my trust.
I love you: let me love Thee more and more.
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.
I worship you as my first beginning,
I long for you as my last end,
I praise you as my constant helper,
and call on you as my loving protector.
Guide me by your wisdom,
correct me with your justice,
comfort me with your mercy,
protect me with your power.
I offer you, Lord, my thoughts;
to be fixed on you;
my words: to have you for their theme;
my actions: to reflect my love for you;
my sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.
- Pope Clement XI

Monday, October 8, 2012

Psalm 111:1-2,7-10

Praise the LORD. I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. 
Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who have pleasure in them. 
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy, 
they are established for ever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. 
He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant for ever. Holy and awesome is his name!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures for ever! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pope entrusts Year of Faith, evangelization synod to Mary



Loreto, Italy, Oct 4, 2012 / 11:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI made a one-day pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Loreto in Italy to entrust the forthcoming Synod of Bishops and Year of Faith to the Virgin Mary.

“Mother of the ‘yes,’ you who heard Jesus, speak to us of him; tell us of your journey, that we may follow him on the path of faith; help us to proclaim him, that each person may welcome him and become the dwelling place of God,” the Pope said during Mass in the town’s main square, the Piazza della Madonna di Loreto.

The pastoral visit also imitated the pilgrimage made 50 years ago by Blessed Pope John XXIII on the eve of the opening of the Second Vatican Council when he also entrusted the gathering to Christ’s mother.

Pope Benedict placed both the Synod of Bishops on new evangelization and the Year of Faith in the hands of Mary. The synod will last from October 7 to 28, while the Year of Faith begins on Oct. 11, the 50th anniversary of Vatican II.

Pope Benedict recalled how his predecessor Bl. John XXIII affirmed that the purpose of the council was “to spread ever wider the beneficial impact of the incarnation and redemption in all spheres of life.”

This goal, the current Pope said, “resounds today with particular urgency.”

“Without God, man ultimately chooses selfishness over solidarity and love, material things over values, having over being. We must return to God, so that man may return to being man,” he urged. 

Loreto has been a popular pilgrimage site since the 13th century when the house of the Holy Family was transferred to Loreto by the local aristocratic Angelos family, just before the final expulsion of the Christian crusaders from the Holy Land. Recent scientific research has tended to corroborate this historic version of events. Local legend, however, also likes to ascribe the transfer of the stone dwelling to the holy angels.

As the home where Mary was born, grew up and received the Annunciation from the Archangel Gabriel, the holy house of Loreto has always been strongly associated with the incarnation of Christ.

“As we contemplate Mary, we must ask if we too wish to be open to the Lord, if we wish to offer him our life as his dwelling place,” Pope Benedict explained. Believers must also ask if “we are afraid that the presence of God may somehow place limits on our freedom, if we wish to set aside a part of our life in such a way that it belongs only to us.”

Life with Christ, though, is not enslavement, he said, but genuine freedom, since “it is precisely God who liberates our liberty, he frees it from being closed in on itself, from the thirst for power.” It is God who opens up the dimensions in life that fulfill us, such as “the gift of self, of love, which in turn becomes service and sharing.”

Just as Mary gave her free consent to God within the holy house of Loreto, we too should realize that “grace does not eliminate freedom; on the contrary it creates and sustains it,” the Pope said. “Faith removes nothing from the human creature,” but instead “permits his full and final realization.”

Prior to celebrating Mass, Pope Benedict spent time adoring the Blessed Sacrament and praying before the shrine of Our Lady of Loreto. Following Mass, he had lunch at the local John Paul II Center before departing back to Rome.

Morning Prayer

O God, I need you to teach me day by day,
according to each day’s opportunities and needs.
My ears are dull, so that I cannot hear your voice.
My eyes are dim, so that I cannot see your tokens.
You alone can quicken my hearing,
and purge my sight,
and cleanse and renew my heart.
Teach me to sit at your feet,
and to hear your word. Amen.

— Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn 2:18-24

The LORD God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him."
So the LORD God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air,
and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;
whatever the man called each of them would be its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle,
all the birds of the air, and all wild animals;
but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,
and while he was asleep,
he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib
that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:
"This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called 'woman, '
for out of 'her man' this one has been taken."
That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6

R. (cf. 5) May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
May you see your children's children.
Peace be upon Israel!
R. May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.

Reading 2 Heb 2:9-11

Brothers and sisters:
He "for a little while" was made "lower than the angels, "
that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

For it was fitting that he,
for whom and through whom all things exist,
in bringing many children to glory,
should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.
He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated
all have one origin.
Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them 'brothers.'

Gospel Mk 10:2-16

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked,
"Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?"
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?"
They replied,
"Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her."
But Jesus told them,
"Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate."
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Prayer for Today

"Most High and glorious God, enlighten the darkness of our hearts and give us a true faith, a certain hope and a perfect love. Give us a sense of the divine and knowledge of yourself, so that we may do everything in fulfillment of your holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Prayer of Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226)

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Prayer for Today

God all powerful, eternal,
righteous and merciful,
help us to do for your sake
all that we know of your will,
and to will always what pleases you,
so that inwardly purified,
enlightened and kindled
by the fire of the Holy Spirit,
we may follow in the footprints
of your well-beloved Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
- St. Francis of Assisi

SPIRITUAL PROTECTION of the HOME PRAYER:

[At this time of spiritual warfare and agitation in all aspects of life -- in the family, in the Church, in media, in society -- let us sta...