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Saturday, March 30, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : SPECIAL EASTER VIGIL - SHARE


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EASTER VIGIL MASS WITH POPE FRANCIS FROM VATICAN - VIDEO - TEXT

HOLY SATURDAY MASS - FULL TEXT - READINGS

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA PRAYER - SHARE

POPE FRANCIS - WAY OF THE CROSS - FULL TEXT - VIDEO

EUROPE - COMECE WELCOMES POPE FRANCIS

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DIVINE MERCY NOVENA PRAYER - SHARE


SHARE – LIKE – PRAY – DIVINE MERCY NOVENA
JESUS said: I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls".
-Day 1. Today, bring to Me all mankind,especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plungesMe. 

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Oh omnipotence of Divine Mercy,
Salvation of sinful people,
You are a sea of mercy and compassion;
You aid those who entreat You with humility.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
Day 2. Today bring to me the souls of priests and religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me the strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them, as through channels, My mercy flows out upon mankind.

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in us, that we may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

The fountain of God’s love
Dwells in pure hearts,
Bathed in the Sea of Mercy Radiant as stars,
bright as the dawn.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company [of chosen ones] in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
Day 3.Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness. 

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

The miracles of mercy are impenetrable.
Neither the sinner nor just one will fathom them.
When You cast upon us an eye of pity,
You draw us all closer to Your love.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
 Day 4. Today bring to Me the unbelievers and those who do not yet know me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. 

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

May the light of Your love
Enlighten the souls in darkness;
Grant that these souls will know You
And, together with us, praise Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 5. Today bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart; that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal, and in this way they alleviate My Passion. 

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of heretics and schismatics. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Even for those who have torn the garment of your unity,
A fount of mercy flows from Your Heart.
The omnipotence of Your mercy, Oh God.
Can lead these souls also out of error.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of heretics and schismatics, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 6. Today bring to me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who would keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is able to receive My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

A truly gentle and humble soul
Already here on earth the air of paradise breathes,
And in the fragrance of her humble heart
The Creator Himself delights.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon the souls of little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 7. Today bring to me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy. These souls are united to Jesus and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

A soul who praises the goodness of her Lord
Is especially loved by Him.
She is always close to the living fountain
And draws graces from Mercy Divine.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their lifetime, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy.
Amen.
Day 8. Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice. 

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of the purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.

From that terrible heat of the cleansing fire
Rises a plaint to Your mercy,
And they receive comfort, refreshment, relief
In the stream of mingled Blood and Water.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen
Day 9. Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: “Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.” For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy.

Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Fire and ice cannot be joined,
Either the fire dies, or the ice melts.
But by Your mercy, O God,
You can make up for all that is lacking.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls, who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

HOLY SATURDAY MASS - FULL TEXT - READINGS


Genesis 1: 1, 26 - 31

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."
29And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.
31And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
Psalms 33: 4 - 7, 12 - 13, 20 - 22

4For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness.5He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.6By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth.7He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses.12Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!13The LORD looks down from heaven, he sees all the sons of men;20Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield.21Yea, our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.22Let thy steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in thee. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
Genesis 22: 1 - 18
1After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
2He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori'ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
4On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off.
5Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the ass; I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."
6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.
7And Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My father!" And he said, "Here am I, my son." He said, "Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
8Abraham said, "God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they went both of them together.
9When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
10Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
12He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
13And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
14So Abraham called the name of that place The LORD will provide; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."
15And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
16and said, "By myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies,
18and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice."
Psalms 16: 5, 8 - 11
5The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot.
8I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure.
10For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit.
11Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore. Exodus 14: 15 - 31
15The LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.16Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go on dry ground through the sea.17And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen.18And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."19Then the angel of God who went before the host of Israel moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them,20coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness; and the night passed without one coming near the other all night.21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.22And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.23The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.24And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians,25clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from before Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians."26Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen."27So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the LORD routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained.29But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore.31And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did against the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
Exodus 15: 1 - 6, 17 - 18
1Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
2The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.
3The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name.
4"Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea; and his picked officers are sunk in the Red Sea.
5The floods cover them; they went down into the depths like a stone.
6Thy right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, thy right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.
17Thou wilt bring them in, and plant them on thy own mountain, the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thy abode, the sanctuary, LORD, which thy hands have established.
18The LORD will reign for ever and ever."
Isaiah 54: 5 - 14

