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Thursday, April 1, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: THURS. APRIL 1, 2010











CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: THURS. APRIL 1, 2010: HEADLINES-

VATICAN: POPE: WASHES THE FAITHFUL'S FEET IN IMITATION OF CHRIST
AMERICA: CANADA: FR. LEONARD KENNEDY DIES-
ASIA: CHINA: BODIES OF CHILDREN FOUND ON RIVERBANK-
EUROPE: BRUSSELS: 2, 000 ATTEND 1ST MARCH FOR LIFE-
AFRICA: SOMALIA: 25 PEOPLE KILLED IN CLAN FIGHTING
AUSTRALIA: ESTIMATIONS THAT POPULATION WILL GROW-


VATICAN
POPE: WASHES THE FAITHFUL'S FEET IN IMITATION OF CHRIST

Asia News report: Benedict XVI celebrates Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper and performs the ritual washing of feet. At the Last Supper and in Jesus’ prayer are the institution of the Eucharist and the beginning of the missionary mandate to the apostles and their successors.
Rome (AsiaNews) - At the Last Supper, there is the washing of the feet, in which the “redemptive ministry on behalf of a humanity needing purification is summed up in a gesture of humility”, then there is the gift of himself, in the bread and wine, then the prayer in which Jesus asks for " prays that the preaching of the disciples will continue for all time, that it will gather together men and women who know God and the one he has sent, his Son Jesus Christ" because in the "knowledge" of God there is the possibility of eternal life.
The celebration of the Mass "of the Lord's Last Supper," this afternoon in the basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, Benedict XVI explained the significance of the ceremony, which commemorates the institution Eucharist and the beginning of the missionary mandate to the apostles and their successors.
During the liturgy, the pope carried out the ritual of washing the feet of twelve priests. Upon presentation of the gifts Benedict XVI was entrusted a collection for the reconstruction of the seminar in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
In his homily, the Pope noted how in the prayer of Jesus, narrated by John, first there are the words: " This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3). Everyone wants to have life - said Benedict XVI - We long for a life which is authentic, complete, worthwhile, full of joy. This yearning for life coexists with a resistance to death, which nonetheless remains unescapable. When Jesus speaks about eternal life, he is referring to real and true life, a life worthy of being lived. He is not simply speaking about life after death. He is talking about authentic life, a life fully alive and thus not subject to death, yet one which can already, and indeed must, begin in this world. Only if we learn even now how to live authentically, if we learn how to live the life which death cannot take away, does the promise of eternity become meaningful. But how does this happen? What is this true and eternal life which death cannot touch? ".
Jesus’ answer is in the words “that they may know you – God – and the one whom you have sent, Jesus Christ. Much to our surprise, we are told that life is knowledge. This means first of all that life is relationship. No one has life from himself and only for himself. We have it from others and in a relationship with others. If it is a relationship in truth and love, a giving and receiving, it gives fullness to life and makes it beautiful. But for that very reason, the destruction of that relationship by death can be especially painful, it can put life itself in question. Only a relationship with the One who is himself Life can preserve my life beyond the floodwaters of death, can bring me through them alive”.
The best-known petition of the priestly prayer continued the Pope is the petition for the unity of the disciples now and yet to come”. “He prays to the Father for the Church and for her unity. It has been said that in the Gospel of John the Church is not present. Yet here she appears in her essential features: as the community of disciples who through the apostolic preaching believe in Jesus Christ and thus become one. Jesus prays for the Church to be one and apostolic. This prayer, then, is properly speaking an act which founds the Church. The Lord prays to the Father for the Church. She is born of the prayer of Jesus and through the preaching of the Apostles, who make known God’s name and introduce men and women into the fellowship of love with God. Jesus thus prays that the preaching of the disciples will continue for all time, that it will gather together men and women who know God and the one he has sent, his Son Jesus Christ. He prays that men and women may be led to faith and, through faith, to love. He asks the Father that these believers “be in us” (v. 21); that they will live, in other words, in interior communion with God and Jesus Christ, and that this inward being in communion with God may give rise to visible unity. Twice the Lord says that this unity should make the world believe in the mission of Jesus. It must thus be a unity which can be seen – a unity which so transcends ordinary human possibilities as to become a sign before the world and to authenticate the mission of Jesus Christ. ”.
“Jesus’ prayer gives us the assurance that the preaching of the Apostles will never fail throughout history; that it will always awaken faith and gather men and women into unity – into a unity which becomes a testimony to the mission of Jesus Christ. But this prayer also challenges us to a constant examination of conscience. At this hour the Lord is asking us: are you living, through faith, in fellowship with me and thus in fellowship with God? Or are you rather living for yourself, and thus apart from faith? And are you not thus guilty of the inconsistency which obscures my mission in the world and prevents men and women from encountering God’s love? It was part of the historical Passion of Jesus, and remains part of his ongoing Passion throughout history, that he saw, and even now continues to see, all that threatens and destroys unity. As we meditate on the Passion of the Lord, let us also feel Jesus’ pain at the way that we contradict his prayer, that we resist his love, that we oppose the unity which should bear witness before the world to his mission”.
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope:-eternal-life-begins-in-this-world,-it-is-knowledge-of-God-18047.html

