Tuesday, January 11, 2011









TODAY'S GOSPEL: JAN. 11: MARK 1: 21- 28


RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope delivers ‘state of the world’ address
Pope Benedict XVI delivered his annual address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See Monday, telling representatives from the 178 states that now more than ever the right to religious freedom needs to be respected and implemented.

The January appointment with diplomats is traditionally when the Pope gives what has become known as his ‘state of the world’ address. Casting his gaze around the world – with one eye firmly on the future – Pope Benedictonce again singled out religious freedom as the most pressing issue on a global level.

Delivering his speech in French, Pope Benedict denounced the targeted killing of Christians in, even within their places of worship in Iraq, Egypt and Nigeria. He mourned the recent assassination of a Pakistani governor committed to repealing a blasphemy law which the Pope said is used as an “excuse to cause injustice and violence”. Pope Benedict also reiterated his concern for the moment of “difficulty and trial” that the faithful of China are currently experiencing.

But he noted all these situations, as diverse as they may be, have one common denominator, a lack of respect for the fundamental human right of freedom of religion and worship.

He said “The religious dimension is an undeniable and irrepressible feature of man’s being and acting …Consequently, when the individual himself or those around him neglect or deny this fundamental dimension, imbalances and conflicts arise at all levels, both personal and interpersonal”.

Beginning in the East, Pope Benedict praised the European Union’s efforts for the defence of Christians in the Middle East, but also underlined that the right to religious freedom is not fully respected when only freedom of worship is guaranteed, and that with restrictions. He spoke specifically of the Arabian Peninsula, where numerous Christian immigrant workers live, expressing his hope that the Catholic Church will soon be able to establish suitable pastoral structures for them.

From East to West, the Pope then spoke of other kinds of threats to the full exercise of religious freedom; its marginalisation from public life, the tendency to tendency to consider religion, all religion, as something insignificant, alien or even destabilizing to modern society, or worse attempts to override religious and moral convictions. Here Pope Benedict spoke specifically of situations when Christians are denied their right to conscientious objection, such as the case of healthcare or legal professionals and once again praised the Europan Council for its adoption of a resolution in October last that protects the right to conscientious objection to acts which “gravely violate the right to life, such as abortion”.

However the global panorama traced by Pope Benedict Monday was not completely without glimmers of hope. For example, the news that Vietnam has agreed to the appointment of a papal representative after more than 60 years and the support of some European countries in favour of the displaying of religious symbols in public places.

Concluding Pope Benedict once again repeated to the representatives of the 178 states, “religion, does not represent a problem for society, is not a source of discord or conflict” and “the Church seeks no privileges, nor does she seek to intervene in areas unrelated to her mission, but simply to exercise her mission with freedom”.


VATICAN CITY, 11 JAN 2011 (VIS) - A year after the earthquake which devastated Haiti on 12 January 2010 leaving 250,000 people dead and more than a million homeless, Benedict XVI has sent Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", who will bring a Message from the Pope and economic aid to the people so gravely afflicted twelve months ago, according to a communique released by "Cor Unum".

The cardinal arrived in Haiti yesterday when he visited a number of religious communities in Leogane: the Sisters of Christ the King whose hospital was destroyed, the "Petites Soeurs de Sainte-Therese de l'Enfant Jesus" who run a clinic for people suffering from AIDS and tuberculosis, and the "Compagnes de Jesus" who had an old people's home and a school destroyed by the quake. During the course of the day Cardinal Sarah laid the cornerstone of the "Ecole Notre Dame des Anges". In the Holy Father's name, he also brought concrete support in the form of donations received following the earthquake: 800,000 U.S. dollars for the rebuilding of schools and 400,000 U.S. dollars for the reconstruction of churches.

Today, 11 January, the president of "Cor Unum", accompanied by Msgr. Segundo Tejado, under secretary of the dicastery, will meet Rene Preval, president of the Republic of Haiti. The cardinal will then visit the Parc Acra displaced persons camp where he will celebrate Mass.

On Wednesday 12 January, Cardinal Sarah will read out the Pope's Message during a Mass to commemorate the first anniversary of the earthquake. He will then meet with bishops and seminarians as well as with directors of Caritas and of international and volunteer organisations.

His final engagement in Haiti will take place on 13 January when he will celebrate Mass in the convent of the "Paridean" Daughters of Mary who lost fifteen religious in the disaster, while twelve other sisters were seriously injured.

