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Thursday, June 6, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : THURS. JUNE 6, 2013 - SHARE BREAKING NEWS

 2013






POPE FRANCIS "MYSTERY OF THE LOVE OF GOD..." AND LATEST FROM VATICAN

40000 AT EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS IN COLOGNE - GERMANY

NUNS MAKE CHART TOPPING MUSIC CD - ANGELS AND SAINTS AT EPHESUS

CHRISTIAN MAN BEHEADED FOR REFUSAL TO CONVERT TO HINDUISM

FAMOUS ARTIST PAUL FITZGERALD - 60 YEARS OF PORTRAITS IN AUSTRALIA

CHALDEAN CHURCH SYNOD BEGINS IN IRAQ

TODAY'S SAINT : JUNE 6 : ST. NORBERT

(Vatican Radio image - share)
PONTIFICAL ECCLESIAL ACADEMY: LEAVE ASIDE PERSONAL AMBITIONS THAT DO MUCH HARM TO THE CHURCHVatican City, 6 June 2013  Pope Francis addressed this morning the 45 members of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy whom he received this morning in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, with their president, Archbishop Beniamino Stella. It is the institution that trains candidates for the Holy See's diplomatic service.
Below, please find the complete text of the Pope Francis’ remarks to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
Dear priests, dear sisters, friends 

I extend a warm welcome to all of you! I affectionately greet your President, Archbishop Beniamino Stella, and I thank him for the kind words he addressed to me on your behalf, remembering the welcome visits that I have made in the past to your Casa I also remember the friendly insistence with which Bishop Stella convinced me, now two years ago, to send to the Academy a priest of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires! Archbishop Stella knows to knock at the door! The problem was on my end, because I not found a priest to send, and I chose a “marathoner” . . . I sent him. A grateful thought goes also to his colleagues and to the Sisters and staff, who offer their generous service in your community.

Dear friends, you are preparing for a particular ministry of commitment, which will place you in the direct service of the Successor of Peter, of his charism of unity and communion, and of his solicitude for all the Churches. The work that is done in the Pontifical diplomatic service requires, like any type of priestly ministry, a great inner freedom. Live these years of your preparation with commitment, generosity, and greatness of soul, so that this freedom can really take shape in you!

But what does it mean to have this interior freedom? First of all it means being free from personal projects, being free from personal projects: from some of the concrete ways in which perhaps one day, you had thought of living your priesthood, from the possibilities of planning for the future; from the perspective of remaining for a long time in a “your” place of pastoral action. It means freeing yourself, in some way, even with respect to the culture and mindset from which you came, not by forgetting it, much less by denying it, but by opening yourself up, in charity, to understanding different cultures and meeting with people even from worlds very far from your own. Above all, it means vigilance in order to be free from ambition or personal aims, which can cause so much harm to the Church, taking care to always put in the first place not your own self-fulfillment, or the recognition that you could get whether inside and outside of the ecclesial community, but the greater good of the cause of the Gospel and the fulfillment of the mission that has been entrusted to you. This freedom from ambition or personal aims, for me, is important, it’s important! Careerism is leprosy! Leprosy! Please, no careerism! For this reason, each of you must be willing to integrate your vision of the Church, however legitimate, every personal idea or assessment, within the horizons seen by Peter, of his particular mission at the service of communion and the unity of the flock of Christ, of his pastoral charity which embraces the whole world, and that, thanks also to the action of the Pontifical diplomatic service, wishes to make itself present especially in those places, often forgotten, where the needs of the Church and of humanity are greatest. 

In a word, the ministry for which you are preparing – because you are being prepared for a ministry, not a profession: it is a ministry! – this ministry calls you to go out of yourself, to a detachment from self that can only be achieved through an intense spiritual journey and a serious unification of your life around the mystery of the love of God and of the inscrutable plan of His call. In the light of the faith, we are able to live the freedom from our own projects and our own will, not as a cause of frustration or emptying, but as an opening to the superabundant gift of God, that makes our priesthood fruitful. Living the ministry in service to the Successor of Peter and to the Church to which you are called may appear demanding, but it will allow you, so to say, to be and to breathe within the heart of the Church, of its catholicity. And this constitutes a special gift, because, as Pope Benedict recalled when speaking to your community, “wherever there is openness to the objectivity of catholicity, there is also the principle of authentic personalization” (Speech to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, 10 June 2011). 

Have great care for the spiritual life, which is the source of inner freedom. Without prayer, there is no interior freedom. You can make a precious treasure of the instruments of conforming your priestly spirituality to Christ Himself, cultivating a life of prayer and making your daily work the gymnasium of your sanctification. Here I am happy to recall the figure of Blessed John XXIII, the fiftieth anniversary of whose death we celebrated a few days ago: his work in the Pontifical diplomatic service was one of the places, and not the least significant, in which his sanctity was formed. Rereading his writings, one is impressed by the care he always took in guarding his soul, in the midst of the most varied ecclesial and political occupations. Here was born his inner freedom, the joy that he conveyed outwardly, and the effectiveness of his pastoral and diplomatic action. As he said in his Journal of a Soul, “the more mature I become in years and in experience, the more I recognize that the surest means for my personal sanctification and for the greater success of my service to the Holy See, remains the vigilant effort to reduce everything – principles, speeches, positions, affairs, to the greatest simplicity and calmness; in my vineyard, always to prune that which is simply useless foliage . . . and to go directly to that which is truth, justice, charity, above all charity. Any other [way] of doing things, is nothing but posturing and grasping at personal affirmation, which betrays itself and becomes cumbersome and ridiculous.” (Cinisello Balsamo 2000, p. 497). He wanted to prune his vineyard: to chase out the foliage, to prune. . . And some years later, joined to the end of his work in the Pontifical diplomatic service, when he was already Patriarch of Venice, he wrote, “Now I find myself completely in the ministry of souls. Truly I have always held that for an ecclesiastic, diplomacy, so to say, should always be permeated by a pastoral spirit; otherwise, it counts for nothing, and makes a holy mission ridiculous” (ibid., pp. 513-14). But this is important! Listen well: When in the Nunciature there is a secretary or a nuncio that doesn’t go along the way of sanctity, and gets involved in so many forms, in so many kinds of spiritual worldliness, he looks ridiculous, and everyone laughs at him! Please don’t be ridiculous: either [be] saints or go back to the diocese and be a pastor, but don’t be ridiculous in the diplomatic [service], in the diplomatic live, where there is so much danger of becoming worldly in spirituality.

