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Sunday, December 30, 2012:  (FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH)  Readings for today:  1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28  /  1 John 3:1-2, 21-24  /  Luke 2:41-52:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/123012.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Samuel (1Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28):

 

In those days Hannah conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son
whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him.
The next time her husband Elkanah was going up
with the rest of his household
to offer the customary sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vows,
Hannah did not go, explaining to her husband,
"Once the child is weaned,
I will take him to appear before the LORD
and to remain there forever;
I will offer him as a perpetual nazirite."

Once Samuel was weaned, Hannah brought him up with her,
along with a three-year-old bull,
an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine,
and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh.
After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull,
Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said:
"Pardon, my lord!
As you live, my lord,
I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD.
I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request.
Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD;
as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD."
Hannah left Samuel there.

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5):

 

R. (cf. 1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.

R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants
around your table.

R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

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. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 -  A reading from the first letter of John (1 John 3:1-2, 21-24):

 

Beloved:

See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
And so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God's children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.

Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit he gave us.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 2:41-52):

 

Each year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the feast
of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
"Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety."
And he said to them,
"Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor
before God and man.

 

 

 

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12/30/2012 - All About the Feast of the Holy Family:

 

From:  http://www.churchyear.net/holyfamily.html

 

Introduction

The Holy Family is the name given to the family unit of Jesus: The Divine Son of God Jesus, his mother the Virgin Mary, and his foster-father Joseph. We know very little about the life of the Holy Family through the canonical Gospels. They speak of the early years of the Holy Family, including the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, and the finding of Jesus in the temple. Various non-canonical works, including the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, try to fill in the blanks. However, even though these apocryphal works may contain some truth derived from oral tradition, they have been deemed unworthy of canonical status because of the way they present Jesus. While the exact details of the day-to-day life of the Holy Family may be unknown, we can still learn a lot from the stories we do have.

Devotion to the Holy Family is a recent development, but one that naturally grows out of a love for Jesus and his family. The cult of the Holy Family grew in popularity in the 17th century, and several religious congregations have been founded under this title. The Holy Family also became portrayed in popular art of the period. On October 26, 1921 the Congregation of Rites (under Pope Benedict XV) inserted the Feast of the Holy Family into the Latin Rite general calendar. Until then it had been celebrated regionally (see History below). Popes before and including Benedict XV (especially Leo XIII) promoted the feast as a way to counter the breakdown of the family unit. Today the Church celebrates the Feast on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day (Known as the Feast of Mary Mother of God in the Catholic Church). If both Christmas and New Year's Day fall on Sundays, no Sunday exists between the two dates, so the Church celebrates the Holy Family Feast on December 30th. If the feast falls on the 30th, attendance is not obligatory. Up until 1969, the Holy Family feast was kept on the first Sunday after the Epiphany. It was transferred to its current date in 1969.

The Feast of the Holy Family is not just about the Holy Family, but about our own families too. The main purpose of the Feast is to present the Holy Family as the model for all Christian families, and for domestic life in general. Our family life becomes sanctified when we live the life of the Church within our homes. This is called the "domestic church" or the "church in miniature." St. John Chrysostom urged all Christians to make each home a "family church," and in doing so, we sanctify the family unit. Just how does one live out the Church in the family? The best way is by making Christ the center of family and individual life. Ways to do this include: reading scripture regularly, praying daily, attending Mass at least on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, imitating the actions of the Holy Family, going to confession frequently, and so forth, all done together as a family unit. In addition to cultivating positive actions, the Church understands that various actions and behaviors are contrary to God's Divine plan for the family, and these should be avoided. These include abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, polygamy, embryonic stem-cell research, divorce, spousal abuse, child abuse, and co-habitation. Catholic Teaching is that a marriage must be open to children. Anything artificial that prevents this is contrary to divine law, although spacing births for a just reason is permitted (and may be licitly accomplished through "natural family planning"). Also, poverty, lack of health care, rights violations, government intrusion in the life of communities and families, and other justice concerns must be addressed by faithful Christians because of the negative effect these conditions have on the family unit. St. Paul gives us some advice on family life in Colossians 3:12-21:

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged (RSV).

The Holy Family feast is a good time to remember the family unit and pray for our human and spiritual families. We also may take this feast to reflect on the value and sanctity of the family unit, and to evaluate our own family life. What ways may it be improved? What would Jesus, Mary, and Joseph do? Finally, we can use this feast to ask ourselves what are we doing to promote the family within our own cultures, neighborhoods, and communities.


History

In 1643 Louis and Barbe d'Ailleboust came to Canada in order to devote their lives to the welfare of the natives there. After her husband had passed away, Barbe, with the assistance of the Jesuit Father Chaumonot, founded the Confraternity of the Holy Family. The confraternity and devotion to the Holy Family spread all over Canada and had the effect of promoting good morals. Monsignor François de Laval invited her to Quebec, and gave her the general management if the confraternity, which still exists today. In 1675, the now Bishop de Laval had a little book printed in Paris instructing the members of the confraternity as to virtuous practices. Bishop de Laval also established the feast of the Holy Family, and had a mass and office drawn up which are proper to the Diocese of Québec. The feast was later added in 1921 to the General calendar of the Western Rite as a way to counteract the breakdown of the family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012:  (SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD (CHRISTMAS MASS DURING THE NIGHT))  Readings for today:  Isaiah 9:1-6  /  Titus 2:11-14  /  Luke 2:1-14:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/122512-mass-at-midnight.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 9:1-6):

 

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
will be burned as fuel for flames.
For a child is born to us, a son is given us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast
and forever peaceful,
from David's throne, and over his kingdom,
which he confirms and sustains
by judgment and justice,
both now and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13):

 

R. (Lk 2:11) Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

They shall exult before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to Titus (Titus 2:11-14):

 

Beloved:

The grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of our great God
and savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 2:1-14):

 

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, December 23, 2012:  (FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT)  Readings for today:  Micah 5:1-4a  /  Hebrews 10:5-10  /  Luke 1:39-45:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/122312.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Micah (Micah 5:1-4a):

 

Thus says the LORD:
You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah
too small to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel;
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient times.
Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
when she who is to give birth has borne,
and the rest of his kindred shall return
to the children of Israel.
He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
by the strength of the LORD,
in the majestic name of the LORD, his God;
and they shall remain, for now his greatness
shall reach to the ends of the earth;
he shall be peace.

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19):

 

R. (4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.

R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.

R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.

R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 10:5-10):

 

Brothers and sisters:

When Christ came into the world, he said:
"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, 'As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.'"

First he says, "Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in."
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, "Behold, I come to do your will."
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this "will," we have been consecrated
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 1:39-45):

 

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, December 16, 2012:  (THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT)  Readings for today:  Zephaniah 3:14-18a  /  Philippians 4:4-7  /  Luke 3:10-18:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121612.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Zephaniah (Zephaniah 3:14-18a):

 

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you
he has turned away your enemies;
the King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
he will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6):

 

R. (6) Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.

R. Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.

R. Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!

R. Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 4:4-7):

 

Brothers and sisters:

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 3:10-18):

 

The crowds asked John the Baptist,
"What should we do?"
He said to them in reply,
"Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none.
And whoever has food should do likewise."
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,
"Teacher, what should we do?"
He answered them,
"Stop collecting more than what is prescribed."
Soldiers also asked him,
"And what is it that we should do?"
He told them,
"Do not practice extortion,
do not falsely accuse anyone,
and be satisfied with your wages."

Now the people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
"I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
Exhorting them in many other ways,
he preached good news to the people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, December 9, 2012:  (SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT)  Readings for today:  Baruch 5:1-9  /  Philippians  1:4-6, 8-11  /  Luke 3:1-6:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120912.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Baruch (Baruch 5:1-9):

 

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery;
put on the splendor of glory from God forever:
wrapped in the cloak of justice from God,
bear on your head the mitre
that displays the glory of the eternal name.
For God will show all the earth your splendor:
you will be named by God forever
the peace of justice, the glory of God's worship.

Up, Jerusalem! stand upon the heights;
look to the east and see your children
gathered from the east and the west
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing that they are remembered by God.
Led away on foot by their enemies they left you:
but God will bring them back to you
borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones.
For God has commanded
that every lofty mountain be made low,
and that the age-old depths and gorges
be filled to level ground,
that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.
The forests and every fragrant kind of tree
have overshadowed Israel at God's command;
for God is leading Israel in joy
by the light of his glory,
with his mercy and justice for company.

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 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 who 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 - A reading from letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11):

 

Brothers and sisters:

I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the gospel
from the first day until now.
I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is my witness,
how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more
in knowledge and every kind of perception,
to discern what is of value,
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 3:1-6):

 

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
"Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."

 

 

 

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12/09/2012 - A Prayer for Priests:   Priests have the difficult task of living a life of example for the people, and therefore wicked spirits desire their downfall even more so than they would desire the average soul.  For this reason priests suffer a multitude of attacks spiritually.  The Lord Jesus wants us to pray for priests because of the service they do His people. 

 

From:  http://healwithgrace.blogspot.com/2010/07/prayer-for-priests-never-attack-priest.html

 

 PRAYER FOR PRIESTS - NEVER ATTACK A PRIEST

Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord,
Keep them, for they are Thine -
Thy priests whose lives burn out before
Thy consecrated shrine.
Keep them, for they are in the world,
Though from the world apart;
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure, -
Shelter them in Thy heart.
Keep them, and comfort them in hours
Of loneliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice
For souls seems but in vain.
Keep them, and O remember, Lord,
They have no one but Thee,
Yet they have only human hearts,
With human frailty.
Keep them as spotless as the Host.
That daily they caress;
Their every thought and word and deed,
Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.

Pray one "Our Father" and one "Hail Mary"...then say, "Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for them."

Imprimatur: +D. Card. Dougherty, Arch. of Philadelphia





THE PRIESTHOOD IS A MASTERPIECE OF CHRIST'S DIVINE LOVE, WISDOM AND POWER...

NEVER ATTACK A PRIEST
CRITICISM OF PRIESTS
Our Lord's revelations to Mutter Vogel...


"One should NEVER attack a priest, even when he's in error, rather one should pray and do penance that I'll grant him My grace again. He alone fully represents Me, even when he doesn't live after My example!" (page 29, Mutter Vogel's Worldwide Love, St. Grignion Publishing House, Altoting, South Germany (29. 6. 1929)).

When a Priest falls we should extend him a helping hand THROUGH PRAYER AND NOT THROUGH ATTACKS! "I myself will be his judge, NO ONE BUT I!"

"Whoever voices judgment over a priest has voiced it over Me; child, never let a Priest be attacked, take up his defense." (Feast of Christ the King 1937)

"Child, Never judge your confessor, rather pray much for him and offer every Thursday, through the hands of My blessed Mother, Holy Communion (for Him) (18.6. 1939)&nsp;

"Never again accept an out-of-the-way word about a Priest, and speak no unkind word (about them) EVEN IF IT WERE TRUE! Every Priest is My Vicar and My heart will be sickened and insulted because of it! If you hear a judgment (against a Priest) pray a Hail Mary." (28. 6. 1939)

"If you see a Priest who celebrates the Holy Mass unworthily then say nothing about him, rather tell it to Me alone! I stand beside him on the altar!"

"Oh pray much for My priests, that they'll love purity above all, that they'll celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with pure hands and heart. Certainly the Holy Sacrifice is one and the same even when it is celebrated by an unworthy priest, but the graces called down upon the people is not the same!" (28. 2. 1938)

Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for them.
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love You, Save Souls."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, December 8, 2012:  (SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY)  Readings for today:  Genesis 3:9-15, 20  /  Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12  /  Luke 1:26-38:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120812.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Genesis (Genesis 3:9-15, 20):

 

After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself."
Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!"
The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with me--
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it."
The LORD God then asked the woman,
"Why did you do such a thing?"
The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it."

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
"Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel."

The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4):

 

R. (1) Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.

R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.

R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.

R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians1:3-6, 11-12):

 

Brothers and sisters:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.

In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 1:26-38):

 

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."
But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.

 

 

 

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12/08/2012 - Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6):  St. Nicholas was bishop of Myra in Lycia and is celebrated as a saint not only in the Roman Catholic church, but also in Anglican, Lutheran, and other Protestant churches.  Little is known about him historically, other than at one time he was imprisoned by the Romans and later released.  He died December 6 345 or 352 A.D.  Most everything else known is held through tradition or even legends, one of which was that he was orphaned from a wealthy family and cared especially for the poor and orphaned children, and would toss them bags of coins.  Later that legend would change to modern Santa Claus legend of him visiting children on Christmas Eve, leaving them presents and gifts.

 

From:  (Catholic Encyclopedia) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11063b.htm

 

St. Nicholas

(Also called NICHOLAS OF BARI).

Bishop of Myra in Lycia; died 6 December, 345 or 352. Though he is one of the most popular saints in the Greek as well as the Latin Church, there is scarcely anything historically certain about him except that he was Bishop of Myra in the fourth century.

Some of the main points in his legend are as follows: He was born at Parara, a city of Lycia in Asia Minor; in his youth he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and Palestine; shortly after his return he became Bishop of Myra; cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian, he was released after the accession of Constantine, and was present at the Council of Nicaea. In 1087 Italian merchants stole his body at Myra, bringing it to Bari in Italy.

The numerous miracles St. Nicholas is said to have wrought, both before and after his death, are outgrowths of a long tradition. There is reason to doubt his presence at Nicaea, since his name is not mentioned in any of the old lists of bishops that attended this council. His cult in the Greek Church is old and especially popular in Russia. As early as the sixth century Emperor Justinian I built a church in his honor at Constantinople, and his name occurs in the liturgy ascribed to St. Chrysostom. In Italy his cult seems to have begun with the translation of his relics to Bari, but in Germany it began already under Otto II, probably because his wife Theophano was a Grecian. Bishop Reginald of Eichstaedt (d. 991) is known to have written a metric, "Vita S. Nicholai."

The course of centuries has not lessened his popularity. The following places honor him as patron: Greece, Russia, the Kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Lorraine, the Diocese of Liège; many cities in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Belgium; Campen in the Netherlands; Corfu in Greece; Freiburg in Switzerland; and Moscow in Russia.

He is patron of mariners, merchants, bakers, travellers, children, etc.

His representations in art are as various as his alleged miracles. In Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, they have the custom of making him the secret purveyor of gifts to children on 6 December, the day on which the Church celebrates his feast; in the United States and some other countries St. Nicholas has become identified with Santa Claus who distributes gifts to children on Christmas eve.

His relics are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari; up to the present day an oily substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, December 2, 2012:  (THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT)  Readings for today:  Jeremiah 33:14-16  /  1 Thessalonians 3:12 -4:2  /  Luke 21:25-28, 34-36:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120212.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 33:14-16):

 

The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will fulfill the promise
I made to the house of Israel and Judah.
In those days, in that time,
I will raise up for David a just shoot ;
he shall do what is right and just in the land.
In those days Judah shall be safe
and Jerusalem shall dwell secure;
this is what they shall call her:
"The LORD our justice."

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14):

 

R. (1b) To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.


Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
and for you I wait all the day.


R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.


Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way.


R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.


All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.


R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2):

 

Brothers and sisters:


May the Lord make you increase and abound in love
for one another and for all,
just as we have for you,
so as to strengthen your hearts,
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that,
as you received from us
how you should conduct yourselves to please God
and as you are conducting yourselves
you do so even more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Gospel -  A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36):

 

Jesus said to his disciples:


"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man."

 

 

 

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12/02/2012 - What is Advent?:  Advent is a set time of 4 weeks preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in human form, which we celebrate at Christmas.  Advent is a time of preparation through prayer and fasting of the coming of Christ, which inspires us to anticipate and prepare for Christ's second coming.

 

From:  http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0372.html

 

Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas
MICHAELANN MARTIN

 

Response

The Catholic Church has designated the four weeks preceding Christmas as Advent, a time to “prepare the way of the Lord” for His coming as our King and Savior. In addition, the Church teaches that:


[W]hen the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating [John the Baptist’s] birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Catechism, no. 524; original emphasis).

By participating in various time-honored traditions, such as making Jesse trees or putting on a Christmas play at home, Catholic families can engage more fruitfully in the seasons of Advent and Christmas.


Discussion:

“Either we live the liturgical year with its varying seasons of joy and sorrow, work and rest, or we follow the pattern of the world,” writes Helen McLoughlin in Advent and Christmas in a Catholic Home, commenting on the challenge Catholics have of being “in the world but not of the world” throughout the year. She wrote these profound words in the 1950s, but they are even more important today because of the general decline in Catholic family life during the last 40 years. With two parents working in many households, there is less time to devote to the spiritual life of the family. As Catholic parents, we must readjust our priorities and teach our children by living our faith, both inside and outside the home.

It seems fitting that Advent is the beginning of the liturgical calendar, for it is a season of spiritual preparation marked by an eager longing for the birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ. There are age-old Advent practices, some of which are mentioned in this FAITH FACT, which will help our children and families live closer to Christ. The practices are time-tested and proven. They teach the doctrine of redemption and develop a sense of generosity toward God (cf. Catechism, nos. 2222-26). A family’s strong and living faith will become their heritage and a mode to reinforce the religious practices centered in the liturgy.

“Children love to anticipate,” writes McLoughlin. “When there are empty mangers to fill with straw for small sacrifices, when the Mary candle is a daily reminder on the dinner table, when Advent hymns are sung in the candlelight of a graceful Advent wreath, children are not anxious to celebrate Christmas before time. That would offend their sense of honor. Older children who make Nativity sets, cut Old Testament symbols to decorate a Jesse tree, or prepare costumes for a Christmas play will find Advent all too short a time to prepare for the coming of Christ the King.”

These are hopeful thoughts as we prepare to incorporate some of these liturgical activities into our home life during Advent to enable us to truly celebrate Christmas. It is a shame that many do not fast during Advent, because without a fast there can really be no feast at Christmas. Fasting and other forms of penance, such as prayer and almsgiving, help to purify our hearts and prepare us for the celebration of Christmas (cf. Catechism, no. 1434). The Church especially encourages participation at weekday Masses during Advent, because in the Eucharist we find the source and goal of our Advent preparation: Christ Himself, whose sacrifice reconciles us with God (cf. Catechism, no. 1436; Sacred Congregation of Rites, Eucharisticum Mysterium, no. 29).

The Church primarily celebrates Christmas from Christmas Day until the Solemnity of the Epiphany, which commemorates the manifestation of Christ as the Savior of the whole world (cf. Mt. 2:1-12). The Church has also traditionally celebrated Christmas for 40 days, culminating on the Feast of the Presentation (Feb. 2). During this time, the birth of Christ is celebrated as one continuous festival. It is just as important to celebrate during the Christmas season as it is to prepare for Christ during Advent.

The following activities are provided so that you and your family can live Advent and Christmas to the fullest.


Advent wreath: The Advent wreath, which has German origins, is probably the most recognized Advent custom. It is a wreath made of evergreens that is bound to a circle of wire. It symbolizes the many years from Adam to Christ in which the world awaited its Redeemer; it also represents the years that we have awaited His second and final coming. The wreath holds four equally spaced candles, the three purple ones lit on the “penitential” Sundays and a pink one for Gaudete, the joyful third Sunday in Advent. There are many available prayers and hymns found in the reading list that can accompany your personal Advent wreath ceremony.

The empty manger: Each child may have his own individual manger, or there may be one manger for the whole family. The idea is that when acts of service, sacrifice, or kindness are done in honor of Baby Jesus as a birthday present, the child receives a piece of straw to put into the manger. Then, on Christmas morning, “Baby Jesus” is placed in the manger. Encourage your children to make Jesus’ bed as “comfortable” as possible through their good deeds. In the process, explain Christ’s incomparable self-gift at Christmas and Easter that enables us to be part of God’s family.

The Jesse tree: The Jesse tree tells about Christ’s ancestry through symbols and relates Scripture to salvation history, progressing from creation to the birth of Christ. The tree can be made on a poster board with the symbols glued on, or on an actual tree. For further information read, Advent and Christmas in a Catholic Home.

St. Nicholas Day: The feast of St. Nicholas is on Dec. 6th. It is a highlight of the Advent season. Each child puts out a shoe the night before St. Nicholas Day in the hope that the kind bishop — with his miter, staff, and bag of gifts — will pay a visit. The current “Santa Claus” is modeled after St. Nicholas, but commercialism has tarnished the true story. Many families give gifts on both Dec. 6 and Christmas. Read about St. Nicholas in your favorite saints book.

The Christ candle: Any large white candle can be used for the Christ candle. The idea is to decorate it with symbols for Christ. Use old Christmas cards, sequins, holly, etc. The candle can be lit on Christmas Eve to show that the Light of the World has arrived. Then continue to light the Christ candle throughout the year at Sunday dinner to remind your family of our waiting for Christ, as well as celebrating His birth and Resurrection.

The Mary candle: Some families have the custom of decorating the Christ candle with a blue veil on December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On this great feast, others place a candle with a blue ribbon before a statue or picture of the Blessed Virgin, whose “yes” to God enabled our Lord’s coming at Christmas. The candle is lit during meal times to serve as a delightful reminder of Mary’s eager expectation of the “Light of the World.” It can also serve as a reminder to each family member to keep their own light of grace burning as a preparation for Christ’s coming.

St. Lucy cakes: The feast of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, is on December 13th. This marks the opening of the Christmas season in Sweden. Her life story can be found in most saints books, as can the recipe for the traditional cakes. The symbolism is rich and her life story worthwhile reading.

The Nativity scene: This is the event in which the entire family shares — setting up the Christmas manger. Mary and Joseph should be far off traveling and their approach to Bethlehem can be adjusted daily. Older children can make life-size Nativity models, carve them, cut them out from cardboard, or set up pre-made figurines. The creative ideas are without limit. Make sure to place the Nativity scene where many can admire the children’s efforts to give God glory.

Christmas baking: There are many recipe books available to find great traditional Christmas baking ideas. (See recommended reading below.) The baking usually starts around December 20th. As Christmas approaches, the house will smell of baking and fresh wreaths. The glory of Christmas is at hand! Move the manger to a focal point, add lights to the Nativity to be lighted on Christmas Eve, and anticipate together.

Blessing of the tree: More and more frequently families are blessing their Christmas trees. It is good to remind children that “the tree” relates to many aspects of our faith. For example, we are reminded that our first parents were not allowed to eat from one tree, and that Christ paid the great price for our redemption by hanging on a tree (cf. Acts 5:29-32).

There are many different stories which attempt to explain why we use a tree at Christmas. For instance, St. Boniface in the eighth century gave the balsam fir tree to the Druids in place of the oak tree, the symbol of their idol. He said, “The fir tree is the wood of peace, the sign of an endless life with its evergreen branches. It points to heaven. It will never shelter deeds of blood, but rather be filled with loving gifts and rites of kindness.”

There are more stories and blessings included in McLoughlin’s Advent and Christmas in a Catholic Home. A family can also participate in Advent through daily Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, or at least by following the weekday Mass readings at home, as the Church anticipates her Savior’s coming, and then His early life following Christmas. A family that participates together in Mass and other activities during the Advent and Christmas seasons will grow closer in Christ — “The Reason for the Season” — and give a great witness to friends and relatives.

The Jesse tree reminds us of Jesus’ Davidic ancestry (cf. Mt. 1:1). For a greater understanding of the relationship between the house of David, Jesus, and the Catholic Church’s divine origin, see CUF’s FAITH FACT: “Rock Solid: The Salvation History of the Catholic Church.”

Father, all-powerful God, your eternal Word took flesh on our earth when the Virgin Mary placed her life at the service of your plan. Lift our minds in watchful hope to hear the voice which announces His glory and open our minds to receive the Spirit who prepares us for His coming.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.



The Great O's"

On the evening of December 17 the final phase of preparation for Christmas begins
with the first of the great "O Antiphons" of Advent.
These prayers are seven jewels of liturgical song, one for each day until Christmas Eve.
They seem to sum up all our Advent longing for the Savior.


December 17

O Wisdom, that proceedest from the mouth of the Most High, Reaching from end to end mightily, and sweetly disposing all things: come and teach us the way of prudence.

December 18

O Lord and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law on Sinai: come and redeem us by Thy outstretched arm.

December 19

O Root of Jesse, Who standest as the Ensign of the people, before Whom kings shall not open their lips; to Whom the Gentiles shall pray: come and deliver us, tarry now no more.

December 20

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel; Who openest, and no man shutteth, Who shuttest, and no man openeth: come and lead the captive from the prison house, and him that sitteth in darkness and the shadow of death.

December 21

O Dawn of the East, Splendor of the eternal Light, and Sun of justice: Come and enlighten them that sit in darkness, and the shadow of death.

December 22

O King of the gentiles, yea, and the desire thereof, the Cornerstone that makest both one: come and save man, whom Thou hast made out of the slime of the earth.

December 23

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the expectation of all nations and their Salvation: come and save us, O Lord our God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, November 25, 2012:  (THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING)  Readings for today:  Daniel 7:13-14  /  Revelation 1:5-8  /  John 18:33b-37:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/112512.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Daniel (Daniel 7:13-14):

 

As the visions during the night continued, I saw
one like a Son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
when he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;
all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 93:1, 1-2, 5):

 

R. (1a) The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.



The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.



R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.



And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.



R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.



Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed;
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.



R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the book of Revelation (Revelation 1:5-8):

 

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father,
to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he is coming amid the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him.
All the peoples of the earth will lament him.
Yes. Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God,
"the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty."

 

 

 

 

Gospel -  A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 18:33b-37):

 

Pilate said to Jesus,
"Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?"
Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?"
Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here."
So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?"
Jesus answered, "You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

 

 

 

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11/25/2012 - Video Explaining the Solemnity of Christ the King:

 

From:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wl1imrkjEg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, November 18, 2012:  (THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Daniel 12:1-3  /  Hebrews 10:11-14, 18  /  Mark 13:24-32:

 

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/111812.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Daniel (Daniel 12:1-3):

 

In those days, I Daniel,
heard this word of the Lord:
"At that time there shall arise
Michael, the great prince,
guardian of your people;
it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress
since nations began until that time.
At that time your people shall escape,
everyone who is found written in the book.

"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake;
some shall live forever,
others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.

"But the wise shall shine brightly
like the splendor of the firmament,
and those who lead the many to justice
shall be like the stars forever."

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11):

 

R. (1) You are my inheritance, O Lord!

O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.


R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.


R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!

You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.


R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 10:11-14, 18):

 

Brothers and sisters:

Every priest stands daily at his ministry,
offering frequently those same sacrifices
that can never take away sins.
But this one offered one sacrifice for sins,
and took his seat forever at the right hand of God;
now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.
For by one offering
he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.

Where there is forgiveness of these,
there is no longer offering for sin.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 13:24-32):

 

Jesus said to his disciples:

"In those days after that tribulation
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from the sky,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

"And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds'
with great power and glory,
and then he will send out the angels
and gather his elect from the four winds,
from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.

"Learn a lesson from the fig tree.
When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves,
you know that summer is near.
In the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that he is near, at the gates.
Amen, I say to you,
this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.

"But of that day or hour, no one knows,
neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

 

 

 

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11/18/2012 - Prayer to the Infant of Prague (A Prayer for the Sick):  Devotional prayer to the Infant Jesus is as old as Christianity itself.  Here is a prayer to be said by the sick, honoring the Infant Jesus.  Below the prayer, I'll include the history of the devotion to the Infant of Prague (from the statue given by a wealthy woman, her most treasured possession, which she gave to a Carmelite Monastery).

 

From:  http://www.infantjesus.com/sick.htm

 

Prayer to the Infant of Prague

(A prayer to be said by a sick person)

 

O merciful Infant Jesus! I know of Your miraculous deeds for the sick. How many diseases You cured during Your blessed life on earth, and how many venerators of Your miraculous image ascribe to You their recovery and deliverance from most painful and hopeless maladies.

I know, indeed, that a sinner like me has merited his sufferings and has no right to ask for favors. But in view of the innumerable graces and the miraculous cures granted even to the greatest sinners through the veneration of Your holy infancy, particularly in the miraculous statue of Prague or in representations of it, I exclaim with the greatest assurance:

O most loving, most pitiful Infant Jesus, You can cure me if You will! Do not hesitate, O Heavenly Physician, if it be Your will that I recover from this present illness; extend Your most holy hands, and by Your power take away all pain and infirmity, so that my recovery may be due, not to natural remedies, but to You alone.

If, however, You in Your inscrutable wisdom have determined otherwise, then at least restore my soul to perfect health, fill me with heavenly consolation and blessing, that I may be like You, O Jesus, in my sufferings, and may Your providence until You, at the death of my body, bestow on me eternal life.

Amen

 

 

History of the Devotion to the Infant of Prague

 

From:  http://brizek.com/prayer/pieta.htm#infprag

 

   Devotion to the Infant Jesus is as old as Christianity itself. It ever tends to keep the great mystery of Our Lord's birth vividly before us.

A special devotion to the Divine Child originated with the Carmelites in the City of Prague, Bohemia, in the beginning of the seventeenth century. Princes Polyxedia of Lobkowitz had received, as a wedding gift from her mother, a statue of the Divine Child, previously brought from Spain. After the death of her husband, the princes devoted herself to works of charity and was particularly helpful to the Carmelites in Prague. When in 1628 the Carmelite Monastery had been reduce to poverty, owing to the ravages of war, the princes gave her precious statue to the Carmelites, saying:

"I GIVE YOU WHAT I PRIZE MOST HIGHLY IN THE WORLD; HONOR AND RESPECT THE CHILD JESUS AND YOU SHALL NEVER BE IN WANT."

Her gift was placed in the Carmelite oratory. The words of the princess proved prophetic for as long as the Carmelites kept up their devotion to the Divine Infant of Prague everything prospered with them. The Carmelites were later forced to flee form the city and in the confusion of the war, they were unable to take with them their miraculous statue. The invaders siezed it, and threw it into a pile of rubbish. In 1635, peace came to Prague and the Carmelites returned. One of them, Father Cyril, who had previously received great spiritual help through his devotion to the Infant of Prague, sought the statue, and found it amidst the rubbish. Overjoyed, he placed the statue again in the oratory. As Father Cyril was one day praying devoutedly before the statue, he heard a voice saying:

"HAVE MERCY ON ME AND I WILL HAVE MERCY ON YOU. RETURN MY HANDS TO ME AND I SHALL GIVE YOU PEACE. THE MORE YOU HONOR ME, THE MORE I SHALL BLESS YOU."

Startled by these words, Father Cyril examined the statue and upon drawing aside the mantle covering it, he found that both hands of the statue were broken off. The hands were restored to the statue through the generosity of a client of the Divine Child. Once more, peace and prosperity returned to the Carmelites.

Devotion to the Divine Child had always been practiced by the Carmelites, for through their Mother, Mary, this Divine Child had come to the world. St. Theresa of Jesus practice particular devotion to the Divine Child. St. Therese, the Little Flower, was also a most fervent venerator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, November 11, 2012:  (THIRTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  1 Kings 17:10-16  /  Hebrews 9:24-28  /  Mark 12:38-44:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/111112.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the first book of Kings (1 Kings 17:10-16):

 

In those days, Elijah the prophet went to Zarephath.
As he arrived at the entrance of the city,
a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her,
"Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink."
She left to get it, and he called out after her,
"Please bring along a bit of bread."
She answered, "As the LORD, your God, lives,
I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar
and a little oil in my jug.
Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks,
to go in and prepare something for myself and my son;
when we have eaten it, we shall die."
Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid.
Go and do as you propose.
But first make me a little cake and bring it to me.
Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son.
For the LORD, the God of Israel, says,
'The jar of flour shall not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'"
She left and did as Elijah had said.
She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well;
the jar of flour did not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10):

 

R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
 


The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.


R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
 


The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.


R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
 


The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
 

R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 9:24-28):

 

Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
with blood that is not his own;
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

 

 

 

Gospel  -  A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 12:38-44):

 

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation."

He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
"Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood."

 

 

--------------------------

 

11/11/2012 - Consecrating the Drops of Blood Which Our Lord Jesus Lost On the Way to Calvary (AKA A True Letter of Our Savior Jesus Christ):  I cannot better describe this devotion to the drops of blood Jesus lost on his way to crucifixion.  But to sum up:  St. Elizabeth (Queen of Hungary), Matilda, and St. Bridget wanted to know something of the Passion of Christ and offered fervent prayers.  Jesus responded in the following fashion...

 

From:  http://www.sacred-heart-site.org/blood.html

 

A True Letter Of Our Saviour Jesus Christ


Consecrating the Drops of Blood which Our Lord Jesus lost on His Way to Calvary.

 

Copy of a letter of the Oration found in the Holy Sepulchre of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, preserved in a silver box by His Holiness and by the Emperors and Empresses of the Christian Faith.

St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, with Matilda and St. Bridget, wishing to know something of the Passion of Jesus Christ, offered fervent and special prayers, upon which there appeared to them Our Lord Jesus Christ who spoke to them in the following manner:


I descended from Heaven to the Earth in order to convert you.

In the olden times people were religious and their harvests were abundant; at present, on the contrary, they are scanty.

If you want to reap an abundant harvest you must not work on Sundays, for on Sunday you must go to Church and pray to God to forgive your sins. He gave you six days in which to work and one for rest and devotion and to tender your help to the poor and assist the Church.

Those people, who brawl against my religion and cast slurs on this Sacred Letter, shall be forsaken by me.

On the contrary, those people who shall carry a copy of this letter with them shall be free from death by drowning and from sudden death. They shall be free from all contagious diseases and lightning; they shall not die without confession, and shall be free from their enemies and from the hand of wrongful authority, and from all their slanderers and false witnesses.

Women in peril at child-birth will, by keeping this Oration about them, immediately overcome the difficulty. In the houses where this Oration is kept no evil thing will ever happen; and forty days before the death of a person who has this Oration about him or her, the Blessed Virgin will appear to him or her.
So said St. Gregorius.

-------

To all those faithful who shall recite for 3 years, each day 2 Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory Be's, in honor of the drops of blood I lost, I will concede the following 5 graces
:

1st. The plenary indulgence and remittance of your sins.

2nd. You will be free from the pains of Purgatory.

3rd. If you should die before completing the said 3 years, for you it will be the same as if you had completed them.

4th. It will be upon your death the same as if you had shed all your blood for the Holy Faith.

5th. I will descend from Heaven too take your soul and that of your relatives, until the fourth generation.

Be it known that the number of armed soldiers were 150; those who trailed me while I was bound were 23. The executioners of justice were 83; the blows received on my head were 150; those on my stomach, 108; kicks on my shoulders, 80. I was led, bound with cords by the hair, 24 times; spits in the face were 180; I was beaten on the body 6666 times; beaten on the head, 110 times. I was roughly pushed, and at 12 o'clock was lifted up by the hair; pricked with thorns and pulled by the beard 23 times; received 20 wounds on the head; thorns of marine junks, 72; pricks of thorns on the head, 110; mortal thorns in the forehead, 3. I was afterwards flogged and dressed as a mocked king; wounds in the body, 1000. The soldiers who led me to Calvary were 608; those who watched me were 3, and those who mocked me were 1008; the drops of blood which I lost were 28,430.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, November 4, 2012:  (THIRTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Deuteronomy 6:2-6  /  Hebrews 7:23-28  /  Mark 12:28b-34:

 

From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/110412.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 6:2-6):

 

Moses spoke to the people, saying:
"Fear the LORD, your God,
and keep, throughout the days of your lives,
all his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you,
and thus have long life.
Hear then, Israel, and be careful to observe them,
that you may grow and prosper the more,
in keeping with the promise of the LORD, the God of your fathers,
to give you a land flowing with milk and honey.

"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!
Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God,
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your strength.
Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today."

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51):

 

R. (2) I love you, Lord, my strength.

I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.


R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.


R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

The LORD lives! And blessed be my rock!
Extolled be God my savior.
You who gave great victories to your king
and showed kindness to your anointed.


R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 7:23-28):

 

Brothers and sisters:

The levitical priests were many
because they were prevented by death from remaining in office,
but Jesus, because he remains forever,
has a priesthood that does not pass away.
Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him,
since he lives forever to make intercession for them.

It was fitting that we should have such a high priest:
holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners,
higher than the heavens.
He has no need, as did the high priests,
to offer sacrifice day after day,
first for his own sins and then for those of the people;
he did that once for all when he offered himself.
For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests,
but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law,
appoints a son,
who has been made perfect forever.

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 12:28b-34):

 

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
"Which is the first of all the commandments?"
Jesus replied, "The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these."
The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
'He is One and there is no other than he.'
And 'to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself'
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
"You are not far from the kingdom of God."
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

 

 

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Friday, November 2, 2012:  (THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED (ALL SOULS))  Readings for today:  Wisdom 3:1-9  /  Romans 5:5-11  /  John 6:37-40:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/110212.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Wisdom (Wisdom 3:1-9):

 

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6):

 

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.


R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.


R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.


R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.


R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (Romans 5:5-11):

 

Brothers and sisters:

Hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
How much more then, since we are now justified by his Blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.
Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 6:37-40):

 

Jesus said to the crowds:
"Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day."

 

 

 

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Thursday, November 1, 2012:  (SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS)  Readings for today:  Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14  /  1 John 3:1-3  /  Matthew 5:1-12a:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/110112.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Revelation (Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14):

 

I, John, saw another angel come up from the East,
holding the seal of the living God.
He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels
who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
"Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees
until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal,
one hundred and forty-four thousand marked
from every tribe of the children of Israel.

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

"Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb."

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

"Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
"Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"
I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows."
He said to me,
"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb."

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 24:1bc-2, 3-4ab, 5-6):

 

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.


The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.


R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.


Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.


R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.


He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.


R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 -  A reading from the first letter of St. John (1 John 3:1-3):

 

Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God's children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew (Matthew 5:1-12a):

 

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven."

 

 

 

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Sunday, October 28, 2012:  (THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Jeremiah 31:7-9  /  Hebrews 5:1-6  /  Mark 10:46-52:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/102812.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 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 - (Psalm 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 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 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 - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 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.

 

 

 

---------------------

 

10/28/2012 - The Apostleship of Prayer Daily Offering (aka "My Daily Offering", "Daily Offering", etc.):  This prayer is one way to offer yourself to God on a daily basis, in union with the desires of our Lord Jesus the Christ.

 

From:  http://www.apostleshipofprayer.org/dailyofferingeucharist.html

 

Here's some info from their site on this prayer...

 

  The spiritual program of the Apostleship of Prayer is deeply Eucharistic. The Eucharist is Christ's gift of His own Divine Life to each one who follows Him. We participate at Mass by giving ourselves wholly to the Lord as we receive Him. Whether or not we are able to attend daily Mass, as we pray the Morning Offering we give ourselves to the Lord. In our traditional prayer, we offer ourselves "in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world." By offering ourselves to God, we are living as a "holy priesthood" (1 Peter 2:5), sharing Christ's identity and mission. We have this privilege by Baptism, not by ordination.

Vatican II Council states: "Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy, and to which the Christian people, 'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people' (1 Pet 2: 9, 4-5) have a right and obligation by reason of their baptism (#14)."


Traditional Daily Offering of the Apostleship of Prayer:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.

 

 

And also from this site is a VERY informative video explaining the why's and what's of this prayer, as well as several versions of the above prayer are printed below the video on the site below:

 

From:  http://www.apostleshipofprayer.org/morningofferingprayers.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, October 21, 2012:  (TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Isaiah 53:10-11  /  Hebrews 4:14-16  /  Mark 10:35-45:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/102112.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (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.

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (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 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (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 - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 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."

 

 

 

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10/21/2012 - Prayer for Daily Neglects:  First, this prayer is not meant to replace confession.   A Poor Clare nun appeared to her abbess after her own death and told her about this prayer which allowed her to go straight to heaven.

 

From:  http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/prayer-for-daily-neglects.html

 

A PRAYER FOR
DAILY NEGLECTS


This Prayer for Daily Neglects, as it is best known, invites us to offer God the Father the Sacred Heart of his Divine Son, as we read below, in reparation for our sins. The third petition brings to mind the Penitential Rite at Mass.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with all its love, all its sufferings and all its merits.

