Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pope confident God will guide Church in days ahead Vatican City, February 27 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Pope Benedict XVI told the 150,000 people who came to his final general audience that he is filled with trust and peace as he prepares to resign, because the Church is not his but God’s and he will “not let it sink.” FULL STORY » Vatican Pope's final audience was bittersweet for cardinals Pope confident God will guide Church in days ahead Benedict's faith encyclical could appear in different form Next Pope can still be 'Pontifex' on Twitter US Harvard debate stresses meaning, purpose of marriage Coalition of African-American Pastors joins March for Marriage Europe Young people across globe thank Pope in video Vatican Pope's final audience was bittersweet for cardinals VATICAN CITY, February 27 (CNA/EWTN News) .- The cardinals and bishops who attended Pope Benedict XVI’s last big public appearance made sure to show him their love and respect, but it was a hard moment as well. “There was a touch of sadness as when one sees a person for the very last time,” said Archbishop Rino Fisichella after the Pope’s last general audience. “Bishops and cardinals have shown a lot of respect, love and affection towards him here today,” he told CNA Feb. 27. Around 200,000 people from all over the world came to St. Peter’s Square to see Pope Benedict for the last time before he steps down as Pope tomorrow evening. Archbishop Fisichella, who is president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization, said that the audience was important in two ways. “The first is the great humanity of the Holy Father because he has spoken about his suffering in taking this decision, but it has also been a big experience of faith,” the archbishop observed. “The living Church embraces the Holy Father and manifests its love, but it’s an experience of faith. “We have the certainty that the Holy Spirit is with us, and so is the Holy Father with his resignation, but he is present among us with his prayer and his presence. Archbishop Fisichella sees Pope Benedict’s has given “a testimony of faith and big hope to the whole Church” during his papacy. “With his testimony and his teaching, which has a very rich deepness, and with his live presence, prayer, and silence – which talks about true prayer that we need to give to God – he will continue to help the Year of Faith,” he affirmed. back to top I comment on this story I archive Pope confident God will guide Church in days ahead

VATICAN CITY, February 27 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Pope Benedict XVI told the 150,000 people who came to his final general audience that he is filled with trust and peace as he prepares to resign, because the Church is not his but God’s and he will “not let it sink.”

“In this moment,” the Pope said, “there is in me a great trust because I know, we all know, that the Word of truth of the Gospel is the strength of the Church, it is her life. … This is my trust, this is my joy.”

The Pope made his way through St. Peter’s Square in his popemobile and was welcomed by cheering throngs of pilgrims from all over Europe and abroad.

“The heart of a Pope,” he told the assembly, “reaches out to the entire world.”

“I would like my greeting and my thanks to reach all people.”

Benedict XVI will abdicate the chair of St. Peter on Feb. 28 and at that time the Church will be without a Pope.

His impending departure led the Pope to reflect on his last eight years as the successor of St. Peter, whom Jesus called to be a fisher of men.

“When, on April 19 of nearly eight years ago, I accepted to assume the Petrine Ministry, I had the firm certainty that has always accompanied me. In that moment, as I have already express many times, the words that resounded in my heart were ‘Lord, what are you asking of me? This is a great burden that you place on my shoulders, but if You ask it of me, on your word I will throw out the nets, sure that you will guide me.’

“And the Lord has truly guided me, he has been close to me. I have been able to perceive his presence daily. It has been a piece of the path of the Church that has had moments of joy and light, but also moments that were not easy,” the Pope told the crowd.

He also said he “felt like St. Peter and the Apostles in the boat on the Sea of Galilee.

“The Lord has given us so many days of sun and light wind, days in which the catch was abundant; there have also been moments in which the water were agitated and the wind blew contrary, as in all of the history of the Church, and the Lord appeared to be sleeping.

“But I have always known that in that boat, there was the Lord and I have always known that the barque of the Church is not mine, it is not ours, but it is his and he does not let it sink. It is Him who steers it, certainly also through the men he has chosen, because he has wanted it this way,” the Pope stated.

