DONATE TO JCE NEWS

Saturday, May 21, 2011

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: SAT. MAY 21, 2011











VATICAN: POPE: SPEAKS WITH ASTRONAUTS IN SPACE: FULL MESSAGE

AMERICA: USA: RAPTURE/END-OF-WORLD PREDICTION FAILS

AFRICA: UGANDA: SYNOD REMEMBERS 100 YEARS OF EVANGELISATION

TODAY'S GOSPEL: MAY 21: JOHN 14: 7-14


Radio Vaticana report: This is the story of the latest milestone in a Vatican - space connection.One which began at the time of the 1969 moonwalk when Paul VI made history by sending a the first papal radio message to astronauts hurtling through space.
Over forty years on, on Saturday 21st May 2011, Benedict XVI continued that trend going one step further: a two way approach to space in a conversation with astronauts.
It took place in a landmark audio visual satellite linkup with two crews of astronauts: those who work at the station and those who’d reached there on the Shuttle Endeavour.
This event which was the result of international cooperation and organized by the European Space Agency included serious, touching and even humorous moments which brought a smile to the Pope’s face as the astronauts who could not see the pope, but knew he could see them, played on the floating elements in space, among which a medal he had given them representing Michelangelo’s depiction of creation in the Sistine chapel . The appointment began shortly after 1 pm Rome time as the astronauts from different nationalities , including Russian cosmonauts introduced themselves and welcomed him on board.
And when the Holy Father replied he began by recognizing the scientific progress as well as express his admiration for their courage as representatives of humankind in a mission to explore new spaces:

“... We are convinced you are inspired by noble ideals and that you intend placing the results of your research and endeavours at the disposal of all humanity and for the common good .”

But the pope also remarked he didn’t really want to be the only one doing the talking :

“…this is a conversation, so I must not be the only one doing the talking…
I am very curious to hear you tell me about your experiences and your reflections.
If you don’t mind, I would like to ask you a few questions…”

And question the astronauts he did : asking about the perspective from their observation point in space, regarding issues ranging from the contribution of science to the cause of peace among nations in the earth below, to the responsibility and concern for the future generations of our planet.
The answers were brief and pragmatic even when asked if there were any special tips they might pass on to others from this experience. There was time for a personal touch of consolation addressed to one of the astronauts whose mother had passed away while he was in space.
As might be expected there was also a question surrounding the origins and destiny of the universe and humanity. For while space exploration the pope pointed out is a fascinating scientific adventure, it is also an adventure of the human spirit, a powerful stimulus to reflect on the origins and on the destiny of the universe and humanity:

“…Believers often look up at the limitless heavens and, meditating on the Creator of it all, they are struck by the mystery of His greatness. .. “

In the midst of your intense work and research, the Holy Father went on to ask the astronauts: do you ever stop and reflect like this – perhaps even to say a prayer to the Creator? Or will it be easier for you to think about these things once you have returned to Earth?
Full text of conversation :
Dear astronauts,
I am very happy to have this extraordinary opportunity to converse with you during your mission. I am especially grateful to be able to speak to so many of you, as both crews are present on the Space Station at this time.
Humanity is experiencing a period of extremely rapid progress in the fields of scientific knowledge and technical applications. In a sense, you are our representatives – spear-heading humanity’s exploration of new spaces and possibilities for our future, going beyond the limitations of our everyday existence.
We all admire your courage, as well as the discipline and commitment with which you prepared yourselves for this mission. We are convinced you are inspired by noble ideals and that you intend placing the results of your research and endeavours at the disposal of all humanity and for the common good.
This conversation gives me the chance to express my own admiration and appreciation to you and to all those who collaborate in making your mission possible, and to add my heartfelt encouragement to bring it to a safe and successful conclusion.

But this is a conversation, so I must not be the only one doing the talking.
I am very curious to hear you tell me about your experiences and your reflections.
If you don’t mind, I would like to ask you a few questions…

First Question:
From the Space Station you have a very different view of the Earth. You fly over different continents and nations several times a day. I think it must be obvious to you how we all live together on one Earth and how absurd it is that we fight and kill each otherone. I know that Mark Kelly’s wife was a victim of a serious attack and I hope her health continues to improve. When you are contemplating the Earth from up there, do you ever wonder about the way nations and people live together down here, or about how science can contribute to the cause of peace?