I would also like to say something to the Sisters – thank you for coming! – who undertake their daily service among you with a religious and Franciscan spirit. They are good Mothers who accompany you with prayer, with their simple and essential words, and above all by the example of loyalty, dedication and love. Along with them I would like to thank the lay staff who work in Casa. Their hidden, but important presence, allows you to spend your time in the Academy with serenity and commitment. 

Dear priests, I hope that you will undertake the service to the Holy See with the same spirit as Blessed John XXIII. I ask you to pray for me, and I commend you to the safekeeping of the Virgin May and of Saint Anthony the Abbot, your patron. May the assurance of my prayers and of my blessing – which I cordially extend to all your loved ones – go with you. Thank you!

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

POPE FRANCIS AT WED. JUNE 6, 2013 MASS 

Vatican Radio REPORT Everyone has "small or not so small" idolatries in their lives, but the road that leads to God is one of exclusive love for Him, as Jesus taught us. This was the focus of Pope Francis’ morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta Friday.

As is custom the Pope reflected on the daily readings and the Gospel episode that recounts the scribe who approached Jesus to ask which, in his opinion, "is the first of all the commandments". Pope Francis noted that the scribe’s intentions were probably “far from innocent”, that he gives the impression of wanting to "test" Christ, if not to "make him fall into a trap". The scribe approves of Jesus’ answer – where he quotes from the bible: " Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!"- and Christ responds with the comment: “You are not far from the kingdom of God". Pope Francis said that, in essence, with that "you are not far" Jesus wanted to say to the scribe: "You know the theory very well," but "you are still some distance from the Kingdom of God", that is, you have to walk to “transform this commandment into reality”, because we “profess God through our way of life":

"It’s not enough to say: 'But I believe in God, God is the only God.' That’s fine, but how do you live this out in your life’s journey? Because we can say, 'The Lord is the only God, there is no other', but then live as if He was not the only God and have other deities at our disposal ... There is a danger of ' idolatry: idolatry, which is brought to us through the spirit of the world. And in this Jesus was clear: the spirit of the world, no. At the Last Supper he asks the Father to defend us from the spirit of the world, because the spirit of the world leads us to idolatry. "

Pope Francis continued: "Idolatry is subtle…we all have our hidden idols" and "the path of life to follow, to not be far from the kingdom of God" involves "discovering our hidden idols." The Pope pointed out that this attitude is already present in the Bible, in the episode in which Rachel, Jacob's wife, pretends she is not carrying idols which instead she took from her father's house and hid in her saddle. Pope Francis said that we too “have hid them in our saddle ... But we have to look for them and we have to destroy them," because to follow God the only path is that of a love based on "loyalty":

"And loyalty demands we drive out our idols, that we uncover them: they are hidden in our personality, in our way of life. But these are hidden idols mean that we are not faithful in love. The Apostle James, when he says, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God, begins by saying: 'Adulterers!'. He gives out to us, but with that adjective: adulterers. Why? Because whoever is 'friend' of the world is an idolater, is not faithful to the love of God! The path that is not distant, that advances, moves forward in the Kingdom of God, is a path of loyalty which resembles that of married love. "

Pope Francis then asked, even "with our small or not so small idolatries" how is it possible not to be faithful "to a love so great?". To do this, you need to trust in Christ, who is "total loyalty" and who "loves us so much"


"We can now ask Jesus: 'Lord, you who are so good, teach me to be this path so that every day I may be less distant from the kingdom of God, this path to drive out all of my idols'. It is difficult, but we must begin ... The idols hidden in the many saddles, which we have in our personalities, in the way we live: drive out the idol of worldliness, which leads us to become enemies of God. We ask this grace of Jesus, today. "

Mass was concelebrated by Archbishop José Vitti of Curitiba in Brazil, Archbishop Juan Segura of Ibiza, Spain and Archbishop Chirayath Anthony of Sagar in India. Staff from the Vatican Library were present, accompanied by vice-prefect Ambrose Paizzoni, and a group of lay personnel of the Lateran University, accompanied by Vice Rector, Msgr. Patrick Valdrini.


SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA
HOLY FATHER'S SUMMER SCHEDULE
Vatican City, 6 June 2013 (VIS) – In a note released today, the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household announced that, during the summer period, all private and special audiences will be suspended. The Wednesday general audiences of 3,10, 17, and 31 July are likewise suspended and will resume again from 7 August. On Sunday, 14 July, the Holy Father will pray the Angelus from the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo. From Monday, 22 July, to Monday, 29 July, the Holy Father will travel to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day.
Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., explained this morning that the pontiff's normal residence for the summer period will continue to be the Domus Sanctae Marthae, even if he will occasionally travel to Castel Gandolfo, as for the SundayAngelus on 14 July. Further, the morning Masses in the chapel of the Domus will be suspended from 7 July.
GOVERNMENTS MUST RESPECT, RECOGNIZED AND DECLARED, RIGHTS OF REFUGEES
Vatican City, 31 May 2013 (VIS) – “Welcoming Christ in Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons” is the title of the document prepared by the Pontifical Councils for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples and "Cor Unum", which was presented this morning at a press conference in the Holy See Press Office. Speaking at the conference were Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio and Cardinal Robert Sarah, respectively presidents of the two dicasteries. Also participating in the presentation were: Mr. Johan Ketelers, secretary general of the International Catholic Migration Commission (CICM) and Dr. Katrine Camilleri, assistant director of Jesuit Refugee Service Malta and recipient of the 2007 Nansen Refugee Award (United Nations Refugee Award, ACNUR-UNHCR).
“Our document,” explained Cardinal Veglio, “is a pastoral guide that starts from a fundamental premise, ... which is that every policy, initiative, or intervention in this area must be guided by the principle of the centrality and dignity of every human person. … Indeed, this is the pivot of the Church's social doctrine: 'individual human beings are the foundation, the cause and the end of every social institution'. Refugees, asylum seekers, and the forcibly displaced, therefore, are persons whose dignity must be protected, indeed, it must be the absolute priority. This is why the document recalls the rights granted to each refugee, which promote the individuals' well-being. These are well described in the 1951 Refugee Convention.”
“Governments must respect these rights while further [rights to be extended] to the people involved in forced migration must be studied. Protection must be guaranteed to all who live under conditions of forced migration, taking into account their specific needs, which can vary from a residency permit for victims of human trafficking to the possibility of being granted citizenship for those who are stateless,” the cardinal observed. On the contrary, he noted, it is occurring more and more frequently that refugees are subjected to confined detention, interment in refugee camps, and having their freedom to travel and their right to work restricted.
“It would be very different if their recognized and declared rights were properly respected. After all, the States have established and ratified these convention to ensure that individuals' rights do not remain just proclaimed ideals or commitments that are subscribed to but not honoured. … The Church, for her part, is convinced that the pastoral care for all persons who, in various ways, are involved in forced migration is a collective responsibility, as well as [the responsibility] of each individual believer. … In close connection to moral values and the Christian vision, we mean to save human lives, to restore dignity to persons, to offer hope, and to give adequate social and communal responses. Letting ourselves be challenged by the presence of refugees, asylum seekers, and other persons who have been forcibly displace compels us to go out of our closed world, which is familiar to us, toward the unknown, in mission, in the courageous witness of evangelization,” the prelate concluded.
Cardinal Sarah then referred to the four million displaced persons within Syria, noting the 80,000 deaths, in less than two years, that have been “collateral effects” of the conflict. In this regard he observed that, up until the 1950's, in war there was a proportion of 1 civilian victim to 9 military casualties while today that amount has been inverted and dozens of thousands of people are in flight, “in the attempt to, at least, save their lives”.
He also referenced the population of the Sahel region of Africa, condemned to hunger because of drought, likening the situation to that in the American states that have recently been hit by tornadoes. He emphasized that, “at whatever latitude, the fight against against natural catastrophes is absolutely unequal and gives a sense of how humanity is at the mercy of nature instead of being its responsible custodian.” The cardinal did not overlook those who, even in Europe, are unemployed and condemned to “a 'structural poverty', who pay the price of political choices with their own lives”. Many of these persons chose the path of emigration, unleashing the “phenomenon of a flight of [intellectuals], which further and permanently impoverishes their country of origin”.
In this state of things “the Church intervenes in different ways according to her ability, mainly thanks to the worthy work of her charitable organizations and their volunteers”. But “charity, first of all, is wed to the individual … charity isn't a window or a register. Whoever is in need must be able to find a good Samaritan whose heart beats with theirs because they are made alike and because [the good Samaritan] serves Christ [in serving their neighbour in need].” In the same way, charity “has a plural dimension: the refugee, the impoverished, the suffering need a network of ecclesial support that embraces and assimilates them … recognizing the dignity of the person and making them again feel part of the human family, respecting their identity and their faith” because “the Christian community is called to live the ecclesial dimension of charity”.
COR UNUM: SUMMER WILL AGGRAVATE CRISIS IN SYRIA
Vatican City, 6 June 2013 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” called a meeting, from 4-5 June, of the Catholic charitable agencies that are working to combat the crisis in Syria. Around 25 representatives of local churches, charitable agencies working in the region, institutional donors from the Catholic world, the Holy See, and the Apostolic Nunciature in Syria gathered to reaffirm the continuity of their commitment and to renew the Holy Father's appeal that all violence cease and that paths of dialogue and reconciliation, based on respect for all, be opened.
The local Churches have responded concretely to the population, both in Syria and the entire region, from the beginning of the conflict. More than 400,000 persons are regularly supported, without discrimination, by humanitarian aid to the cost of more than 25 million Euro. Testimonials confirm the extent of the tragedy: almost 7 million people who need humanitarian assistance, more than 4.5 million forcibly displaced persons, and an ever-increasing number of persons seeking security outside of the country's borders.
A more careful analysis of the needs in this area have revealed that, with the onset of summer, the risk of epidemics in the affected population—with pregnant women, children, the elderly, and the disabled in particular jeopardy—will certainly increase along with shortages of medicines and aid.
In the face of this alarming situation, the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” has launched an appeal on behalf of all the agencies involved to economically support the humanitarian efforts and the search for peace, in the hopes of rebuilding a country that has been torn and destroyed by the conflict.
The international community must also provide more support to the countries that are receiving refugees and to humanitarian operations there, in order to be able to respond to their growing needs. The international community's mediation efforts, even if more decisive in respect to previous months, still seem insufficient. Thus the risks are increasing that the conflict in Syria might become another endless war in which the first victims are defenceless civilians, who are often treated as targets in the “useless massacre” of this ongoing violence.
SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN BILATERAL COMMISSION BETWEEN HOLY SEE AND ISRAEL
Vatican City, 6 June 2013 (VIS) – According to a joint communique released today, “the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel met [yesterday], 5 June 2013, at the Vatican, at the Plenary level to continue negotiations pursuant to the Fundamental Agreement Art. 10 paragraph 2.”
“The meeting was headed by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for the Holy See's Relations with States and by Mr. Zeev Elkin, M.K., deputy minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel. The Commission welcomed the two new heads of the delegations, and acknowledged the contribution of Ambassador Bahij Mansour to the negotiations and wished him success in his new position. The negotiations took place in a thoughtful and constructive atmosphere. The Commission took notice that significant progress was made and the parties committed themselves to accelerate negotiations on the remaining issues, and look forward to an expedited conclusion in the near term.”
“The Parties have agreed on future steps and to hold the next Plenary meeting by December 2013 in Jerusalem.”
AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 6 June 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received:
   - the credential letters of the new ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His excellency Mr. Mohamed Taher Rabbani,
   - members of the presidency of the Latin American Confederation of Religious Orders (CLAR), and
   - Archbishop Beniamino Stella, president of Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 6 June 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father appointed Fr. Lionginas Virbalas, S.J., as bishop of Panevezys (area 13,000, population 390,000, Catholics 320,000, priests 98, religious 76), Lithuania. The bishop-elect, previously rector of the Pontifical Russian College of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Rome, Italy, was born in Birzai, Lithuania, in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1991. Since ordination he has served in several academic, pastoral, institutional, and diocesan level roles, most recently as: consultor of the Jesuit Provincial Curia in Lithuania (2003); adjunct secretary general of Lithuania's Episcopal Conference (2005-2009); and pastor of St. Casimir parish in Vilnius (1997-2005 and again from 2009-2010). He succeeds Bishop Jonas Kauneckas, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

40000 AT EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS IN COLOGNE - GERMANY

KATH NET RELEASE: With an open-air Mass, the Catholic Church has opened the Eucharistic Congress in Cologne.
Cologne (kath.net / CBA) with a mass in the open air, the Catholic Church has opened the Eucharistic Congress in Cologne. In sunny weather, to around 5,000 people, including about 40 bishops gathered.In his homily, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch called for "with great inner joy and openness" to celebrate the five-day religious meetings.


