Sunday, July 18, 2010




Radio Vaticana report: In his second Angelus address from his Summer villa in Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict XVI once again spoke about vacation time, reminding the thousands of pilgrims who packed the courtyard and square outside the palace, to give pride of place to the Word of God and not their daily activities:

“Dear brothers and sisters!
We are now in the heart of summer, at least in the northern hemisphere. This is the time when schools are closed and most on holidays. Even the pastoral activities of the parishes are reduced, and I too have suspended my audiences for a period. So it is a favourable moment to give first place to what is actually most important in life, i.e listening to the Word of God. This Sunday’s Gospel also recalls us of this, the acclaimed episode of Jesus' visit to the house of Martha and Mary, narrated by Saint Luke (10:38-42).
Martha and Mary are two sisters, they also have a brother, Lazarus, but does not appear in this he case. Jesus passes through their village and - the text says - it hosted Martha (cf. 10:38). This detail suggests that of the two, Marta is the oldest, the one who rules the house. In fact, after Jesus has settled, Mary sits down at his feet and listens to him, while Martha is busy with many tasks, due to the certainly exceptional Guest. We seem able to picture the scene: a sister who moves about busily, as the other is held hostage by the presence of the Master and his words. After a while Martha, apparently resentful, most can no longer resist and protests, even feeling entitled to criticize Jesus: "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me". Martha would even teach the Master! Instead, Jesus calmly responds: "Martha, Martha - and this repeating of her name expresses affection - you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her"( 10.41-42). Christ's words are clear: no contempt for the active life, let alone for the generous hospitality, but a sharp reminder to the fact that the only thing that is really needed is another: listening to the Word of the Lord; and the Lord in that moment is there, present in the person of Jesus! Everything else will pass and will be taken from us, but the Word of God is eternal and gives meaning to our daily activities.
Dear friends, as I said, this Gospel page is very much attuned to the vacation period, because it recalls the fact the human person must work, engage in domestic and professional activities, but needs God first of all, who is the interior light of Love and Truth. Without love, even the most important activities lose their value, and give no joy. Without a deeper meaning, everything boils down to do our sterile and unruly activism. And who gives us Love and Truth, but Jesus Christ? May we learn therefore, brethren, to help each other, to cooperate, but before everything else to choose together the best part, which is and will always be our greatest asset.
I am pleased to greet the English-speaking visitors here in Castel Gandolfo. In today’s Gospel we are reminded of the need to rest from our daily labours, so that we may give time to the one thing that is truly necessary in our lives – listening to the word of God in attentive stillness. It is Mary, not Martha, who chose the better part. At this time when many of you are on holiday, I pray that you and your loved ones may be truly refreshed in body and spirit, so that you may return with renewed vigour to the responsibilities of your daily lives. May God bless you all!


CBN report: BP's latest attempt to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is holding up so far, but sadly, damage has already been done for many coastal cities and residents.

Because of that, churches across the country will gather to pray for the Gulf, Sunday July 18. Learn more about the day of prayer for the Gulf Coast here.
The national day of prayer was put together by the National Association of Evangelicals and the Evangelical Environmental Network.
Galen Carey, director of government affairs for the NAE, spoke with CBN News about the event and how people will be participating.  

Corporate Prayer

Father God, creator of all things,
You make all things new, renew us.
We turn to you seeking your direction for a crisis in our nation.
Our brothers and sisters around the Gulf of Mexico struggle in fear, grief and despair.
Life dreams and vocations have been destroyed for generations to come.
Natural marshes and beautiful lands necessary for life have been affected for decades.
Wildlife, both birds of the air, and creatures of the sea continue to face suffering and death.
Almighty God, renew our lives to be the good stewards as you created us.
And as we turn humbling ourselves, and placing our lives into your care, we pray:
For the oil flow to stop, give us the wisdom to end this tragedy.
For the people in despair that you would provide peace and hope.
We seek restoration for the sea, the land, and all who live and inhibit them.
We turn to you, O God, for you are our hope, our peace, our joy, and our salvation.