Reply :
Well, thank you for the kind words, Your Holiness, and thank you for mentioning my wife Gabby. It’s a very good question: we fly over most of the world and you don’t see borders, but at the same time we realize that people fight with each other and there is a lot of violence in this world and it’s really an unfortunate thing. Usually, people fight over many different things. As we’ve seen in the Middle East right now: it’s somewhat for democracy in certain areas, but usually people fight for resources. And it’s interesting in space … on Earth, people often fight for energy; in space we use solar power and we have fuel cells on the Space Station. You know, the science and the technology that we put into the Space Station to develop a solar power capability, gives us pretty much an unlimited amount of energy. And if those technologies could be adapted more on Earth, we could possibly reduce some of that violence.


Second Question:
One of the themes I often return to in my discourses concerns the responsibility we all have towards the future of our planet. I recall the serious risks facing the environment and the survival of future generations. Scientists tell us we have to be careful and from an ethical point of view we must develop our consciences as well.
From your extraordinary observation point, how do you see the situation on Earth?
Do you see signs or phenomena to which we need to be more attentive?

Reply:
Well, Your Holiness, it’s a great honour to speak with you and you’re right: it really is an extraordinary vantage point we have up here. On the one hand, we can see how indescribably beautiful the planet that we have been given is; but on the other hand, we can really clearly see how fragile it is. Just the atmosphere, for instance: the atmosphere when viewed from space is paper-thin, and to think that this paper-thin layer is all that separates every living thing from the vacuum of space and is all that protects us, is really a sobering thought. You know, it seems to us that it’s just incredible to view the Earth hanging in the blackness of space and to think that we are all on this together, riding through this beautiful fragile oasis through the universe, it really fills us with a lot of hope to think that all of us on board this incredible orbiting Space Station that was built by the many nations of our international partnership, to accomplish this tremendous feat in orbit, I think … you know, that just shows that by working together and by cooperating we can overcome many of the problems that face our planet, we could solve many of the challenges that face the inhabitants of our planet … it really is a wonderful place to live and work, and it’s a wonderful place to view our beautiful Earth.


Third Question:
The experience you are having right now is both extraordinary and very important – even if you must eventually come back down to Earth like all the rest of us.
When you do return, you will be much admired and treated like heroes who speak and act with authority. You will be asked to talk about your experiences. What will be the most important messages you would like to convey – to young people especially – who will live in a world strongly influenced by your experiences and discoveries?

Reply:
Your Holiness, as my colleagues have indicated, we can look down and see our beautiful planet Earth that God has made, and it is the most beautiful planet in the whole Solar System. However, if we look up, we can see the rest of the universe, and the rest of the Universe is out there for us to go explore. And the International Space Station is just one symbol, one example of what human beings can do when we work together constructively. So our message, I think - one of our many messages, but I think one of our most important messages – is to let the children of the planet know, the young people know that there is a whole universe for us to go explore. And when we do it together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.

Fourth Question:
Space exploration is a fascinating scientific adventure. I know that you have been installing new equipment to further scientific research and the study of radiation coming from outer space. But I think it is also an adventure of the human spirit, a powerful stimulus to reflect on the origins and on the destiny of the universe and humanity. Believers often look up at the limitless heavens and, meditating on the Creator of it all, they are struck by the mystery of His greatness. That is why the medal I gave Robert (Vittori) as a sign of my own participation in your mission, represents the Creation of Man – as painted by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. In the midst of your intense work and research, do you ever stop and reflect like this – perhaps even to say a prayer to the Creator? Or will it be easier for you to think about these things once you have returned to Earth?