Because God guides and protects the Church, Pope Benedict said that “today my heart is full of thanks to God because he has never made his consolation, his light, his love be absent from the entire Church or from me.”

He also told the crowd that he carries “all of you in my prayer, in a present that is that of God, where I gather up every encounter, every trip, every pastoral visit.

“Everything and everyone, I gather up in prayer to entrust them to the Lord so that we might have full awareness of his will, with every wisdom and spiritual intelligence, and so that we may act in a way that is deserving of Him, of his love, bringing fruit in every good work.”

Pope Benedict also demonstrated the depth of his pastoral heart by telling the sea of pilgrims that he “would like every person to feel loved by that God that gave his son for us and who has showed his boundless love for us. I would like everyone to feel the joy of being Christian.”

He finished the main part of his remarks by saying, “in these last few months, I have felt my strength has diminished and I asked God insistently in prayer to illuminate me with his light to help me to make the most just decision not for my good but for the good of the Church.”

“I took this step in full knowledge of its gravity and also novelty,” he said, adding that it was also “with a profound serenity of soul.”

“Loving the Church means also having the courage to make difficult and painful choices, keeping always the good of the Church at the fore and not our own,” Pope Benedict stressed.

His final public audience as Pope will take place on Thursday evening, Feb. 28, at Castel Gandolfo.

The local mayor, parish priest, bishop and the faithful, will welcome Benedict XVI to his residence. After that, he will give one last speech from the window that overlooks the courtyard of the residence.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pope spends final retreat exploring truth, beauty connection


.- Benedict XVI finished his final Lenten spiritual exercises as Pope by thanking his collaborators for support and help these last eight years and by reflecting on the relationship between truth and beauty.
“I would like to thank you all, not only for this week, but for the past eight years, in which you have borne with me, with great skill, affection, love, faith, the weight of the Petrine ministry,” Pope Benedict said Feb. 23 in his closing remarks for the week-long retreat.
“This gratitude remains within me and even if this visible exterior communion is now ending - as Cardinal Ravasi has said - the spiritual closeness, a deep communion in prayer, remains.
“In this certainty let us go forward,” the Pope stated, “confident in the victory of God, sure of the truth, of beauty, and of love.”
The Holy Father offered his words of thanks and his thoughts on the week of meditation at 9:00 this morning in the Redemptoris Mater chapel of the Apostolic Palace. He spoked to Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who led the retreat, and the rest of the Curia who took part in the exercises.
He began by recalling the theme of the retreat – “The art of believing, the art of praying” – and said it reminded him that medieval theologians “translated the word ‘Logos’ not only as ‘Verbum’ (Word), but also as ‘ars’ (art, skill): ‘Verbum’ and ‘ars’ are interchangeable.”
Medieval theologians understood that the Word of God “is also love. The truth is beautiful and the true and beautiful go together: beauty is the seal of truth,” the Pope stated.
Cardinal Ravasi based his meditations on the Psalms, and in one section he pointed out how God’s Creation was made good but evil constantly attacks it.
“It’s almost as if wickedness wills permanently to spoil creation, to contradict God and make its truth and its beauty unrecognizable,” the Pope observed.
“In a world so marked even by evil, the ‘Logos,’ the eternal beauty and the eternal ‘art,’ must appear as a ‘caput cruentatum’(bloodied head). The incarnate Son, the incarnate ‘Logos’ is crowned with a crown of thorns and nevertheless is just that: in this suffering figure of the Son of God we begin to see the deepest beauty of our Creator and Redeemer; in the silence of the ‘dark night’ we can, nevertheless, hear the Word.
“And believing is nothing other than, in the darkness of the world, touching the hand of God, and in this way, in silence, hearing the Word, seeing love,” Pope Benedict said.

Second Sunday of Lent


Reading 1GN 15:5-12, 17-18

The Lord God took Abram outside and said, 
“Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.
Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.”
Abram put his faith in the LORD, 
who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.

