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Monday, May 17, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. MAY 17, 2010









CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. MAY 17, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: THE CHURCH IS A PLACE OF HOPE & other VIS news-
ASIA: CHINA: NEW BISHOP ORDAINED IN ACCORD WITH ROME-
AMERICA: USA: USCCB RELEASES REPORT ON CATHOLIC-MUSLIM DIALOGUE-
EUROPE: ENGLAND: NUMBER OF CATHOLIC MPs INCREASES-
AFRICA: SOUTH AFRICA: ARCHBISHOP CONDEMNS HUMAN TRAFFICKING-
AUSTRALIA: REVIEW OF SCHOOLING IN NEW SOUTH WALES-

VATICAN
POPE: THE CHURCH IS A PLACE OF HOPE

VATICAN CITY, 15 MAY 2010 (VIS report) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope to participants in the "Kirchentag", an ecumenical event being celebrated in Munich, Germany, from 12 to 16 May in the presence of Christians from various denominations, and followers of other religions.
Referring to the theme of the event - "that you may have hope" - the Holy Father highlights how "over recent months we have repeatedly had to absorb news that seeks to extract the joy from the Church, casting a shadow over her as a place of hope".
"Today, if we pay close attention, if we do not perceive only the darkness but also what is light and good in our time, we see how faith makes men and women pure and generous, and educates them to love", he writes. "Weeds exist also in the bosom of the Church and among those whom the Lord has called to His special service. But the light of God has not gone out, the good wheat has not been choked by the weeds of evil".
"Is the Church, then, a place of hope?", the Pope asked. "Yes", he said, "because from her the Word of God comes ever and anew, purifying us and showing us the path of faith. She is a place of hope because in her the Lord continues to give Himself to us in the grace of the Sacraments, in the words of reconciliation, in the multiple gifts of His consolation. Nothing can darken or destroy all this, and so we should be glad amidst all the tribulations.
"To speak of the Church as a place of hope that comes from God", he adds, "involves an examination of conscience. What must I do with the hope the Lord has given us? Do I really allow myself to be moulded by His Word? What weeds grow in me? Am I willing to uproot them? Am I grateful for forgiveness and ready, in my turn, to forgive and to heal rather than to condemn?"
The Pope explains how "we ourselves cannot achieve the greatest things (friendship, love, joy and happiness), they come to us only as a gift. ... Today almost no-one speaks of eternal life which, in the past, was the true object of hope. Since people no longer dare believe in it, they must hope to obtain everything in this life. Setting aside hope in eternal life leads to greed for life here and now, which almost inevitably becomes selfish and, in the end, unattainable. Precisely when we want to take possession of life as a kind of treasure it escapes us".
"God is alive. God loves us. In Jesus Christ He became one of us. I can address Him and He listens to me. For this reason, like Peter, in the confusion of our own times which encourage us to believe in many other paths, we say to Him: 'Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God'".In closing his Message, the Holy Father expresses the hope that everyone at the Munich meeting "may be overcome with the joy of being able to know God, to know Christ. ... This is our hope and our joy in the midst of the confusion of the present".
MESS/ VIS 20100517 (570)


ASCENSION: CHRIST REMAINS PRESENT IN HUMAN HISTORY
VATICAN CITY, 16 MAY 2010 (VIS report) - At midday today the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.
Today, the Pope explained, Italy and other countries are celebrating Jesus' Ascension to heaven forty days after Easter. He also pointed out that today is the World Day of Social Communications which has as its theme this year: "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word".
"The liturgy recounts the episode of the last separation of the Lord Jesus from His disciples", said the Pope. "But this is not an abandonment, because He remains with them always in a new form. ... The Lord draws the gaze of the Apostles towards heaven showing them the path of goodness to be followed during their earthly life.
"And yet He remains in the fabric of human history. He is close to each of us and guides our Christian journey. He is companion to those persecuted for their faith, He is in the heart of the marginalised, He is present in those whose right to life is denied. We can listen to, see and touch the Lord Jesus in the Church, especially through the word and sacramental gestures of her pastors".
In this context, the Pope particularly exhorted young people receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation to "remain faithful the Word of God and the doctrine they have learned", and he invited them "assiduously to go to Confession and take the Eucharist, aware of having been chosen and created to bear witness to Truth".
The Holy Father also renewed his call to priests to ensure that their "lives and activity are distinguished by a determined witness to the Gospel, and that they may know how to used the communications media to make the life of the Church known and help the men and women of today discover the face of Christ".
ANG/ VIS 20100517 (340)