Reply:
Your Holiness, to live on board of the International Space Station, to work as an astronaut on the shuttle Soyuz of the Station, is extremely intense. But we all have an opportunity, when the nights come, to look down on Earth: our planet, the blue planet, is beautiful. Blue is the colour of our planet, blue is the colour of the sky, blue is also the colour of the Italian Air Force, the organization that gave me the opportunity to then join the Italian Space Agency and the European Space Agency. When we have a moment to look down, beauty which is the three-dimensional effect of the beauty of the planet is capturing our heart, is capturing my heart. And I do pray: I do pray for me, for our families, for our future. I took with me the coin and I allow this coin to float in front of me to demonstrate lack of gravity. I shall thank you very much for this opportunity and I’d like to allow this coin to float to my friend and colleague Paolo: he will make return to Earth on the Soyuz. I brought it with me to space and he will take it down to Earth to then give it back to you.

Fifth Question – in Italian – for Paolo Nespoli:
La mia ultima domanda è per Paolo. Caro Paolo, so che nei giorni scorsi la tua mamma ti ha lasciato e quando fra pochi giorni tornerai a casa non la troverai più ad aspettarti. Tutti ti siamo stati vicini, anche io ho pregato per lei…Come hai vissuto questo tempo di dolore? Nella vostra Stazione vi sentite lontani e isolati e soffrite un senso di separazione, o vi sentite uniti fra voi e inseriti in una comunità che vi accompagna con attenzione e affetto?

Reply:
Santo Padre, ho sentito le sue preghiere, le vostre preghiere arrivare fino qua su: è vero, siamo fuori da questo mondo, orbitiamo intorno alla Terra ed abbiamo un punto di vantaggio per guardare la Terra e per sentire tutto quello che ci sta attorno. I miei colleghi qui, a bordo della Stazione – Dimitri, Kelly, Ron, Alexander e Andrei – mi sono stati vicini in questo momento importante per me, molto intenso, così come i miei fratelli, le mie sorelle, le mie zie, i miei cugini, i miei parenti sono stati vicini a mia madre negli ultimi momenti. Sono grato di tutto questo. Mi sono sentito lontano ma anche molto vicino, e sicuramente il pensiero di sentire tutti voi vicino a me, uniti in questo momento, è stato di estremo sollievo. Ringrazio anche l’Agenzia spaziale europea e l’Agenzia spaziale americana che hanno messo a disposizione le risorse affinché io abbia potuto parlare con lei negli ultimi momenti.

(Dear Paolo (Nespoli), I know that your Mother passed away recently and that when you get back home in a few days she will not be there to greet you. We are all close to you in your loss, and I personally have prayed for her…How did you cope with this sorrowful time? Do you feel alone and cut off in your Space Station? Do you suffer a sense of separation, or do you feel united among yourselves and part of a community that follows your endeavours with attention and affection?)


Final greeting:
Dear astronauts,
I thank you warmly for this wonderful opportunity to meet and dialogue with you. You have helped me and many other people to reflect together on important issues that regard the future of humanity. I wish you the very best for your work and for the success of your great mission at the service of science, international collaboration, authentic progress, and for peace in the world. I will continue to follow you in my thoughts and prayers and I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing

AMERICA: USA: RAPTURE/END-OF-WORLD PREDICTION FAILS

JESUSCARITASEST.ORG REPORT: According to a mass prediction, by the famous Familyradio.com organization, the rapture was to have taken place today, May 21, at 6pm. This group which has a large following and has been in broadcasting since 1958. It was founded by leader Harold Camping. They organized rallies in different locations worldwide. They have printed banners, stickers, shirts and other promotional items to spread their doomsday message.
Van with warning of impending end of the world per Camping's prediction
Camping has used a complex series of biblical passages to calculate this date. Many followers have sold their homes and lost jobs due to this prediction. CNN news has discovered that this organization has received over 80 million dollars in donations since 2005. It is important to remember that Jesus warned us that we do not know the exact time of His second coming: "But of that day and hour no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone." (Matthew 24: 36) It is good for Christians to live each day as if it were his/her last. Each day we should strive to lead a charitable life, repent for our sins and help our neighbors.

ASIA: IRAQ: CHRISTIAN MAN TORTURED AND BEHEADED

He was 29 years old, a husband and the father of three young children

On Monday, May 16, 2011, a 29 year old Christian husband and father of three children was kidnapped by Islamic militants in Iraq. His mutilated body, showing signs of extreme torture, was found by a bridge. His head had been severed and his eyes gouged out.