5For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.6For the LORD has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God.7For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you.8In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the LORD, your Redeemer.9"For this is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you.10For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.11"O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.12I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of carbuncles, and all your wall of precious stones.13All your sons shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the prosperity of your sons.14In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
Psalms 30: 2, 4 - 6, 11 - 13
2O LORD my God, I cried to thee for help, and thou hast healed me.
4Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
5For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
6As for me, I said in my prosperity, "I shall never be moved."
11Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever.
Isaiah 55: 1 - 11

1"Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.2Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in fatness.3Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.4Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.5Behold, you shall call nations that you know not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.6"Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;7let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,11so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
PSALM
Isaiah 12: 2 - 6
2"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."
3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
4And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name; make known his deeds among the nations, proclaim that his name is exalted.
5"Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.
6Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel."
Baruch 3: 9 - 15, 32 - 38

9Hear the commandments of life, O Israel; give ear, and learn wisdom!10Why is it, O Israel, why is it that you are in the land of your enemies, that you are growing old in a foreign country, that you are defiled with the dead,11that you are counted among those in Hades?12You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.13If you had walked in the way of God, you would be dwelling in peace for ever.14Learn where there is wisdom, where there is strength, where there is understanding, that you may at the same time discern where there is length of days, and life, where there is light for the eyes, and peace.15Who has found her place? And who has entered her storehouses?32But he who knows all things knows her, he found her by his understanding. He who prepared the earth for all time filled it with four-footed creatures;33he who sends forth the light, and it goes, called it, and it obeyed him in fear;34the stars shone in their watches, and were glad; he called them, and they said, "Here we are!" They shone with gladness for him who made them.35This is our God; no other can be compared to him!36He found the whole way to knowledge, and gave her to Jacob his servant and to Israel whom he loved.37Afterward she appeared upon earth and lived among men.
Baruch 4: 1 - 4

1She is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that endures for ever. All who hold her fast will live, and those who forsake her will die.2Turn, O Jacob, and take her; walk toward the shining of her light.3Do not give your glory to another, or your advantages to an alien people.4Happy are we, O Israel, for we know what is pleasing to God.
Psalms 19: 8 - 11

8the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;9the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.10More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.11Moreover by them is thy servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Ezekiel 36: 16 - 28

16The word of the LORD came to me:17"Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their doings; their conduct before me was like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity.18So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood which they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it.19I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; in accordance with their conduct and their deeds I judged them.20But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that men said of them, `These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.'21But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel caused to be profaned among the nations to which they came.22"Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.23And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations will know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.24For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.25I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.26A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.28You shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Psalms 51: 12 - 15, 18 - 19
12Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.
14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.
15O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
18Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.
Romans 6: 3 - 11
3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
7For he who has died is freed from sin.
8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
9For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
10The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Psalms 118: 1 - 2, 16 - 17, 22 - 23
1O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever!
2Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures for ever."
16the right hand of the LORD is exalted, the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!"
17I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.
22The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.
23This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Luke 24: 1 - 12

1But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared.2And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,3but when they went in they did not find the body.4While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel;5and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,7that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise."8And they remembered his words,9and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.10Now it was Mary Mag'dalene and Jo-an'na and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles;11but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.12But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened.

POPE FRANCIS - WAY OF THE CROSS - FULL TEXT - VIDEO

RADIO VATICANA REPORT: On Friday night, Pope Francis led a celebration of the Via Crucis at Rome’s Colosseum. The meditations were been written by a group of young Catholics from Lebanon. At the end of the celebration, Pope Francis briefly addressed the thousands of people who attended the event.
Below is the full text of his address:
Dear Brother and Sisters,
Thank you for having taken part in these moments of deep prayer. I also thank those who have accompanied us through the media, especially the sick and elderly.