The visit also has the aim of thanking everyone who collaborated in the huge efforts of the emergency period, and of renewing the Church's commitment in the reconstruction, encouraging a new phase of charitable commitment.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: People from all walks of life take part in the 14-hour procession dedicated to the miraculous statue, whose feast day is celebrated every year on 9 January. More than 400 people are hurt by pressing crowds. People come because “they see themselves in the image of the suffering and struggling Black Nazarene,” Manila archbishop says.

Manila (AsiaNews/ Agencies) – More than two million people braved rain, wind and crowds in order to touch the statue of Jesus, and ask for a miracle. Every year, the statue, known as the Black Nazarene, is carried in procession through the streets of Quiapo (Manila).

The celebration began at dawn last Sunday and went on for 14 hours, attracting people from every walk of life, shouting “Viva the Nazarene”. Devotees followed the statue for about five kilometres from Quiapo’s minor basilica to the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park. About 400 devotees were hurt attempting to touch the statue.

“Every year, the number of devotees grows because they see themselves in the image of the suffering and struggling Black Nazarene,” Card Gaudencio Rosales, archbishop of Manila, told reporters. The majority of them are “poor, ordinary Filipinos.”

The statue presents Jesus bent under the weight of the Cross. A Spanish Augustinian priest brought it to Manila in1607 on a ship from Mexico.

According to tradition, a fire broke out on board but the image of Christ was miraculously spared, just taking on a darker hue.

Despite the damage, the people of Manila decided to keep the image and honour it. Since then, it has been called the Black Nazarene and many people believe they were healed just by touching it.

Over the centuries, the aura of miracle surrounding the image of Christ has made the statue into a symbol of the Filipino people.

A few years ago, the country’s bishops accepted to have a copy made for Mindanao Christians, who are too far away to take part in the Quiapo procession. Instead, celebrations are held simultaneously in Cagayan de Oro on 9 January, the feast day of the Black Nazarene, and on Good Friday.


IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: The Act of Succession, which bans Catholics from succeeding to the British Throne was discussed in the House of Lords last night. Lords Dubs suggested that the law was discriminatory and said, given that there was a bar on Roman Catholics, it was odd that there is no bar against Jews, Muslims, Hindus or even atheists.

The text of the exchange follows:

Lord Dubs: To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any proposals to amend the Act of Settlement to afford equal rights to the Throne for daughters of the Sovereign and Roman Catholics.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): My Lords, the Government do not have any plans to amend the Act of Settlement.

Lord Dubs: My Lords, does the Minister agree that, as a country, we oppose discrimination on grounds of gender or religion? It is curious, to say the least, that we allow such discrimination to continue in the succession to the Throne. Does he also agree that, given that there is a bar on Roman Catholics, it is odd that there is no bar against Jews, Muslims, Hindus or even atheists? Does he further agree that the matter is of some urgency? If His Royal Highness Prince William and his bride have children, it would be invidious to change the arrangements then. The time to do it is surely now.

Lord McNally: My Lords, I might agree with many of the propositions that the noble Lord has put forward, but as the previous Administration recognised, we are dealing with Acts of Parliament that govern not only us but a number of countries where the Queen is Head of State. For that reason, we have been proceeding with extreme caution.

The Lord Bishop of Manchester: My Lords, does the Minister accept that the central provision for the establishment of the Church of England is that the Sovereign, as Supreme Governor, should join in communion with that church? Does the Minister agree that, unless the Roman Catholic Church is prepared to soften its rules on its members' involvement with the Church of England, whose orders it regards as null and void, it is hard to see how the Act of Settlement can be changed without paving the way for disestablishment, which, though it might be welcome to some, would be of great concern to many and not just to Anglicans or, indeed, to other Christians?

Lord McNally: My Lords, that intervention shows the wisdom of proceeding with extreme caution on these matters.

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean: My Lords, is my noble friend aware that, shortly after joining this House more than 10 years ago, I introduced a Private Member's Bill that was torpedoed very effectively by my noble friend Lord St John of Fawsley and which sought to prevent the heir to the Throne marrying a Roman Catholic? The then Government used exactly the same argument, saying that it required countries in which the Queen is Head of State to pass legislation and that they would take the matter forward. It is more than 10 years since that commitment was made. What progress was made and what was done?