KIRKUK, Iraq (Catholic Online) - Last Friday, a 29 year old Christian husband and father of three children was kidnapped by Islamic militants in Iraq. A ransom of the equivalent of $100,000 US was demanded.

On Monday, May 16, 2011, his mutilated body, showing signs of extreme torture was found by a bridge. His head had been severed and his eyes had been gouged out.

The heroic Archbishop of Kirkuk, Louis Sako, praised the heroism of this Christian man and the continuing strength and faith of the Christian community in Iraq.

He strongly condemned the evil noting the growing hostility toward Christians in Iraq, "In all these years, I have never heard of a single Christian converting to Islam, despite the many threats."

He indicated that many Muslims regularly seek to convert to the Christian faith but noted "I am not allowed to baptize them. There is no religious freedom!"

In an impassioned plea he addressed the perpetrators whom he called, "those who were capable of committing such an inhuman act".

He asked them to consider Mr Issa's widow and the children that their eveil act had left as orphans noting, "If there is no human justice, sooner or later, there will be divine justice."

The Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda told Aid to the Church in Need that the "murder was meant to intimidate Christians so that in the future they will more readily pay ransom demands."

He indicated his strong suspicion that Islamist fundamentalists were behind the horror noting "that in some mosques hatred towards other faiths is still preached".

However, holding a minority position is Syrian Catholic Archbishop, Boutros Moshe of Mosul. He suspects the act was committed by criminal gangs seeking to extract money.

Representatives of "Aid to the Church in Need" (ACN) are visiting Iraq to evaluate the plight of the Church. They report a growing discouragement among Iraqi Christians.

The sentiment was captured by one priest who told them, "The Muslims speak to us constantly about a 'peaceful coexistence', but then when something happens, violence does not seem to be condemned by Muslim clerics."

Archbishop Bashar Warda Warda told Aid to the Church in Need that since the invasion of Iraq almost 600 Christians have been killed, 66 churches have been attacked and two convents, a monastery and a Church based orphanage destroyed.

Hundreds of Christian families fled to the north at the end of 2010 after the attack on Baghdad's Syrian Catholic Cathedral on October 31 where 58 people were killed and more than 70 others injured.

The Church, Our Lady of Deliverance, has become a symbol of the blatant hatred of Christians among Jihadist Muslims in Iraq and the heroic virtue of the Iraqi faithful.

The faithful had gathered for Mass when terrorists invaded the Church, killed the priest and held the worshippers hostage for four hours before they were freed in a rescue mission.

In the timeless words of the early Church father Tertullian, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." Let us pray for the dear suffering Christians in Iraq, the land of the martyrs.

http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=41494

AUSTRALIA: 10 YEAR OLD ARTIST DEPICTS ST. MARY MACKILLOP

18 May, 2011 12:00 AM
CAMDENADVERTISER REPRORT: REGAN Billett, 10, is no stranger to the attention his art attracts.

The Oakdale boy, who takes classes at the Victoria Art Studio in Camden, has earned first places for his art in the past three Camden Shows.

But this year he topped all his previous records.

Young Regan got three first places for his art, a special award for best exhibit in the junior art section and the award for best exhibitor overall.

Regan said he had been taking art classes since he was five.

"Art is fun," he said. "There are no rules and you can draw whatever you like. I like using charcoals because you can shade all different colours."

Winning smile: Oakdale boy Regan Billett has continued his four-year Camden Show winning streak with three first places, a special prize and a best exhibitor prize at last month's show.Picture: Jonathan Ng
Winning smile: Oakdale boy Regan Billett has continued his four-year Camden Show winning streak with three first places, a special prize and a best exhibitor prize at last month's show.Picture: Jonathan Ng

Regan's mother Rose is very proud of her son. "He's very humble — he just takes everything in his stride," she said.

"He always has a sketch book in his hand. He just loves drawing."

Regan said he one day hoped to get an apprenticeship at somewhere like Warner Bros to draw cartoons. "I like drawing cartoon characters because you can do them all weird and you can make them have big teeth or big noses," he said.

One of the artworks that won an award, a portrait of Saint Mary MacKillop, is hanging in the church at St Paul's Catholic Parish Primary School in Camden.

