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Thursday, February 2, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : THURS. FEB. 2, 2012

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VATICAN : ATOMS TO GALAXIES AND OTHER NEWS
AMERICA : WORLD DAY OF CONSECRATED LIFE
AUSTRALIA : 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF ARCHDIOCESE
ASIA : TAIWAN : FJ UNIVERSITY NEW PRESIDENT HAN-SUN
AFRICA : EGYPT : 74 KILLED DURING ATTACK
EUROPE : RIP FR. GREGORY WINTERTON - REQUIEM MASS
TODAY'S MASS AND GOSPEL ONLINE : THURS. FEB. 2, 2012
TODAY'S SAINT : PRESENTATION OF THE CHILD JESUS
 
VATICAN : ATOMS TO GALAXIES AND OTHER NEWS
VIS REPORT: THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE FROM ATOMS TO GALAXIES

VATICAN CITY, 2 FEB 2012 (VIS) - "An exhibition which recounts the history of the universe, from the particles which make up the atoms in our bodies to distant galaxies". With these words, pronounced during a press conference held this morning in the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Jose Gabriel Funes S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory, defined the exhibition "Stories from another world. The universe inside and outside us". The event will run from 10 March to 1 July at the headquarters of the "Palazzo Blu" Foundation in Pisa, Italy. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

Presenting today's conference alongside Fr. Funes were Cosimo Bracci Torsi, president of the "Palazzo Blu" Foundation, and Antonio Masiero, vice president of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN).

Fr. Funes noted how Pisa is important in the history of astronomy, being the birthplace of Galileo Galilei and the city in which Cardinal Pietro Maffi practised his pastoral ministry. In 1904 Cardinal Maffi was appointed by Pius X as president of the Vatican Observatory. The exhibition is aimed particularly at young people and great care has been taken "to make complex and difficult knowledge accessible, while at the same time avoiding the risk of superficiality". To this end the work of the curators of the exhibition, Alessandro Omizzolo and Franco Cervelli, has been fundamental, Fr. Funes said.

For his part, Cosimo Bracci Torsi highlighted the fact that the event "is the outcome of fruitful collaboration between lay scientists and religious scientists, all members of scientific institutions of great prestige but with very different origins": the INFN, the Vatican Observatory and the Department of Physics at the University of Pisa. He explained how "the exhibition includes spectacular images, instruments and exhibits such as Lunar and Martian minerals, leading visitors on a fascinating journey which begins in the solar system and our material nature, reaching the stars of this and other galaxies, up to the spatial and temporal confines of the universe and of our current knowledge".

Finally Antonio Masiero explained that the INFN, of which he is vice president, will bring to the exhibition its vast experience of research on the origins and structure of the universe.
OP/ VIS 20120202 (370)

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, 2 FEB 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:

- Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

- Six prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Dennis Marion Schnurr of Cincinnati, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Binzer.

- Bishop Richard Gerard Lennon of Cleveland.

- Bishop Frederick Francis Campbell of Columbus.

- Bishop Leonard Paul Blair of Toledo.

- Bishop George Vance Murry S.J. of Youngstown.

- Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
AL/ VIS 20120202 (110)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 2 FEB 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Juticalpa, Honduras, presented by Bishop Tomas Andres Mauro Muldoon O.F.M., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Jose Bonello O.F.M.

- Appointed Fr. Luis Jose Rueda Aparicio of the clergy of the diocese of Socorro y San Gil, Colombia, episcopal vicar for pastoral care, as bishop of Montelibano (area 11,500, population 300,000, Catholics 280,000, priests 38, religious 31), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in San Gil, Colombia in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1989. He has worked as pastor in a number of parishes and as vice director of the diocesan secretariat for social pastoral care.

- Appointed Bishop Paul Lortie, auxiliary of Quebec, Canada, as bishop of Mont-Laurier (area 19,968, population 95,256, Catholics 77,340, priests 35, permanent deacons 1, religious 58), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Vital Masse, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Joseph Luc Andre Bouchard of Saint Paul in Alberta, Canada, as bishop of Trois-Rivieres (area 27,128, population 248,274, Catholics 245,108, priests 173, permanent deacons 30, religious 540), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Martin Veillette, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Jose Manuel Romero Barrios of the clergy of the diocese of Barcelona, Venezuela, vicar general, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 43,300, population 2,038,000, Catholics 1,906,000, priests 60, permanent deacons 4, religious 62). The bishop-elect was born in Pariaguan, Venezuela in 1955. Since his ordination in 1979 he has worked as pastor in a number of parishes and as vice rector of the University of Santa Rosa de Lima in Caracas. Since 1991 he has also been military chaplain in Barcelona.

