TODAY'S MASS READINGS: 22th SUN. OF ORDINARY TIME/ YEAR A
Speaking to thousands of pilgrims in the courtyard of the Papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father said when the goal of a person’s life is aimed at social success and personal well-being, the person is no longer thinking with God, but with man.
The Pope explained the Christian follows the Lord when he accepts his cross with love, knowing Jesus is sharing in his journey of self-giving.
After the Angelus, Pope Benedict greeted the new seminarians at Rome’s North American College.
“Dear Seminarians, do not be afraid to take up the challenge in today’s Gospel to give your lives completely to Christ,” he said. “Indeed, may all of us be generous in our commitment to him, carrying our cross with faith and courage.” http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=516007
ARCHDIOCESE OF CANBERRA-GOULBURN REPORT: After escaping the crowds of Madrid, the archdiocesan World Youth Day pilgrims spent two-days reflecting on their experiences. The following is an excerpt from Michelle Emmett (pictured). Full text, along with testimonies from other pilgrims, can be found atcgmadrid.org.au.
Right here, this is the real gift and purpose of WYD. It’s not to testify to the world or to the Pope or to learn more about our faith or meet people from all over the world with the same faith. These are all awesome by-products of WYD, but the real purpose is to celebrate the faith we have – it’s that simple...
The spark behind this epiphany was Friday’s catechesis... Archbishop Tim Dolan of New York... told this story about a man who was dying of aids. He was in a facility being taken care of by some nuns and on Good Friday he visited and celebrated Mass for the patients.
Following Mass the nuns took him around to the patients who couldn’t get up so they could kiss the feet of Jesus on the Cross. This particular man called out and Bishop Tim began moving towards him. The sisters stopped him and explained that he would spit, or swear, or urinate on, or bite him if he went in. The Bishop said, “Well I’m the priest and I have to go to him if it’s the feet of Christ he wants”, and so he did.
The man humbly venerated the Cross.
A few days later the nun rang him and asked him to return because the man was nearing death and asked to be baptised. The Bishop thought this was an odd request but went and before agreeing to perform the service asked the man why he wanted to be baptised.
The man replied, “I’ve been miserable for a long time and I was ok with that until I met these damn nuns. Believe me when I say I have done everything under the sun to them and still they come back and never stop smiling. They have something special and I want what they have. That’s Jesus and I want Him for all this life and the one after”.
Bishop Tim baptised him gladly and he died that afternoon.
Joy – it’s so fundamentally simple yet we hide it or are ashamed of it. How stupid! This Bishop, however, had it down pat! I want to spend every day of the rest of my life working on living openly the joy and peace I feel in my heart.
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, released the following statement today regarding Hurricane Irene:
“With all of our friends and neighbors here in the community we love, we in the Catholic family are united in prayer for protection from the impending storm, and eager to offer refuge and help to those who may be endangered or harmed.
Catholics take Sunday mass very seriously, but the Church never asks us to risk our health or safety to get to church on the Lord’s Day. Please be careful! Do not take any chance with your safety and health if things get dangerous.
(source: Archdiocese of New York)
Our extensive network of parishes, schools, Catholic Charities, health care institutions, and residential facilities are cooperating fully with our public safety officials, and stand ready to assist in all efforts of outreach and help.”
It has flooded streets, damaged buildings and caused over 4 million power outages. Please pray for those in danger.
The ceremony will be held in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and will be presided over by Mgr. Vinsentius Sutikno Wisaksono, Bishop of Surabaya. For the faithful vocations are "signs of God's blessing." In western Borneo three deacons soon to be ordained. The bishop "extremely happy" for new vocations.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The Indonesian Church is celebrating the upcoming ordination of seven new priests, all from East Java province. A sign of vitality for the Catholic community, which while representing only 3% of a total of population of 250 million people, overwhelmingly Muslim, keeps alive the work of the announcing of the Good News. The ceremony will be presided over by Mgr. Vinsentius Sutikno Wisaksono, Bishop of Surabaya, and will be held at the local Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The seven deacons, future priests of the Jesuit order, are: Brother Aloysius Cahyo Kristanto of Magetan, Fr. Canisius Sigit Tridrianto of Cepu, Fr. Daniel Setiawan, of Madiun, Fr. Edward Paulus Suryandoko and Fr. Yohanes Setiawan, Surabaya, Fr. Gregorius Dhani Driantoro and Fr. Johannes Endro Wibowo of Blitar. "The religious vocations and priestly ordinations - Joko Riyanto, a Catholic of Surabaya, told AsiaNews, - are signs of God's blessing."