Regan donated the portrait to the school when MacKillop was canonised. Mrs Billett said they were going to enter it in the Blake Prize, a spiritual and religious art prize, this year.

http://www.camdenadvertiser.com.au/news/local/news/general/young-artist-takes-praise-in-stride/2165943.aspx


AFRICA: UGANDA: SYNOD REMEMBERS 100 YEARS OF EVANGELISATION

Agenzia Fides REPORT- "Today we conclude the second Archdiocesan Synod of Gulu. If Synod means 'walking together' I remember that 100 years ago, in 1911, when the first Comboni missionaries arrived in Gulu, alone, on the path which St. Comboni began, thanks to this process started one hundred years ago there exists a church that walks together and is able to call a synod. It seems a pretty significant event, " says Bishop Giuseppe Franzelli, Bishop of Lira in northern Uganda to Fides.
"Tomorrow we celebrate the centenary of the evangelization of this area. In fact, the Comboni missionaries arrived in these territories in February 1911, but because in February of this year, elections were held, a decision was taken to postpone the celebrations for the centenary in May, " explains Mgr. Franzelli. "The anniversary concerns in particular the metropolitan archdiocese of Gulu, since the diocese of Lira was evangelized a bit 'later, again by the Comboni missionaries who began their journey from there. For this reason we celebrate the centenary together, Gulu and Lira, because it is like a tree, once planted it spreads its branches, " said Bishop Franzelli.
Taking stock of the missionary in his diocese, the Bishop of Lira says: " The diocese of Lira was founded in 1968, cutting out one part of the territory from Gulu. The Comboni Missionaries present are 19, 17 priests and 2 brothers, and the Comboni Sisters are 12. But in these 43 years we have seen a sharp increase of the local clergy. " "Today - Bishop Franzelli continues - there are 45 diocesan priests and two Apostles of Jesus, a missionary congregation founded by some of the Comboni Fathers. There are also two local religious congregations, one based in Gulu, and the other in Lira founded by its first Bishop, Mgr.Caesar Asili, the Missionary Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church. This congregation has 270 nuns who work not only in Lira but also in other dioceses in Uganda, as well as in Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan. "
Out of a population of about 2 million inhabitants, one million and 86,000 are Catholics, distributed in 18 parishes. "They are not enough – Mgr. Franzelli admits - but with the current clergy I cannot afford to open others. The parishes are in turn divided into chapels. The one with the fewest has 31, the one that has the most has 102. The thousand chapels of the diocese are governed thanks to about 1,200 lay catechists. "
Lira has also been the scene of violence on behalf of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). "Among the most serious episodes I remember the assault at the girls' school in Aboke in October 1996, 139 girls were abducted by the rebels. Thanks to the courage of Sister Rachele Fassera, who chased the kidnappers in the forest, 109 were freed. Then others managed to escape in the following years, although some were killed. I welcomed the last one, she had had a child from Joseph Kony, the LRA leader, " said Bishop Franzelli.
"Even here, as in Gulu, people have been forced to evacuate," recalls the Bishop. "In and around the town of Lira, there were 16 camps for internally displaced persons, to the point that the city's population had grown to 200,000. Now that the LRA is no longer here, people are returning home, although there is still much to rebuild. This is the phase we are living, that of reconstruction, " concluded Bishop Franzelli.

EUROPE: IRELAND: 10 SCHOOL BOYS TRAVEL TO INDIA TO HELP POOR

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT;
Irish schoolboys return from 'Kolkata Experience' | Kolkata, Theresa O’Neil,James Cronin,Christian Brothers School, St Mary’s Academy Carlow Town,

Physio session
Ten school boys have recently returned to Ireland following a two week immersion visit to Kolkata in north east India.

Teachers, Theresa O’Neil and James Cronin from Christian Brothers School, St Mary’s Academy in Carlow Town, south of Dublin, took ten boys aged 16 and 17 years old to spend a fortnight witnessing and working amidst the poverty of Kolkata.

Theresa O’Neil explained: “the immersion project has been taking place biannually since 1999. The trips allow boys to experience the hands on work of two organisations - the Christian Brothers and The Missionaries of Charity - in India”.