 I do not wish to add too many words. One word should suffice this evening, that is the Cross itself. The Cross is the word through which God has responded to evil in the world. Sometimes it may seem as though God does not react to evil, as if he is silent. And yet, God has spoken, he has replied, and his answer is the Cross of Christ: a word which is love, mercy, forgiveness. It is also reveals a judgment, namely that God, in judging us, loves us. Remember this: God, in judging us, loves us. If I embrace his love then I am saved, if I refuse it, then I am condemned, not by him, but my own self, because God never condemns, he only loves and saves.
Dear brothers and sisters, the word of the Cross is also the answer which Christians offer in the face of evil, the evil that continues to work in us and around us. Christians must respond to evil with good, taking the Cross upon themselves as Jesus did. This evening we have heard the witness given by our Lebanese brothers and sisters: they composed these beautiful prayers and meditations. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to them for this work and for the witness they offer. We were able to see this when Pope Benedict visited Lebanon: we saw the beauty and the strong bond of communion joining Christians together in that land and the friendship of our Muslim brothers and sisters and so many others. That occasion was a sign to the Middle East and to the whole world: a sign of hope.
We now continue this Via Crucis in our daily lives. Let us walk together along the Way of the Cross and let us do so carrying in our hearts this word of love and forgiveness. Let us go forward waiting for the Resurrection of Jesus, who loves us so much. He is all love.

WATCH PASSION OF THE CHRIST FULL MOVIE

JCE News is playing "The Passion of the Christ" movie for Easter. God bless and pray for peace.
  

AUSTRALIA : CARDINAL PELL - EASTER MESSAGE

ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY RELEASE

Published on 28 Mar 2013
 Just before Lent, the season of preparation for Easter began on Ash Wednesday, all of us received the unexpected news that Pope Benedict had resigned. Therefore for two weeks the Catholic world didn't have a Pope -- no Bishop of Rome, no Successor to St Peter. The situation returned to normal when the Cardinals, on Wednesday, 13 March elected Cardinal George Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as the new successor of St. Peter. He took the name of Francis, after St Francis of Assisi probably the best known of our saints in the other Christian communities.


In his wonderful and simple first sermon as Pope in the Sistine Chapel, the Holy Father laid out an Easter message for us all. All followers of Christ are called to walk with Jesus, to move forward in Christian hope which isn't the same as shallow, artificial optimism. We have the Good News that God is interested in each one of us - sensitive to our problems, and sufferings and encouraging us to struggle regularly towards the Eternal Rewards of Heaven.


Pope Francis also told us that we need to build on these foundations at all times, especially in Lent through regular prayer and service, through our acts of self control and penance because the moral struggle between good and evil - a clash of the two kingdoms - is central to progress. The Holy Father told us that if Christians don't follow Jesus they are building in vain -- sand castles, following the worldliness of the devil.


And finally Pope Francis called all of us, especially at Easter to bear witness to the victory of the crucified and risen Christ certainly in our conversations and through official teaching, but especially through our care for one another, through the services offered by our huge range of communities and organisations. Deeds are more important than words. Christ is risen, and the victory over evil will one day be complete.


Once again the Easter message comes from Francis of Assisi - peace and goodness; especially to those who are suffering, to those wounded by Catholic Church members, to the sick, the depressed, the bereaved, those experiencing misfortune. Christ asks us to announce the peace of Easter to each and everyone.


So Happy Easter and Easter Peace.
George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney

EUROPE - COMECE WELCOMES POPE FRANCIS

COMECE RELEASE

Habemus Papam 13/03/2013 !

unknownRev. Patrick H. Daly, General Secretary of COMECE joins the wider Church Family in welcoming the election of Jorge Maria Cardinal Bergoglio as Pope Francis. ‘Right from the outset, the European project has enjoyed the active support and interest of the new pontif’s predecessors, all of whom closely followed developments within the constellation of nations, which has become the European Union.

At this critical time when there is deep confusion about Europe’s future, it may be an opportune moment for the new Pontiff to inject fresh enthusiasm into the search for a vision of Europe. This vision enshrines those Christian values, which so inspired the founding fathers of the European project.

The Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, which Pope Francis’ predecessor John Paul II published ten years ago still has a powerful message for those working to shape the Europe of tomorrow. We feel sure that the Successor of Peter will recognise with pride what has been achieved together by the European nations and encourage Europe’s political leaders – and incidentally all of us at COMECE - to continue, with solidarity and respect for subsidiarity, on the path towards unity in diversity for all within the European family.’

2013

WORKERS DEMAND EASTER SUNDAY HOLIDAY - PAKISTAN - ASIA

UCAN REPORT

Discrimination against Christians alleged
ucanews.com reporter, Lahore
Pakistan
2013-03-28 15:31:25
Catholic Church News Image of
Sanitation workers in Lahore
Hundreds of Christians protested in Lahore yesterday against alleged discrimination and demanded Easter holidays. 

Chanting anti-government slogans, sanitation workers demanded Good Friday and Easter Monday off. They also want to be recognized as permanent, full time workers.

“The companies must respect our holy week. We are already deprived of worship services, since Sunday became a working day," said Mushtaq Asi, president of the Sweeper’ Union. "These are all attempts to aggravate religious hatred."

Last year the Punjab government launched a new solid waste management system in the provincial metropolis of about 10 million people. According to the union, 7,486 Christian sanitary workers in Lahore earn 300 rupees (US$3) a day. 

“There are no holidays at all," Asi said.
"We are a poor community, yet our salary is deducted if we arrive a few minutes late. Also there are many sweepers from minorities working on daily wages even after more than a decade of service. The Muslim workers, on the other hand, enjoy all allowances and benefits," he said. 
Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry, managing director of the Lahore Waste Management Company, denied the allegations of discrimination.

“They are a bunch of retired workers with no affiliation with the company any more," he said. "The decision of making an employee permanent comes from the government; we cannot do that.

“We know they are poor and pay them if they are needed on a public holiday," he said. 

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TODAY'S SAINT : MARCH 30 : ST. JOHN CLIMACUS


St. John Climacus
ABBOTT OF SINAI
Feast: March 30


Information:
Feast Day:March 30
Born:525, Syria
Died:30 March 606, Mount Sinai
St John, generally distinguished by the appellation of Climacus, from his excellent book entitled Climax, or the Ladder to Perfection, was born about the year 525, probably in Palestine. By his extraordinary progress in the arts and sciences he obtained very young the surname of the Scholastic. But at sixteen years of age he renounced all the advantages which the world promised him to dedicate himself to God in a religious state, in 547. He retired to Mount Sinai, which, from the time of the disciples of St. Anthony and St. Hilarion, had been always peopled by holy men, who, in imitation of Moses, when he received the law on that mountain, lived in the perpetual contemplation of heavenly things. Our novice, fearing the danger of dissipation and relaxation to which numerous communities are generally more exposed than others, chose not to live in the great monastery on the summit, but in an hermitage on the descent of the mountain, under the discipline of Martyrius, an holy ancient anchoret. By silence he curbed the insolent itch of talking about everything, an ordinary vice in learned men, but usually a mark of pride and self-sufficiency. By perfect humility and obedience he banished the dangerous desire of self-complacency in his actions. He never contradicted, never disputed with anyone. So perfect was his submission that he seemed to have no self-will. He undertook to sail through the deep sea of this mortal life securely, under the direction of a prudent guide, and shunned those rocks which he could not have escaped, had he presumed to steer alone, as he tells us. From the visible mountain he raised his heart, without interruption, in all his actions, to God, who is invisible; and, attentive to all the motions of his grace, studied only to do his will. Four years he spent in the trial of his own strength, and in learning the obligations of his state, before he made his religious profession, which was in the twentieth year of his age. In his writings he severely condemns engagements made by persons too young, or before a sufficient probation. By fervent prayer and fasting he prepared himself for the solemn consecration of himself to God, that the most intense fervour might make his holocaust the more perfect; and from that moment he seemed to be renewed in spirit; and his master admired the strides with which, like a mighty giant, the young disciple advanced daily more and more towards God, by self-denial, obedience, humility, and the uninterrupted exercises of divine love and prayer.