POPE: CHRISM MASS BLESSING OF OILS
Asia News report: Celebrating the Chrism Mass, Benedict XVI illustrates the meaning of the holy oils that are blessed today. Like the olive they indicate God's peace with men and the joy brought by Jesus, who is "joy" and can share the suffering, a "message" that priests should bring to the world.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - As the martyrs of earlier times, even today, Christians should "not accept an injustice that is elevated in law", as in the case of abortion. In doing so, warned the Pope today, you really serve peace, you follow in the footsteps of Jesus and you can have the "joy" that he spreads.
It 's a joy that is quite different from the "enjoyment" considered to be "everything", it gives "the ability to share the suffering of others and so reveal the light and goodness of God, through sharing" which especially consecrated persons should be able to bring "back into a world that so urgently needs the joy that comes from the truth."
The Chrism Mass, which is celebrated on Maundy Thursday, just before the Easter Triduum begins, centred on priests. It is the ritual that Benedict XVI presided over this morning in St. Peter's and today all the bishops celebrated in cathedrals around the world, with their priests. It takes its name from the blessing of holy oils and chrism (oil that is mixed with perfume), that is the oil for the sick and those for baptism and confirmation, for ordinations and for the consecration of new churches and altars . Oils that in the papal celebration are contained in large silver vessels, brought by some sick, some catechumens who during the Easter vigil will receive baptism and some young candidates for the priesthood.
Illustrating the significance of the celebration, Benedict XVI highlighted how "in our name 'Christian' the mystery of the oil is present. The word "Christian", in fact, derives from the word "Christ", the Greek translation of the word "Messiah" which means "Anointed One". "Being a Christian means: come to Christ, belong to Christ, the anointed of God, the One to whom God has given the kingship and the priesthood. It means to belong to the One that God has anointed - not with a material oil, but with He who is represented by the oil: with his Holy Spirit. Olive oil is thus in a very special way a symbol of the interpenetration of the Man Jesus by the Holy Spirit. "
"In fact, in the various sacraments, consecrated oil is always a sign of God's mercy The anointing for the priesthood means therefore always also the task of bringing God's mercy to men."
This is true since the olive branch carried by the dove after the flood, which announced the new peace of God with the world of men. Thus, the Pope said, "not only the dove, but also the olive branch and the oil itself have become symbols of peace. The Christians of the early centuries loved decorating the graves of their dead with the crown of victory and the olive branch, symbol of peace. They knew that Christ has conquered death and their dead rested in the peace of Christ. They knew that Christ was waiting for them, He who promised them peace that the world cannot give. "
"Christians, therefore, should be people of peace, people who recognize and live the mystery of the Cross as the mystery of reconciliation. Christ does not win by the sword, but through the Cross. He wins by overcoming hatred. He wins by virtue of his greater love. The Cross of Christ expresses his "no" to violence. And so it is a sign of God's victory, announcing the new path of Jesus. The sufferer was stronger than those who held power. "
"Another symbolism associated with oil is that it strengthens for battle - continued Benedict XVI - This is not inconsistent with the theme of peace, but it is a part of it. The struggle of the Christians was and is non- violent, but in the fact that they were and are still are prepared to suffer for good, for God. It is in that fact that Christians, as good citizens, respect the law and do what is right and good. It is in the fact that they refuse to do what in current legislation is not a right, but an injustice. The struggle of the martyrs was in their concrete 'no' to injustice: rejecting participation in idolatrous worship, the worship of the emperor, refusing to bow before the false, the worship of human beings and their power. With their 'no' to what was false and all its consequences they raised the power of law and truth. Thus they served true peace. Even today it is important for Christians to follow the law, which is the foundation of peace. Even today it is important for Christians not to accept injustice that is elevated in law - for example, when it comes to the killing of innocent unborn children. In this way we serve peace, and thus we follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. "
"In the ancient Church consecrated oil was especially considered a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit, through which Christ communicates to us. He is the oil of gladness. This joy is something different from entertainment or outward happiness that modern society longs for. Fun in its right place, is certainly something good and enjoyable. It is good to laugh. But fun is not everything. It is only a small part of our lives, and where it wants to be everything it becomes a mask to hide despair or at least doubts about whether life really is good, or whether it would perhaps be better not to exist at all. The joy that comes to us from Christ, is different. It gives us joy, yes, but it certainly can live alongside pain. It gives us the ability to suffer and yet, in suffering, to remain deeply grateful. It gives us the ability to share the suffering of others and thus reveal the light and goodness of God through sharing".
AMERICA
CANADA: FR. LEONARD KENNEDY DIES