A belief that is also shared by the diocese of Ketapang in western Borneo, where Fr Akap Pasti notes that three new deacons will soon be ordained. They are Fr. Sodho Flores, Fr. Kukuh Setyo Yulianto, from Java and Fr. Albertinus Cemis of Ketapang. The ceremony is scheduled for next September 4th and will be presided by the local bishop, Mgr. Blasius Pujaraharja Pr. The prelate sees it as a special occasion of celebration, because this year he celebrates 50 years of priesthood and the diocese of Ketapang 100 years since foundation.
The entry of new deacons will be crucial for the diocese of Ketapang, because it will help the 30 priests present to date to follow the 20 parishes into which the diocese is divided. Many of these are located in remote areas and six or seven hours of travel are required to reach them. Mgr. Pujaraharja Pr, the diocesan bishop for 30 years, said he was "extremely happy" for new vocations.
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, WESTERN FATHER OF THE CHURCH
November 13, 354, Tagaste, Numidia (now Souk Ahras, Algeria)
August 28, 430, Hippo Regius, Numidia (now modern-day Annaba, Algeria)
San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, Pavia, Italy
brewers; printers; theologians
Augustine was born at Tagaste on 13 November, 354. Tagaste, now Souk-Ahras, about 60 miles from Bona (ancient Hippo-Regius), was at that time a small free city of proconsular Numidia which had recently been converted from Donatism. His father, Patricius, one of the curiales of the city, was still a pagan. However, the admirable virtues that made Monica the ideal of Christian mothers at length brought her husband the grace of baptism and of a holy death, about the year 371. Augustine received a Christian education. His mother had him signed with the cross and enrolled among the catechumens. Once, when very ill, he asked for baptism, but, all danger being soon passed, he deferred receiving the sacrament, thus yielding to a deplorable custom of the times. "From my tenderest infancy, I had in a manner sucked with my mother's milk that name of my Saviour, Thy Son; I kept it in the recesses of my heart; and all that presented itself to me without that Divine Name, though it might be elegant, well written, and even replete with truth, did not altogether carry me away" (Confessions, I, iv).
Before long he was obliged to confess to Monica that he had formed a sinful liaison with the person who bore him a son (372), "the son of his sin" -- an entanglement from which he only delivered himself at Milan after fifteen years.In 373, Augustine and his friend Honoratus fell into the sect of the Manichæans.
But the religious crisis of this great soul was only to be resolved in Italy, under the influence of Ambrose. In 383 Augustine, at the age of twenty-nine, yielded to the irresistible attraction which Italy had for him At first he turned towards the philosophy of the Academics, with its pessimistic scepticism; then neo-Platonic philosophy inspired him with genuine enthusiasm. At Milan he had scarcely read certain works of Plato and, more especially, of Plotinus, before the hope of finding the truth dawned upon him. Monica, who had joined her son at Milan, prevailed upon him to become betrothed, but his affianced bride was too young, and although Augustine dismissed the mother of Adeodatus, her place was soon filled by another. Thus did he pass through one last period of struggle and anguish. Finally, through the reading of the Holy Scriptures light penetrated his mind. Soon he possessed the certainty that Jesus Christ is the only way to truth and salvation. After that resistance came only from the heart. An interview with Simplicianus, the future successor of St. Ambrose, who told Augustine the story of the conversion of the celebrated neo-Platonic rhetorician, Victorinus (Confessions, VIII, i, ii), prepared the way for the grand stroke of grace which, at the age of thirty-three, smote him to the ground in the garden at Milan (September, 386). A few days later Augustine, being ill, took advantage of the autumn holidays and, resigning his professorship, went with Monica, Adeodatus, and his friends to Cassisiacum, the country estate of Verecundus, there to devote himself to the pursuit of true philosophy which, for him, was now inseparable from Christianity.
It was this Divine grace that Augustine sought in Christian baptism. Towards the beginning of Lent, 387, he went to Milan and, with Adeodatus and Alypius, took his place among the competentes, being baptized by Ambrose on Easter Day, or at least during Eastertide. The Augustine remained several months in Rome, chiefly engaged in refuting Manichæism. He sailed for Africa after the death of the tyrant Maximus (August 388) and after a short sojourn in Carthage, returned to his native Tagaste. Immediately upon arriving there, he wished to carry out his idea of a perfect life, and began by selling all his goods and giving the proceeds to the poor. Then he and his friends withdrew to his estate, which had already been alienated, there to lead a common life in poverty, prayer, and the study of sacred letters.