Lord McNally: My Lords, first, I welcome the noble Lord down from his mountain in Antarctica. Messages from the mountain top are always welcome. We are talking about an Act that is 300 years old and that has served this country not too badly when one considers the 60 years of religious and communal strife that went before it. Therefore, although 10 years seems a long time, there have been consultations. I thought that, at least in this House, talking of progress in terms of centuries would be much appreciated. As is known, the previous Administration initiated discussions among Commonwealth countries. Those discussions are proceeding under the chairmanship of the New Zealand Government and we will continue to keep the matter under consideration.

Source: CoE Comms


  • NEWS.COM.AU REPORT: Brisbane deserted as floods arrive
  • 10 dead, 67 missing in Queensland
  • AN eerie calm enveloped Brisbane's Central Business District this morning as the inner city awoke to a watery sun.

The CBD generally comes alive on weekdays about 6am with cafes and coffee shops doing a roaring trade with morning workers, the Courier-Mail reports.

The back streets behind the shopping centres are generally crammed with deliverymen and the main arterial roads carry thousands of vehicles as tradesmen head north and south to work sites.

However, this morning the roads were virtually deserted and as one observer remarked you could actually hear a pin drop.

A Courier Mail team counted just 11 cars heading south on Ann Street over a five minutes period - usually at the same time of the morning it would be 800.

The northern end of the city around the Eagle St area was like a ghost city.

Police have warned all Brisbane residents to avoid travelling to the city center if at all possible today as a record flood threat looms.

Police and SES volunteers are also evacuating homes in Brisbane's west as Brisbane mayor Campbell Newman warns some areas could go completely under.

Read more:


CNS REPORT -- Frustration and aggravation are simmering across Haiti a year after a terrifying earthquake ripped apart the country's most densely populated region and as a persistent cholera epidemic endangers the health of virtually everyone in the impoverished nation.

Life in a tattered tent in a crowded makeshift camp with no alternative on the horizon, threats to personal safety and the need to scramble for food and clean water are fueling the growing anger, said Archbishop Louis Kebreau of Cap-Haitien, president of the Haitian bishops' conference.

"The people of Haiti are tired of misery," Archbishop Kebreau said in a Jan. 4 interview with Catholic News Service during a visit to the Washington headquarters of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "They are tired of living in their tents. The people are saying they are not happy. They're frustrated and angry. That provokes violence."

More than 1 million people continue to live in hundreds of settlements that sprouted after the 35-second magnitude 7 earthquake. At least 230,000 people were killed.

He expressed concern that the surge of hopefulness felt by Haitians at the world's compassionate response immediately after the Jan. 12 quake has given way to a feeling of abandonment. People don't think their pleas are being heard any longer, he said.

Citing the widespread cholera epidemic that has claimed 3,650 lives since mid-October, Archbishop Kebreau called upon Haitian authorities to openly discuss the source of the disease and acknowledge the concerns of Haitians.

Although tests showed the cholera strain originated in south Asia and was traced to the Artibonite River in central Haiti, authorities have declined to link the outbreak to the alleged dumping of human waste from an outpost of U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal located on the waterway.

"The problem is that the government knows it comes from Nepal," he said. "But the government doesn't have the guts to say it openly. You have the United Nations troops from Nepal so people are reacting to that because the government hasn't acted.

"Truth and openness," he added, "would resolve a lot of trouble."

The archbishop's unease about the potential for violence stems in part from Haiti's 207-year history, which has been scarred by strong-armed rule and violent efforts to overthrow that rule. Only recently has the country experienced relative calm and peaceful government transitions.

However, violence flared again in early December. Hundreds of protesters blocked streets and set fires in the capital of Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitien and other communities to express their dissatisfaction with the results of the Nov. 28 presidential election amid charges of fraud.

The country's Provisional Electoral Council determined that Jude Celestin, a protege of outgoing President Rene Preval, had narrowly finished second among 18 candidates, ahead of popular carnival singer Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly. Preval, who has maintained a low profile throughout his two terms as president, has been widely criticized for not taking a leading role in earthquake recovery efforts.

Haiti's new president will be chosen in a runoff between Celestin and former first lady Mirlande Manigat, who topped all candidates in first-round balloting. Originally scheduled for Jan. 16, the runoff has been postponed to allow more time to prepare ballots and polling stations.

While declining to comment on the candidates, Archbishop Kebreau said he feared the election, whenever it occurs, could spark renewed violence if charges of fraud resurface.