Father Leonard A. Kennedy, CSB a Basilian priest died on April 1, 2010. The author, Rev Dr Leonard Kennedy, taught philosophy in some Canadian universities and colleges. He had been involved in education for many years. He authored books on education and many journal articles. He was a contributing editor Catholic Insight Magazine.
ASIA
CHINA: BODIES OF CHILDREN FOUND ON RIVERBANK

Asia News report: Two hospital workers are arrested for dumping bodies on a bank of the Guangfu River (Shandong), apparently paid by parents to get rid of them. The human remains are thought to be those of aborted foetuses or of babies who died at the hospital. An angry public remembers the many cases of children abducted and sold into slavery. Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Two workers have been arrested and hospital officials have been suspended or dismissed at the Affiliated Hospital of Jining Medical University after the bodies of 21 babies and foetuses were found dumped on a bank of the Guangfu River. The authorities have tried to placate public opinion by blaming hospital staff and parents.
Jining government spokesman Gong Zhenhua told Xinhua that the two mortuary workers had "reached verbal agreements privately with relatives of the dead babies to dispose [of] the bodies” to avoid paying high cremation or burial fees. “They subsequently transported the bodies secretly to the Guangfu River,” but “failed to bury the bodies completely”.
The grim discovery was made by a local resident who first thought the bodies were dolls. "Then I found it was real. When I walked further, I found more bodies," he told reporters.
Television footage showed several bodies lying on the ground by the river, covered in mud, whilst emergency workers searched the area.
Eight of the bodies were said to be wearing identification bands showing they had come from the Affiliated Hospital of Jining Medical University. One body was stuffed in a yellow bag marked “medical waste”.
Public anger forced the authorities to suspend the hospital’s director and deputy director as well as another top official pending investigation.
Gong said the hospital staff had "violated regulations and carried out improper treatment" of the babies' bodies, which “indicates a lack of ethics and legal awareness of some hospital staff”.
Zhong Haitao, a senior official of the Jining health bureau, said the bodies could be those of aborted foetuses or of babies who died at the hospital.
Abortions are common in China, and cremation can be prohibitively expensive for poor families. Many prefer burial. However, the death of a young child is considered bad luck among some rural families, and the body is often abandoned or buried in unmarked graves.
Child abductions and trafficking are also widespread. Children are often sold into slavery or given to rich childless families. In some cases, missing children were used in scientific experiments. In one notorious incident, children’s remains were found in April 2006 in Lanshou (Gansu); the bodies had been cooked as part of some laboratory experiment. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Bodies-of-children-and-foetuses-found-on-riverbank-18040.html


