Thursday, October 20, 2016

#PopeFrancis “Christ is present in the Gospel and we know Christ by reading the Gospel" #Homily

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said the catechism on its own is not sufficient to truly know Jesus and we need prayer, worship and to recognize ourselves as sinners. His words came during his morning Mass celebrated on Thursday in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence.
The cue for the Pope’s reflections during his homily came from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians where the Apostle prayed that they may be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit and that Christ may dwell in their hearts.
Noting that Paul spoke of plunging into the immense sea that is the person of Christ, Pope Francis asked “how can we know Christ, How can we understand His love that is beyond all knowledge?”
“Christ is present in the Gospel and we know Christ by reading the Gospel. And all of us do this, at least we hear the Gospel when we go to Mass. And studying the catechism teaches us who Christ is. But this is not enough. In order to understand the breadth and length and height and depth of Jesus Christ we need to enter into the habit, firstly of praying, as Paul did on his knees: “Father send me the Holy Spirit to know Jesus.”
But in order to truly know Christ, the Pope stressed that prayer on its own is not enough and as Paul said, in addition to praying he “worships this mystery” that is beyond our knowledge and in this spirit of worship or adoration he asks for this grace from the Lord.
“We cannot know the Lord without this habit of worship, to worship in silence, adoration. If I am not mistaken, I believe that this prayer of adoration is the least known by us, it’s the one that we do least. Allow me to say this, waste time in front of the Lord, in front of the mystery of Jesus Christ. Worship him. There in silence, the silence of adoration. He is the Saviour and I worship Him.” 
Pope Francis said the third requirement for truly knowing Christ was to know ourselves and as a result be accustomed to describing ourselves as sinners.
“We cannot worship without accusing ourselves. In order to enter into this bottomless and boundless sea that is the mystery of Jesus Christ, this thing is necessary. (Firstly), prayer:  ‘Father, send me the Holy Spirit so that he leads me to know Jesus.’  Secondly, worship the mystery, enter into the mystery and worship Him. And thirdly, accuse ourselves. ‘I am a man of unclean lips.’ May the Lord give us too this grace that Paul implored for the Ephesians, this grace to know and earn Christ.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. October 20, 2016 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 476

Reading 1EPH 3:14-21

Brothers and sisters:
I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine,
by the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19

R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
For 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. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
But 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. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

GospelPHIL 3:8-9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I consider all things so much rubbish
that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saint October 20 : St. Paul of the Cross : Founder of the #Passionists

Paul Francis Daneii, born at Ovada, Genoa, Italy, 3 January, 1694; died in Rome, 18 October, 1775. His parents, Luke Danei and Anna Maria Massari, were exemplary Catholics. From his earliest years the crucifix was his book, and the Crucified his model. Paul received his early education from a priest who kept a school for boys, in Cremolino, Lombardy. He made great progress in study and virtue; spent much time in prayer, heard daily Mass, frequently received the Sacraments, faithfully attended to his school duties, and gave his spare time to reading good books and visiting the churches, where he spent much time before the Blessed Sacrament, to which he had an ardent devotion.
At the age of fifteen he left school and returned to his home at Castellazzo, and from this time his life was full of trials. In early manhood he renounced the offer of an honourable marriage; also a good inheritance left him by an uncle who was a priest. He kept for himself only the priest's Breviary.
 Inflamed with a desire for God's glory he formed the idea of instituting a religious order in honour of the Passion. Vested in a black tunic by the Bishop of Alessandria, his director, bearing the emblem of our Lord's Passion, barefooted, and bareheaded, he retired to a narrow cell where he drew up the Rules of the new congregation according to the plan made known to him in a vision, which he relates in the introduction to the original copy of the Rules. For the account of his ordination to the priesthood, of the foundation of the Congregation of the Passion, and the approbation of the Rules.
After the approbation of the Rules and the institute the first general chapter was held at the Retreat of the Presentation on Mount Argentaro on 10 April, 1747. At this chapter, St. Paul, against his wishes, was unanimously elected first superior general, which office he held until the day of his death. In all virtues and in the observance of regular discipline, he became a model to his companions. "Although continually occupied with the cares of governing his religious society, and of founding everywhere new houses for it, yet he never left off preaching the word of God, burning as he did with a wondrous desire for the salvation of souls" (Brief of Pius IX for St. Paul's Beatification, 1 Oct., 1852). Sacred missions were instituted and numerous conversions were made. He was untiring in his Apostolic labours and never, even to his last hour, remitted anything of his austere manner of life, finally succumbing to a severe illness, worn out as much by his austerities as by old age.
 Among the distinguished associates of St. Paul in the formation and extension of the congregation were: John Baptist, his younger brother and constant companion from childhood, who shared all his labours and sufferings and equaled him in the practice of virtue; Father Mark Aurelius (Pastorelli), Father Thomas Struzzieri (subsequently Bishop of Amelia and afterwards of Todi), and Father Fulgentius of Jesus, all remarkable for learning, piety, and missionary zeal; Venerable Strambi, Bishop of Macerata and Tolentino, his biographer. Constant personal union with the Cross and Passion of our Lord was the prominent feature of St. Paul's sanctity. But devotion to the Passion did not stand alone, for he carried to a heroic degree all the other virtues of a Christian life. Numerous miracles, besides those special ones brought forward at his beatification and canonization, attested the favour he enjoyed with God. Miracles of grace abounded, as witnessed in the conversion of sinners seemingly hardened and hopeless. For fifty years he prayed for the conversion of England, and left the devotion as a legacy to his sons.
The body of St. Paul lies in the Basilica of SS. John and Paul, Rome. He was beatified on 1 October, 1852, and canonized on 29 June, 1867. His feast occurs on 28 April. [Editor's note: It was later transferred to 19 October.] The fame of his sanctity, which had spread far and wide in Italy during his life, increased after his death and spread into all countries. Great devotion to him is practiced by the faithful wherever Passionists are established. Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "...a God who revealed in Jesus His merciful face." at #Audience - FULL TEXT - Video