Still, there's more than the election contributing to the restive atmosphere, according to Archbishop Kebreau. In addition to Haitian government officials, the United Nations and even aid agencies often are skewered by Haitians who believe international parties have failed to deliver on promises to rebuild the country, he said.

"Just imagine all the millions that supposedly are arriving (in Haiti)," he said. "Where are they going?"

Archbishop Kebreau urged government, U.N. and aid representatives to begin talking with average Haitians to discover their needs. He also offered the Haitian Catholic Church as a bridge between the parties.

"The problem we have is the church is marginalized," he said. "They (government officials and aid workers) don't make contact with us. The church is present and filled with the people and we could give them information. We can help them, but they don't ask us.

"One gets the impression that they are more interested in making money than taking care of people," he said.

Archbishop Kebreau, who has rallied the church to meet pastoral needs despite the country's enormous poverty, is buoyed by the prospect of rebuilding parish infrastructure in the earthquake zone under a newly formed commission. Known in English as the Program for the Reconstruction of the Church in Haiti, or PROCHE, which means "close by" in French, the commission will review and approve parish projects to ensure that building plans meet modern construction codes.

PROCHE primarily will administer an estimated $33 million contributed by American Catholics designated for reconstruction. About 70 parishes were destroyed in the quake.

Crafted in a venture between the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services, PROCHE could serve as a model for all of Haiti, he said.

"It's a unique opportunity for the church to use this experience to give the world a different perspective (of Haiti)," the archbishop said.

"We must learn from one another," he added. "We need to learn from everyone without distinction of race or color."


Agenzia Fides REPORT - “The people are voting en-masse and so far the voting procedures have taken place in calm,” Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio told Fides, in southern Sudan, where yesterday, 9 January, the referendum began on the region's independence. “The fears of possible attacks by Ugandan rebels of the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army), thank God have not been verified, although we should be vigilant because the voting will not end until 15 January,” said Bishop Kussala. For several years the LRA have been conducting raids on the area.

In this regard Bishop Kussala says that “according to what I have been told by an Acholi leader from northern Uganda, the LRA leadership seems to be divided between two options: attack during the referendum or wait for its conclusion and see if a new military operation will be taken against them by the armies of the Countries threatened by this group (Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and South Sudan) with American support. In this case, the LRA will attack different parts of southern Sudan. It seems to have prevailed the second option.” The Acholi are the main population of northern Uganda and the LRA leadership is composed of members from this ethnic group.

Bishop Kussala also reports that in his diocese, one notices the return of southern Sudanese who lived in the north, to the extent of “20-40 people a day.” “These people,” says the Bishop of Tombura-Yambio, “find themselves in serious trouble because they have only a few personal effects with them. They are hosted by relatives and acquaintances, but our territory will find it difficult to absorb this flow of people, also because various agricultural infrastructure have been destroyed by previous LRA raids.”

According to Bishop Kussala about 30,000 southern Sudanese living in Khartoum intend to return to the south before the conclusion of the referendum. “We do not have the means and facilities, however, to welcome and support all these people,” concludes the Bishop.


St. Theodosius the Cenobiarch


Feast: January 11


Feast Day:January 11

423 at Garissus, Cappadocia (modern Turkey)