EUROPE
BRUSSELS: 2, 000 ATTEND 1ST MARCH FOR LIFE
LifeSiteNews.com report: Organizers of the first March for Life in Brussels say they are pleased with the international turn-out at the event on Sunday, March 28, with crowds estimated to number about 2000. March organizer Elizabeth Hickson told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN), “We really had no idea what to expect but we were full of excitement despite all the lack of sleep and pressures.”
The event was intended to be a non-political, non-religious “neutral platform where many organizations could come together despite their differences and be united for the end to abortion,” Hickson said.
Marchers were addressed by the recently-appointed Archbishop of Brussels, André-Mutien Léonard, who read a letter from Pope Benedict XVI. After months of organization and publicity, organizers were delighted with the turn-out from student groups all over Europe. Police had told organizers they expected 300, but finally estimated the crowd as at least 1700.
“We put up our banners and passers-by started asking questions. A whole car of Russians driving by were so shocked so excited they decided to delay their trip and join us. The same thing happened with a group of vacationing Spaniards,” Hickson said.
Speakers included representatives of pro-life and youth groups around Europe, including Cry for Life and Silent No More in the Netherlands, Youth for Life Germany, Youth for Life Austria. Ireland, Spain, Poland, Belgium and the U.S. were also represented.
The Brussels March for Life was the brainchild of Michel de Keukelaere, Hickson said, who came up with the idea independently a year ago. In the end, it was the result of the work of a small group of students and local families who funded it out of their own pockets and with local private donations.
The Brussels group is already planning next year’s event, scheduled for March 27, 2011.
Hickson said, “We wish to say to the media and to the governments that we are a new generation for a culture and society for life. We love our countries and our women, and abortion is deeply wounding both.”
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/mar/10033007.html


AFRICA
SOMALIA: 25 PEOPLE KILLED IN CLAN FIGHTING

All Africa report: At least 25 people, mostly fighters from both sides, are killed while dozens others wounded on Wednesday after inter-clan fighting broke out in a village in central Somali region of Mudug, reports say.
The fighting started early Wednesday in Barag-Iise village, 80 km (50 miles) north of Haradheere town, a pirate stronghold where two clans, Dir and Habargidir residing from the same area disputed over animal watering point, leading to heavy confrontation between their heavily armed clan militia.

"The fighting was intense and everyside used both heavy and light weapons. I have seen the dead bodies of at least 23 people, including two civilians on one side," said an eyewitness.
The dead are mostly fighters from both sides while 40 others were wounded, reports added.
Tension is still high in the area with both clans reportedly amassing militias for another battle as residents vacate the area.
The latest clash comes just four weeks after a similar fierce gun battle between the two clans claimed at least 20 people.http://allafrica.com/stories/201004010931.html


AUSTRALIA: ESTIMATIONS THAT POPULATION WILL GROW
Cath News report: More parishes, schools and priests will be required to meet the needs of an expected 40 percent growth in Sydney's population in the next three decades, says the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC).
Press reports, meanwhile, say new forecasts estimate that the population in the city's south-west will more than double while the number in the city centre will increase by 60 percent, according to the Catholic Weekly.
The numbers are based on new population forecasts which show Sydney will approach six million by 2036, said the news report.
"A projected increase of 40 percent in the population of Sydney means a similar rise in the Catholic population, although the extent of the increase among Catholics will depend on which countries new arrivals to Australia will come from," Bob Dixon, director, Pastoral Projects Office for the ACBC, is quoted as saying.
"But I think we can safely talk about an increase of about half a million Catholics across the four dioceses of Sydney, Parramatta, Broken Bay and Wollongong.
"The first thought that comes to everyone's mind is that we will need more parishes, more schools and more priests. That is true, but we will also need many more highly trained lay people to take on positions of leadership in these schools and parishes.
"And the Church is not only interested in the Catholic population; our services, whether they be to immigrants, families, young people, the unemployed or anyone else, are available to anyone who needs them, regardless of their own religious tradition, or even whether they have one."
He added: "The central message about this projected growth for all sections of the Church, then, is that we need to plan to meet these emerging needs. If we don't, we will not be in a position to provide the many different forms of ministry that people will need." http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=20404


