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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : WED. APRIL 25, 2012

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VATICAN : POPE : PRAYER BREATH OF SOUL AND LIFE - OTHER NEWS
EUROPE : APP TO INCREASE YOUR FAITH
AUSTRALIA : ANZAC DAY REMEMBRANCE WITH RECIPE
ASIA : CHINA : NEW BISHOP ORDAINED - VATICAN APPROVED
TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. APRIL 25, 2012
AMERICA : NOVENA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FROM BISHOPS
AFRICA : DEM. REP. OF CONGO : MALARIA OUTBREAK SERIOUS DANGER
TODAY'S SAINT : APRIL 25 : ST. MARK EVANGELIST
PRAYER GIVES ESSENTIAL MEANING TO OUR DAILY ACTIVITIES
Vatican City, 25 April 2012 (VIS) - If prayer and the Word of God do not nourish our spiritual life, we run the risk being suffocated by the many cares and concerns of daily existence. Prayer makes us see reality with new eyes and helps us to find our way in the midst of adversity. These words were pronounced by Benedict XVI in his catechesis during this morning's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of more than 20,000 faithful. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
The Pope explained how prayer encouraged the early Church, though beset by difficulties, and how it can help man to live a better life today. "Ever since the beginning of her journey the Church has had to face unexpected situations, new questions and emergencies, to which she has sought to respond in the light of the faith, allowing herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit", he said.
This was already evident at the time of the Apostles. In the Acts, Luke the Evangelist recounts "a serious problem which the first Christian community in Jerusalem had to face and resolve, ... concerning the pastoral care of charity towards the isolated and the needy. It was not an unimportant issue and risked creating divisions within the Church. ... What stands out is that, at that moment of pastoral emergency, the Apostles made a distinction. Their primary duty was to announce the Word of God according to the Lord’s mandate, but they considered as equally serious the task of ... making loving provision for their brothers and sisters in situations of need, in order to respond to Jesus' command: love one another as I have loved you".
The Apostles made a clear decision: it was not right for them to neglect prayer and preaching, therefore "seven men of good standing were chosen, the Apostles prayed for the strength of the Holy Spirit, then laid their hands upon them that they might dedicate themselves to the diaconate of charity". This decision, the Pope explained, "shows the priority we must give to God and to our relationship with Him in prayer, both as individuals and in the community. If we do not have the capacity to pause and listen to the Lord, to enter into dialogue with Him, we risk becoming ineffectually agitated by problems, difficulties and needs, even those of an ecclesial and pastoral nature".
The saints, Pope Benedict said, "experienced profound unity between prayer and action, between total love of God and love for their fellows". St. Bernard, a model of harmony between these two aspects, "affirmed that too many concerns ... often end up by hardening our heart and causing our spirit to suffer. This is an important reminder for us today, accustomed as we are to evaluating everything with the criterion of productivity and efficiency. That passage from the Acts of the Apostles reminds us of the importance of work and commitment in daily activity, which must be carried out with responsibility and dedication, but also of our need for God, for His guidance and His light which give us strength and hope. If we do not pray trustingly every day, our activities become empty, they lose all profundity and are reduced to mere activism which, in the final analysis, leaves us unsatisfied. ... Every step, every action in our lives, even in theChurch, must be done before God, in prayer and in the light of His Word".
When prayer is nourished with the Word of God "we see reality with new eyes, with the eyes of the faith and the Lord, Who speaks to the mind and to the heart, gives new light for the journey in all times and situations. We believe in the power of the Word of God and of prayer. ... If the lungs of prayer and of the Word of God do not nourish the breath of spiritual life, we risk suffocating in the midst of a thousand daily cares. Prayer is the breath of the soul and of life".
In conclusion, Benedict XVI noted that when we pray, "in the silence of a church or in our room, we are united in the Lord to our brothers and sisters in the faith, like so many instruments which, each in its own individuality, raise a single great symphony of intercession, thanksgiving and praise".

POPE TO VISIT AREZZO, LA VERNA AND SANSEPOLCRO, FAMOUS CENTRES OF MONASTIC LIFE
Vatican City, 25 April 2012 (VIS) - On 13 May Benedict XVI is scheduled to make a pastoral visit to Arezzo, La Verna and Sansepolcro, three Italian localities with a long history of monasticism and contemplative life.
The Holy Father will leave the Vatican by helicopter at 8 a.m. on Sunday 13 May, and is due to land at Arezzo an hour later. At 10 a.m. he will concelebrate Mass and pray the Regina Coeli in the "Il Prato" park, after which he will make a private visit to the cathedral of San Donato. Having lunched with bishops of the Tuscany region, he will again board his helicopter to travel to the shrine of La Verna where he will visit the Chapel of the Wounds in which St. Francis of Assisi used to meditate, then meet with members of the Friars Minor and Poor Clares from the local area on the esplanade in front of the building.
At 6.30 p.m. he will travel by helicopter to Sansepolcro. There he will visit the local cathedral which houses a famous crucifix known as the "Santo Volto" (Holy Face), considered to be one of the oldest images of the the clothed and crucified Christ. At 7.30 p.m. he will meet the inhabitants of the town in the piazza Torre di Berta before returning to the Vatican at 8.15 p.m.

THE POPE INVITES PEOPLE TO DRIVE CAREFULLY
Vatican City, 25 April 2012 (VIS) - At the end of his catechesis this morning, the Pope pronounced greetings in various languages to the faithful present in St. Peter's Square. He made particular mention of Slovak pilgrims who next Sunday will be celebrating a Day of Prayer for Vocations. "Ask Christ the Good Shepherd", he said, "always to send new workers to serve Him".
Finally he addressed some words in Italian to relatives of traffic accident victims, assuring them of his prayers "for those who have lost their lives on the roads", and recalling "our constant duty to drive carefully and with a sense of responsibility".
NOTE FROM THE SECRETARIAT OF STATE
Vatican City, 25 April 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a note released this morning by the Secretariat of State:
"In the wake of recent leaks of reserved and confidential documents on television, in newspapers and in other communications media, the Holy Father has ordered the creation of a Commission of Cardinals to undertake an authoritative investigation and throw light on these episodes.
"His Holiness has determined that the said Commission of Cardinals, which will act at all levels on the strength of its pontifical mandate, shall be presided by Cardinal Julian Herranz, and shall have as its members Cardinal Jozef Tomko and Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi.
"The Commission of Cardinals celebrated its first sitting on 24 April to establish the method and timetable for its activities".
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 25 April 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Maraba, Brazil, presented by Bishop Jose Foralosso S.D.B., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