- Appointed Fr. Timothee Bodika Mansiyai P.S.S., rector of the philosophical seminary of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and counsellor general of the Suplician Fathers, and Fr. Sebastien Muyengo Mulombe of the clergy of Kinshasa, currently a student at the University of Leuven, Belgium, as auxiliaries of Kinshasa (area 8,500, population 7,750,000, Catholics 3,875,000, priests 1,153, religious 2,727). Bishop-elect Bodika Mansiyai was born in Kinshasa in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1990. He gained a doctorate in moral theology in France where he also taught in the regional seminary of Toulouse. He has worked in education in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he has also served as chaplain to a leper colony. Bishop-elect Muyengo Mulombe was born in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1986. He studied in France and has worked in his own country as rector of the Major Theological Seminary John XIII and a professor at the Faculty of Theology in Kinshasa.

- Appointed Fr. Juan Maria Huerta Muro O.F.M., minister provincial for the Franciscan Province of "Blessed Fr. Junipero Serra" as bishop prelate of El Salto (area 36,000, population 387,200, Catholics 328,300, priests 27, religious 24), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1989. He has worked as master of novices in Tijuana and as dean of the presbyteral council of the same archdiocese.

- Appointed Fr. Bulus Dauwa Johanna, as apostolic vicar of Kontagora (area 50,000, population 1,534,000, Catholics 32,934, priests 36, religious 18), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Vuroro, Nigeria in 1970 and ordained a priest in 1998. He has worked as pastor in a number of parishes and, among other roles, as president of the Justice, Development and Peace Committee.

AMERICA : WORLD DAY OF CONSECRATED LIFE

CCCB REPORT: Each year since 1997, on February 2, the liturgical feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Church invites us to celebrate the World Day for Consecrated Life. The purpose of the day is to help the entire Church to esteem ever more greatly the witness of those persons who have chosen to follow Christ by means of the practice of the evangelical counsels. The World Day for Consecrated Life was established by the Blessed John Paul II. In his Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, he referred to the consecrated life as constituting “‘a closer imitation and an abiding re-enactment in the Church’ of the way of life which Jesus, the supreme Consecrated One and missionary of the Father for the sake of his Kingdom, embraced and proposed to his disciples” (no. 22).
“Consecrated life” refers to the status of men and women whom the Church recognizes as having consecrated their lives as members of a religious institute, a society of apostolic life, or a secular institute, as well as individual women whom a Bishop has solemnly recognized as living the life of virginity. Religious institutes and secular institutes involve a profession of the evangelical counsels. Societies of apostolic life do not involve the taking of religious vows but living a common life in pursuit of the apostolic purpose proper to each society.
Based on the latest statistics of the Canadian Religious Conference, there are more than 200 religious institutes and societies of apostolic life in Canada, with a total number of 19,235 women and men as members, while 350 women in Canada are members of women’s secular institutes. Those in consecrated life are involved in many of the pastoral services of the Church, including parishes, schools and colleges, health institutions, social services for the poor, and the missions, in addition to those whose lives are dedicated in a special way to prayer and contemplation.
http://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/media-room/announcements/3274-february-2-2012-16th-world-day-for-consecrated-life