TODAY'S SAINT

St. Hugh of Grenoble
CONFESSOR, BISHOP
Feast: April 1
Information:
Feast Day:
April 1
Born:
1053 at Chateauneuf, Dauphiné, France
Died:
1 April 1132
Canonized:
1134 by Pope Innocent II

The first tincture of the mind is of the utmost importance to virtue; and it was the happiness of this saint to receive from his cradle the strongest impressions of piety by the example and care of his illustrious and holy parents. He was born at Chateau-neuf, in the territory of Valence, in Dauphine, in 1053. His father, Odilo, served his country in an honourable post in the army, in which he acquitted himself of his duty to his prince with so much the greater fidelity and velour, as he most ardently endeavoured to sanctify his profession, and all his actions, by a motive of religion. Being sensible that all authority which men receive over others is derived from God, with an obligation that they employ it, in the first place, for the advancement of the divine honour, he laboured, by all the means in his power, to make his soldiers faithful servants of their Creator, and by severe punishments to restrain vices, those especially of impurity and lying. By the advice of his son, St. Hugh, he afterwards became a Carthusian monk, when he was upwards of fourscore years old, and lived eighteen years in great humility and austerity under St. Bruno and his successors, in the Great Chartreuse, where he died one hundred years old, having received extreme unction and the viaticum from the hands of his son. Our saint likewise assisted in her last moments his mother, who had for many years, under his direction, served God in her own house, by prayer, fasting, and plenteous alms-deeds. Hugh, from the cradle, appeared to be a child of benediction. He went through his studies with great applause, and his progress in piety always kept pace with his advancement in learning. Having chosen to serve God in an ecclesiastical state, that he might always dwell in his house and be occupied in his praises, he accepted a canonry in the cathedral of Valence. In this station, the sanctity of his life and his extraordinary talents rendered him the ornament of that church; and the gentleness and affability of his deportment won him the affection of all his colleagues. He was tall and very comely, but naturally exceeding bashful; and such was his modesty that for some time he found means to conceal his learning and eloquence; nevertheless, his humility served only to show afterwards those talents to more advantage and with greater lustre. For no virtue shines brighter with learning than modesty, as nothing renders scholars more odious or despicable than haughtiness and pride, which they discover by their obstinacy and clamours, by the contempt with which they treat those who dissent from them in opinion, and by their ostentatious pedantry in embracing every occasion of exhibiting their supposed superior wit and extraordinary parts.
Hugh, then Bishop of Die, but soon after Archbishop of Lyons, and also cardinal legate of the holy see, was so charmed at first sight of the saint when he happened to come to Valence that he would not be contented till he had taken the good man into his household. He employed him in extirpating simony, and in many other affairs of importance. In 1080, the Legate Hugh held a synod at Avignon, in which he took under consideration the desolate condition and the grievous disorders into which the church of Grenoble was sunk through the sloth and bad example of its late mercenary pastor. The eyes of the legate and of the whole council were fixed on St. Hugh as the person best qualified, by his virtue and prudence, to reform these abuses and restore the ancient glory of that church; and with them the voice of the whole city conspired. But his reluctance and fears were not to be overcome till he was compelled by the repeated commands of the legate and council. The legate took our newly appointed bishop with him to Rome, in order to his receiving the episcopal consecration from the hands of Gregory VII, who then sat in the chair of St. Peter. The servant of God was glad of this opportunity of consulting the vicar of Christ concerning his own conscience; for during a great part of his life he had been extremely molested with troublesome temptations of importunate blasphemous thoughts against the divine providence. Pope Gregory, who was a man very well versed in the interior trial of souls, assured him that this angel of Satan was permitted by God, in his sweet mercy, to buffet him only for his trial and crown: which words exceedingly comforted the saint, and encouraged him to bear his cross with patience and joy. A devout soul. under this trial, which finds these suggestions always painful and disagreeable, ought not to lose courage; for by patience and perseverance she exceedingly multiplies her crowns, and glorifies God, who has laid it upon her shoulders, and who will, when he sees fit, scatter these mists, and on a sudden translate her from this state of bitterness and darkness into the region of light, Joy, and the sweetest peace. St. Hugh prayed earnestly to be freed from this enemy, but received for a long time the same answer with St. Paul.1 In the mean while, his patience and constancy were his victory and his crown: and assiduous meditation on the sufferings of our divine Redeemer, who was made for us a man of sorrows, was his comfort and support.