One day, having been summoned to Hippo by a friend whose soul's salvation was at stake, he was praying in a church when the people suddenly gathered about him, cheered him, and begged Valerius, the bishop, to raise him to the priesthood. In spite of his tears Augustine was obliged to yield to their entreaties, and was ordained in 391. The new priest looked upon his ordination as an additional reason for resuming religious life at Tagaste, and so fully did Valerius approve that he put some church property at Augustine's disposal, thus enabling him to establish a monastery the second that he had founded. Enfeebled by old age, Valerius, Bishop of Hippo, obtained the authorization of Aurelius, Primate of Africa, to associate Augustine with himself as coadjutor. Augustine had to resign himself to consecration at the hands of Megalius, Primate of Numidia. He was then forty two, and was to occupy the See of Hippo for thirty-four years.
of evil have a more zealous defender than this bishop." Nothing is more opposed to the facts. Augustine acknowledges that he had not yet understood how the first good inclination of the will is a gift of God (Retractions, I, xxiii, n, 3); but it should be remembered that he never retracted his leading theories on liberty, never modified his opinion upon what constitutes its essential condition, that is to say, the full power of choosing or of deciding. He was stricken with what he realized to be a fatal illness, and, after three months of admirable patience and fervent prayer, departed from this land of exile on 28 August, 430, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.
(Edited from: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/A/staugustine.asp
330; Ethiopian ancestry
Died: 405, Scetes, Egypt
Paromeos Monastery, Scetes, Egypt
Moses the Black, sometimes called the Ethiopian, was a slave of a government official in Egypt who dismissed him for theft and suspected murder. He became the leader of a gang of bandits who roamed the Nile Valley spreading terror and violence. He was a large, imposing figure. On one occasion, a barking dog prevented Moses from carrying out a robbery, so he swore vengeance on the owner. Weapons in his mouth, Moses swam the river toward the owner's hut. The owner, again alerted, hid, and the frustrated Moses took some of his sheep to slaughter. Attempting to hide from local authorities, he took shelter with some monks in a colony in the desert of Scete, near Alexandria. The dedication of their lives, as well as their peace and contentment, influenced Moses deeply. He soon gave up his old way of life and joined the monastic community at Scete.
Attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell, Moses fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he didn't think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them. The overwhelmed robbers repented, were converted, and themselves joined the community.
Moses was zealous in all he did, but became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, St. Isidore, abbot of the community, took Brother Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isidore told Moses, "Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative."
Moses proved to be effective as a prophetic spiritual leader. The abbot ordered the brothers to fast during a particular week. Some brothers came to Moses, and he prepared a meal for them. Neighboring monks reported to the abbot that Moses was breaking the fast. When they came to confront Moses, they changed their minds, saying "You did not keep a human commandment, but it was so that you might keep the divine commandment of hospitality." Some see in this account one of the earliest allusions to the Paschal fast, which developed at this time.
When a brother committed a fault and Moses was invited to a meeting to discuss an appropriate penance, Moses refused to attend. When he was again called to the meeting, Moses took a leaking jug filled with water and carried it on his shoulder. Another version of the story has him carrying a basket filled with sand. When he arrived at the meeting place, the others asked why he was carrying the jug. He replied, "My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another." On hearing this, the assembled brothers forgave the erring monk.
Moses became the spiritual leader of a colony of hermits in the desert. At some time, he had been ordained priest. At about age 75, about the year 407, word came that a group of renegades planned to attack the colony. The brothers wanted to defend themselves, but Moses forbade it. He told them to retreat, rather than take up weapons. He and seven others remained behind and greeted the invaders with open arms, but all eight were martyred by the bandits. A modern interpretation honors St. Moses the Black as an apostle of non-violence.
The lives of St. Moses the Black and St. Norbert, contain some interesting parallels. Both lived rather dissolute lives in their younger years. Both had conversion experiences in which they heard and heeded the call of God. Both were leaders in their respective religious communities. Both are known as men of peace, having spent much of their ministry calling people to reconciliation and forgiveness by word and example.
(Edited from: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmosestheblack.asp
TODAY'S MASS READINGS: 22th SUN. OF ORDINARY TIME/ YEAR A
|Jeremiah 20: 7 - 9|
|7||O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and thou hast prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; every one mocks me.|
|8||For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, "Violence and destruction!" For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long.|
|9||If I say, "I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name," there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.|
|Psalms 63: 2 - 6, 8 - 9|
|2||So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary, beholding thy power and glory.|
|3||Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee.|
|4||So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name.|
|5||My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips,|
|6||when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night;|
|8||My soul clings to thee; thy right hand upholds me.|
|9||But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth;|
|Romans 12: 1 - 2|
|1||I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.|
|2||Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.|
|Matthew 16: 21 - 27|
|21||From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.|
|22||And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you."|
|23||But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men."|
|24||Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.|
|25||For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.|
|26||For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?|
|27||For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.|