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
A consequence of so-called “wellbeing” is one which leads people to withdraw into themselves, making them insensitive to the needs of others. Everything is done to deceive them, presenting ephemeral models of life, which disappear after a few years, as if our life were a fashion to follow and to change at every season. It’s not so. Reality must be accepted and faced for what it is, and often it makes us meet situations of urgent need. It is because of this that the cry of hunger and thirst is found among the works of mercy: to feed the hungry — there are so many today — and give drink to the thirsty. How many times themedia informs us of populations that suffer from the lack of food and water, with grave consequences, especially for children.
In face of certain news and, especially, of certain images, public opinion feels touched and from time to time, aid campaigns are launched to stimulate solidarity. Donations are generous and thus, one can contribute to alleviate the suffering of many. This form of charity is important, but, perhaps, it does not involve us directly. Instead, when we go on the street and come across a person in need, or a poor man comes to knock on the door of our home, it’s very different, because we are no longer before an image but we are involved personally. There is no longer any distance between me and him or her, and I feel challenged. Poverty in the abstract does not challenge us, but it makes us think, it makes us lament, but when we see poverty in the flesh of a man, of a woman, of a child, this challenges us! And because of this, we have that habit of fleeing from the needy, of not getting close to them, of falsifying somewhat the reality of the needy with fashionable habits to distance ourselves from it. When I come across him, there is no longer any distance between me and the poor one. In such cases, what is my reaction? Do I turn my gaze away and pass beyond? Or do I stop to talk to him and to be interested in his state? And if you do this, one won’t be lacking who says: “This is crazy, why does he talk to a poor one!” Do I see if I can receive that person in some way or do I try to be free of him soonest? But perhaps he is asking only for the necessary: something to eat and to drink. Let us reflect for a moment: how often do we recite the “Our Father,” and yet we do not really pay attention to those words: “Give us this day our daily bread.”
A Psalm in the Bible says that God is He who “gives bread to all flesh” (136:25). The experience of hunger is harsh. Someone who has lived periods of war and want knows it. Yet this experience is repeated every day and it exists beside abundance and waste. The Apostle James’ words are always timely: ‘What good is it, my brothers, 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” (2:14-17) because it is incapable of doing works, of doing charity, of loving. There is always someone who is hungry and thirsty and is in need of me. I cannot delegate it to any other. This poor one is in need of me, of my help, of my word, of my commitment. We are all involved in this.
It is also the teaching of the page of the Gospel in which Jesus, seeing the many people who had been following him for hours, asks His disciples: “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” (John 6:5). And the disciples answered: “It’s impossible, it would be better if you dismissed them …” Instead, Jesus says to them: “No, you yourselves give them to eat” <cf. Mark 14:16). He has them give him the few loaves and fish they have, he blesses them, breaks them and has them distributed to all. It is a very important lesson for us. It says to us that the little we have, if we entrust it to Jesus’ hands and share it with faith, becomes superabundant richness.
In the Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI affirms: “Feed the hungry  is an ethical imperative for the universal Church… The right to food, like the right to water, has an important place within the pursuit of other rights … It is therefore necessary to cultivate a public conscience that considers food and access to water as universal rights of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination[65]” (n. 27). Let us not forget Jesus’ words: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35) and “If anyone who thirsts, come to me and drink” (John 7:37). These words are a provocation for all of us believers, a provocation to recognize that our relationship with God passes through feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty, a God who revealed in Jesus His merciful face.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I receive joyfully the faithful of the Diocese of Caltagirone, with the Bishop, Monsignor Calogero Peri, on the occasion of the bicentenary of its foundation; the Confirmed of the Diocese of Faenza-Modigliana, accompanied by Monsignor Mario Toso; the participants in the Seminar promoted by the University of the Holy Cross; the youngsters of Catholic Action of Brindisi-Ostuni and the faithful of Mistretta.
I greet the pilgrimage of the Sisters of Saint John the Baptist, gathered here for the Canonization of Saint Alphonsus Maria Fusco, and I hope that the Founder’s charism is spread also in today’s society. I greet the officials of the Academy of Modena; the Center of National Creativity Foundation; the Association of the Variously Disabled and the participants in the Second Meeting Women, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
Finally, a thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today the liturgy remembers Saint Paul of the Cross, priest Founder of the Passionists: dear young people, especially the youngsters adhering to the Festival of Diplomacy, may meditation on Jesus’ Passion teach you the greatness of His love for us; dear sick, carry your cross in union with Christ to have relief in the hour of trial; and you, dear newlyweds, dedicate time to prayer, so that your conjugal life is a journey of Christian perfection.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday October 19, 2016

Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 475

Reading 1EPH 3:2-12

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation,
as I have written briefly earlier.
When you read this
you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
which was not made known to human beings in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.

Of this I became a minister by the gift of God’s grace
that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power.
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the Church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.

Responsorial PsalmIS 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

R. (see 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.

AlleluiaMT 24:42A, 44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied,
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Saint October 19 : St. Peter Alcantara - #Franciscan


PETER, while still a youth, left his home at Alcantara in Spain, and entered a convent of Discalced Franciscans. He rose quickly to high posts in the Order, but his thirst for penance was still unappeased, and in 1539, being then forty years old, he founded the first convent of the "Strict Observance." The cells of the friars resembled graves rather than dwelling-places. That of St. Peter himself was four feet and a half in length, so that he could never lie down; he ate but once in three days; his sack-cloth habit and a cloak were his only garments, and he never covered his head or feet. In the bitter winter he would open the door and window of his cell that, by closing them again, he might experience some sensation of warmth. Amongst those whom he trained to perfection was St. Teresa. He read her soul, approved of her spirit of prayer, and strengthened her to carry out her reforms. St. Peter died, with great joy, kneeling in prayer, October 18, 1562, at the age of sixty-three.
Reflection.—If men do not go about barefoot now, nor undergo sharp penances, as St. Peter did, there are many ways of trampling on the world; and Our Lord teaches them when He finds the necessary courage.
Butler's Lives of the Saints

Saint October 19 : North American Martyrs : St. John Brebeuf and Companions

JOURNEY OF A BISHOP REPORT: French Jesuits were among the first missionaries to go to Canada and North America after J. Cartier discovered Canada in 1534. Their mission region extended from Nova Scotia to Maryland.
John de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Noel Chabanel, Charles Garnier, Anthony Daniel, Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil and John de Lalande (the first six Jesuits, the last two laymen) preached the gospel to the Iroquois and Huron Indians, and after being tortured, they were martyred.

The martyrdoms took place between 1642 and 1649: Goupil in 1642, Jogues and Lalande on October 18 and 19, 1646 in the area of what is now Auriesville, New York; Daniel on July 4, 1648, Brebeuf and Lalemant in March 1649, Garnier and Chabanel in December 1649--all of these five in Huronia, near present-day Midland, Ontario. Ten years after the martyrdom of St. Isaac Jogues, Kateri Tekakwitha was born in the same village in which he died. These martyrs are co-patrons of Canada.
The missionaries arrived in Canada less than a century after its discovery by Cartier in 1534, in the hope of converting the Indians and setting up "New France." Their opponents were often the English and Dutch colonists. When Isaac Jogues returned to Paris after his first capture and torture, he said to his superior: "Yes, Father, I want whatever our Lord wants, even if it costs a thousand lives." He had written in his mission report: "These tortures are very great, but God is still greater, and immense."

Isaac Jogues' declaration on leaving France to return to the mission in Canada is heroic:

"My heart tells me that if I have the blessing of being used for this mission, I shall go and I shall not  return; but I would be glad if our Lord should fulfil the sacrifice where he began it, and that the small amount of blood I shed in that land should turn out to be an advance payment for that which I would give from all the veins of my body and heart."