Died:529 at Cathismus

St Theodosius was born at Mogariassus, called in latter ages Marissa, in Cappadocia, in 423. He imbibed the first tincture of virtue from the fervent example and pious instructions of his virtuous parents. He was ordained reader, but some time after being moved by Abraham's example to quit his country and friends, he resolved to put this motion in execution. He accordingly set out for Jerusalem, but went purposely out of his road to visit the famous St. Simeon Stylites on his pillar, who foretold him several circumstances of his life, and gave him proper instructions for his behaviour in each. Having satisfied his devotion in visiting the holy places in Jerusalem, he began to consider in what manner he should dedicate himself to God in a religious state. The dangers of living without a guide made him prefer a monastery to a hermitage; and he therefore put himself under the directions of a holy man named Longinus, to whom his virtue soon endeared him in a very particular manner. A pious lady having built a church under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, on the high road to Bethlehem, Longinus could not well refuse her request that his pupil should undertake the charge of it; but Theodosius, who loved only to obey, could not be induced by any entreaties to consent to this proposal: absolute commands were necessary to force him to a compliance. Nor did he govern long; for dreading the poison of vanity from the esteem of men, he retired into a cave at the top of a neighbouring desert mountain, and employed his time in fasting, watching, prayers, and tears, which almost continually flowed from his eyes. His food was coarse pulse and wild herbs: for thirty years he never tasted so much as a morsel of bread. Many desired to serve God under his direction: he at first determined only to admit six or seven, but was soon obliged to receive a greater number, and at length came to a resolution, which charity extorted from him, never to reject any that presented themselves with dispositions that seemed sincere. The first lesson which he taught his monks was that the continual remembrance of death is the foundation of religious perfection; to imprint this more deeply in their minds, he caused a great grave or pit to be dug, which might serve for the common burial-place of the whole community, that by the presence of this memorial of death, and by continually meditating on that object, they might more perfectly learn to die daily. The burial-place being made, the abbot one day, when he had led his monks to it, said, The grave is made, who will first perform the dedication?" Basil, a priest, who was one of the number, falling on his knees, said to St. Theodosius, "I am the person, be pleased to give me your blessing." The abbot ordered the prayers of the church for the dead to be offered up for him, and on the fortieth day Basil wonderfully departed to our Lord in peace without any apparent sickness. When the holy company of disciples were twelve in number it happened that at the great feast at Easter they had nothing to eat; they had not even bread for the sacrifice: some murmured; the saint bid them trust in God and he would provide; which was soon remarkably verified by the arrival of certain mules loaded with provisions. The lustre of the sanctity and miracles of St. Theodosius drawing great numbers to him who desired to serve God under his direction, his cave was too little for their reception, therefore, having consulted heaven by prayer, he, by its particular direction, built a spacious monastery at a place called Cathismus, not far from Bethlehem, at a small distance from his cave, and it was soon filled with holy monks. To this monastery were annexed three infirmaries: one for the sick, the gift of a pious lady in that neighbourhood; the two others St. Theodosius built himself, one for the aged and feeble, the other for such as had been punished with the loss of their senses, or by falling under the power of the devil, for rashly engaging in a religious state through pride, and without a due dependence on the grace of God to carry them through it. All succours, spiritual and temporal, were afforded in these infirmaries, with admirable order, care, and affection. He erected also several buildings for the reception of strangers, in which he exercised an unbounded hospitality, entertaining all that came, for whose use there were one day above a hundred tables served with provisions: these, when insufficient for the number of guests, were more than once miraculously multiplied by his prayers. The monastery itself was like a city of saints in the midst of a desert, and in it reigned regularity, silence, charity, and peace. There were four churches belonging to it, one for each of the three several nations of which his community was chiefly composed, each speaking a different language; the fourth was for the use of such as were in a state of penance, which those that recovered from their lunatic or possessed condition before-mentioned, were put into, and detained till they had expiated their fault. The nations into which his community was divided were the Greeks, which was by far the most numerous, and consisted of all those that came from any provinces of the empire; the Armenians, with whom were joined the Arabians and Persians; and, thirdly, the Bessi, who comprehended all the northern nations below Thrace, or all who used the Runic or Sclavonian tongue. Each nation sung the first part of the mass to the end of the gospel in their own church, but after the gospel all met in the church of the Greeks, where they celebrated the essential part of the sacrifice in Greek, and communicated all together.

The monks passed a considerable part of the day and night at their devotions in the church, and at the times not set apart for public prayer and necessary rest every one was obliged to apply himself to some trade or manual labour, not incompatible with recollection that the house might be supplied with conveniences. Sallust, Bishop of Jerusalem, appointed St. Sabas superior general of the hermits and our saint of the Cenobites, or religious men living in community throughout all Palestine, whence he was styled the Cenobiarch. These two great servants of God lived in strict friendship, and had frequent spiritual conferences together; they were also united in their zeal and sufferings for the church.

