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Saturday, December 21, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : SAT. DEC. 21, 2013

2013









POPE FRANCIS TO CHILDREN "THE BIRTH OF JESUS IS NOT A FABLE"

CHRISTMAS GREETING OF POPE FRANCIS FULL TEXT - VIDEO

POPE FRANCIS "MAY THE LORD GIVE ALL OF US THE GRACE TO LOVE THE SILENCE..."


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday met with the children members of Italy’s Catholic Action, probably the most widespread Catholic lay organization in the country.

The Holy Father met with the young people to exchange Christmas greetings. He called the youth branch of Catholic Action a “beautiful reality”, and encouraged them to always be the “living stones of the Church, united with Jesus.”

He told them Christmas is the celebration of God, who comes among us, and saves us.

“The birth of Jesus is not a fable,” said the Pope. “It is true history, which happened in Bethlehem two thousand years ago . Faith makes us recognize that Child , born of the Virgin Mary, as the true Son of God, who for our sake became man.”

Pope Francis said in the face of the baby Jesus, we contemplate the face of God, who is not revealed in power, but in the weakness and fragility of a newborn.

“Jesus loves you; he wants to be your friend. He wants to be friends with all young people,” said the Holy Father. “Are you convinced ? ... Good! If you are convinced , then surely you know how to transmit the joy of this friendship everywhere: at home, at church , at school, with friends ...and you will know the witness of kindness of true Christians: ready to lend a hand to those in need without judging others.”
SHARED FROM Vatican Radio  J

CHRISTMAS GREETING OF POPE FRANCIS FULL TEXT - VIDEO

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued his Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia on Saturday. In his message, the Pope expressed the three hallmarks of a Curial official: professionalism, service and holiness of life. He urged the Curia to be "conscientious objectors to gossip" and expressed his gratitude for the dedicated service of the retiring members of the Curia. 

Read his full message below:

Your Eminences, 
Dear Brother Bishops and Priests, 
Dear Brothers and Sisters,  

Once again the Lord has enabled us to journey through Advent, and all too quickly we have come to these final days before Christmas. They are days marked by a unique spiritual climate made up of emotions, memories and signs, both liturgical and otherwise, such as the crèche. It is in this climate that this traditional meeting takes place with you, the superiors and officials of the Roman Curia, who cooperate daily in the service of the Church. I greet all of you with affection. Allow me to extend a special greeting to Archbishop Pietro Parolin, who recently began his service as Secretary of State, and who needs our prayers! 

While our hearts are full of gratitude to God, who so loved us that he gave us his only-begotten Son, it is also good to make room for gratitude to one another. In this, my first Christmas as the Bishop of Rome, I also feel the need to offer sincere thanks to all of you as a community of service, and to each of you individually. I thank you for the work which you do each day: for the care, diligence and creativity which you display; and for your effort – I know it is not always easy – to work together in the office, both to listen to and to challenge one another, and to bring out the best in all your different personalities and gifts, in a spirit of mutual respect. 

In a particular way, I want to express my gratitude to those now concluding their service and approaching retirement. As priests and bishops, we know full well that we never really retire, but we do leave the office, and rightly so, not least to devote ourselves more fully to prayer and the care of souls, starting with our own! So a very special and heartfelt “thank you” goes to those of you who have worked here for so many years with immense dedication, hidden from the eyes of the world. This is something truly admirable. I have such high regard for these “Monsignori” who are cut from the same mould as the curiales of olden times, exemplary persons. We need them today, too! People who work with competence, precision and self-sacrifice in the fulfilment of their daily duties. Here I would like to mention some of them by name, as a way of expressing my esteem and my gratitude, but we know that, in any list, the first names people notice are the ones that are missing! Besides, I would also risk overlooking someone and thus committing an injustice and a lack of charity. But I want to say to these brothers of ours that they offer a very important witness in the Church’s journey through history. 

This mould and this witness make me think of two hallmarks of the curial official, and even more of curial superiors, which I would like to emphasize: professionalism and service. 

Professionalism, by which I mean competence, study, keeping abreast of things. This is a basic requisite for working in the Curia. Naturally, professionalism is something which develops and is in part acquired; but I think that, precisely for it to develop and to be acquired, there has to be a good foundation from the outset. 

The second hallmark is service: service to the Pope and to the bishops, to the universal Church and to the particular Churches. In the Roman Curia, one learns – in a real way, “one breathes in” – this twofold aspect of the Church, this interplay of the universal and the particular. I think that this is one of the finest experiences of those who live and work in Rome: “to sense” the Church in this way. When professionalism is lacking, there is a slow drift downwards towards mediocrity. 

