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Sunday, April 1, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : SUN. APRIL 1, 2012

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VATICAN : POPE : PALM SUNDAY HOMILY - FULL TEXT
AMERICA : PRAYER CAMPAIGN - RELIGIOUS FREEDOM - RESOURCES FROM BISHOPS
EUROPE : FORMER ANGLICAN BISHOP ORDAINED CATHOLIC PRIEST
AFRICA : SOMALIA : DROUGHT AFFECTS THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES
AUSTRALIA : CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY THAT'S LIFE WEEK
ASIA : PHILLIPINES : BISHOPS WARN AGAINST SELF- CRUCIFIXION
TODAY'S SAINT : APRIL 1 : ST. HUGH OF GRENOBLE

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : PALM SUN. APRIL 1, 2012

 
VATICAN : POPE : PALM SUNDAY HOMILY - FULL TEXT
RADIO VATICANA REPORT:
Pope Benedict presided over Mass in St Peter's Square asking the question, Who is Jesus of Nazareth?
Below is the full text of the Pope's Homily in English.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Palm Sunday is the great doorway leading into Holy Week, the week when the Lord Jesus makes his way towards the culmination of his earthly existence. He goes up to Jerusalem in order to fulfil the Scriptures and to be nailed to the wood of the Cross, the throne from which he will reign for ever, drawing to himself humanity of every age and offering to all the gift of redemption. We know from the Gospels that Jesus had set out towards Jerusalem in company with the Twelve, and that little by little a growing crowd of pilgrims had joined them. Saint Mark tells us that as they were leaving Jericho, there was a “great multitude” following Jesus (cf. 10:46).

On the final stage of the journey, a particular event stands out, one which heightens the sense of expectation of what is about to unfold and focuses attention even more sharply upon Jesus. Along the way, as they were leaving Jericho, a blind man was sitting begging, Bartimaeus by name. As soon as he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing, he began to cry out: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mk 10:47). People tried to silence him, but to no avail; until Jesus had them call him over and invited him to approach. “What do you want me to do for you?”, he asked. And the reply: “Master, let me receive my sight” (v. 51). Jesus said: “Go your way, your faith has made you well.” Bartimaeus regained his sight and began to follow Jesus along the way (cf. v. 52). And so it was that, after this miraculous sign, accompanied by the cry “Son of David”, a tremor of Messianic hope spread through the crowd, causing many of them to ask: this Jesus, going ahead of us towards Jerusalem, could he be the Messiah, the new David? And as he was about to enter the Holy City, had the moment come when God would finally restore the Davidic kingdom?

The preparations made by Jesus, with the help of his disciples, serve to increase this hope. As we heard in today’s Gospel (cf. Mk 11:1-10), Jesus arrives in Jerusalem from Bethphage and the Mount of Olives, that is, the route by which the Messiah was supposed to come. From there, he sent two disciples ahead of him, telling them to bring him a young donkey that they would find along the way. They did indeed find the donkey, they untied it and brought it to Jesus. At this point, the spirits of the disciples and of the other pilgrims were swept up with excitement: they took their coats and placed them on the colt; others spread them out on the street in Jesus’ path as he approached, riding on the donkey. Then they cut branches from the trees and began to shout phrases from Psalm 118, ancient pilgrim blessings, which in that setting took on the character of messianic proclamation: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!” (v. 9-10). This festive acclamation, reported by all four evangelists, is a cry of blessing, a hymn of exultation: it expresses the unanimous conviction that, in Jesus, God has visited his people and the longed-for Messiah has finally come. And everyone is there, growing in expectation of the work that Christ will accomplish once he has entered the city.

But what is the content, the inner resonance of this cry of jubilation? The answer is found throughout the Scripture, which reminds us that the Messiah fulfils the promise of God’s blessing, God’s original promise to Abraham, father of all believers: “I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you ... and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves” (Gen 12:2-3). It is the promise that Israel had always kept alive in prayer, especially the prayer of the Psalms. Hence he whom the crowd acclaims as the blessed one is also he in whom the whole of humanity will be blessed. Thus, in the light of Christ, humanity sees itself profoundly united and, as it were, enfolded within the cloak of divine blessing, a blessing that permeates, sustains, redeems and sanctifies all things.