He then said to him, 
“I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans 
to give you this land as a possession.”
“O Lord GOD,” he asked, 
“how am I to know that I shall possess it?”
He answered him, 
“Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, 
a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
Abram brought him all these, split them in two, 
and placed each half opposite the other; 
but the birds he did not cut up.
Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, 
but Abram stayed with them.
As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram, 
and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.

When the sun had set and it was dark, 
there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, 
which passed between those pieces.
It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram,
saying: “To your descendants I give this land, 
from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14

R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Reading 2PHIL 3:17—4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters, 
and observe those who thus conduct themselves 
according to the model you have in us.
For many, as I have often told you 
and now tell you even in tears, 
conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their end is destruction.
Their God is their stomach; 
their glory is in their “shame.”
Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
But our citizenship is in heaven, 
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified body 
by the power that enables him also 
to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, 
in this way stand firm in the Lord.

OrPHIL 3:20—4:1


Brothers and sisters:
Our citizenship is in heaven, 
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified body 
by the power that enables him also 
to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, 
in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.

GospelLK 9:28B-36

Jesus took Peter, John, and James 
and went up the mountain to pray.
While he was praying his face changed in appearance 
and his clothing became dazzling white.
And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, 
who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus 
that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, 
but becoming fully awake, 
they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, 
“Master, it is good that we are here;
let us make three tents,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But he did not know what he was saying.
While he was still speaking, 
a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, 
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said, 
“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
They fell silent and did not at that time 
tell anyone what they had seen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Prayer for the Morning


Lord, when I hear
how others praise and pray to you,
giving themselves to you without reserve,
I am ashamed of my own misgivings
and half-heartedness.
Fill me with such love for you
that I may long to give myself to you too.
Let the lesser loves of everyday life
take their proper place in my affections,
leaving you first.
Here I am, Lord, body, heart and soul.
Grant that with your love
I may be big enough to reach the world
and small enough to be at one with you. Amen.
- Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19


For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 
Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless in your judgment. 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. 
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. 
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, 
then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;  then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

First Sunday of Lent


Reading 1DT 26:4-10

Moses spoke to the people, saying: 
“The priest shall receive the basket from you 
and shall set it in front of the altar of the LORD, your God.
Then you shall declare before the Lord, your God, 
‘My father was a wandering Aramean 
who went down to Egypt with a small household 
and lived there as an alien.
But there he became a nation 
great, strong, and numerous.
When the Egyptians maltreated and oppressed us, 
imposing hard labor upon us, 
we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, 
and he heard our cry
and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.
He brought us out of Egypt
with his strong hand and outstretched arm,
with terrifying power, with signs and wonders;
and bringing us into this country,
he gave us this land flowing with milk and honey.
Therefore, I have now brought you the firstfruits
of the products of the soil 
which you, O LORD, have given me.’
And having set them before the Lord, your God, 
you shall bow down in his presence.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15

R. (cf. 15b) Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress,
my God in whom I trust.”
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
No evil shall befall you,
nor shall affliction come near your tent,
For to his angels he has given command about you,
that they guard you in all your ways.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
Upon their hands they shall bear you up,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the asp and the viper;
you shall trample down the lion and the dragon.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress;
I will deliver him and glorify him.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.

Reading 2ROM 10:8-13

Brothers and sisters:
What does Scripture say?
The word is near you,
in your mouth and in your heart

—that is, the word of faith that we preach—, 
for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord 
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, 
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified, 
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
For the Scripture says, 
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; 
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

GospelLK 4:1-13

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan 
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, 
to be tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing during those days, 
and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him,
“If you are the Son of God, 
command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him, 
“It is written, One does not live on bread alone.
Then he took him up and showed him
all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
The devil said to him,
“I shall give to you all this power and glory; 
for it has been handed over to me, 
and I may give it to whomever I wish.
All this will be yours, if you worship me.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It is written:
You shall worship the Lord, your God,
and him alone shall you serve.

Then he led him to Jerusalem, 
made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
throw yourself down from here, for it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,
and:
With their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Jesus said to him in reply,
“It also says,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.
When the devil had finished every temptation, 
he departed from him for a time.