In the year 560, and the thirty-fifth of his age, he lost Martyrius by death; having then spent nineteen years in that place in penance and holy contemplation. By the advice of a prudent director, he then embraced an eremitical life in a plain called Thole, near the foot of Mount Sinai. His cell was five miles from the church, probably the same which had been built a little before, by order of the Emperor Justinian, for the use of the monks at the bottom of this mountain, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, as Procopius mentions. Thither he went every Saturday and Sunday to assist, with all the other anchorets and monks of that desert, at the holy office and at the celebration of the divine mysteries, when they all communicated. His diet was very sparing, though, to shun ostentation and the danger of vainglory, he ate of everything that was allowed among the monks of Egypt, who universally abstained from flesh, fish, &c. Prayer was his principal employment; and he practiced what he earnestly recommends to all Christians, that in all their actions, thoughts, and words they should keep themselves with great fervour in the presence of God, and direct all they do to his holy will. By habitual contemplation he acquired an extraordinary purity of heart, and such a facility of lovingly beholding God in all his works that this practice seemed in him a second nature. Thus he accompanied his studies with perpetual prayer. He assiduously read the holy scriptures and fathers, and was one of the most learned doctors of the church. But, to preserve the treasure of humility, he concealed, as much as possible, both his natural and acquired talents, and the extraordinary graces with which the Holy Ghost enriched his soul. By this secrecy he fled from the danger of vainglory, which, like a leech, sticks to our best actions and, sucking from them its nourishment, robs us of their fruit. As if this cell had not been sufficiently remote from the eyes of men, St. John frequently retired into a neighbouring cavern which he had made in the rock, where no one could come to disturb his devotions or interrupt his tears. So ardent were his charity and compunction, that his eyes seemed two fountains, which scarce ever ceased to flow; and his continual sighs and groans to heaven, under the weight of the miseries inseparable from his moral pilgrimage, were not to be equaled by the vehemency of the cries of those who suffer from knives and fire. Overcome by importunities, he admitted a holy anchoret named Moyses to live with him as his disciple.
God bestowed on St. John an extraordinary grace of healing the spiritual disorders of souls. Among others, a monk called Isaac was brought almost to the brink of despair by most violent temptations of the flesh. He addressed himself to St. John, who perceived by his tears how much he underwent from that conflict and struggle which he felt within himself. The servant of God commended his faith, and said, "My son, let us have recourse to God by prayer." They accordingly prostrated themselves together on the ground in fervent supplication for a deliverance, and from that time the infernal serpent left Isaac in peace. Many others resorted to St. John for spiritual advice; but the devil excited some to jealousy, who censured him as one who, out of vanity, lost much time in unprofitable discourse. The saint took this accusation, which was a mere calumny, in good part, and as a charitable admonition; he therefore imposed on himself a rigorous silence for near a twelvemonth. This, his humility and modesty, so much astonished his calumniators that they joined the rest of the monks in beseeching him to reassume his former function of giving charitable advice to all that resorted to him for it, and not to bury that talent of science which he had received for the benefit of many. He who knew not what it was to contradict others, with the same humility and deference again opened his mouth to instruct his neighbour in the rules of perfect virtue, in which office, such was the reputation of his wisdom and experience, that he was regarded as another Moses in that holy place.
St. John was now seventy-five years old, and had spent forty of them in his hermitage, when, in the year 600, he was unanimously chosen Abbot of Mount Sinai, and superior-general of all the monks and hermits in that country. Soon after he was raised to this dignity, the people of Palestine and Arabia, in the time of a great drought and famine, made their application to him as to another Elias, begging him to intercede with God in their behalf. The saint failed not, with great earnestness, to recommend their distress to the Father of mercies, and his prayer was immediately recompensed with abundant rains. St. Gregory the Great, who then sat in St. Peter's chair, wrote to our holy abbot, recommending himself to his prayers, and sent him beds, with other furniture and money, for his hospital, for the use of pilgrims near Mount Sinai. John, who had used his utmost endeavours to decline the pastoral charge when he saw it laid upon him, neglected no means which might promote the sanctification of all those who were entrusted to his care. That posterity might receive some share in the benefit of his holy instructions, John, the learned and virtuous Abbot of Raithu, a monastery situate towards the Red Sea, entreated him by that obedience he had ever practiced, even with regard to his inferiors, that he would draw up the most necessary rules by which fervent souls might arrive at Christian perfection. The saint answered him that nothing but extreme humility could have moved him to write to so miserable a sinner, destitute of every sort of virtue; but that he received his commands with respect, though far above his strength, never considering his own insufficiency. Wherefore, apprehensive of falling into death by disobedience, he took up his pen in haste, with great eagerness mixed with fear, and set himself to draw some imperfect outlines, as an unskillful painter, leaving them to receive from him, as a great master, the finishing strokes. This produced the excellent work which he called "Climax; or, the Ladder of religious Perfection." This book, being written in sentences, almost in the manner of aphorisms, abounds more in sense