First --- To expiate all the sins I have committed this day and during all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Second --- To purify the good I have done poorly this day and during all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Third --- To supply for the good I ought to have done, and that I have neglected this day and all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Some books note concerning this Prayer for Daily Neglects that a Poor Clare nun claimed to have gone directly to Heaven upon her death, skipping purgatory completely through this prayer! (Editors hasten to add that this prayer is not meant to replace confession, however!)

Picture of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque courtesy of Wikipedia


Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pictured at right, championed devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the 17th century after our Lord showed her His Sacred Heart burning with tremendous love for us.

Faithful Catholics around the world practice this devotion acknowledging His great love through acts of adoration (such as in visiting Him in a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament and in frequent Communion, especially on the First Friday of each month) and in prayers and reparation for offenses against His Sacred Heart.


While the Prayer for Daily Neglects is not specifically part of a devotion, it movingly refers to our Lord’s Sacred Heart as an offering of love we can make for our sins, suggestive of His offering of Himself at Calvary in His Passion!

Clearly this prayer gives us a proper spirit of penitence and humility before God the Father, which can also draw us closer to His Son. As St. Margaret Mary once wrote “consider often that it is only the humble of heart that can enter into the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, converse with Him, love Him and be loved by Him.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, October 14, 2012:  (TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Wisdom 7:7-11  /  Hebrews 4:12-13  /  Mark 10:17-30:

 

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/101412.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Wisdom (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.

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (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 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (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 - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 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."

 

 

 

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10/14/2012 - Three Beautiful Prayers for the Dying: 

 

From:  http://friendsofthepoorsouls.blogspot.com/2006/07/three-beautiful-prayers-for-dying.html

 

 THREE BEAUTIFUL PRAYERS FOR THE DYING


Three very beautiful prayers
which are very useful to a dying person, and should be prayed often as an act of mercy.

There once was a Pope in Rome who was surrounded by many sins. The Lord God struck him with a fatal illness. When he saw that he was dying he summoned Cardinals, Bishops and learned persons and said to them: “My dear friends! What comfort can you give me now that I must die, and when I deserve eternal damnation for my sins?” No one answered him. One of them, a pious curate named John, said: “Father, why do you doubt the Mercy of God?” The Pope replied: “What comfort can you give me now that I must die and fear that I’ll be damned for my sins?” John replied: “I’ll read three prayers over you; I hope, you’ll be comforted and that you’ll obtain Mercy from God.” The Pope was unable to say more. The curate and all those present knelt and said an Our Father, then the following prayers:

Prayer 1.
Lord Jesus Christ! Thou Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, God and Man, Thou who in fear sweated blood for us on the Mount of Olives in order to bring peace, and to offer Thy Most Holy Death to God Thy Heavenly Father for the salvation of this dying person… If it be, however, that by his sins he merits eternal damnation, then may it be deflected from him. This, O Eternal Father through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Dear Son, Who liveth and reigneth in union with The Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen.

Prayer 2.
Lord Jesus Christ! Thou who meekly died on the trunk of the Cross for us, submitting Thy Will completely to Thy Heavenly Father in order to bring peace and to offer Thy most Holy Death to Thy Heavenly Father in order to free…(this person)…and to hide from him what he has earned with his sins; grant this O Eternal Father! Through Our Lord Jesus Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in union with the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen.

Prayer 3.
Lord Jesus Christ! Thou Who remained silent to speak through the mouths of the Prophets; I have drawn Thee to me through Eternal Love, which love drew Thee from Heaven into the body of the Virgin, which love drew Thee from the body of the Virgin into the valley of this needful world, which Love kept Thee 33 years in this world, and as a sign of Great Love, Thou hast given Thy drink, as a sign of great love, Thou has consented to be a prisoner and to be led from one judge to another and as a sign of great love Thou has consented to be condemned to death, and hast consented to die and to be buried and truly rise, and appeared to Thy Holy Mother and all the Holy Apostles, and as a sign of great love Thou hast ascended, under Thy own strength and power, and sitteth at the right hand of God Thy heavenly Father, and Thou has sent Thy Holy Spirit into the heart of Thy Apostles and the hearts of all who hope and believe in Thee. Through Thy sign of Eternal love, open heaven today and take this dying person… and all his sins into the realm of Thy Heavenly Father, that he may reign with Thee now and forever. Amen.

Meanwhile the Pope died. The curate persevered to the third hour, then the Pope appeared to him in body and comforting him; his countenance as brilliant as the sun, his clothes as white as snow, and he said: “My dear brother! Whereas I was supposed to be a child of damnation I’ve become a child of happiness. As you recited the first prayer many of my sins fell from me as rain from Heaven, and as you recited the second Prayer I was purified, as a goldsmith purifies gold in a hot fire. I was still further purified as you recited the third prayer. Then I saw Heaven open and the Lord Jesus standing on the Right Hand of God the Father who said to me: “Come, all thy sins are forgiven thee, you’ll be and remain in the realm of My Father forever. Amen!”

With these words my soul separated from my body and the angels of God led it to Eternal Joy.

As the curate heard this he said: “O Holy Father! I can’t tell these things to anyone, for they won’t believe me.” Then the Pope said: “Truly I tell thee, the Angel of God stands with me and has written the prayers in letters of gold for the consolement of all sinners. If a person had committed all the sins in the world, but that the three prayers shall have been read (over him) at his end (death), all his sins wil be forgiven him, even though his soul was supposed to suffer until the Last Judgment, it will be redeemed (freed).

The person who hears them read, he won’t die an unhappy death also in whose house they will be read. Therefore take these prayers and carry them into St. Peter’s Basilica and lay them in the Chapel named the Assumption of Mary, for certain consolation. The person who will be near death, who reads them or hears them read gains 400 years indulgence for the days he was supposed to suffer in Purgatory because of his guilt. Also who reads this prayer or hears it read, the hour of his death shall be revealed to him. Amen!

(Taken from the Pieta Book – permission granted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, October 7, 2012:  (TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Genesis 2:18-24  /  Hebrews 2:9-11  /  Mark 10:2-16:

 

 

From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/100712.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 -  A reading from the book of Genesis (Genesis 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 - (Psalm 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 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 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 -  A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 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."

And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them,
"Let the children come to me;
do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to
such as these.
Amen, I say to you,
whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it."
Then he embraced them and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.

 

 

 

 

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10/07/2012 - St. Clare of Montefalco (1268-1308):  St. Clare of Montefalco was an abess and a mystic.  She had a vision in which the Lord Jesus Christ appeared with his cross to her and told her he had been looking for a place to plant his cross and found no better place than her heart.  Since then, she made frequent mention to her sisters in the convent that the cross of Christ was in her heart.  After her death, her sisters examined her heart and found indeed that Christ crucified was in her heart, the crucifix and body formed of a combination of tissue, nerves, fibrous tissue, etc. all forming various symbols, such as the crucifix, the body of Christ, lance wound, covered loins, scourge, crown of thorns, three nails, and a lance.

 

From:  http://www.roman-catholic-saints.com/saint-clare-of-montefalco.html

 

Saint Clare of Montefalco


Saint Clare of Montefalco
(Santa Chiara da Montefalco, Saint Clare of the Cross)

Feast Day – August 16

Like so many other towns in Umbria, Montefalco is a small city set on a hill. It overlooks the valley of Spoleto, and some distance to the north Assisi is visible. Here Clare Damiani was born about 1268; and as a little girl of six she was placed in the convent of Saint Illuminata, where her sister Jane was superior.

From the beginning little Clare observed the rule of the Third Order of St Francis and added severe penances, keeping strict silence, taking only bread and water, and sleeping on the ground. About eight years later, Clare and the other sisters moved to a new convent, that of Santa Croce, which had been built for them on a nearby hill. During these years all of them followed the rule of the Third Order; but in 1290 the bishop of Spoleto substituted the rule of St Augustine.

After the death of her sister in 1298, Clare, who distinguished herself by her spirit of prayer and penance and was then about thirty years old, was chosen superior. Not only did she carry out her duties as a religious and a superior in an exemplary manner, but she exerted an extraordinary influence also on the outside world. She confuted heretics, converted sinners, reconciled families which were at odds with one another, made peace between neighboring warring towns, drove out devils, foretold future events, healed the sick, and raised the dead. During the latter part of her life, she also received the gifts of ecstasy and supernatural knowledge.

It is related that our Lord, carrying His Cross, appeared to Saint Clare of Montefalco and said: “I have been searching for a long time, daughter, to find a firm and solid place on which to plant My Cross, and I have not found one more suitable than your heart. You must receive it and allow it to take root.”

Clare herself once told a sister in her convent: “If you seek the Cross of Christ, take my heart. There you will find the suffering Lord.”

When Saint Clare of Montefalco's heart was opened after her death, the Cross and other instruments of the Passion were found within, formed solidly in fibrous tissue. As an example, the crucifix was found to be about the size of a person's thumb. The corpus is white and clearly formed as if sculpted, except for the tiny wound of the lance, which is bright red. A white tissue covers the loins of the corpus. For this reason she is also called Saint Clare of the Cross.

There were also three pellets found in the gall of St Clare. About the size of hazel nuts, they were found to be symbols of the Holy Trinity for the following reason - any single one of them weighed exactly the same as the other two, and any one of them equalled the weight of two or all three of them together. These pellets can still be seen.



Commending her sisters to her Franciscan brother, Father Francis Damiani, Saint Clare of Montefalco died at the age of forty on August 17, 1308, and was buried in the chapel of Santa Croce Convent. Later a church was built next to it and dedicated to her. Here her body, which has been preserved incorrupt in a most unusual manner, can still be seen; in fact, it seems to be that of a living person who is asleep. The miracle of liquefaction and ebullition of her blood has also taken place. The cult which had been paid to her as Blessed from the time of her death was approved in 1624; and in 1881 Pope Leo XIII canonized her.

from The Franciscan Book of Saints, edited by Marion Habig, OFM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, September 30, 2012:  (TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Numbers 11:25-29  /  James 5:1-6  /  Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48:

 

From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/093012.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Numbers (Numbers 11:25-29):

 

The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses.
Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses,
the LORD bestowed it on the seventy elders;
and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.

Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad,
were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp.
They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent;
yet the spirit came to rest on them also,
and they prophesied in the camp.
So, when a young man quickly told Moses,
"Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, "
Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses' aide, said,
"Moses, my lord, stop them."
But Moses answered him,
"Are you jealous for my sake?
Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!
Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!"

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14):

 

R. (9a) The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.


The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.


R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.


The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.


R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.


Though your servant is careful of them,
very diligent in keeping them,
Yet who can detect failings?
Cleanse me from my unknown faults!


R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.


From wanton sin especially, restrain your servant;
let it not rule over me.
Then shall I be blameless and innocent
of serious sin.


R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. James (James 5:1-6):

 

Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded,
and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;
it will devour your flesh like a fire.
You have stored up treasure for the last days.
Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers
who harvested your fields are crying aloud;
and the cries of the harvesters
have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure;
you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
You have condemned;
you have murdered the righteous one;
he offers you no resistance.

 

 

 

 

Gospel -  A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48):

 

At that time, John said to Jesus,
"Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us."
Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"

 

 

 

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09/30/2012 - St. Jerome (342? - 420):  St. Jerome is not your typical saint, in that he was probably best known for his bad temper.  He would get bent all out of shape quickly, but would also be quick to feel remorse.  He felt it his call to be a reclusive monk, and he was more critical of his own faults and failures than anyone else especially because he felt such strong temptations away from other people over long periods of time and after long bouts of fasting.  He wrote extensively in support of the church, expelling many heresies and schisms that were rampant in his time.  And because he had a quick temper, at times it came out in his writings, which earned him enemies at times, friends at others.

St. Jerome

 

From:  http://arewethereyet-davisfarmmom.blogspot.com/2010/09/feast-of-st-jerome.html

 

One of the first Doctors of the Church, St. Jerome  (c. 347 – 420) is widely known as the translator of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate), but he was also the author of many other works.  He penned many letters and theological treatise, chiefly in defense of the Faith, arguing against the Arian heresy, rampant in his time, and defending the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Mother, as well a attacks against Christian pious practices, the cultus of martyrs and relics, the vow of poverty, and clerical celibacy.  After St. Augustine, St. Jerome is the most prolific writer of the ancient Christians. 

 
We most often see St. Jerome in art pictured in his ascetic monastic cell or in the desert, and he was very much attracted to the ascetic life, but spent a good part of his life in more courtly places, while continuing always to lead a simple monastic life.  He was ordained a priest in 378, but only received the honor with the stipulation that he not be appointed pastor of a church, as he felt his calling was to be a recluse, to live a monastic life.   He was a counsellor of Pope Damasas (Chair of Peter 366-384), serving as secretary of the council deciding over the problem of the schism in Antiochin the 380s.  Jerome aquitted his duties so well that the pope kept him in Rome as his own secretary, and set him in charge of "cleaning up" the copies of the New Testament and the Psalms which had suffered already by poor copying and translation. This was the beginning of St. Jerome's work on the Vulgate. 

 
In the 1890s, Pope Damasus having died, and having had enough of city life, St. Jerome moved to the Holy Land, making for himself a monastic cell outside of Bethlehem.  By the early 400s, he had completed his translation of the Bible, making his way through the Old Testament, even learning a new language (Chaldaic) in his scholarly pursuit of perfection.  By the time he had finished, St. Jerome had translated or "corrected" all the books of the Old and New Testament except the Books of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and the two Books of the Maccabees.    Leading always a life of purity and prayer, St. Jerome's God-given gift for languages and his knowlege and understanding of Sacred Scripture made him the ideal candidate for this undertaking of the Blessed Trinity.

 
*  St. Jerome is very often depicted with a lion and is associated with the medieval story in which the saint's charity in pulling a thorn from a lion's paw makes a pet of the lion.  In art, this Doctor of the Church usually has a lion reclining at his feet as he writes with a feather in a big book, indicating the Bible. Ther is, however, no mention of a pet lion in any of the multitudinous letters St. Jerome wrote in his lifetime, nor any other documentation of such an alliance.  It's believed that this story was transferred to St. Jerome from the tradition of St. Gerasimos, a monk also of the fifth century.  The confusion is easily forgiven, though, because a lion seems such an appropriate symbol for as strong and unflinching a champion of the Faith as St. Jerome.

St. Jerome died on September 30th, 420.  His relics lie in the Sistine Chapel in St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome.

St. Jerome, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, Father of the Vulgate, Pray for us!

 

 

 

 

 

Other good links with more information on St. Jerome:

 

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=10

 

http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1154

(Where we find:

"Most of the saints are remembered for some outstanding virtue or devotion which they practiced, but Jerome is frequently remembered for his bad temper! It is true that he had a very bad temper and could use a vitriolic pen, but his love for God and his Son Jesus Christ was extraordinarily intense; anyone who taught error was an enemy of God and truth, and St. Jerome went after him or her with his mighty and sometimes sarcastic pen. ")

 

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08341a.htm

 

 

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Sunday, September 23, 2012:  (TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Wisdom 2:12, 17-20  /  James 3:16-4:3  /  Mark 9:30-37:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/092312.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Wisdom (Wisdom 2:12, 17-20):

 

The wicked say:


Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 54:3-4, 5, 6 and 8):

 

R. (6b) The Lord upholds my life.


O God, by your name save me,
and by your might defend my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
hearken to the words of my mouth.


R. The Lord upholds my life.


For the haughty men have risen up against me,
the ruthless seek my life;
they set not God before their eyes.


R. The Lord upholds my life.


Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord sustains my life.
Freely will I offer you sacrifice;
I will praise your name, O LORD, for its goodness.


R. The Lord upholds my life.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. James (James 3:16-4:3):

 

Beloved:


Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.



Where do the wars
and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions
that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess.
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war.
You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive,
because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 9:30-37):

 

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
"The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise."
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
"What were you arguing about on the way?"
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
"If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all."
Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
"Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me."

 

 

 

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09/23/2012 - St. Philomena (Feastday Aug. 11; Patron Saint of Babies, Infants, and Youth; Patroness and Protectress of the Living Rosary; Died 304 A.D.):  The video below gives a great overview of the life and death of this young virgin martyr, who refused marriage to Diocletian and was severely tortured and many attempts to kill her followed, failed to kill her, and caused many who witnessed these attempts at her life converted to Christianity.  Finally beheaded, she was shortly forgotten and buried.  Her bones and relics were found in the catacombs of St. Priscilla.  Soon after prayers for her intercession were answered with miraculous cures.  Her story was revealed through 3 people living in different ends of the world, neither knowing the others, yet all three stories were quite similar in details.

St. Philomena (Virgin and Martyr)

 

From:  http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=98  (video is about 3/4 down the page)

 

 

 

 

 

Little is known of her life, and the information was received by private revelation from her. Martyred at about age 14 in the early days of the Church.

In 1802 the remains of a young woman were found in the catacomb of Saint Priscilla on the Via Salaria. It was covered by stones, the symbols on which indicated that the body was a martyr named Saint Philomena. The bones were exhumed, cataloged, and effectively forgotten since there was so little known about the person.

In 1805 Canon Francis de Lucia of Mugnano, Italy was in the Treasury of the Rare Collection of Christian Antiquity (Treasury of Relics) in the Vatican. When he reached the relics of Saint Philomena he was suddenly struck with a spiritual joy, and requested that he be allowed to enshrine them in a chapel in Mugnano. After some disagreements, settled by the cure of Canon Francis following prayers to Philomena, he was allowed to translate the relics to Mugnano. Miracles began to be reported at the shrine including cures of cancer, healing of wounds, and the Miracle of Mugnano in which Venerable Pauline Jaricot was cured a severe heart ailment overnight. Philomena became the only person recognized as a Saint solely on the basis of miraculous intercession as nothing historical was known of her except her name and the evidence of her martyrdom.

Pope Leo XII granted permission for the erection of altars and churches in her honor. Pope Gregory XVI authorized her public veneration, and named her patroness of the Living Rosary. The cure of Pope Pius IX, while archbishop of Imola, was attributed to Philomena; in 1849, he named her patroness of the Children of Mary. Pope Leo XIII approved the Confraternity of Saint Philomena, and raised it to an Archconfraternity. Pope Pius X raised the Archconfraternity to a Universal Archconfraternity, and named Saint John Vianney its patron. Saint John Vianney himself called Philomena the New Light of the Church Militant, and had a strong and well-known devotion to her. Others with known devotion to her include Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Saint Euphrasia Pelletier, Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, Saint Madeline Sophie Barat, Saint Peter Chanel, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, and Venerable Pauline Jaricot.

Addition Info:

In 1802, the bones of a female between the ages of 13 and 15 were discovered in the catacomb of St. Priscilia. An inscription near her tomb read "Peace be with thee, Philomena", along with drawings of 2 anchors, 3 arrows and a palm. Near her bones was discovered a small glass vial, containing the remains of blood. Because it was a popular custom of the early martyrs to leave symbols and signs such as these, it was easily determined that St. Philomena was a virgin and a martyr. Her popularity soon became widespread, with her most memorable devotees being St. John Vianney, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, St. Peter Eymard, and St. Peter Chanel. After being miraculously cured, Ven. Pauline Jaricot insisted that Pope Gregory XVI begin an examination for the beatification of St. Philomena, who was to become known as the "wonder worker". After hundreds of other miraculous cures, she was beatified in 1837. St. Philomena, who the pope named as the Patroness of the Living Rosary and the Patroness of the Children of Mary, is the only person recognized as a saint solely on the basis of her powerful intercession, although pertinent revelations regarding her life have been recorded. Her relics are now preserved in Mugnano, Italy.

 

Biography Provided By: Santuario Santa Filomena

Saint Philomena - Virgin and Martyr

The figure of Philomena, young roman martyr, emerged after nearly seventeen centuries of silence. Since the finding of her body the extraordinary presence of St. Philomena in the Church began. Since then every Pope has venerated her with his personal devotion and millions of Catholics have felt her beneficial influence. She has been a model of spiritual life for many Saints, Blessed and Venerable. Great devotion toward St. Philomena has spread all over the world and Pontiffs have granted the Saint the “Liturgical Cult” with Mass and its own Office.

St. Philomena’s mortal remains were discovered in 1802 in Rome in a catacomb belonging to Priscilla. There are no biographic records of St. Philomena. Therefore, the first records about the Saint are the ones that start with the finding of her tomb in Priscilla’s catacombs, to the translation of her body to Mugnano del Cardinale, the beginning of her providential influence in Church life.

On the three stones that sealed the tomb, were the inscriptions:

“LUMENA – PAX TE – CUM FI”
 

and the following symbols:
 

two anchors
 

three arrows
 

a palm
 

a lily


In 1805, Don Francesco De Lucia, a young priest of Mugnano del Cardinale of the Diocese of Nola, was in Rome. He nourished the wish of having the body of a “Saint Martyr and with a Name” to take to his oratory in Mugnano. Pius VII was moved and donated the body of St. Philomena. On the first of July Bishop Bartolomeo De Cesare and Don Francesco left Rome with the Saint’s relics. They reached Naples on July 2, 1805. Mons. Vincenzo Torrusio, Bishop of Nola, officially recognized the sacred relics, and then placed them in a private chapel.

Once the news spread, there was a massive rush of the faithful. To avoid disorder, the remains of St. Philomena were displayed for the first time to public veneration in the parish church of Sant’Angelo a Segno, where they remained for three days.

The the sacred relics arrived in Mugnano the morning of August 10th and were placed in the Church of Our Lady of Grace. Since the wonders happening were many and the number of devotees kept increasing, a new Church of Our Lady of Grace was built in Mugnano. It contains a chapel where the sacred relics were translated on September 29, 1805, and where they still remain.

In Mugnano, the three stones that sealed St. Philomena’s niche in Priscilla’s catacombs, were solemnly displayed for public veneration of the faithful on August 4, 1827. Apart from the writing, what is striking is the richness of the symbols: two anchors, three arrows, a palm symbol of martyrdom, a flower. Externally, on the tomb of St. Philomena, there is the palm symbol of martyrdom and inside the glass vase with the blood, which, as we will see in the next chapters, has been subjected to the most rigorous exams.

St. Philomena has ascended to the glory of the Altars not for what we concretely know about her brief earthly existence but for the countless graces and miracles that God has lavished through her powerful intercession. That which is missing in the veneration of St. Philomena regarding historic records, is abundantly compensated by the richness and multiplicity of all the miracles performed thanks to her intercession from the day of the translation of her bones from Rome to Mugnano, up until now. Rightly, Pope Gregory XVI defined her the “Thaumaturge of XIX century”.

In the nineteenth century the figure of Philomena, young roman martyr, conquered hearts. The cult expanded rapidly. Many devotees trusted her protection and, of these, we remember Pauline Jaricot, founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, and the Living Rosary; the young John Maria Mastai Ferretti, who will become Pope with the name of Pius IX and will be beatified; the shy priest John Marie Vianney, the Cure of Ars, singled out by St Pius X as the guarantor of St. Philomena. They were all seriously ill and were perfectly cured from their illnesses as a result in their faith in St. Philomena.

The latin term dies natalis (day of birth) indicates the day in which the a saint moves from the earthly life to the eternal one. An earthly life spent observing the precepts of the divine commandments leads to eternal life. For a martyr, we can affirm what St. Ambrose wrote to the young martyr St. Agnes: “Martirem dixi, satis dixi”, which means: “having said martyr, I’ve said everything”.

Mons. Anselmo Basilici, Bishop of Sutri and Nepi, was a tireless promoter of the cult of St. Philomena. Mons. Basilici had received a few relics from Mugnano and wanted to divide them between the Churches of his Diocese. He wanted to please all the applicants, but he did not know how. At this point the relics prodigiously multiplied themselves. He also declared that he received requests about relics from Cardinals and Bishops to promote the devotion and that he managed to meet the demands of everybody. The on June 17, 1835 a division of the dust belonging to the sacred Body of St. Philomena was solemnly carried out by in front of many witnesses that confirmed the prodigy.

What amazes both the ordinary faithful and the diligent researcher about the Philomena phenomenon is realizing how fast the cult of St. Philomena is spreading all over the world. For about seventeen centuries her bones had remained in the oblivion of Priscilla’s Catacombs in Rome. In a few years the devotion towards this young girl has spread in the whole world matching, and even exceeding, the devotion towards other martyrs venerated in the past.

Before the decree of the Congregation of Rites of 1961, St. Philomena was venerated and her figure was present in all the hagiography books. After 1961, not only was she removed from the liturgical calendar, but in the majority of hagiography books she was treated as a symbol for all legends. Therefore, just like the other “obscured” Saints, there were those who continued to venerate St. Philomena more than ever, while others, confused, fell by the wayside. If so many High Pontiffs have approved her cult, St. Philomena is a reality, and cannot be relegated into legend.

The importance of the cult of St. Philomena can be evinced not only from the official Church documents, but also from the personal devotions that Popes that have had towards our Martyr.

Nearly all the Popes, from 1802 to 1940, have shown a great veneration for St. Philomena. Some of them have visited the Sanctuary of the Saint when they were Cardinals of The Holy Roman Church. Pius IX, apart from having been miraculously cured by the Saint and spreading her devotion in the diocese of Imola of which he was Pastor, as a Pope he visited the Sanctuary in Mugnano to venerate the sacred body of Philomena the martyr. The devotion of the Popes toward our martyr was great, as shown by their recognitions, privileges and ex voto.

Pius VII (1800-1823). He accomplished the greatest act, donating to Mugnano the body of St. Philomena.
Leo XII (1823-1829). On the 7th of December 1827, he exclaimed: “She is a great Saint!”
Gregory XVI (1831-1846). The Pope himself donated to the Sanctuary of St. Philomena a precious medallion with his effigy, a big silver lamp with golden decorations and a golden chalice.
Pius IX (1846-1878). He was cured from his epilepsy by the intercession of our Saint. When he was Bishop of Imola even his secretary, Don Joseph Stella, was cured in 1834 by intercession of St. Philomena.
Leo XIII (1878-1903). He came in pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Mugnano when he was still Archbishop of Benevento. On December 15, 1883, Leo XIII approved the use of a red and white cord in honor of the Saint. Furthermore, on September 24, 1889 he granted the title of Archconfraternity (solely to France) to the Work of St. Philomena, and in 1902 he wanted to celebrate in Rome, in Priscilla’s Catacombs, the first centenary for the finding of the Saint martyr’s body. Furthermore, he sent two gifts to the Sanctuary in Mugnano: in 1888 a nice pastoral and on the May 25, 1902, on the centenary of the finding of the relics, a wonderful missal.
St Pius X (1903-1914). He is the Pope that in 1905 proclaimed the Curate of Ars Blessed on the first centenary of the translation of St. Philomena’s Body from Rome to Mugnano. Pius X loved St. Philomena very much and he was truly saddened by the Philomenian question about the originality of the stones found in front of her tomb. St. Pius X, on the May 21, 1912, extended to the whole Church the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena: the highest tribute from a pope who became Saint to a great Saint!

Sainted devotees of St. Philomena

St. John Marie Vianney, Curé of Ars (1876-1859). It was Pauline Jaricot who talked to him about the Saint of Mugnano and introduced her to him. It was she that gifted him with one of her relics. There is not a biography of the Curate of Ars where our Saint is not mentioned. In France he was the greatest promoter of the devotion towards the Saint of Mugnano. He had a statue of St. Philomena placed in his parish church, and then built a Basilica in her honor in Ars. This Basilica, built in the same style of the one in Fourvière, which dominates over Lyon, was terminated after the death of Saint John Marie Vianney. The Saint Curate attributed to the intercession of our Saint, all the numerous miracles performed in Ars.
St. Peter Louis Marie Chanel (1803-1841). He was missionary and first martyr (April 28, 1841) of the mysterious and wild Oceania. His mutual devotion for St. Philomena came from the Curate of Ars. When he embarked in 1836 for the Archipelago of Tonga, he had in his breviary three pictures: Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. Philomena. To the young St. of Mugnano he would turn in the difficult moments of his apostolate amongst the mistrustful and hostile indigenous. Although not expert in constructions, he started building, trustful in “a Saint for whom he harbors a great devotion”. In honor of the Saint he recited a novena every year in the period of her feast. To one of the first baptized he gave the name Marie Philomeno.
St. Peter Julian Marie Eymard (1811- 1868). His greatest merit was the foundation in 1856 of the Congregation of the Most Blessed Sacrament. He was a very close friend of the Curate of Ars whom he visited regularly. He had a great devotion towards St. Philomena. He loved to kneel down in front of the Saint’s reliquary. In 1854 he was cured by the martyr, after a novena recited in her honor.
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865). She founded in 1802 the Society of the Sacred Heart. In the difficult times of her life and her religious order, Mother Barat invoked with faith the Saint of Mugnano. In her biography she states that on the 11th of September 1846 Barat placed her hands on a surgery patient who was instantly healed. She attributed her healing to St. Philomena, whom she had invoked.
St. John Nepomucene Neumann (1811-1860). In 1840 he joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, founded by St. Alfonso Maria de Liguori. He dedicated himself to the missionary activity in the States of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and in Christian education for youth, founding many parish catholic schools. In 1846, trustful of the help of the Martyr, “to whom God denies nothing for whomever invokes her” and without worrying about the money, he completed the building of the new Church of St. Philomena.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917). On her numerous journeys, especially the ones from New York to Buenos Aires and through the Andes, she always carried with her a small statue of St. Philomena. We can say that Cabrini, and the Bishop of Philadelphia Mons. Neumann, had the merit of promoting the devotion of the Saint in America more than anyone else. Pius XII declared her Universal Patroness of the Emigrants.
St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968). For her St. Philomena was the “Princess of Heaven”. After the liturgical reform of 1961, Father Pio used to imperatively reply to whoever dared to doubt the existence of the Saint: “for the love of God! It might well be that her name is not Philomena, but this Saint has performed many miracles and it is not the name that did them.” This is the wisest reply: who wants to understand, will understand!
St. Maddalena Gabriella of Canossa (1774-1835). She founded the Order of the Canossians (Work of the Charity daughters), an institution of great religious and human advancement. Mother Madeleine continuously urged her religious sisters towards the love of Christ and the Virgin of Sorrows, and she entrusted them to the patronage of St. Philomena.
St. Hannibal Marie Di Francia (1851-1927). Referring to St. Philomena he used to say: “St. Philomena has become famous for the great miracles that the Lord has worked through her.”
St. Damien de Veuster (1840 – 1889). Father Damien, Belgian missionary of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts, spent his life spiritually assisting and curing the lepers relegated to the isle of Molokai in the Hawaiian archipelago. A great devotee of St. Philomena, he dedicated to her the first chapel he built in the leper colony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, September 16, 2012:  (TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Isaiah 50:5-9a  /  James 2:14-18  /  Mark 8:27-35:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/091612.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 50:5-9a):

 

The Lord GOD opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right;
if anyone wishes to oppose me,
let us appear together.
Who disputes my right?
Let that man confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help;
who will prove me wrong?

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 114:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9):

 

R. (9) I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
 


I love the LORD because he has heard
my voice in supplication,
Because he has inclined his ear to me
the day I called.


R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
 


The cords of death encompassed me;
the snares of the netherworld seized upon me;
I fell into distress and sorrow,
And I called upon the name of the LORD,
"O LORD, save my life!"


R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
 


Gracious is the LORD and just;
yes, our God is merciful.
The LORD keeps the little ones;
I was brought low, and he saved me.


R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
 


For he has freed my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I shall walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.


R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
 

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 -  A reading from the letter of St. James (James 2:14-18):

 

What good is it, my brothers and sisters,
if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
"Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, "
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?
So also faith of itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.

Indeed someone might say,
"You have faith and I have works."
Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 8:27-35):

 

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that I am?"
They said in reply,
"John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets."
And he asked them,
"But who do you say that I am?"
Peter said to him in reply,
"You are the Christ."
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it."

 

 

 

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09/16/2012 - St. Cornelius (Martyred A.D. 253):  St. Cornelius was best known as the pope elected against his will, in a time of persecution in which the previous pope had been martyred and no one had been elected pope in over 14 months.  At the time many Christians renounced their faith rather than be martyred, and Pope Cornelius had to decide on the issue that divided various bishops...should those who have renounced the faith be allowed to return?  He said yes with proper penances.  A priest named Novatian disagreed with this ruling and named himself a rival bishop of Rome and became the first Antipope.  St. Cornelius reigned only a couple of years before being exiled to Civitavecchia near Rome, where some sources say he died of the hardships of his exile and others that he was beheaded.

 

 

From: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1140

 

St. Cornelius

 

Cornelius (d. 253). There was no pope for 14 months after the martyrdom of St. Fabian (January 20) because of the intensity of the persecution of the Church. During the interval, the Church was governed by a college of priests. St. Cyprian, a friend of Cornelius, writes that Cornelius was elected pope "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men."

The greatest problem of Cornelius's two-year term as pope had to do with the Sacrament of Penance and centered on the readmission of Christians who had denied their faith during the time of persecution. Two extremes were finally both condemned. Cyprian, primate of Africa, appealed to the pope to confirm his stand that the relapsed could be reconciled only by the decision of the bishop.

In Rome, however, Cornelius met with the opposite view. After his election, a priest named Novatian (one of those who had governed the Church) had himself consecrated a rival bishop of Rome—one of the first antipopes. He denied that the Church had any power to reconcile not only the apostates, but also those guilty of murder, adultery, fornication or second marriage! Cornelius had the support of most of the Church (especially of Cyprian of Africa) in condemning Novatianism, though the sect persisted for several centuries. Cornelius held a synod at Rome in 251 and ordered the "relapsed" to be restored to the Church with the usual "medicines of repentance."

The friendship of Cornelius and Cyprian was strained for a time when one of Cyprian's rivals made accusations about him. But the problem was cleared up.

A document from Cornelius shows the extent of organization in the Church of Rome in the mid-third century: 46 priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons. It is estimated that the number of Christians totaled about 50,000.

Cornelius died as a result of the hardships of his exile in what is now Civitavecchia (near Rome).

 

 

And from:  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04375c.htm

 

Martyr (251 to 253).

We may accept the statement of the Liberian catalogue that he reigned two years, three months, and ten days, for Lipsius, Lightfoot, and Harnack have shown that this list is a first-rate authority for this date. His predecessor, Fabian, was put to death by Decius, 20 January, 250. About the beginning of March, 251 the persecution slackened, owing to the absence of the emperor, against whom two rivals had arisen. It was possible to assemble sixteen bishops at Rome, and Cornelius was elected though against his will (Cyprian, Ep. lv, 24), "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the vote of the people then present, by the consent of aged priests and of good men, at a time when no one had been made before him, when the place of Fabian, that is the place of Peter, and the step of the sacerdotal chair were vacant". "What fortitude in his acceptance of the episcopate, what strength of mind, what firmness of faith, that he took his seat intrepid in the sacerdotal chair, at a time when the tyrant in his hatred of bishops was making unspeakable threats, when he heard with far more patience that a rival prince was arising against him, than that a bishop of God was appointed at Rome" (ibid., 9). Is he not, asks St. Cyprian, to be numbered among the glorious confessors and martyrs who sat so long awaiting the sword or the cross or the stake and every other torture?

A few weeks later the Roman priest Novatian made himself antipope, and the whole Christian world was convulsed by the schism at Rome. But the adhesion of St. Cyprian secured to Cornelius the hundred bishops of Africa, and the influence of St. Dionysius the Great, Bishop of Alexandria, brought the East within a few months to a right decision. In Italy itself the pope got together a synod of sixty bishops. (See NOVATIAN.) Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, seems to have wavered. Three letters to him from Cornelius were known to Eusebius, who gives extracts from one of them (Church History VI.43), in which the pope details the faults in Novatian's election and conduct with considerable bitterness. We incidentally learn that in the Roman Church there were forty-six priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, fifty-two ostiarii, and over one thousand five hundred widows and persons in distress. From this Burnet estimated the number of Christians in Rome at fifty thousand, so also Gibbon; but Benson and Harnack think this figure possibly too large. Pope Fabian had made seven regions; it appears that each had one deacon, one subdeacon and six acolytes. Of the letters of Cornelius to Cyprian two have come down to us, together with nine from Cyprian to the pope. Mgr. Merrati has shown that in the true text the letters of Cornelius are in the colloquial "vulgar-Latin" of the day, and not in the more classical style affected by the ex-orator Cyprian and the learned philosopher Novatian. Cornelius sanctioned the milder measures proposed by St. Cyprian and accepted by his Carthaginian council of 251 for the restoration to communion, after varying forms of penance, of those who had fallen during the Decian persecution (see CYPRIAN).

At the beginning of 252 a new persecution suddenly broke out. Cornelius was exiled to Centumcellæ (Civita Vecchia). There were no defections among the Roman Christians; all were confessors. The pope "led his brethren in confession", writes Cyprian (Ep. lx, ad Corn.), with a manifest reference to the confession of St. Peter. "With one heart and one voice the whole Roman Church confessed. Then was seen, dearest Brother, that faith which the blessed Apostle praised in you (Romans 1:8); even then he foresaw in spirit your glorious fortitude and firm strength." In June Cornelius died a martyr, as St. Cyprian repeatedly calls him. The Liberian catalogue has ibi cum gloriâ dormicionem accepit, and this may mean that he died of the rigours of his banishment, though later accounts say that he was beheaded. St. Jerome says that Cornelius and Cyprian suffered on the same day in different years, and his careless statement has been generally followed. The feast of St. Cyprian was in fact kept at Rome at the tomb of Cornelius, for the fourth century "Depositio Martirum" has "XVIII kl octob Cypriani Africæ Romæ celebratur in Callisti". St. Cornelius was not buried in the chapel of the popes, but in an adjoining catacomb, perhaps that of a branch of the noble Cornelii. His inscription is in Latin: CORNELIUS* MARTYR* whereas those of Fabian and Lucius are in Greek (Northcote and Brownlow, "Roma sotteranea", I, vi). His feast is kept with that of St. Cyprian on 14 September, possibly the day of his translation from Centumcellæ to the catacombs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, September 9, 2012:  (TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Isaiah 35:4-7a  /  James 2:1-5  /  Mark 7:31-37:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/090912.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 35:4-7a):

 

Thus says the LORD:


Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.
Streams will burst forth in the desert,
and rivers in the steppe.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water.


 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10):

 

R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
 


The God of Jacob keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.


R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
 


The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.


R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
 


The fatherless and the widow the LORD sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.


R.
Praise the Lord, my soul!


 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of James (James 2:1-5):

 

My brothers and sisters, show no partiality
as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes
comes into your assembly,
and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in,
and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes
and say, "Sit here, please, "
while you say to the poor one, "Stand there, " or "Sit at my feet, "
have you not made distinctions among yourselves
and become judges with evil designs?

Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.
Did not God choose those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?


 

 

 

 

Gospel -  A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 7:31-37):

 

Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man's ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
"Ephphatha!"-- that is, "Be opened!" --
And immediately the man's ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
"He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."


 

 

 

---------------------

 

09/09/2012 - St. Peter Claver (1581-1654):  In St. Peter Claver one can see his devotion to the Gospel by his actions ("show, don't tell" when it comes to spreading the Gospel), in other words, he lived a life that was a prime example of how one could live to serve the Lord Jesus and man.  Most famous for becoming the slave of the African slaves newly arrived in the New World (South America), St. Peter devoted his life to easing the arrival of the slaves that arrived in the Americas by providing food, clothing and defender of their comforts, even before they landed...and mostly in Caragena.