A Lenten Prayer for Today

Lord Jesus, in this season of Lent, I want to draw closer to you. I believe that you truly became one of us to save us as an act of love beyond all human understanding. I know I can count on you to carry me through each day. I know that in all circumstances you are with me. I want to love you more than myself and say “yes” to your will in every moment. I trust totally in your grace. Thank you, Lord! This Lent, I want to learn to love you as you deserve by being the person you want me to be.



Help me, Lord, to take advantage of this Lent and draw closer to you.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Prayer and a Psalm


"Lord Jesus, our Savior, let us now come to you: Our hearts are cold; Lord, warm them with your selfless love. Our hearts are sinful; cleanse them with your precious blood.  Our hearts are weak; strengthen them with your joyous Spirit. Our hearts are empty; fill them with your divine presence.  Lord Jesus, our hearts are yours; possess them always and only for yourself." 
 (Prayer of Augustine, 354-430)
 
Psalm 86:1-6
Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 
Preserve my life, for I am Godly; save your servant who trusts in you.  You are my God; 
be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. 
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you. 
Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; hearken to my cry of supplication.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Morning Prayer

God, make us more like Jesus.  
Help us to bear difficulty, pain,  
disappointment and sorrow  
knowing that in your perfect working and design  
you can use such bitter experiences  
to shape our characters  
and make us more like Christ.  
We look with hope for that day  
when we shall be wholly like Christ,  
because we shall see him as he is. Amen.
 
- St. Ignatius of Antioch

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pope's last Mass will be on Ash Wednesday in St. Peter's

.- Amid the buzz created by the Pope’s announcement that he will retire, it could be easy to miss the fact that his last Mass will be on Ash Wednesday and not in the normal location for the first day of Lent.

“It’s very clear that St. Peter’s is a much bigger church than Santa Sabina in Aventino, so for a celebration in which we expect there will be a lot of faithful, bishops and cardinals who wish to be present to pray together with the Pope, St. Peter’s Basilica was chosen spontaneously,” Father Federico Lombardi told CNA Feb. 12.

“It’s a natural motive of space and it’s also necessary to bear in mind that this will probably be the last big liturgical celebration, the last Mass, presided over by the Pope with the cardinals.

“So it’s normal that it occurs in his church, in St. Peter’s Basilica,” the Vatican spokesman said.

Pope Benedict XVI was scheduled to preside over the traditional Lenten Stations of the Cross at Sant’ Anselmo church, followed by a procession to Santa Sabina Basilica on Rome’s Aventine Hill.

The traditional procession is composed of cardinals, archbishops, bishops, the Benedictine monks of Sant’ Anselmo, the Dominican friars of Santa Sabina and lay people.

As the Pope, cardinals, bishops and faithful make their way between the two churches they sign the litany of the saints.

When they arrive at Santa Sabina, the Pope celebrates Mass, receives ashes and places them on the foreheads of those who come forward to receive them.

The practice of beginning the Lenten season of prayer and penance this way was started by Pope John XXIII when he came for the opening of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in 1961.

The Pope will also hold a general audience on Feb. 27, and recite the Angelus from his apartment window overlooking St. Peter’s Square two more times 

Benedict XVI Plans Life of Prayer at Vatican Monastery After Retirement

Found this article about the Holy Father and his plans for after his retirement. This was in the National Catholic Register.

After Pope Benedict XVI retires at the end of February, he will dedicate himself to a life of prayer and study in a Vatican-based monastery.