In the Office of Readings we have an excerpt from the mission journal of St. John de Brébeuf, who had been a student of the great Jesuit spiritual writer, Louis Lallemant. He wrote:
For two days now I have experienced a great desire to be a martyr and to endure all the torments the martyrs suffered.... I vow to you, Jesus my Savior, that as far as I have the strength I will never fail to accept the grace of martyrdom, if some day you in your infinite mercy should offer it to me, your most unworthy servant.... On receiving the blow of death, I shall accept it from your hands with the fullest delight and joy of spirit.... My God, it grieves me greatly that you are not known, that in this savage wilderness all have not been converted to you, that sin has not been driven from it.

[Excerpted and adapted from Enzo Lodi, Saints of the Roman Calendar
In 1999, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published a pastoral letter on the Canadian Martyrs to mark the 350th anniversary of the final deaths of these heroic priests in 1649. It may be accessed at:

#PopeFrancis "“To die in this way like martyrs, as witnesses of Jesus, is the grain that dies..." #Homily

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said a good shepherd is one who follows Jesus rather than power, money or cliques and even if deserted by everybody may be sad but is never embittered. He was speaking at his morning Mass on Tuesday celebrated in the chapel of the Santa Marta Residence.
Taking his inspiration from the Second Letter to Timothy, the Pope’s homily was a reflection on the difficulties faced by the apostles like Paul in the final stage of their lives when they are left without means, deserted by all and having to ask for things like beggars.
“Alone, begging, abandoned by all and the victim of fury. But this is the great Paul, the man who heard the voice of the Lord, the call of the Lord! The man who went from one place to another, who suffered so many things and so many trials for preaching the Gospel, who made the Apostles understand that the Lord wants Gentiles to enter into the Church as well, the great Paul who when praying rose to the Seventh Heaven and heard things that nobody else had heard before: the Great Paul, there, in that small room of a house in Rome, waiting to see how that struggle would end within the Church between the different sides, between the rigidity of the Judaizers and those disciples faithful to him. And this is how the life of the great Paul ends, in desolation: not in resentment or bitterness but with an inner desolation.”
Pope Francis went on to point out that Peter and St John the Baptist suffered similar privations in the final stage of their lives with the latter having his head cut off owing to “the caprice of a dancer and the revenge of an adulterous woman.” In more recent times, he said it was the same for Maximilian Kolbe who created a worldwide apostolic movement and yet died in the prison cell of a death camp. When an apostle is faithful, stressed the Pope, he or she knows that they too can expect the same end that Jesus faced. But the Lord stays close and does not abandon them and they find their strength in Him. Pope Francis said “This is the Law of the Gospel: if the grain of wheat doesn’t die it doesn’t produce new seeds” and reminded that a theologian of the early centuries wrote that the blood of martyrs are the seeds of Christians.
“To die in this way like martyrs, as witnesses of Jesus, is the grain that dies and gives rise to new seeds and fills the earth with new Christians. When a pastor lives like this he is not embittered: maybe he feels desolate but he has that certainty that the Lord is beside him. When a pastor during his life was attached to other things, rather than to the faithful - for example he was attached to power, money, being part of a clique, to many things - then at his death he won’t be alone, maybe his grandchildren (heirs) will be there waiting for him to die so they can see what possessions they can take away with them.”
Pope Francis concluded his homily by describing the attitude of many elderly priests now living in retirement homes who despite their sufferings remain close to the Lord.
“When I go to visit the retirement homes for elderly priests I find so many of these great shepherds who have given their lives for the faithful. There they are, sick, paralyzed, in wheelchairs but you can see them smiling straight away. ‘He’s well, Lord; he’s well, Lord,’ because they feel the Lord very close to them. They have these shining eyes and they are asking: ‘how is the Church? How is the diocese faring? How are vocations going?’ (It’s this way) right to the end because they are fathers, because they gave their lives for others. Turning back to Paul: alone, begging, the victim of fury, deserted by everybody except the Lord Jesus: ‘Only the Lord stayed close to me!’ And the Good Shepherd, the shepherd must have this certainty: if he journeys along the path of Jesus, the Lord will be close to him right to the end. Let us pray for the shepherds who are at the end of their lives and who are waiting for the Lord to take them with Him. And let us pray so that the Lord may give them strength, consolation and the certainty that, although they feel sick and alone, the Lord is with them, close to them. May the Lord give them this strength.”

Novena to St. Luke Evangelist - Patron of #Doctors and #Artists - #Prayer to SHARE

Novena to St. Luke
Dear St. Luke, I love God with all my heart. Inflame my heart with an ardent love of God and worship of the Trinity. 
Please intercede for me and help me in this necessity: 
St. Luke, please help me to grow in grace and holiness, but above all, that I may rest with thee in eternity, help me to do God's will each and every day to the best of my ability.Help me to hear my Father's voice and love all with all my heart.Dear St. Luke, I love you. Thank you for your help. Be with me as I pray: Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be... (one each) Amen Say for 9 days in petition and 9 days in thanksgiving