 

 

From:  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11763a.htm

 

 

  The son of a Catalonian farmer, was born at Verdu, in 1581; he died 8 September, 1654. He obtained his first degrees at the University of Barcelona. At the age of twenty he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tarragona. While he was studying philosophy at Majorca in 1605, Alphonsus Rodriguez, the saintly door-keeper of the college, learned from God the future mission of his young associate, and thenceforth never ceased exhorting him to set out to evangelize the Spanish possessions in America. Peter obeyed, and in 1610 landed at Cartagena, where for forty-four years he was the Apostle of the negro slaves. Early in the seventeenth century the masters of Central and South America afforded the spectacle of one of those social crimes which are entered upon so lightly. They needed laborers to cultivate the soil which they had conquered and to exploit the gold mines. The natives being physically incapable of enduring the labors of the mines, it was determined to replace them with negroes brought from Africa. The coasts of Guinea, the Congo, and Angola became the market for slave dealers, to whom native petty kings sold their subjects and their prisoners. By its position in the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena became the chief slave-mart of the New World. A thousand slaves landed there each month. They were bought for two, and sold for 200 écus. Though half the cargo might die, the trade remained profitable. Neither the repeated censures of the pope, nor those of Catholic moralists could prevail against this cupidity. The missionaries could not suppress slavery, but only alleviate it, and no one worked more heroically than Peter Claver.

Trained in the school of Père Alfonso de Sandoval, a wonderful missionary, Peter declared himself "the slave of the negroes forever", and thenceforth his life was one that confounds egotism by its superhuman charity. Although timid and lacking in self-confidence, he became a daring and ingenious organizer. Every month when the arrival of the negroes was signaled, Claver went out to meet them on the pilot's boat, carrying food and delicacies. The negroes, cooped up in the hold, arrived crazed and brutalized by suffering and fear. Claver went to each, cared for him, and showed him kindness, and made him understand that henceforth he was his defender and father. He thus won their good will. To instruct so many speaking different dialects, Claver assembled at Cartagena a group of interpreters of various nationalities, of whom he made catechists. While the slaves were penned up at Cartagena waiting to be purchased and dispersed, Claver instructed and baptized them in the Faith. On Sundays during Lent he assembled them, inquired concerning their needs, and defended them against their oppressors. This work caused Claver severe trials, and the slave merchants were not his only enemies. The Apostle was accused of indiscreet zeal, and of having profaned the Sacraments by giving them to creatures who scarcely possessed a soul. Fashionable women of Cartagena refused to enter the churches where Father Claver assembled his negroes. The saint's superiors were often influenced by the many criticisms which reached them. Nevertheless, Claver continued his heroic career, accepting all humiliations and adding rigorous penances to his works of charity. Lacking the support of men, the strength of God was given him. He became the prophet and miracle worker of New Granada, the oracle of Cartagena, and all were convinced that often God would not have spared the city save for him. During his life he baptized and instructed in the Faith more than 300,000 negroes. He was beatified 16 July, 1850, Pius IX, and canonized 15 January, 1888, by Leo XIII. His feast is celebrated on the ninth of September. On 7 July, 1896, he was proclaimed the special patron of all the Catholic missions among the negroes. Alphonsus Rodriguez was canonized on the same day as Peter Claver.


 

 

 

From:  http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=94



 

Feastday: September 9
Patron Saint of Negro Missions
1580 - 1654

 

St. Peter Claver was born at Verdu, Catalonia, Spain, in 1580, of impoverished parents descended from ancient and distinguished families. He studied at the Jesuit college of Barcelona, entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tarragona in 1602 and took his final vows on August 8th, 1604. While studying philosophy at Majorca, the young religious was influenced by St. Alphonsus Rodriguez to go to the Indies and save "millions of perishing souls."

In 1610, he landed at Cartagena (modern Colombia), the principle slave market of the New World, where a thousand slaves were landed every month. After his ordination in 1616, he dedicated himself by special vow to the service of the Negro slaves-a work that was to last for thirty-three years. He labored unceasingly for the salvation of the African slaves and the abolition of the Negro slave trade, and the love he lavished on them was something that transcended the natural order.

Boarding the slave ships as they entered the harbor, he would hurry to the revolting inferno of the hold, and offer whatever poor refreshments he could afford; he would care for the sick and dying, and instruct the slaves through Negro catechists before administering the Sacraments. Through his efforts three hundred thousand souls entered the Church. Furthermore, he did not lose sight of his converts when they left the ships, but followed them to the plantations to which they were sent, encouraged them to live as Christians, and prevailed on their masters to treat them humanely. He died in 1654.







 

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Sunday, September 2, 2012:  (TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8  /  James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27  /  Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23: 

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/090212.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8):

 

Moses said to the people:


"Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
In your observance of the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin upon you,
you shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
'This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.'
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?"

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5):

 

R. (1a) One who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.


Whoever walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.


R. One who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.


Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
by whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.


R. One who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.


Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
shall never be disturbed.


R.
One who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of James (James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27):

 

Dearest brothers and sisters:


All good giving and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.
He willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23):

 

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
--For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. --
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
"Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?"
He responded,
"Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.
You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition."

He summoned the crowd again and said to them,
"Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.

"From within people, from their hearts,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile."

 

 

 

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09/02/2012 - Family Guy's National Gun Association Promo:  Now time for some levity.

 

From: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xryp7g_nga-promo-video_shortfilms

 

 
NGA promo video
by Tomasso2k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, August 26, 2012:  (TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b  /  Ephesians 5:21-32  /  John 6:60-69:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/082612.cfm

 

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Joshua (Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b):

 

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
summoning their elders, their leaders,
their judges, and their officers.
When they stood in ranks before God,
Joshua addressed all the people:
"If it does not please you to serve the LORD,
decide today whom you will serve,
the gods your fathers served beyond the River
or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling.
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

But the people answered,
"Far be it from us to forsake the LORD
for the service of other gods.
For it was the LORD, our God,
who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt,
out of a state of slavery.
He performed those great miracles before our very eyes
and protected us along our entire journey
and among the peoples through whom we passed.
Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God."

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21):

 

R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.


R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.


R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.


R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


Many are the troubles of the just one,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him;
he watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.


R.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 5:21-32):

 

Brothers and sisters:


Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the church,
he himself the savior of the body.
As the church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

 

 

 

 

Gospel -  A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 6:60-69):

 

Many of Jesus' disciples who were listening said,
"This saying is hard; who can accept it?"
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, "Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending
to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life,
while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe."
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said,
"For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father."

As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"
Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."

 

 

 

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08/26/2012 - St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), Doctor of the Church, Patron Saint of Journalists and Writers:   In St. Francis de Sales is a man who waited years to reveal his calling to anyone, until God gave him a clear sign (the incident when falling from his horse 3 times in a row, his sword and scabbard fell onto the ground in the shape of a cross each time).  Also one whose biggest concern on ordination was that he'd have to cut off his "lovely" hair.  A man who decided to lead an expedition into Calvinist territory to convert them back to Catholicism, and though only his cousin joined him on the expedition, he hadn't made one convert in 3 years (at which time his cousin left him).  Undaunted by his failure so far, he decided against giving up and instead rethought his approach.  Since the adults only slammed doors in his face and threw rocks at him, he spoke and played with the children who would hear him.  Another approach he made was to write his sermons and slip them under the doors of those who would not hear him.  He succeeded in these methods and became well loved and ended up converting many.  He also tolerated dancing and jokes, something that upset other preachers.  He also encouraged meditation as a way of filling your soul with God's presence and as a great way to begin prayer.  He's probably most famous for his groundbreaking work of guiding ordinary people living in the world on living a holy life through his writings.  At the time, a holy life was only for monks and nuns, not ordinary people.

 

 

For those who don't like to read, watch this video biography of St. Francis de Sales:

From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nunjcRNnNfc

 

 

 

 

St. Francis de Sales

 

From: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=51

 

 

  Feastday: January 24
  Patron Saint of Journalists, Writers
  1567 - 1622

 

Born in France in 1567, Francis was a patient man. He knew for thirteen years that he had a vocation to the priesthood before he mentioned it to his family. When his father said that he wanted Francis to be a soldier and sent him to Paris to study, Francis said nothing. Then when he went to Padua to get a doctorate in law, he still kept quiet, but he studied theology and practiced mental prayer while getting into swordfights and going to parties. Even when his bishop told him if he wanted to be a priest that he thought that he would have a miter waiting for him someday, Francis uttered not a word. Why did Francis wait so long? Throughout his life he waited for God's will to be clear. He never wanted to push his wishes on God, to the point where most of us would have been afraid that God would give up!

God finally made God's will clear to Francis while he was riding. Francis fell from his horse three times. Every time he fell the sword came out of the scabbard. Every time it came out the sword and scabbard came to rest on the ground in the shape of the cross. And then, Francis, without knowing about it, was appointed provost of his diocese, second in rank to the bishop.

Perhaps he was wise to wait, for he wasn't a natural pastor. His biggest concern on being ordained that he had to have his lovely curly gold hair cut off. And his preaching left the listeners thinking he was making fun of him. Others reported to the bishop that this noble-turned- priest was conceited and controlling.

Then Francis had a bad idea -- at least that's what everyone else thought. This was during the time of the Protestant reformation and just over the mountains from where Francis lived was Switzerland -- Calvinist territory. Francis decided that he should lead an expedition to convert the 60,000 Calvinists back to Catholicism. But by the time he left his expedition consisted of himself and his cousin. His father refused to give him any aid for this crazy plan and the diocese was too poor to support him.

For three years, he trudged through the countryside, had doors slammed in his face and rocks thrown at him. In the bitter winters, his feet froze so badly they bled as he tramped through the snow. He slept in haylofts if he could, but once he slept in a tree to avoid wolves. He tied himself to a branch to keep from falling out and was so frozen the next morning he had to be cut down. And after three years, his cousin had left him alone and he had not made one convert.

Francis' unusual patience kept him working. No one would listen to him, no one would even open their door. So Francis found a way to get under the door. He wrote out his sermons, copied them by hand, and slipped them under the doors. This is the first record we have of religious tracts being used to communicate with people.

The parents wouldn't come to him out of fear. So Francis went to the children. When the parents saw how kind he was as he played with the children, they began to talk to him.

By the time, Francis left to go home he is said to have converted 40,000 people back to Catholicism.

In 1602 he was made bishop of the diocese of Geneva, in Calvinist territory. He only set foot in the city of Geneva twice -- once when the Pope sent him to try to convert Calvin's successor, Beza, and another when he traveled through it.

It was in 1604 that Francis took one of the most important steps in his life, the step toward holiness and mystical union with God.

In Dijon that year Francis saw a widow listening closely to his sermon -- a woman he had seen already in a dream. Jane de Chantal was a person on her own, as Francis was, but it was only when they became friends that they began to become saints. Jane wanted him to take over her spiritual direction, but, not surprisingly, Francis wanted to wait. "I had to know fully what God himself wanted. I had to be sure that everything in this should be done as though his hand had done it." Jane was on a path to mystical union with God and, in directing her, Francis was compelled to follow her and become a mystic himself.

Three years after working with Jane, he finally made up his mind to form a new religious order. But where would they get a convent for their contemplative Visitation nuns? A man came to Francis without knowing of his plans and told him he was thinking of donating a place for use by pious women. In his typical way of not pushing God, Francis said nothing. When the man brought it up again, Francis still kept quiet, telling Jane, "God will be with us if he approves." Finally the man offered Francis the convent.

Francis was overworked and often ill because of his constant load of preaching, visiting, and instruction -- even catechizing a deaf man so he could take first Communion. He believed the first duty of a bishop was spiritual direction and wrote to Jane, "So many have come to me that I might serve them, leaving me no time to think of myself. However, I assure you that I do feel deep-down- within-me, God be praised. For the truth is that this kind of work is infinitely profitable to me." For him active work did not weaken his spiritual inner peace but strengthened it. He directed most people through letters, which tested his remarkable patience. "I have more than fifty letters to answer. If I tried to hurry over it all, I would be lost. So I intend neither to hurry or to worry. This evening, I shall answer as many as I can. Tomorrow I shall do the same and so I shall go on until I have finished."

At that time, the way of holiness was only for monks and nuns -- not for ordinary people. Francis changed all that by giving spiritual direction to lay people living ordinary lives in the world. But he had proven with his own life that people could grow in holiness while involved in a very active occupation. Why couldn't others do the same? His most famous book, INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE, was written for these ordinary people in 1608. Written originally as letters, it became an instant success all over Europe -- though some preachers tore it up because he tolerated dancing and jokes!

For Francis, the love of God was like romantic love. He said, "The thoughts of those moved by natural human love are almost completely fastened on the beloved, their hearts are filled with passion for it, and their mouths full of its praises. When it is gone they express their feelings in letters, and can't pass by a tree without carving the name of their beloved in its bark. Thus too those who love God can never stop thinking about him, longing for him, aspiring to him, and speaking about him. If they could, they would engrave the name of Jesus on the hearts of all humankind."

The key to love of God was prayer. "By turning your eyes on God in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with God. Begin all your prayers in the presence of God."

For busy people of the world, he advised "Retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart, even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others and talk to God."

The test of prayer was a person's actions: "To be an angel in prayer and a beast in one's relations with people is to go lame on both legs."

He believed the worst sin was to judge someone or to gossip about them. Even if we say we do it out of love we're still doing it to look better ourselves. But we should be as gentle and forgiving with ourselves as we should be with others.

As he became older and more ill he said, "I have to drive myself but the more I try the slower I go." He wanted to be a hermit but he was more in demand than ever. The Pope needed him, then a princess, then Louis XIII. "Now I really feel that I am only attached to the earth by one foot..." He died on December 28, 1622, after giving a nun his last word of advice: "Humility."

He is patron saint of journalists because of the tracts and books he wrote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, August 19, 2012:  (TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Proverbs 9:1-6  /  Ephesians 5:15-20  /  John 6:51-58:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081912.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 9:1-6):

 

Wisdom has built her house,
she has set up her seven columns;
she has dressed her meat, mixed her wine,
yes, she has spread her table.
She has sent out her maidens; she calls
from the heights out over the city:
"Let whoever is simple turn in here;
To the one who lacks understanding, she says,
Come, eat of my food,
and drink of the wine I have mixed!
Forsake foolishness that you may live;
advance in the way of understanding."

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7):

 

R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.


R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.


R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.


R.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 5:15-20):

 

Brothers and sisters:


Watch carefully how you live,
not as foolish persons but as wise,
making the most of the opportunity,
because the days are evil.
Therefore, do not continue in ignorance,
but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.
And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery,
but be filled with the Spirit,
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts,
giving thanks always and for everything
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 6:51-58):

 

Jesus said to the crowds:


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

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

 

 

 

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08/19/2012 - Saint Gregory I aka Pope Gregory the Great (540-604):    Saint Gregory I was the first monk to become pope and is one of only two popes in history to be called "Great".  And this guy didn't want to be pope, he wanted to turn it down and flee, but was caught on his way out and brought into the St. Peter's Basilica to be confirmed pope by Emperor Maurice's men.  He loved monastic life and, before becoming pope, lived it as much as possible with the duties he had.  His most important literary works are his book on pastoral rules (Liber Regulae Pastoralis), collections of saints' lives and the miracles they performed (Dialogues 1-4), his homilies, his writings (over 800 letters remain to this day).  He's also credited with creating Gregorian chant with Jewish, Palestian and Syrian roots, a type of musical worship.  Many miracles are attributed to Gregory, including proving to the woman that made the bread for communion that it was the body and blood of Christ by putting the bread on the altar, at which point the communion bread began to bleed.    Another time he was dictating a sermon to his assistant from behind a veil or partition...there were moments of silence, and the curious assistant peeked in and saw a dove on his head with its beak between his lips, and Gregory only spoke when the dove would remove its beak from his mouth.  This information is from Rosemary Ellen Guiley's "The Encyclopedia of the Saints" (pages 134-135), which is a great resource to learn about the saints!

 

  Other great and more detailed information on the life of St. Gregory I (Pope Gregory the Great) can be found at:

 

  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06780a.htm

 

  http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=54

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012:  (SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY)  Readings for today:  Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab  /  1 Corinthians 15:20-27  /  Luke 1:39-56:

 

From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081512-mass-during-the-day.cfm

 

Reading 1 -  A reading from the book of Revelation (Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab):

 

God's temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed One."

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 45:10, 11, 12, 16):

 

R. (10bc) The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.


The queen takes her place at your right hand in gold of Ophir.


R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.


Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father's house.


R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.


So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord.


R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.


They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.


R.
The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 -  A reading from first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15:20-27):

 

Brothers and sisters:


Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through man,
the resurrection of the dead came also through man.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,
but each one in proper order:
Christ the firstfruits;
then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;
then comes the end,
when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death,
for "he subjected everything under his feet."

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 1:39-56):

 

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."

And Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever."

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.

 

 

 

----------------------

 

08/15/2012 - Origins of the Celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:  Many non-Catholic Christians don't understand why Catholics celebrate something that seems to have no scriptural basis.  However the fact is it originated in Apostolic tradition that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, and her body was entombed until St. Thomas requested the tomb be opened, at which time the tomb was found to be empty, resulting in the Apostles concluding the body of Mary was taken up into heaven.  Below is info from the Catholic Encyclopedia online that gives great information on everything regarding the feast, but I've only included information I felt relevant for non-Catholic Christians to create a bridge of understanding.

 

 

From: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02006b.htm

 

The Fact of the Assumption

 

Regarding the day, year, and manner of Our Lady's death, nothing certain is known. The earliest known literary reference to the Assumption is found in the Greek work De Obitu S. Dominae. Catholic faith, however, has always derived our knowledge of the mystery from Apostolic Tradition. Epiphanius (d. 403) acknowledged that he knew nothing definite about it (Haer., lxxix, 11). The dates assigned for it vary between three and fifteen years after Christ's Ascension. Two cities claim to be the place of her departure: Jerusalem and Ephesus. Common consent favours Jerusalem, where her tomb is shown; but some argue in favour of Ephesus. The first six centuries did not know of the tomb of Mary at Jerusalem.

The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae, bearing the name of St. John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. It is also found in the book De Transitu Virginis, falsely ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis, and in a spurious letter attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite. If we consult genuine writings in the East, it is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and others. In the West, St. Gregory of Tours (De gloria mart., I, iv) mentions it first. The sermons of St. Jerome and St. Augustine for this feast, however, are spurious. St. John of Damascus (P.G., I, 96) thus formulates the tradition of the Church of Jerusalem:

St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened, upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven.

Today, the belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is universal in the East and in the West; according to Benedict XIV (De Festis B.V.M., I, viii, 18) it is a probable opinion, which to deny were impious and blasphemous.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, August 12, 2012:  (NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  1 Kings 19:4-8  /  Ephesians 4:30 - 5:2  /  John 6:41-51:

 

From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081212.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the first book of Kings (1 Kings 19:4-8):

 

Elijah went a day's journey into the desert,
until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it.
He prayed for death saying:
"This is enough, O LORD!
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers."
He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree,
but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat.
Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake
and a jug of water.
After he ate and drank, he lay down again,
but the angel of the LORD came back a second time,
touched him, and ordered,
"Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!"
He got up, ate, and drank;
then strengthened by that food,
he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9):

 

R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.


R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


Glorify the LORD with me,
Let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
And delivered me from all my fears.


R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


Look to him that you may be radiant with joy.
And your faces may not blush with shame.
When the afflicted man called out, the LORD heard,
And from all his distress he saved him.


R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.


R.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:30 - 5:2):

 

Brothers and sisters:


Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling
must be removed from you, along with all malice.
And be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.

 

 

 

 

Gospel -  A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John6:41-51):

 

The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said,
"I am the bread that came down from heaven,"
and they said,
"Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph?
Do we not know his father and mother?
Then how can he say,
'I have come down from heaven?'"
Jesus answered and said to them,
"Stop murmuring among yourselves.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, August 5, 2012:  (EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15  /  Ephesians 4:17, 20-24  /  John 6:24-35:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/080512.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Exodus (Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15):

 

The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The Israelites said to them,
"Would that we had died at the LORD's hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread!
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!"

Then the LORD said to Moses,
"I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.
Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion;
thus will I test them,
to see whether they follow my instructions or not.

"I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God."

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.
On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, "What is this?"
for they did not know what it was.
But Moses told them,
"This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat."

 

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54):

 

R. (24b) The Lord gave them bread from heaven.


What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
We will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
and the wonders that he wrought.


R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.


He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.


R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.


Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.


R.
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:17, 20-24):

 

Brothers and sisters:


I declare and testify in the Lord
that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do,
in the futility of their minds;
that is not how you learned Christ,
assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him,
as truth is in Jesus,
that you should put away the old self of your former way of life,
corrupted through deceitful desires,
and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and put on the new self,
created in God's way in righteousness and holiness of truth.

 

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint John (John 6:24-35):

 

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
"Rabbi, when did you get here?"
Jesus answered them and said,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal."
So they said to him,
"What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them,
"This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."
So they said to him,
"What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.?
So Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world."

So they said to him,
"Sir, give us this bread always."
Jesus said to them,
"I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst."

 

 

 

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08/05/2012 - The Brown Scapular (Brief Catechism, History, Promises of Mary the Mother of God, and Questions and Answers):  It's important to understand that wearing a brown scapular should be thought of as a precious gift from Mary in heaven and that the wearing of it does not impart magical properties, but rather should be a sign of devotion, keeping in mind Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the sufferings Jesus went through to secure eternal life for us sinners.  Therefore wearing it should be a reminder to you to live a life worthy of Christ Jesus, and life of love and self sacrifice.  It's not a magic charm that gets you into heaven, but if worn and thought of properly is merely a sign to you from heaven that your salvation is being secured so long as you continue in living your life in faith as Jesus instructed.

 

Here's a pamphlet that came with the scapular I ordered online, and should give an excellent and concise explanation of most of the above (catechism, history of the scapular, the promise of Mary, and some questions and answers about the scapular and instructions):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catechism on the Brown Scapular from:  http://www.rc.net/lansing/ctk/carmelites/ocds1.htm

 

A Brief Catechism on the Brown Scapular

 

Where did the Brown Scapular originate?

 

  A scapular was a form of working clothing worn by monks. It draped over both shoulders and hung down the front and back of the wearer. The name derives from the shoulder bone, or scapula. Over time the scapular took on symbolic meanings, such as the carrying of the cross of Christ. Among Carmelites the scapular grew to be seen as a symbol of their dedication to Mary, as an expression of trust in her motherly protection, and as a desire to be like her in her commitment to Christ and to others. 

 

  In the Middle Ages a part of the habit of some Religious Orders, a cord or scapular for example, was sometimes given to lay persons to express their association with that Order through membership in a lay group such as a confraternity or sodality. Among Carmelites a small version of the friars’ brown scapular was given as a sign of the lay person’s association with the Carmelites and their spirituality.  Thus the Brown Scapular is essentially a “habit”, as John Paul II has said, of the Carmelite Order.

 

 

What about the appearances of Our Lady to St. Simon Stock and Pope John XXII?  What about the “Sabbatine Privilege”?

 

  Though contemporary historical documentation is now lacking, the Church has blessed the appearance of Mary to St. Simon Stock, an early Carmelite, in which she is said to have promised that anyone who remains faithful to the Carmelite vocation until death will be granted the grace of final perseverance.  This grace, it must be reminded, does not come from the scapular or any other sacramental; all grace is obtained for us by the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Lord.  The sacraments mediate this saving grace; sacramentals do not mediate grace but prepare us to receive grace and to cooperate with it.  Favors associated with the wearing of the Brown Scapular would be meaningless without the wearer living and dying in a state of grace.

 

  The “Sabbatine Privilege” is an alleged promise made by Our Lady to Pope John XXII in the fourteenth century in which she said that she would assist those wearing the Brown Scapular on the Saturday following their death. The Vatican has not upheld this apparition and teaching. In fact, in 1613 the Holy See determined that the purported decree establishing the Privilege was unfounded and the Church admonished the Carmelites not to promote this doctrine. The Church also said, however, that the faithful may devoutly believe that the Blessed Virgin will assist souls, especially on Saturdays, the day which the Church dedicates to the Blessed Virgin.  

 

 

What is the meaning of the Brown Scapular today?

 

  The Brown Scapular is a sign which has been approved by the Church for over seven centuries. The Church today approves the Carmelites’ understanding of the meaning of the Brown Scapular as a commitment to follow Jesus as did Mary, the perfect model of all disciples of Christ. Mary shows us: how to be open to God and his will; how to be guided by faith, hope, and love; how to be close to the needs of others; how to pray at all times; and how to discover God as present in all that happens around us. The scapular must not be seen as a charm to protect the wearer or as an automatic guarantee of salvation, and thus an excuse for not living the demands of the Christian life.

 

 

By wearing the Brown Scapular am I thereby associated with the Carmelite Order?

 

  A person who wears the Brown Scapular and practices the spirituality of the Carmelite Order shares a greater or lesser degree of affiliation to the family of Carmel. As Pope John Paul II has said, “Those who receive [the scapular] are associated more or less closely with the Order of Carmel and dedicate themselves to the service of Our Lady for the good of the whole Church.” This association to the Order can be found in the following expressions:

 

-the religious men and women of the Order and their aggregated institutes;

 

-members of one of the Carmelite Secular (or “Third”) Orders;

 

-members of public associations and confraternities of Our Lady of Mount Carmel;

 

-those who have been invested in the scapular, practice the Order’s spirituality, and have been granted some association with the Order;

 

-those who wear the scapular out of devotion, practice the Order’s spirituality, but have no formal association to the Order.

 

  Persons in any of these categories of affiliation to one of the Carmelite Orders share to some degree in the favors traditionally associated with the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. 

 

 

How do I practice the spirituality of the Carmelite Order?

 

  It is difficult to reduce the Orders’ spirituality to a few sentences. One would be advised to look at the witness of the Carmelite saints, especially Our Lady of Mont Carmel, St. Elijah, St. Teresa of Jesus, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux.  A few introductory principles of Carmelite spirituality, however, would be:

 

-frequent participation in the Mass and reception of Holy Communion;

 

-frequent reading of and meditation on the Word of God in Sacred Scripture;

 

-the regular praying of at least a part of the Liturgy of the Hours;

 

-imitation of and devotion to Mary, the woman of faith who hears the Word of God and puts it into practice;

 

-the practice of the virtues, notably: charity, chastity (according to one’s state in life), and obedience to the will of God.

 

 

How can I be enrolled in the Brown Scapular?

 

  An individual may be enrolled by a priest or deacon according to the Rite for the Blessing of and Enrollment in the Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, approved by the Holy See in 1996.  One who is officially “enrolled” makes committments to certain spiritual practices associated with the Carmelite Order and their name is registered with the Order.  A person given authority to act in the name of the Order may receive people into the confraternity of the scapular.  

 

  Following enrollment, the Scapular may be replaced by a scapular medal, showing the Sacred Heart on one side and an image of Mary on the other. Once enrolled in the Brown Scapular, a new scapular (or medal) obtained in the future does not require an additional blessing or enrollment.  Old and worn scapulars should be disposed of in a respectful manner as with other blessed objects, normally buried or burned.

 

 

Is it necessary to be enrolled in the Scapular Confraternity in order to share in the spiritual benefits attached to the scapular?

 

  No, those without formal affiliation with the Order, but who wear the scapular out of devotion and practice the Order’s spirituality, still share in a spiritual affiliation to the Carmelite Order.  This gives them the assurances of the favors pertinent to this sacramental.  Since the Brown Scapular is a habit of the Carmelite Order, the Order does encourage wearers to make some level of committment to the spirituality of the Order.

 

 

What form does the lay scapular take?

 

  Scapulars are found in many colors and sizes related to various Orders and devotions within the Church.  The Brown Scapular of the Carmelites has traditionally been two pieces of plain dark brown cloth (square or rectangular, traditionally wool), connected over the shoulders by strips of cloth or ribbon.  Though the Order notes a preference for plain brown cloth, Brown Scapulars are most commonly found with some decorative elements. 

 

  After one has been invested in the Brown Scapular the scapular medal may be substituted for the cloth scapular.  When Pope Pius X instituted the use of the scapular medal it was not intended to replace the cloth scapular but as an option in situations in which the use of the cloth scapular was problematic (tropical conditions, for example).  Nevertheless, the scapular medal enjoys all the privileges granted to the wearing of the scapular.  

 

 

This pamphlet is primarily based on: The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Catechesis and Ritual, prepared under the direction of the North American Provincials of the Carmelite Orders, 2000.

 

The Doctrinal Statement on the Scapular may be viewed at:

 

http://www.geocities.com/korvesem/carmel/doctrinalstatement.html

 

 

 

 

How to Get Your Own FREE Brown Scapular, from: http://www.freebrownscapular.com/

 

Free Brown Scapular  (Order Page: http://www.freebrownscapular.com/order_page.html )


The Brown Scapular is a gift to you from Your Heavenly Mother. So rightfully, a free brown


scapular is offered to anybody who wants one. All we ask in return is that you share the gift of


the brown scapular with others. Express your love to Our Blessed Mother by spreading


devotion to her "Garment of Grace". Bless somebody by giving them a free brown scapular,


and through your devotion you will be assisting in the fulfillment of St. Dominic's Prophecy...



"One day through the Rosary and the Scapular She will Save the World."
- Saint Dominic’s


Prophecy of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Rosary and the Scapular, AD 1208.



For the full story of Saint Dominic's Prophecy: go to
Brown Scapular Prophecy
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________

Sunday, July 29, 2012:  (SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  2 Kings 4:42-44  /  Ephesians 4:1-6  /  John 6:1-15:

 

From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/072912.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the second book of Kings (2 Kings 4:42-44):

 

A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God,
twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits,
and fresh grain in the ear.
Elisha said, "Give it to the people to eat."
But his servant objected,
"How can I set this before a hundred people?"
Elisha insisted, "Give it to the people to eat."
"For thus says the LORD,
'They shall eat and there shall be some left over.'"
And when they had eaten, there was some left over,
as the LORD had said.

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18):

 

R. (cf. 16) The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.


Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.


R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.


The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.


R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.


The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.


R.
The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:1-6):

 

Brothers and sisters:


I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace:
one body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 6:1-15):

 

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes
and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip,
"Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
"Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.'"
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?"
Jesus said, "Have the people recline."
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
"Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted."
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves
that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
"This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world."
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

 

 

 

--------------------

 

07/29/2012 - "Why Pray the Daily Rosary?":  If you have a copy of the Pieta Prayer Book, on page 41 you'll find this title at the top of the page, and below are a series of quotes from various saints who testify to the power of praying the rosary.  The website I found also contains the 15 Promises of Mary the Mother of God to St. Dominic for those that pray the Rosary.

 

From:  http://4catholicsonly.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/02/the_pieta_praye.html

 

The 'Pieta Prayer Book'...

       A friend recently gave me a copy of the 'Pieta Prayer Book', which I treasure.  There are soooooooooooo many wonderful prayers and teachings within this little blue book.  It's power-packed! 
               

       I opened it at random yesterday, and in the middle of the book was the title in bold print:  "Why pray the daily Rosary?"  I quote:  "At Fatima (1917) Our Lady said:  "I am the Lady of the Rosary.  Pray the rosary every day to obtain peace for the world.  After each decade say the following prayer:  O my Jesus forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy."

               St. Francis de Sales said that the greatest method of praying is to  Pray the Rosary. 

               St. Thomas Aquinas preached 40 straight days in Rome, Italy, on just the Hail Mary.

               St. John Vianney, patron of priests, was seldom seen without a rosary in his hand.

               "The rosary is the scourge of the devil." -- Pope Adrian VI

               "The rosary is a treasure of graces." --Pope Paul V

               St. Padre Pio, the stigmatic priest said:  "The rosary is the weapon."

               Pope Leo XIII wrote 9 encyclicals on the rosary.

               Blessed Pope John XXIII spoke 38 times about our Lady and the Rosary.  He prayed 15 decades daily.

               St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort wrote:  "The rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, Who so loves His Mother."

                Will you give 1% of each day to God?  If so, pray the daily rosary.

                "To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ."
               
Rosarium Virginius Mariae, Pope John Paul II, Oct. 16, 2002.

 



             
 
The Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary...
               
(Given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alain)

                 1.  Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.
                 2.  I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
                 3.  The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell.  It will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
                 4.  It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things.  Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!
                 5.  The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.
                 6.  Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune.  God will not chastise him in His justice, and he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God and become worthy of eternal life.
                 7.  Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
                 8.  Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the fullness of His graces, and at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
                  9.  I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
                10.  The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
                11.  You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
                12.  All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
                13.  I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
                 14.  All who recite the rosary are my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
                  15.  Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

                  (Imprimatur: tPATRICK J. HAYES, D.D. Archbishop of New York

                 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 Please join me in praying for fidelity to the Holy Rosary, and for new candidates to pray the Holy Rosary, and for All Peoples...

                                                               
Lord Jesus Christ,
                                                                Son of the Father,
                                                              send now Your Spirit
                                                                   over the earth.
                                                             Let the Holy Spirit live
                                                          in the hearts of all peoples
                                                          that they may be preserved
                                                            from corruption, disaster
                                                                         and war.
                                                          May the Lady of All Peoples
                                                               who once was Mary
                                                                 be our Advocate
                                                                           Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________

Sunday, July 22, 2012:  (SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Jeremiah 23:1-6  /  Ephesians 2:13-18  /  Mark 6:30-34:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/072212.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23:1-6):

 

Woe to the shepherds
who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture,
says the LORD.
Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
against the shepherds who shepherd my people:
You have scattered my sheep and driven them away.
You have not cared for them,
but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.
I myself will gather the remnant of my flock
from all the lands to which I have driven them
and bring them back to their meadow;
there they shall increase and multiply.
I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them
so that they need no longer fear and tremble;
and none shall be missing, says the LORD.

Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David;
as king he shall reign and govern wisely,
he shall do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah shall be saved,
Israel shall dwell in security.
This is the name they give him:
"The LORD our justice."

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6):
 

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.


The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.


R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.


He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.


R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.


You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.


R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.


Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.


R.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

 

 

 

Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 2:13-18):

 

Brothers and sisters:


In Christ Jesus you who once were far off
have become near by the blood of Christ.

For he is our peace, he who made both one
and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh,
abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims,
that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two,
thus establishing peace,
and might reconcile both with God,
in one body, through the cross,
putting that enmity to death by it.
He came and preached peace to you who were far off
and peace to those who were near,
for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 6:30-34):

 

The apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
"Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.

 

 

 

---------------------

 

07/22/2012 - The 15 Promises of Mary the mother of God to St. Dominic (1170-1220) for those that pray the Rosary:  St. Dominic is also known as the founder of the order The Dominicans also known as the order of Friars Preachers.  He was famous for his work in preaching against the Albigensian heresy.  Mary, the mother of God, gave the prayer of the Rosary to St. Dominic and told him that spreading the prayer would dispel the heresy from France. 

 

From:  http://www.erosary.com/rosary/miracles/saint-dominic.htm

 

St. Dominic and the Rosary

St. Dominic, a Spanish theologian (circa 1170-1221) was the founder of the Roman Catholic religious order of Friars Preachers, or Dominicans.


 

Around the year 1203, Dominic was sent by Pope Innocent III to South France to preach to the Albigenses. At the time, the Albigensian doctrine was based on a dualism of two eternally opposing principles, good and evil, all matter being regarded as evil and the creator of the material world as a devil. St. Dominic discovered that this doctrine was becoming widespread due to the fact that the Albigenses were well educated and well organized. To combat the unorthodox teachings of the Albigensians, Dominic organized and educated his preachers so they would be better equipped to overcome this Albigensian heresy. Dominic stressed the importance of education, and his preachers traveled throughout Europe and educated common people and religious leaders as a way to challenge the heresy.


 

It was during Dominic's fight against this heresy when tradition tells how this saint received the rosary from the Virgin Mary in a vision. According to tradition, the Virgin Mary told him to "Pray my Psalter and teach it to your people. That prayer will never fail". Dominic was told that if he did as instructed, the heresy would be dispelled from France. Eventually after widespread teachings on the rosary and the meditations of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, the heresy was defeated and the Church was strengthened.


 

St. Dominic is widely associated with the origin and creation of the Rosary because he was the first to implement the widespread teaching of this sacred devotion.

 

And the 15 promises of Mary to St. Dominic for those that pray the Rosary are as follows...

 

From:  http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/prayer/15promise.htm

 

Besides the Indulgences attached to the Rosary, Our Lady revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche additional benefits for those who devoutly pray the Rosary. Our Lady's promise is shown in darker blue text. Additional explanation on and doctrinal connections to each promise is shown following in the smaller normal text font and color. Note that the Rosary is the prayer (non-Liturgical) with the most published Magisterial / Papal documents expounding on its excellence. Vatican II's summary on Our Lady is contained in Lumen Gentium chapter VIII.

 

1. Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.

Signal Graces are those special and unique Graces to help sanctify us in our state in life. See the remaining promises for an explanation for which these will consist. St. Louis de Montfort states emphatically that the best and fastest way to union with Our Lord is via Our Lady [True Devotion to Mary, chapter four].

 

 

2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.

Our Lady is our Advocate and the channel of all God's Grace to us. Our Lady is simply highlighting that She will watch especially over us who pray the Rosary. (see Lumen Gentium chapter VIII - Our Lady #62) [a great more detail is available on this topic in True Devotion to Mary, chapter four, by St. Louis de Montfort]

 

 

3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.

This promise, along with the next, is simply the reminder on how fervent prayer will help us all grow in holiness by avoiding sin, especially a prayer with the excellence of the Rosary. An increase in holiness necessarily requires a reduction in sin, vice, and doctrinal errors (heresies). If only the Modernists could be convinced to pray the Rosary! (see Lumen Gentium chapter V - The Call to Holiness #42) St. Louis de Montfort states "Since Mary alone crushed all heresies, as we are told by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary)..." [True Devotion to Mary #167]

 

 

4. It will cause good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for Eternal Things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

This promise, along with the previous, is the positive part, that being to live in virtue. Becoming holy is not only avoiding sin, but also growing in virtue. (see Lumen Gentium chapter V - The Call to Holiness #42)

 

 

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.

Since Our Lady is our Mother and Advocate, She always assists those who call on Her implicitly by praying the Rosary. The Church reminds us of this in the Memorare prayer, "... never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided ..."

 

 

6. Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of Eternal Life.

This promise highlights the magnitude of Graces that the Rosary brings to whomever prays it. One will draw down God's Mercy rather than His Justice and will have a final chance to repent (see promise #7). One will not be conquered by misfortune means that Our Lady will obtain for the person sufficient Graces to handle said misfortune (i.e. carry the Crosses allowed by God) without falling into despair. As Sacred Scripture tells us, "For my yoke is sweet and my burden light." (Matthew 11:30)

 

 

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.

This promise highlights the benefits of obtaining the most possible Graces at the hour of death via the Sacraments of Confession, Eucharist, and Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick). Being properly disposed while receiving these Sacraments near death ensures one's salvation (although perhaps with a detour through Purgatory) since a final repentance is possible.

 

 

8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the Merits of the Saints in Paradise.

Our Lady highlights the great quantity of Graces obtained through praying the Rosary, which assist us during life and at the moment of death. The merits of the Saints are the gift of God's rewards to those persons who responded to His Grace that they obtained during life, and so Our Lady indicates that She will provide a share of that to us at death. With this promise and #7 above, Our Lady is providing the means for the person to have a very holy death.

 

 

9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.

Should one require Purgatorial cleansing after death, Our Lady will make a special effort to obtain our release from Purgatory through Her intercession as Advocate.

 

 

10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven.

This promise is a logical consequence of promises #3 and #4 since anyone who truly lives a holier life on earth will obtain a higher place in Heaven. The closer one is to God while living on earth, the closer that person is to Him also in Heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states "Spiritual progress tends toward ever more union with Christ." (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2014)

 

 

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.

This promise emphasizes Our Lady's role as our Advocate and Mediatrix of all Graces. Of course, all requests are subject to God's Most Perfect Will. God will always grant our request if it is beneficial for our soul, and Our Lady will only intercede for us when our request is good for our salvation. (see Lumen Gentium chapter VIII - Our Lady #62)

 

 

12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

If one promotes the praying of the Rosary, Our Lady emphasizes Her Maternal care for us by obtaining many Graces (i.e. spiritual necessities) and also material necessities (neither excess nor luxury), all subject to the Will of God of course.