The pious Countess Maud would needs be at the whole charge of the ceremony of his consecration: she also gave him a crosier and other episcopal ornaments, with a small library of suitable books, earnestly desiring to be instructed by his good counsels and assisted by his prayers. St. Hugh, after his ordination, hastened to his flock; but being arrived at Grenoble, could not refrain his tears, and was exceedingly afflicted and terrified when he saw the diocese overrun with tares which the enemy had sown while the pastor slept. He found the people in general immersed in a profound ignorance of several essential duties of religion, and plunged in vice and immorality. Some sins seemed by custom to have lost their name, and men committed them without any scruple or sign of remorse. The negligence and backwardness of many in frequenting the sacraments indicated a total decay of piety, and could not fail introducing many spiritual disorders in their souls, especially a great lukewarmness in prayer and other religious duties. Simony and usury seemed, under specious disguises, to be accounted innocent, and to reign almost without control. Many lands belonging to the church were usurped by laymen; and the revenues of the bishopric were dissipated, so that the saint, upon his arrival, found nothing either to enable him to assist the poor, or to supply his own necessities, unless he would have had recourse to unlawful contracts, as had been the common practice of many others, but which he justly deemed iniquitous; nor would he by any means defile his soul with them. He set himself in earnest to reprove vice and reform abuses. To this purpose he endeavoured by rigorous fasts, watchings, tears, sighs, and prayer to draw down the divine mercy on his flock; and so plentiful was the benediction of heaven upon his labours that he had the comfort to see the face of his diocese in a short time exceedingly changed. After two years, imitating therein the humility of some other saints, he privately resigned his bishopric, presuming on the tacit consent of the holy see; and, putting on the habit of St. Bennet, he entered upon a noviciate in the austere abbey of Chaise-Dieu, or Casa-Dei, in Auvergne, of the reformation of Cluni. There he lived a year a perfect model of all virtues to that house of saints, till Pope Gregory VII commanded him, in virtue of holy obedience, to resume his pastoral charge. Coming out of his solitude, like another Moses descending from the conversation of God on the mountain, he announced the divine law with greater zeal and success than ever. The author of his life assures us that he was an excellent and assiduous preacher.
St. Bruno and his six companions addressed themselves to him for his advice in their pious design of forsaking the world, and he appointed them a desert which was in his diocese, whither he conducted them in 1084. It is a frightful solitude, called the Chartreuse, or Carthusian Mountains, in Dauphine, which place gave name to the famous order St. Bruno founded there. The meek and pious behaviour of these servants of God took deep root in the heart of our holy pastor; and it was his delight frequently to visit them in their solitude, to join them in their exercises and austerities, and perform the meanest offices amongst them, as an outcast and one unworthy to bear them company. Sometimes the charms of contemplation detained him so long in this hermitage that St. Bruno was obliged to order him to go to his flock, and acquit himself of the duties which he owed them. He being determined to sell his horses for the benefit of the poor, thinking himself able to perform the visitation of his diocese on foot, St. Bruno, to whose advice he paid an implicit deference, opposed his design, urging that he had not strength for such an undertaking. For the last forty years of his life he was afflicted with almost continual headaches, and pains in the stomach; he also suffered the most severe interior temptations. Yet God did not leave him entirely destitute of comfort; but frequently visited his soul with heavenly sweetness and sensible spiritual consolations, which filled his heart under his afflictions with interior joy. The remembrance of the divine love, or of his own and others' spiritual miseries, frequently produced a flood of tears from his eyes, which way soever he turned them; nor was he able sometimes to check them in company or at table, especially whilst he heard the holy scriptures read. In hearing confessions, he frequently mingled his tears with those of his penitents, or first excited theirs by his own. At his sermons it was not unusual to see the whole audience melt into tears together; and some were so strongly affected that they confessed their sins publicly on the spot. After sermons, he was detained very long in hearing confession. He often cast himself at the feet of others, to entreat them to pardon injuries, or to make some necessary satisfaction to their neighbours. His love of heavenly things made all temporal affairs seem to him burdensome and tedious. Women he would never look in the face, so that ho knew not the public news or reports, for fear of detraction, or at least of dissipation. His constant pensioners and occasional alms (in the latter of which he was extremely bountiful) were very expensive to him: insomuch, that though, in order to relieve the poor, he had long denied himself every thing that seemed to have the least appearance of superfluity, still, for the extending his beneficent inclination, he even sold, in the time of famine, a gold chalice, and part of his episcopal ornaments, as gold rings and precious stones. And the happy consequence of St. Hugh's example this way was, that the rich were moved by it to bestow of their treasures to the necessitous, whereby the wants of all the poor of his diocese were supplied.