VATICAN CITY — After Pope Benedict XVI retires at the end of February, he will dedicate himself to a life of prayer and study in a Vatican-based monastery.
The Pope, who announced today he will step down on Feb. 28, will first stay in Castel Gandolfo, before eventually going back to the Vatican to live in Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.
The monastery is currently being renovated, but it is normally inhabited by a group of nuns who pray for the ministry of the Pope, a mission Pope John Paul II gave to them.
“He will be dedicating himself to prayer and reflection,” said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, during an unexpected Feb. 11 media event at the Holy See Press Office.
“The Pope will not be cloistered, nor should he be considered confined in any way, and he will have his freedom,” said Father Lombardi.
“Certainly, this is a new situation, and we will see how he lives it,” he added.
Some fear having two popes alive will cause problems, but Father Lombardi dismissed those suggestions.
“I wouldn’t have any fear about this because there’s a knowledge of Pope Benedict XVI as being discrete, and there would not be any interference with his successor,” said Father Lombardi.
“This would be completely against his personality,” he noted.
On the matter of how the Pope came to his decision, the Vatican spokesman said it was “not a rash decision; he is not depressed or overwhelmed by his pontificate.”
Canon law states a meeting to choose the next pope, a “conclave,” must be held within a maximum of 20 days after his seat is vacant.
This could mean the Church will have no head during most of Lent, but the Vatican hopes to have one by Easter.
This is the first time since Gregory XII relinquished his office in 1415 that a pope has resigned.
Pope Benedict will still hold his title of cardinal, which he had before he was elected Pope.

Ash Wednesday


Reading 1 Jl 2:12-18

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 And 17

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Reading 2 2 Cor 5:20—6:2

Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, 
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.


Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

Gospel Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

ASH WEDNESDAY




Let us receive them (ashes) in a spirit of humility and penance, that by this powerful sacramental we may obtain from almighty God the blessings which the Church implores in the act of blessing them. For, truly, "God overlooks the sins of men for the sake of repentance."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict to resign


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Getting Ready for Lent

So I am looking around online trying to find some sites to provide aid in my Lenten preperation and a guide for through Lent.
 This year I want to really go deeper than I have in the past and I want to get more out of Lent than just giving up choclate or whatever for Lent.
 I found this site which is a good start and appears to have a lot to digest and help through the whole Lenten season.
 Link is from Creighton University and here it enjoy and fi you find some other sites please let me know as I will continue to look around as well.

http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Lent/

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Reading 1 Is 6:1-2a, 3-8

In the year King Uzziah died,
I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne,
with the train of his garment filling the temple.
Seraphim were stationed above.

They cried one to the other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!
All the earth is filled with his glory!”
At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook
and the house was filled with smoke.

Then I said, “Woe is me, I am doomed!
For I am a man of unclean lips,
living among a people of unclean lips;
yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me,
holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar.

He touched my mouth with it, and said,
“See, now that this has touched your lips,
your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”
“Here I am,” I said; “send me!”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8

R. (1c) In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth;
and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD:
“Great is the glory of the LORD.”
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

Reading 2 1 Cor 15:1-11 Or 15:3-8, 11

I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,
of the gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, Christ appeared to more
than five hundred brothers at once,
most of whom are still living,
though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the apostles.
Last of all, as to one born abnormally,
he appeared to me.
For I am the least of the apostles,
not fit to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me has not been ineffective.
Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them;
not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.
Therefore, whether it be I or they,
so we preach and so you believed.

Gospel Lk 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening
to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon said in reply,
“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them. 
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Psalm 23:1-6


The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want; 
he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; 
he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil;  for you are with me;  your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;  you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;  and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pope: Proclaim God's love with boldness


VATICAN CITY, February 3 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday asked Christians to proclaim God’s love with “boldness, humility and coherence” like Jesus.

“Let us ask the Lord to give each of us a spirit of courage and wisdom, so that in our words and actions, we may proclaim the saving truth of God’s love with boldness, humility and coherence,” said Pope Benedict in his remarks after the Sunday Angelus prayer.

“Jesus did not come to seek the consent of men, but to give testimony to the truth,” Pope Benedict told the thousands of pilgrims gathered at St. Peter’s Square.

“The true prophet does not obey anyone other than God and places himself at the service of truth, ready to pay in person,” he added from the window of the Apostolic Palace.

He noted that “it is true that Jesus is the prophet of love, but love has its own truth.”

He explained that love and truth are “two names for the same reality” and “two names of God.

The pontiff added that the Sunday liturgy echoes the words of St. Paul.