 

 

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life and at the hour of death.

Since Our Lady is our Advocate, She brings us additional assistance during our life and at our death from all the saints in Heaven (the Communion of Saints). See paragraphs 954 through 959 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

 

 

14. All who recite the Rosary are my Sons, and brothers of my Only Son Jesus Christ.

Since the Rosary is a most excellent prayer focused on Jesus and His Life and activities in salvation history, it brings us closer to Our Lord and Our Lady. Doctrinally, Our Lady is our Mother and Jesus is our Eldest Brother, besides being our God. (see Lumen Gentium chapter VIII - Our Lady #62)

 

 

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

Predestination in this context means that, by the sign which is present to a person from the action of devoutly praying the Rosary, God has pre-ordained your salvation. Absolute certainty of salvation can only be truly known if God reveals it to a person because, although we are given sufficient Grace during life, our salvation depends upon our response to said Grace. (See Summa Theologica, Question 23 for a detailed theological explanation). Said another way, if God has guaranteed a person's salvation but has not revealed it to Him, God would want that person to pray the Rosary because of all the benefits and Graces obtained. Therefore the person gets a hint by devotion to the Rosary. This is not to say that praying the Rosary guarantees salvation - by no means. In looking at promises #3 and #4 above, praying the Rosary helps one to live a holy life, which is itself a great sign that a soul is on the road to salvation. (See also paragraphs 381, 488, 600, 2782 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.) In fact, St. Louis de Montfort says even more strongly that "an infallible and unmistakable sign by which we can distinguish a heretic, a man of false doctrine, an enemy of God, from one of God's true friends is that the hardened sinner and heretic shows nothing but contempt and indifference to Our Lady..." [True Devotion to Mary, #30]

 

 

Reminder: these promises mean that, by faithfully and devoutly praying the Rosary, Our Lady will obtain for us the necessary Graces to obtain said promises. It is still up to each individual soul to respond to those Graces in order to obtain salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________

Sunday, July 15, 2012:  (FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Amos 7:12-15  /  Ephesians 1:3-14  /  Mark 6:7-13:

 

From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071512.cfm

 

Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Amos (Amos 7:12-15):

 

Amaziah, priest of Bethel, said to Amos,
"Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah!
There earn your bread by prophesying,
but never again prophesy in Bethel;
for it is the king's sanctuary and a royal temple."
Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet,
nor have I belonged to a company of prophets;
I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.
The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me,
Go, prophesy to my people Israel."

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14):
 

R. (8) Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.


I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD --for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.


R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.


Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.


R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.


The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.


R.
Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

 

 

 

 

Reading 2:  A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:3-14):

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
In him we have redemption by his blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God's possession, to the praise of his glory.

 

 

 

Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 6:7-13):

 

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey
but a walking stick--
no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals
but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
"Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them."
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

 

 

------------------------

 

 

07/15/2012 - How to Pray the Rosary:  Praying the Rosary will take about 30-45 minutes (depending on experience), and is an incredibly powerful form of active meditation and prayer.  The provided pamphlet (below) makes it VERY easy to understand the steps and prayers involved in the beads and crucifix.  I hope this helps at least one person to pray the Rosary even once...even if it's myself (I've prayed it twice in my life). 

 

Here are some links that teach how to pray the Rosary in VERY simplistic instructions:

http://www.rosaryprayerguide.com/index.php?q=Rosary-Prayers.html#fatima


http://www.rosaryprayerguide.com/Steps-to-Praying-the-Rosary


http://www.medjugorje.com/prayers/prayers-a-novenas-of-the-community/785-how-to-pray-the-rosary.html

(great detailed outline of how to pray rosary with picture of rosary and it's numbered...scroll down page to see image.).
 


Below is probably the simplest guide on how to pray the Rosary:

From: http://www.rosaryprayerguide.com/Steps-to-Praying-the-Rosary

 

 

 

And here are the prayers you'll need to know:

From: http://www.rosaryprayerguide.com/index.php?q=Rosary-Prayers.html#fatima

 

Rosary Prayers  

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.

 

Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 

Glory be to the Father

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Fatima

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

 

 

Below are the instructions on how to pray the Rosary, but first one must know the mysteries and which days to pray which mysteries in the Rosary.  There are 20 mysteries total, and five are prayed per day.  The mysteries include the Joyful mysteries, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous mysteries.  Each of the mysteries (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, Luminous) are said on certain days and contain 5 mysteries a piece.  Here's the schedule for the mysteries:

Mysteries for Certain Weekdays
Since the Luminous Mysteries have recently been added, the typical schedule to praying during the week is as following:

Monday - Joyful
Tuesday - Sorrowful
Wednesday - Glorious
Thursday - Luminous
Friday - Sorrowful
Saturday - Joyful
Sunday - Glorious

 

Here's the list of the 20 mysteries:

Here is a quick rundown of all twenty Mysteries.

The Joyful Mysteries (Mondays and Saturdays)

  1. The Annunciation: The Archangel Gabriel visits with a young Mary to inform her that she will soon become the Virgin Mother to the Messiah.
  2. The Visitation: Mary makes a visit her much older cousin Elizabeth.
  3. The Nativity: The birth of Jesus Christ.
  4. The Presentation: Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the Temple 40 days after he is born.
  5. The Finding in the Temple: Mary and Joseph find a 12 year old Jesus discussing scripture with the elder Rabbis in the Temple.

The Luminous Mysteries (The Mysteries of Light) (Thursdays)

  1. The Baptism of Jesus: John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, and the God proclaims that Jesus his beloved Son.
  2. The Wedding at Cana: Jesus performs his first public miracle by changing water into wine at Cana.
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom: Jesus went to Galilee and proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom of God, called to conversion, and forgave the sins of all who draw near to him.
  4. The Transfiguration: Jesus' divine nature glowed brilliantly through his humanity. His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist: Jesus' Last Supper, where he shares his very self with his disciples in the form of bread and wine. It is truly an expression of God's ­saving presence—God's Kingdom of love—among us in the form of a banquet.

The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesdays and Fridays)

  1. The Agony in the Garden: Jesus sweats water and blood while praying the night before his passion.
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar: Pilate has Jesus whipped.
  3. The Crowning with Thorns: Roman soldiers crown Jesus' head with thorns.
  4. The Carrying of the Cross: Jesus meets His mother and falls three times on the way up Calvary.
  5. The Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies before His mother and His apostle John.

The Glorious Mysteries (Sundays and Wednesdays)

  1. The Resurrection: Jesus rises from the dead.
  2. The Ascension: Jesus leaves the Apostles and bodily "ascends" to heaven.
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit: The Apostles receive the Holy Spirit in tongues of fire in the upper room with Mary.
  4. The Assumption: Mary is taken bodily--assumed--into heaven by God at the end of her life here on earth.
  5. The Coronation: Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

 

 

STEPS TO PRAYING THE ROSARY

Adapted from: http://www.rosaryprayerguide.com/Steps-to-Praying-the-Rosary

 

THE ROSARY

 

Remember that the Rosary is divided into 4 different mysteries, and each mystery is assigned to a different day of the week.  Reflecting on the Mysteries of Jesus' life is KEY to experiencing the full power of the Rosary.

1. While holding the crucifix, make the Sign of the Cross (using your right hand make the sign of the cross over your body by first touching your fingertips to your forehead, then move your arm straight down to your navel, then to your left shoulder, and finally to the right shoulder, then return your right hand to your left in prayer (palm to palm) all while saying, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.", and then recite the Apostles Creed.

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.

 

2. Recite the Our Father on the first large bead.

Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.
 

 

3. Recite a Hail Mary on each of the three small beads.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 

4. On the large bead, recite the Glory Be to the Father, the Fatima Prayer "O my Jesus", then announce the first mystery for the current day and recite the Our Father.

Glory be to the Father

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

First Mystery:

For Sundays and Wednesdays announce the Glorious mysteries:

The Glorious Mysteries

  1. The Resurrection: Jesus rises from the dead.

For Mondays and Saturdays:

The Joyful Mysteries

  1. The Annunciation: The Archangel Gabriel visits with a young Mary to inform her that she will soon become the Virgin Mother to the Messiah.

For Tuesdays and Fridays:

The Sorrowful Mysteries

  1. The Agony in the Garden: Jesus sweats water and blood while praying the night before his passion.

For Thursdays:

The Luminous Mysteries (The Mysteries of Light)

  1. The Baptism of Jesus: John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, and then God proclaims that Jesus is His beloved Son.

Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

5. On each of the following ten small beads (also referred to as a decade) recite a Hail Mary while reflecting on the first mystery.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 

6. On the next large bead, recite the Glory Be to the Father, the Fatima prayer, announce the next mystery, and an Our Father.

Glory be to the Father

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

Second Mystery:

On Sundays and Wednesdays (The Glorious Mysteries):

  • The Ascension: Jesus leaves the Apostles and bodily "ascends" to heaven.
  • On Mondays and Saturdays (The Joyful Mysteries):

  • The Visitation: Mary makes a visit her much older cousin Elizabeth.
  • On Tuesdays and Fridays (The Sorrowful Mysteries):

  • The Scourging at the Pillar: Pilate has Jesus whipped.
  • On Thursdays (The Luminous Mysteries):

  • The Wedding at Cana: Jesus performs his first public miracle by changing water into wine at Cana.
  • Our Father

    Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.

     

    7. On each of the following ten small beads (decades) recite a Hail Mary while reflecting on the second mystery.

    Hail Mary

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

     

    8.  Repeat this sequence for each of the following decades (Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, recalling the appropriate mystery, reciting the Our Father, and ten Hail Marys) while meditating on the mystery for each sequence/decade.

     

     

    9. After the fifth mystery is completed, the Rosary usually ends with the Hail Holy Queen, and the Sign of the Cross.

    Hail, Holy Queen

    Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

    Make the Sign of the Cross

    Using your right hand make the sign of the cross over your body by first touching your fingertips to your forehead, then move your arm straight down to your navel, then to your left shoulder, and finally to the right shoulder, then return your right hand to your left in prayer (palm to palm in front of your heart) all while saying, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen."

     

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, July 8, 2012:  (FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Ezekiel 2:2-5  /  2 Corinthians 12:7-10  /  Mark 6:1-6:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070812.cfm

     

    Reading 1 - A reading from the book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:2-5):

     

    As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me
    and set me on my feet,
    and I heard the one who was speaking say to me:
    Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites,
    rebels who have rebelled against me;
    they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.
    Hard of face and obstinate of heart
    are they to whom I am sending you.
    But you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD!
    And whether they heed or resist--for they are a rebellious house--
    they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 123:1-2, 2, 3-4):

     

    R. (2cd) Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.


    To you I lift up my eyes
    who are enthroned in heaven --
    As the eyes of servants
    are on the hands of their masters.


    R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.


    As the eyes of a maid
    are on the hands of her mistress,
    So are our eyes on the LORD, our God,
    till he have pity on us.


    R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.


    Have pity on us, O LORD, have pity on us,
    for we are more than sated with contempt;
    our souls are more than sated
    with the mockery of the arrogant,
    with the contempt of the proud.


    R.
    Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

     

     

     

    Reading 2 - A reading from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 12:7-10):

     

    Brothers and sisters:


    That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
    because of the abundance of the revelations,
    a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
    to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
    Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
    but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
    for power is made perfect in weakness."
    I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
    in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
    Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
    hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
    for the sake of Christ;
    for when I am weak, then I am strong.

     

     

     

    Gospel -  A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 6:1-6):
     

    Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
    When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
    and many who heard him were astonished.
    They said, "Where did this man get all this?
    What kind of wisdom has been given him?
    What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
    Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
    and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?
    And are not his sisters here with us?"
    And they took offense at him.
    Jesus said to them,
    "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
    and among his own kin and in his own house."
    So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
    apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
    He was amazed at their lack of faith.

     

     

    --------------------

     

    07/08/2012 - St. Padre Pio, Blessed (1887-1968):  I can do no better job in talking about St. Padre Pio than the websites I present.  Although I would like it known for those who only read the first paragraph that he received the stigmata, which lasted 50 years, had the ability to bilocate, experienced several ecstasies, had the ability to read souls, raise people from the dead, and he exuded a perfumed aroma supernaturally.  But, I leave you with the detailed information presented in the websites:

     

    From:  http://www.padrepio.com/

     

    About Padre Pio

    Padre Pio, a humble Capuchin priest from San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, was blessed by God in many wonderful and mysterious ways. The most dramatic was the stigmata. Padre Pio bore the wounds of Christ for fifty years!

    Among his other gifts were perfume, bilocation, prophecy, conversion, reading of souls, and miraculous cures. People are still being cured through his intercession in ways that cannot be explained by medicine or science.

    More important, if less spectacular, are the spiritual healings that take place in all parts of the world! Padre Pio is a powerful intercessor!!

     

    From:  http://www.padrepioshrine.com/

     

    Life of the Saint Pio Of Pietrelcina
    Capuchin Franciscan
    PADRE PIO
    (1887-1968)

     

    Padre Pio's parents

     

    Padre Pio was born Francis Forgione on May 25, 1887. His parents, Orazio and Giuseppa Forgione, were poor country people. They brought eight children into the world, three of whom died in infancy and two of whom became religious. The Forgiones lived in the little farming village of Pietrelcina, in the Province of Benevento, not many miles from Naples. They were God-fearing people.
     


    Francisco Forgione (Padre Pio) at 14 yrs old
     



    Padre Pio in his youth was deeply religious and early in life showed a love for recollection and for the things of God. At school, he learned diligently and possessed a lively intelligence, so much so that his father was determined to help his son financially to become a priest. In 1903, he began his novitiate with the Capuchins in Morcone, received the habit and was given the religious name of Pio (Pius, in English). After seven years of studies, he was ordained on August 10, 1910 at the age of 23. Because of delicate health, he was permitted to practice his ministry for several years in his parochial church of Pietrelcina.


    Padre Pio as a Capuchin novice



    In 1912, he received intermittently the invisible stigmata. Christ's sacred wounds were invisibly imprinted on his hands, feet and side. The wounds could not be seen, but the pain and swelling of them were there. In 1916, his superiors sent him to the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo. He lived there until he died.

    On September 20,1918, at 31 years of age, a piercing cry escaped his lips during his thanksgiving after Mass. He was pierced and bleeding from five deep wounds in his hands, feet and side. The stigmata had become visible and was to remain with him until shortly before he died. He was the first priest to be so honored! There have been about 300 stigmatisms in the history of the Church.
     

    Naturally, he was subjected to endless and often very painful medical examinations. All kinds of healing treatments were applied, but without success. The wounds remained completely free from healing or any infection for 50 years.

    In addition to the stigmata, he possessed the gifts of fragrance, of conversion, of bi-location, of reading hearts, of penetrating the future and of miracles of all kinds. Like many a Saint, he was fiercely attacked by the devil on numerous occasions. During his long life, Padre Pio accomplished many deeds that were far beyond the scope of ordinary mortals. His greatest achievement and memorial was his hospital in 1956 for the Relief of Suffering. It holds over a thousand beds and has the most efficient up-to-date equipment A large congregation of Sisters staff the hospital.

    His day consisted of constant prayer, usually the rosary, Holy Mass at 5 AM, confessions all day long and through his secretaries responses to the 500 to 600 pieces of mail each day. Most of the letters were requests for prayers, cures or advice. He never took breakfast or supper. Dinner at noon consisted of nibbling at his food, but never more than 500 calories a day.

    He died a holy death on September 23,1968 at 2:30 AM with the words "Jesus and Mary" on his lips and his rosary in his hands. His funeral rites were a triumph. It is estimated that over 100,000 viewed his body and 100,000 participated in the funeral rites


     


    Padre Pio's body September 24, 1968

    His beatification occurred in May 1999 and in Rome on June 16, 2002, Pope John Paul II canonized (Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina, OFM Cap. a saint of the Church with over 500,000 people in attendance.


     

    A free St. Pio Prayer Card is available and will be mailed to you by writing to St. John's Church (Prayer Card), 210 West 31st Street, New York, NY, 10001. Your name and address will be added to the St. John's Church Sweepstakes mailings and will not be shared with any other institution or marketing company.

     

     

     

     

     

    From: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20020616_padre-pio_en.html

     

    PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA

     

    “Far be it from me to glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal 6:14).

    Like the Apostle Paul, Padre Pio da Pietrelcina placed at the centre of his life and apostolic work the Cross of his Lord as his strength, his wisdom and his glory. Inflamed by love of Jesus Christ, he became like him in the sacrifice of himself for the salvation of the world. In his following and imitation of the Crucified Christ he was so generous and perfect that he could have said: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). And the treasures of grace which God had granted him so lavishly and unceasingly he passed on through his ministry, serving the men and women who came to him in ever greater numbers, and bringing to birth an immense host of spiritual sons and daughters.

    This worthy follower of Saint Francis of Assisi was born on 25 May 1887 at Pietrelcina in the Archdiocese of Benevento, the son of Grazio Forgione and Maria Giuseppa De Nunzio. He was baptized the next day and given the name Francesco. At the age of twelve he received the Sacrament of Confirmation and made his First Holy Communion.

    On 6 January 1903, at the age of sixteen, he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars at Morcone, where on 22 January he took the Franciscan habit and the name Brother Pio. At the end of his novitiate year he took simple vows, and on 27 January 1907 made his solemn profession.

    After he was ordained priest on 10 August 1910 at Benevento, he stayed at home with his family until 1916 for health reasons. In September of that year he was sent to the friary of San Giovanni Rotondo and remained there until his death.

    Filled with love of God and love of neighbour, Padre Pio lived to the full his vocation to work for the redemption of man, in accordance with the special mission which marked his entire life and which he exercised through the spiritual direction of the faithful: the sacramental reconciliation of penitents and the celebration of the Eucharist. The pinnacle of his apostolic activity was the celebration of Holy Mass. The faithful who took part witnessed the summit and fullness of his spirituality.

    On the level of social charity, he committed himself to relieving the pain and suffering of many families, chiefly through the foundation of the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (House for the Relief of Suffering), opened on 5 May 1956.

    For Padre Pio, faith was life: he willed everything and did everything in the light of faith. He was assiduously devoted to prayer. He passed the day and a large part of the night in conversation with God. He would say: “In books we seek God, in prayer we find him. Prayer is the key which opens God's heart”. Faith led him always to accept God's mysterious will.

    He was always immersed in supernatural realities. Not only was he himself a man of hope and total trust in God, but by word and example he communicated these virtues to all who approached him.

    The love of God filled him, and satisfied his every desire; charity was the chief inspiration of his day: to love God and to help others to love him. His special concern was to grow in charity and to lead others to do so.

    He demonstrated to the full his love of neighbour by welcoming, for more than fifty years, countless people who had recourse to his ministry and his confessional, his counsel and his consolation. He was almost besieged: they sought him in church, in the sacristy, in the friary. And he gave himself to everyone, rekindling faith, dispensing grace, bringing light. But especially in the poor, the suffering and the sick he saw the image of Christ, and he gave himself particularly to them.

    He exercised to an exemplary degree the virtue of prudence, acting and counselling in the light of God.

    His concern was the glory of God and the good of souls. He treated everyone with justice, frankness and great respect.

    The virtue of fortitude shone in him. He understood very early in life that his would be the way of the Cross, and he accepted it at once with courage and out of love. For many years, he experienced spiritual sufferings. For years he endured the pains of his wounds with admirable serenity. 

    When he had to submit to investigations and restrictions in his priestly ministry, he accepted everything with profound humility and resignation. In the face of unjust accusations and calumnies he remained silent, trusting always in the judgement of God, of his immediate superiors and of his own conscience.

    He habitually practised mortification in order to gain the virtue of temperance, in keeping with the Franciscan style. He was temperate in his attitude and in his way of life.

    Conscious of the commitments which he had undertaken when he entered the consecrated life, he observed with generosity the vows he had professed. He was obedient in all things to the commands of his Superiors, even when they were burdensome. His obedience was supernatural in intention, universal in its scope and complete in its execution. He lived the spirit of poverty with total detachment from self, from earthly goods, from his own comfort and from honours. He always had a great love for the virtue of chastity. His behaviour was modest in all situations and with all people.

    He sincerely thought of himself as useless, unworthy of God's gifts, full of weakness and infirmity, and at the same time blessed with divine favours. Amid so much admiration around him, he would say: “I only want to be a poor friar who prays”. 

    From his youth, his health was not very robust, and especially in the last years of his life it declined rapidly. Sister Death took him well-prepared and serene on 23 September 1968 at the age of eighty-one. An extraordinary gathering of people attended his funeral. 

    On 20 February 1971, barely three years after the death of Padre Pio, Pope Paul VI, speaking to the Superiors of the Capuchin Order, said of him: “Look what fame he had, what a worldwide following gathered around him! But why? Perhaps because he was a philosopher? Because he was wise? Because he had resources at his disposal? Because he said Mass humbly, heard confessions from dawn to dusk and was – it is not easy to say it – one who bore the wounds of our Lord. He was a man of prayer and suffering”.

    Even during his lifetime, he enjoyed a vast reputation for sanctity, because of his virtues, his spirit of prayer, sacrifice and total dedication to the good of souls.

    In the years following his death, his reputation for sanctity and miracles grew steadily, and became established in the Church, all over the world and among all kinds of people.

    God thus showed the Church his desire to glorify on earth his faithful servant. In a short time the Capuchin Order took the steps prescribed by canon law to begin the Cause of Beatification and Canonization. After examining the case, the Holy See, in accordance with the norm of the Motu Proprio “Sanctitas Clarior”, granted the nihil obstat on 29 November 1982. The Archbishop of Manfredonia was thus enabled to introduce the Cause and set up the informative process (1983- 1990). On 7 December 1990, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints recognized its juridical validity. When the Positio had been completed, there was the usual discussion on whether the Servant of God had exercised the virtues to a heroic degree. On 13 June 1997 the Special Meeting of the Theological Consultors was held and gave a positive judgement. In the Ordinary Session on 21 October 1997, with Bishop Andrea Maria Erba of Velletri‑Segni, the Proposer of the Cause, together with the Cardinals and Bishops, recognized that Padre Pio da Pietrelcina had lived to a heroic degree the theological, cardinal and associated virtues.

    On 18 December 1997, in the presence of Pope John Paul II, the Decree on heroic virtue was promulgated.

    For the Beatification of Padre Pio, the Postulation presented to the competent Congregation the healing of Signora Consiglia De Martino of Salerno. The regular canonical process on this case was held at the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Salerno-Campagna-Acerno from July 1996 to June 1997. On 30 April 1998 at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints the Medical Board examined the miracle, and on 22 June 1998 the Special Meeting of Theological Consultors gave its judgement. On 20 October 1998 the Ordinary Congregation of the Cardinals and Bishops belonging to the Congregation was held in the Vatican. On 21 December 1998 in the presence of Pope John Paul II the Decree on the miracle was promulgated.

    On 2 May 1999, in the course of a solemn concelebrated Mass in St Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II by his apostolic authority beatified the Venerable Servant of God Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, naming 23 September as the date of his liturgical feast.

    For the canonization of Blessed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina the Postulation presented to the competent Dicastery the cure of the young Matteo Pio Colella of San Giovanni Rotondo. The regular canonical process on the case was held at the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of the Diocese of Manfredonia-Vieste from 11 June to 17 October 2000. On 23 October the documents were forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. On 21 November 2001 the medical testimony was examined by the same Congregation. The Theological Consultors held a special Congress on 11 December and on 18 December the ordinary Session of Cardinals and Bishops took place. On 20 December, in the presence of John Paul II, the Decree on the miracle was promulgated. Finally, on 28 February 2002 the Decree of Canonization was promulgated.

     

    Beatification (May 2, 1999)

    Canonization (June 16, 2002)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Sunday, July 1, 2012:  (THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24  /  2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15  /  Mark 5:21-43:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070112.cfm

     

    Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Wisdom (Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24):

     

    God did not make death,
    nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.
    For he fashioned all things that they might have being;
    and the creatures of the world are wholesome,
    and there is not a destructive drug among them
    nor any domain of the netherworld on earth,
    for justice is undying.
    For God formed man to be imperishable;
    the image of his own nature he made him.
    But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
    and they who belong to his company experience it.

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13):

     

    R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.


    I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
    and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
    O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
    you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.


    R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.


    Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
    For his anger lasts but a moment;
    a lifetime, his good will.
    At nightfall, weeping enters in,
    but with the dawn, rejoicing.


    R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.


    Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
    O LORD, be my helper.
    You changed my mourning into dancing;
    O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.


    R.
    I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

     

     

     

    Reading 2 - A reading from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15):

     

    Brothers and sisters:


    As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse,
    knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you,
    may you excel in this gracious act also.

    For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor,
    so that by his poverty you might become rich.
    Not that others should have relief while you are burdened,
    but that as a matter of equality
    your abundance at the present time should supply their needs,
    so that their abundance may also supply your needs,
    that there may be equality.


    As it is written:

    Whoever had much did not have more,
    and whoever had little did not have less.

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 5:21-43):

     

    When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
    to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
    One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
    Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
    "My daughter is at the point of death.
    Please, come lay your hands on her
    that she may get well and live."
    He went off with him,
    and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

    There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
    She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
    and had spent all that she had.
    Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
    She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
    and touched his cloak.
    She said, "If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured."
    Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
    She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
    Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
    turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?"
    But his disciples said to Jesus,
    "You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
    and yet you ask, 'Who touched me?'"
    And he looked around to see who had done it.
    The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
    approached in fear and trembling.
    She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
    He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you.
    Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."

    While he was still speaking,
    people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said,
    "Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?"
    Disregarding the message that was reported,
    Jesus said to the synagogue official,
    "Do not be afraid; just have faith."
    He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
    except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
    When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
    he caught sight of a commotion,
    people weeping and wailing loudly.
    So he went in and said to them,
    "Why this commotion and weeping?
    The child is not dead but asleep."
    And they ridiculed him.
    Then he put them all out.
    He took along the child's father and mother
    and those who were with him
    and entered the room where the child was.
    He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum,"
    which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"
    The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
    At that they were utterly astounded.
    He gave strict orders that no one should know this
    and said that she should be given something to eat.

     

     

     

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    07/01/2012 - Blessed Henry Suso (1295-1366) Dominican mystic, preacher, poet and author.  A. K. A. Amandus: 

     

    From: http://www.spreadjesus.org/st_henry-suso-blessed-dominican-mystic-preacher-poet-and-author.html#.T_kar_VDTwk

     

      Henry Suso was born Heinrich von Berg in Constance, Swabia, to a noble family on March 21, about 1295. He took his name from his mother’s family, Sus or Süs. He was creative, quick, highly imaginative and restless. He was of frail health and often ill. Perhaps because of this, his parents took him at age 13 to the Dominican convent at Constance, where he would spend a large part of his life. He was professed at age 14. At age 18, he had a mystical experience that propelled him to become “the Servant of the Eternal Wisdom.” He was flooded with divine light and joy and felt transported out of the world. This experience changed his thinking and opened the way for frequent visions and ecstasies throughout his life. He initiated a practice of severe austerities. Henry excelled in his studies, and in 1324 he was sent to Cologne to the Dominican house of advanced studies. There he had the privilege of studying with the great and controversial German mystic, Johann Eckhart, or Meister Eckhart, for three years, becoming his ardent supporter. He also studied the works of SS. Thomas Aquinas, Peter Lombard and Dionysius. After his return to Constance, he was named lector and pursued his writing. In 1329, Pope John XXII (r. 1316–34) condemned Meister Eckhart. Henry defended him, earning censure from his superiors and suffering the loss of his teaching job. In 1334 Henry began his apostolic career, earning an outstanding reputation for his preaching throughout Europe. In particular he worked with the Friends of God, whom he called the Brotherhood of Eternal Wisdom, helping to restore religious practices. He especially influenced Dominican convents of women, including the famous Katherinenthal, a home to mystics in the 13th and 14th centuries, and Toss, where Elsbeth Stagel preserved some of his writings and most of his letters. Throughout his life, Henry suffered the persecutions and ill will of others, despite his brilliance as a preacher. A woman accused him of fathering her child, and the gossip destroyed his reputation for a time. Henry was crushed by this defamation. At the height of the scandal, another woman came to him in secret and offered to destroy the child. She argued that unless the child were eliminated, he would be forced to accept it. Henry, of course, could do no such thing. He accepted the child as his and gave it to the care of the woman. This damaged his reputation even further. Friends deserted him and he was nearly expelled from the religious life. Henry was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and venerated the holy name of Jesus. He took a stiletto and carved the name into his chest above his heart, so that the name moved with every beat of his heart. He never revealed the carving to anyone, but once while in ecstasy, a brilliant radiance streamed from his heart. Henry died on January 25, 1366, in Ulm. Henry began writing while he was a student in Cologne. His early works, heavily influenced by Eckhart, were The Little Book of Truth and The Little Book of Eternal Wisdom. The latter is considered a classic, and was the most widely read meditation book in German until Thomas à Kempis produced Imitation of Christ. Kempis was influenced by Suso. Henry also wrote his autobiography, The Life of the Servant, which discusses his inner life. Extant are 28 letters and five sermons.

     

     

    From: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07238c.htm

     

    Blessed Henry Suso

     

    (Also called Amandus, a name adopted in his writings). German mystic, born at Constance on 21 March, about 1295; died at Ulm, 25 January, 1366; declared Blessed in 1831 by Gregory XVI, who assigned his feast in the Dominican Order to 2 March.

    His life

    His father belonged to the noble family of Berg; his mother, a holy woman from whom he took his name, to a family of Sus (or Süs). When thirteen years of age he entered the Dominican convent at Constance, where he made his preparatory, philosophical, and theological studies.

    From 1324 to 1327 he took a supplementary course in theology in the Dominican studium generale at Cologne, where he sat at the feet of Johann Eckhart, "the Master", and probably at the side of Tauler, both celebrated mystics. Returning to Constance, he was appointed to the office of lector, from which he seems to have been removed some time between 1329 and 1334. In the latter year he began his apostolic career. About 1343 he was elected prior of a convent, probably at Diessenhofen. Five years later he was sent from Constance to Ulm where he remained until his death.

    Suso's life as a mystic began in his eighteenth year, when giving up his careless habits of the five preceding years, he made himself "the Servant of the Eternal Wisdom", which he identified with the Divine essence and, in a concrete form, with the personal Eternal Wisdom made man. Henceforth a burning love for the Eternal Wisdom dominated his thoughts and controlled his actions. He had frequent visions and ecstasies, practised severe austerities (which he prudently moderated in maturer years), and bore with rare patience corporal afflictions, bitter persecutions and grievous calumnies.

    He became foremost among the Friends of God in the work of restoring religious observance in the cloisters. His influence was especially strong in many convents of women, particularly in the Dominican convent of Katherinenthal, a famous nursery of mysticism in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and in that of Toss, where lived the mystic Elsbeth Stagel, who turned some of his Latin into German, collected and preserved most of his extant letters, and drew from him the history of his life which he himself afterwards developed and published.

    In the world he was esteemed as a preacher, and was heard in the cities and towns of Swabia, Switzerland, Alsace, and the Netherlands. His apostolate, however, was not with the masses, but rather with individuals of all classes who were drawn to him by his singularly attractive personality, and to whom he became a personal director in the spiritual life.

    It has often been incorrectly said that he established among the Friends of God a society which he called the Brotherhood of the Eternal Wisdom. The so-called Rule of the Brotherhood of the Eternal Wisdom is but a free translation of a chapter of his "Horologium Sapientiae", and did not make its appearance until the fifteenth century.

    His writings

    The first writing from the pen of Suso was the "Büchlein der Wahrheit", which he issued while a student at Cologne. Its doctrine was unfavourably criticized in some circles — very probably on account of its author's close relations with Eckhart, who had just been called upon to explain or to reject certain propositions — but it was found to be entirely orthodox.

    As in this, so in his other writings Suso, while betraying Eckhart's influence, always avoided the errors of "the Master". The book was really written in part against the pantheistic teachings of the Beghards, and against the libertine teachings of the Brethren of the Free Spirit. Father Denifle considers it the most difficult "little book" among the writings of the German mystics.

    Whereas in this book Suso speaks as a contemplative and to the intellect, in his next, "Das Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit", published early in 1328, he is eminently practical and speaks out of the fullness of his heart to "simple men who still have imperfections to be put off". Bihlmeyer accepts Denifle's judgment that it is the "most beautiful fruit of German mysticism", and places it next to the "Homilies" of St. Bernard, and the "Imitation of Christ" by Thomas à Kempis. In the second half of the fourteenth and in the fifteenth century there was no more widely read meditation book in the German language.

    In 1334 Suso translated this work into Latin, but in doing so added considerably to its contents, and made of it an almost entirely new book, to which he gave the name "Horologium Sapientiae". Even more elevating than the original, finished in language, rich in figure, rhythmic in movement, it became a favourite book in the cloisters at the close of the Middle Ages, not only in Germany, but also in the Netherlands, France, Italy, and England.

    To the same period of Suso's literary activity may belong "Das Minnebüchlein" but its authenticity is doubtful.

    After retiring to Ulm Suso wrote the story of his inner life ("Vita" or "Leben Seuses"), revised the "Büchlein der Wahrheit", and the "Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit", all of which, together with eleven of his letters (the "Briefbüchlein"), and a prologue, he formed into one book known as the "Exemplar Seuses".

    Besides the above-mentioned writings we have also five sermons by Suso and a collection of twenty-eight of his letters (Grosses Briefbuch), which may be found in Bihlmeyer's edition.

    Suso is called by Wackernagel and others a "Minnesinger in prose and in the spiritual order." The mutual love of God and man which is his principal theme gives warmth and colour to his style. He used the full and flexible Alamannian idiom with rare skill, and contributed much to the formation of good German prose, especially by giving new shades of meaning to words employed to describe inner sensations. His intellectual equipment was characteristic of the schoolmen of his age. In his doctrine there was never the least trace of an unorthodox tendency.

    For centuries he exercised an influence upon spiritual writers. Among his readers and admirers were Thomas à Kempis and Bl. Peter Canisius.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Sunday, June 24, 2012:  (SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST)  Readings for today:  Isaiah 49:1-6  /  Acts 13:22-26  /  Luke 1:57-66, 80:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062412-mass-during-the-day.cfm

     

    Reading I - A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 49:1-6):

     

    Hear me, O coastlands,
    listen, O distant peoples.
    The LORD called me from birth,
    from my mother's womb he gave me my name.
    He made of me a sharp-edged sword
    and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
    He made me a polished arrow,
    in his quiver he hid me.
    You are my servant, he said to me,
    Israel, through whom I show my glory.

    Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
    and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
    yet my reward is with the LORD,
    my recompense is with my God.
    For now the LORD has spoken
    who formed me as his servant from the womb,
    that Jacob may be brought back to him
    and Israel gathered to him;
    and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
    and my God is now my strength!
    It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
    and restore the survivors of Israel;
    I will make you a light to the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15):

     

    R. (14) I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.


    O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
    you know when I sit and when I stand;
    you understand my thoughts from afar.
    My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
    with all my ways you are familiar.


    R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.


    Truly you have formed my inmost being;
    you knit me in my mother's womb.
    I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
    wonderful are your works.


    R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.


    My soul also you knew full well;
    nor was my frame unknown to you
    When I was made in secret,
    when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.


    R.
    I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the acts of the Apostles (Acts 13:22-26):

     

    In those days, Paul said:


    "God raised up David as king;
    of him God testified,
    I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
    he will carry out my every wish.
    From this man's descendants God, according to his promise,
    has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
    John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
    to all the people of Israel;
    and as John was completing his course, he would say,
    'What do you suppose that I am' I am not he.
    Behold, one is coming after me;
    I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet."

    "My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham,
    and those others among you who are God-fearing,
    to us this word of salvation has been sent."

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 1:57-66, 80):

     

    When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
    she gave birth to a son.
    Her neighbors and relatives heard
    that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
    and they rejoiced with her.
    When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
    they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
    but his mother said in reply,
    "No. He will be called John."
    But they answered her,
    "There is no one among your relatives who has this name."
    So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
    He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name,"
    and all were amazed.
    Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
    and he spoke blessing God.
    Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
    and all these matters were discussed
    throughout the hill country of Judea.
    All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
    "What, then, will this child be?"
    For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
    The child grew and became strong in spirit,
    and he was in the desert until the day
    of his manifestation to Israel.

     

     

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    06/24/2012 - St. Gertrude the Great (1256-1301 or 1302):  St. Gertrude the Great is another mystical saint, and she had daily visions of the Lord Jesus Christ for over 20 years, except a brief period of 2 weeks as punishment to her for having a worldly conversation.  The Lord Jesus espoused himself to her and gave her 7 spiritual ringlets, and bestowed a variety of graces upon her.  She's also known as the saint for the souls in purgatory and for the dead.  The Lord Jesus Christ gave her a prayer in a vision that would release 1000 souls from purgatory each time it is said.  Later the prayer included living sinners.

     

    From:  http://www.catholictradition.org/Gertrude/saint-gertrude2.htm

     

    St. Gertrude the Great

     

    A Brief Overview of Her Remarkable Life
    January 6, 1232----------------November 17, 1291

     

     

      Saint Gertrude, Virgin, Mystic, and Benedictine Abbess, was called by Our Lord Himself, "My chosen Lily", and the Church has given her the title of "Great" although she is not counted among the Doctors of the Church, at least as of yet. She is the only woman Saint to have been accorded this honor. There are are more than  one Saint named Gertrude, one of whom was the Abbott of the monastery when Gertrude entered there at five, so it is an added blessing that she is distinguished by the term Great, for our sakes, because there is one less opportunity for confusion. It ought to come as no surprise that she was born in that great age of Saints, the 13th century, among which are numbered St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and in the later years of which, both St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic, the latter two being born in the 12th century. Not only was this century the "Century of Saints", but the age of the most wondrous of Saints.

    Our Gertrude the Great was born at Eisleben, Germany, the same town as that of the unfortunate heretic, Martin Luther. But when she was born there were no Lutherans or any kind of Protestants because all of Christendom was Catholic. The revolt and upheaval would begin a scarce two centuries later. Note that she was born on the Feast of the Epiphany, destined as she was by God's providence to be one of the Stars in the Communion of Saints. Her parentage is unknown for certain, although it is thought that she was born a countess, but we do know that when she was five years old, she was placed in the care of the Benedictine nuns at Helfta in Saxony, where she became the pupil and close friend of St. Mechtilde. The nuns there were known for their thoroughness in training and study, which only served to augment the intellectual gifts that God had bestowed on Gertrude. Very early on she was versed in Latin, the Bible, and the works of the Fathers of the Church. Yet, compared to her capacity for loving God, they pale. While still a child she began to speak to the Heart of Our Lord, her chosen One. She already had the capacity and the readiness to withdraw as much as possible from worldly pursuits in order to spend time with Him. And Jesus did come to her; the Benedictine sisters were not slow to learn that she was favored by Heaven. One nun, who suffered the torment of terrible temptations, had a dream in which she was told to ask Gertrude for help, to ask for her prayers. And as soon as Gertrude began to pray for her, the temptations ceased. Another religious had a similar urgent need of help. She took a cloth which had been used by the Saint, applied it to her heart and she was instantly healed of her spiritual malady.
    [2]

    Our Lord Himself conveyed to another favored soul that Gertrude "contains and perfects in her soul those five virtues which please Me above all others, and which I have placed therein by a singular liberality; she possesses purity, by a continual influence of My grace; she possesses humility, amidst the great diversity of gifts which I have bestowed on her
    --- for the more I effect in her, the more she abases herself; she possesses a true benignity, which makes her desire the salvation of the whole world for My greater glory; she possesses a true fidelity, spreading abroad, without reserve, all her treasures for the same end. Finally, she possesses a consummate charity; for she loves Me with her whole heart, with her whole soul, and with her whole strength; and for love of Me, she loves her neighbor as herself." [3]

    St. Gertrude was elected Abbess of her monastery in 1294 when she was but thirty. And for forty more years she continued to guide her spiritual children, many of whom attained a high degree of sanctity. As superior she was known for her zeal, and for her charity. Whenever anyone was suffering, whether in body or in spirit, she could not rest. If repentance was required she prayed and wept until the person had repented. She preferred this approach to severe upbraiding. So fervent were her nuns because this approach that not only did they attain sanctity but a number of them received singular favors from Heaven.