The Emperor Anastasius patronised the Eutychian heresy, and used all possible means to engage our saint in his party. In 513 he deposed Elias, Patriarch of Jerusalem, as he had banished Flavian II, Patriarch of Antioch, and intruded Severus, an impious heretic, into that see, commending the Syrians to obey and hold communion with him. SS. Theodosius and Sabas maintained boldly the right of Elias, and of John his successor; whereupon the imperial officers thought it most advisable to connive at their proceedings, considering the great authority they had acquired by their sanctity. Soon after, the emperor sent Theodosius a considerable sum of money, for charitable uses in appearance, but in reality to engage him in his interest. The saint accepted of it, and distributed it all among the poor. Anastasius, now persuading himself that he was as good as gained over to his cause, sent him a heretical profession of faith, in which the divine and human natures in Christ were confounded into one, and desired him to sign it. The saint wrote him an answer full of apostolic spirit; in which, besides solidly confuting the Eutychian error, he added that he was ready to lay down his life for the faith of the church. The emperor admired his courage and the strength of his reasoning, and, returning him a respectful answer, highly commended his generous zeal, made some apology for his own inconsiderateness, and protested that he only desired the peace of the church. But it was not long ere he relapsed into his former impiety, and renewed his bloody edicts against the orthodox, dispatching troops everywhere to have them put in execution. On the first intelligence of this, Theodosius went over all the deserts and country of Palestine, exhorting every one to be firm in the faith of the four general councils. At Jerusalem, having assembled the people together, he from the pulpit cried out with a loud voice: "If any one receives not the four general councils as the four gospels, let him be anathema." So bold an action in a man of his years inspired with courage those whom the edicts had terrified. His discourses had a wonderful effect on the people, and God gave a sanction to his zeal by miracles: one of these was, that on his going out of the church at Jerusalem, a woman was healed of a cancer on the spot by only touching his garments. The emperor sent an order for his banishment, which was executed; but, dying soon after, Theodosius was recalled by his catholic successor, Justin, who, from a common soldier, had gradually ascended the imperial throne.

Our saint survived his return eleven years, never admitting the least relaxation in his former austerities. Such was his humility that, seeing two monks at variance with each other, he threw himself at their feet, and would not rise till they were perfectly reconciled; and once having excommunicated one of his subjects for a crime, who contumaciously pretended to excommunicate him in his turn, the saint behaved as if he had been really excommunicated, to gain the sinner's soul by this unprecedented example of submission, which had the desired effect. During the last year of his life he was afflicted with a painful distemper, in which he gave proof of a heroic patience, and an entire submission to the will of God. Perceiving the hour of his dissolution at hand, he gave his last exhortations to his disciples, and foretold many things, which accordingly came to pass after his death; this happened in the one hundred and fifth year of his age, and of our Lord 529. Peter, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the whole country, assisted with the deepest sentiments of respect at the solemnity of his interment, which was honoured by miracles. He was buried in his first cell called the Cave of the Magi, because the wise men who came to adore Christ soon after his birth were said to have lodged in it. A certain count being on his march against the Persians, begged the hair shirt which the saint used to wear next his skin, and believed that he owed the victory which he obtained over them to the saint's protection through the pledge of that relic. Both the Romans and Greek calendars mention his festival on the 11th of January.

It is the opinion of St. Gregory the Great that the world is to some persons so full of ambushes and snares, or dangerous occasions of sin, that they cannot be saved but by choosing a safe retreat. Yet there are some who find the greatest dangers in solitude itself; so that it is necessary for every one to sound his own heart, take a survey of his own forces and abilities, and consult God, that he may best be able to learn the designs of his providence with regard to his soul; in doing which, a great purity of intention is the first requisite. Ease and enjoyment must not be the end of Christian retirement, but penance, labour, and assiduous contemplation; without great fervour and constancy in which, close solitude is the road to perdition. If greater safety, or an unfitness for a public station, or a life of much business (in which several are only public nuisances), may be just motives to some for embracing a life of retirement, the means of more easily attaining to perfect virtue may be such to many. Nor do true contemplatives bury their talents, or cease either to be members of the republic of mankind, or to throw in their mite towards its welfare.

From the prayers and thanksgivings which they daily offer to God for the peace of the world, the preservation of the church, the conversion of sinners, and the salvation of all men, doubtless more valuable benefits often accrue to mankind than from the alms of the rich or the labours of the learned. Nor is it to be imagined how far and how powerfully their spirit, and the example of their innocence and perfect virtue, often spread their influence; and how serviceable persons who lead a holy and sequestered life may be to the good of the world; nor how great glory redounds to God by the perfect purity of heart and charity to which many souls are thus raised.


TODAY'S GOSPEL: JAN. 11: MARK 1: 21- 28

Mark 1: 21 - 28
21And they went into Caper'na-um; and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.22And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.23And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit;24and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God."25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!"26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.27And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him."28And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

No comments: