DIALECTIC OF PRAYER: HUMAN CRY AND DIVINE RESPONSE
VATICAN CITY, 7 SEP 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - This morning Benedict XVI travelled by helicopter from the Apostolic Palace in Castelgandolfo to the Vatican for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
Continuing a series of catecheses on the subject of "the school of prayer", the Holy Father turned his attention to Psalm 3 which recounts David's flight fromJerusalem when Absalom rose against him. "In the Psalmist's lament", the Pope said, "each of us may recognise those feelings of pain and bitterness, accompanied by faith in God, which, according the biblical narrative, David experienced as he fled from his city".
In the Psalm, the king's enemies are many and powerful, and the imbalance between David's forces and those of his persecutors "justifies the urgency of his cry for help". Nonetheless his adversaries "also seek to break his bond with God and to undermine the faith of their victim by insinuating that the Lord cannot intervene". Thus, the aggression "is not only physical, it also has a spiritual dimension" aimed at "the central core of the Psalmist's being. This is the extreme temptation a believer suffers: the temptation of losing faith and trust in the closeness of God", the Holy Father said.
Yet, as the Book of Wisdom says, the unrighteous are mistaken because "the Lord ... is like a shield protecting those who entrust themselves to Him. He causes them to raise their heads in sign of victory. Man is no longer alone ... because the Lord hears the cry of the oppressed. ... This intertwining of human cry and divide response is the dialectic of prayer and the key to reading the entire history of salvation. A cry expresses a need for help and appeals to the faithfulness of the other. To cry out is an act of faith in God's closeness and His willingness to listen. Prayer express the certainty of a divine presence which has already been experienced and believed, and which is fully manifested in the salvific response of God".
Psalm 3 presents us "a supplication replete with faith and consolation. By praying this Psalm we share the sentiments of the Psalmist: a just but persecuted figure which would later be fulfilled in Jesus. In pain, danger and the bitterness of misunderstanding and offence, the words of this Psalm open our hearts to the comforting certainty of faith. God is always close, even in times of difficulty, problems and darkness. He listens, responds and saves.
"However", the Pope added, "it is important to be able to recognise His presence and to accept His ways: like David during his humiliating flight from his son Absalom, like the persecuted righteous of the Book of Wisdom and, finally and fully, like the Lord Jesus on Golgotha. In the eyes of the unrighteous it appeared that God did not intervene and that His Son died, but for believers it was at that precise moment that true glory was manifested and definitive salvation achieved".
The Pope concluded: "May the Lord give us faith, may He come in aid of our weakness and help us to pray in moments of anguish, in the painful nights of doubt and the long days of pain, abandoning ourselves trustingly to Him, our shield and our glory".
VATICAN CITY, 7 SEP 2011 (VIS) - At the end of his catechesis today, Benedict XVI addressed greetings to a number of groups present at the general audience. Speaking to Polish pilgrims, he mentioned the recently deceased Cardinal Deskur. "During yesterday's funeral", he said, "we bid our final farewell to Cardinal Andrei Maria Deskur, a friend of Blessed John Paul II and your countryman. His service to the Pope was sustained with prayer and suffering, and he entrusted his own life to Mary Immaculate. May she implore heavenly glory for him".
Finally, speaking Italian, he greeted young people, the sick and newlywed couples. "Returning from the holidays to your daily activities", he told the young, "be sure to find time every day for your dialogue with God, and spread His light and peace around you. Dear sick people, find comfort in the Lord Jesus Who continues His work of redemption in the lives of all men and women. Dear newlyweds, learn to pray together in the intimacy of home life so that your love may become increasingly authentic, fruitful and lasting".
VATICAN CITY, 7 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father received Michael Spindelegger, vice chancellor and foreign minister of Austria, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.
CBN REPORT: The National Cathedral is expected to reopen this weekend in time for events commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The national landmark has been closed for repairs since last week's Mineral, Va., earthquake shook the East Coast. The quake caused one of the cathedral's four spires to break off.