O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
When we consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what are human beings that you are mindful of us, mere mortals that you should care for us?
Yet you made us ruler over the works of your hands. As stewards, you created us in your image to tend all creation, including the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
But today when we look at the birds of the Gulf and all the creatures that swim its paths, we know that we have not reflected how you would care for your creation. Your creation groans, waiting for us to become what you created us to be.
Forgive us, Lord, for this stain on our stewardship.
O Lord, our Lord, the spill in the Gulf is also making a tremendous impact upon the people who live there, leading some to great depths of despair. Like the Israelites who wept in captivity by the waters of Babylon when remembering Zion and could not sing your song in a foreign land, we grieve for the Gulf. The spill has made it feel like the waters of Babylon.
And so we cry out with those in despair, out of the depths of this spill we cry to you, O Lord.
O Lord, hear our voice. Let your ears be attentive to our cries for mercy. If you O Lord, keep a record of sins, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness. And so we wait for you, Lord, our souls wait, and in your word we put our hope. More than the watchman waits for the morning does our soul wait for you. As with Israel of old, we put our hope in your unfailing love. Like the psalmist, we will lift up our eyes to the hills and ask, from where will our help come? Our help comes from you, who made heaven and earth. So we give thanks to you, O Lord, for you are good.
Your steadfast love endures forever.
The spill will not endure, but your steadfast love endures forever. And we pray, O Lord our Lord, whose name is majestic throughout your creation, that your help will come to us in the form of comfort, in the form of wisdom to know how we can do better, and in the power of your love to help us chart a new path forward.
It is in your most precious and holy name we pray, amen.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him, we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. (2 Corinthians 1:10-11)
"Heal our Land" by Michael Card
"O God, Our Help, In Ages Past" by Isaac Watts
"Who Am I Lyrics" by Casting Crowns
"This Is My Father’s World"
"America the Beautiful"
"God of Wonders" by Third Day
"How Great Thou Art"
All Africa report: The following statement was issued by Archbishop Buti Tlhagale, President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, concerning rumours of post World Cup xenophobia and the possibility of violence in South Africa:

Recently there have been rumours in various sections of our community of the possibility of xenophobic attacks once the World Cup is over. Immediately after such a successful hosting of the World Cup, where South Africans demonstrated to the world and to each other what can be achieved when we all work together, we call on the Government, employers and citizens to listen with renewed vigour to these voices expressing legitimate grievance and act for our common good.
We, the Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa, join our voices to those of South Africans everywhere, asking that those tempted to violence for whatever reason find other means of expressing their grievances. We call on government and communities at all levels to confront the issue of violence in a proactive and productive manner that will make for peace and tolerance. Let us all use the goodwill shown during the World Cup to build a better country.
South Africa, as a whole, needs to find positive and constructive ways to raise and debate issues as one community. Catholic Social Teaching encourages the right and responsibility of all sections of a community, including the poorest, to find a voice in the public domain in order to express their legitimate needs and grievances.
Rumours and assertions must be tested. We cannot allow the rumours to become fact.
Many of the targets of previous xenophobic attacks have been "foreigners", people from other countries now living legally in South Africa. It is commonly said that these people take away the jobs of South Africans and that they bring criminal behaviour into the Country.
Current evidence suggests that the foreign born are no more likely to be involved in crime as any other part of the population and that they are generally more likely to create employment opportunities rather than take away employment.
It is also misleading to assert that the cause of xenophobia is a hatred of foreign-born persons living in South Africa. In the past violence against foreign communities in the name of protests against poor service delivery suggests that we must be vigilant and work harder to improve the lot of the poorest of South African residents.
Catholic Social Teaching has provided criteria that must be met for people to move between countries both to improve their own opportunities and when they are forced by the situation in their own country to flee.
It is incumbent on our government to manage the legal flow of people in and out of the country. Proper management will ensure that legitimate migrants are provided with proper documentation and the ability to settle peacefully into the South African community having gone through the proper application processes.
It is equally proper that our government, as part of its international responsibilities, open our borders to those who are fleeing persecution and the breakdown of the economy of their own countries through no fault of their own. South Africa's own recent history clearly demonstrates how such movement can be of long-term benefit to all the countries and people involved.
Our Police Service has demonstrated a gratifying professionalism and dedication during the World Cup. We call on authorities such as the Police Service and local government to remove any vestige of the culture of impunity that sometimes developed in the past around crimes associated with xenophobic violence. Violence against foreigners and their businesses should not be seen as tool to elicit local political or economic advantage. Rather they should be seen for what they are: criminal acts that demean and disadvantage us all.
As custodians and teachers of truth and human dignity, we pledge the support of the Church to build greater local integration, tolerance and participation in public life.
A combination of tolerance from our communities and resolute action on the part of government can help ensure that the positive experiences of so many visitors to South Africa in recent months can continue to be replicated in our local communities.
Our successful hosting of the World Cup has shown a continent and country united. We are proud of South Africa and call on all South Africans to take this positive winning attitude forward in 2010.
Archbishop Buti Tlhagaleis the Catholic Archbishop of Johannesburg and President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference.


A parish priest has appealed for an end to the “cycle of violence” that is gripping his province and country, while he prepared a funeral Mass for assassinated councilor Fernando Baldomero.