AUSTRALIA : 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF ARCHDIOCESE

CANBERRA/GOULBOURN ARCHDIOCESE REPORT:
This year marks the 150thanniversary of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn dating back to the formal establishment of the then Goulburn Diocese in November 1862.
A committee has been set up to plan celebrations across the Archdiocese.
The landmark year also marks the 50thanniversary of what came to be known as “the Goulburn strike” when a dispute with the government led to the temporary closing of the Catholic school. Many see it as the catalyst for the introduction of state aid for Catholic schools.
Australia’s bishops have called Catholics to celebrate a Year of Grace starting at Pentecost, and Pope Benedict XVI has proclaimed a Year of Faith for the universal Church starting in October and marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II.
“Twelve months may not be quite enough for all that next year holds,” Archbishop Mark Coleridge said.
“But the Christian life is always much more that the great events and celebrations. At its heart there lies the much humbler day-to-day stuff of faith lived in the family and in the parish.
“All of this will be gathered up and celebrated in the many occasions that 2012 will bring, so that these occasions can make the living of faith in the family and the parish a still deeper and richer experience of the encounter with Christ, which alone can make us the more missionary Church we need to become at this time.”
In reflecting on the establishment of the Goulburn Diocese, Archbishop Coleridge said it took authorities five years to find a first bishop.
“The first man chosen, Patrick Bonaventure Geoghegan, was an Irish Franciscan who had been the pioneer priest of Melbourne before being appointed Bishop of Adelaide,” he said.
“He was eventually promoted to Goulburn, but died in Dublin before he could take possession of the See. The second man they asked was an Irish priest working in the region, and he simply said no.
“Eventually they settled upon another Irishman working in the region, William Lanigan, and he said yes, serving as first Bishop from 1867 to 1900.
“In 1948, the Diocese of Goulburn became the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, though Archbishop Maguire never moved from Goulburn. It was his successor, Archbishop Eris O’Brien, who moved to Canberra and Archbishop Thomas Cahill who later moved the Cathedral to Canberra.”
Referring to “the Goulburn strike”, he said the Catholic primary school in Goulburn was told at the time by authorities to renovate a dilapidated toilet block but protested that it had no money to do so.
“They were then told that no money would be coming from the government and that they simply had to find the money,” he said.
“This prompted the bold decision to close the Catholic school and send all the children for enrolment at the local Government school. This embarrassed the Government and, some would say, opened the way to State aid for Catholic schools.
“However one interprets it, ‘the Goulburn strike’ was a memorable event worth pondering 50 years on when school funding is being reviewed.
“I might add that the dilapidated toilet block still stands and may need some suitable plaque half a century later.”
On a national level, the bishops have summoned all Australian Catholics to celebrate a Year of Grace from Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013.
“This will be like a year-long retreat when we all have a chance ‘to start afresh from Christ’, contemplating his face and listening to his voice in a way that stirs new confidence and energy among us,”he said.
“It will be a time to refocus, asking the simple but crucial question of every aspect of Church life, ‘What does this have to do with Jesus?’
“A number of events and celebrations will punctuate the Year of Grace, which will replace nothing but gather all things to itself, looking all the time to the Lord crucified and risen who is grace incarnate.
“The Year of Grace in Australia will lead neatly and naturally to the Year of Faith which Pope Benedict has proclaimed for the whole Church from 11 October, 2012, to the end of 2013.
“The Year of Faith will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, described by Blessed John Paul II as ‘the great grace given to the Church in the 20th century’.
“If grace is God’s free gift to us inJesus, then faith is the human response in accepting that gift. The Year of Grace and the Year of Faith will celebrate the two aspects of the saving encounter which happens once God offers us the gift and we accept it.
“In celebrating that encounter, we will go back to the very basics of the Christian life.
In October, the Synod of Bishops will be held with the theme ”A new evangelisation for the transmission of the faith”.
“It is no accident that this was the theme chosen by the Pope to coincide with the Golden Jubilee of the Council,”Archbishop Coleridge said.
“It is a way of saying that the Council itself was all about a new evangelisation – a new surge of Gospel energy – in the wake of two-part apocalypse of World War I and World War II, after which nothing could be the same.
“The Council was not an introverted affair, looking only to the inner life of the Church. It looked outwards and asked the crucial question, How might we preach the Gospel to the world in new ways, given that Jesus crucified and risen is the only response adequate to the ash-heaps of Auschwitz and Hiroshima? What does a new evangelisation require? What might it look like?”
On the world scene, the International Eucharistic Congress will be held in June in Dublin.
Archbishop Coleridge said the Church in Australia and in the Archdiocese owed “an unpayable debt to the Irish who sowed the seed of faith among us”.
http://www.cg.catholic.org.au/news/view_article.cfm?id=556