EUROPE : APP TO INCREASE YOUR FAITH

CATHOLIC HERALD REPORT:
Some think that smartphones are a threat to spiritual life. Nonsense, says Angelo Stagnaro
By Angelo Stagnaro on Thursday, 15 March 2012
An iPhone owner uses Confession: Roman Catholic App to prepare for the sacrament (Photo: CNS)
Is it just me or does anyone else think it odd that Apple uses for its logo the bitten apple, a symbol of humanity’s Fall? Such weighty questions are more the ken of saintlier minds than mine but, regardless of the answer, I won’t be giving up my iPhone any time soon. I don’t revere the memory of Steve Jobs and I’ve never owned an Apple product in my life before my iPhone purchase.
I am decidedly and unapologetically a PC man but like any red-blooded man I love electronics. Portability and accessibility are my mantras. I’ve always have been very anti-Luddite in my approach to life and that spills over into my faith. Fr Benedict Groeschel was proud to tell me he had never once used a computer in his life but Sister Mary Gregory, my first teacher, who is now 100 years old, was annoyed whenever she encountered younger people (ie, people in their 50s) who still didn’t have email accounts.
“What are they waiting for?” she once asked me. “They won’t need them after the eschaton!”
With the introduction of the iPhone has come a flood of apps (short for software applications). These are tiny programmes that run on a smartphone allowing you to keep your grocery shopping straight, schedule your appointments and settle pub bets before a donnybrook erupts.
Among this explosion of apps are a surprising number made for the discerning Catholic and those discerning whether to become Catholic. Many of them are free while most of the others cost a pound or less.
The free ones often have a sponsor’s banner popping up every now and again but that’s what keeps the app free for users. It’s easy to ignore considering what you’re getting for free. Many of the apps listed below are also available for the Android and Windows system and other platforms as well but iPhone controls the most possibilities. Here are some apps you might consider downloading.
You Version Bible (free)
This app offers many different versions of the Bible, most of which are not canonically approved. But it does offer three Catholic versions including the Good News Version (my favourite), the more traditional Douay-Rheims Version and the Vulgate, for the “Latin-gifted”. It also offers many others version in a plethora of languages including Arabic, Icelandic, Basque, Vietnamese and Chinese, all of which are free. The app is completely interactive and it’s easy to email your favourite passage to your friends or to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. It also offers you a reading plan to divide the Bible into daily, readable sections to get you acquainted with the entire Bible.
Confession: a Roman Catholic app (£1.49)
This is the only app that comes with official approval from the Catholic Church as it’s the only one awarded an imprimatur. It is an aid to a nightly examination of conscience but, unfortunately, it doesn’t offer absolution. It’s a good deal nonetheless. The app is best described as a nightly examination of conscience to prepare oneself to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Secular journalists worldwide went wild at the release of this app which, I’m sure, translated into many millions of sales, most likely to less discriminating non-Catholics who didn’t know better. The app is password-protected so that only you, your confessor and God have access to it. In addition, the developers included a step-by-step guide to the sacrament.
Stations of the Cross (free)
Created by Ave Maria Press, this app offers magnificent original drawings of the Stations of the Cross. Reflections are taken from John Paul II’s 1991 biblical Way of the Cross, which follows the more ancient practice.
Roman Catholic Buddy (free)
A very handy list of popular prayers and a quick reference guide to the Church’s spiritual treasures. For example, if you are trying to remember all of the Beatitudes or if washing your dog is actually a Spiritual Act of Mercy, this app will present that information handily.
Catholic Mass Times Church Directory (free)
This is a magnificently useful app and I’m glad someone thought of it. It provides the schedule of Masses (and Reconciliation) for every Catholic church in the world along with links to their individual websites – and it’s free. Now people on holiday in eastern Mongolia have no excuse for missing Mass. It uses your phone’s GPS system to locate the nearest church. You can also search for specific parishes. As an extra added bonus, it also offers the daily readings for Mass that day to help you when attending a Mass that isn’t in a language you understand.
Popes of the Catholic Church (free)
This app offers the biography, stats and images of every Pope from Peter to Benedict.
iPieta (£1.99)
iPieta offers a treasure of Catholic devotions, doctrines and documents teachings, prayers, calendars, the Douay-Rheims and Latin Vulgate Bibles and early versions of the Catechism.
Holy Rosary (69p)
This offers a beautiful graphic that allows you to push down on a graphic bead. Highly recommended. It’s the best rosary out there. There are other rosary programs that are free but this one offers a convenient interface.
Catholic Calendar (free)
This is my favourite Catholic app. (My favourite app of all time is a dog encyclopedia into which I delve daily, probably more often than I pray the Divine Office.) I pray the Divine Office for morning and evening prayer everyday but I’ll admit that I often err as to the exact prayers for specific feast days. This is no longer a problem for iPhone users. The app will automatically queue the correct prayers in their correct order for you. I highly recommend this for Catholics who wish to explore the prayer of the Church. It also offers the Mass readings for the day. The daily version is free which requires you to access the internet to download that day’s seven hourly prayers.
Divine Office (£13.99)
This app offers the Divine office in text and audio files. It wirelessly downloads several days of prayers at a time, without the need access the internet. Interestingly, it offers a global map that allows you to see the location of everyone else who is currently using the same app.
iBreviary (free)
This app offers the Liturgy of the Hours in English, Latin, Italian, Spanish and French. Interestingly, it also includes the Ambrosian Rite. This is highly recommended in that it uses the official English translation that those who are stuck using the paper version use.
St Augustine (free)
For those who enjoy reading books on their iPhone or iPad, this app offers all of St Augustine of Hippo’s major books, including Christian Doctrine, City of God and Confessions.
Church Father (free)
This app from St Benedict Press allows you to use Patristic wisdom readings and prayers to create your own daily retreat for a year. It’s an excellent way to spend 10 minutes and you can learn a great deal about the Fathers of the Church. You can also set the app’s alarm to gently remind you to come to prayer. It should be noted that the app doesn’t nag you to pray. If you can’t get to the readings it will hold your spot until you can get to it.
CatholicTV (free)
If you have access to a wi-fi signal, you can electronically attend Mass every day. What a time in which we live! One can imagine this is exactly how St Clare saw the first televised Mass.
Heresy Detector (free)
After a long, hard day playing Angry Birds on your iPhone, you can relax by scanning your Catholic friends and testing how orthodox they are.
The apps described above are an excellent means by which the average, non-computer savvy Catholic can help perfect one’s spirituality and evangelise others. And if you’re still on the fence about venturing into the 21st-century’s electronic “courtyard of the Gentiles”, remember, the eschaton is one day closer today than it was yesterday, so what are you waiting for? It’s never a good idea to argue with a sainted, centenarian nun.
Angelo Stagnaro is a journalist, author and stage magician
SOURCE: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/2012/03/15/how-your-mobile-phone-can-help-you-pray/