POPE THANKS CHURCH AND ITALIAN PEOPLE FOR THEIR SUPPORT
VATICAN CITY, 16 MAY 2010 (VIS report) - After praying the Regina Coeli today, the Pope thanked the 200,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square and Via della Conciliazione for their "presence and trust".
"Today", he said, "my first greetings go out to the lay faithful who have come here from all over Italy, and to Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco who has accompanied them as president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, A heartfelt thank-you, dear brothers and sisters, for your warm and abundant presence.
"Responding to the invitation of the National Consultative Council of Lay Associations", he told them, "you have enthusiastically joined this beautiful and spontaneous demonstration of faith and solidarity, which also includes a large group of parliamentarians and local administrators. To all of you I wish to express my most heartfelt recognition. I likewise greet the thousands of immigrants connected with us from the square of St. John Lateran where they are gathered with Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of Rome, for the 'Feast of Peoples'."Dear friends", he added, "today you are expressing the Church's and the Italian people's great affection and profound closeness to the Pope and to your priests who daily take care of you so that, committed to spiritual and moral renewal, we may better serve the Church, the People of God and everyone who turns to us with trust".
The Holy Father continued his remarks: "The real enemy to be feared and fought is sin, spiritual evil, which at times, unfortunately, also infects members of the Church. We live in the world, the Lord says, but we are not of the world, although we must guard ourselves from its temptations, Yet we must fear sin and so be strongly rooted in God, firm in goodness, love and service. This is what the Church, her ministers and the faithful have done and continue to do ... for the spiritual and material good of people all over the world. And this is what you especially seek to do in parishes, associations and movements: serve God and man in the name of Christ".
The Pope concluded: "Let us trustingly continue this journey together, and may the trials, which the Lord allows, encourage us to greater resolve and coherence. It is a beautiful thing to see the multitudes in St. Peter's Square, just as it was moving for me to see the immense multitudes at Fatima, who, at the school of Mary, prayed for the conversion of hearts. Today I renew that appeal, comforted by your numerous presence. Thank you".
ANG/ VIS 20100517 (440)

BENEDICT XVI RECEIVES PRESIDENT OF BOLIVIA
VATICAN CITY, 17 MAY 2010 (VIS report) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:
"This morning Evo Morales Ayma, president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, was received in audience by the Holy Father Benedict XVI. The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
"The cordial discussions provided an opportunity for a fruitful exchange of opinions on questions concerning the current international and regional situation, and on the need to develop greater social awareness for the protection of the environment.
"Attention then turned to various aspects of the situation in Bolivia itself, in particular collaboration between Church and State in the areas of education, healthcare, and social policies in defence of the weakest".

OP/ VIS 20100517 (150)