ASIA : TAIWAN : FJ UNIVERSITY NEW PRESIDENT HAN-SUN

UCAN REPORT:
Doctor Vincent Chiang Han-sun says he wants to make FJU more international
Francis Kuo, New Taipei City
Taiwan
February 2, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of University president assumes office
Vincent Chiang Han-sun (left) receives the certificate of appointment from Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan
Doctor Vincent Chiang Han-sun has been sworn in as the new president of Fu Jen Catholic University (FJU), pledging to turn the institution into one that is more international and refined in teaching and learning.
During the inauguration ceremony, Monsignor Paul Russell read out the Vatican’s approval letter before Chiang knelt before the altar to recite the oath of office in front of 300 guests.
He then received his appointment letter and the school seal from Archbishops John Hung Shan-chuan of Taipei and Peter Liu Cheng-chung of Kaohsiung, who are the FJU chancellor and board chairman respectively.
The 61-year-old doctor of urology received his doctorate at Technical University of Munich in Germany. He was the former FJU vice president and dean of the Medical School.
In his speech, Chiang vowed to maintain the “positive, healthy and loving” campus culture and pledged to continue parallel development of research and teaching so that FJU will not only provide “excellent medical resources for New Taipei City when its hospital opens in 2014, but also develop effectively in all other academic areas.”
His vision is to turn FJU into one of the top 200 universities in the world before 2025, he said.
Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi, former board chairman, encouraged Chiang to “expand enrollment of outstanding students from mainland China and make the university a world training center of Chinese-speaking clergy.”
However, the retired bishop of Kaohsiung also reminded him to “provide proper care for less privileged local students in order to show the spirit and characteristics of a Catholic university.”
The cardinal also thanked former president Bernard Li for his selfless dedication and hard work in the past eight years.
http://www.ucanews.com/2012/02/02/university-president-assumes-office/

AFRICA : EGYPT : 74 KILLED DURING ATTACK

ASIA NEWS REPORT: Last night, 74 people were killed at Port Said stadium in an attack carried out against the supporters of Cairo’s al-Ahly club. Security forces unable to contain the violence. Witnesses speak of infiltrators.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Provisional Government of Egypt has declared three days of mourning for the death of at least 74 people during violence last night at the stadium in Port Said, in a clash between supporters of two rival teams, the local Al-Masry and Cairo based al-Alhy. Meanwhile, there are mounting protests in the country against what seemed the inability of police to control the mass of fans.

The clashes took place at the end of the game which saw the 3 to 0 victory of the Port Said team. During the match, Cairo – famed for being hooligans - continually provoked al-Masry fans who, at the final whistle, invaded the pitch clashing with the opposition players and fans. In a rare phone call to the television channel of the Al-Ahly Cairo team whose supporters were the main victims of the attack, the head of the Supreme Council of the armed forces, Marshal Tantawi said that " This will not bring Egypt down. We will not let those behind it go.'' He added: These incidents happen anywhere in the world.'' Tantawi said that the victims receive compensation. ''Egypt is stable. We have a roadmap to transfer power to elected civilians. If someone is aiming for instability in Egypt, they will not win. Each will get what he deserves.'' The Interior Ministry said 74 people died, including a police officer, 248 were injured and 14 of them are agents.

Protest marches are being organized today in front of the Ministry of Interior in Cairo against the inability of the security forces to contain the violence. "People are furious against the military regime," said a witness of the massacre. Since early morning spontaneous processions are forming in Cairo which people chanting slogans against the Supreme Council. In the meantime, three days of national mourning has been declared.

Local newspapers report eye witness accounts from people in the Port Said stadium which claim that the ultras were not only responsible for the al-Alhy attack. " All of my friends returning from the match assured us that they were not attacked by soccer fans only, but by another infiltrating crowd,” said journalist Mohamed Beshir on his Twitter account. And those present confirmed that security was completely absent when the al-Masry fans invaded the pitch.
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Massacre-at-Port-Said-between-fans.-The-military:-factions-that-want-destabilization-23860.html

EUROPE : RIP FR. GREGORY WINTERTON - REQUIEM MASS

CATHOLIC HERALD REPORT: Fr Gregory Winterton is mourned at a Requiem Mass at the Birmingham Oratory
By Peter Jennings on Thursday, 2 February 2012
Fr Winterton’s coffin is carried to the secluded Oratory community graveyard
Fr Paul Chavasse was the principal celebrant at the Requiem Mass for Fr Gregory Winterton at the Birmingham Oratory in Edgbaston on Tuesday, 24 January 24, writes Peter Jennings.
Fr Guy Nicholls was deacon and Brother Richard Duncan subdeacon. Fr Anton Guziel, parish priest, was Master of Ceremonies.
Bishop Terence Brain of Salford and Bishop Philip Pargeter, retired Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, were present on the sanctuary, together with Fathers from the London and Oxford Oratories, including the Oxford Provost, Fr Daniel Seward.
Fr Robert Byrne, Fr Dominic Jacob and Fr Richard Duffield, who left the Birmingham Oratory in September 1990 to found the Oxford house, were also there to say a last goodbye to their former Provost.
The Oratory Church is also the parish church and it was packed to its doors for the sung Latin Mass. Members of Fr Winterton’s family, including his nephew Michael Winterton, parishioners, and former parishioners, and priests from the Archdiocese of Birmingham were among the great company of mourners.
Also present were representatives of many of the organisations that Fr Gregory had been involved with over the long decades since his ordination in March 1963 as priest of the Birmingham Oratory.
After the welcome by Fr Chavasse, a message from Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham was read by the vicar general, Canon Timothy Menezes.
After the Requiem Mass the funeral cars made their way solemnly along Hagley Road at the start of their journey to the Oratory House at Rednal on the outskirts of Birmingham, where Fr Winterton was buried in the small, secluded community graveyard.
The earlier drizzle had stopped and the sun was gently breaking through the late January clouds as Fr Chavasse said the final prayers. The coffin was lowered gently into the newly dug grave situated not far from where Blessed John Henry Newman was buried on August 19 1890.
It was a deeply emotional but memorable moment as this last in a long line of much-loved “old-style” Birmingham Oratory Fathers, going back to Blessed John Henry Newman, was laid to rest.
http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/catholiclife/2012/02/02/beloved-priest-is-buried/