than words. A certain majestic simplicity- an inexpressible unction and spirit of humility, joined with conciseness and perspicuity-very much enhance the value of this performance; but its chief merit consists in the sublime sentiments and perfect description of all Christian virtues which it contains. The author confirms his precepts by several edifying examples, as of obedience and penance. In  describing a monastery of three hundred and thirty monks which he had visited near Alexandria, in Egypt, he mentions one of the principal citizens of that city, named Isidore, who, petitioning to be admitted into the house, said to the abbot, "As iron is in the hands of the smith, so am I in your hands." The abbot ordered him to remain without the gate, and to prostrate himself at the feet of everyone that passed by, begging their prayers for his soul struck with a leprosy. Thus he passed seven years in profound humility and patience. He told St. John that, during the first year, he always considered himself as a slave condemned for his sins, and sustained violent conflicts; the second year he passed in tranquillity and confidence; and the third with relish and pleasure in his humiliations. So great was his virtue that the abbot determined to present him to the bishop in order to be promoted to the priesthood, but the humility of the holy penitent prevented the execution of that design; for, having begged at least a respite, he died within ten days. St. John could not help admiring the cook of this numerous community, who seemed always recollected, and generally bathed in tears amidst his continual occupation, and asked him by what means he nourished so perfect a spirit of compunction, in the midst of such a dissipating laborious employment. He said that serving the monks, he represented to himself that he was serving not men, but God in his servants; and that the fire he always had before his eyes reminded him of that fire which will burn souls for all eternity. The moving description which our author gives of the monastery of penitents called the Prison, above a mile from the former, hath been already abridged in our language. John the Sabaite told our saint, as of a third person, that seeing himself respected in his monastery, he considered that this was not the way to satisfy for his sins; wherefore, with the leave of his abbot, he repaired to a severe monastery in Pontus, and after three years saw in a dream a schedule of his debts, to the amount in appearance of one hundred pounds of gold, of which only ten were cancelled. He therefore repeated often to himself, "Poor Antiochus, thou hast still a great debt to satisfy." After passing other thirteen years in contempt and the most fervent practices of penance, he deserved to see in a vision his whole debt blotted out. Another monk, in a grievous fit of illness, fell into a trance, in which he lay as if he had been dead for the space of an hour; but, recovering, he shut himself up in a cell, and lived a recluse twelve years, almost continually weeping, in the perpetual meditation of death. When he was near death, his brethren could only extort from him these words of edification, "He who hath death always before his eyes will never sin." John, Abbot of Raithu, explained this book of our saint by judicious comments, which are also extant. We have likewise a letter of St. John Climacus to the same person concerning the duties of a pastor, in which he exhorts him in correcting others to temper severity with mildness, and encourages him zealously to fulfil the obligations of his charge; for nothing is greater or more acceptable to God than to offer him the sacrifice of rational souls sanctified by penance and charity.
St. John sighed continually under the weight of his dignity during the four years that he governed the monks of Mount Sinai; and as he had taken upon him that burden with fear and reluctance, he with joy found means to resign the same a little before his death. Heavenly contemplation, and the continual exercise of divine love and praise, were his delight and comfort in his earthly pilgrimage: and in this imitation of the functions of the blessed spirits in heaven he placeth the essence of the monastic state. In his excellent maxims concerning the gift of holy tears, the fruit of charity, we seem to behold a lively portraiture of his most pure soul. He died in his hermitage on the 30th day of March, in 605, being fourscore years old. His spiritual son, George, who had succeeded him in the abbacy, earnestly begged of God that he  might not be separated from his dear master and guide; and followed him by a happy death within a few days. On several Greek commentaries on St. John Climacus's ladder, see Montfaucon, Biblioth. Coisliana, pp. 305, 306.
St. John Climacus, speaking of the excellence and the effects of charity, does it with a feeling and energy worthy of such a subject: "A mother," says he, "feels less pleasure when she folds within her arms the dear infant whom she nourishes with her own milk than the true child of charity does when united as he incessantly is, to his God, and folded as it were in the arms of his heavenly Father.—Charity operates in some persons so as to carry them almost entirely out of themselves. It illuminates others, and fills them with such sentiments of joy, that they cannot help crying out: The Lord is my helper and my protector: in him hath my heart confided, and I have been helped And my flesh hath flourished again, and with my will I will give praise to him. This joy which they feel in their hearts, is reflected on their countenances; and when once God has united, or, as we may say, incorporated them with his charity, he displays in their exterior, as in the reflection of a mirror, the brightness and serenity of their souls: even as Moses, being honored with a sight of God, was encompassed round by his glory." St. John Climacus composed the following prayer to obtain the gift of charity: "My God, I pretend to nothing upon this earth, except to be so firmly united to you by prayer that to be separated from you may be impossible; let others desire riches and glory; for my part, I desire but one thing, and that is, to be inseparably united to you, and to place in you alone all my hopes of happiness and repose."



source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjohnclimacus.asp#ixzz1qbNhPhjg

LAWMAKER SUPPORTS RETURN OF CHRISTIAN NATION - LIBERIA - AFRICA

CISA NEWS REPORT

LiberianMap
MARYLAND, March 26, 2013 (CISA) -Maryland County District Representative, Isaac B Roland, has asserted that he is in full support of plans to constitutionally return Liberia to a Christian state. The Maryland County lawmaker’s assertions come in the wake of the recent move by a group of Christians under the banner, the Restoration to Liberia’s Christian Heritage Committee’s petition to the Legislature, seeking a constitutional referendum for the return of the country to a Christian nation.
Recently, several Christians converged at the seat of the Liberian Legislature, The Capitol Building to petition members of both Houses to restore Liberia to what they called the country’s Christian heritage.
Rev Jomah Woiwor, Chairman of the Liberia Restoration to Christian Heritage Committee read a letter of petition on behalf of the many Christians gathered at the Capitol Building:”We are assembled as a physical representation of the Liberian people to present to you, the Legislature, and our collective will to consider our petition of constitutionally restoring Liberia to a Christian nation as provided by chapter X11 article 91 of the 1986 revised constitution.”
Article 91 of the Liberian Constitution states:”This Constitution may be amended whenever a proposal by either
(1) two thirds of the membership of both Houses of the Legislature or (2) a petition submitted to the Legislature, by not fewer than 10,000 citizens which receives the concurrence of two thirds of the membership of both Houses of the Legislature, is ratified by two thirds of the registered voters, voting in a referendum conducted by the Elections Commission not sooner than one year after the action of the Legislature.”
The Chairman of the Liberia Restoration to Christian Heritage Committee added that the churches involved had gathered more than the required signatures of 10,000 to amend the constitution.
“Today we make a historic petition of more than 700,000 Liberians from the 15 political subdivisions of Liberia,” Rev Woiwor said.
He averred that the preamble of the 1847 Liberian Constitution laid the foundation of Christian heritage, adding that: “Africa acknowledging with devout gratitude, the goodness of God in granting to us the blessings of the Christian religion and political, religious and civil liberty, do, in order to secure these blessings for ourselves and our posterity, and to establish the justice, insure domestic peace, and promote the general welfare, hereby solemnly associate, and constitute ourselves a free, sovereign and independent state by the name the Republic of Liberia, and do ordain and establish this constitution for the governance of the same.”
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