VESAKH: CHRISTIANS, BUDDHISTS AND RESPECT FOR ENVIRONMENT
VATICAN CITY, 17 MAY 2010 (VIS report) - Made public today was the annual Message to Buddhists for the Feast of Vesakh, issued by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the council.
Vesakh, the main Buddhist festivity, marks three fundamental moments in the life of Gautama Buddha. It is held during the full moon of the month of May because, according to tradition, the Buddha was born, achieved enlightenment, and passed away in that period.
This year's message is entitled "Christians and Buddhists Respect Human Life as the Basis of Respect for all Beings".
"Let us take this opportunity", the message reads, "to reflect together on a theme of particular relevance today, namely, the environmental crisis that has already caused notable hardship and suffering throughout the world. The efforts of both of our communities to engage in inter-religious dialogue have brought about a new awareness of the social and spiritual importance of our respective religious traditions in this area. We recognise that we hold in common a regard for values like respect for the nature of all things, contemplation, humility, simplicity, compassion, and generosity. These values contribute to a life of non-violence, equilibrium, and contentment with sufficiency".
"The Catholic Church considers the protection of the environment as intimately linked to the theme of integral human development; and for her part, she is committed not only to promoting the protection of land, water and air as gifts destined for everyone, but also to encouraging others to join the efforts to protect mankind from self-destruction. Our responsibility to protect nature springs, in fact, from our respect for one another; it comes from the law inscribed in the hearts of all men and women".
"Both Christians and Buddhists have a profound respect for human life", the document goes on. "It is crucial therefore that we encourage efforts to create a sense of ecological responsibility, while at the same time reaffirming our shared convictions about the inviolability of human life at every stage and in every condition, the dignity of the person and the unique mission of the family, where one learns to love one's neighbour and to respect nature.
"May we together promote a healthy relationship between human beings and the environment", the message adds n conclusion. "By enhancing our efforts to promote ecological consciousness for serenity and peaceful coexistence, we can give witness to a respectful way of life that finds meaning not in having more, but in being more. By sharing the insights and commitments of our respective religious traditions, we can contribute to the well-being of our world".
CON-DIR/ VIS 20100517 (450)

AUDIENCES
VATICAN CITY, 17 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
- Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, president of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), accompanied by Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia, and Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, France, vice-presidents.
AP/ VIS 20100517 (70)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 17 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the fourth centenary of the archdiocese of Arequipa, Peru, due to take place from 14 to 18 July.

ASIA
CHINA: NEW BISHOP ORDAINED IN ACCORD WITH ROME

CNA report: During his ordination ceremony last week, a new Chinese bishop spoke on the importance of reconciliation within the Church in China, referencing the Holy Father's letter to the Catholic community in 2007.

Bishop Joseph Cai Bingrui, 44, was ordained in the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Xiamen on May 8, on the Feast of Our Lady of China, reported Fides News. He was appointed by the Holy See as Bishop of the Diocese of Xiamen in the southern coastal area of Fujian, of which he had been administrator for several years.
Bishop Cai said on Saturday that he was optimistic about the path of reconciliation within the diocesan community, referencing the apostolic letter that the Holy Father sent to the Church in China in 2007, which invited Catholic Christians to forgiveness and reconciliation.
The Catholic Church in China has faced many difficulties in recent years, including divisions within the Church caused in large part by persecution from the Chinese Communist government.
Bishop Cai added that priorities under his leadership will be to promote vocations, to strengthen the training of priests and the laity and to rebuild the structures of the diocese, which have remained without a pastor for almost 20 years.
Last week's ordination was attended by more than 2,000 faithful and 60 priests, with the liturgy being presided over by Bishop John Fang Xingyao, Bishop of Linyi.
Bishop Cai was born September 15, 1966 into a family with a longstanding Catholic history. After completing his studies at the seminary of Shanghai, he was ordained August 15, 1992. Soon after the death of Bishop Joseph Huang Ziyu in 1991, he was given the leadership of the diocese as diocesan administrator.
The new Chinese bishop entrusted the diocesan community to the motherly protection of Our Lady of China during his ordination, expressing hope that he can carry out, with dedication and love, the pastoral service that he has been assigned, reported Fides News.
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/new-chinese-bishop-speaks-on-reconciliation-within-the-countrys-catholic-church/
AMERICA
USA: USCCB RELEASES REPORT ON CATHOLIC-MUSLIM DIALOGUE

USCCB report: Mid-Atlantic Catholic-Muslim Dialogue Discusses Interreligious Education, Makes Statement on Stereotypes