"We are looking higher than the Cologne Cathedral and better than the works of the culture," says the chairman of the German Bishops Conference. The Catholics in Germany and neighboring countries wanted Jesus Christ "in a prominent manner" honor and meet him in the Eucharist. The focus of the meeting lasted until Sunday Eucharist as the central sacrament of the Catholic Church. Their understanding is in the Eucharist through a transformation of bread and wine Christ himself is present. Zollitsch expressed the hope that the festival radiating "the church beyond": Communion with God urge to "the protection and interior of an alleged well-being leave-Christianity and to go to the people of the modern world as missionaries. "Jesus Christ became for all people and had "given his life for the most distant sinner." main celebrant of the service was Cardinal Joachim Meisner, who is at the head of the host diocese of Cologne. He expressed the hope that all participants walked away from Cologne a little happier than they came to it. At the altar, on the Rhine, a 20-meter-high cross was erected, which is illuminated at night and to serve as a symbol of the Congress. After the Mass, the participants moved in a procession on a Rhine bridge to the cathedral, where they expected a light installation with organ sounds and vocals.800 events to the Congress with around 40,000 participants have registered, according to the organizers, including 8,000 permanent residents.The Cologne meeting lasts until Sunday and has the motto "Lord, to whom shall we go?". Discussions are planned faith, worship, confession, panel discussions, lectures, concerts and theater events.
 (KATH.NET - INTERNET TRANSLATION)
VISIT THE OFFICIAL SITE FOR MORE PHOTOS http://www.eucharistie2013.de/

MASSIVE FLOODING IN CENTRAL EUROPE - STREETS ARE RIVERS



MASSIVE FLOODS IN EUROPE have caused much damage. The heavy spring rains have lead to flood in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Streets have become rivers in many areas. Thousands of police and soldiers have been called to fill sand bags and make flood protection walls. People have been evacuated from their homes.
(IMAGE SHARE BING/LATIMES)


 2013

FREE CATHOLIC MOVIES - ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD - WATCH


IN HONOR OF THE YEAR OF FAITH JCE NEWS will be showing some of the Best Catholic Films of all time. Here is the drama of ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD in English :



NUNS MAKE CHART TOPPING MUSIC CD - ANGELS AND SAINTS AT EPHESUS

BENEDICTINES OF MARY RELEASE

Angels and Saints at Ephesus


Celebrate the angels and saints with our most recent recording, featuring songs which they composed, as well as songs written in their honor.
Click here to view a complete list of tracks.

To inquire about our specially reduced rate for 10 or more CDs please click here.

For international orders please click here.



Our latest album, Angels and Saints at Ephesus,
When you purchase Angels and Saints at Ephesus from our website, a significant amount of the proceeds will go directly to our community. The funds will assist us in alleviating our remaining debt, so that we can begin working on future projects on the monastery grounds.
May God reward you!

Please direct all marketing and press inquiries regarding Angels & Saints at Ephesus to:studio@demontfortmusic.com

United with Our Lady at the foot of the Cross, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles seek above all else, a life of union with God in prayer as guided by the Rule of St. Benedict.
Totally consecrated to the Queen of Apostles, we take Our Lady’s hidden life at Ephesus as an inspiration for our own. We seek to be what she was for the early Church: a loving and prayerful support to the Apostles, the first priests, and daily offer prayer and sacrifice for the sake of her spiritual sons.
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We cannot preach the Gospel to the nations nor bring the Lord to our tabernacles, but we can be “Love in the heart of the Church” with firm adherence to her teaching, loyalty to the Holy Father, and deep-seated love of the traditional liturgy.
In the company of Our Lady we contemplate the great High Priest, interceding for the sacred priesthood.
Aside from the maintenance of the community, all other works of our hands are directed toward the glory of the altar in the making of vestments and altar linens.
Customary Benedictine hospitality is an integral part of our life. Particular attentiveness is given to welcoming priests, the apostles of our day, and our retreat quarters are principally intended for them. Our hope is that they will find what the Apostles found at Our Lady’s home at Ephesus: encouragement, and a spiritual haven conducive to rest and prayer.
We have been richly blessed by God thus far with vocations, zealous young women imbued with the call to offer their lives to Jesus, through Mary, on behalf of all priests.
Please pray that God Who has begun His work in us may bring it to fulfillment.
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If you are unable to purchase the CD through our website, you may send a check payable to the Benedictines of Mary. Please include $17/CD plus $3 postage for 1 CD, or $5 postage for 2 or more and send to: 

Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus
P.O. Box 303 
Gower, MO 64454

$17.00





CHRISTIAN MAN BEHEADED FOR REFUSAL TO CONVERT TO HINDUISM

ASIA NEWS REPORT
After he married a tribal girl, her father pressured him to change religion. After a prayer ritual, a shaman performed the murder. His wife now fears for her life and that of their son.


Mumbai (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A 35-year-old Christian man was beheaded for refusing to convert to Hinduism. Indian media that covered the affair revealed that the man, Tapas Bin, was killed by his own father-in-law in the village of Teliamura (West Tripura District), in the north-eastern part of the country, where the victim's body was found a few days ago in a stream.
According to police, three years ago Bin married Jentuly, the daughter of 55-year-old Gobinda Jamatiya, the member of a local tribal religion. The Christian man had been a private tutor of Gobinda's daughter, and the couple had a one-year-old son.
Since the marriage, Gobinda had been pressuring Bin to abandon Christianity and join his tribal religion. When Bin persistently refused, Gobinda decided to kill his son-in-law with the help of an ojha (shaman), Krishnapada Jamatiya (no relation), and dispose of the body.
Police arrested the 42-year-old shaman but were unable to find Gobinda, who works at the West Tripura Science and Technology Department, and is thought to be on the run.
Khrishnapada confessed to the crime, providing detailed information about the killing. For example, he said that before the assassination, Gobinda and he had performed a puja, a ritual prayer.


Bin's wife Jentuly told police that her father did not recognise their marriage and had pressured Bin to convert. What is more, "My father might kill me and my son too," she said.
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT


CHALDEAN CHURCH SYNOD BEGINS IN IRAQ

Agenzia Fides REPORT – On Wednesday, June 5 the Synod of the Chaldean Church convened by the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Louis Raphael I Sako began in Baghdad. The beginning of the assembly was also attended by Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, Apostolic Nuncio to Jordan and Iraq. As from today, with the arrival of the bishop of Aleppo Antoine Audo, all the Chaldean Bishops - except Sarhad Jammo, Bishop of St. Peter the Apostle in San Diego of the Chaldeans (Usa) – are gathered in the center of the Iraqi capital. The agenda of the synodal assembly is more than challenging. Several points on the agenda: the appointment of bishops in several Chaldean bishoprics left vacant; the formation of priests; the final draft of a “law” of the Chaldean Church; updating and harmonization of the liturgical rites celebrated unevenly in the various dioceses; the study of concrete measures to curb the phenomenon of migration and encourage Christians to remain in their homeland or to make return.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans and sent to Fides Agency, called upon all "the sons and daughters of the Chaldean Church" to invoke the success of the Synodal Assembly.
The Almighty Father is invoked in order to be helped "to love our Chaldean Church as it is, in all its varieties and differences, in its greatness as its weakness." In front of the "storms" that "blow against the boat in which we find ourselves.


FAMOUS ARTIST PAUL FITZGERALD - 60 YEARS OF PORTRAITS IN AUSTRALIA

ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE RELEASE;
Words + pictures Fiona Basile
PAUL FITZGERALD AM is one of Australia’s most distinguished portrait painters. During his career—which spans more than 60 years—he has painted some of the world’s most notable figures including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Pope John XXIII, Cardinal James Knox, former prime ministers Sir Robert Menzies and Malcolm Fraser, and Archbishop Daniel Mannix. At 90 years of age, after an eight-year break due to the onset of Parkinson’s disease, he has just taken up the paint brush again in what he is calling his ‘comeback in abstract’.

‘They say with Parkinson’s it never gets better—it only gets worse,’ he said. ‘But I’m going to start again—they’re clearing out the back room now, which will be the studio. There’s no reason why I can’t do it. But I won’t be able to do it like I did, so they could just say, “this is his abstract period”, or something like that. A lot of the great artists did that, like Turner, and the prices didn’t go down.’
Born in Hawthorn in 1922, Paul was the second son of Frank and Margaret Fitzgerald (nee Poynton)—his father was an art critic and journalist at The Argus and The Age. Paul was educated at Xavier College and studied portrait painting at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School from 1940-43 and then again from 1946-47—the interruption was due to three years of service in the Australian Army during World War II.

In 1949, Paul bought ‘the cheapest first-class ticket’ he could on a liner bound for London. He intended to work as a steward to help cover his fare, but then decided to paint portraits of fellow passengers. ‘I thought that the fellow passengers would certainly be able to afford a portrait and they’d have nothing else to do onboard,’ he said. Paul painted two portraits and in the process established many new friendships that would help launch his career in England.
In his first year there, he painted enough portraits to fund trips to France, Italy and Spain—where he would soak up the famous galleries—and then return to London to paint again. Paul spent five years in London painting some of the Commonwealth’s most influential people including Lord Gowrie, governor-general Sir William Slim and his wife, Lady Slim, and Lieutenant-Commander Michael Parker.

Paul had been friends with Michael Parker and his sister Mary in Melbourne, when both families had lived near each other in Kew. In London, Lieutenant Parker was private secretary to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Mary, who had attended Genazzano College, was pursuing an acting and radio career with the BBC in London when Paul arrived there.

‘Everybody in England knew Mary Parker,’ said Paul, ‘In England she did several films—I’ve seen her name in lights on Shaftsbury Avenue and then she worked on TV as an announcer. They also brought her out to Australia in 1956 to open the Olympic Games—she was the first woman on television in Australia.’ Both Michael and Mary are also among the long list of subjects Paul has painted.
Paul and Mary married in the chapel of Xavier College in 1957 and after 56 years of marriage, they still shine with deep affection for each other. ‘She’s a wonderful carer,’ said Paul. ‘She takes such good care of me, and I have the most wonderful family’ including seven children—Fabian, Marisa, Patrick (deceased), Emma, Edward, Maria and Frances, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Paul’s life is surrounded by portraits, and behind each picture is a story. Speaking of his portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, he said it had been commissioned by ‘Bob’ Menzies. ‘I was painting Bob’s portrait and he said he’d never seen a decent portrait of the Queen he liked. I told him I could probably do it.’ It was the first of three portraits he painted of the Queen, including the official portrait for her Silver Jubilee year.
Speaking of his portrait of American actress Vivien Leigh, he recalled her experience when visiting the Fitzgerald home. ‘Her first sitting was at 11 o’clock in the morning and Fabian—he was a little fellow then, about six years old—answered the door for me. He said, “Come in, Miss Vivien Leigh, will you have a cocktail?” She always remembered that and we had a good laugh about it.’

Looking back over his life and career, Paul said he’d been very blessed. And while he could not remember how many portraits of notables he had done, he was ‘chuffed the other day when he met somebody who said “we learn about you at University”.’
‘I’ve had a wonderful life. I read an article once, and it said, “life is a matter of choices; you can choose to be happy or unhappy”, and I chose happy. I always look on the bright side.’
His Catholic faith has also played an important role in his life: ‘Goodness me, the whole of eternity is dependent upon it, and that’s a long time. My faith underpins everything I do—we pray the Rosary every night.’
Despite Paul’s experience of Parkinson’s and ‘lapsing health’, his good humour and positive attitude was evident during the interview for this article. When Mary asked offered us a range of drinks, including a cup of tea or Pinot Noir, Paul responded, ‘I’d like a nice new Porsche’.

While Paul could not remember how many portraits he had done, he was certain there was ‘no other artist in the world who had painted as many portraits of people of distinction’ as he had. ‘I was chuffed the other day when I met somebody who said “we learn about you at university”.’