    By this time Gertrude's mystical union with her Spouse, Our Lord, Jesus, was so ardent and intimate that even the thought of sudden death could not disturb her. In fact she expressed her desire to join her Spouse. But she surrendered her will to His in this matter, saying that she preferred His will and providence even to the Sacraments.

    Her confidence, which we shall speak about later, was so preeminent that it is impossible to think that his Sacred Heart could refuse her anything. It was not always thus. Once she had been praying fervently for a favor, which He had not yet granted. When asked Him why the delay, He replied that it was because she was lacking in confidence of the effects of His Mercy.

    Later, He told St. Mechtilde, "I have united My Heart so closely to her soul by the ties of My Mercy that she has become one spirit with Me. It is on this account that she obeys so promptly all the desires of My will . . ."
    [4]

    One year, before the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, St. Gertrude, addressing Our Lord's Five Wounds, repeated the following salutation five thousand four hundred and sixty-six times: "Glory be to Thee, most sweet, most gentle, most benign, most noble, most excellent, effulgent, and ever-peaceful Trinity, for the roseate wounds of my only Love!" As she repeated this salutation, our Lord Jesus appeared to her, more beautiful than the Angels, bearing golden flowers on each Wound, and saluted her thus, with a serene countenance and the tenderest charity: "Behold in what glory I now appear to you. I will appear in the same manner to you at your death, and will cover all the stains of your sins, and of those also who salute My Wounds with the same devotion."
    [5]

    Gertrude's life became daily more supernatural and often she experienced ecstasies in which she not only enjoyed the company of Our Lord, but His Holy Mother as well. Even her favorite Saints came to visit her.

    She also wrote with St. Mechtilde a series of prayers that became very popular, and because of this and her writing, devotion to the Sacred Heart began to spread. After numerous sufferings and an almost lifelong set of infirmities, she now neared her death. The Sisters were reading the Passion of Christ at her bedside where Jesus appeared to her with Our Lady at His right hand. The the nuns pronounced the words, "And bowing His Head, He gave up the ghost," Jesus leaned toward the Saint, opening wide His adorable Heart, pouring forth all His love while the Angels surrounded her bed; she beheld them inviting her to Paradise and heard then singing, "Come, come, O mistress! . . . Alleluia, alleluia!"
    [6] She died at Helfta on November 17 and although never formally canonized, Pope Clement XII in 1677 directed that her Feast [Originally November 17, but in this past century, the 16th] be a universal Feast in the Church. She is listed in the Roman Martyrology, which lists all the Saints and Martyrs.

    She is the patron of the West Indies because of a petition to the Holy See made by the King of Spain.


    1. The date of her birth is in dispute, varying by as much as 7 years [1256]. There are two source books for her Revelations and the dates in these are not identical. Delaney's book on the Saints gives us the date of 1256. We are using the oldest known source, her Manual

    2. THE LIFE AND REVELATIONS OF ST. GERTRUDE, Christian Classics, TAN BOOKS, pp. 4-5.

    3. Ibid., p. 6.

    4. Ibid., p. 19.

    5. Ibid., pp. 405-406.

    6. SAINT GERTRUDE THE GREAT: HERALD OF DIVINE LOVE, TAN BOOKS, pp. 49-50.
    Excerpts Published on the web with permission of Tan Books.


    Forward for the Boundless Confidence in Our Lord that St. Gertrude the Great Attained
     

     

     

    Other links for St. Gertrude the Great:

     

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06534a.htm

     

    and

     

    http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=424

    (which includes the prayer the Lord Jesus revealed to her which would release 1000 souls from purgatory each time it is said:

    "Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen." )

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, June 17, 2012:  (ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Ezekiel 17:22-24  /  2 Corinthians 5:6-10  /  Mark 4:26-34:

     

    From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061712.cfm

     

    Reading I - A reading from the book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 17:22-24):

     

    Thus says the Lord GOD:


    I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar,
    from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot,
    and plant it on a high and lofty mountain;
    on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it.
    It shall put forth branches and bear fruit,
    and become a majestic cedar.
    Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it,
    every winged thing in the shade of its boughs.
    And all the trees of the field shall know
    that I, the LORD,
    bring low the high tree,
    lift high the lowly tree,
    wither up the green tree,
    and make the withered tree bloom.
    As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16):

     

    R. (cf. 2a) Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.


    It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
    to sing praise to your name, Most High,
    To proclaim your kindness at dawn
    and your faithfulness throughout the night.


    R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.


    The just one shall flourish like the palm tree,
    like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow.
    They that are planted in the house of the LORD
    shall flourish in the courts of our God.


    R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.


    They shall bear fruit even in old age;
    vigorous and sturdy shall they be,
    Declaring how just is the LORD,
    my rock, in whom there is no wrong.


    R.
    Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 5:6-10):

     

    Brothers and sisters:


    We are always courageous,
    although we know that while we are at home in the body
    we are away from the Lord,
    for we walk by faith, not by sight.
    Yet we are courageous,
    and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.
    Therefore, we aspire to please him,
    whether we are at home or away.
    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
    so that each may receive recompense,
    according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 4:26-34):

     

    Jesus said to the crowds:


    "This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
    it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
    and would sleep and rise night and day
    and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
    he knows not how.
    Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
    first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
    And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
    for the harvest has come."

    He said,
    "To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
    or what parable can we use for it?
    It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
    is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
    But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
    and puts forth large branches,
    so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade."
    With many such parables
    he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
    Without parables he did not speak to them,
    but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

     

     

    ---------------------

     

    06/17/2012 - St. Gerard Majella (1726-1755):  St. Gerard Majella is another saint known as the Wonder-Worker.  In his short life, he experienced a variety of mystical experiences and performed many miracles, including the bi-location, raptures, ecstatic prayer (including at times having rays of light shot from him and made his body and face glow like the sun), levitation before witnesses and the gift of flight, invisibility, was attacked by demons who left him bruised, having a heavenly sweet odor permeating from him, walking on water, great rapport with animals and birds, manifesting money for the poor and for church projects, the gift of prophecy, mystical knowledge (like knowing the sins of others, reading souls and hearts, even to the point of knowing when a person had not made a full or proper confession). 

     

    From: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=150

     

    St. Gerard Majella

     

      Feast day: October 16
      Patron of expectant mothers
      Died: 1755

     

    St. Gerard Majella, religious, is the patron of expectant mothers. He was born at Muro, Italy, in 1726 and joined the Redemptorists at the age of 23, becoming a professed lay  brother in 1752. He served as sacristan, gardener, porter, infirmarian, and tailor. However, because of his great piety, extraordinary wisdom, and his gift of reading consciences, he was permitted to counsel communities of religious women.

    This humble servant of God also had the faculties of levitation and bi-location associated with certain mystics. His charity, obedience, and selfless service as well as his ceaseless mortification for Christ, made him the perfect model of lay brothers. He was afflicted with tuberculosis and died in 1755 at the age of twenty-nine.

    This great saint is invoked as a patron of expectant mothers as a result of a miracle effected through his prayers for a woman in labor.

    Prayer: O Great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted Child of the Mother of God: enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love. O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the Patron and Protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day and receive the lustral waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

     

     

    And from:  http://www.catholictradition.org/Life/majella1.htm

     

    GERARD'S CONDUCT

    Much of his life as a brother was spent in traveling with and assisting the missionaries. They deemed him an invaluable companion, because he had such remarkable success in bringing sinners to the Sacraments and in inducing many to repair their past bad Confessions. People followed him everywhere, and already called him "il santo"
    -----the Saint.

    True sanctity must always be tested by the cross, and it was in 1754 that Gerard had to undergo a great trial, one that may well have merited for him the special power to assist mothers and their children. One of his works of zeal was that of encouraging and assisting girls who wanted to enter the convent. Often he would even secure the necessary dowry for some poor girl who could not otherwise be admitted into a religious order.

    Neria Caggiano was one of the girls thus assisted by Gerard. However, she found convent life distasteful and within three weeks had returned home. To explain her action, Neria began to circulate falsehoods about the lives of the nuns, and when the good people of Muro refused to believe such stories about a convent recommended by Gerard, she determined to save her reputation by destroying the good name of her benefactor. Accordingly, in a letter to St. Alphonsus, the superior of Gerard, she accused the latter of sins of impurity with the young daughter of a family at whose house Gerard often stayed on his missionary journeys.

    Gerard was called by St. Alphonsus to answer the accusation. Instead of defending himself, however, he remained silent, following the example of his Divine Master. In the face of his silence, St. Alphonsus could do nothing but impose a severe penance on the young religious. Gerard was denied the privilege of receiving Holy Communion, and forbidden all contact with outsiders.

    It was not easy for Gerard to give up his labours in behalf of souls, but this was a small penance compared with being deprived of Holy Communion. He felt this so keenly that he even asked to be freed from the privilege of serving Mass for fear that the vehemence of his desire to receive would make him seize the consecrated Host from the very hands of the priest at the altar.

    Some time later Neria fell dangerously ill and wrote a letter to St. Alphonsus confessing that her charges against Gerard had been sheer fabrication and calumny. The Saint was filled with joy by the news of the innocence of his son. But Gerard, who had not been depressed in the time of his trial, was not unduly elated in the hour of his vindication.

    In both cases he felt that the will of God had been fulfilled, and that was sufficient for him.
     

    THE MIRACLE WORKER

    Of few Saints have there been so many wonderful events recorded as of St. Gerard. The process of his beatification and canonization reveals that his miracles were of the widest variety and profusion.

    He frequently fell into ecstasy while meditating on God or His holy will and at such times his body was seen raised several feet above the ground. There are authentic records to prove that on more than one occasion he was granted the unusual miracle of being seen and spoken to in two places at the same time.

    Most of his miracles were performed in the service of others. Such extraordinary happenings as the following begin to seem commonplace when one reads his life. He restored life to a boy who had fallen from a high cliff; he blessed the scanty supply of wheat belonging to a poor family and it lasted until the next harvest; several times he multiplied the bread that he was distributing to the poor. One day he walked across the water to lead to the safety of the shore a boatload of fishermen threatened by the stormy waves. Many times Gerard told people of secret sins on their souls which they had been ashamed to confess, and brought them to penance and forgiveness.

    His miraculous apostolate for mothers also began during his lifetime. Once, as he was leaving the home of his friends, the Pirofalo family, one of the daughters called after him that he had forgotten his handkerchief. In a moment of prophetic insight Gerard said: "Keep it. It will be useful to you some day." The handkerchief was treasured as a precious souvenir of Gerard. Years later the girl to whom he had given it was in danger of death in childbirth. She remembered the words of Gerard, and called for the handkerchief. Almost immediately the danger passed and she delivered a healthy child. On another occasion the prayers of Gerard were asked by a mother when both she and her unborn child were in danger. Both she and the child came through the ordeal safely.
     

    HIS GLORIFICATION

    At the death of Gerard, the Brother sacristan, in his excitement, rang the bell as if for a Feast, instead of tolling it for a death. Thousands came to view the body of "their Saint" and to try to find a last souvenir of the one who had helped them so often. After his mother's death miracles began to be reported from almost all parts of Italy, attributed to the intercession of Gerard. In 1893, Pope Leo XIII beatified him, and on December 11, 1904, Pope Pius X canonized him as a Saint.

    WONDER WORKER OF OUR DAY

    Devotion to St. Gerard spread rapidly beyond Italy and throughout the world and he came to be called "the wonder worker of our day." Because he had so often helped sinners to make a good Confession, he was adopted by many as the patron of a good Confession. Others revere the young apprentice tailor and Redemptorist lay brother as the patron of workingmen. Because he had so much difficulty getting into a religious order and because he sent so many girls to the convent he is often called upon as the patron of vocations.

    THE MOTHER'S SAINT

    Above all, the mothers of Italy took Gerard to their hearts and made him their patron. At the process of his beatification one witness testified that he was known as "il santo dei felice parti"
    -----the Saint of happy childbirth. His fame in this regard spread so that in many countries of the world mothers would not think of entering into their confinement without having a medal of St. Gerard. This devotion has become very popular in America, both in the United States and in Canada. Thousands of mothers have experienced his power. Many hospitals dedicate their maternity wards to him and give medals and prayer leaflets of St. Gerard to their patients. Thousands of children have been named after St. Gerard by parents who are convinced that it was his intercession that helped them to have healthy children. Even girls are named after him, and it is interesting how variously "Gerard" is given a feminine form. Some of the more popular names are: Gerarda, Geralyn, Gerardine, Gerianne and Gerardette.

     NOT ONLY A HELPER

    St. Gerard obtains great favours for mothers and their children, but that is not his only office. He also teaches parents and especially mothers the duties of their state in life. The terrible and all too common evils in marriage today are the crimes of contraception and abortion. Under pretext of poor health, or lack of material means, or fear of the future or of what others may say, so many women accept pagan practices and limit their families by sinful means. The only adequate defence against this evil is an unlimited trust in God.

    God made marriage a Sacrament and thereby promised to provide every Christian married couple with all the graces necessary to fulfil the laws He had made for marriage.

    One of Gerard's greatest virtues was trust, and his favourite slogan was "God will provide." Once while he was on a pilgrimage with some clerical students, he used the last few coins to buy some flowers for the altar. When he placed the flowers before the altar he said: "Lord, I have taken care of You. Now You take care of my students and me." And the Lord did provide sufficient money for the rest of the trip. When the false accusation was made against him, to all the entreaties of friends to defend himself he replied: "It is for God to see to that." In poor health and in danger of death his trust in God did not waver one bit. Thus Gerard showed himself as a model that mothers can imitate in the confidence in God on which marriage must be based, if they are to avoid the forces of "anti-life."

     

     

     

     

     

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    Sunday, June 10, 2012:  (SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST)  Readings for today:  Exodus 24:3-8  /  Hebrews 9:11-15  /  Mark 14:12-16, 22-26:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061012.cfm

     

    Reading I - A reading from the book of Exodus (Exodus 24:3-8):

     

    When Moses came to the people
    and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD,
    they all answered with one voice,
    "We will do everything that the LORD has told us."
    Moses then wrote down all the words of the LORD and,
    rising early the next day,
    he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar
    and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
    Then, having sent certain young men of the Israelites
    to offer holocausts and sacrifice young bulls
    as peace offerings to the LORD,
    Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls;
    the other half he splashed on the altar.
    Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people,
    who answered, "All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do."
    Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying,
    "This is the blood of the covenant
    that the LORD has made with you
    in accordance with all these words of his."

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 116: 12-13, 15-16, 17-18):

     

    R. (13) I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.


    How shall I make a return to the LORD
    for all the good he has done for me?
    The cup of salvation I will take up,
    and I will call upon the name of the LORD.


    R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.

     

    Precious in the eyes of the LORD
    is the death of his faithful ones.
    I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
    you have loosed my bonds.


    R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
     


    To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
    and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
    My vows to the LORD I will pay
    in the presence of all his people.


    R.
    I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.

     

     

     

    Reading II -  A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 9:11-15):

     

    Brothers and sisters:


    When Christ came as high priest
    of the good things that have come to be,
    passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle
    not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation,
    he entered once for all into the sanctuary,
    not with the blood of goats and calves
    but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
    For if the blood of goats and bulls
    and the sprinkling of a heifer's ashes
    can sanctify those who are defiled
    so that their flesh is cleansed,
    how much more will the blood of Christ,
    who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God,
    cleanse our consciences from dead works
    to worship the living God.

    For this reason he is mediator of a new covenant:
    since a death has taken place for deliverance
    from transgressions under the first covenant,
    those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 14:12-16, 22-26):

     

    On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
    when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,
    Jesus' disciples said to him,
    "Where do you want us to go
    and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
    He sent two of his disciples and said to them,
    "Go into the city and a man will meet you,
    carrying a jar of water.
    Follow him.
    Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
    'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest room
    where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"'
    Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready.
    Make the preparations for us there."
    The disciples then went off, entered the city,
    and found it just as he had told them;
    and they prepared the Passover.

    While they were eating,
    he took bread, said the blessing,
    broke it, gave it to them, and said,
    "Take it; this is my body."
    Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
    and they all drank from it.
    He said to them,
    "This is my blood of the covenant,
    which will be shed for many.
    Amen, I say to you,
    I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine
    until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
    Then, after singing a hymn,
    they went out to the Mount of Olives.

     

     

     

    -----------------------

     

    06/10/2012 - St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231):  This saint's feast day is June 13, and he is one of the most beloved and revered of the saints.

     

    From: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=24

     

    St. Anthony of Padua
    Doctor of the Church

     

      Feastday: June 13
    1195 - 1231

    Saint Anthony was canonized (declared a saint) less than one year after his death.



    There is perhaps no more loved and admired saint in the Catholic Church than Saint Anthony of Padua, a Doctor of the Church. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal. He first joined the Augustinian Order and then left it and joined the Franciscan Order in 1221, when he was 26 years old. The reason he became a Franciscan was because of the death of the five Franciscan protomartyrs -- St. Bernard, St. Peter, St. Otho, St. Accursius, and St. Adjutus -- who shed their blood for the Catholic Faith in the year 1220, in Morocco, in North Africa, and whose headless and mutilated bodies had been brought to St. Anthony’s monastery on their way back for burial. St. Anthony became a Franciscan in the hope of shedding his own blood and becoming a martyr. He lived only ten years after joining the Franciscan Order.



    So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, so that the most unlettered and innocent might understand it, that he was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946. Saint Anthony was only 36 years old when he died. He is called the “hammer of the Heretics” His great protection against their lies and deceits in the matter of Christian doctrine was to utter, simply and innocently, the Holy Name of Mary. When St. Anthony of Padua found he was preaching the true Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he then went out and preached it to the fishes. This was not, as liberals and naturalists are trying to say, for the instruction of the fishes, but rather for the glory of God, the delight of the angels, and the easing of his own heart. St. Anthony wanted to profess the Catholic Faith with his mind and his heart, at every moment.



    He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus, to whom He miraculously appeared, and is commonly referred to today as the "finder of lost articles." Upon exhumation, some 336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it.

     

     

    And from:  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01556a.htm

     

    Franciscan Thaumaturgist (Wonder Worker), born at Lisbon, 1195; died at Vercelli [actually Arcella --Ed.], 13 June, 1231. He received in baptism the name of Ferdinand.

    Later writers of the fifteenth century asserted that his father was Martin Bouillon, descendant of the renowned Godfrey de Bouillon, commander of the First Crusade, and his mother, Theresa Tavejra, descendant of Froila I, fourth king of Asturia. Unfortunately, however, his genealogy is uncertain; all that we know of his parents is that they were noble, powerful, and God-fearing people, and at the time of Ferdinand's birth were both still young, and living near the Cathedral of Lisbon.

    Having been educated in the Cathedral school, Ferdinand, at the age of fifteen, joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, in the convent of St. Vincent, just outside the city walls (1210). Two years later to avoid being distracted by relatives and friends, who frequently came to visit him, he betook himself with permission of his superior to the Convent of Santa Croce in Cóimbra (1212), where he remained for eight years, occupying his time mainly with study and prayer. Gifted with an excellent understanding and a prodigious memory, he soon gathered from the Sacred Scriptures and the writings of the Holy Fathers a treasure of theological knowledge.

    In the year 1220, having seen conveyed into the Church of Santa Croce the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs, who had suffered death at Morocco, 16 January of the same year, he too was inflamed with the desire of martyrdom, and resolved to become a Friar Minor, that he might preach the Faith to the Saracens and suffer for Christ's sake. Having confided his intention to some of the brethren of the convent of Olivares (near Cóimbra), who came to beg alms at the Abbey of the Canons Regular, he received from their hands the Franciscan habit in the same Convent of Santa Croce. Thus Ferdinand left the Canons Regular of St. Augustine to join the Order of Friars Minor, taking at the same time the new name of Anthony, a name which later on the Convent of Olivares also adopted.

    A short time after his entry into the order, Anthony started for Morocco, but, stricken down by a severe illness, which affected him the entire winter, he was compelled to sail for Portugal the following spring, 1221. His ship, however, was overtaken by a violent storm and driven upon the coast of Sicily, where Anthony then remained for some time, till he had regained his health. Having heard meanwhile from the brethren of Messina that a general chapter was to be held at Assisi, 30 May, he journeyed thither, arriving in time to take part in it. The chapter over, Anthony remained entirely unnoticed.

    "He said not a word of his studies", writes his earliest biographer, "nor of the services he had performed; his only desire was to follow Jesus Christ and Him crucified". Accordingly, he applied to Father Graziano, Provincial of Cóimbra, for a place where he could live in solitude and penance, and enter more fully into the spirit and discipline of Franciscan life. Father Graziano, being just at that time in need of a priest for the hermitage of Montepaolo (near Forli), sent him thither, that he might celebrate Mass for the lay-brethren.

    While Anthony lived retired at Montepaolo it happened, one day, that a number of Franciscan and Dominican friars were sent together to Forli for ordination. Anthony was also present, but simply as companion of the Provincial. When the time for ordination had arrived, it was found that no one had been appointed to preach. The superior turned first to the Dominicans, and asked that one of their number should address a few words to the assembled brethren; but everyone declined, saying he was not prepared. In their emergency they then chose Anthony, whom they thought only able to read the Missal and Breviary, and commanded him to speak whatever the spirit of God might put into his mouth. Anthony, compelled by obedience, spoke at first slowly and timidly, but soon enkindled with fervour, he began to explain the most hidden sense of Holy Scripture with such profound erudition and sublime doctrine that all were struck with astonishment. With that moment began Anthony's public career.

    St. Francis, informed of his learning, directed him by the following letter to teach theology to the brethren:

    To Brother Anthony, my bishop (i.e. teacher of sacred sciences), Brother Francis sends his greetings. It is my pleasure that thou teach theology to the brethren, provided, however, that as the Rule prescribes, the spirit of prayer and devotion may not be extinguished. Farewell. (1224)

    Before undertaking the instruction, Anthony went for some time to Vercelli, to confer with the famous Abbot, Thomas Gallo; thence he taught successively in Bologna and Montpellier in 1224, and later at Toulouse. Nothing whatever is left of his instruction; the primitive documents, as well as the legendary ones, maintain complete silence on this point. Nevertheless, by studying his works, we can form for ourselves a sufficient idea of the character of his doctrine; a doctrine, namely, which, leaving aside all arid speculation, prefers an entirely seraphic character, corresponding to the spirit and ideal of St. Francis.

    It was as an orator, however, rather than as professor, that Anthony reaped his richest harvest. He possessed in an eminent degree all the good qualities that characterize an eloquent preacher: a loud and clear voice, a winning countenance, wonderful memory, and profound learning, to which were added from on high the spirit of prophecy and an extraordinary gift of miracles. With the zeal of an apostle he undertook to reform the morality of his time by combating in an especial manner the vices of luxury, avarice, and tyranny. The fruit of his sermons was, therefore, as admirable as his eloquence itself. No less fervent was he in the extinction of heresy, notably that of the Catharses and the Patarines, which infested the centre and north of Italy, and probably also that of the Albigenses in the south of France, though we have no authorized documents to that effect. Among the many miracles St. Anthony wrought in the conversion of heretics; the three most noted recorded by his biographers are the following:

    The zeal with which St. Anthony fought against heresy, and the great and numerous conversions he made rendered him worthy of the glorious title of Malleus hereticorum (Hammer of the Heretics). Though his preaching was always seasoned with the salt of discretion, nevertheless he spoke openly to all, to the rich as to the poor, to the people as well as those in authority. In a synod at Bourges in the presence of many prelates, he reproved the Archbishop, Simon de Sully, so severely, that he induced him to sincere amendment.

    After having been Guardian at Le-Puy (1224), we find Anthony in the year 1226, Custos Provincial in the province of Limousin. The most authentic miracles of that period are the following:

    This is all that is historically certain of the sojourn of St. Anthony in Limousin.

    Regarding the celebrated apparition of the Infant Jesus to our saint, French writers maintain it took place in the province of Limousin at the Castle of Chateauneuf-la-Forêt, between Limoges and Eymoutiers, whereas the Italian hagiographers fix the place at Camposanpiero, near Padua. The existing documents, however, do not decide the question. We have more certainty regarding the apparition of St. Francis to St. Anthony at the Provincial Chapter of Arles, whilst the latter was preaching about the mysteries of the Cross.

    After the death of St. Francis, 3 October, 1226, Anthony returned to Italy. His way led him through La Provence on which occasion he wrought the following miracle: Fatigued by the journey, he and his companion entered the house of a poor woman, who placed bread and wine before them. She had forgotten, however, to shut off the tap of the wine-barrel, and to add to this misfortune, the Saint's companion broke his glass. Anthony began to pray, and suddenly the glass was made whole, and the barrel filled anew with wine.

    Shortly after his return to Italy, Anthony was elected Minister Provincial of Emilia. But in order to devote more time to preaching, he resigned this office at the General Chapter of Assisi, 30 May, 1230, and retired to the Convent of Padua, which he had himself founded. The last Lent he preached was that of 1231; the crowd of people which came from all parts to hear him, frequently numbered 30,000 and more. His last sermons were principally directed against hatred and enmity, and his efforts were crowned with wonderful success. Permanent reconciliations were effected, peace and concord re-established, liberty given to debtors and other prisoners, restitutions made, and enormous scandals repaired; in fact, the priests of Padua were no longer sufficient for the number of penitents, and many of these declared they had been warned by celestial visions, and sent to St. Anthony, to be guided by his counsel. Others after his death said that he appeared to them in their slumbers, admonishing them to go to confession.

    At Padua also took place the famous miracle of the amputated foot, which Franciscan writers attribute to St. Anthony. A young man, Leonardo by name, in a fit of anger kicked his own mother. Repentant, he confessed his fault to St. Anthony who said to him: "The foot of him who kicks his mother deserves to be cut off." Leonardo ran home and cut off his foot. Learning of this, St. Anthony took the amputated member of the unfortunate youth and miraculously rejoined it.

    Through the exertions of St. Anthony, the Municipality of Padua, 15 March, 1231, passed a law in favour of debtors who could not pay their debts. A copy of this law is still preserved in the museum of Padua. From this, as well as the following occurrence, the civil and religious importance of the Saint's influence in the thirteenth century is easily understood. In 1230, while war raged in Lombardy, St. Anthony betook himself to Verona to solicit from the ferocious Ezzelino the liberty of the Guelph prisoners. An apocryphal legend relates that the tyrant humbled himself before the Saint and granted his request. This is not the case, but what does it matter, even if he failed in his attempt; he nevertheless jeopardized his own life for the sake of those oppressed by tyranny, and thereby showed his love and sympathy for the people. Invited to preach at the funeral of a usurer, he took for his text the words of the Gospel: "Where thy treasure is, there also is thy heart." In the course of the sermon he said: "That rich man is dead and buried in hell; but go to his treasures and there you will find his heart." The relatives and friends of the deceased, led by curiosity, followed this injunction, and found the heart, still warm, among the coins. Thus the triumph of St. Anthony's missionary career manifests itself not only in his holiness and his numerous miracles, but also in the popularity and subject matter of his sermons, since he had to fight against the three most obstinate vices of luxury, avarice and tyranny.

    At the end of Lent, 1231, Anthony retired to Camposanpiero, in the neighbourhood of Padua, where, after a short time he was taken with a severe illness. Transferred to Vercelli, and strengthened by the apparition of Our Lord, he died at the age of thirty-six years, on 13 June, 1231. He had lived fifteen years with his parents, ten years as a Canon Regular of St. Augustine, and eleven years in the Order of Friars Minor.

    Immediately after his death he appeared at Vercelli to the Abbot, Thomas Gallo, and his death was also announced to the citizens of Padua by a troop of children, crying: "The holy Father is dead; St. Anthony is dead!" Gregory IX, firmly persuaded of his sanctity by the numerous miracles he had wrought, inscribed him within a year of his death (Pentecost, 30 May, 1232), in the calendar of saints of the Cathedral of Spoleto. In the Bull of canonization he declared he had personally known the saint, and we know that the same pontiff, having heard one of his sermons at Rome, and astonished at his profound knowledge of the Holy Scripture called him: "Ark of the Covenant". That this title is well-founded is also shown by his several works: "Expositio in Psalmos", written at Montpellier, 1224; the "Sermones de tempore", and the "Sermones de Sanctis", written at Padua, 1229-30.

    The name of Anthony became celebrated throughout the world, and with it the name of Padua. The inhabitants of that city erected to his memory a magnificent temple, whither his precious relics were transferred in 1263, in presence of St. Bonaventure, Minister General at the time. When the vault in which for thirty years his sacred body had reposed was opened, the flesh was found reduced to dust but the tongue uninjured, fresh, and of a lively red colour. St. Bonaventure, beholding this wonder, took the tongue affectionately in his hands and kissed it, exclaiming: "O Blessed Tongue that always praised the Lord, and made others bless Him, now it is evident what great merit thou hast before God."

    The fame of St. Anthony's miracles has never diminished, and even at the present day he is acknowledged as the greatest thaumaturgist of the times. He is especially invoked for the recovery of things lost, as is also expressed in the celebrated responsory of Friar Julian of Spires:

    Si quaeris miracula . . .
    . . . resque perditas.

    Indeed his very popularity has to a certain extent obscured his personality. If we may believe the conclusions of recent critics, some of the Saint's biographers, in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for the marvellous displayed by his devout clients, and comparatively oblivious of the historical features of his life, have devoted themselves to the task of handing down to posterity the posthumous miracles wrought by his intercession. We need not be surprised, therefore, to find accounts of his miracles that may seem to the modern mind trivial or incredible occupying so large a space in the earlier biographies of St. Anthony. It may be true that some of the miracles attributed to St. Anthony are legendary, but others come to us on such high authority that it is impossible either to eliminate them or explain them away a priori without doing violence to the facts of history.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Sunday, June 3, 2012:  (SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY)  Readings for today:  Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40  /  Romans 8:14-17  /  Matthew 28:16-20:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060312.cfm

     

    Reading I - A reading from the book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40):

     

    Moses said to the people:


    "Ask now of the days of old, before your time,
    ever since God created man upon the earth;
    ask from one end of the sky to the other:
    Did anything so great ever happen before?
    Was it ever heard of?
    Did a people ever hear the voice of God
    speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live?
    Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself
    from the midst of another nation,
    by testings, by signs and wonders, by war,
    with strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors,
    all of which the LORD, your God,
    did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
    This is why you must now know,
    and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God
    in the heavens above and on earth below,
    and that there is no other.
    You must keep his statutes and commandments that I enjoin on you today,
    that you and your children after you may prosper,
    and that you may have long life on the land
    which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever."

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22):

     

    R. (12b) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.


    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. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.


    By the word of the LORD the heavens were made;
    by the breath of his mouth all their host.
    For he spoke, and it was made;
    he commanded, and it stood forth.


    R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.


    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. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.


    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.
    Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

     

     

     

    Reading II -A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (Romans 8:14-17):

     

    Brothers and sisters:


    For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
    For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
    but you received a Spirit of adoption,
    through whom we cry, "Abba, Father!"
    The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
    that we are children of God,
    and if children, then heirs,
    heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
    if only we suffer with him
    so that we may also be glorified with him.

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew (Matthew 28:16-20):

     

    The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
    to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
    When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
    Then Jesus approached and said to them,
    "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
    Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
    baptizing them in the name of the Father,
    and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
    teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
    And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."

     

     

     

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    06/03/2012 - St. Teresa of Avila:  A week or so ago, I finished reading the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila (this is the book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/autobiography-of-st-teresa-of-avila-st-teresa-of-avila/1019038411 and here's an online .pdf file of her autobiography: http://www.turnbacktogod.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/The-Life-of-Teresa-of-Jesus.pdf which actually begins on page 34 of the document).  St. Teresa lived from 1515 - 1582, and thought herself to be a very wicked person, though in her life she was considered quite pious and lived a holy life.  She was a mystic as well, being granted (in her words) such great graces from God such as visions, locutions, and she even experienced the Transverberation of the Heart (an experience in which she saw an angel holding an arrow with a fiery tip and repeatedly piercing her heart with it, causing her excruciating pain yet at the same time filling her with the ecstatic love of and for God).  She also experienced several raptures (ecstatic states in which her body was non-responsive to its surroundings, but at times would levitate her) while practicing silent prayer.  Teresa also wanted to better perfect herself before God, and wanted to form a stricter convent further removed from the worldly distractions, and through God's help and intercession she did so and they thrived though they faced fierce opposition from the church and from within her own regular convent.  Other mystical occurrences included seeing the souls of various people she had known who had died and for whose souls she worried greatly and prayed to God earnestly.  These she would either see rise from the ground up to heaven in spirit, or they would visit her while she was in prayer to console her.

     

     

    From: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14515b.htm

     

    St. Teresa of Avila

     

    Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada

    Born at Avila, Old Castile, 28 March, 1515; died at Alba de Tormes, 4 Oct., 1582.

    The third child of Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda by his second wife, Doña Beatriz Davila y Ahumada, who died when the saint was in her fourteenth year, Teresa was brought up by her saintly father, a lover of serious books, and a tender and pious mother. After her death and the marriage of her eldest sister, Teresa was sent for her education to the Augustinian nuns at Avila, but owing to illness she left at the end of eighteen months, and for some years remained with her father and occasionally with other relatives, notably an uncle who made her acquainted with the Letters of St. Jerome, which determined her to adopt the religious life, not so much through any attraction towards it, as through a desire of choosing the safest course. Unable to obtain her father's consent she left his house unknown to him on Nov., 1535, to enter the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation at Avila, which then counted 140 nuns. The wrench from her family caused her a pain which she ever afterwards compared to that of death. However, her father at once yielded and Teresa took the habit.

    After her profession in the following year she became very seriously ill, and underwent a prolonged cure and such unskillful medical treatment that she was reduced to a most pitiful state, and even after partial recovery through the intercession of St. Joseph, her health remained permanently impaired. During these years of suffering she began the practice of mental prayer, but fearing that her conversations with some world-minded relatives, frequent visitors at the convent, rendered her unworthy of the graces God bestowed on her in prayer, discontinued it, until she came under the influence, first of the Dominicans, and afterwards of the Jesuits. Meanwhile God had begun to visit her with "intellectual visions and locutions", that is manifestations in which the exterior senses were in no way affected, the things seen and the words heard being directly impressed upon her mind, and giving her wonderful strength in trials, reprimanding her for unfaithfulness, and consoling her in trouble. Unable to reconcile such graces with her shortcomings, which her delicate conscience represented as grievous faults, she had recourse not only to the most spiritual confessors she could find, but also to some saintly laymen, who, never suspecting that the account she gave them of her sins was greatly exaggerated, believed these manifestations to be the work of the evil spirit. The more she endeavored to resist them the more powerfully did God work in her soul. The whole city of Avila was troubled by the reports of the visions of this nun. It was reserved to St. Francis Borgia and St. Peter of Alcantara, and afterwards to a number of Dominicans (particularly Pedro Ibañez and Domingo Bañez), Jesuits, and other religious and secular priests, to discern the work of God and to guide her on a safe road.

    The account of her spiritual life contained in the "Life written by herself" (completed in 1565, an earlier version being lost), in the "Relations", and in the "Interior Castle", forms one of the most remarkable spiritual biographies with which only the "Confessions of St. Augustine" can bear comparison. To this period belong also such extraordinary manifestations as the piercing or transverberation of her heart, the spiritual espousals, and the mystical marriage. A vision of the place destined for her in hell in case she should have been unfaithful to grace, determined her to seek a more perfect life. After many troubles and much opposition St. Teresa founded the convent of Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Primitive Rule of St. Joseph at Avila (24 Aug., 1562), and after six months obtained permission to take up her residence there. Four years later she received the visit of the General of the Carmelites, John-Baptist Rubeo (Rossi), who not only approved of what she had done but granted leave for the foundation of other convents of friars as well as nuns. In rapid succession she established her nuns at Medina del Campo (1567), Malagon and Valladolid (1568), Toledo and Pastrana (1569), Salamanca (1570), Alba de Tormes (1571), Segovia (1574), Veas and Seville (1575), and Caravaca (1576). In the "Book of Foundations" she tells the story of these convents, nearly all of which were established in spite of violent opposition but with manifest assistance from above. Everywhere she found souls generous enough to embrace the austerities of the primitive rule of Carmel. Having made the acquaintance of Antonio de Heredia, prior of Medina, and St. John of the Cross, she established her reform among the friars (28 Nov., 1568), the first convents being those of Duruelo (1568), Pastrana (1569), Mancera, and Alcalá de Henares (1570).

    A new epoch began with the entrance into religion of Jerome Gratian, inasmuch as this remarkable man was almost immediately entrusted by the nuncio with the authority of visitor Apostolic of the Carmelite friars and nuns of the old observance in Andalusia, and as such considered himself entitled to overrule the various restrictions insisted upon by the general and the general chapter. On the death of the nuncio and the arrival of his successor a fearful storm burst over St. Teresa and her work, lasting four years and threatening to annihilate the nascent reform. The incidents of this persecution are best described in her letters. The storm at length passed, and the province of Discalced Carmelites, with the support of Philip II, was approved and canonically established on 22 June, 1580. St. Teresa, old and broken in health, made further foundations at Villanuava de la Jara and Palencia (1580), Soria (1581), Granada (through her assistant the Venerable Anne of Jesus), and at Burgos (1582). She left this latter place at the end of July, and, stopping at Palencia, Valladolid, and Medina del Campo, reached Alba de Torres in September, suffering intensely. Soon she took to her bed and passed away on 4 Oct., 1582, the following day, owing to the reform of the calendar, being reckoned as 15 October. After some years her body was transferred to Avila, but later on reconveyed to Alba, where it is still preserved incorrupt. Her heart, too, showing the marks of the Transverberation, is exposed there to the veneration of the faithful. She was beatified in 1614, and canonized in 1622 by Gregory XV, the feast being fixed on 15 October.

    St. Teresa's position among writers on mystical theology is unique. In all her writings on this subject she deals with her personal experiences, which a deep insight and analytical gifts enabled her to explain clearly. The Thomistic substratum may be traced to the influence of her confessors and directors, many of whom belonged to the Dominican Order. She herself had no pretension to found a school in the accepted sense of the term, and there is no vestige in her writings of any influence of the Areopagite, the Patristic, or the Scholastic Mystical schools, as represented among others, by the German Dominican Mystics. She is intensely personal, her system going exactly as far as her experiences, but not a step further.

     

     

     

    And from: http://moodycatholic.com/Saints_St_Teresa_of_Avila.html:

     

    Saint Teresa of Avila

    by S. Miller, Moody AFB Confirmandi, 2008

     

    Patron Saint Against Headaches and Heart Attack Sufferers

    Feast Day - October 15

    St. Teresa was born March 28, 1515 in Avila, Spain.  She was a normal upper class girl growing up.  She liked good food, dancing and reading romance novels.

    When she was about 20 years old she entered the Carmelite convent.  Her life in the convent did not change much, because she was not bound to follow any rules and when she had friends visit, they were never bored.

     

    Sometime between entering the convent and turning 40, she started to feel that God was disappointed by the way she was conducting her life and her worldly belongings started to disturb her as well.

     

    In 1555, when she was 40 she stared at a painting of the Passion of Christ displayed for an upcoming feast at the convent and this gave her the feeling of truly understanding Christ's suffering.  She then threw herself down and felt that all vain and worldly ambitions died inside of her.  After that she made more time for prayer, she was different from the way she was that the others in the convent thought she was mislead by the devil.

     

    St. Teresa then went to the Jesuits for spiritual direction.  They gave her a more thorough penance, and this did not help with her visions that were getting more dramatic.

     

    The most famous vision was, the Transverberation of the Heart, during which St. Teresa saw an Angel with a golden spear tipped with fire, which was then driven again and again into her heart.  She described it as "an imaginary vision seen by the eyes of the soul."  The pain she felt was very real and lasted several days.

     

    That summer on July 16, the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Teresa and her closest friends gathered in her cell and decided they would need a house for them to be able to truly follow the original Carmelite Rule: sleeping on straw, fasting eight months a year, abstaining from meat and living in total seclusion.  They went barefoot, and that is where the name Discaled Carmelites came from.  The other nuns criticized her and refused to recognize St. Teresa's new Foundation.

     

    The bishop on the other hand thought this would reinvigorate the Church and encouraged her to travel all over Spain and establish new foundations and reforming existing ones.

     

    In Toledo (Spain), she was placed under house arrest for two years and while under arrest she wrote books.  Her autobiography and "The Interior Castle" and "The Way of Perfection."

     

    She died in the arms of Anne of St.  Bartholomew on October 4, 1582 in Alba de Tormes in Spain.

     

    Her incorrupt body is adored in Alba de Tormes, Spain.  Pilgrims can come and see her heart; it still bears the mark where the angel pierced it with its golden arrow.

     

    She was beatified in 1614 and canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV (15th) and in 1970 was made a Doctor of the Church.

     

     

    Lord Jesus Christ, You raised up
    Saint Teresa to be a guide in the ways of prayer and contemplation.  Give me the grace to follow
    her example with fidelity and generosity.  Lead
    me into the wine cellar of Your love where, refreshed by Your Spirit,
    I too, may sing of Your mercies and be
    set aflame with the fire of Your love.
     

    Traditional Carmelite prayer

     
     

    Like many saints, Teresa was an ordinary woman who rose to greatness - in her case, as a teacher and a writer.  It's good to keep this in mind when we consider our own live:  we all have something to teach others.  Maybe you have a skill or hobby that you could share with someone.  Or you could volunteer to teach an illiterate person to read, changing their entire life.

     

    It doesn't even have to be as concrete as a skill or a lesson:  couldn't you teach other people how to love one another, through your own example?  If you are a parent, you children are watching you to learn how they should treat others.

     

     

     

     

     

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    Sunday, May 27, 2012:  (PENTECOST SUNDAY)  Readings for today:  Acts 2:1-11  /  1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Galatians 5:16-25 /  John 20:19-23 or John 15:26-27; 16:12-15:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052712-mass-during-the-day.cfm

     

     

    Reading I - A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1-11):

     

    When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
    they were all in one place together.
    And suddenly there came from the sky
    a noise like a strong driving wind,
    and it filled the entire house in which they were.
    Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
    which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
    And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
    and began to speak in different tongues,
    as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.



    Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
    At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
    but they were confused
    because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
    They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
    "Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
    Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
    We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
    inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
    Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
    Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
    as well as travelers from Rome,
    both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
    yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
    of the mighty acts of God."

     

     

     

     

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

     

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


    Bless the LORD, O my soul!
    O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
    How manifold are your works, O LORD!
    the earth is full of your creatures;


    R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.


    May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
    may the LORD be glad in his works!
    Pleasing to him be my theme;
    I will be glad in the LORD.


    R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.


    If you take away their breath, they perish
    and return to their dust.
    When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
    and you renew the face of the earth.


    R.
    Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

     

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13):

     

    Brothers and sisters:


    No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.



    There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
    there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
    there are different workings but the same God
    who produces all of them in everyone.
    To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
    is given for some benefit.



    As a body is one though it has many parts,
    and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
    so also Christ.
    For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
    whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
    and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

     

    OR

     

    Reading II - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Galatians (Galatians 5:16-25):

     

    Brothers and sisters, live by the Spirit
    and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.
    For the flesh has desires against the Spirit,
    and the Spirit against the flesh;
    these are opposed to each other,
    so that you may not do what you want.
    But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
    Now the works of the flesh are obvious:
    immorality, impurity, lust, 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.

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 20:19-23):

     

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

     

     

    OR

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 15:26-27; 16:12-15):

     

    Jesus said to his disciples:
    "When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
    the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father,
    he will testify to me.
    And you also testify,
    because you have been with me from the beginning.



    "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
    But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
    he will guide you to all truth.
    He will not speak on his own,
    but he will speak what he hears,
    and will declare to you the things that are coming.
    He will glorify me,
    because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
    Everything that the Father has is mine;
    for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
    and declare it to you."

     

     

     

    ---------------------

     

     

    05/27/2012 - St. Gabriel the Archangel: 

     

    From:  http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=279

     

    Feastday: September 29
    Patron of communications workers

     

    The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the angel who appeared to Zachariah to announce the birth of St. John the Baptizer. Finally, he announced to Mary that she would bear a Son Who would be conceived of the Holy Spirit, Son of the Most High, and Saviour of the world. The feast day is September 29th. St. Gabriel is the patron of communications workers.

     

     

     

    And from the online Catholic Encyclopedia:  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06330a.htm

     

    St. Gabriel the Archangel

     

     

    "Fortitudo Dei", one of the three archangels mentioned in the Bible.

     

    Only four appearances of Gabriel are recorded: In Daniel 8, he explains the vision of the horned ram as portending the destruction of the Persian Empire by the Macedonian Alexander the Great, after whose death the kingdom will be divided up among his generals, from one of whom will spring Antiochus Epiphanes. In chapter 9, after Daniel had prayed for Israel, we read that "the man Gabriel . . . . flying swiftly touched me" and he communicated to him the mysterious prophecy of the "seventy weeks" of years which should elapse before the coming of Christ. In chapter 10, it is not clear whether the angel is Gabriel or not, but at any rate we may apply to him the marvellous description in verses 5 and 6. In the New Testament he foretells to Zachary the birth of the Precursor, and to Mary that of the Saviour.

     

    Thus he is throughout the angel of the Incarnation and of Consolation, and so in Christian tradition Gabriel is ever the angel of mercy while Michael is rather the angel of judgment. At the same time, even in the Bible, Gabriel is, in accordance with his name, the angel of the Power of God, and it is worth while noting the frequency with which such words as "great", "might", "power", and "strength" occur in the passages referred to above. The Jews indeed seem to have dwelt particularly upon this feature in Gabriel's character, and he is regarded by them as the angel of judgment, while Michael is called the angel of mercy. Thus they attribute to Gabriel the destruction of Sodom and of the host of Sennacherib, though they also regard him as the angel who buried Moses, and as the man deputed to mark the figure Tau on the foreheads of the he elect (Ezekiel 4). In later Jewish literature the names of angels were considered to have a peculiar efficacy, and the British Museum possesses some magic bowls inscribed with Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac incantations in which the names of Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel occur. These bowls were found at Hillah, the site of Babylon, and constitute an interesting relic of the Jewish captivity. In apocryphal Christian literature the same names occur, cf. Enoch, ix, and the Apocalypse of the Blessed Virgin.

     

    As remarked above, Gabriel is mentioned only twice in the New Testament, but it is not unreasonable to suppose with Christian tradition that it is he who appeared to St. Joseph and to the shepherds, and also that it was he who "strengthened" Our Lord in the garden (cf. the Hymn for Lauds on 24 March). Gabriel is generally termed only an archangel, but the expression used by St. Raphael, "I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord" (Tobit 12:15) and St. Gabriel's own words, "I am Gabriel, who stand before God" (Luke 1:19), have led some to think that these angels must belong to the highest rank; but this is generally explained as referring to their rank as the highest of God's messengers, and not as placing them among the Seraphim and Cherubim (cf. St. Thomas, I.112.3; III.30.2 ad 4um).

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, May 20, 2012:  (SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD)  Readings for today:  Acts 1:1-11  /  Ephesians 4:1-13  /  Mark 16:15-20:

     

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052012-ascension-of-the-lord.cfm

     

    Reading I -  A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:1-11):

     

    In the first book, Theophilus,
    I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
    until the day he was taken up,
    after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
    to the apostles whom he had chosen.
    He presented himself alive to them
    by many proofs after he had suffered,
    appearing to them during forty days
    and speaking about the kingdom of God.
    While meeting with them,
    he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
    but to wait for "the promise of the Father
    about which you have heard me speak;
    for John baptized with water,
    but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."



    When they had gathered together they asked him,
    "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
    He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons
    that the Father has established by his own authority.
    But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
    and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
    throughout Judea and Samaria,
    and to the ends of the earth."
    When he had said this, as they were looking on,
    he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
    While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
    suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
    They said, "Men of Galilee,
    why are you standing there looking at the sky?
    This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
    will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9):

     

    R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

     


    All you peoples, clap your hands,
    shout to God with cries of gladness,
    For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
    is the great king over all the earth.


    R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

     

    God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
    the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
    Sing praise to God, sing praise;
    sing praise to our king, sing praise.


    R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

     

    For king of all the earth is God;
    sing hymns of praise.
    God reigns over the nations,
    God sits upon his holy throne.


    R.
    God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

     

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:1-13):

     

    Brothers and sisters,
    I, a prisoner for the Lord,
    urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
    with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
    bearing with one another through love,
    striving to preserve the unity of the spirit
    through the bond of peace:
    one body and one Spirit,
    as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
    one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
    one God and Father of all,
    who is over all and through all and in all.



    But grace was given to each of us
    according to the measure of Christ's gift.
    Therefore, it says:
    He ascended on high and took prisoners captive;
    he gave gifts to men.
    What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended
    into the lower regions of the earth?
    The one who descended is also the one who ascended
    far above all the heavens,
    that he might fill all things.



    And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets,
    others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
    to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
    for building up the body of Christ,
    until we all attain to the unity of faith
    and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
    to the extent of the full stature of Christ.

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 16:15-20):

     

    Jesus said to his disciples:
    "Go into the whole world
    and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
    Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
    whoever does not believe will be condemned.
    These signs will accompany those who believe:
    in my name they will drive out demons,
    they will speak new languages.
    They will pick up serpents with their hands,
    and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
    They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."



    So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
    was taken up into heaven
    and took his seat at the right hand of God.
    But they went forth and preached everywhere,
    while the Lord worked with them
    and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

     

     

     

     

    ----------------------

     

     

    05/20/2012 -  St. Michael the Archangel:  The link below gives the most detailed information about Michael the Archangel, including references to him in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur'an.  Also, the religious traditions regarding Michael the Archangel in Judaism, Midrash, Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestant views, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  All that information seems to come from Wikipedia.

     

    From:  http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=308

     

    Feastday: September 29
    Patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police, and sickness

     

    St. Michael, the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief princes," and leader of the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. He has been especially honored and invoked as patron and protector by the Church from the time of the Apostles.

    Although he is always called "the Archangel," the Greek Fathers and many others place him over all the angels - as Prince of the Seraphim. St. Michael is the patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police and sickness.

     

    Roman Catholicism

    Archangel Michael reaching to save souls in purgatory, by Jacopo Vignali, 17th century

     

    Roman Catholics often refer to Michael as "Saint Michael", a title that does not indicate canonisation, any more than it does for Saint Peter and Saint Paul. He is generally referred to in Christian litanies as "Saint Michael", as in the Litany of the Saints. In the shortened version of this litany used in the Easter Vigil, he alone of the angels and archangels is mentioned, omitting Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael.[28]

     

    In the Roman Catholic teachings Saint Michael has four main roles or offices.[29] His first role is the leader of the Army of God and the leader of heaven's forces in their triumph over the powers of hell.[30] He is viewed as the angelic model for the virtues of the spiritual warrior, with the conflict against evil at times viewed as the battle within.[31]

     

    The second and third roles of Michael in Catholic teachings deal with death. In his second role, Michael is the angel of death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to heaven. In this role, at the hour of death, Michael descends and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing, thus consternating the devil and his minions. Catholic prayers often refer to this role of Michael. In his third role, he weighs souls in his perfectly balanced scales (hence Michael is often depicted holding scales).[32]

     

    In his fourth role, St Michael, the special patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament, is also the guardian of the Church; it was thus not unusual for the angel to be revered by the military orders of knights during the Middle Ages. This role also extends to his being the patron saint of a number of cities and countries.[33][34]

     

    Roman Catholicism includes traditions such as the Prayer to Saint Michael which specifically asks for the faithful to be "defended" by the saint.[35][36][37] The Chaplet of Saint Michael consists of nine salutations, one for each choir of angels.[38][39]

     

    It should be noted that the Roman Catholic traditions and teachings concerning St. Michael the Archangel are not required beliefs and practices but rather are strongly encouraged as a means of individuals and congregations increasing in spiritual strength against evil.

     

    Feasts

    In the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, Anglican Calendar of Saints, and the Lutheran Calendar of Saints, the archangel's feast is celebrated on Michaelmas Day. The day is also considered the feast of Saints Gabriel, and Raphael or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels. On the Western Christian calendar the feast is celebrated on 29 September.[66]

     

     

    Patronages and orders

     

    In late medieval Christianity, Michael, together with Saint George, became the patron saint of chivalry and is now also considered the patron saint of police officers and the military.[34][69]

    Coat of arms of Kiev

     

    In mid to late 15th century, France was one of only four courts in Western Christendom without an order of knighthood.[70] Later in the 15th century, Jean Molinet glorified the primordial feat of arms of the archangel as "the first deed of knighthood and chivalrous prowess that was ever achieved."[71] Thus Michael was the natural patron of the first chivalric order of France, the Order of Saint Michael of 1469.[70] In the British honours system, a chivalric order founded in 1818 is also named for these two saints, the Order of St Michael and St George.[72] The Order of Michael the Brave is Romania's highest military decoration.

     

    Apart from his being a patron of warriors, the sick and the suffering also consider Archangel Michael their patron saint.[73] Based on the legend of his 8th century apparition at Mont-Saint-Michel, France, the Archangel is the patron of mariners in this famous sanctuary.[25] After the evangelisation of Germany, where mountains were often dedicated to pagan gods, Christians placed many mountains under the patronage of the Archangel, and numerous mountain chapels of St. Michael appeared all over Germany.[25] He has been the patron saint of Brussels since the Middle Ages.[74] The city of Arkhangelsk in Russia is named for the Archangel. Ukraine and its capital Kiev also consider Michael their patron saint and protector.[40]

     

    An Anglican sisterhood dedicated to Saint Michael under the title of the Community of St Michael and All Angels was founded in 1851.[75] The Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel (CSMA), also known as the Michaelite Fathers, is a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church founded in 1897.

     

     

    Legends

     

    Judaism

     

    There is a legend which seems to be of Jewish origin, and which was adopted by the Copts, to the effect that Michael was first sent by God to bring Nebuchadnezzar (c. 600 BC) against Jerusalem, and that Michael was afterward very active in freeing his nation from Babylonian captivity.[76] According to midrash Genesis Rabbah, Michael saved Hananiah and his companions from the Fiery furnace.[77] Michael was active in the time of Esther: "The more Haman accused Israel on earth, the more Michael defended Israel in heaven".[78] It was Michael who reminded Ahasuerus that he was Mordecai's debtor;[79] and there is a legend that Michael appeared to the high priest Hyrcanus, promising him assistance.[80]

     

     

    Christendom

     

    A 12th-century icon of the Miracle at Chonae, from Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai.

     

    The Orthodox Church celebrates the Miracle at Chonae on September 6.[25] The legend states that the pagans directed a stream against the sanctuary of St Michael to destroy it, but Archippus (the custodian) prayed to Michael, the archangel appeared and split the rock to open up a new bed for the stream, directing the flow away from the church and sanctifying forever the waters which came from the new gorge.[25] The spring which came forth after this event is said to have special healing powers.[81] The legend existed in earlier times, but the 5th-7th century texts that refer to the miracle at Chonae formed the basis of specific paradigms for "properly approaching" angelic intermediaries for more effective prayers within the Christian culture.[82]

     

    According to Roman legends, while a devastating plague persisted in Rome, Archangel Michael appeared with a sword over the mausoleum of Hadrian, in apparent answer to the prayers of Pope St Gregory I the Great (c. 590-604) that the plague should cease. After the plague ended, in honor of the occasion, the pope called the mausoleum "Castel Sant'Angelo" (Castle of the Holy Angel), the name by which it is still known.[25][27]

     

    The Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, France

    According to Norman legend, Michael is said to have appeared to St Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, in 708, giving instruction to build a church on the rocky islet now known as Mont Saint Michel.[87][88][89] In 966 the Duke of Normandy commissioned a Benedictine abbey on the mount, and it remains a major pilgrimage site.[89]

     

    A Portuguese Carmelite nun, Antónia d'Astónaco, had reported an apparition and private revelation of the Archangel Michael who had told to this devoted Servant of God, in 1751, that he would like to be honored, and God glorified, by the praying of nine special invocations. These nine invocations correspond to invocations to the nine choirs of angels and origins the famous Chaplet of Saint Michael. This private revelation and prayers were approved by Pope Pius IX in 1851.[90][91]

     

    From 1961 to 1965, four young schoolgirls had reported several apparitions of Archangel Michael in the small village of Garabandal, Spain. At Garabandal, the apparitions of the Archangel Michael were mainly reported as announcing the arrivals of the Virgin Mary. The Catholic Church has neither approved, nor condemned the Garabandal apparitions.[92]

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, May 13, 2012:  (SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER)  Readings for today:  Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48  /  1 John 4:7-10  /  John 15:9-17:

     

    From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051312.cfm

     

     

    Reading I - A reading from the acts of the Apostles (Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48):

     

    When Peter entered, Cornelius met him
    and, falling at his feet, paid him homage.
    Peter, however, raised him up, saying,
    "Get up. I myself am also a human being."

    Then Peter proceeded to speak and said,
    "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.
    Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly
    is acceptable to him."

    While Peter was still speaking these things,
    the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word.
    The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter
    were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit
    should have been poured out on the Gentiles also,
    for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God.
    Then Peter responded,
    "Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people,
    who have received the Holy Spirit even as we have?"
    He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4):

     

    R. (cf. 2b) The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.


    Sing to the LORD a new song,
    for he has done wondrous deeds;
    His right hand has won victory for him,
    his holy arm.


    R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.


    The LORD has made his salvation known:
    in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
    He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
    toward the house of Israel.


    R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.


    All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation by our God.
    Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
    break into song; sing praise.


    R.
    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the first letter of St. John (1 John 4:7-10):

     

    Beloved, let us love one another,
    because love is of God;
    everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
    Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
    In this way the love of God was revealed to us:
    God sent his only Son into the world
    so that we might have life through him.
    In this is love:
    not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
    and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 15:9-17):

     

    Jesus said to his disciples:


    "As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
    Remain in my love.
    If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
    just as I have kept my Father's commandments
    and remain in his love."

    "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
    and your joy might be complete.
    This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
    No one has greater love than this,
    to lay down one's life for one's friends.
    You are my friends if you do what I command you.
    I no longer call you slaves,
    because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
    I have called you friends,
    because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
    It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
    and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
    so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
    This I command you: love one another."

     

     

     

    ---------------------

     

     

    05/13/2012:  Prayer to the Mother of the Lord for All Mothers -

     

    From: http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=493

     

    Mary, on this day when we honor all mothers, we turn to you. We thank the Lord whom you serve for the great gift of motherhood. Never has it been known that anyone who sought your intercession was left unaided by grace. Dear Mother, thank you for your “Yes” to the invitation of the angel which brought heaven to earth and changed human history. You opened yourself to God’s word and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

    Dear mother, intercede for all of our mothers. Ask your Divine Son to give them the grace of surrendered love so that they could join with you in giving their own “Fiat.” May they find daily strength to say yes to the call to the sacrificial love- the very heart of the vocation of motherhood. May their love and witness be a source of great inspiration for all of us called to follow your Son.

    On this Mothers day, Mother of the Word Incarnate, pray for us who have recourse to you…

    In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, May 6, 2012:  (FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER)  Readings for today:  Acts 9:26-31  /  1 John 3:18-24  /  John 15:1-8:

     

    From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/050612.cfm

     

    Reading I - A reading from the acts of the Apostles (Acts 9:26-31):

     

    When Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples,
    but they were all afraid of him,
    not believing that he was a disciple.
    Then Barnabas took charge of him and brought him to the apostles,
    and he reported to them how he had seen the Lord,
    and that he had spoken to him,
    and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.
    He moved about freely with them in Jerusalem,
    and spoke out boldly in the name of the Lord.
    He also spoke and debated with the Hellenists,
    but they tried to kill him.
    And when the brothers learned of this,
    they took him down to Caesarea
    and sent him on his way to Tarsus.

    The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace.
    It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord,
    and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers.

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 22:26-27, 28, 30, 31-32):

     

    R. (26a) I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.



    I will fulfill my vows before those who fear the LORD.
    The lowly shall eat their fill;
    they who seek the LORD shall praise him:
    "May your hearts live forever!"


    R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.



    All the ends of the earth
    shall remember and turn to the LORD;
    all the families of the nations
    shall bow down before him.


    R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.



    To him alone shall bow down
    all who sleep in the earth;
    before him shall bend
    all who go down into the dust.


    R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.



    And to him my soul shall live;
    my descendants shall serve him.
    Let the coming generation be told of the LORD
    that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born
    the justice he has shown.


    R.
    I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the first letter of St. John (1 John 3:18-24):

     

    Children, let us love not in word or speech
    but in deed and truth.

    Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
    and reassure our hearts before him
    in whatever our hearts condemn,
    for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
    Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
    we have confidence in God
    and receive from him whatever we ask,
    because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
    And his commandment is this:
    we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
    and love one another just as he commanded us.
    Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
    and the way we know that he remains in us
    is from the Spirit he gave us.

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 15:1-8):

     

    Jesus said to his disciples:


    "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
    He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
    and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
    You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
    Remain in me, as I remain in you.
    Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
    unless it remains on the vine,
    so neither can you unless you remain in me.
    I am the vine, you are the branches.
    Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
    because without me you can do nothing.
    Anyone who does not remain in me
    will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
    people will gather them and throw them into a fire
    and they will be burned.
    If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
    ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
    By this is my Father glorified,
    that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."

     

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, April 29, 2012:  (FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER)  Readings for today:  Acts 4:8-12  /  1 John 3:1-2  /  John 10:11-18:

     

    From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042912.cfm

     

    Reading I - A reading from the acts of the Apostles (Acts 4:8-12):

     

    Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said:


    "Leaders of the people and elders:
    If we are being examined today
    about a good deed done to a cripple,
    namely, by what means he was saved,
    then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
    that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
    whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
    in his name this man stands before you healed.
    He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
    which has become the cornerstone.
    There is no salvation through anyone else,
    nor is there any other name under heaven
    given to the human race by which we are to be saved."

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29):

     

    R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.



    Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his mercy endures forever.
    It is better to take refuge in the LORD
    than to trust in man.
    It is better to take refuge in the LORD
    than to trust in princes.


    R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.



    I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
    and have been my savior.
    The stone which the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
    By the LORD has this been done;
    it is wonderful in our eyes.


    R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.



    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
    we bless you from the house of the LORD.
    I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
    and have been my savior.
    Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
    for his kindness endures forever.


    R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
     

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the first letter of St. John (1 John 3:1-2):

     

    Beloved:


    See what love the Father has bestowed on us
    that we may be called the children of God.
    Yet so we are.
    The reason the world does not know us
    is that it did not know him.
    Beloved, we are God's children now;
    what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
    We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
    for we shall see him as he is.

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 10:11-18):

     

    Jesus said:


    "I am the good shepherd.
    A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
    A hired man, who is not a shepherd
    and whose sheep are not his own,
    sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
    and the wolf catches and scatters them.
    This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
    I am the good shepherd,
    and I know mine and mine know me,
    just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
    and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
    I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
    These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
    and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
    This is why the Father loves me,
    because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
    No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
    I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
    This command I have received from my Father."

     

     

     

    --------------------

     

     

    04/29/2012 - St. Rose of Viterbo (1235-1252):  In St. Rose of Viterbo is remarkable grace.  At only the age of 3 she is said to have raised her aunt from the dead.  By age 7 she lived in seclusion and gave herself harsh penances which hurt her health...at age 8 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her and miraculously cured her.  The Virgin Mary also instructed her to join the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi and preach penance in Viterbo.  Later in life, numerous miracles were attributed to St. Rose of Viterbo, including communicating with animals, especially birds; also, she and a stone platform she stood on levitated before spectators as she spoke to the crowd.  Her body at death has remained incorruptible (mostly her heart)...her body (still incorrupt) is now dark, but still flexible and is exposed in a reliquary.  Her incorruptible heart is paraded through the city every September 4th, which is her feast day.

     

    From: http://www.franciscan-sfo.org/sts/S0904rose.htm

     

     

    Almighty God did marvelous things in the soul of St. Rose. It appears that her parents gave her that name by divine inspiration, for it was symbolic of her entire career. As long as she lived, she bloomed like a sweet-scented rose in the garden of the Church, and in full bloom as she transplanted to Paradise. Before she was able to speak, Rose attempted to pronounce the sweet names of Jesus and Mary; and as soon as she had learned to walk, she asked to be taken to church and to other retired and quiet places to pray. When religious discourses were given, she would listen with great attention.

    When Rose was only 3 years old, God showed how pleased He was with her in a most wonderful way. One of her maternal aunts died. The family were standing around the bier weeping aloud. Deeply moved by the sorrow of her relatives, little Rose went to the coffin, raised her eyes to heaven, and prayed silently. Then she placed her little hand on the body of her deceased aunt and called her by name. The dead woman immediately opened her eyes and reached out to embrace her little niece, who had raised her to life again.

    The child entertained a great compassion for the poor; she always tried to save some food to give to the poor. One day when she left the house with some bread in her apron, she met her father, who asked her in curt fashion what she was carrying off now. The affrighted child opened her apron and fragrant roses were found in it.

    When she was 7 years old, Rose retired to a little cell in her father's house. There she spent almost all her time in contemplation and in practicing rigorous penance. She prayed much for the conversion of sinners. Meanwhile our dear Lord was preparing her for an extraordinary mission.

    Rose was not yet 10 years old when the Blessed Mother of God instructed her to join the Third Order of St. Francis. Shortly after, our Lord appeared to her on the Cross, wearing the crown of thorns on His head and bleeding profusely from all His wounds. Rose, aghast at the sight, called out: "O my Lord, who has reduced Thee to this state?" Our Lord replied, "My love, my deep love for men has done this." "But," asked Rose, "who has so pierced and torn Thee?" "The sins of men have done it," was our Lord's answer. "Sin, sin!" cried the saint, and she scourged herself to make atonement for the sins of the world.

    By divine inspiration, Rose then took a cross in her hand and went up and down the streets and public squares of her city telling people of the terrible tortures our Lord suffered and of the heinousness of sin. Every now and then she would emerge from her solitude to entreat the people to do penance.

    The town of Viterbo, which belonged to the Papal States, had revolted against the authority of the pope. Disregard for religion and moral degradation were the order of the day. But the sermons of this little missionary had marvelous results. the people came in crowds to hear her. The stone on which she stood was seen to rise in the air, and she was sustained there by a miracle while burning words issued from her lips. The greater part of the citizenry had already resolved to do penance and to return to the legitimate papal allegiance when Rose and her parents were repelled by the civil authorities.

    The result was that she now had a wider field of activity. At Soriano and later at Vitorchiano, her preaching had the same blessed results. In the latter place, a sorceress had done much harm among the inhabitants. Fearing that after her departure this woman would undo the good effected there, Rose was desirous of her conversion. Her initial efforts failed. Then our saint had an immense pile of wood prepared in the public square; fire was set to it, and Rose stepped into the fire and mounted to the top of the pile. She remained untouched for three hours in the midst of the flames, singing the praises of God. The sorceress now cast herself at Rose's feet and was sincerely converted.

    Meanwhile the rightful authority of the pope had been re-established at Viterbo, and Rose could return. She was now 15 years old and anxious to enter the convent of the Poor Clares. As she had no dowry, she could not be admitted. "Well," said Rose, "you will not receive me while I am alive, but you will receive me after I am dead." She and several companions repaired to a secluded dwelling, where they intended to live as a community. The ecclesiastical authorities, however, did not approve of the plan, and Rose returned home. She died 2 years later, filled with the joyous desire of being united with her God.

    Two and a half years after her death she appeared three times to Pope Alexander IV, who was in Viterbo at the time, told him to have her body removed to the convent of the Poor Clares. When this was done, her body was found incorrupt; and it has remained in that condition to this day. Miracles are constantly occurring at her tomb. Pope Callistus III canonized her in 1457.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, April 22, 2012:  (THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER)  Readings for today:  Acts 3:13-15, 17-19  /  1 John 2:1-5a  /  Luke 24:35-48:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042212.cfm

     

     

    Reading I - A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 3:13-15, 17-19):

     

    Peter said to the people:


    "The God of Abraham,
    the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
    the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus,
    whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence
    when he had decided to release him.
    You denied the Holy and Righteous One
    and asked that a murderer be released to you.
    The author of life you put to death,
    but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
    Now I know, brothers,
    that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
    but God has thus brought to fulfillment
    what he had announced beforehand
    through the mouth of all the prophets,
    that his Christ would suffer.
    Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away."

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9):

     

    R. (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
     


    When I call, answer me, O my just God,
    you who relieve me when I am in distress;
    have pity on me, and hear my prayer!


    R. Lord, let your face shine on us.


    Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
    the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.


    R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
     


    O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
    You put gladness into my heart.


    R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
     


    As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
    for you alone, O LORD,
    bring security to my dwelling.


    R.
    Lord, let your face shine on us.

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the first letter of St. John (1 John 2:1-5a):

     

    My children, I am writing this to you
    so that you may not commit sin.
    But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
    Jesus Christ the righteous one.
    He is expiation for our sins,
    and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
    The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep
    his commandments.
    Those who say, "I know him," but do not keep his commandments
    are liars, and the truth is not in them.
    But whoever keeps his word,
    the love of God is truly perfected in him.

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 24:35-48):

     

    The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
    and how Jesus was made known to them
    in the breaking of bread.

    While they were still speaking about this,
    he stood in their midst and said to them,
    "Peace be with you."
    But they were startled and terrified
    and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
    Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled?
    And why do questions arise in your hearts?
    Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
    Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
    as you can see I have."
    And as he said this,
    he showed them his hands and his feet.
    While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
    he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
    They gave him a piece of baked fish;
    he took it and ate it in front of them.

    He said to them,
    "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
    that everything written about me in the law of Moses
    and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled."
    Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
    And he said to them,
    "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
    and rise from the dead on the third day
    and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
    would be preached in his name
    to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
    You are witnesses of these things."

     

     

    --------------------

     

     

    04/22/2012 - St. Martin de Porres (1579-1639) - Dominican known for his charitable works, austerity, ministrations and miraculous healings of people, service to animals (and he seemed able to communicate with them), as well as prophecy, clairvoyance, levitations and bilocations.  He could also enter and exit closed monastery doors without a key.

     

    From: http://magnificat.ca/cal/engl/11-03.htm

     

    SAINT MARTIN de PORRES
    Dominican Coadjutor Brother
    (1579-1639)

    Saint Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru in 1579, during the days when Spanish noblemen and many adventurers were still in the land, fascinated by the lure of the gold and silver which abounded there. He was the natural son of one of these and a young Indian woman. It was not long before his dark complexion caused his father to be ashamed of him and his mother, and to abandon them. Later the father would regret his too rapid decision, and take Martin under his protection.

     

    When he was 24, he was given the habit of a Coadjutor Brother and assigned to the infirmary of that convent, where he would remain in service until his death at the age of sixty. His superiors saw in him the virtues necessary to exercise unfailing patience in this difficult role, and he never disappointed them. On the contrary, it was not long before miracles began to happen, and Saint Martin was working also with the sick outside his convent, often bringing them healing with only a simple glass of water. He begged for alms to procure for them necessities the Convent could not provide, and Providence always supplied what he sought.

     

    One day an aged beggar, covered with ulcers and almost naked, stretched out his hand, and Saint Martin, seeing the Divine Mendicant in him, took him to his own bed, paying no heed to the fact that he was not perfectly neat and clean. One of his brethren, considering he had gone too far in his charity, reproved him. Saint Martin replied: “Compassion, my dear Brother, is preferable to cleanliness. Reflect that with a little soap I can easily clean my bed covers, but even with a torrent of tears I would never wash from my soul the stain that my harshness toward the unfortunate would create.”

     

    When an epidemic struck Lima, there were in this single convent of the Rosary sixty religious who were sick, many of them novices in a distant and locked section of the convent, separated from the professed. Saint Martin is known to have passed through the locked doors to care for them, a phenomenon which was observed in the residence more than once. The professed, too, saw him suddenly beside them without the doors having been opened; and these facts were duly verified by the surprised Superiors. Martin continued to transport the sick to the convent until the provincial Superior, alarmed by the contagion threatening the religious, forbid him to continue to do so. His sister, who lived in the country, offered her house to lodge those whom the residence of the religious could not hold. One day he found on the street a poor Indian, bleeding to death from a dagger wound, and took him to his own room until he could transport him to his sister’s hospice. The Superior, when he heard of this, reprimanded his subject for disobedience. He was extremely edified by his reply: “Forgive my error, and please instruct me, for I did not know that the precept of obedience took precedence over that of charity.” In effect, there are situations where charity must prevail; and instruction is very necessary. The Superior gave him liberty thereafter to follow his inspirations in the exercise of mercy.

     

    In normal times Saint Martin succeeded with his alms to feed 160 poor persons every day, and distributed a remarkable sum of money every week to the indigent — the latter phenomenon hard to explain by ordinary calculations. To Saint Martin the city of Lima owed a famous residence founded for orphans and abandoned children, where they were formed in piety for a creative Christian life. This lay Brother had always wanted to be a missionary, but never left his native city; yet even during his lifetime he was seen elsewhere, in regions as far distant as Africa, China, Algeria, Japan. An African slave who had been in irons said he had known Martin when he came to relieve and console many like himself, telling them of heaven. When later the same slave saw him in Peru, he was very happy to meet him again and asked him if he had had a good voyage; only later did he learn that Saint Martin had never left Lima. A merchant from Lima was in Mexico and fell ill; he said aloud: “Oh, Brother Martin, if only you were here to care for me..!” and immediately saw him enter his room. And again, this man did not know until later that he had never been in Mexico.

     

    When he died in 1639, Saint Martin was known to the entire city of Lima; word of his miracles had made him known as a Saint to every resident of the region. After his death, the miracles and graces received when he was invoked multiplied in such profusion that his body was exhumed after 25 years and found intact, and exhaling a fine fragrance. Letters to Rome pleaded for his beatification; the decree affirming the heroism of his virtues was issued in 1763 by Clement XIII; Gregory XVI beatified him in 1836, and in 1962 Pope John XXIII canonized him. The poor and the sick will never fail to find in him a friend having great power over the Heart of God.

     

     

     

    And from: http://saintphilomenaph.weebly.com/st-martin-de-porres.html

     

    Moreover, he had the gift of prophecy and invisibility. He could read the people’s hearts and understand unexpressed desires even at great distances. He experienced visions and ecstasies. At certain times, God allowed the friars to see him accompanied by angels or enveloped in light during ecstasy. He had bilocations and levitations. Although he never left Lima, he personally assisted the sick and distressed people in France, Alegria, Mexico, the Philippines, China, and Japan. Aware of his boundless charity, his superiors grave him free hand to distribute the convents daily alms of food to the poor and abandoned. Sometimes he increased the food supplies miraculously. He cared for the slaves who were brought to Peru from Africa and visited the hovels of the wretched, the miserable, and the dying. Filled with love and sympathy for mankind, everywhere he went St. Martin brought comfort and consolation to all classes in every condition of life. Selfless, practical, and capable, he used the money and goods that he solicited carefully and methodically in his charities. It was through his efforts that the Orphanage of the Holy Cross was built for the poor and homeless children of Peru. Thus, he was affectionately called the “Father of the Poor.” He also showed a great control and care for animals, which surprised Spaniards, extending his love even to rats and mice whose scavenging he excused on the grounds that the poor little things were insufficiently fed.

     

    To read more about the miracle of the mice:  http://www.discover-catholic-miracles.com/miracle-mice.html

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, April 15, 2012:  (SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER)  Readings for today:  Acts 4:32-35  /  1 John 5:1-6  /  John 20:19-31:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041512.cfm

     

    Reading I - A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4:32-35):

     

    The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
    and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
    but they had everything in common.
    With great power the apostles bore witness
    to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
    and great favor was accorded them all.
    There was no needy person among them,
    for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
    bring the proceeds of the sale,
    and put them at the feet of the apostles,
    and they were distributed to each according to need.

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24):

     

    R. (1) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
     


    Let the house of Israel say,
    "His mercy endures forever."
    Let the house of Aaron say,
    "His mercy endures forever."
    Let those who fear the LORD say,
    "His mercy endures forever."


    R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
     


    I was hard pressed and was falling,
    but the LORD helped me.
    My strength and my courage is the LORD,
    and he has been my savior.
    The joyful shout of victory
    in the tents of the just:


    R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
     


    The stone which the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
    By the LORD has this been done;
    it is wonderful in our eyes.
    This is the day the LORD has made;
    let us be glad and rejoice in it.


    R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the first epistle of John (1 John 5:1-6):

     

     

    Beloved:


    Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
    and everyone who loves the Father
    loves also the one begotten by him.
    In this way we know that we love the children of God
    when we love God and obey his commandments.
    For the love of God is this,
    that we keep his commandments.
    And his commandments are not burdensome,
    for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
    And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
    Who indeed is the victor over the world
    but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

    This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
    not by water alone, but by water and blood.
    The Spirit is the one that testifies,
    and the Spirit is truth.

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 20:19-31):

     

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

    Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
    was not with them when Jesus came.
    So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."
    But he said to them,
    "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
    and put my finger into the nailmarks
    and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

    Now a week later his disciples were again inside
    and Thomas was with them.
    Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
    and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
    Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands,
    and bring your hand and put it into my side,
    and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
    Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
    Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
    Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

    Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
    that are not written in this book.
    But these are written that you may come to believe
    that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
    and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

     

     

     

    ---------------------

     

     

    04/15/2012 - Venerable Mary of Agreda (1602-1665)  Abbess; mystic:  Here you find a saint whose parents founded the Convent of the Immaculate Conception for discalced nuns in Agreda, Spain.  Her mother, herself, and her sister entered a convent and her father entered the order of St. Francis of Assisi.  After entering the convent, Mary began to experience numerous ecstasies, bilocations, was witnessed levitating, and had several other mystical experiences.  During her bilocations, she travelled extensively to isolated tribes in the Americas, especially in New Mexico and Texas, teaching the Indians, and telling them where to find missions.  The Indians called her the Lady in Blue, because of her blue mantle.  She spoke in Spanish, but the Indians understood as if she spoke their own language.  Mary also had several visitations by Mary the virgin mother of God, and received instruction to write "The Mystical City of God."

     

    From:  http://www.roman-catholic-saints.com/mary-of-agreda.html

     

    Mary of Agreda


    Venerable Mary of Agreda
    (Maria de Agreda)

     

    Mary of Agreda was born at Agreda in Spain in 1602, of noble parents, whose virtues surpassed the nobility of their birth. Very early the child showed special signs of grace. At the age of six she had attained a high degree of prayer, which was noticeable in her devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the sufferings of our Lord. Her confessor recognized the great graces with which she was favored, and permitted her at a tender age to receive Holy Communion and to practice extraordinary works of penance. Painful illness which afflicter her, she bore with the greatest patience, strengthened by the remembrance of Christ’s sufferings.

     

    In her seventeenth year Mary entered the convent of Poor Clares of the Immaculate Conception at Agreda. As a novice she excelled in the exercises of convent life. She made her profession on the feast of the Purification in 1620 as Sister Mary of Jesus. After she had consecrated herself to God through the holy vows, the young religious strove for perfection with holy earnestness and cheerful surrender to God. At the same time her unassuming humility and kindness of heart made her so beloved by her fellow sisters, that at the age of twenty-five she was elected abbess. The pope confirmed her election to office; and she was obliged to accept it repeatedly for thirty-eight years until her death. Only once, at her most earnest request, was she released for a period of three years.