Inside, workers found pieces of mortar that fell from columns and the cathedral's 98 foot ceiling.
A tight, heavy duty net has been put up to catch any other pieces that may fall.
"We have been up on those balconies with binoculars and spotlights, the crew and me, those of us that really know this building, and the engineers," said head stonemason Joe Alonso. "If anything is out of the ordinary, we would know. We would see something that wasn't quite right."
The cathedral has been closed since the earthquake, but will reopen next weekend for events to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
Meanwhile, another aftershock rattled people in central Virginia Thursday morning.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the tremor at a 3.4 magnitude in Mineral.
The Aug. 23 earthquake was a 5.8 magnitude. More than 20 aftershocks have followed the quake.
The police has not yet identified the culprits, probably Hindu extremists. About 20 masked men forced the door of the building, broke windowpanes, and destroyed the altar, the confessional, lights, and sacred ornaments, desecrating the sacred building. Hearing noises, Catholics rushed to the church where they were threatened by the attackers.
Kollam (AsiaNews) – Police has not yet identified the extremists who on Sunday sacked the Catholic church in Kottenkulangara, near Kollam, in Kerala.
Twenty masked vandals, probably Hindu extremists, forced the door and broke the windows, destroying the altar, the confessional, lights, and sacred ornaments, thus desecrating the sacred building.
Their suspicions aroused by the noise, Catholics rushed to the church where the attackers threatened them. One of the attackers also stole a gold chain from Susi Antony, whose family lives nearby.
“We are deeply saddened by such an attack against a Catholic Church,” Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews.
“The GCIC condemns the attack in the strongest possible terms. It is a matter of grave concern. An attack on a place of worship is extremely serious and this is the third attack on a Catholic Church in two months. The previous one were in Pune and Secundrabad.”
“This attack on the Church,” the GCIC president explained, “is aimed at grievously wounding the religious sentiments of the vulnerable Christian community.”
The local church, Our Lady of Vailankanni, was built in 1986. The Marian shrine is visited by thousands of people who attend Mass as well as Wednesday novenas.
Sydney Archdiocese REPORT:
2 Sep 2011
The Archbishop of Sydney, His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, will host an Interfaith Memorial Service for families, friends and colleagues from Australia and the United States of America to mark the 10th anniversary of September 11.
The service will begin at 4.00pm on Sunday, September 11 at St Mary's Cathedral.
The service will also be attended by Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, Senior Rabbi The Great Synagogue, Sydney; Sheikh Dr Mohammed Anas, Zetland Mosque, Sydney as well as Mr Niels Marquardt, Consul General, United States of America.
The former Consul General, New York, Mr Ken Allen will also be attending along with Mr John Howard who was the Australian Prime Minister at the time of the tragedy.
On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001 two hijacked commercial airliners were crashed into the 110-floor Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. A third hijacked airliner was crashed into the Pentagon.
A fourth plane, believed destined for the Pentagon or White House, was crashed into a field by the hijackers when crew and passengers tried to seize control from the hijackers.
In all nearly 3,000- people died along with the 19 hijackers.
Kin New York, three buildings in the World Trade Center complex collapsed - the South Tower, the North Tower and the nearby 7 World Trade Center building.
Ten Australian families of 9/11 victims will attend the St Mary's Cathedral Interfaith Memorial Service.
Following a welcome message, guests will be asked to join in silent prayer and reflection.
There will also be a quiet tolling of bells and lighting of candles for each Australian victim.
Mindful of our shared responsibility for justice and peace, Cardinal Pell will offer a prayer before remarks from Rabbi Lawrence and Sheikh Dr Mohammed Anas.
Allo are invited to attend the memorial service with general entry via the main southern door.
"There has been no discussion of sanctions, no ultimatum, no talk of punishment," the spokesman told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview yesterday.
The leaders of the "Initiative of Parish Priests" launched a "Call to Disobedience" in late June, urging priests to join them in saying a public prayer at every Mass for church reform; giving Communion to everyone who approaches the altar in good faith, including divorced Catholics who have remarried without an annulment; allowing women to preach at Mass; and supporting the ordination of women and married men.