Must understand roots of another’s faith tradition before teaching about it
Agree to root out religious stereotypes that permeate media
WASHINGTON—Interreligious education and the danger of stereotypes were discussed at the 14th annual meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Dialogue between Catholics and Muslims, in Somerset, NJ, May 5-6.
The meeting began with remarks by the Bishop Denis Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, who spoke on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, and Dr. Talat Sultan of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
Bishop Madden in remarks entitled, “Religious Education as a Path to Mutual Respect and Understanding among Catholics and Muslims,” said Catholic education’s emphasis on the integral formation of the whole person whose final destiny in heaven, and toward the common good of societies.
Dr. Sultan noted Islamic teaching that all humanity springs from a single source and stressed that mutual respect is imperative. He noted that before people teach about other religions, they should use primary sources to correctly understand other faiths.
Christian Brother David Carroll, the Aquinas Chair of Catholic Studies, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Brooklyn, spoke on “The Educational Mission of the Church.” He explained how principles in Pope John Paul II’s encyclical “Redemptoris Missio” are lived out in the work of the Brothers of Christian Schools in Africa and Asia. Even though the original Christian populations for which the schools were founded have moved on, he said, the schools continue to serve the local population and provide a unique opportunity for promoting interreligious dialogue and understanding. This thought was echoed by two of the imams, Shaykh Abdur Rahman Khan from Guyana and Imam Zafeer Ali Hafiz from India, who had attended Catholic schools in their home countries. Both noted what they gained from the Catholic Church through their education, and Rahman Khan recalled that “at no time was I ever asked to convert. I think I am a better Muslim because of my education in Catholic schools.”
On the first evening, the area ICNA chapter and the USCCB co-hosted a dinner for local religious and political leaders, where they explained the work of the dialogue and highlighted the charitable works of ICNA in the United States and abroad through the Helping Hands and ICNA Relief USA. During the dialogue members voiced concern about negative stereotypes and misrepresentations of Catholics and Muslims found in textbooks, films, internet and print media. Both groups said that the proliferation of negative stereotypes, distorted information and caricatures of both traditions needed to be addressed. They adopted a statement committing themselves to work for mutual understanding between their two faith traditions, to support one another in confronting negative stereotypes in all media, to work with the leaders of their congregations in this effort, and to continue to review educational materials used by their congregations and educational institutions to ensure that each are presenting materials that accurately represent what the other believes.
In addition to the co-chairs, the Muslim representatives at the meeting included ICNA President Dr. Zahid Bukhari; Imam Hamad Ahmad Chebli, Islamic Society of Central New Jersey; Dr. Safaa Zarzour, President of the Islamic Society of North America; Shaykh Abdur Rahman Khan, Resident Scholar, Islamic Foundation Villa Park, Chicago; Iman Zafeer Ali Hafiz, ICNA Headquarters; Dr. Naeem Baig,Vice President, ICNA; Moein Khawaja, Council on American-Islamic Relations; and Imam Sohaib Sultan, Mulsim Chaplain, Princeton University. Additional Catholic representatives included Al Grindon, Institute on Religion and Civic Values; Rev. Sidney Griffith, Chairman of the Institute of Christian Oriental Research, Catholic University of America: Dr. Pim Valkenberg, PhD, Loyola University, Maryland: Dr. Sandra Keating, PHD, Providence College; Rev. Tom Ryan, CSP, Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer, Paulist Fathers; and Rev. Leo Walsh, USCCB staff.
The Mid-Atlantic Dialogue between Catholics and Muslims has been sponsored jointly by the USCCB Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and ICNA since 1996. Its latest statement, Marriage: Roman Catholic and Sunni Muslim Perspectives, is due to be published shortly. More information is available on the USCCB Website at http://www.usccb.org/seia/ and at http://www.whyislam.org/.
http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-096.shtml

EUROPE
ENGLAND: NUMBER OF CATHOLIC MPs INCREASES

Catholic Herald report: The number of Catholics elected to the House of Commons has risen from 64 to 68 despite prominent figures such as Ruth Kelly and Ann Widdecombe stepping down. Forty of the MPs are Labour, and only 19 are Conservative.