Paul is excited about what lies ahead. ‘This will be the first time I’ve painted in eight years,’ he said. ‘I don’t think they’ll be portraits, they’ll probably be still-life subjects. I won’t sell any of it for a while, but eventually when I get into it, I’ll know whether it’s reasonable or not. We’ll just have to see how I go.’

Paul Fitzgerald was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia and a Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 1997. He was a finalist for the Archibald Prize for Portraiture in 1958, 1962 and 1972. He founded the Australian Guild of Realist Artists, where he was president for seven years. His work is located in private and public collections nationally and internationally.

This article was first published in Kairos Catholic Journal, Issue 8.

Note: The photograph of Mary and Paul Fitzgerald is courtesy of Mary and Paul.
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE


2013

TODAY'S SAINT : JUNE 6 : ST. NORBERT


St. Norbert
FOUNDER
Feast: June 6


Information:
Feast Day:June 6
Born:1080 at Xanten, Germany
Died:6 June 1134 at Magdeburg, Germany
Canonized:1582 by Pope Gregory XIII
Patron of:invoked during childbirth for safe delivery; Magdeburg, peace
St. Norbert was born at Santen, in the duchy of Cleves, in 1080. His father, Heribert, count of Gennep, was related to the emperor, and his mother derived her pedigree from the house of Lorraine. The rank which his birth gave him was rendered more illustrious by the excellent qualifications of his mind and body. His application to his studies was equal to the quickness of his parts, and he went through his academical exercises with extraordinary applause. But being at first blinded by the flattery of the world, he suffered himself to be carried away by its pleasures and pastimes, and had no higher thoughts than how he might live in honor and at his ease. He even received the ecclesiastical tonsure with a worldly spirit; and though he was instituted to a canonry at Santen and ordained sub-deacon, he neither changed his spirit nor his conduct. Being naturally inclined to mirth and gayety, he was the soul of all parties of pleasure, and by living in a circle of diversions, he drowned his soul in a round of vanities and trifling amusements, and was a stranger to serious reflection on himself, which would have opened his eyes. He would not be prevailed on to receive any higher orders for fear of a greater restraint on his conduct; and he led the same manner of life in the court of his cousin, the emperor Henry IV., who appointed him his almoner. God beheld with compassion the heart of this young nobleman enslaved to the world, in which he in vain sought that contentment and quiet of mind which no earthly advantages can afford, and which it is in the power of virtue alone to give. But to break his secret chains an extraordinary grace was necessary; and God awakened him from his spiritual lethargy by an alarming accident. Norbert was riding to a village in Westphalia, called Freten, in pursuit of his pleasures, mounted on a horse richly caparisoned, and attended by only one servant, when, in the midst of a pleasant meadow, he was overtaken by a violent storm, accompanied with dreadful thunder and lightning. Finding himself at a great distance from any shelter, he was overwhelmed with perplexity and fear, and while he was going on briskly, having set spurs to his horse, a ball of fire, or lightning, with a loud clap of thunder, fell just before his horse's feet, burned the grass, and cleft the earth. The poor beast, thus affrighted, threw his rider who lay like one dead for near an hour. At last coming to himself, like another Saul, he cried out to God, in the bitter compunction of his heart, "Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do?" To which the divine grace interiorly suggested this reply, "Turn away from evil, and do good: seek after peace, and pursue it." Being thus humbled in the full career of his passions, he became upon the spot a sincere penitent. Returning no more to the court, he withdrew to his canonry at Santen, there led a life of silence and retirement, wore a hair shirt next his skin, and spent his time in tears, holy prayer, and meditation. Now taking a serious review of himself and the world, he detested his past ingratitude to God, and his folly in serving a deceitful world which mingles in all its delights much gall and bitterness, far outweighing the false and momentary pleasure. The remembrance of the divine mercy which had spared him, while many others had been cut off in their sins, and in a moment been buried in hell, pierced his heart to the quick, and drew daily from his eyes streams of tears, by which he endeavored to wash away the stains of his soul. The fire of divine love thus kindled in his heart, gained strength every day by his fidelity, and by fresh supplies of grace. But his conversion was completed by a retreat which he made in St. Sigebert's monastery near Cologne, and by the pious exhortations of Conon, the holy abbot of that house, who was made soon after bishop of Ratisbon. Norbert was at this time in the thirtieth year of his age.

After his conversion, he employed two years in preparing himself for the priesthood, which he received from the hands of the archbishop of Cologne, together with the order of deacon, his fervor seeming a sufficient cause for such a dispensation. At the time of his ordination, he appeared in a lambskin cassock tied with a cord, and thus published to the world, that from that moment he renounced all its vanities. After his ordination, he returned to Conon, and made, under his direction, a severe retreat of forty days to dispose himself by tears, prayer, and fasting to say his first mass, which he came back to Santen to celebrate with his chapter. After the gospel was sung at high mass, he mounted the pulpit, and made a most pathetic sermon on the vanity of the world, the shortness of human life, and the insufficiency of all created beings to satisfy the heart of man; and he indirectly inveighed against the disorders of his colleagues. In a chapter which was held the next day, he pointed them out more distinctly, and pressed a reformation so vigorously, that several of them became perfect converts, and loudly condemned their past irregularities. But others, who could not bear that their sores should be touched to the quick, burst out into intemperate rage against him, and not content with ill-usage, they accused him to the pope's legate as an innovator, a hypocrite, and one who covered pernicious designs under the specious presence of zeal for a reformation of manners. The saint, having before his eyes the sins of his past life, confessed that he deserved all manner of contempt and ill treatment, and rejoiced under injuries and afflictions Nevertheless, reflecting on what he owed to God's honor, he purged himself before the legate, in a council held at Fritzlar, in 1118. Soon after, inflamed with an ardent zeal to live to God alone, he resigned all his ecclesiastical preferments into the hands of the archbishop of Cologne, and sold his own estate, giving the money to the poor, reserving only to himself ten marks of silver, a mule, and sacred vestments and ornaments for the altar. Thus divested of all that could engage his stay in his own country, he travelled barefoot to St. Giles's in Languedoc, where pope Gelasius II. was at that time. He threw himself at his holiness's feet, and with extraordinary compunction, made to him a general confession of his whole life, begging absolution of all his past disorders, especially of the irregularity committed in his receiving the holy orders of deacon and priest at the same time, with out observing the interstices prescribed by the canons, though it had been done by the dispensation of his diocesan; and cheerfully offered himself to make any satisfaction. He obtained of the pope faculties to preach the gospel where he judged proper. It was then the depth of winter. Yet he walked barefoot through the snow, and, inflamed with an ardent love of God, and desire of promoting his glory, seemed insensible to the rigors of the season. His whole life was a perpetual lent, and he never took his meal till evening, except on Sundays. He preached penance with incredible fruit over the provinces of Languedoc, Guienne, Poitou, and Orleanois. Till he came to Orleans, he had been accompanied only by two laymen; but, passing through that city, was joined by a subdeacon, who desired to assist him in his mission. His three disciples all fell sick, and died at Valenciennes, in Hainault, in 1119. In that city Burchard, bishop of Cambray, who had been acquainted with the saint in the emperor's court, meeting him, was extremely edified with his humility, penance, and zeal; and Hugh, his chaplain, quitting his hopes and prospects in the world, resolved to accompany Norbert in his apostolical labors: this great man afterwards succeeded him in the government of his order. With this companion, the saint preached penance through all Hainault, Brabant, and the territory of Liege. The people crowded to hear him wherever he came, and his sermons, enforced and illustrated by an evangelical life, procured the conversion of great numbers, reconciled those that were at variance, and engaged usurers and others to make restitution of their ill-gotten goods.