     

    As the superior, Mary was always the first among her associates to engage in lowly work. She swept the halls, nursed the sick, washed their linens, and appeared to have a special preference for the most menial services. Her way of life was so austere that one wonders how she could do her work. She not only abstained from meat, but never partook of eggs, milk, or cheese; she slept on a board for only two or three hours; the remaining time of the night she spent in exercises of devotion.

     

    Every night, laden with a heavy cross, she made the Way of the Cross. Even as the superior she strove to practice obedience, following the suggestions of her higher superiors, and in spiritual matters submitting wholly to the guidance of her confessor. For a time she had a confessor who dealt harshly with her and never granted her any request she made; but Mary obeyed him cheerfully, and often said later: “He acted well; I always thought that he was right, and because of obedience I felt great peace of soul.”

     

    Venerable Mary of Agreda governed her subjects with as much wisdom as love. She was endowed with great wisdom, so that persons of the highest rank, also prelates and bishops, and even the king of Spain, asked her for advice. When she spoke of God, all who heard her were inflamed with the love of God. She received special revelations concerning the life of the Virgin Mother Mention should be made about Mary of Agreda’s work among the Indians of Texas and New Mexico. Her ardent desire, prayers, and sacrifices for their conversion were apparently rewarded with the gift of bilocation. Between 1621 and 1631, when Mary of Agreda was between nineteen and twenty-nine years of age, she made some five hundred visits to the Texas Indians, coming, as it seemed to them, from the hills on their horizon and returning that way after her instructions were over. When these Indians presented themselves to the Franciscan missionaries in New Mexico and asked that fathers be sent among them, it was learned that a Lady in Blue had often come among them, instructed them, and ordered them to seek out missionaries to baptize them.

     

    Upon investigation it was learned that this Lady in Blue was Mary of Agreda, who, when she was put under obedience to tell what had happened, said she had no explanation. She could not say how she got there, only that when she was praying for the welfare of the Indians, she just found herself among them and began to instruct them. Presently she found herself home again. This happened many times.

    A bishop testified that when Venerable Mary of Agreda went into an ecstacy her body was raised a bit above the ground and appeared to have no weight, moving even to a slight breeze. Her face was very beautiful, though somewhat pallid compaired to her normal swarthy hue. She would often remain in this state for hours.

    Mary died on Pentecost morning, May 24, 1667, at nine o’clock, at the time the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles and when the “Veni, Creator Spiritus, Come, Holy Ghost Creator!” was being recited in the canonical hours.

    When she passed away a heavenly voice was heard to say: “Come! – Come! – Come!”

    At her grave many miracles were wrought; and her cause of beatification is now being carried on in Rome.

    from The Franciscan Book of Saints, edited by Marion Habig, OFM

     

     

     

    and from: http://mysticalcitymedia.com/?page_id=416

     

     

     

    In the early days of her novitiate, the rarified experiences of Sister Maria increased.  One day 1620, in the throes of ecstasy after receiving communion, Sister Maria levitated while in deep prayer. There were witnesses. Sister Maria became an overnight sensation although she was not aware of it.   No one told her that she had been seen levitating. Soon the other nuns took turns watching her during her private prayer session. They even carved a hole in her cell door to observe her and brought in outsiders to observe her who would try to move her while she was levitating by fanning or blowing through the hole.

     

     

    Ximinez Samaniego wrote “Whenever she was rapt in ecstasy, her body was raised a little distance above the earth where it remained motionless”. Many religious and seculars tried the experiment on her body, which by a slight motion of air, could be moved easily as if it had been a feather.  When sister later Maria found out about these violations of her privacy she was mortified and tried to prevent the ecstasies by locking herself in the lower choir and breaking her fasts so she could not receive communion but she was not successful. The ecstasies, levitations and violations of her privacy continued.

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, April 8, 2012:  (THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD - THE MASS OF EASTER SUNDAY)  Readings for today:  Acts 10:34a, 37-43  /  Colossians 3:1-4  /  John 20:1-9:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040812.cfm

    Reading I - A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 10:34a, 37-43):

     

    Peter proceeded to speak and said:


    "You know what has happened all over Judea,
    beginning in Galilee after the baptism
    that John preached,
    how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
    with the Holy Spirit and power.
    He went about doing good
    and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
    for God was with him.
    We are witnesses of all that he did
    both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
    They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
    This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
    not to all the people, but to us,
    the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
    who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
    He commissioned us to preach to the people
    and testify that he is the one appointed by God
    as judge of the living and the dead.
    To him all the prophets bear witness,
    that everyone who believes in him
    will receive forgiveness of sins through his name."

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23):

     

    R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
     


    Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his mercy endures forever.
    Let the house of Israel say,
    "His mercy endures forever."


    R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
     


    "The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
    the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
    I shall not die, but live,
    and declare the works of the LORD."


    R.
    This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

     

    The stone which the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
    By the LORD has this been done;
    it is wonderful in our eyes.


    R.
    This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Colossians (Colossians 3:1-4):

     

    Brothers and sisters:


    If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
    where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
    Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
    For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
    When Christ your life appears,
    then you too will appear with him in glory.

     

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 20:1-9):

     

    On the first day of the week,
    Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
    while it was still dark,
    and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
    So she ran and went to Simon Peter
    and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
    "They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
    and we don't know where they put him."
    So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
    They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
    and arrived at the tomb first;
    he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
    When Simon Peter arrived after him,
    he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
    and the cloth that had covered his head,
    not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
    Then the other disciple also went in,
    the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
    and he saw and believed.
    For they did not yet understand the Scripture
    that he had to rise from the dead.

     

     

     

    --------------------

     

     

    04/08/2012- What is Easter in the Catholic tradition?: 

     

    From:  http://catholicism.about.com/od/holydaysandholidays/p/What_Is_Easter.htm

     

    Easter in the Catholic Church

    By , About.com Guide

     

     

    The Greatest Christian Feast:

     

    Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar. On this Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For Catholics, Easter Sunday comes at the end of 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving known as Lent. Through spiritual struggle and self-denial, we have prepared ourselves to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of His Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with Him in new life on Easter.

     

    For the date of Easter 2012, see When Is Easter 2012?

     

    The Fulfillment of Our Faith:

     

    Easter is a day of celebration because it represents the fulfillment of our faith as Christians. St. Paul wrote that, unless Christ rose from the dead, our faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:17). Through his death, Christ saved mankind from bondage to sin, and He destroyed the hold that death has on all of us; but it is His Resurrection that gives us the promise of new life, both in this world and the next.

     

    The Coming of the Kingdom:

     

    That new life began on Easter Sunday. In the Our Father, we pray that "Thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven." And Christ told His disciples that some of them would not die until they saw the Kingdom of God "coming in power" (Mark 9:1). The early Christian Fathers saw Easter as the fulfillment of that promise. With the resurrection of Christ, God's Kingdom is established on earth, in the form of the Church.

     

    New Life in Christ:

     

    That is why people who are converting to Catholicism traditionally are baptized at the Easter Vigil service, which takes place on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter), starting sometime after sunset. They have usually undergone a long process of study and preparation known as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Their baptism parallels Christ's own Death and Resurrection, as they die to sin and rise to new life in the Kingdom of God.

     

     

    Communion - Our Easter Duty:

     

    Because of the central importance of Easter to the Christian faith, the Catholic Church requires that all Catholics who have made their First Communion receive the Holy Eucharist sometime during the Easter season, which lasts through Pentecost, 50 days after Easter. (The Church also urges us to take part in the Sacrament of Confession before receiving this Easter communion.) This reception of the Eucharist is a visible sign of our faith and our participation in the Kingdom of God. Of course, we should receive Communion as frequently as possible; this "Easter Duty" is simply the minimum requirement set by the Church.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Saturday, April 7, 2012:  (HOLY SATURDAY - VIGIL IN THE HOLY NIGHT OF EASTER)  Readings for today:  Genesis 1:1; 2:2  /  Genesis 22:1-18  /  Exodus 14:15-15:1  /  Isaiah 54:5-14  /  Isaiah 55:1-11  /  Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4  /  Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28  /   Romans 6:3-11  /  Mark 16:1-7:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040712.cfm

     

    Reading I - A reading from the book of Genesis (Genesis 1:1-2:2):

     

    In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
    the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
    while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

    Then God said,
    "Let there be light," and there was light.
    God saw how good the light was.
    God then separated the light from the darkness.
    God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night."
    Thus evening came, and morning followed-the first day.

    Then God said,
    "Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters,
    to separate one body of water from the other."
    And so it happened:
    God made the dome,
    and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it.
    God called the dome "the sky."
    Evening came, and morning followed-the second day.

    Then God said,
    "Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin,
    so that the dry land may appear."
    And so it happened:
    the water under the sky was gathered into its basin,
    and the dry land appeared.
    God called the dry land "the earth, "
    and the basin of the water he called "the sea."
    God saw how good it was.
    Then God said,
    "Let the earth bring forth vegetation:
    every kind of plant that bears seed
    and every kind of fruit tree on earth
    that bears fruit with its seed in it."
    And so it happened:
    the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed
    and every kind of fruit tree on earth
    that bears fruit with its seed in it.
    God saw how good it was.
    Evening came, and morning followed-the third day.

    Then God said:
    "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky,
    to separate day from night.
    Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years,
    and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky,
    to shed light upon the earth."
    And so it happened:
    God made the two great lights,
    the greater one to govern the day,
    and the lesser one to govern the night;
    and he made the stars.
    God set them in the dome of the sky,
    to shed light upon the earth,
    to govern the day and the night,
    and to separate the light from the darkness.
    God saw how good it was.
    Evening came, and morning followed-the fourth day.

    Then God said,
    "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures,
    and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky."
    And so it happened:
    God created the great sea monsters
    and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems,
    and all kinds of winged birds.
    God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying,
    "Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas;
    and let the birds multiply on the earth."
    Evening came, and morning followed-the fifth day.

    Then God said,
    "Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures:
    cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds."
    And so it happened:
    God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle,
    and all kinds of creeping things of the earth.
    God saw how good it was.
    Then God said:
    "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
    Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
    the birds of the air, and the cattle,
    and over all the wild animals
    and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."
    God created man in his image;
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.
    God blessed them, saying:
    "Be fertile and multiply;
    fill the earth and subdue it.
    Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
    and all the living things that move on the earth."
    God also said:
    "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
    and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
    and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
    and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
    I give all the green plants for food."
    And so it happened.
    God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
    Evening came, and morning followed-the sixth day.

    Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
    Since on the seventh day God was finished
    with the work he had been doing,
    he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35):

     

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

     


    Bless the LORD, O my soul!
    O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
    You are clothed with majesty and glory,
    robed in light as with a cloak.

     


    R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

     


    You fixed the earth upon its foundation,
    not to be moved forever;
    with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it;
    above the mountains the waters stood.

     


    R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

     


    You send forth springs into the watercourses
    that wind among the mountains.
    Beside them the birds of heaven dwell;
    from among the branches they send forth their song.

     


    R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

     


    You water the mountains from your palace;
    the earth is replete with the fruit of your works.
    You raise grass for the cattle,
    and vegetation for man's use,
    Producing bread from the earth.

     


    R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

     


    How manifold are your works, O LORD!
    In wisdom you have wrought them all-the earth is full of your creatures.
    Bless the LORD, O my soul! Alleluia.

     


    R.
    Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

     

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the book of Genesis (Genesis 22:1-18):

     

    God put Abraham to the test.
    He called to him, "Abraham!"
    "Here I am, " he replied.
    Then God said:
    "Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
    and go to the land of Moriah.
    There you shall offer him up as a holocaust
    on a height that I will point out to you."
    Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey,
    took with him his son Isaac and two of his servants as well,
    and with the wood that he had cut for the holocaust,
    set out for the place of which God had told him.

     



    On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from afar.
    Then he said to his servants:
    "Both of you stay here with the donkey,
    while the boy and I go on over yonder.
    We will worship and then come back to you."
    Thereupon Abraham took the wood for the holocaust
    and laid it on his son Isaac's shoulders,
    while he himself carried the fire and the knife.
    As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham:
    "Father!" Isaac said.
    "Yes, son, " he replied.
    Isaac continued, "Here are the fire and the wood,
    but where is the sheep for the holocaust?"
    "Son," Abraham answered,
    "God himself will provide the sheep for the holocaust."
    Then the two continued going forward.

     

     

    When they came to the place of which God had told him,
    Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
    Next he tied up his son Isaac,
    and put him on top of the wood on the altar.
    Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
    But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven,
    "Abraham, Abraham!"
    "Here I am!" he answered.
    "Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger.
    "Do not do the least thing to him.
    I know now how devoted you are to God,
    since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
    As Abraham looked about,
    he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
    So he went and took the ram
    and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.
    Abraham named the site Yahweh-yireh;
    hence people now say, "On the mountain the LORD will see."

     



    Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
    "I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
    that because you acted as you did
    in not withholding from me your beloved son,
    I will bless you abundantly
    and make your descendants as countless
    as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
    your descendants shall take possession
    of the gates of their enemies,
    and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing—
    all this because you obeyed my command."
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11):

     

    R.  (1) You are my inheritance, O Lord.

     


    O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
    you it is who hold fast my lot.
    I set the LORD ever before me;
    with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

     


    R.  You are my inheritance, O Lord.

     


    Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
    my body, too, abides in confidence;
    because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
    nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

     


    R.  You are my inheritance, O Lord.

     


    You will show me the path to life,
    fullness of joys in your presence,
    the delights at your right hand forever.

     


    R.  You are my inheritance, O Lord.

     

     

     

     

     

    Reading III - A reading from the book of Exodus (Exodus 14:15-15:1):

     

     

    The LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me?
    Tell the Israelites to go forward.
    And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea,
    split the sea in two,
    that the Israelites may pass through it on dry land.
    But I will make the Egyptians so obstinate
    that they will go in after them.
    Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army,
    his chariots and charioteers.
    The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD,
    when I receive glory through Pharaoh
    and his chariots and charioteers."

     



    The angel of God, who had been leading Israel's camp,
    now moved and went around behind them.
    The column of cloud also, leaving the front,
    took up its place behind them,
    so that it came between the camp of the Egyptians
    and that of Israel.
    But the cloud now became dark, and thus the night passed
    without the rival camps coming any closer together
    all night long.
    Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
    and the LORD swept the sea
    with a strong east wind throughout the night
    and so turned it into dry land.
    When the water was thus divided,
    the Israelites marched into the midst of the sea on dry land,
    with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.

     



    The Egyptians followed in pursuit;
    all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and charioteers went after them
    right into the midst of the sea.
    In the night watch just before dawn
    the LORD cast through the column of the fiery cloud
    upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic;
    and he so clogged their chariot wheels
    that they could hardly drive.
    With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel,
    because the LORD was fighting for them against the Egyptians.

     



    Then the LORD told Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea,
    that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians,
    upon their chariots and their charioteers."
    So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
    and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth.
    The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea,
    when the LORD hurled them into its midst.
    As the water flowed back,
    it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh's whole army
    which had followed the Israelites into the sea.
    Not a single one of them escaped.
    But the Israelites had marched on dry land
    through the midst of the sea,
    with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.
    Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day
    from the power of the Egyptians.
    When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore
    and beheld the great power that the LORD
    had shown against the Egyptians,
    they feared the LORD and believed in him and in his servant Moses.

     



    Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD:
    I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
    horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm Exodus 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6. 17-18):

     

    R.  (1b) Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

     


    I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
    horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.
    My strength and my courage is the LORD,
    and he has been my savior.
    He is my God, I praise him;
    the God of my father, I extol him.

     


    R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

     


    The LORD is a warrior,
    LORD is his name!
    Pharaoh's chariots and army he hurled into the sea;
    the elite of his officers were submerged in the Red Sea.

     


    R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

     


    The flood waters covered them,
    they sank into the depths like a stone.
    Your right hand, O LORD, magnificent in power,
    your right hand, O LORD, has shattered the enemy.

     


    R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

     


    You brought in the people you redeemed
    and planted them on the mountain of your inheritance
    the place where you made your seat, O LORD,
    the sanctuary, LORD, which your hands established.
    The LORD shall reign forever and ever. 

     


    R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

     

     

     

     

     

    Reading IV - A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 54:5-14):

     

    The One who has become your husband is your Maker;
    his name is the LORD of hosts;
    your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
    called God of all the earth.
    The LORD calls you back,
    like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
    a wife married in youth and then cast off,
    says your God.


    For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with great tenderness I will take you back.
    In an outburst of wrath, for a moment
    I hid my face from you;
    but with enduring love I take pity on you,
    says the LORD, your redeemer.
    This is for me like the days of Noah,
    when I swore that the waters of Noah
    should never again deluge the earth;
    so I have sworn not to be angry with you,
    or to rebuke you.


    Though the mountains leave their place
    and the hills be shaken,
    my love shall never leave you
    nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
    says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
    O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled,
    I lay your pavements in carnelians,
    and your foundations in sapphires;
    I will make your battlements of rubies,
    your gates of carbuncles,
    and all your walls of precious stones.


    All your children shall be taught by the LORD,
    and great shall be the peace of your children.
    In justice shall you be established,
    far from the fear of oppression,
    where destruction cannot come near you.

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13):

     

    R.  (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

     


    I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
    and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
    O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
    you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.

     


    R.  I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

     


    Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
    For his anger lasts but a moment;
    a lifetime, his good will.
    At nightfall, weeping enters in,
    but with the dawn, rejoicing.

     


    R.  I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

     


    Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
    O LORD, be my helper.
    You changed my mourning into dancing;
    O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.

     


    R.  I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

     

     

     

     

     

    Reading V - A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 55:1-11):

     

    Thus says the LORD:
    All you who are thirsty,
    come to the water!
    You who have no money,
    come, receive grain and eat;
    come, without paying and without cost,
    drink wine and milk!
    Why spend your money for what is not bread,
    your wages for what fails to satisfy?
    Heed me, and you shall eat well,
    you shall delight in rich fare.
    Come to me heedfully,
    listen, that you may have life.
    I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
    the benefits assured to David.
    As I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander of nations,
    so shall you summon a nation you knew not,
    and nations that knew you not shall run to you,
    because of the LORD, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.

     



    Seek the LORD while he may be found,
    call him while he is near.
    Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
    and the wicked man his thoughts;
    let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
    to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
    For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
    As high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so high are my ways above your ways
    and my thoughts above your thoughts.

     



    For just as from the heavens
    the rain and snow come down
    and do not return there
    till they have watered the earth,
    making it fertile and fruitful,
    giving seed to the one who sows
    and bread to the one who eats,
    so shall my word be
    that goes forth from my mouth;
    my word shall not return to me void,
    but shall do my will,
    achieving the end for which I sent it.

     

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6):

     

    R.  (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

     


    God indeed is my savior;
    I am confident and unafraid.
    My strength and my courage is the LORD,
    and he has been my savior.
    With joy you will draw water
    at the fountain of salvation.

     


    R.  You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

     


    Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
    among the nations make known his deeds,
    proclaim how exalted is his name.

     


    R.  You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

     


    Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
    let this be known throughout all the earth.
    Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
    for great in your midst
    is the Holy One of Israel!

     


    R.  You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
     

     

     

     

     

    Reading VI - Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4):

     

    Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life:
    listen, and know prudence!
    How is it, Israel,
    that you are in the land of your foes,
    grown old in a foreign land,
    defiled with the dead,
    accounted with those destined for the netherworld?
    You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom!
    Had you walked in the way of God,
    you would have dwelt in enduring peace.
    Learn where prudence is,
    where strength, where understanding;
    that you may know also
    where are length of days, and life,
    where light of the eyes, and peace.
    Who has found the place of wisdom,
    who has entered into her treasuries?

     



    The One who knows all things knows her;
    he has probed her by his knowledge—
    The One who established the earth for all time,
    and filled it with four-footed beasts;
    he who dismisses the light, and it departs,
    calls it, and it obeys him trembling;
    before whom the stars at their posts
    shine and rejoice;
    when he calls them, they answer, "Here we are!"
    shining with joy for their Maker.
    Such is our God;
    no other is to be compared to him:
    He has traced out the whole way of understanding,
    and has given her to Jacob, his servant,
    to Israel, his beloved son.

     



    Since then she has appeared on earth,
    and moved among people.
    She is the book of the precepts of God,
    the law that endures forever;
    all who cling to her will live,
    but those will die who forsake her.
    Turn, O Jacob, and receive her:
    walk by her light toward splendor.
    Give not your glory to another,
    your privileges to an alien race.
    Blessed are we, O Israel;
    for what pleases God is known to us!

     

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11):

     

    R.  (John 6:68c)  Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

     


    The law of the LORD is perfect,
    refreshing the soul;
    the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
    giving wisdom to the simple.

     


    R.  Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

     


    The precepts of the LORD are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
    the command of the LORD is clear,
    enlightening the eye.

     


    R.  Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

     


    The fear of the LORD is pure,
    enduring forever;
    the ordinances of the LORD are true,
    all of them just.

     


    R.  Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

     


    They are more precious than gold,
    than a heap of purest gold;
    sweeter also than syrup
    or honey from the comb.

     


    R.  Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Reading VII - A reading from the book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28):

     

    The word of the LORD came to me, saying:
    Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their land,
    they defiled it by their conduct and deeds.
    Therefore I poured out my fury upon them
    because of the blood that they poured out on the ground,
    and because they defiled it with idols.
    I scattered them among the nations,
    dispersing them over foreign lands;
    according to their conduct and deeds I judged them.
    But when they came among the nations wherever they came,
    they served to profane my holy name,
    because it was said of them: "These are the people of the LORD,
    yet they had to leave their land."
    So I have relented because of my holy name
    which the house of Israel profaned
    among the nations where they came.
    Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord GOD:
    Not for your sakes do I act, house of Israel,
    but for the sake of my holy name,
    which you profaned among the nations to which you came.
    I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations,
    in whose midst you have profaned it.
    Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD,
    when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.
    For I will take you away from among the nations,
    gather you from all the foreign lands,
    and bring you back to your own land.
    I will sprinkle clean water upon you
    to cleanse you from all your impurities,
    and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
    I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you,
    taking from your bodies your stony hearts
    and giving you natural hearts.
    I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes,
    careful to observe my decrees.
    You shall live in the land I gave your fathers;
    you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

     

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6):

     

     

    When baptism is not celebrated.

     



    R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

     


    God indeed is my savior;
    I am confident and unafraid.
    My strength and my courage is the LORD,
    and he has been my savior.
    With joy you will draw water
    at the fountain of salvation.

     


    R.  You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

     


    Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
    among the nations make known his deeds,
    proclaim how exalted is his name.

     


    R.  You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

     


    Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
    let this be known throughout all the earth.
    Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
    for great in your midst
    is the Holy One of Israel!

     


    R.  You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

     

     

     

     

     

    Epistle - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (Romans 6:3-11):

     

    Brothers and sisters:

     


    Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
    were baptized into his death?
    We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
    so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
    by the glory of the Father,
    we too might live in newness of life.

     



    For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his,
    we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
    We know that our old self was crucified with him,
    so that our sinful body might be done away with,
    that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
    For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
    If, then, we have died with Christ,
    we believe that we shall also live with him.
    We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
    death no longer has power over him.
    As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
    as to his life, he lives for God.
    Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin
    and living for God in Christ Jesus.

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23):

     

    R.  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

     


    Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his mercy endures forever.
    Let the house of Israel say,
    "His mercy endures forever."

     


    R.  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

     


    The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
    the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
    I shall not die, but live,
    and declare the works of the LORD.

     


    R.  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

     


    The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
    By the LORD has this been done;
    it is wonderful in our eyes.

     


    R.  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

     

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 16:1-7):

     

    When the sabbath was over,
    Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
    bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
    Very early when the sun had risen,
    on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
    They were saying to one another,
    "Who will roll back the stone for us
    from the entrance to the tomb?"
    When they looked up,
    they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
    it was very large.
    On entering the tomb they saw a young man
    sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
    and they were utterly amazed.
    He said to them, "Do not be amazed!
    You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
    He has been raised; he is not here.
    Behold the place where they laid him.
    But go and tell his disciples and Peter,
    'He is going before you to Galilee;
    there you will see him, as he told you.'"

     

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Friday, April 6, 2012:  (GOOD FRIDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD)  Readings for today:  Isaiah 52:13-53:12  /  Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9  /  John 18:1-19:42:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040612.cfm

     

     

    Reading I - A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 52:13-53:12):

     

    See, my servant shall prosper,
    he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
    Even as many were amazed at him—
    so marred was his look beyond human semblance
    and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man—
    so shall he startle many nations,
    because of him kings shall stand speechless;
    for those who have not been told shall see,
    those who have not heard shall ponder it.

    Who would believe what we have heard?
    To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
    He grew up like a sapling before him,
    like a shoot from the parched earth;
    there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
    nor appearance that would attract us to him.
    He was spurned and avoided by people,
    a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,
    one of those from whom people hide their faces,
    spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

    Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
    our sufferings that he endured,
    while we thought of him as stricken,
    as one smitten by God and afflicted.
    But he was pierced for our offenses,
    crushed for our sins;
    upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
    by his stripes we were healed.
    We had all gone astray like sheep,
    each following his own way;
    but the LORD laid upon him
    the guilt of us all.

    Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
    and opened not his mouth;
    like a lamb led to the slaughter
    or a sheep before the shearers,
    he was silent and opened not his mouth.
    Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
    and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
    When he was cut off from the land of the living,
    and smitten for the sin of his people,
    a grave was assigned him among the wicked
    and a burial place with evildoers,
    though he had done no wrong
    nor spoken any falsehood.
    But 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.
    Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
    and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
    because he surrendered himself to death
    and was counted among the wicked;
    and he shall take away the sins of many,
    and win pardon for their offenses.

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25):

     

    R. (Lk 23:46) Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.


    In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
    In your justice rescue me.
    Into your hands I commend my spirit;
    you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.


    R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.


    For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
    a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
    they who see me abroad flee from me.
    I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
    I am like a dish that is broken.


    R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.


    But my trust is in you, O LORD;
    I say, "You are my God.
    In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
    from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors."


    R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.


    Let your face shine upon your servant;
    save me in your kindness.
    Take courage and be stouthearted,
    all you who hope in the LORD.


    R.
    Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9):

     

    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.

    In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
    he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
    to the one who was able to save him from death,
    and he was heard because of his reverence.
    Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
    and when he was made perfect,
    he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 18:1-19:42):

     

    Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
    to where there was a garden,
    into which he and his disciples entered.
    Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
    because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
    So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
    from the chief priests and the Pharisees
    and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
    Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
    went out and said to them, "Whom are you looking for?"
    They answered him, "Jesus the Nazorean."
    He said to them, "I AM."
    Judas his betrayer was also with them.
    When he said to them, "I AM, "
    they turned away and fell to the ground.
    So he again asked them,
    "Whom are you looking for?"
    They said, "Jesus the Nazorean."
    Jesus answered,
    "I told you that I AM.
    So if you are looking for me, let these men go."
    This was to fulfill what he had said,
    "I have not lost any of those you gave me."
    Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
    struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear.
    The slave's name was Malchus.
    Jesus said to Peter,
    "Put your sword into its scabbard.
    Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?"

    So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
    bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
    He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
    who was high priest that year.
    It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
    that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

    Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
    Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
    and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
    But Peter stood at the gate outside.
    So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
    went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
    Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
    "You are not one of this man's disciples, are you?"
    He said, "I am not."
    Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
    that they had made, because it was cold,
    and were warming themselves.
    Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

    The high priest questioned Jesus
    about his disciples and about his doctrine.
    Jesus answered him,
    "I have spoken publicly to the world.
    I have always taught in a synagogue
    or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
    and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
    Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
    They know what I said."
    When he had said this,
    one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
    "Is this the way you answer the high priest?"
    Jesus answered him,
    "If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
    but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"
    Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

    Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
    And they said to him,
    "You are not one of his disciples, are you?"
    He denied it and said,
    "I am not."
    One of the slaves of the high priest,
    a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
    "Didn't I see you in the garden with him?"
    Again Peter denied it.
    And immediately the cock crowed.

    Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
    It was morning.
    And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
    in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
    So Pilate came out to them and said,
    "What charge do you bring against this man?"
    They answered and said to him,
    "If he were not a criminal,
    we would not have handed him over to you."
    At this, Pilate said to them,
    "Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law."
    The Jews answered him,
    "We do not have the right to execute anyone, "
    in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
    that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
    So Pilate went back into the praetorium
    and summoned Jesus and said to him,
    "Are you the King of the Jews?"
    Jesus answered,
    "Do you say this on your own
    or have others told you about me?"
    Pilate answered,
    "I am not a Jew, am I?
    Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
    What have you done?"
    Jesus answered,
    "My kingdom does not belong to this world.
    If my kingdom did belong to this world,
    my attendants would be fighting
    to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
    But as it is, my kingdom is not here."
    So Pilate said to him,
    "Then you are a king?"
    Jesus answered,
    "You say I am a king.
    For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
    to testify to the truth.
    Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
    Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"

    When he had said this,
    he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
    "I find no guilt in him.
    But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
    Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
    They cried out again,
    "Not this one but Barabbas!"
    Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

    Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
    And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
    and clothed him in a purple cloak,
    and they came to him and said,
    "Hail, King of the Jews!"
    And they struck him repeatedly.
    Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
    "Look, I am bringing him out to you,
    so that you may know that I find no guilt in him."
    So Jesus came out,
    wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
    And he said to them, "Behold, the man!"
    When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
    "Crucify him, crucify him!"
    Pilate said to them,
    "Take him yourselves and crucify him.
    I find no guilt in him."
    The Jews answered,
    "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
    because he made himself the Son of God."
    Now when Pilate heard this statement,
    he became even more afraid,
    and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
    "Where are you from?"
    Jesus did not answer him.
    So Pilate said to him,
    "Do you not speak to me?
    Do you not know that I have power to release you
    and I have power to crucify you?"
    Jesus answered him,
    "You would have no power over me
    if it had not been given to you from above.
    For this reason the one who handed me over to you
    has the greater sin."
    Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
    "If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
    Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar."

    When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
    and seated him on the judge's bench
    in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
    It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
    And he said to the Jews,
    "Behold, your king!"
    They cried out,
    "Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!"
    Pilate said to them,
    "Shall I crucify your king?"
    The chief priests answered,
    "We have no king but Caesar."
    Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

    So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
    he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
    in Hebrew, Golgotha.
    There they crucified him, and with him two others,
    one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
    Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
    It read,
    "Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews."
    Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
    because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
    and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
    So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
    "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,'
    but that he said, 'I am the King of the Jews'."
    Pilate answered,
    "What I have written, I have written."

    When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
    they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
    a share for each soldier.
    They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
    woven in one piece from the top down.
    So they said to one another,
    "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, "
    in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
    They divided my garments among them,
    and for my vesture they cast lots.
    This is what the soldiers did.
    Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
    and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
    and Mary of Magdala.
    When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
    he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
    Then he said to the disciple,
    "Behold, your mother."
    And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

    After this, aware that everything was now finished,
    in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
    Jesus said, "I thirst."
    There was a vessel filled with common wine.
    So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
    and put it up to his mouth.
    When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
    "It is finished."
    And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

    Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

    Now since it was preparation day,
    in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
    for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
    the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
    and that they be taken down.
    So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
    and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
    But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
    they did not break his legs,
    but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
    and immediately blood and water flowed out.
    An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
    he knows that he is speaking the truth,
    so that you also may come to believe.
    For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
    Not a bone of it will be broken.
    And again another passage says:
    They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

    After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
    secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
    asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
    And Pilate permitted it.
    So he came and took his body.
    Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
    also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
    weighing about one hundred pounds.
    They took the body of Jesus
    and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
    according to the Jewish burial custom.
    Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
    and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
    So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
    for the tomb was close by.

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Thursday, April 5, 2012:  (EVENING MASS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER)  Readings for today:  Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14  /  1 Corinthians 11:23-26  /  John 13:1-15:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040512-evening-mass.cfm

     

     

    Reading I - A reading from the book of Exodus (Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14):

     

    The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
    "This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
    you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
    Tell the whole community of Israel:
    On the tenth of this month every one of your families
    must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.
    If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
    it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
    and shall share in the lamb
    in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
    The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
    You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
    You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month,
    and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present,
    it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
    They shall take some of its blood
    and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
    of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
    That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
    with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18):

     

    R. (cf. 1 Cor 10:16) Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.


    How shall I make a return to the LORD
    for all the good he has done for me?
    The cup of salvation I will take up,
    and I will call upon the name of the LORD.


    R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.


    Precious in the eyes of the LORD
    is the death of his faithful ones.
    I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
    you have loosed my bonds.


    R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.


    To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
    and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
    My vows to the LORD I will pay
    in the presence of all his people.


    R.
    Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:23-26):

     

    Brothers and sisters:


    I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
    that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
    took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
    broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you.
    Do this in remembrance of me."
    In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
    "This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
    Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
    For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
    you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 13:1-15):

     

    Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
    to pass from this world to the Father.
    He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
    The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
    So, during supper,
    fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
    and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
    he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
    He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
    Then he poured water into a basin
    and began to wash the disciples' feet
    and dry them with the towel around his waist.
    He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
    "Master, are you going to wash my feet?"
    Jesus answered and said to him,
    "What I am doing, you do not understand now,
    but you will understand later."
    Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet."
    Jesus answered him,
    "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me."
    Simon Peter said to him,
    "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well."
    Jesus said to him,
    "Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
    for he is clean all over;
    so you are clean, but not all."
    For he knew who would betray him;
    for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean."

    So when he had washed their feet
    and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
    he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you?
    You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am.
    If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
    you ought to wash one another's feet.
    I have given you a model to follow,
    so that as I have done for you, you should also do."

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, April 1, 2012:  (PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD)  Readings for today:  Mark 11:1-10  /  Isaiah 50:4-7  /  Philippians 2:6-11  /  Mark 14:1 - 15:47:

     

     

    From http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040112.cfm

     

    At the Procession With Palms - Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 11:1-10):

     

    When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem,
    to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives,
    he sent two of his disciples and said to them,
    "Go into the village opposite you,
    and immediately on entering it,
    you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat.
    Untie it and bring it here.
    If anyone should say to you,
    'Why are you doing this?' reply,
    'The Master has need of it
    and will send it back here at once.'"
    So they went off
    and found a colt tethered at a gate outside on the street,
    and they untied it.
    Some of the bystanders said to them,
    "What are you doing, untying the colt?"
    They answered them just as Jesus had told them to,
    and they permitted them to do it.
    So they brought the colt to Jesus
    and put their cloaks over it.
    And he sat on it.
    Many people spread their cloaks on the road,
    and others spread leafy branches
    that they had cut from the fields.
    Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out:
    "Hosanna!
    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
    Hosanna in the highest!"

     

     

    At the Mass - Reading I - A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 50:4-7):

     

    The Lord GOD has given me
    a well-trained tongue,
    that I might know how to speak to the weary
    a word that will rouse them.
    Morning after morning
    he opens my ear that I may hear;
    and I have not rebelled,
    have not turned back.
    I gave my back to those who beat me,
    my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
    my face I did not shield
    from buffets and spitting.



    The Lord GOD is my help,
    therefore I am not disgraced;
    I have set my face like flint,
    knowing that I shall not be put to shame.



     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24:

     

     

    R. (2a) My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?


    All who see me scoff at me;
    they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads:
    "He relied on the LORD; let him deliver him,
    let him rescue him, if he loves him."



    R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?


    Indeed, many dogs surround me,
    a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
    They have pierced my hands and my feet;
    I can count all my bones.



    R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?


    They divide my garments among them,
    and for my vesture they cast lots.
    But you, O LORD, be not far from me;
    O my help, hasten to aid me.



    R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?


    I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
    in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
    "You who fear the LORD, praise him;
    all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him;
    revere him, all you descendants of Israel!"



    R.
    My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?



    Reading II - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 2:6-11):

     

    Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    something to be grasped.
    Rather, he emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    coming in human likeness;
    and found human in appearance,
    he humbled himself,
    becoming obedient to the point of death,
    even death on a cross.
    Because of this, God greatly exalted him
    and bestowed on him the name
    which is above every name,
    that at the name of Jesus
    every knee should bend,
    of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    and every tongue confess that
    Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 14:1: 15:47):

     

     

    The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread
    were to take place in two days' time.
    So the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way
    to arrest him by treachery and put him to death.
    They said, "Not during the festival,
    for fear that there may be a riot among the people."


    When he was in Bethany reclining at table
    in the house of Simon the leper,
    a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil,
    costly genuine spikenard.
    She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head.
    There were some who were indignant.
    "Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil?
    It could have been sold for more than three hundred days' wages
    and the money given to the poor."
    They were infuriated with her.
    Jesus said, "Let her alone.
    Why do you make trouble for her?
    She has done a good thing for me.
    The poor you will always have with you,
    and whenever you wish you can do good to them,
    but you will not always have me.
    She has done what she could.
    She has anticipated anointing my body for burial.
    Amen, I say to you,
    wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world,
    what she has done will be told in memory of her."


    Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve,
    went off to the chief priests to hand him over to them.
    When they heard him they were pleased and promised to pay him money.
    Then he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.


    On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
    when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,
    his disciples said to him,
    "Where do you want us to go
    and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
    He sent two of his disciples and said to them,
    "Go into the city and a man will meet you,
    carrying a jar of water.
    Follow him.
    Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
    'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest room
    where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"'
    Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready.
    Make the preparations for us there."
    The disciples then went off, entered the city,
    and found it just as he had told them;
    and they prepared the Passover.


    When it was evening, he came with the Twelve.
    And as they reclined at table and were eating, Jesus said,
    "Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me,
    one who is eating with me."
    They began to be distressed and to say to him, one by one,
    "Surely it is not I?"
    He said to them,
    "One of the Twelve, the one who dips with me into the dish.
    For the Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
    but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
    It would be better for that man if he had never been born."


    While they were eating,
    he took bread, said the blessing,
    broke it, and gave it to them, and said,
    "Take it; this is my body."
    Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
    and they all drank from it.
    He said to them,
    "This is my blood of the covenant,
    which will be shed for many.
    Amen, I say to you,
    I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine
    until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
    Then, after singing a hymn,
    they went out to the Mount of Olives.


    Then Jesus said to them,
    "All of you will have your faith shaken, for it is written:
    I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep will be dispersed.
    But after I have been raised up,
    I shall go before you to Galilee."
    Peter said to him,
    "Even though all should have their faith shaken,
    mine will not be."
    Then Jesus said to him,
    "Amen, I say to you,
    this very night before the cock crows twice
    you will deny me three times."
    But he vehemently replied,
    "Even though I should have to die with you,
    I will not deny you."
    And they all spoke similarly.
    Then they came to a place named Gethsemane,
    and he said to his disciples,
    "Sit here while I pray."
    He took with him Peter, James, and John,
    and began to be troubled and distressed.
    Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death.
    Remain here and keep watch."
    He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed
    that if it were possible the hour might pass by him;
    he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you.
    Take this cup away from me,
    but not what I will but what you will."
    When he returned he found them asleep.
    He said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep?
    Could you not keep watch for one hour?
    Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.
    The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."
    Withdrawing again, he prayed, saying the same thing.
    Then he returned once more and found them asleep,
    for they could not keep their eyes open
    and did not know what to answer him.
    He returned a third time and said to them,
    "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
    It is enough. The hour has come.
    Behold, the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
    Get up, let us go.
    See, my betrayer is at hand."


    Then, while he was still speaking,
    Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived,
    accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs
    who had come from the chief priests,
    the scribes, and the elders.
    His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying,
    "The man I shall kiss is the one;
    arrest him and lead him away securely."
    He came and immediately went over to him and said,
    "Rabbi." And he kissed him.
    At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.
    One of the bystanders drew his sword,
    struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his ear.
    Jesus said to them in reply,
    "Have you come out as against a robber,
    with swords and clubs, to seize me?
    Day after day I was with you teaching in the temple area,
    yet you did not arrest me;
    but that the Scriptures may be fulfilled."
    And they all left him and fled.
    Now a young man followed him
    wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body.
    They seized him,
    but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked.