Here we find the first great message that today’s feast brings us: the invitation to adopt a proper outlook upon all humanity, on the peoples who make up the world, on its different cultures and civilizations. The look that the believer receives from Christ is a look of blessing: a wise and loving look, capable of grasping the world’s beauty and having compassion on its fragility. Shining through this look is God’s own look upon those he loves and upon Creation, the work of his hands. We read in the Book of Wisdom: “But thou art merciful to all, for thou canst do all things, and thou dost overlook men’s sins, that they may repent. For thou lovest all things that exist and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made ... thou sparest all things, for they are thine, O Lord who lovest the living” (11:23-24, 26).

Let us return to today’s Gospel passage and ask ourselves: what is really happening in the hearts of those who acclaim Christ as King of Israel? Clearly, they had their own idea of the Messiah, an idea of how the long-awaited King promised by the prophets should act. Not by chance, a few days later, instead of acclaiming Jesus, the Jerusalem crowd will cry out to Pilate: “Crucify him!”, while the disciples, together with others who had seen him and listened to him, will be struck dumb and will disperse. The majority, in fact, was disappointed by the way Jesus chose to present himself as Messiah and King of Israel. This is the heart of today’s feast, for us too. Who is Jesus of Nazareth for us? What idea do we have of the Messiah, what idea do we have of God? It is a crucial question, one we cannot avoid, not least because during this very week we are called to follow our King who chooses the Cross as his throne. We are called to follow a Messiah who promises us, not a facile earthly happiness, but the happiness of heaven, divine beatitude. So we must ask ourselves: what are our true expectations? What are our deepest desires, with which we have come here today to celebrate Palm Sunday and to begin our celebration of Holy Week?

Dear young people, present here today, this, in a particular way, is your Day, wherever the Church is present throughout the world. So I greet you with great affection! May Palm Sunday be a day of decision for you, the decision to say yes to the Lord and to follow him all the way, the decision to make his Passover, his death and resurrection, the very focus of your Christian lives. It is the decision that leads to true joy, as I reminded you in this year’s World Youth Day Message – “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4). So it was for Saint Clare of Assisi when, on Palm Sunday 800 years ago, inspired by the example of Saint Francis and his first companions, she left her father’s house to consecrate herself totally to the Lord. She was eighteen years old and she had the courage of faith and love to decide for Christ, finding in him true joy and peace.

Dear brothers and sisters, may these days call forth two sentiments in particular: praise, after the example of those who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with their “Hosanna!”, and thanksgiving, because in this Holy Week the Lord Jesus will renew the greatest gift we could possibly imagine: he will give us his life, his body and his blood, his love. But we must respond worthily to so great a gift, that is to say, with the gift of ourselves, our time, our prayer, our entering into a profound communion of love with Christ who suffered, died and rose for us. The early Church Fathers saw a symbol of all this in the gesture of the people who followed Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem, the gesture of spreading out their coats before the Lord. Before Christ – the Fathers said – we must spread out our lives, ourselves, in an attitude of gratitude and adoration. As we conclude, let us listen once again to the words of one of these early Fathers, Saint Andrew, Bishop of Crete: “So it is ourselves that we must spread under Christ’s feet, not coats or lifeless branches or shoots of trees, matter which wastes away and delights the eye only for a few brief hours. But we have clothed ourselves with Christ’s grace, or with the whole Christ ... so let us spread ourselves like coats under his feet ... let us offer not palm branches but the prizes of victory to the conqueror of death. Today let us too give voice with the children to that sacred chant, as we wave the spiritual branches of our soul: ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel’” (PG 97, 994). Amen!

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

AMERICA : PRAYER CAMPAIGN - RELIGIOUS FREEDOM - RESOURCES FROM BISHOPS


USCCB REPORT:
Want to know why the bishops are fighting the HHS insurance mandate? Need more material to help teach others - or prayers to join in solidarity with our bishops?
The following resources are available for use in a wide variety of settings, including universities & schools, associations, parishes, RCIA programs, and families.