“Love does not boast, it is not puffed up with pride, it is not disrespectful, it does not seek its own interests and does not get angry,” said Pope Benedict.

“It does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice over wrongdoings but rejoices with the truth,” he said.

The Pope said that to believe in God is to “give up prejudices and accept the concrete face in which he has revealed himself, the man Jesus of Nazareth.”

“This way also leads to recognize him and serve him in others,” he added.

He talked about the Sunday reading in which Jesus reads a passage of the Old Testament at a synagogue.

Jesus said that “no prophet is accepted in his own country” and named two miracles performed by the prophets Elijah and Elisha.

Pope Benedict said Jesus’ words “showed that sometimes there is more faith outside of Israel.”

“At that point the reaction was unanimous as all rose to hunt him down and to try to throw him off a cliff, but he calmly passes through the angry people and leaves,” said Pope Benedict.

“Why did Jesus want to cause this failure?” he asked.

“But this is precisely the point: Jesus did not come to seek the consent of men, but to give testimony to the truth.”

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Doing Good

After a brief hiatus due to other issues which needed resolving I was able to go back to Cursillo yesterday. Talk about a way to get your batteries charged back up. It is truly amazing and uplifting. If you have not done Cursillo I just say you must! It will change your world your outlook and your everyday demeanor, well at least for me it has.
 My new again parish is a blast and I really like the atmosphere that the new priests have created. I am looking forward to participating in many of the Lenten events they have coming up. Certainly I am now able to go to the well and dig deeper within myself in my faith journey as more opportunities are presented to me.
 Yes things are getting better. I feel some doom and gloom has been lifted as I let God handle things more and more and I try to steer clear of causing him problems. Certainly his way is better even with the occasional curve ball he throws in there! We might not like it but it is for our good.
 So keep up your prayers and get ready for Lent and until later God Bless!

Pope's Lent message: charity is extension of God's love


Vatican City, Feb 1, 2013 / 11:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI's message for Lent is that when people are open to God’s love, then they can “love with him, in him and like him.”

"When we make room for the love of God, then we become like him, sharing in his own charity," said the Pope in his annual message for Lent.

"If we open ourselves to his love, we allow him to live in us and to bring us to love with him, in him and like him," said the pontiff.

Pope Benedict's message is titled, "Believing in charity calls forth charity." It was released Feb. 1 with a media event at the Holy See’s press office.

The panel presenting it included members of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum – which is dedicated to carrying out charitable work – and the president for the Society of St. Vincent of Paul, Michael Thio.

The president of Cor Unum, Cardinal Robert Sarah, said that the essence of the Pope's message is focused on illuminating the relationship between faith and love.

The Pope noted in his Lenten message that "faith, as gift and response, causes us to know the truth of Christ as love incarnate and crucified, as full and perfect obedience to the Father's will and infinite divine mercy towards neighbor."

"Faith implants in hearts and minds the firm conviction that only this love is able to conquer evil and death," said the pontiff.

"Faith invites us to look towards the future with the virtue of hope, in the confident expectation that the victory of Christ's love will come to its fullness," he added.

Pope Benedict highlighted that "charity ushers us into the love of God manifested in Christ and joins us in a personal and existential way to the total and unconditional self-giving of Jesus to the Father and to his brothers and sisters."

"Faith, which sees the love of God revealed in the pierced heart of Jesus on the Cross, gives rise to love," he said.

"Faith precedes charity, but faith is genuine only if crowned by charity," he stated.

"Love is the light (and in the end, the only light) that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working," said the pontiff.

The Holy Father noted that "all this helps us to understand that the principal distinguishing mark of Christians is precisely love grounded in and shaped by faith."

Monsignor Segundo Tejado Muñoz, the undersecretary of Cor Unum, added that "the great strength of the Church is that most times charity is done anonymously and is often volunteer work."

The Pope's message also states that Lent, "in the context of the Year of Faith," offers us a valuable opportunity to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity and between believing in God and love."

Homily

Brothers and sisters, after giving the Parable of the Sower to the crowd, Jesus said to His disciples, "To you it has been given to ...