TODAY'S MASS AND GOSPEL ONLINE : THURS. FEB. 2, 2012

Luke 2: 22 - 40
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord")
24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,
28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word;
30 for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
31 which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;
34 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against
35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,
37 and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
38 And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

TODAY'S SAINT : PRESENTATION OF THE CHILD JESUS

Presentation of Child Jesus in the Temple
Feast: February 2


Information:
Feast Day: February 2
The law of God, given by Moses to the Jews, to insinuate both to us and to them, that by the sin of Adam man is conceived and born in sin, and obnoxious to his wrath, ordained that a woman, after childbirth, should continue for a certain time in a state which that law calls unclean; during which she was not to appear in public, nor presume to touch any thing consecrated to God. This term was of forty days upon the birth of a son, and the time was double for a daughter: on the expiration of which, the mother was to bring to the door of the tabernacle, or temple, a lamb of a year old. and a young pigeon or turtle-dove. The lamb was for a holocaust, or burnt-offering, in acknowledgment of the sovereignty of God, and in thanksgiving for her own happy delivery; the pigeon or turtle-dove was for a sin-offering. These being sacrificed to Almighty God by the priest, the woman was cleansed of the legal impurity, and reinstated in her former privileges.

A young pigeon, or turtle-dove, by way of a sin-offering, was required of all, whether rich or poor: but whereas the charge of a lamb might be too burdensome on persons of narrow circumstances, in that case, nothing more was required, then two pigeons, or two turtle-doves, one for a burnt, the other for a sin-offering.
Our Saviour having been conceived by the Holy Ghost, and his blessed Mother remaining always a spotless virgin, it is most evident from the terms of the law, that she was, in reality, under no obligation to it, nor within the intent of it. She was, however, within the letter of the law, in the eye of the world, who were as yet strangers to her miraculous conception. And her humility making her perfectly resigned, and even desirous to conceal her privilege and dignity, she submitted with great punctuality and exactness to every humbling circumstance which the law required. Pride indeed proclaims its own advantages, and seeks honors not its due; but the humble find their delight in obscurity and abasement, they shun all distinction and esteem which they clearly see their own nothingness and baseness to be most unworthy of: they give all glory to God alone, to whom it is due. Devotion also and zeal to honor God by every observance prescribed by his law, prompted Mary to perform this act of religion, though evidently exempt from the precept. Being poor herself; she made the offering appointed for the poor: accordingly is this part of the law mentioned by St. Luke, as best agreeing with the meanness of her worldly condition. But her offering, however mean in itself, was made with a perfect heart, which is what God chiefly regards in all that is offered to him. The King of Glory would appear everywhere in the robes of poverty, to point out to us the advantages of a suffering and lowly state, and to repress our pride, by which, though really poor and mean in the eyes of God, we covet to appear rich, and, though sinners, would be deemed innocents and saints.
A second great mystery is honored this day, regarding more immediately the person of our Redeemer, viz. his presentation in the temple. Besides the law which obliged the mother to purify herself, there was another which ordered that the first-born son should be offered to God: and in these two laws were included several others, as, that the child, after its presentation, should be ransomed with a certain sum of money, and peculiar sacrifices offered on the occasion.
Mary complies exactly with all these ordinances. She obeys not only in the essential points of the law, as in presenting herself to be purified, and in her offering her first-born, but has strict regard to all the circumstances. She remains forty days at home, she denies herself all this time the liberty of. entering the temple, she partakes not of things sacred, though the living temple of the God of Israel; and on the day of her purification, she walks several miles to Jerusalem, with the world's Redeemer in her arms. She waits for the priest at the gate of the temple, makes her offerings of thanksgiving and expiation, presents her divine Son by the hands of the priest to his eternal Father, with the most profound humility, adoration, and thanksgiving. She then redeems him with five shekels, as the law appoints, and receives him back again as a depositum in her special care, till