Bulletin Inserts for Parishes, Schools & Lay Associations

One-page bulletin inserts offer vital information on how to write -- or place calls to -- Congress urging their support of the much-needed Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.


Prayer Resources

The following prayers may be used in solidarity with the bishops' call to penance and prayer to restore religious freedom & conscience protections.
Please note: No special permissions are required to use these prayers, so long as no modification is made and proper attribution is given as noted on the resources.

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

USCCB Publications is currently printing & taking orders for the Mary Immaculate card in English and Spanish card featuring Our Lady of Guadalupe.
There are no plans to sell any of the other four designs at this time.

All six prayer cards may still be downloaded for free from the links below.


Additional Suggested Prayers
English Prayers

  • Prayer for Formation of Conscience
  • Prayers of the Faithful
  • Prayer for Protection of Conscience Rights
  • Prayer for Our Nation
  • Prayer for Our Leaders
  • Prayer for Religious Liberty (text of national prayer card)

Spanish Prayers
  • Oración por la formación de conciencia
  • Oraciónes de los fieles
  • Oración por la protección de los derechos de conciencia
  • Oración por nuestra nación
  • Oración por el gobierno
  • Oración por la libertad religiosa (tarjetas para oración nacional)


Fact Sheets


USCCB Testimony, Statements and Letters


News Releases


Columns and Commentary

Return to main Conscience Protection Page.

EUROPE : FORMER ANGLICAN BISHOP ORDAINED CATHOLIC PRIEST

Former Anglican bishop now Catholic priest               | Fr Robert Mercer, Anglican bishop of Matabeleland,Rt Reverend Alan Hopes, St John’s Cathedral,Portsmouth, Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham,

Our Lady of WalsinghamIND. CATH. NEWS REPORT:
A sixth Anglican bishop was ordained as a Catholic priest at a ceremony in Portsmouth on Monday. Fr Robert Mercer, who served as the Anglican bishop of Matabeleland and as a bishop within the Traditional Anglican Communion, was ordained to the Priesthood by the Right Reverend Alan Hopes in St John’s Cathedral in Portsmouth.

Fr Mercer will serve in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, in England and Wales. This is the first structure, set up in 2011, following the provision of Pope Benedict XVI to allow Anglicans, including members of the Church of England and the Traditional Anglican Communion, to become Catholics whilst retaining much of their own tradition and heritage.

Serving within the Isle of Wight & Portsmouth Ordinariate Group, Fr Mercer will minister especially to those worshipping at the historic Portsmouth church of St Agatha’s, Landport, who hope to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church this Easter.

Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary (leader) of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, commented on Fr Mercer’s ordination, saying, “Fr Robert’s witness to the truth of the Catholic faith, and his commitment to the unity of all Christians, has led to this very happy day when we can welcome him as a brother Priest in the Catholic Church. His ministry in Africa, in Canada and here in Portsmouth, has been exemplary, and we look forward to his renewed ministry now - bringing many rich gifts from the Anglican tradition into the Catholic Church”.

Fr Jonathan Redvers Harris, who bears overall responsibility for the Isle of Wight & Portsmouth Ordinariate Group, said “As the Ordinariate continues to grow in Portsmouth, it will be good to have Fr Robert’s expertise and great wealth of experience. I welcome him warmly as a colleague and a friend”.

For more news from the Ordinariate, including Holy Week and Easter Services, see: http://www.ordinariate.org.uk/

AUSTRALIA : CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY THAT'S LIFE WEEK

ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE REPORT:
ACU

Life-week 2012Friday 30 March 2012
By Jo Grainger, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine and Dr Joel Hodge, School of Theology, ACU St Patrick's campus.
The Australian Catholic University(ACU) recently hosted a week of public forums and activities at its Melbourne campus as part of the inaugural ‘That’s Life!@ACU’ week.