AUSTRALIA : ANZAC DAY REMEMBRANCE WITH RECIPE

ANZAC (acronym for Australia and New Zealand army core) day is a remembrance of the nearly 9,000 Australians and 2,700 New Zealanders who died in the World War with many others from Britain, France, India and Turkey. This was Australia's first major military campaign in which 50,000 Australians participated. (IMAGE SOURCE: http://seanlinnane.blogspot.ca/)
This is a special remembrance of the Gallipoli (now Turkey) campaign of 1915 where many died.
RECIPE FOR ANZAC DAY:
Chef James McAlpin has taken the basic ingredients and added a little of his own zest.

Ingredients

  • 125g rolled oats
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125g desiccated coconut
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 200g butter
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 2 tsp hot water
  • 50g orange rind (finely chopped)

Equipment

  • Wooden spoon
  • Scales
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small saucepan
  • 2 baking trays
  • Cooling rack
  • Non-stick baking paper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  • Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the baking powder, oats, brown sugar and coconut.
  • Put the butter and golden syrup into a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter is melted and mixed through the golden syrup.
  • Pour the wet ingredients mixture, the orange rind and 2 teaspoons of hot water into the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  • Roll small portions of the mixture into balls and spread each portion out on the tray—keep them about 5cm apart.
  • Flatten the mixture slightly with the back of a spoon. You can decide at this point how wide and how flat you would like the biscuits to be.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack so they cool completely.
  • Serve with a hot cup of tea.


(RECIPE SOURCE: ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE)




ASIA : CHINA : NEW BISHOP ORDAINED - VATICAN APPROVED

UCAN REPORT:
New prelate will visit all his priests to 'understand their situation'
ucanews.com reporter, Changsha
China
April 25, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Hunan ordains new bishop
The episcopal ordination of Hunan diocese
Bishop Methodius Qu Ailin was ordained today, the second prelate this year to be ordained with both the Vatican’s approval and recognized by the Chinese government.
The ceremony took place at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Changsha city, with Bishop Joseph Liu Xinhong of Anhui – an illicitly ordained prelate – taking part.
Another illicitly ordained prelate, excommunicated Fr Paul Lei Shiyin, took part in last week’s ordination of Bishop Joseph Chen Gong’ao of Nanchong, in a move that some Chinese clergy say will become a “regular” practice in future Vatican-approved episcopal ordinations.
Bishop Joseph Li Shan, who himself has participated in two recent illicit ordinations and has yet to be pardoned by the Holy See, served as the main consecrator.
Other participating bishops included John Lu Peisen of Yanzhou, John Baptist Li Suguang of Nanchang, Paul Liang Jiansen of Jiangmen and John Baptist Tan Yanquan of Nanning – all Vatican-approved and government-recognized.
A source close to the Vatican warned that bishops and priests in China should be more attentive to the principles of Church doctrine and “not look for excuses to make a new Church doctrine according to the wishes of the Chinese Communist Party.”
The source added: “Bishops should not allow the government to interfere in Church matters.”
Beijing seems to have a new strategy to create more confusion and provoke disunity in the Church rather than fostering peace and harmony, the source said, adding that dialogue between the Holy See and Beijing would not be served well by repeatedly making such provocations.
Bishop Qu said today that he did not know Bishop Liu or his status with the Vatican.
About Bishop Joseph Li, he said: “I know he is a legitimate bishop, but not sure which episcopal ordinations he took part in before.”
Bishop Qu was ordained a priest of Hengyang diocese in 1995 upon graduating from Beijing diocesan seminary. He was appointed as vicar general of Hunan diocese in 1999.
The Vatican, which does not recognize Hunan diocese, regards Bishop Qu as the bishop of Changsha and apostolic administrator of all other ecclesiastical territories in the province.
In an election last December, then Father Qu got 54 out of 55 votes in favor of his candidature for bishop.
The new prelate said he would visit all his priests to “understand their situation and listen to their opinions before starting my work.”
Bishop Qu added that because of the size of Hunan province and the lack of leadership in the past, the 25 diocesan priests that serve the region are too few and too separated from each other.
http://www.ucanews.com/2012/04/25/hunan-ordains-new-bishop/

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. APRIL 25, 2012


Mark 16: 15 - 20
15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.