“The Christian Brothers in India set an excellent example to the pupils” said James Cronin. “ The Brothers have several different projects running including a school for the children of prostitutes, and another school for street children called 'Ashirvad' meaning 'Hope'. The pupils spend the morning volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity orphanage Daya Dan in the morning, and the afternoon is spent teaching and playing with the children.

The boys' stay at the Brothers House and it is very much a communal experience with a lot of sharing taking place. A typical day starts at 4.30am with Mass at the Missionaries of Charity at 6am followed by breakfast and four hours volunteering with disabled children at Daya Dan until noon. Work at the Children’s orphanage includes laundry, physiotherapy for the children, and feeding time. The pupils then return to the Christian Brothers to have lunch and teach from 2-3pm and spend another hour playing with the children at Ashirvad. Dinner is at 8pm followed by reflection time and the sharing of the days experiences. Bedtime varies!

Theresa described how important the reflection times is for the boys. “i-pads, music and mobile phones are forbidden. The boys are only allowed to make one phone call a week and have to depend on a pack of cards and books and the company of one another for recreation. It’s great. They interact, bond, talk and share. They are no longer ten individuals but a single unit”.

The process of planning and preparing for the trip also helped the boys with early collaboration and team work. Raising money for the trip was combined with informing the local community of the boys’ endeavour. The pupils spoke at local church masses, organised cake sales and coffee mornings, table quizzes, and assisted with bag packing in local supermarkets. “Facilitating team fundraising ensures that all boys can afford to attend the trip and that that no one gets left out” said Theresa. At the end of the trip, the pupils left their extra clothes and toiletries for the Brothers to distribute.

James described how the trip encourages the boys to mature and gain greater understanding and appreciation of how much they have at home, even at what is a difficult time in Ireland. For example, they saw how greatly education is valued in India where not all children are able to attend school and child labour is common.

The boys also learned to understand something of the scale of poverty that is present in India, what poverty really is and means, and what it means to literally live on the street and have no alternative. On Friday the boys visited the home of a Kolkatan family. They experienced a living space six feet by four feet containing three beds. The space is so restricted that the members of the family have to take turns to sleep in two shifts. “The family considered themselves privileged to have a home and were so proud to show us their home. Their hospitality was overflowing” said Theresa.

The impact of immersion project is far reaching. Not only do the teachers and pupils provide tangible assistance to the community in which they volunteer, on returning to Ireland they are called upon to present at their local parishes, give talks in primary schools, present to their school management board and parent council, and attend an interview by local press.

James said: “These follow-up activities help to spread awareness of the situation in another country, what poverty means, and how we can all do something to help others by providing time or money in our own communities as well as overseas”. This way it is not only the pupils and those they help in Kolkata that feel the impact of the pupils’ work. Their classmates, teachers, parents and the wider community are touched by the trip.

One parent of a member of a previous group commented to the teachers that the pupils are “young boys when they go out, and young men when they come home”

Peter Morris, a 16-year-old pupil didn’t know what to expect before the trip to Kolkata. He reports “the trip opened my eyes and made me realise the way so many people live and the how the Western World is so different. We have everything we want, and much more than we need. Here people don’t have the basic necessities. I will now understand the value of education and everything that I have at home”.

The ten boys who attended the 2011 immersion project were Peter Morris, Rossa Snoddy, Craig Keating, David O’Neill, David Smyth, James Platt, Connie Coughlan, Conor Maguire, Donal Curran, and Dylan Scully.
http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=18253

TODAY'S SAINT: ST. GODRIC OF FINCHALE

St. Godric of Finchale

HERMIT

Feast: May 21



Information:

Feast Day:May 21
Born:1069 at Walpole, Norfolk, England
Died:1170 at Finchale, County Durham, England