The week-long program promoted and affirmed the dignity of all persons, raised awareness of major social and life issues, provided information about support services, and offered the opportunity for staff and students to learn about and discuss Church teaching on these issues. One of the aims of the week is to form an on-going campus group dedicated to life issues and the bishops' 'Walking with Love' initiative.
ACU stands in a unique position to positively engage with life and social issues through the lens of Catholic teaching. Life Week aimed to promote a ‘culture of life’ through positively presenting Church teachings in the spirit of charity that Pope John Paul II called for in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae – The Gospel of Life. As Blessed Pope John Paul II affirmed:

Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15) the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree. Upon the recognition of this right, every human community and the political community itself are founded. (EV #1)
Vice Chancellor Professor Greg Craven launched ‘That’s Life!’ week on Sunday 25 March, the feast of the Annunciation and also the 17th anniversary of the publication of Evangelium Vitae. Professor Craven gave a passionate and very personal speech about the role a Catholic University in the promotion of a culture of life in the key areas of education and health sciences. Attended by approximately 45 staff, students and members of the wider Catholic community, Professor Craven endorsed ‘That’s Life!’ to be conducted as an annual event across all ACU campuses throughout Australia.
Features of the week included daily Mass, a time for Adoration and a Rosary for life. During the week, invited experts addressed various topics, particularly centred around contemporary health care ethics and culture of life.
Each of the sessions were well attended by staff and students, with several days being full to capacity in the allocated rooms. ACU staff members Dr Joel Hodge and Anna Krohn spoke about the social and cultural influences in the ‘culture of death’ and the positive response that the Church has in fostering a ‘culture of life’.
Marcia Riordan from the Archdiocesan Life Marriage and Family office provided some great insight into the 'Walking with Love' pastoral program developed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference to support women facing an unexpected pregnancy and seeking post abortion healing.

Prominent Australian bioethicist and Associate Dean of the John Paul II Institute Professor Nicholas Tonti-Filippini spoke to a packed audience on the challenging area of Advanced Directives and assisted suicide.

Thursday’s session from ACU biblical scholar Dr Michael Theophilus investigated the attitudes, beliefs and practices of the early Christians toward life and compared their unique and courageous responses to the norms of their time. The final session on Friday 30 March was an opportunity for ACU staff and students to ask a panel of ACU theologians and bioethicists questions in the area of Catholic teachings in life issues. Chaired by Associate Professor Patrick McArdle, this session featured open and frank discussion in the areas of surrogacy, euthanasia, contraception, same sex marriage and abortion.
That’s Life! week was supported by the office of the Associate Vice Chancellor of ACU, the Directorate for Mission and Identity and the office of the Vice Chancellor.
http://www.cam.org.au/melbourne-news/that-s-life-week-at-acu.html

ASIA : PHILLIPINES : BISHOPS WARN AGAINST SELF- CRUCIFIXION

UCAN REPORT:
Would rather have people renewing faith than hurting themselves
Lourdes Abelardo, Manila
Philippines
March 30, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Bishops warn against crucifixions
Penitents being nailed to the cross on Good Friday (photo: Joe Torres)
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) warned penitents today against crucifying themselves this Holy Week.
Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, CBCP president, said the Church would rather have people renewing their faith than inflicting pain on themselves.
“While we are trying to discourage these practices we cannot also judge their intention, especially those who have made it as their vow,” the prelate said.
Archbishop Palma said the Church would rather have the faithful focus on the spiritual aspect of their lives than on external manifestations of their faith.
“We do not judge and condemn [the practice] but we discourage it,” he added.
At least 20 people are already scheduled to be crucified or nailed to wooden crosses in the province of Pampanga on Good Friday.
Tens of thousands of local and foreign tourists are expected to flock to the province to witness the traditional re-enactment of the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
SHARED FROM : UCAN NEWS

AFRICA : SOMALIA : DROUGHT AFFECTS THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES

Agenzia Fides REPORT- Health workers in the Republic of Somaliland have appealed with a request for food aid and clean water for thousands of families who, because of drought, have lost their livelihoods. Families living in areas of Garba dadar, Gargaara bari, Gerisa and Osoli, in western Somaliland, have lost all their livestock and they can not get regular food supplies. Others, in the areas of Gargaara and Gerrisa, go ahead with the supplies of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Even in Ceel la helay, north of the capital Hargeisa, the situation is serious. In February, WFP distributed food aid to some 150,000 people in Somaliland, among these 38 000 were mothers and children under 5 years of age, while other 18,600 families received rations or food vouchers thanks to the program targeted to the treatment of malnourished children, pregnant women and mothers who have been diagnosed with malnutrition. Approximately 48 000 people have also had food rations through school meal programs. In the rural mountain area of Baki there are about 1800 malnourished children. The highest rates occur among displaced persons (IDPs) in the area of Burco Togdheer. The rains in the northern regions of Somalia began in mid-October 2011 but decreased ahead of time. WFP is also providing other assistance programs such as building reserves, wells and roads able to withstand any seasonal calamities. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 30/3/2012)

TODAY'S SAINT : APRIL 1 : ST. HUGH OF GRENOBLE

St. Hugh of Grenoble
CONFESSOR, BISHOP
Feast: April 1


Information:
Feast Day: April 1
Born: 1053 at Chateauneuf, Dauphiné, France
Died: 1 April 1132
Canonized: 1134 by Pope Innocent II
The first tincture of the mind is of the utmost importance to virtue; and it was the happiness of this saint to receive from his cradle the strongest impressions of piety by the example and care of his illustrious and holy parents. He was born at Chateau-neuf, in the territory of Valence, in Dauphine, in 1053. His father, Odilo, served his country in an honourable post in the army, in which he acquitted himself of his duty to his prince with so much the greater fidelity and velour, as he most ardently endeavoured to sanctify his profession, and all his actions, by a motive of religion. Being sensible that all authority which men receive over others is derived from God, with an obligation that they employ it, in the first place, for the advancement of the divine honour, he laboured, by all the means in his power, to make his soldiers faithful servants of their Creator, and by severe punishments to restrain vices, those especially of impurity and lying. By the advice of his son, St. Hugh, he afterwards became a Carthusian monk, when he was upwards of fourscore years old, and lived eighteen years in great humility and austerity under St. Bruno and his successors, in the Great Chartreuse, where he died one hundred years old, having received extreme unction and the viaticum from the hands of his son. Our saint likewise assisted in her last moments his mother, who had for many years, under his direction, served God in her own house, by prayer, fasting, and plenteous alms-deeds. Hugh, from the cradle, appeared to be a child of benediction. He went through his studies with great applause, and his progress in piety always kept pace with his advancement in learning. Having chosen to serve God in an ecclesiastical state, that he might always dwell in his house and be occupied in his praises, he accepted a canonry in the cathedral of Valence. In this station, the sanctity of his life and his extraordinary talents rendered him the ornament of that church; and the gentleness and affability of his deportment won him the affection of all his colleagues. He was tall and very comely, but naturally exceeding bashful; and such was his modesty that for some time he found means to conceal his learning and eloquence; nevertheless, his humility served only to show afterwards those talents to more advantage and with greater lustre. For no virtue shines brighter with learning than modesty, as nothing renders scholars more odious or despicable than haughtiness and pride, which they discover by their obstinacy and clamours, by the contempt with which they treat those who dissent from them in opinion, and by their ostentatious pedantry in embracing every occasion of exhibiting their supposed superior wit and extraordinary parts.
Hugh, then Bishop of Die, but soon after Archbishop of Lyons, and also cardinal legate of the holy see, was so charmed at first sight of the saint when he happened to come to Valence that he would not be contented till he had taken the good man into his household. He employed him in extirpating simony, and in many other affairs of importance. In 1080, the Legate Hugh held a synod at Avignon, in which he took under consideration the desolate condition and the grievous disorders into which the church of Grenoble was sunk through the sloth and bad example of its late mercenary pastor. The eyes of the legate and of the whole council were fixed on St. Hugh as the person best qualified, by his virtue and prudence, to reform these abuses and restore the ancient glory of that church; and with them the voice of the whole city conspired. But his reluctance and fears were not to be overcome till he was compelled by the repeated commands of the legate and council. The legate took our newly appointed bishop with him to Rome, in order to his receiving the episcopal consecration from the hands of Gregory VII, who then sat in the chair of St. Peter. The servant of God was glad of this opportunity of consulting the vicar of Christ concerning his own conscience; for during a great part of his life he had been extremely molested with troublesome temptations of importunate blasphemous thoughts against the divine providence. Pope Gregory, who was a man very well versed in the interior trial of souls, assured him that this angel of Satan was permitted by God, in his sweet mercy, to buffet him only for his trial and crown: which words exceedingly comforted the saint, and encouraged him to bear his cross with patience and joy. A devout soul. under this trial, which finds these suggestions always painful and disagreeable, ought not to lose courage; for by patience and perseverance she exceedingly multiplies her crowns, and glorifies God, who has laid it upon her shoulders, and who will, when he sees fit, scatter these mists, and on a sudden translate her from this state of bitterness and darkness into the region of light, Joy, and the sweetest peace. St. Hugh prayed earnestly to be freed from this enemy, but received for a long time the same answer with St. Paul.1 In the mean while, his patience and constancy were his victory and his crown: and assiduous meditation on the sufferings of our divine Redeemer, who was made for us a man of sorrows, was his comfort and support.