AMERICA : NOVENA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FROM BISHOPS

USCCB RELEASE: Prayer is one of the first steps in acting for justice in our world. This novena, rooted in the biblical tradition and the Church's social teaching, is intended to promote justice and peace in our neighborhoods, our country, and our world.
May this novena help to give hope to the poor who suffer from injustices and hope in your life that you may know the peace of Jesus Christ.

FIRST DAY

AUDIO

OPENING PRAYER

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in us the fire of your love.

READING

Ps 8:2, 4-10
O Lord, our Lord,
how awesome is your name through all the earth!
You have set your majesty above the heavens!
When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place—
What are humans that you are mindful of them,
mere mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them little less than a god,
crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them rule over the works of your hands,
put all things at their feet:
All sheep and oxen,
even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
how awesome is your name through all the earth!

REFLECTION

How will I praise God today? How will I show respect for others, especially my neighbor or those in my community who are not like me?

PRAYER

God of love,
may we grow in our love for you
by respecting the dignity of all people we encounter.
Amen.

NOVENA PRAYER

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
help us to conquer the menace of evil,
which so easily
takes root in the hearts of the people of today,
and whose immeasurable effects
already weigh down upon our modern world
and seem to block the paths toward the future.
From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against human life from its very beginning, deliver us.
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.
From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.
From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.
From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us.
Accept, O Mother of Christ,
this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings,
laden with the sufferings of whole societies.
Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit conquer all sin:
individual sin and the "sin of the world,"
sin in all its manifestations.
Let there be revealed once more in the history of the world
the infinite saving power of the redemption:
the power of merciful love.
May it put a stop to evil.
May it transform consciences.
May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of hope. Amen.

SECOND DAY

AUDIO

OPENING PRAYER

As in Day 1.

READING

Ps 146:1-8
Praise the Lord, my soul;
I shall praise the Lord all my life,
sing praise to my God while I live.
Put no trust in princes,
in mere mortals powerless to save.
When they breathe their last, they return to the earth;
that day all their planning comes to nothing.
Happy those whose help is the Jacob's God,
whose hope is in the Lord, their God,
The maker of heaven and earth,
the seas and all that is in them,
Who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free;
the Lord gives sight to the blind.
The Lord raises up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.

REFLECTION

Who are the oppressed in your community? How am I helping them secure justice?
How am I helping to feed and give sight to those most in need?

PRAYER

God of Jacob,
strengthen our hope in the Lord.
Help us to keep the faith
by striving for justice in our land.
Give us hearts, hands, and feet to truly reach out to those in need.
Amen.

NOVENA PRAYER

As in Day 1.

THIRD DAY

AUDIO

OPENING PRAYER

As in Day 1.

READING

Is 58:2-3, 6-8
[The Lord said]:
They seek me day after day,
and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
and not abandoned the law of their God;
They ask me to declare what is due them,
pleased to gain access to God.
"Why do we fast, and you do not see it?
afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?"
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;


Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed.

REFLECTION

What actions do I perform to please God?
How am I healing the wounds of my community?

PRAYER

God of light,
give us the freedom to walk in
the footprints of your Son, Jesus.
Let our light shine out for all to see
by turning to those who call for our help.
Heal our wounds, heal our community.
Amen.

NOVENA PRAYER

As in Day 1.



FOURTH DAY

AUDIO

OPENING PRAYER

As in Day 1.

READING

Deut 30:15-20

Moses said to the people:
"Today, I have set before you
life and prosperity, death and doom.
If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin on you today,
loving him, and walking in his ways,
and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees,
you will live and grow numerous,
and the LORD, your God,
will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.
If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen,
but are led astray and adore and serve other gods,
I tell you now that you will certainly perish;
you will not have a long life
on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you:
I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.
For that will mean life for you,
a long life for you to live on the land which the LORD swore
he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

REFLECTION

How do I defend the right to life especially of the unborn and those near death? How am I tempted to turn away from the commandments and not support the right to life of all people? How can I overcome that temptation?

PRAYER

God of life,
may we protect and defend the inviolable sanctity of human life
from the moment of conception until natural death
with strong voices, gentle hands, and loving hearts.
Amen.

NOVENA PRAYER

As in Day 1



FIFTH DAY

AUDIO

OPENING PRAYER

As is Day 1

READING

1 Cor 11:26-29
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

REFLECTION

How is the Eucharist central in my life? My community?
Where do I reach out to the body of Christ in my community?