Cardinal Schonborn met last month with the four Vienna archdiocesan priests who are on the presiding council of the initiative, and he plans to meet with them again in a few weeks, but no date has been set, Pruller said.
"We don't send spies to all the parishes to make sure all the rules are kept," he said, but he added that, if a priest is violating church law, the situation will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
According to news reports, the initiative's membership has grown from about 300 priests to about 400, and polls taken among Austrian Catholics showed overwhelming support for the changes the priests support.
"The polls are in line with polls from previous years," Pruller said. "It is a reminder that we have to do more to explain" the church's teaching on ordination, the sacraments, marriage and church structure.http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=28034
"Hope and prudence, therefore," stresses Mgr.Bertin to whom we point out that the agreement was signed in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, while the previous ones were signed abroad, in Kenya or Djibouti. "This fact is certainly significant – Mgr. Bertin said - but it is true that Mogadishu is isolated from the rest of south-central Somalia, because the power of the Transitional Government is limited to the capital, and is supported by AMISOM (the military mission of the African Union). We have to wait and see whether it is possible to go beyond the symbolic aspect and if the Transitional Government will be able to extend its authority to the rest of the Country. That said, I always prefer to hope rather than say that this agreement is useless, also because there seems to be no other alternatives. Hope remains the only alternative", adds the Bishop of Djibouti.
South-central Somalia is the area hardest hit by food crisis, aggravated by the refusal of the Shabab militia (which control the area) to allow the intervention of foreign humanitarian organizations. "I do not know how long the Shabab policy will be able to continue, because doing so they risk incurring the hatred of the local population" underlines Mgr. Bertin. "These people who suffer hunger cannot receive outside help and are not allowed to go to Mogadishu or to neighboring Countries to try to escape hunger. I do not know to what extent the Shabab will be able to play with the lives of civilians, before the situation gets out of control", concludes Mgr. Bertin. (L.M.)
Saint Cloud is the most illustrious Saint among the princes of the royal family of the first French dynasty, the Merovingians (499-752). Born in 522, he was the son of Chlodomir, King of Orleans and eldest son of Clovis and Saint Clotilda. He was not yet three years old when his father was killed during a war. His grandmother, Saint Clotilda, brought him and his two brothers to Paris to be educated, and loved them dearly.
Their ambitious uncles, however, desiring to divide the kingdom of Orleans between themselves, slew with their own hands the two young brothers of Cloud. He, by a special dispensation of Providence, was saved from the massacre. Later, renouncing the world, he privately consecrated himself to the service of God. After distributing to the poor what he could salvage of his heritage, he retired to a hermitage to be under the discipline of a holy recluse named Severinus, who dwelt near the gates of Paris and who clothed him with the monastic habit. His uncles left him alone, seeing his inalterable decision to live as a religious, and conceded certain heritages to him. When he became famous through an act of charity rewarded by a miracle, he withdrew secretly to Provence. There again, his hermitage was sought out by petitioners. He decided to return to Paris, where he was received with the greatest joy.
At the earnest request of the people, he was ordained a priest in 551 by Eusebius, Bishop of Paris, and served the Church of that city for some time in the functions of the sacred ministry. Again he found himself in great honor; he therefore retired to Nogent, a place now known as Saint Cloud, two leagues south of Paris, where he built a monastery. There he was joined by many pious men, who fled from the world for fear of losing their souls in its midst. Saint Cloud was chosen by them to be their Superior, and he animated them to virtue both by word and example. He was also indefatigable in instructing and exhorting the faithful of the neighboring regions. He died at Nogent in 560, and the major part of his relics remain still in the parochial church of the village. (written source: Magnificat.ca)
|Luke 6: 20 - 26|
|20||And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.|
|21||"Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. "Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.|
|22||"Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!|
|23||Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.|
|24||"But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation.|
|25||"Woe to you that are full now, for you shall hunger. "Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.|
|26||"Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.|