The pious Countess Maud would needs be at the whole charge of the ceremony of his consecration: she also gave him a crosier and other episcopal ornaments, with a small library of suitable books, earnestly desiring to be instructed by his good counsels and assisted by his prayers. St. Hugh, after his ordination, hastened to his flock; but being arrived at Grenoble, could not refrain his tears, and was exceedingly afflicted and terrified when he saw the diocese overrun with tares which the enemy had sown while the pastor slept. He found the people in general immersed in a profound ignorance of several essential duties of religion, and plunged in vice and immorality. Some sins seemed by custom to have lost their name, and men committed them without any scruple or sign of remorse. The negligence and backwardness of many in frequenting the sacraments indicated a total decay of piety, and could not fail introducing many spiritual disorders in their souls, especially a great lukewarmness in prayer and other religious duties. Simony and usury seemed, under specious disguises, to be accounted innocent, and to reign almost without control. Many lands belonging to the church were usurped by laymen; and the revenues of the bishopric were dissipated, so that the saint, upon his arrival, found nothing either to enable him to assist the poor, or to supply his own necessities, unless he would have had recourse to unlawful contracts, as had been the common practice of many others, but which he justly deemed iniquitous; nor would he by any means defile his soul with them. He set himself in earnest to reprove vice and reform abuses. To this purpose he endeavoured by rigorous fasts, watchings, tears, sighs, and prayer to draw down the divine mercy on his flock; and so plentiful was the benediction of heaven upon his labours that he had the comfort to see the face of his diocese in a short time exceedingly changed. After two years, imitating therein the humility of some other saints, he privately resigned his bishopric, presuming on the tacit consent of the holy see; and, putting on the habit of St. Bennet, he entered upon a noviciate in the austere abbey of Chaise-Dieu, or Casa-Dei, in Auvergne, of the reformation of Cluni. There he lived a year a perfect model of all virtues to that house of saints, till Pope Gregory VII commanded him, in virtue of holy obedience, to resume his pastoral charge. Coming out of his solitude, like another Moses descending from the conversation of God on the mountain, he announced the divine law with greater zeal and success than ever. The author of his life assures us that he was an excellent and assiduous preacher.
St. Bruno and his six companions addressed themselves to him for his advice in their pious design of forsaking the world, and he appointed them a desert which was in his diocese, whither he conducted them in 1084. It is a frightful solitude, called the Chartreuse, or Carthusian Mountains, in Dauphine, which place gave name to the famous order St. Bruno founded there. The meek and pious behaviour of these servants of God took deep root in the heart of our holy pastor; and it was his delight frequently to visit them in their solitude, to join them in their exercises and austerities, and perform the meanest offices amongst them, as an outcast and one unworthy to bear them company. Sometimes the charms of contemplation detained him so long in this hermitage that St. Bruno was obliged to order him to go to his flock, and acquit himself of the duties which he owed them. He being determined to sell his horses for the benefit of the poor, thinking himself able to perform the visitation of his diocese on foot, St. Bruno, to whose advice he paid an implicit deference, opposed his design, urging that he had not strength for such an undertaking. For the last forty years of his life he was afflicted with almost continual headaches, and pains in the stomach; he also suffered the most severe interior temptations. Yet God did not leave him entirely destitute of comfort; but frequently visited his soul with heavenly sweetness and sensible spiritual consolations, which filled his heart under his afflictions with interior joy. The remembrance of the divine love, or of his own and others' spiritual miseries, frequently produced a flood of tears from his eyes, which way soever he turned them; nor was he able sometimes to check them in company or at table, especially whilst he heard the holy scriptures read. In hearing confessions, he frequently mingled his tears with those of his penitents, or first excited theirs by his own. At his sermons it was not unusual to see the whole audience melt into tears together; and some were so strongly affected that they confessed their sins publicly on the spot. After sermons, he was detained very long in hearing confession. He often cast himself at the feet of others, to entreat them to pardon injuries, or to make some necessary satisfaction to their neighbours. His love of heavenly things made all temporal affairs seem to him burdensome and tedious. Women he would never look in the face, so that ho knew not the public news or reports, for fear of detraction, or at least of dissipation. His constant pensioners and occasional alms (in the latter of which he was extremely bountiful) were very expensive to him: insomuch, that though, in order to relieve the poor, he had long denied himself every thing that seemed to have the least appearance of superfluity, still, for the extending his beneficent inclination, he even sold, in the time of famine, a gold chalice, and part of his episcopal ornaments, as gold rings and precious stones. And the happy consequence of St. Hugh's example this way was, that the rich were moved by it to bestow of their treasures to the necessitous, whereby the wants of all the poor of his diocese were supplied.