PRAYER

Lord,
we come together at the Eucharist to celebrate
your death and resurrection.
Help us experience authentic worship.
Help us grow in awareness of each person's dignity,
and increase our sensitivity to injustices.
Guide us to seek ways to redress them.
Amen.

NOVENA PRAYER

As in Day 1.


SIXTH DAY

AUDIO

OPENING PRAYER

As in Day 1.

READING

Mt 5:43-46
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?"

REFLECTION

Who are my enemies? How do I love them?
How do I live up to the definition Jesus provides for living a Christian lifestyle, a life of Christian love?

PRAYER

God of peace,
Give us the courage
to be reconciled with our neighbors, our enemies.
Give us the vision
to truly see what it means to be a Christian
so that peace and justice may rule in our world.
Amen.

NOVENA PRAYER

As in Day 1.

SEVENTH DAY

AUDIO

OPENING PRAYER

As in Day 1

READING

Ephesians 4:1-6
I … urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

REFLECTION

What divisions exist in my community? What structures in society seem unjust?
How am I striving to achieve justice and peace in my neighborhood, church, and nation?

PRAYER

God of justice,
we are created in your image.
May we glorify you in all of our actions.
Amen.

NOVENA PRAYER

As in Day 1.



EIGHTH DAY

AUDIO

OPENING PRAYER

As in Day 1.

READING

Is 32:15-18
Until the spirit from on high
is poured out on us.
Then will the desert become an orchard
and the orchard be regarded as a forest.
Right will dwell in the desert
and justice abide in the orchard.
Justice will bring about peace;
right will produce calm and security.
My people will live in peaceful country,
in secure dwellings and quiet resting places.

REFLECTION

How do I recognize the Spirit's involvement in my life in the community?


PRAYER

Spirit of God,
fill our hearts with peace
so that we may bring peace to our community.
Amen.

NOVENA PRAYER

As in Day 1.

NINTH DAY

AUDIO

OPENING PRAYER

As in Day 1.

READING

Mt 5:13-16
"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father."

REFLECTION

How are you salt for your community?
How do I shine your light for all the community to see?
What deeds am I performing in order to glorify God?

PRAYER

Lord Jesus,
you give us your love and your grace
to do great things.
Give us the faith
to shine our light
by walking humbly
and acting justly
before our God.
Amen.

NOVENA PRAYER

As in Day 1.
SOURCE: US CATHOLIC CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS

AFRICA : DEM. REP. OF CONGO : MALARIA OUTBREAK SERIOUS DANGER

Agenzia Fides report- Malaria is the leading cause of death in the Democratic Republic of Congo and every year kills about 300 000 children under five years of age. The cases in the country continue to rise and the disease is sweeping the existing systems of care and prevention. In most health centers and hospitals of the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (DWB) in the DRC, there has been a substantial increase, even in its severe form. In six provinces (half of the country), the number of people treated for the pandemic in DWB projects increased by 250% since 2009. This outbreak is particularly alarming because of the large number of patients with severe malaria who require urgent hospitalization and blood transfusions for anemia induced by the disease. Moreover, it remains particularly difficult to treat people outside the city, because of geographic inaccessibility.
In some areas, health care is simply nonexistent. Even when treatment is available, drugs are sometimes inadequate or obsolete. In 2011, DWB treated more than 158 000 people. So far in 2012, more than 85 000 have been treated. While the exact causes of the epidemic remains uncertain, this new crisis develops in the context of a health system which lacks resources at all levels. The country lacks adequate drugs, medical supplies and medical personnel. There is not enough prevention. In the provinces of North and South Kivu, and recently in the northern province of Katanga, insecurity and new and ongoing conflicts prevent people from accessing health care centers. In the provinces of Maniema, Orientale, Equateur and Katanga, the absence of other medical workers, and inadequate health care system leave people vulnerable to the pandemic. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 25/4/2012)