He earnestly solicited Pope Innocent II for leave to resign his bishopric, that he might die in solitude; but was never able to obtain his request. God was pleased to purify his soul by a lingering illness before he called him to himself. Some time before his death he lost his memory for everything but his prayers; the psalter and the Lord's prayer he recited with great devotion, almost without intermission; and he was said to have repeated the last three hundred times in one night. Being told that so constant an attention would increase his distemper, he said, "It is quite otherwise; by prayer I always find myself stronger." In the time of sickness, a certain forwardness and peevishness of disposition is what the best of us are too apt to give way to, through weakness of nature and a temptation of the enemy, who seeks to deprive a dying person of the most favorable advantages of penance and patience, and to feed and strengthen self-love in the soul while upon the very cross itself; and in the crucible in. which she is thrown by a singular mercy, in order to her coming forth refined and pure. In this fiery trial, the virtue of the saints shows itself genuine, and endued with a fortitude which renders it worthy its crown. By the same test is pretended virtue discovered: self-love can no longer disguise itself: it cries out, murmurs, frets, and repines: the mask which the hypocrite wore is here pulled off: saints, on the contrary, under every degree of torture cruelty can invent, preserve a happy patience and serenity of soul. Hence the devil would not allow the virtue of Job to be sincere before it had been approved under sickness and bodily pain.2 St. Hugh left us by his invincible patience a proof of the fervour of kits charity. Under the sharpest pains, he never let fall one word of complaint nor mentioned what he suffered; his whole concern seemed only to be for others. When any assisted him, he expressed the greatest confusion and thankfulness: if he had given the least trouble to anyone, he would beg to receive the discipline, and because no one would give it to him, would confess his fault, as he called it, and implore the divine mercy with tears. The like sentiments we read in the relation of the deaths of many of the holy monks of La Trappe. Dom. Bennet, under the most racking pains, when turned in his bed, said, "You lay me too much at my ease." Dom. Charles would not cool his mouth with a little water in the raging heat of a violent fever. Such examples teach us at least to blush at and condemn our murmurs and impatience under sickness. The humility of St. Hugh was the more surprising, because everyone approached him with the greatest reverence and affection, and thought it a happiness if they were allowed in any thing to serve him. It was his constant prayer, in which he begged his dear Carthusians and all others to join him, that God would extinguish in his heart all attachment to creatures, that his pure love might reign in all his affections. One said to him, "Why do you weep so bitterly, who never offended God by any wilful crime?" He replied, "Vanity and inordinate affections suffice to damn a soul. It is only through the divine mercy that we can hope to be saved, and shall we ever cease to implore it?" If anyone spoke of news in his presence, he checked them, saying, "This life is all given us for weeping and penance, not for idle discourses." He closed his penitential course on the 1st of April, in 1132, wanting only two months of being eighty years old, of which he had been fifty-two years bishop. Miracles attested the sanctity of his happy death; and he was canonized by Innocent II in 1134.http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/H/sthughofgrenoble.asp


TODAY'S GOSPEL
HOLY THURSDAY

John 13: 1 - 15
1
Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
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And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,
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Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,
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rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel.
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Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded.
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He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?"
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Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand."
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Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part in me."
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Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!"
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Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not every one of you."
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For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, "You are not all clean."
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When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?
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You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.
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If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
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For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.
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