Pope Calixtus II. having succeeded Gelasius II. in 1119, Norbert went to Rheims, where his Holiness held a council soon after his exaltation. The prelates of that assembly were no less charmed with the eloquence, wisdom, and piety of this great servant of God, than amazed at the austerity of his penance, which some advised him in vain to moderate. He was introduced to the pope, who was one of the greatest men that had filled the apostolic chair, by Bartholomew bishop of Laon, and obtained a fresh grant of the privileges and faculties he had received from his predecessor. That prelate earnestly requested that his Holiness would allow him to fix the holy man in his diocese, that he might employ him in reforming the regular canons of St. Martin's church at Laon. The pope readily consented, but these canons could not be induced to submit to his severe regulations. Wherefore the zealous bishop gave the holy man the choice of several places to build a house. The saint pitched upon a lonesome valley called Premontre, in the forest of Coucy, where he found the remains of a small chapel, which bore the name of St. John, but stood in so barren a soil that the monks of St. Vincent at Laon, the proprietors of it, had abandoned it. The bishop bought of them this desert piece of land, and there built a monastery for the saint, who assembled out of Brabant thirteen brethren, desirous to serve God under his direction. Their number soon increased to forty, who made their profession on Christmas-day, 1121. The saint gave them the rule of St. Austin, with a white habit, destining them, in imitation of the angels in heaven, to sing the divine praises on earth. Their manner of living was very austere; but their order is no other than a reformation of regular canons. It was soon spread over several parts of Europe. Among the foundations made by our saint, that of St. Michael's at Antwerp was attended with circumstances which were illustrious proofs of his zeal. That town was then in the diocese of Cambray, and consisted at that time but of one parish, which fell into the hands of an unworthy pastor, by whose sloth and irregular conduct the flock was sunk into great disorders. Tankelin, a bold and eloquent heretic, took his advantage of this unhappy state of the church at Antwerp, and openly asserted that the institution of the priesthood is a fiction, and that the eucharist and other sacraments are of no service to salvation. He drew after him three thousand persons, who believed him a great prophet, and were ready to commit any outrages to support his impious extravagances. After he had spread his errors in the dioceses of Utrecht, Cambray, and the adjacent churches, luring the people with magnificent banquets, and practising the most filthy abominations of the Gnostics, he was slain in 1115, in those tumults which himself had raised, meeting with the usual fate of the authors of seditions and disturbers of the public peace.

The combustion, however, continued still to rage with no less fury than ever, and to fill the whole country with desolation. The reputation of the sanctity and erudition of Norbert attracted the eyes of all Europe; and the canons of Antwerp, in this distress of their church, being joined by Burchard their bishop, who resided at Cambray, implored his charitable assistance. The saint lost no time, and arrived at Antwerp with a select number of his canons who labored under his direction. Such was the success of this mission, that in a short time the people were undeceived, the heretics converted, abuses reformed, and the city restored to its former tranquillity and lustre. The clergy of Antwerp settled St. Michael's church on the saint and his order; and removed the ancient college of secular canons to our Lady's, which in 1559 was erected by pope Paul IV. into a cathedral, when Antwerp was made a bishop's see. The bishop of Cambray confirmed the donation of St. Michael's to the saint in 1124. St. Norbert revived the devotion of the people to the holy sacrament of the altar, and its frequent use, which heresy had interrupted, and had the comfort to see this church flourish in piety before he returned to his first settlement. His order was then much increased, and contained ten abbeys and eight hundred religious men. Among others who embraced his rule, count Godfrey, a nobleman of high renown in the empire, put on the habit at Floreff near Namur, and led an exemplary life in that convent, serving God in the humble quality of a lay-brother. Several other persons of distinction fled from the corruption of the world to the sanctuaries established by this great director in the paths of salvation. His institute had been approved by the legates of Calixtus II., but a more solemn confirmation being judged necessary, St. Norbert undertook a journey to Rome in 1125. Pope Honorius II., who had succeeded Calixtus II. in the close of the foregoing year, and was a great encourager of learning and of good men, received him with all possible marks of respect and affection, and granted all he desired, as appears by his bull, dated in the February following. The saint at his return to Premontre, put the abbey of St. Martin's at Laon under his rule, which the canons then demanded, though they had rejected it six or seven years before. The abbey of Viviers in the diocese of Soissons made the same step. Theobald, a prime nobleman of France, desired to embrace his order; but the saint diverted him from that design, showing him that God, by the situation in which he had placed him in the world, pointed out what he required at his hands; he made him sensible that his obligations to his family and bleeding country were ties in conscience, and that by faithfully acquitting himself of them, he would most effectually labor to advance the honor, and accomplish the will of God.