TODAY'S SAINT : APRIL 25 : ST. MARK EVANGELIST

St. Mark
EVANGELIST, PATRON SAINT OF VENICE
Feast: April 25


Information:
Feast Day: April 25
Born: 1st century AD, Palestine
Died: April 25, 68 AD, Alexandria
Major Shrine: Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Cairo, Egypt)
Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Alexandria, Egypt)
Basilica di San Marco (Venice, Italy)
Patron of: against impenitence, against struma, attorneys, barristers, captives, glaziers, imprisoned people, prelature of insect bites, Ionian Islands, lawyers, lions, notaries, prisoners, scrofulous diseases, stained glass workers, struma patients, Venice
St Mark was of Jewish extraction. The style of his gospel abounding with Hebrewisms shows that he was by birth a Jew, and that the Hebrew language was more natural to him than the Greek. His acts say he was of Cyrenaica, and Bede from them adds, of the race of Aaron. Papias, quoted by Eusebius, St. Austin, Theodoret, and Bede say he was converted by the apostles after Christ's resurrection. St. Irenaeus calls him the disciple and interpreter of St. Peter, and, according to Origen and St. Jerome, he is the same Mark whom St. Peter calls his son. By his office of interpreter to St. Peter, some understood that St. Mark was the author of the style of his epistles; others, that he was employed as a translator into Greek or Latin of what the apostle had written in his own tongue, as occasion might require it. St. Jerome and some others take him to be the same with that John, surnamed Mark, son to the sister of St. Barnabas; but it is generally believed they were different persons, and that the latter was with St. Paul in the East at the same time that the Evangelist was at Rome or at Alexandria. According to Papias, and St. Clement of Alexandria, he wrote his gospel at the request of the Romans; who, as they relate, desired to have that committed to writing which St. Peter had taught them by word of mouth. Mark, to whom this request was made, did accordingly set himself to recollect what he had by long conversation learned from St. Peter; for it is affirmed by some that he had never seen our Saviour in the flesh. St. Peter rejoiced at the affection of the faithful; and having revised the work, approved of it, and authorized it to be read in the religious assemblies of the faithful. Hence it might be that, as we learn from Tertullian,6 some attributed this gospel to St. Peter himself. Many judge, by comparing the two gospels, that St. Mark abridged that of St. Matthew; for he relates the same things, and often uses the same words; but he adds several particular circumstances and changes the order of the narration, in which he agrees with St. Luke and St. John. He relates two histories not mentioned by St. Matthew, namely, that of the widow giving two mites, and that of Christ's appearing to the two disciples going to Emmaus. St. Austin calls him the Abridger of St. Matthew. But Ceillier and some others think nothing clearly proves that he made use of St. Matthew's gospel. This evangelist is concise in his narrations, and writes with a most pleasing simplicity and elegance. St. Chrysostom9 admires the humility of St. Peter (we may add also of his disciple St. Mark) when he observes that his evangelist makes no mention of the high commendations which Christ gave that apostle on his making that explicit confession of his being the Son of God; neither does he mention his walking on the water; but gives at full length the history of St. Peter's denying his Master, with all its circumstances. He wrote his gospel in Italy, and in all appearance before the year of Christ 49.

St. Peter sent his disciples from Rome to found other churches. Some moderns say St. Mark founded that of Aquileia. It is certain, at least, that he was sent by St. Peter into Egypt, and was by him appointed Bishop of Alexandria (which, after Rome, was accounted the second city of the world), as Eusebius, St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome, and others assure us. Pope Gelasius, in his Roman Council, Palladius, and the Greeks universally add that he finished his course at Alexandria by a glorious martyrdom. St. Peter left Rome and returned into the East in the ninth year of Claudius and forty-ninth of Christ. About that time St. Mark went first into Egypt, according to the Greeks. The Oriental Chronicle, published by Abraham Eckellensis, places his arrival at Alexandria only in the seventh year of Nero and sixtieth of Christ. Both which accounts agree with the relation of his martyrdom, contained in the ancient acts published by the Bollandists, which were made use of by Bede and the Oriental Chronicle, and seem to have been extant in Egypt in the fourth and fifth centuries. By them we are told that St. Mark landed at Cyrene, in Pentapolis, a part of Lybia bordering on Egypt, and by innumerable miracles brought many over to the faith, and demolished several temples of the idols. He likewise carried the gospel into other provinces of Lybia, into Thebais, and other parts of Egypt. This country was heretofore of all others the most superstitious; but the benediction of God, promised to it by the prophets, was plentifully showered down upon it during the ministry of this apostle. He employed twelve years in preaching in these parts before he, by a particular call of God, entered Alexandria, where he soon assembled a very numerous church, of which it is thought, says Fleury, that the Jewish converts then made up the greatest part. And it is the opinion of St. Jerome and Eusebius that these were the Therapeutes described by Philo, and the first founders of the ascetic life in Egypt.