He earnestly solicited Pope Innocent II for leave to resign his bishopric, that he might die in solitude; but was never able to obtain his request. God was pleased to purify his soul by a lingering illness before he called him to himself. Some time before his death he lost his memory for everything but his prayers; the psalter and the Lord's prayer he recited with great devotion, almost without intermission; and he was said to have repeated the last three hundred times in one night. Being told that so constant an attention would increase his distemper, he said, "It is quite otherwise; by prayer I always find myself stronger." In the time of sickness, a certain forwardness and peevishness of disposition is what the best of us are too apt to give way to, through weakness of nature and a temptation of the enemy, who seeks to deprive a dying person of the most favorable advantages of penance and patience, and to feed and strengthen self-love in the soul while upon the very cross itself; and in the crucible in. which she is thrown by a singular mercy, in order to her coming forth refined and pure. In this fiery trial, the virtue of the saints shows itself genuine, and endued with a fortitude which renders it worthy its crown. By the same test is pretended virtue discovered: self-love can no longer disguise itself: it cries out, murmurs, frets, and repines: the mask which the hypocrite wore is here pulled off: saints, on the contrary, under every degree of torture cruelty can invent, preserve a happy patience and serenity of soul. Hence the devil would not allow the virtue of Job to be sincere before it had been approved under sickness and bodily pain.2 St. Hugh left us by his invincible patience a proof of the fervour of kits charity. Under the sharpest pains, he never let fall one word of complaint nor mentioned what he suffered; his whole concern seemed only to be for others. When any assisted him, he expressed the greatest confusion and thankfulness: if he had given the least trouble to anyone, he would beg to receive the discipline, and because no one would give it to him, would confess his fault, as he called it, and implore the divine mercy with tears. The like sentiments we read in the relation of the deaths of many of the holy monks of La Trappe. Dom. Bennet, under the most racking pains, when turned in his bed, said, "You lay me too much at my ease." Dom. Charles would not cool his mouth with a little water in the raging heat of a violent fever. Such examples teach us at least to blush at and condemn our murmurs and impatience under sickness. The humility of St. Hugh was the more surprising, because everyone approached him with the greatest reverence and affection, and thought it a happiness if they were allowed in any thing to serve him. It was his constant prayer, in which he begged his dear Carthusians and all others to join him, that God would extinguish in his heart all attachment to creatures, that his pure love might reign in all his affections. One said to him, "Why do you weep so bitterly, who never offended God by any wilful crime?" He replied, "Vanity and inordinate affections suffice to damn a soul. It is only through the divine mercy that we can hope to be saved, and shall we ever cease to implore it?" If anyone spoke of news in his presence, he checked them, saying, "This life is all given us for weeping and penance, not for idle discourses." He closed his penitential course on the 1st of April, in 1132, wanting only two months of being eighty years old, of which he had been fifty-two years bishop. Miracles attested the sanctity of his happy death; and he was canonized by Innocent II in 1134.
There is no saint who was not a lover of retirement and penance. Shall we not learn from them to shun the tumult of the world, as much as our circumstances will allow, and give ourselves up to the exercises of holy solitude, prayer, and pious reading. Holy solitude is the school of heavenly doctrine, where fervent souls study a divine science, which is learned by experience, not by the discourses of others. Here they learn to know God and themselves; they disengage their affections from the world, and burn and reduce to ashes all that can fasten their hearts to it. Here they give earthly things for those of heaven, and goods of small value for those of inestimable price. In blessed solitude, a man repairs in his soul the image of his Creator, which was effaced by sin, and, by the victory which he gains over his passions, is in some degree freed from the corruption of his nature, and restored in some measure to the state of its integrity and innocence by the ruin of vice, and the establishment of all virtues in his affections; so that, by a wonderful change wrought in his soul, he becomes a new creature, and a terrestrial angel. His sweet repose and his employments are also angelical, being of the same nature with those of the blessed in heaven By the earnest occupation of the powers of his soul on God and in God, or in doing his will, he is continually employed in a manner infinitely more excellent and more noble than he could be in governing all the empires of the world; and in a manner which is far preferable to all the vain occupations of the greatest men of the world during the whole course of their lives. Moreover, in the interior exercises, of this state, a soul receives certain antepasts of eternal felicity, by which she intimately feels how sweet God is, and learns to have no relish for anything but for him alone. "Oh, my friends," cried out a certain pious contemplative, "I take leave of you with these words, and this feeling invitation of the Psalmist: ''" But these, and other privileges and precious advantages, only belong to the true solitary, who joins interior to exterior solitude, is never warped by sloth or remissness, gives no moments to idleness, uses continual violence to himself in order perfectly to subdue his passions, watches constantly over his senses, is penetrated to the heart with the wholesome sadness of penance, has death always before his eyes, is always taken up in the exercises of compunction, the divine praises, love, adoration, and thanksgiving, and is raised above the earth and all created things by the ardor of his desires of being united to God the sovereign good.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/H/sthughofgrenoble.asp#ixzz1qnnzlxkt