Norbert having completed the great work of the establishment of his order, was obliged to quit his monastery, to be placed in a more exalted station for the benefit of many. The count of Champagne, who did nothing of importance without the advice and direction of our saint, took him into Germany, whither he was going to conclude a treaty of marriage between himself and Maud, a niece to the bishop of Ratisbon. After the death of the unhappy emperor Henry V., Lothaire II., duke of Saxony, was chosen king of the Romans in 1125, though he was only crowned emperor at Rome in 1132, by pope Innocent II. This excellent prince, whose reign was equally glorious and religious, was holding a diet at Spire when the count and St. Norbert arrived at that city. Deputies from the city of Magdeburg were come to the same place to solicit Lothaire for an archbishop in the room of Roger, who died the year before. Two persons were proposed for that dignity; but Lothaire preferred Norbert to them both. At his name the deputies rejoiced exceedingly; and, indeed, the saint was the only person not pleased with the nomination. The pope's legate, cardinal Gerard, who afterwards sat in St. Peter's chair under the name of Lucius II., made use of his authority to oblige him to comply. The deputies of Magdeburg took him with them to that city, where he was met at a distance by the principal persons, and by his clergy. He followed the procession barefoot, and was conducted to the church, and thence to his palace. But his dress was so mean and poor, that the porter shut the door against him, saying: "Why will you go in to disturb my lords?" Those that followed cried out: "He is our bishop." The saint said to the porter: "Brother, you know me better than they do who have raised such a one to this dignity." In this high station the austerity of his life was the same he had practiced in a cloister, only his humility was snore conspicuous. By the joint weight of his authority, eloquence, and example, he made a great reformation both; in the clergy and laity of his diocese; and by his strenuous and undaunted resolution, he recovered a considerable part of the lands of his church which had fallen into the hands of certain powerful secular princes. But his zeal made those his enemies whom his charity could not gain to their duty They loaded him with injuries, decried him among themselves, and encouraged one another in their disobedience and contempt of his person, calling him a stranger, whose manners were opposite to theirs. To such an excess did their rage carry them, that some even made attempts upon his life. One who saw himself obliged by the saint to renounce his licentious manner of life, hired a villain to assassinate him under presence of going to confession on Maundy-Thursday. The saint was apprized of his design, as some authors affirm, by revelation, and he caused him to be searched as he came in, and a dagger was found upon him. Another shot an arrow at the saint, which only missed him to wound another that was near him. Of these villanies Norbert only said, without the least emotion: "Can you be surprised that the devil, after having offered violence to our divine Head, should assault his members?" He always pardoned the assassins, and showed himself ever ready to lay down his life in the defence of truth and justice. By this patience and unshaken courage, ha in three years broke through the chief difficulties which obstructed the reformation of manners he labored to introduce, and from that time he carried on the work, and performed the visitation of his diocese with ease and incredible success. He continued still to superintend the observance of discipline in his order, though upon his episcopal consecration he had left the government thereof to his first disciple Hugh. The fourth general chapter consisted of eighteen abbots.
After the death of pope Honorius II. an unhappy schism divided the church. Innocent II. was duly chosen on the 14th of February, 1130: notwithstanding which, Peter, the son of Leo, under the name of Anacletus II., was acknowledged at Rome, and by Roger duke of Sicily. The true pope was obliged to fly into France, where he held councils at Clermont, Rheims, and Puy in Velay. St. Bernard and St. Norbert labored vigorously to prevent or remedy the disorders which the schism brought into many places. St. Norbert assisted for this purpose at the council which the pope assembled at Rheims in 1131. Upon his return home, the emperor Lothaire, who resolved to march with an army to Rome to put Innocent II. in possession of the Lateran church in 1132, carried our holy bishop with him in that expedition, trusting that his piety, prayers, and zealous exhortations, would contribute very much to the success of his undertaking; and the event answered his expectations. The saint returned to Magdeburg, where he fell, ill, and after four months' tedious sickness, died the death of the just on the 6th of June, in the eighth year of his episcopal dignity, the fifty-third of his age, of our redemption 1134. He was canonized by Gregory XIII. in 1582. Pope Urban VIII. appointed his festival to be kept on the 10th of June. His body remained at Magdeburg till that city embraced the Lutheran doctrine and revolted. The emperor Charles V. laid siege to it; but was prevailed upon to withdraw his army for a great sum of money. In the reign of Ferdinand II. the Lutheran magistrates, at the request of the Norbertine order, and of many princes, consented that the body of St. Norbert should be removed out of their city. The emperor ordered that it should be translated to Prague; which was done with great pomp in 1627. The sacred treasure was carried into that city by fourteen abbots with their mitres on, and laid in the church called of Mount Sion, all the orders of the city attending the ceremony in the most solemn and magnificent procession.

St. Norbert is usually painted holding a ciborium in his hand. He is distinguished by this symbol on account of his extraordinary devotion to the blessed sacrament. He inculcated in all his sermons the frequent use of this divine food, being sensible from daily experience, and from the words of truth itself, that a neglect, and much more a distaste or loathing of the holy communion, is a deplorable symptom of a most dangerous state in a spiritual life. A short interval in order to a better preparation is often a wholesome counsel, and sometimes a necessary duty. But "he who seldom approaches, because he is tepid and cold, is like one who should say I never approach the fire, because I am cold: I have not recourse to the physician, because I am sick," as the devout Gerson writes. This divine sacrament is the most powerful strengthener of our weakness, the sovereign remedy of our spiritual miseries, and the source of heavenly comfort to alleviate the labors and sorrows of our mortal pilgrimage. The deeper sense we have of our spiritual indigence, with so much the greater eagerness ought we continually to cry out: If I shall but touch the hem of his garment, I shall be saved. Can we slight the most tender invitations of our divine Redeemer? Can we disobey his repeated commands, and contemn his threats? Above all, can we be insensible to that excess of infinite love by which he has wrought so many wonders, that he might here abide in us by the strongest alliance? That person cannot love Jesus who is not solicitous to unite himself often with him in this sacrament of love. The devil employs all his artifices to deprive us of this seed of immortality, as the fathers style it. Holofernes, when he besieged Bethulia, seeing the place impregnable, attempted to take it by stopping the pipes which conveyed water to the city, being sure by this stratagem to reduce it. In like manner the devil seeks to draw a soul from this banquet, that when she has lost her strength he may make her an easy prey. St. Ambrose applies to this spiritual food that passage of the psalmist: They that go far from thee, shall perish.
source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/N/stnorbert.asp#ixzz1x11dyn9i

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : THURS. JUNE 6, 2013

Mark 12: 28 - 34

28And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?"29Jesus answered, "The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one;30and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'31The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."32And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he;33and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."34And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any question.

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