    They led Jesus away to the high priest,
    and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together.
    Peter followed him at a distance into the high priest's courtyard
    and was seated with the guards, warming himself at the fire.
    The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin
    kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus
    in order to put him to death, but they found none.
    Many gave false witness against him,
    but their testimony did not agree.
    Some took the stand and testified falsely against him,
     alleging, "We heard him say,
    'I will destroy this temple made with hands
    and within three days I will build another
    not made with hands.'"
    Even so their testimony did not agree.
    The high priest rose before the assembly and questioned Jesus,
    saying, "Have you no answer?
    What are these men testifying against you?"
    But he was silent and answered nothing.
    Again the high priest asked him and said to him,
    "Are you the Christ, the son of the Blessed One?"
    Then Jesus answered, "I am;
    and 'you will see the Son of Man
    seated at the right hand of the Power
    and coming with the clouds of heaven.'"
    At that the high priest tore his garments and said,
    "What further need have we of witnesses?
    You have heard the blasphemy.
    What do you think?"
    They all condemned him as deserving to die.
    Some began to spit on him.
    They blindfolded him and struck him and said to him, "Prophesy!"
    And the guards greeted him with blows.


    While Peter was below in the courtyard,
    one of the high priest's maids came along.
    Seeing Peter warming himself,
    she looked intently at him and said,
    "You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus."
    But he denied it saying,
    "I neither know nor understand what you are talking about."
    So he went out into the outer court.
    Then the cock crowed.
    The maid saw him and began again to say to the bystanders,
    "This man is one of them."
    Once again he denied it.
    A little later the bystanders said to Peter once more,
    "Surely you are one of them; for you too are a Galilean."
    He began to curse and to swear,
    "I do not know this man about whom you are talking."
    And immediately a cock crowed a second time.
    Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him,
    "Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times."
    He broke down and wept.


    As soon as morning came,
    the chief priests with the elders and the scribes,
    that is, the whole Sanhedrin held a council.
    They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
    Pilate questioned him,
    "Are you the king of the Jews?"
    He said to him in reply, "You say so."
    The chief priests accused him of many things.
    Again Pilate questioned him,
    "Have you no answer?
    See how many things they accuse you of."
    Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.


    Now on the occasion of the feast he used to release to them
    one prisoner whom they requested.
    A man called Barabbas was then in prison
    along with the rebels who had committed murder in a rebellion.
    The crowd came forward and began to ask him
    to do for them as he was accustomed.
    Pilate answered,
    "Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?"
    For he knew that it was out of envy
    that the chief priests had handed him over.
    But the chief priests stirred up the crowd
    to have him release Barabbas for them instead.
    Pilate again said to them in reply,
    "Then what do you want me to do
    with the man you call the king of the Jews?"
    They shouted again, "Crucify him."
    Pilate said to them, "Why? What evil has he done?"
    They only shouted the louder, "Crucify him."
    So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd,
    released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged,
    handed him over to be crucified.


    The soldiers led him away inside the palace,
    that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort.
    They clothed him in purple and,
    weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him.
    They began to salute him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
    and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him.
    They knelt before him in homage.
    And when they had mocked him,
    they stripped him of the purple cloak,
    dressed him in his own clothes,
    and led him out to crucify him.


    They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon,
    a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country,
    the father of Alexander and Rufus,
    to carry his cross.


    They brought him to the place of Golgotha
    — which is translated Place of the Skull —
    They gave him wine drugged with myrrh,
    but he did not take it.
    Then they crucified him and divided his garments
    by casting lots for them to see what each should take.
    It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him.
    The inscription of the charge against him read,
    "The King of the Jews."
    With him they crucified two revolutionaries,
    one on his right and one on his left.
    Those passing by reviled him,
    shaking their heads and saying,
    "Aha! You who would destroy the temple
    and rebuild it in three days,
    save yourself by coming down from the cross."
    Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes,
    mocked him among themselves and said,
    "He saved others; he cannot save himself.
    Let the Christ, the King of Israel,
    come down now from the cross
    that we may see and believe."
    Those who were crucified with him also kept abusing him.


    At noon darkness came over the whole land
    until three in the afternoon.
    And at three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
    "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?"
    which is translated,
    "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
    Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
    "Look, he is calling Elijah."
    One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed
    and gave it to him to drink saying,
    "Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down."
    Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.


    Here all kneel and pause for a short time.


    The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.
    When the centurion who stood facing him
    saw how he breathed his last he said,
    "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
    There were also women looking on from a distance.
    Among them were Mary Magdalene,
    Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome.
    These women had followed him when he was in Galilee
    and ministered to him.
    There were also many other women
    who had come up with him to Jerusalem.


    When it was already evening,
    since it was the day of preparation,
    the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea,
    a distinguished member of the council,
    who was himself awaiting the kingdom of God,
    came and courageously went to Pilate
    and asked for the body of Jesus.
    Pilate was amazed that he was already dead.
    He summoned the centurion
    and asked him if Jesus had already died.
    And when he learned of it from the centurion,
    he gave the body to Joseph.
    Having bought a linen cloth, he took him down,
    wrapped him in the linen cloth,
    and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock.
    Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.
    Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses
    watched where he was laid.



    --------------------

     

     

     

     

    04/01/2012 - St. Dominic (Founder of the Order of Preachers, known as the Dominicans) [ca. 1170-1221]:  St. Dominic  is known for much, and especially for numerous miracles of various sorts.  He used holy water and prayer to raise from the dead a cardinal's nephew who was killed after being thrown from a horse; he had the gift of miraculous transport (of himself and of others); he once prayed and angels in guise of beautiful young men gave each brother an entire loaf of bread and wine before disappearing; he was an accurate prophet and foretold deaths; he had the gift of tongues; he could control the elements and even tame storms; he was immune to fire, and once in a debate with heretics, the heretic judges decided on a trial by fire on the writings of their leaders vs. the writings of St. Dominic...the writings of the heretics burned instantly, but those of St. Dominic flew out of the fire, not once, not twice, but THREE times.

     

    From: http://www.op-stjoseph.org/hist-dom2.html (to read the complete biography of St. Dominic)

     

    In the year 1170, the same year in which Saint Thomas Becket was martyred in England, Dominic de Guzman was born in Calarogo, now Caleruega, Spain, about 20 miles from the Cathedral in Osma.

    Before his mother conceived him, she saw in a vision that a dog with a burning torch in its mouth would come forth from her womb and set the world aflame.  Later, she saw the moon on his forehead, yet at his Baptism, his godmother perceived it as a star.  The boy was christened probably after Saint Dominic of Silas whose nearby shrine was a favorite of his mother.

    Dominic Giving AlmsDominic accompanied his holy bishop in 1203 to the Marches of France, in the Languedoc region, because of a royal wedding.  It was there that they were struck by the spread of falsehood.  People were adopting Albigensianism which considered all material things to be evil.  While at Toulouse, Dominic stayed up all night until he had persuaded the innkeeper to accept the true faith.  About that time, the pope had called upon the Cistercian abbots to preach against this heresy.  At Montpellier, Bishop Diego convinced them to abandon their ostentatious retinues.  He himself put on the Cistercian habit and joined the mission, taking Dominic with him.  From then on, the subprior was called "Brother Dominic."

    The preachers held disputations from town to town, attended by the lowly and the noble alike.  At Fanjeaux, arbiters held a trial by fire for the manuscripts written by Dominic and his adversaries.  The one written by Saint Dominic flew out of the flames three times.  A similar miracle took place at Montreal.

     

    Dominic Preaching to HereticsThe Albigensians were extremely austere, but Dominic surpassed them all by his charitable sacrifices.  He might eat a bit of dried fish or a little bread and soup.  Women who often fed him testified that he never ate more than two eggs, and his wine was about two-thirds water.  Dominic wore an abrasive hairshirt, and had an iron chain forged around his waist.  He slept very little, and when he did, it was always on the floor, preferably in the chapel.  There, the fire of the Holy Spirit even dried his rain-soaked habit better than those of his companions who spent the night by the fireplace.

    In 1211, while the war continued , a group of English pilgrims were on their way to Saint James of Compostela in Spain.  While crossing the River Garonne, the overloaded boat capsized.  Dominic, in a nearby church, heard the cries of bystanders and soldiers.  Many of the pilgrims were already underwater.  Dominic prostrated himself, prayed and loudly commanded their safety in the Name of Jesus Christ.  Immediately, the pilgrims emerged near the shore and were pulled to the riverbank.  One of the pilgrims, named Lawrence, would be one of the first members of the Order of Preachers.  In another incident, a ferryman demanded payment from Dominic, who then prayed and picked up a coin at his feet.  Later, eyewitnesses would testify to these and many other miracles at his canonization process.

    At Castres, Dominic was praying in the church.  The prior sent one of the canons to fetch him for dinner.  Seeing Dominic floating in the air, he returned to tell the prior who went to see for himself.  So moved was he by the phenomenon, the prior, Matthew of France, became another of Dominic's first followers.  Eventually, a new group of preachers gathered to support his mission.

    In 1215, Dominic accompanied Foulques to Rome for the Lateran Council.

    While in Rome for the Council, it is believed that Saint Dominic met Saint Francis of Assisi.  Both of them would establish a new kind of religious life,St. Francis and St. Dominic Meet which is mendicant and apostolic.  At a later time, one or the other founder got angry at his sons for extravagant buildings and held up the other Order as an example of simplicity.  Members of both Orders call both saints "Holy Father."  For centuries, it has also been the custom for Friars Preachers to invite a Friar Minor to preach on the feast of Saint Dominic, and vice versa.  Pope Innocent III was inspired to approve these new Orders because he saw in a dream one or the other of these saints reaching up to support the tottering Church, lest it fall to ruins.  Today in Saint Peter's Basilica, colossal statues of Saints Francis and Dominic flank both sides of the Chair of Saint Peter.

    Once, while praying in the old Saint Peter's Basilica, Saint Dominic saw a vision.  The Apostle Peter handed him a staff, and the Apostle Paul handed him a book.  Together, they spoke to him, saying, "Go and preach, because you have been chosen by God for this work."  Immediately, it seemed to Dominic that he saw all his children preaching two by two throughout the world.  From then on, Saint Dominic was often seen on the road carrying a walking stick and the Epistles of Saint Paul.  He also carried the Gospel of Saint Matthew, and could recite these Scriptures by heart.

    Saint Dominic too had seen visions of Our Lady.  Once he saw Her in the dormitory sprinkling the brethren with holy water as they slept.  Therefore, today, the prior or prioress in every Dominican convent sprinkles the community at night prayers (Compline) during the Hail, Holy Queen (Salve Regina).

    St. Peter, St. Paul and St. Dominic

    Due to the generosity of Pope Honorius, a Dominican priory was established at San Sisto (Pope Saint Sixtus II, Martyr) on the Appian Way.  Dominic, having received a revelation from God, called the brethren to the chapter room to announce the proximate deaths of four friars, two physically and two spiritually.  Soon thereafter, his prediction proved true, for two men died, and two others left the Order for worldliness.

    The community at San Sisto had grown very numerous.  One day, Dominic was informed by the procurator that their begging had produced almost no food.  He ordered the brethren, nevertheless, to gather at table for their meal.  He then prayed and suddenly two young men or angels, looking mysteriously alike, came into the refectory to dispense a portion of bread and wine to each friar.  The same procurator told of a similar miracle on another occasion.

    Dominic then traveled through France to his Spanish homeland, and then as far as Paris by June of 1219.  For a few days, German pilgrims, who traveled on the same road, fed him, so he prayed for the ability to speak their language, and the gift was given to him.  Neither language nor locked doors could obstruct him.  More than one porter wondered how he got beyond their gates.

    Dominic is a saint because of his great charity, not because of his miracles, yet the greatness of his miracles is a sign of his love.  Of all his well attested prodigies, the most remarkable are the resuscitations of the dead.  Our saintly Father once rescued a workman who was crushed by a fallen wall at San Sisto.  Another time, the nephew of a cardinal fell from his horse and suffered mortal injuries.  Almost immediately, Dominic celebrated Mass.  Hours passed before he raised the man to life, with all his wounds healed.  In another case, a woman went to hear Dominic preach at San Marco in Rome, but later she returned home and found her little boy dead.  She rushed the child to Dominic who brought him back to life.  When the pope expressed his desire to publicize the miracle, Dominic threatened to leave town.  People were already clipping bits of his habit for relics.

    Miraculous Feeding of The Brethren

    Raising The Cardinal's Nephew

    When he was about to die, he told his order:

    Heaven had warned the "Athlete of Christ" that his life was about to end.  His work was bearing fruit.  Already the Order had grown to eight provinces: Spain, Provence, France, Lombardy, Rome, Germany, Hungary, and England.  By the time he reached Bologna in August, it was very hot and humid.

    The heat compounded his fever.  He could no longer stand, but refused to be put on a bed.  He lay on the floor of a borrowed cell, in a borrowed habit, for he had none of his own.  He had bequeathed to his children this testimony:  "Have charity one for another; guard humility; make your treasure out of voluntary poverty."  He then emphasized poverty, saying, "May my malediction and that of God fall upon him who shall bring possessions into this Order."  When asked about burial, he expressed his wish to be "under the feet of the brethren," that is, under the feet of those who bring Good News.  He assured them, "Do not weep, my children; I shall be more useful to you where I am now going, than I have ever been in this life."

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8RCQDDsMpU

     

     

    Saint Dominic had lived 51 years.  He died Friday, August 6, 1221, about 6 o'clock in the evening: fittingly the Transfiguration, a feast regarding prophets and apostles.

    Miracles followed and devotion to the saint grew, so the church building needed to be expanded and Dominic's body moved.  Hundreds of people of every rank attended the Translation on May 24, 1233.  When the stone covering his remains was lifted, a gentle aroma, like a sweet perfume, filled the air to the delight of all.  The sacred relics have since been revered in a sepulcher befitting his glory.  Within a year after the Translation of the Body, after collecting depositions and testimonies, Dominic was canonized a saint.  His feast is celebrated on the eighth of August.

     

     

     


    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, March 25, 2012:  (FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT)  Readings for today:  Jeremiah 31:31-34  /  Hebrews 5:7-9  /  John 12:20-33:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032512-fifth-sunday-of-lent.cfm

     

     

     

    Reading I - A reading from the book of the Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34):

     

     

    The days are coming, says the LORD,
    when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
    and the house of Judah.
    It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers
    the day I took them by the hand
    to lead them forth from the land of Egypt;
    for they broke my covenant,
    and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD.
    But this is the covenant that I will make
    with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD.
    I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts;
    I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
    how to know the LORD.
    All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
    for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15):

     

     

    R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.

     


    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. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

     


    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. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

     


    Give me back the joy of your salvation,
    and a willing spirit sustain in me.
    I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners shall return to you.

     


    R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 5:7-9):

     

     

     

    In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh,
    he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
    to the one who was able to save him from death,
    and he was heard because of his reverence.
    Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
    and when he was made perfect,
    he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

     

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 12:20-33):

     

     

    Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast
    came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee,
    and asked him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus."
    Philip went and told Andrew;
    then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
    Jesus answered them,
    "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
    Amen, amen, I say to you,
    unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
    it remains just a grain of wheat;
    but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
    Whoever loves his life loses it,
    and whoever hates his life in this world
    will preserve it for eternal life.
    Whoever serves me must follow me,
    and where I am, there also will my servant be.
    The Father will honor whoever serves me.

    "I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?
    'Father, save me from this hour?'
    But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
    Father, glorify your name."
    Then a voice came from heaven,
    "I have glorified it and will glorify it again."
    The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder;
    but others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
    Jesus answered and said,
    "This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.
    Now is the time of judgment on this world;
    now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
    And when I am lifted up from the earth,
    I will draw everyone to myself."
    He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.

     

     

     

     

    -----------------------

     

     

     

    03/25/2012 - St. Gemma Galgani:  Another mystical saint that is a favorite of mine is St. Gemma Galgani, who had numerous visions of Jesus, saw the body of Christ on a crucifix come to life and speak with her, and was seen levitating when Jesus beckoned her to come to him on the cross...she was seen levitating while kissing Jesus on the crucifix.

     

    From: http://www.stgemmagalgani.com/2009/06/st-gemma-miracle-of-crucifix.html

     

     

    St Gemma & the miracle of the Crucifix

     

     

     

    St Gemma Galgani –Lover of the Cross



    Source for this information is from a rare book entitled “A Lover of the Cross –St Gemma Galgani” published in May 1940 by the Passionist Nuns of the Monastero-Santuario di Santa Gemma in Lucca, Italy and also “The Life of St Gemma Galgani” by her spiritual director, Venerable Father Germano Ruoppolo CP

     

    The Miracle of the Crucifix
    "In September 1901, while working in the kitchen, Gemma frequently paused out of her great love for Jesus to contemplate the large Crucifix that hung on the kitchen wall of the Giannini home. “The more she looked at it” - says Venerable Father Germano in his biography of St Gemma – “the more her heart beat in her breast". She strongly desired to come to Him and unite with Him, and many a time she attempted to. At last she cried: - ’Let me come to You, for I am thirsting for You!’. - Mar­vellous to say, as it already happened to St. Fran­cis of Assisi and our holy Father, St. Paul of the Cross, the Corpus on the Cross became alive, and Jesus appeared to her and with His right hand detached from the Cross, with a loving look He beckoned his faithful Bride to come to Him. Immediately, Gemma rushed to Him and reached Him, and while miraculously held aloft in the air, Jesus embraces her and lays her lips on the wound in His Holy Side; Gemma, keeping tight to Him with both arms, drank plentifully out of that divine spring, while remaining with her body as if she rested upon a cloud”.


    (Note: The Photograph above is the actual Crucifix that came alive during the miraculous vision related above. It is currently on display along with other articles pertaining to the life of St Gemma at the "Casa Della Stimmate" or "House of the Stigmata" in Lucca, Italy. -Editor).



    "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment.
    " (Revelation 21:6)



    On another occasion Jesus appeared to Gemma with the Cross on His shoulders and said: "Gemma, will you take my Cross? See, this is the present I have prepared for you."
    And she replied, "My Jesus, yes, give it me, but give me also the strength to carry it, because my shoulders are weak; at least that I may not fall under it."
    And Jesus again: "Would it sadden you if I were to give you to drink of My chalice, even to the last drop?"
    And Gemma replied: "Jesus, may Your most Holy Will be done."



    (Photograph on the left is a closeup of the actual Crucifix that came alive during the miraculous vision related at the top of this article) .



    Her devotion to the Passion and Jesus Crucified


    On another occasion, He appeared to Gemma nailed to the Cross, all covered with wounds and bleeding. "At that sight," she said to me [Father Germanus], "I felt such a great sorrow, thinking of the infinite love of Jesus for us, and of the sufferings that He had endured for our salvation, I then fainted and fell. After the lapse of an hour or so I came to myself, and then there arose in my heart such an immense desire to suffer something for Him who had suffered so much for me."



    From that day forward Gemma did not seem herself. The sight of Jesus suffering and the thought of the mission entrusted to her by God had, as it were, transformed her into another creature. The thirst to suffer tor­ments of every kind seemed to consume and rend her whole being. To satisfy her, torrents of fire would be needed. Listen to her exclamation: "To suffer, but without any consolation, without any comfort; to suffer for love alone." Her sufferings were but trials in which grace advanced step by step, preparing her for the grand immolation that was to be accomplished on the Calvary of Jesus-her deathbed. Hence she added: "I am very happy. Jesus does not cease to love me; I mean that He does not cease to afflict me more than usual." It was indeed Our Lord Himself who had taught her this sublime doctrine.



    "On Saturday evening," she writes to me, "I went to make a visit to the most holy crucifix. There came upon me an ardent longing for suffering, and with all my heart I implored of Jesus to satisfy me. And, since that evening, He has granted me a cease­less pain in my head, but such a violent pain! And I am almost always crying through fear of not being able to bear it." We can see by these words that she feels that she may not be able to hold out, and yet she does not desist, but continues to pray that her great longing to suffer more and more may be gratified. Nay, she declares that in suffering she finds all her delight. "Yes," she says, "I am happy in every way that Jesus wills, and if Jesus wants the sacrifice of my life, I give it to Him at once. If He wants anything else I am ready. One thing alone is enough for me, to be His victim, in order to atone for my own innumerable sins, and, if possible, for those of the whole world."



    From Thursday evening to Friday afternoon each week, as we know, this heroic child went over all Calvary in body and soul, suffering unspeakable agony in company with Jesus Crucified. Whoever could have passed but once through such torments would shudder at the thought of them. Gemma, who again and again passed over that way of sorrow and pain, longed for the day, counted the hours she had to wait until it came, and, in the words of those who were around her, "prepared to suffer as if she were preparing for a banquet."



    (Picture on the left is a image of Gemma embracing Jesus as occured in several of her visions) Our Lord took infinite delight in such great generosity and heroism, and by open proofs of tenderness, showed His great joy and happiness at having chosen a spouse so entirely according to His Heart. Thus, on one of many occasions, making His presence felt in her soul, He asked her if she had suffered much in a long trial that she was still undergoing. Gemma's answer: "With Thee, oh Jesus, one suffers so well! What is it to suffer thus for many days, if afterwards You come quickly and console?" And Jesus replied: "Know that when you were suffering, I was always at your side. I beheld your distress and I was gratified by it."



    Then to reward her for the courage she had displayed in the conflict, He told her she might draw close and kiss His sacred Wounds. And she, all humility:
    "But, oh Jesus, why for so little, do you give me a reward so great?" Then embold­ened by her filial confidence she approached her Saviour, and kneeling with her heart all on fire, she kissed one by one those precious Wounds. But when she came to the Wound in His Side she could hold out no longer, and fell in a swoon at the Feet of her Jesus."

     


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     


    "Jesus stood up and proclaimed, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water'."
    (John 7:37-38)



    Thanks be to Thee, oh God, forever! Thanks be to Jesus for His gifts and for His Cross! -St Gemma Galgani

     

     

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, March 18, 2012:  (FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT)  Readings for today:  2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23  /  Ephesians 4:2-10  /  John 3:14-21:

     

     

    From: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/031812-fourth-sunday-of-lent.cfm

     

     

    Reading I - A reading from the second book of Chronicles (2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23):

     

     

    In those days, all the princes of Judah, the priests, and the people
    added infidelity to infidelity,
    practicing all the abominations of the nations
    and polluting the LORD's temple
    which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.



    Early and often did the LORD, the God of their fathers,
    send his messengers to them,
    for he had compassion on his people and his dwelling place.
    But they mocked the messengers of God,
    despised his warnings, and scoffed at his prophets,
    until the anger of the LORD against his people was so inflamed
    that there was no remedy.
    Their enemies burnt the house of God,
    tore down the walls of Jerusalem,
    set all its palaces afire,
    and destroyed all its precious objects.
    Those who escaped the sword were carried captive to Babylon,
    where they became servants of the king of the Chaldeans and his sons
    until the kingdom of the Persians came to power.
    All this was to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah:
    "Until the land has retrieved its lost sabbaths,
    during all the time it lies waste it shall have rest
    while seventy years are fulfilled."



    In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia,
    in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah,
    the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia
    to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom,
    both by word of mouth and in writing:
    "Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia:
    All the kingdoms of the earth
    the LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me,
    and he has also charged me to build him a house
    in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
    Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people,
    let him go up, and may his God be with him!"

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6:

     

    R. (6ab) Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!

     


    By the streams of Babylon
    we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.
    On the aspens of that land
    we hung up our harps.

     


    R. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!

     


    For there our captors asked of us
    the lyrics of our songs,
    And our despoilers urged us to be joyous:
    "Sing for us the songs of Zion!"

     


    R. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!

     


    How could we sing a song of the LORD
    in a foreign land?
    If I forget you, Jerusalem,
    may my right hand be forgotten!

     


    R. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!

     


    May my tongue cleave to my palate
    if I remember you not,
    If I place not Jerusalem
    ahead of my joy.

     


    R. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 2:4-10):

     

     

    Brothers and sisters:

     


    God, who is rich in mercy,
    because of the great love he had for us,
    even when we were dead in our transgressions,
    brought us to life with Christ -by grace you have been saved-,
    raised us up with him,
    and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus,
    that in the ages to come
    He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace
    in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
    For by grace you have been saved through faith,
    and this is not from you; it is the gift of God;
    it is not from works, so no one may boast.
    For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works
    that God has prepared in advance,
    that we should live in them.

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 3:14-21):

     

    Jesus said to Nicodemus:
    "Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
    so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
    so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."



    For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
    so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
    but might have eternal life.
    For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
    but that the world might be saved through him.
    Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
    but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
    because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
    And this is the verdict,
    that the light came into the world,
    but people preferred darkness to light,
    because their works were evil.
    For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
    and does not come toward the light,
    so that his works might not be exposed.
    But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
    so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

     

     

     

    --------------------

     

     

    03/18/2012:  St. Anthony Mary Claret -  Another saint in Catholic tradition.  This particular saint was known as a wonder worker, had the gift of prophecy and could read peoples' consciences, was witnessed on several occasions levitating while in prayer, and had the gift of miraculous transport.

     

    From:  http://www.spreadjesus.org/st_anthony-mary-claret-archbishop-and-founder-of-the-claretians.html#.T2Qmf_XN3pc

     

     

    St. Anthony Mary Claret - Archbishop

    and founder of the Claretians

    * CATHOLIC SAINTS
      st.Anthony Mary Claret

    Feast Day : October 24

     

     

    Anthony Mary Claret was born December 24, 1807, in Sallent,

    Catalonia, in northeastern Spain. His father was a weaver who

    kept his small factory in the family home.

     

    As a boy, he experienced

    his first miracle when he went swimming one day at the beach at

    Carceloneta, and was swept out to sea by a huge wave.

    His friends thought him drowned. Anthony had the presence of mind

    to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary for help, and another wave

    deposited him back ashore.

     

    Anthony intended to follow in his

    father’s footsteps, and when he was 18 his father sent him to

    a designer’s school in Barcelona. There he became attracted to

    the religious life and announced his intent to study for the

    priesthood and become a Jesuit. His health prevented him from

    being accepted. Instead, he became a secular priest in the diocese

    of Vich at age 28.

     

    He was assigned to Sallent. Soon he felt a

    calling to become a missionary, which he did with Rome’s

    approval. He traveled through Catalonia, the Canary Islands

    and parts of Spain, working in the style of the apostles.

     

    In 1849, Anthony founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate

    Heart of Mary, which became known as the Claretians. The same

    year, he was named archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, where he

    spent the next six years. He was popular and effective, but his

    success attracted enemies, and Anthony was subjected to many

    trials.

     

    In 1857 he returned to the court of Queen Isabella as

    her confessor. He endured political persecution and accompanied

    the queen into exile in France in 1868 for a year. He then

    participated in the First Vatican Council in 1869 and 1870, still

    enduring persecution. Anthony returned to France and died on

    October 24, 1870, in the Cistercian monastery of Fontfroide in

    southern France.

     

    He had preached 25,000 sermons, written 144

    works and performed many miracles. So many miracles happened

    in the Church of Montserrat through the prayers of the saint that

    it became known as the Church of Miracles. He was seen to

    levitate while deep in prayer, rising slowly into the air in a

    kneeling position until he was more than two feet off the ground.

    One witness attested to the “heat of great devotion” that

    emanated from his body during one such episode.

     

    People liked to touch his clothing or kiss his hand because of the sweet

    odor of sanctity that he carried. He also was seen with his face

    transfigured, and surrounded by an aura of brilliant light.

     

     

    Anthony also had the gifts of prophecy and discernment, knowing

    the sins and faults of those with whom he came into contact.

    He said he could “read their consciences.”

     

    He had the gift of miraculous transport. While a seminarian,

    he lived at Vich in the rectory of Don Fortunato Bres, his friend

    and adviser. Many years later, Bres, on his way to mass

    one winter day, slipped on ice and

    broke his leg. He asked for Anthony, who was many miles away,

    to be notified. Ten minutes later, Anthony arrived. The route was

    snow-covered, and it was snowing at the time, but Anthony was

    not wet. He said that “an irresistible impulse” had caused him to

    come to Don Fortunato.

     

    While in Cuba, Anthony seemed to be

    able to prevent earthquakes during a time of frequent earthquakes.

    Once while preaching in a public square, the earth trembled,

    but the saint assured people that all would be well. There were

    no earthquakes.

     

    He also calmed storms.

     

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, March 11, 2012:  (THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT)  Readings for today:  Exodus 20:1-17  /  1 Corinthians 1:22-25  /  John 2:13-25:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/031112-third-sunday-of-lent.cfm

     

    Reading I - A reading from the book of Exodus (Exodus 20:1-17):

     

    In those days, God delivered all these commandments:
    "I, the LORD, am your God,
    who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
    You shall not have other gods besides me.
    You shall not carve idols for yourselves
    in the shape of anything in the sky above
    or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
    you shall not bow down before them or worship them.
    For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God,
    inflicting punishment for their fathers' wickedness
    on the children of those who hate me,
    down to the third and fourth generation;
    but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation
    on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    "You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
    For the LORD will not leave unpunished
    the one who takes his name in vain.

    "Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
    Six days you may labor and do all your work,
    but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God.
    No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter,
    or your male or female slave, or your beast,
    or by the alien who lives with you.
    In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth,
    the sea and all that is in them;
    but on the seventh day he rested.
    That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

    "Honor your father and your mother,
    that you may have a long life in the land
    which the LORD, your God, is giving you.
    You shall not kill.
    You shall not commit adultery.
    You shall not steal.
    You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
    You shall not covet your neighbor's house.
    You shall not covet your neighbor's wife,
    nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass,
    nor anything else that belongs to him."

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11:

     

    R. (John 6:68c)Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.


    The law of the LORD is perfect,
    refreshing the soul;
    The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
    giving wisdom to the simple.


    R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.


    The precepts of the LORD are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
    the command of the LORD is clear,
    enlightening the eye.


    R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.


    The fear of the LORD is pure,
    enduring forever;
    the ordinances of the LORD are true,
    all of them just.


    R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.


    They are more precious than gold,
    than a heap of purest gold;
    sweeter also than syrup
    or honey from the comb.


    R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:22-25):

     

    Brothers and sisters:


    Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
    but we proclaim Christ crucified,
    a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
    but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike,
    Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
    For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
    and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 2:13-25):

     

    Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
    Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
    He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
    as well as the money changers seated there.
    He made a whip out of cords
    and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
    and spilled the coins of the money changers
    and overturned their tables,
    and to those who sold doves he said,
    "Take these out of here,
    and stop making my Father's house a marketplace."
    His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
    Zeal for your house will consume me.
    At this the Jews answered and said to him,
    "What sign can you show us for doing this?"
    Jesus answered and said to them,
    "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."
    The Jews said,
    "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
    and you will raise it up in three days?"
    But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
    Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
    his disciples remembered that he had said this,
    and they came to believe the Scripture
    and the word Jesus had spoken.

    While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
    many began to believe in his name
    when they saw the signs he was doing.
    But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all,
    and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.
    He himself understood it well.

     

     

    --------------------

     

     

    03/11/2012 - St. Joseph of Cupertino: 

     

    From:  http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=72

     

       

    St. Joseph of Cupertino
     

    St. Joseph of Cupertino

    Feastday: September 18
    Patron of Aviators, Flying & Studying
    1603 - 1663

     

    St. Joseph was born at Cupertino, in the diocese of Nardo in the

    Kingdom of Naples, in 1603. After spending his childhood and

    adolescence in simplicity and innocence, he finally joined the

    Franciscan Friars Minor Conventual. After his ordination to the

    holy priesthood, he gave himself up entirely to a life of humiliation,

    mortification, and obedience. He was most devoted to the

    Blessed Virgin Mary and promoted devotion to her among all

    classes of people.

     

    His mother considered him a nuisance and treated him harshly.

    Joseph soon became very slow and absent-minded. He would

    wander around, going nowhere, his mouth gaping open. But he

    had a bad temper, too, and so, he was not at all popular. He tried

    to learn the trade of shoemaking, but failed. He asked to become

    a Franciscan, but they would not accept him. Next, he joined the

    Capuchins, but eight months later, they sent him away because

    he could not seem to do anything right. He dropped piles of dishes

    and kept forgetting to do what he was told. His mother was not at

    all pleased to have the eighteen-year-old Joseph back home again,

    so she finally got him accepted as a servant at the Franciscan

    monastery. He was given the monks habit and put to hard work

    taking care of the horses. About this time, Joseph began to change.

    He grew more humble and gentle, more careful and successful at

    his work. He also began to do more penance. Now, it was decided

    that he could become a real member of the Order and start studying

    for the priesthood. Although he was very good, he still had a hard

    time with studies. The examiner happened to ask him to explain

    the only thing he knew well, and so he was made a deacon, and

    later a priest. After this, God began to work many amazing

    miracles through St. Joseph. Over seventy times, people saw

    him rise from the ground while saying mass or praying. Often

    he went into ecstasy and would be completely rapt up in talking

    with God. He became so holy that everything he saw made him

    think of God, and he said that all the troubles of this world were

    nothing but the "play" battles children have with popguns.

    St. Joseph became so famous for the miracles that he was kept

    hidden, but he was happy for the chance to be alone with his

    beloved Lord. On His part, Jesus never left him alone and one

    day came to bring him to Heaven. Pope Clement XIII

    canonized him in 1767. He is the patron saint of air travelers

    and pilots.

     

    It is said that the life of this saint was marked by ecstasies

    and levitations. The mere mention of God or a spiritual

    matter was enough to take him out of his senses; at Mass

    he frequently floated in the air in rapture. Once as Christmas

    carols were being sung, he soared to the high altar and knelt

    in the air, rapted in prayer. On another occasion he ferried a

    cross thirty-six feet high through the air to the top of a Calvary

    group as easily as one might carry a straw.

     

    The people flocked to him in droves seeking help and advice in

    the confessional, and he converted many to a truly Christian life.

    However, this humble man had to endure many severe trials

    and terrible temptations throughout his life. He died on

    September 18, 1663.

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________

    Sunday, March 4, 2012:  (SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT)  Readings for today:  Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18  /  Romans 8:31b-34  /  Mark 9:2-10:

     

    From:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/030412.cfm

     

    Reading I - A reading from the book of Genesis (Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18):

     

     

    God put Abraham to the test.
    He called to him, "Abraham!"
    "Here I am!" he replied.
    Then God said:
    "Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
    and go to the land of Moriah.
    There you shall offer him up as a holocaust
    on a height that I will point out to you."

    When they came to the place of which God had told him,
    Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
    Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
    But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven,
    "Abraham, Abraham!"
    "Here I am!" he answered.
    "Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger.
    "Do not do the least thing to him.
    I know now how devoted you are to God,
    since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
    As Abraham looked about,
    he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
    So he went and took the ram
    and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

    Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
    "I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
    that because you acted as you did
    in not withholding from me your beloved son,
    I will bless you abundantly
    and make your descendants as countless
    as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
    your descendants shall take possession
    of the gates of their enemies,
    and in your descendants all the nations of the earth
    shall find blessing-
    all this because you obeyed my command."

     

     

     

     

    Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19:

     

    R. (116:9) I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.


    I believed, even when I said,
    "I am greatly afflicted."
    Precious in the eyes of the LORD
    is the death of his faithful ones.


    R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.


    O LORD, I am your servant;
    I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
    you have loosed my bonds.
    To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
    and I will call upon the name of the LORD.


    R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.


    My vows to the LORD I will pay
    in the presence of all his people,
    In the courts of the house of the LORD,
    in your midst, O Jerusalem.


    R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.

     

     

     

     

    Reading II - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (Romans 8:31b-34):

     

    Brothers and sisters:


    If God is for us, who can be against us?
    He who did not spare his own Son
    but handed him over for us all,
    how will he not also give us everything else along with him?

    Who will bring a charge against God's chosen ones?
    It is God who acquits us, who will condemn?
    Christ Jesus it is who died-or, rather, was raised-
    who also is at the right hand of God,
    who indeed intercedes for us.

     

     

     

     

    Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 9:2-10):

     

    Jesus took Peter, James, and John
    and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
    And he was transfigured before them,
    and his clothes became dazzling white,
    such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
    Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
    and they were conversing with Jesus.
    Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
    "Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
    Let us make three tents:
    one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
    He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
    Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
    from the cloud came a voice,
    "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
    Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
    but Jesus alone with them.

    As they were coming down from the mountain,
    he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
    except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
    So they kept the matter to themselves,
    questioning what rising from the dead meant.

     

     

     

    ----------------------

     

     

    03/04/2012 - New Roman Missal Changes to Greeting, the Penitential Act, Gloria, Dialogue at Gospel, Nicene Creed, Apostles' Creed, the Invitation to Prayer, Preface Dialogue, Preface Acclamation, Mystery of Faith, Sign of Peace, Invitation to Communion, and Concluding Rites of Mass:

     

    From: http://old.usccb.org/romanmissal/peoplesparts.pdf

     

    Changes in the Parts of the People in the Order of Mass in the Roman

     

     Missal, Third Edition (approved June 15, 2006 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; confirmed March 26, 2010 by the Holy See [Prot n. 1464/06/L]) Page 1 of 4 www.USCCB.org/romanmissal

     

     

     

    PART OF MASS

     

    PRESENT TEXT FOR PEOPLE

     

     

    NEW TEXT FOR PEOPLE

     

    Greeting

     

    Priest: The Lord be with you.

    People: And also with you.

     

     

    Priest: The Lord be with you.

    People: And with your spirit.

     

    Penitential Act (Form A)

     

    I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned

    through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do;

     

    and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord, our God.

     

     

    I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned,

    in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, (beating your breast with a fist) through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault;

    therefore I ask blessed Mary ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

     

     

    Penitential Act (Form B)

     

    Priest: Lord, we have sinned against you: Lord, have mercy.

    People: Lord, have mercy.

    Priest: Lord, show us your mercy and love.

    People: And grant us your salvation.

     

     

    Priest: Have mercy on us, O Lord.

    People: For we have sinned against you.

    Priest: Show us, O Lord, your mercy.

    People: And grant us your salvation.

     

    Gloria

     

    Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.

    Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.

     

    Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us;

     

     

    you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

     

    with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

     

    Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.

    We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.

    Lord Jesus Christ, Only begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;

     

    you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

     

    with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

     

     

     

    Dialogue at the Gospel

     

    Deacon (or Priest): A reading from the Holy Gospel according to N.

    People: Glory to you, Lord.

     

     

    Deacon (or Priest): A reading from the Holy Gospel according to N.

    People: Glory to you, O Lord.

     

     

    Nicene Creed

     

     

    We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,

    begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.

    (Bow in reverence) For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried.

    On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;

    he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

    Amen.

     

     

    I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

    I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,

    begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.

    (Bow in reverence) For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried,

    and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

    He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.

    I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

    Amen.

     

     

     

     

    Apostles’ Creed

     

    I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

    I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead.

    On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

    He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

     

    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

    Amen.

     

     

    I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth,

    and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell;

    on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;

    from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

     

    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

    Amen.

     

    Invitation to Prayer

     

    May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of all his Church.

     

     

     

    May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of all his holy Church.

     

    Preface Dialogue

     

    Priest: The Lord be with you.

    People: And also with you.

     

    Priest: Lift up your hearts.

     

    People: We lift them up to the Lord.

     

    Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

     

    People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

     

     

    Priest: The Lord be with you.

    People: And with your spirit.

    Priest: Lift up your hearts.

     

    People: We lift them up to the Lord.

     

    Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

     

     

    People: It is right and just.

     

     

    Preface Acclamation

     

    Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might.

    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

    Hosanna in the highest.

    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

    Hosanna in the highest.

     

     

    Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts.

    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

    Hosanna in the highest.

    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

    Hosanna in the highest.

     

     

     

    The Mystery of Faith

     

    Priest: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

     

    People: A – Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

     

    or B – Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory.

     

    or C – When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we  proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.

     

    or D – Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free. You are the Savior of the World.

     

     

     

    Priest: The mystery of faith.

     

    People: A – We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

     

     

     

     

     

    or B (Old "C") – When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come again.

     

    or C (Old "D")– Save us, Savior of the world, for