There are five Lib Dems, three from Northern Ireland's SDLP,and one Scottish Nationalist. The most senior Catholic in the Conservative Party is Patrick McLoughlin, MP for Derbyshire Dales, who has served as Opposition Chief Whip since 2005. Seventeen of the 68 are newly elected.
The three Catholic MPs who made their case in the Herald in April - Jon Cruddas for Labour, Julian Brazier for the Conservatives, and Sarah Teather for the Lib Dems - all won their seats. Miss Teather fought a tight contest against incumbent Labour MP Dawn Butler to win Brent Central by 1,345 votes.
http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/articles/a0000819.shtml





AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: ARCHBISHOP CONDEMNS HUMAN TRAFFICKING

All Africa report: The Catholic Archbishop of Johannesburg has said trafficking is a "degrading form of modern slavery" which Christians should oppose.

Archbishop Buti Tlhagale, called on the South African government to root out "this form of corruption and slavery" in his homily at a Mass to pray for an end to trafficking.
He said politicians' neglect of such violence "strongly suggests complicity."
An estimated 40,000 sex workers will be imported to South Africa during the World Cup, the South African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) reports.
While the World Cup was "highly admirable in itself," Archbishop Tlhagale said, the event can bring out "the worst" in some human beings.
"Men and women without integrity, see an opportunity to make a fortune by selling children and women for sexual pleasures of men who probably care less about the games themselves.
"Human Trafficking is intrinsically evil," the archbishop declared.
"What kind of civilization permits the destruction of life in the womb, imports millions of condoms from Britain for the world Cup event? What kind of a civilization can tolerate forcing children and women into selling sex? If this is a civilization at all, then it is a decadent civilization."
The prelate charged that the government had not lived up to its slogan "People First," because not the vulnerable but politicians and dignitaries come first in the country.
"It is sheer hypocrisy to claim to protect all people and yet only a few enjoy exceptional protection," he added.
"The nobility of a society will be judged by how it protects its vulnerable children and women, instead of displaying its security machinery for the world to see by protecting the elite."
"We each have a responsibility to resist and to campaign tirelessly against such evil practices," he continued, calling on Christians to combat "this dangerous and degrading form of modern slavery."
A bill to prosecute perpetrators of trafficking and to assist its victims has been discussed in South Africa for many years and the cleric expressed hope that the passage of the bill would be the last phase.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201005170734.html

AUSTRALIA
REVIEW OF SCHOOLING IN NEW SOUTH WALES

Cath News report: Executive director of Catholic schools in the Parramatta diocese, Greg Whitby, has welcomed the review of the School Certificate, which he says does not reflect the current model of schooling.

NSW Education Minister, Verity Firth, announced the review yesterday to be conducted by the Board of Studies which may result in the abolition of the end-of-year exams for Year 10 students, said the Parramatta Diocese Catholic Education.
"Contemporary schooling is vastly different to schooling in the '60s, when the School Certificate was first introduced," said Mr Whitby.
"We are undergoing a transformation in the way we deliver learning and teaching to meet the needs of today's students to adequately prepare them for life and work in the 21st century.
"This not only has a huge impact on the way we assess and report on student achievement, but also on the way we structure schooling altogether," he said.
"With changes to the school leaving age to 17 and greater flexibility in the delivery of learning and teaching beyond the classroom, such as third party providers and online learning, we have to continue to reflect on how we capture and report on the broad range of skills and knowledge students develop in this new model of schooling."
Peter Brogan, principal at St Agnes Catholic High, Rooty Hill which is a Year 7-10 school, also welcomed the review saying that it would allow for greater flexibility in providing relevant assessments of students.
"If the review leads to the removal of the School Certificate, in its current form, it would give us an opportunity to broaden the curriculum for students in Year 10," said Mr Brogan. "My sense would be that it will allow greater flexibility for schools to implement programs that are relevant to the learning needs of our students."
http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=21352