Father Carlos Retorico of St. Isodore in Lezo, Aklan province called on Baldomero’s family and supporters to let authorities handle the case and resist the urge to avenge the killing.
“May the cycle of violence end with the Baldomero family,” he said. “I hope supporters of both the victim and his assailants will join the funeral rites on July 17th and pray together for Baldomero.”
Baldomero, 61, was shot in front of his 12-year-old son as they prepared to ride their motorcycle to school on July 5. Two men were seen fleeing immediately afterwards.
Baldomero’s supporters suspect military involvement, as he had a long, adversarial relationship with them. In 2004, the military brought charges of arson and murder against him, which were dismissed in court.
The military, however, suggests that communist groups could be behind the killing, as Baldomero was formerly a prominent Communist Party member and they are known for “purging” their ranks.
A spokesperson for Baldomero’s left-wing Bayan Muna – Nation First – party said it was the first documented killing of a political activist since the start of President Aquino’s administration, 16 days ago.
An estimated 1,200 activists and journalists have been listed killed since 2001, over 140 of them belonging to Bayan Muna.
Police say they expect thousands of mourners, supporters and spectators to gather in Lezo for the funeral Mass and procession to the cemetery.


Cath News report: Scandinavia might not be the first place you think of when you mention the Catholic Church. But the northern European countries have a long Catholic heritage, one that is documented in 100 years worth of publications that were recently donated to the Vatican Library by a New York-based association of Scandinavian Catholics.

Recent waves of immigration have augmented the Church population in Scandinavia.
The St. Ansgar’s Bulletin, the only English-language publication about the Catholic Church in Scandinavia, is ceasing publication after 100 years of circulation. It has been published by the St. Ansgar’s Scandinavian Catholic League in New York.
In May, Viggo Rambusch presented the century’s worth of bulletins and an archival CD of St. Ansgar’s publications to the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.
The bulletin was started in 1910 by Rambusch’s grandfather, Frode Rambusch. A Danish immigrant and convert, he and three friends founded St. Ansgar’s Scandinavian Catholic League at the request of New York’s archbishop at the time, Cardinal John Farley.
Over the years, St. Ansgar’s Bulletin has kept readers informed of developments in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland and the recent growth in the Catholic Church in those primarily Protestant, secularized countries.
“There was a rich Catholic tradition in Scandinavia from when Denmark converted until about 1540, when the king of Sweden wanted the wealth accumulated in monasteries and cathedrals,” explained Viggo Rambusch, who serves as the league’s treasurer.
Catholicism was banned, monasteries and cathedrals confiscated, and bishops martyred.
A turnaround began in 1850, when the practice of Catholicism was again permitted in Scandinavia. After the Second World War, the Vatican established dioceses in each country.

Cath News report: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says his leadership would offer the youth of Australia "an opportunity to re-engage with the fundamental views of our society".

"Young people are dismissive of these values we are founded on, which is wrong," he was reported as saying in The Northern Star.
The report cites a young adult, 20 year-old Jessica Crawford, who is getting ready to cast her first vote at the next election.
"I don't like the whole political system as it is," she said. "As long as they have a two-party opposing system I am not going to like it.

"I think Tony Abbott is outrageous," she said, referring to Mr Abbott's remarks about abortion. He said in 2006 that Australia has bizarre double standards because a person can be convicted of murder for killing a pregnant woman, but a woman who aborts an unborn baby is simply exercising choice.
But Mr Abbott adds: "I have said a lot of things, but know that for abortion, if it ever comes before the Parliament, it's a conscience vote," he said.
"I have never wanted to do anything other than to empower people to make the right choice."


St. Bruno of Segni


Information: Feast Day: July 18
Born: 1049 at Solero, Piedmont, Italy
Died: 1123
Canonized: 5 September 1183 by Pope Lucius III
Patron of: Segni, Italy
Benedictine bishop, serving as Vatican librarian and cardinal legate. Born in Asti (Solero), Italy, in 1049, Bruno became a Benedictine while still young, and in 1079, Pope St. Gregory VII (r. 1073 - 1085) appointed him bishop of Segni. He left that see to reenter the monastic-life, becoming the abbot of Monte Cassino. Burno served as librarian to the Holy Roman See and as cardinal legate. Bruno's theologial work on teh Holy Eucharist set the standard for centuries. He was canonized in 1183.


Genesis 18: 1 - 10

1 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.

2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth,

3 and said, "My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.

4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree,

5 while I fetch a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on -- since you have come to your servant." So they said, "Do as you have said."

6 And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes."

7 And Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it.

8 Then he took curds, and milk, and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

9 They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "She is in the tent."

10 The LORD said, "I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.

Psalms 15: 2 - 5

2 He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right, and speaks truth from his heart;

3 who does not slander with his tongue, and does no evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;

4 in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change;

5 who does not put out his money at interest, and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.

Colossians 1: 24 - 28

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

25 of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,

26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints.

27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

28 Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ

Luke 10: 38 - 42

38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house.

39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching.

40 But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me."

41 But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;

42 one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her."
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