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : PALM SUN. APRIL 1, 2012

Sunday
Isaiah 50: 4 - 7
4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.
5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward.
6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
7 For the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
Psalms 22: 8 - 9, 17 - 20, 23 - 24
8 "He committed his cause to the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!"
9 Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother's breasts.
17 I can count all my bones -- they stare and gloat over me;
18 they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.
19 But thou, O LORD, be not far off! O thou my help, hasten to my aid!
20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! all you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.
Philippians 2: 6 - 11
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Mark 15: 1 - 39
1 And as soon as it was morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate.
2 And Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And he answered him, "You have said so."
3 And the chief priests accused him of many things.
4 And Pilate again asked him, "Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you."
5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate wondered.
6 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked.
7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barab'bas.
8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he was wont to do for them.
9 And he answered them, "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"
10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barab'bas instead.
12 And Pilate again said to them, "Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?"
13 And they cried out again, "Crucify him."
14 And Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him."
15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barab'bas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the praetorium); and they called together the whole battalion.
17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him.
18 And they began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
19 And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him.
20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
21 And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyre'ne, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.
22 And they brought him to the place called Gol'gotha (which means the place of a skull).
23 And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it.
24 And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.
25 And it was the third hour, when they crucified him.
26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews."
27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads, and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days,
30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!"
31 So also the chief priests mocked him to one another with the scribes, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself.
32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "E'lo-i, E'lo-i, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?" which means, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, "Behold, he is calling Eli'jah."
36 And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Wait, let us see whether Eli'jah will come to take him down."
37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.
38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"




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