TODAY´S SAINT

St. Paschal Baylon

FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER AND MYSTIC
Feast: May 17
Information: Feast Day: May 17
Born: 1540, Torrehermosa, Aragon
Died: 17 May 1592
Canonized: October 16, 1690 by Alexander VIII
Major Shrine: Royal Chapel in Villareal
Patron of: Patron of Eucharistic congresses and Eucharistic associations
The state of poverty was honored by the choice of our blessed Redeemer, and hath been favored with his special blessing. It removes men from many dangers and temptations, and furnishes them with perpetual occasions for the exercise of self-denial, patience, penance, resignation to the divine will, and every other heroic Christian virtue: yet these great means of salvation are by many, through ignorance, impatience, and inordinate desires, often perverted into occasions of their temporal and eternal misery. Happy are they who, by making a right use of the spiritual advantages which this state, so dear to our divine Redeemer, offers them, procure to themselves present peace, joy, and every solid good; and make every circumstance of that condition in which providence hath placed them a step to perfect virtue and to everlasting happiness. This in an eminent degree was the privilege of St. Paschal Baylon. He was born in 1540, at Torre-Hermosa, a small country town in the kingdom of Aragon. His parents were day-laborers, and very virtuous; and to their example our saint was greatly indebted for the spirit of piety and devotion, which he seemed to have sucked in from his mother's milk. Their circumstances were too narrow to afford his being sent to school; but the pious child, out of an earnest desire of attaining to so great a means of instruction, carried a book with him into the fields where he watched the sheep, and desired those that he met to teach him the letters; and thus, in a short time, being yet very young, he learned to read. This advantage he made use of only to improve his soul in devotion and piety: books of amusement he never would look into; but the lives of the saints, and, above all, meditations on the life of Christ were his chiefest delight. He loved nothing but what was serious and of solid advantage, at a time of life in which many seem scarce susceptible of such impressions. When he was of a proper age, he engaged with a master to keep his flocks as under-shepherd: he was delighted with the innocent and quiet life his state permitted him to lead. That solitary life had charms for him. Whatever he saw was to him an object of faith and devotion. He read continually in the great book of nature; and from every object raised his soul to God, whom he contemplated and praised in all his works. Besides external objects, he had almost continually a spiritual book in his hands, which served to instruct and to inflame his veal in the love and practice of virtue. His master, who was a person of singular piety, was charmed with his edifying conduct, and made him an offer to adopt him for his son, and to make him his heir. But Paschal, who desired only the goods of another life, was afraid that those of this world would prove to him an incumbrance; he therefore modestly declined the favor, desiring always to remain his humble state, as being more conformable to that which Christ chose for himself on earth, who came not into the world to be served, but to serve. He was often discovered praying on his knees under some tree, while his flocks were browsing on the hills. It was by this secret entertainment of his soul with God, in the most profound humility, and perfect purity of his affections, that he acquired a most sublime science and experience in spiritual things, at which those who were the most advanced were struck with admiration. He could truly say with David: 1 He spoke of God and of virtue with an inimitable unction and experimental light, and with sentiments which the Holy Ghost alone forms in souls which are perfectly disengaged from earthly things, and replenished with his heavenly fire. Often was he seen ravished in holy prayer; and frequently was not able to conceal from the eyes of men the vehement ardor of the divine love with which his soul melted in an excess of heavenly sweetness. He felt in himself what many servants of God assure us of, that "the consolation which the Holy Ghost frequently infuses into pious souls, is greater than all the pleasures of the world together, could they be enjoyed by one man. It makes the heart to dissolve and melt through excess of joy, under which it is unable to contain itself." In these sentiments did this servant of God sing with David: 2 The reward of virtue is reserved for heaven; but some comforts are not denied during the present time of trial. Even in this vale of tears, Isa. li. 3. It is sufficiently understood that the saint did not receive these heavenly comforts without severe interior trials, and a constant practice of self-denial, by which his heart was crucified to the world. The dew of extraordinary spiritual comforts never falls on unmortified souls, which seek the delights of this world. St. Paschal in his poverty joined alms with his continual prayer; and not having any other means to relieve the poor, always gave them a good part of his own dinner which was sent him into the fields.
How great soever his love was for his profession, he found however several difficulties in it which made him think of leaving it. He was not able, notwithstanding all the care he could take, to hinder a flock of goats he had in charge from sometimes trespassing on another's ground. This occasioned his giving over the inspection of that flock. But he found other troubles in taking care of other cattle. Some of his companions, not baying the same piety with himself, were but too much addicted to cursing, quarrelling, and fighting; nor were they to be reclaimed by his gentle rebukes on these accounts. He was therefore determined to leave them, not to participate in their crimes. And to learn the will of God in this important choice of a state of life in which he might most faithfully serve him, he redoubled lids prayers, fasts, and other austerities. After some time spent in this manner, ho determined to become a religious man. Those to whom he first disclosed his inclination to a religious state, pointed out to him several convents richly endowed. But that circumstance alone was enough to disgust him; and his answer was: "I was born poor, and I am resolved to live and die in poverty arid penance." Being at that time twenty years of age he left his master, his friends, and his country, and went into the kingdom of Valentia, where was an austere convent of barefoot reformed Franciscans, called Soccolans, which stood in a desert solitude, but at no great distance from the town of Montfort. He addressed himself to the fathers of this house for spiritual advice; and, in the mean time, he entered into the service of certain farmers in the neighborhood to keep their sheep. He continued here his penitential and retired life in assiduous prayer, and was known in the whole country by the name of the Holy Shepherd. To sequester himself from the world, he made the more haste to petition for the habit of a lay-brother in the house above-mentioned: and was admitted in 1564. The fathers desired to persuade him to enter himself among the clerks, or those who aspired to holy orders, and sing the divine office in the choir; but they were obliged to yield to his humility, and admit him among the lay-brothers of the community. He was not only a fervent novice, which we often see, but also a most fervent religious man, always advancing, and never losing ground. Though his rule was most austere, he added continually to its severity, but always with simplicity of heart, without the least attachment to his own will; and whenever he was admonished of any excess in his practices of mortification, he most readily confined himself to the letter of his rule. The meanest employments always gave him the highest satisfaction. Whenever he changed convents, according to the custom of his order, the better to prevent any secret attachments of the heart, he never complained of any thing, nor so much as said that he found any thing in one house more agreeable than in another; because, being entirely dead to himself; he everywhere sought only God. He never allowed himself a moment of repose between the Church and cloister duties, and his work; nor did his labor interrupt his prayer. He had never more than one habit, and that always threadbare. He walked without sandals in the snows, and in the roughest roads. He accommodated himself to all places and seasons, and was always content, cheerful, mild, affable, and full of respect for all. He thought himself honored if employed in any painful and low office to serve any one.
The general of the order happening to be at Paris, Paschal was sent thither to him about some necessary business of his province. Many of the cities through which he was to pass in France, were in the hands of the Huguenots, who were then in arms. Yet he offered himself to a martyrdom of obedience, travelled in his habit, and without so much as sandals on his feet, was often pursued by the Huguenots with sticks and stones, and received a wound on one shoulder of which he remained lame as long as he lived. He was twice taken for a spy; but God delivered him out of all dangers. On the very day on which he arrived at his convent from this tedious journey, he went out to his work and other duties as usual. He never spoke of any thing that had happened to him in his journey unless asked; and then was careful to suppress whatever might reflect on him the least honor or praise. He had a singular devotion to the mother of God, whose intercession he never ceased to implore that he might be preserved from sin. The holy sacrament of the altar was the object of his most tender devotion; also the passion of our divine Redeemer. He spent, especially towards the end of his life, a considerable part of the night at the foot of the altar on his knees, or prostrate on the ground. In prayer he was often favored with ecstasies and raptures. He died at Villa Reale, near Valentia, on the 17th of May, in 1592, being fifty-two years old. His corpse was exposed three days, during which time the great multitudes which from all parts visited the church, were witnesses to many miracles by which God attested the sanctity of his servant. St. Paschal was beatified by Pope Paul V. in 1618, and canonized by Alexander VIII. in 1690.
http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpaschalbaylon.asp

TODAY´S GOSPEL

John 16: 29 - 33

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29 His disciples said, "Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure!

30 Now we know that you know all things, and need none to question you; by this we believe that you came from God."

31 Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?

32 The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.

33 I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
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