He was born of very mean parents at Walpole, in Norfolk, and in his youth carried about little peddling wares which he sold in villages. Having by degrees improved his stock, he frequented cities and fairs, and made several voyages by sea to traffic in Scotland. In one of these he called at Holy Island, or Lindisfarne, where he was charmed and exceedingly edified with the retirement and religious deportment of the monks, and especially with the account which they gave him of the wonderful life of St. Cuthbert. He inquired of them every particular relating to him, visited every corner of that holy solitude and of the neighboring isle of Fame, and falling on his knees, prayed with many tears for grace to imitate the fervor of that saint in serving God, resolving for that purpose to give up all earthly pretensions. He entered upon a new course of life by a penitential devout pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and visited Compostella in his way home. After his return into Norfolk, he accepted the charge of house-steward in the family of a very rich man. The servants were not very regular, and for their private junketings often trespassed upon their neighbors. Godrick finding he was not able to prevent these injustices, and that the nobleman took no notice of his complaints about them, being easy so long as he was no sufferer himself, left his place for fear of being involved in the guilt of such an injustice.

After making a pilgrimage to St. Giles in France, and to Rome, he went to the north of England in order the better to carry into execution his design of devoting himself wholly to a retired life. A fervent servant of God, named Godwin, who had passed a considerable time in the monastery of Durham, and by conversing with the most holy monks and exercising himself in the interior and exterior practices of all virtues, was well qualified to be a director to an inexperienced novice, joined our saint, and they led together an austere anchoretical life in a wilderness situated on the north to Carlisle, serving one another, and spending both the days and nights in the praises of God. After two years God called Godwin to himself by a happy death after a short sickness. St. Godrick having lost his companion, made a second painful pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After his return he passed some time in the solitude of Streneshalch, now Whitby; but after a year and some months went to Durham to offer up his prayers before the shrine of St. Cuthbert, and from thence retired into the desert of Finchal, or Finkley, three miles from Durham, near the river Wear. St. John Baptist and St. Cuthbert he chose for his principal patrons and models. The austerities which he practiced are rather to be admired than imitated. He had his regular tasks of devotion, consisting of psalms and other prayers which he had learned by heart, and which he constantly recited at midnight, break of day, and the other canonical hours, besides a great number of other devotions. Though he was ignorant of the very elements of learning, he was too well experienced in the happy art of conversing with God and his own soul ever to be at a loss how to employ his time in solitude. Whole days and nights seemed too short for his rapturous contemplations, one of which he often wished with St. Bruno he could have continued without interruption for eternity, in inflamed acts of adoration, compunction, love, or praise. His patience under the sharpest pains of sicknesses or ulcers, and all manner of trials, was admirable; but his humility was vet more astonishing. His conversation was meek, humble, and simple. He concealed as much as possible from the sight and knowledge of all men whatever might procure their esteem, and he was even unwilling any one should see or speak with him. Yet this he saw himself obliged to allow on certain days every week to such as came with the leave of the prior of Durham, under whose care and obedience he died. A monk of that house was his confessor, said mass for him, and administered him the sacraments in a chapel adjoining to his cell, which the holy man had built in honor of St. John Baptist. He was most averse from all pride and vanity, and never spoke of himself but as of the most sinful of creatures, a counterfeit hermit, an empty phantom of a religious man: lazy, slothful, proud, and imperious, abusing the charity of good people who assisted him with their alms. But the more the saint humbled himself, the more did God exalt him by his grace, and by wonderful miraculous gifts. For several years before his death he was confined to his bed by sickness and old age. William of Newbridge, who visited him during that time, tells us that though his body appeared in a manner dead, his tongue was ever repeating the sacred names of the three divine Persons, and in his countenance there appeared a wonderful dignity, accompanied with an unusual grace and sweetness. Having remained in the desert sixty-three years, he was seized with his last illness, and happily departed to his Lord on the 21st of May, 1170, in the reign of Henry II. His body was buried in the chapel of St. John Baptist. Many miracles confirmed the opinion of his sanctity, and a little chapel was built in his memory by Richard, brother to Hugh Pidsey, bishop of Durham. See William of Newbridge, 1. 2, c. 20; Matthew Paris, Matthew of Westminster, his life written by Nicholas of Durham his confessarius, and abridged by Harpsfield, Saec. 12, c. 45.



SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/G/stgodricoffinchale.asp#ixzz1N2U6mLm4

TODAY'S GOSPEL: MAY 21: JOHN 14: 7-14

John 14: 7 - 14
7If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him."
8Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied."
9Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father'?
10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.
12"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.
13Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son;
14if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.
Post a Comment