the Father shall again demand him for the full accomplishment of man's redemption. It is clear that Christ was not comprehended in the law; "The king's son, to whom the inheritance of the crown belongs, is exempt from servitude:- much more Christ, who was the Redeemer both of our souls and bodies, was not subject to any law by which he was to be himself redeemed," as St. Hilary observes. But he would set an example of humility, obedience, and devotion: and would renew, in a solemn and public manner, and in the temple, the oblation of himself to his Father for the accomplishment of his will, and the redemption of man, which he had made privately in the first moment of his Incarnation. With what sentiments did the divine Infant offer himself to his Father at the same time! the greatest homage of his honour and glory the Father could receive, and a sacrifice of satisfaction adequate to the injuries done to the Godhead by our sins, and sufficient to ransom our souls from everlasting death! With what cheerfulness and charity did he offer himself to all his torments! to be whipped, crowned with thorns, and ignominiously put to death for us!
Let every Christian learn hence to offer himself to God with this divine victim, through which he may be accepted by the Father; let him devote himself with all his senses and faculties to his service. If sloth, or any other vice, has made us neglectful of this essential duty, we must bewail past omissions, and make a solemn and serious consecration of ourselves this day to the divine majesty with the greater fervor, crying out with St. Austin, in compunction of heart: "Too late have I known thee, too late have I begun to love thee, O beauty more ancient than the world!" But our sacrifice, if we desire it may be accepted, must not be lame and imperfect. It would be an insult to offer to God, in union with his Christ, a divided heart, or a heart infected with wilful sin. It must therefore first be cleansed by tears of sincere compunction: its affections must be crucified to the world by perfect mortification. Our offering must be sincere and fervent, without reserve, allowing no quarter to any of our vicious passions and inclinations, and no division in any of our affections. It must also be universal; to suffer and to do all for the divine honor. If we give our hearts to Christ in this manner, we shall receive him with his graces and benedictions. He would be presented in the temple by the hands of his mother: let us accordingly make the offering of our souls through Mary and beg his graces through the same channel.
The ceremony of this day was closed by a third mystery, the. meeting in the temple of the holy persons, Simeon and Anne, with Jesus and his parents, from which this festival was anciently called by the Greeks Hypante, the meeting. Holy Simeon, on that occasion, received into his arms the object of all his desires and sighs, and praised God in raptures of devotion for being blessed with the happiness of beholding the so much longed-for Messias. He foretold to Mary her martyrdom of sorrow; and that Jesus brought redemption to those who would accept of it on the terms it was offered them; but a heavy judgment on all infidels who should obstinately reject it, and on Christians also whose lives were a contradiction to his holy maxims and example. Mary, hearing this terrible prediction, did not answer one word, felt no agitation of mind from the present, no dread for the future; but courageously and sweetly committed all to God's holy will. Anne also, the prophetess, who, in her widowhood, served God with great fervor, had the happiness to acknowledge and adore in this great mystery the world's Redeemer. Amidst the crowd of priests and people, the Saviour of the world is known only by Simeon and Anne. Even when he disputed with the doctors, and when he wrought the most stupendous miracles, the learned, the wise, and the princes did not know him. Yet here, while a weak, speechless child, carried in the arms of his poor mother, he is acknowledged and adored by Simeon and Anne. He could not hide himself from those who sought him with fervor, humility, and ardent love. Unless we seek him in these dispositions, he will not manifest himself, nor communicate his graces to us. Simeon, having beheld his Saviour in the flesh, desired no longer to see the light of this world, nor any creatures on earth If we truly love God, our distance from him must be a continual pain: and we must sigh after that desired moment which will free us from the danger of ever losing him by sin, and will put us in possession of Him who is the joy of the blessed, and the infinite treasure of heaven. Let us never cease to pray that he purify our hearts from all earthly dross, and draw them to himself: that he heal, satiate, and inflame our souls, as he only came upon earth to kindle in all hearts the fire of his love


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/presentationofchildjesusinthetemple.asp#ixzz1lF56YaHM

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