The prodigious progress of the faith in Alexandria stirred up the heathens against this Galilaean. The apostle therefore left the city, having ordained St. Anianus bishop, in the eighth year of Nero, of Christ the sixty-second, and returned to Pentapolis where he preached two years, and then visited his church of Alexandria, which he found increased in faith and grace as well as in numbers. He encouraged the faithful and again withdrew; the Oriental Chronicle says to Rome. On his return to Alexandria, the heathens called him a magician on account of his miracles, and resolved upon his death. God, however, concealed him long from them. At last, on the pagan feast of the idol Serapis, some that were employed to discover the holy man found him offering to God the prayer of the oblation, or the mass. Overjoyed to find him in their power, they seized him, tied his feet with cords and dragged him about the streets, crying out that the ox must be led to Bucoles, a place near the sea, full of rocks and precipices, where probably oxen were fed. This happened on Sunday, the 24th of April, in the year of Christ 68, of Nero the fourteenth, about three years after the death of SS. Peter and Paul. The saint was thus dragged the whole day, staining the stones with his blood and leaving the ground strewed with pieces of his flesh; all the while he ceased not to praise and thank God for his sufferings. At night he was thrown into prison, in which God comforted him by two visions, which Bede has also mentioned in his true Martyrology. The next day the infidels dragged him, as before, till he happily expired on the 25th of April, on which day the Oriental and Western churches keep his festival. The Christians gathered up the remains of his mangled body and buried them at Bucoles, where they afterwards usually assembled for prayer. His body was honourably kept there, in a church built on the spot, in 310; and towards the end of the fourth age the holy priest Philoromus made a pilgrimage thither from Galatia to visit this saint's tomb, as Palladius recounts. His body was still honoured at Alexandria, under the Mahometans, in the eighth age, in a marble tomb. It is said to have been conveyed by stealth to Venice in 815 Bernard, a French monk, who travelled over the East in 870, writes that the body of St. Mark was not then at Alexandria, because the Venetians had carried it to their isles. It is said to be deposited in the Doge's stately rich chapel of St. Mark in a secret place, that it may not be stolen, under one of the great pillars. This saint is honoured by that republic with extraordinary devotion as principal patron.

The great litany is sung on this day to beg that God would be pleased to avert from us the scourges which our sins deserve. The origin of this custom is usually ascribed to St. Gregory the Great, who, by a public supplication or litany, with a procession of the whole city of Rome, divided into seven bands or companies, obtained of God the extinction of a dreadful pestilence This St. Gregory of Tours learned from a deacon, who had assisted at this ceremony at Rome. The station was at St. Mary Major's, and this pro cession and litany were made in the year 590. St. Gregory the Great speaks of a like procession and litany which he made thirteen years after on the 29th of August, in the year 603, in which the station was at St. Sabina's. Whence it is inferred that St. Gregory performed this ceremony every year, though not on the 25th of April, on which day we find it settled, in the close of the seventh century, long before the same was appointed for the feast of St. Mark. The great litany was received in France, and commanded in the council of Aix-la-Chapelle in 836, and in the Capitulars of Charles the Bald. St. Gregory the Great observed the great litany with a strict fast. On account of the Paschal time, on the 25th of April, it is kept in several dioceses only with abstinence; in some with a fast of the Stations, or till None.

Nothing is more tender and more moving than the instructions which several councils, fathers, and holy pastors have given on the manner of performing public supplications and processions. The first council of Orleans orders masters to excuse their servants from work and attendance, that all the faithful may be assembled together to unite their prayers and sighs. A council of Mentz commanded that all should assist barefoot and covered with sackcloth; which was for some time observed in that church. St. Charles Borromaeo endeavoured, by pathetic instructions and pastoral letters, to revive the ancient piety of the faithful on the great litany and the rogation days. According to the regulations which he made, the supplications and processions began before break of day and continued till three or four o'clock in the afternoon. On them he fasted himself on bread and water and preached several times, exhorting the people to sincere penance. A neglect to assist at the public supplications of the church is a grievous disorder and perhaps one of the principal causes of the little piety and sanctity which are left, and of the scandals which reign amongst Christians. They cannot seek the kingdom of God as they ought, who deprive themselves of so powerful a means of drawing down his graces upon their souls. We must join this procession with hearts penetrated with humility, and spend some time in prayer, pious reading, and the exercises of compunction. What we are chiefly to ask of God on these days is the remission of our sins, which are the only true evil and the cause of all the chastisements which we suffer or have reason to fear. We must, secondly, beg that God avert from us all scourges and calamities which our crimes deserve, and that he bestow his blessing on the fruits of the earth.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmark.asp#ixzz1t3MPxavf



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