Dossiers become full of trite and lifeless information and incapable of opening up lofty perspectives. Then, too, when the attitude is no longer one of service to the particular Churches and their bishops, the structure of the Curia turns into a ponderous, bureaucratic customs house, constantly inspecting and questioning, hindering the working of the Holy Spirit and the growth of God’s people. 

To these two qualities of professionalism and service, I would also like to add a third, which is holiness of life. We know very well that, in the hierarchy of values, this is the most important. 
Indeed, it is basic for the quality of our work, our service. And I want to say here that in the Roman Curia, there have been and there are saints; I have said this in public more than once, to thank the Lord. Holiness means a life immersed in the Spirit, a heart open to God, constant prayer, deep humility and fraternal charity in our relationships with our fellow workers. It also means apostleship, discreet and faithful pastoral service, zealously carried out in direct contact with God’s people. For priests, this is indispensable. 

Holiness in the Curia also means conscientious objection to gossip! We rightfully insist on the importance of conscientious objection but perhaps we, too, need to exercise it as a means of defending ourselves from an unwritten law of our surroundings, which unfortunately is that of gossip. So let us all be conscientious objectors; and mind you, I am not simply preaching! Gossip is harmful to people, our work and our surroundings. 

Dear brothers and sisters, let us feel close to one another on this final stretch of the road to Bethlehem. We would do well to meditate on Saint Joseph, who was so silent yet so necessary at the side of Our Lady. Let us think about him and his loving concern for his Spouse and for the Baby Jesus. This can tell us a lot about our own service to the Church! So let us experience this Christmas in spiritual closeness to Saint Joseph. 

I thank you most heartily for your work and especially for your prayers. Truly I feel “borne aloft” by your prayers and I ask you to continue to support me in this way. I, too, remember you before the Lord, and I impart my blessing as I offer my best wishes for a Christmas filled with light and peace for each of you and for all your dear ones. Happy Christmas!


SHARED from  Vatican Radio 

POPE FRANCIS "MAY THE LORD GIVE ALL OF US THE GRACE TO LOVE THE SILENCE..."

(Vatican Radio) Only silence guards the mystery of the journey that a person walks with God, said Pope Francis in his homily at Mass on Friday morning at the Casa Santa Marta. May the Lord, the Pope added, give us “the grace to love the silence”, which needs to be guarded from all publicity.

In the history of salvation, neither in the clamour nor in the blatant, but the shadows and the silence are the places in which God chose to reveal himself to humankind.

The imperceptible reality from which his mystery, from time to time, took visible form, took flesh. The Pope’s reflections were inspired by the Annunciation, which was today’s Gospel reading, in particular the passage in which the angel tells Mary that the power of the Most High would “overshadow” her. The shadow, which has almost the same quality as the cloud, with which God protected the Jews in the desert, the Pope said.

“The Lord always took care of the mystery and hid the mystery. He did not publicize the mystery. A mystery that publicizes itself is not Christian; it is not the mystery of God: it is a fake mystery! And this is what happened to Our Lady, when she received her Son: the mystery of her virginal motherhood is hidden. It is hidden her whole life! And she knew it. This shadow of God in our lives helps us to discover our own mystery: the mystery of our encounter with the Lord, our mystery of our life’s journey with the Lord.”

“Each of us,” affirmed the Pope, “knows how mysteriously the Lord works in our hearts, in our souls.” And what is “the cloud, the power, the way the Holy Spirit covers our mystery?”

“This cloud in us, in our lives is called silence: the silence is exactly the cloud that covers the mystery of our relationship with the Lord, of our holiness and of our sins. This mystery that we cannot explain. But when there is no silence in our lives, the mystery is lost, it goes away. Guarding the mystery with silence! That is the cloud, that is the power of God for us, that is the strength of the Holy Spirit.”

The Mother of Jesus was the perfect icon of silence. From the proclamation of her exceptional maternity at Calvary. The Pope said he thinks about “how many times she remained quiet and how many times she did not say that which she felt in order to guard the mystery of her relationship with her Son,” up until the most raw silence “at the foot of the cross”.

“The Gospel does not tell us anything: if she spoke a word or not… She was silent, but in her heart, how many things told the Lord! ‘You, that day, this and the other that we read, you had told me that he would be great, you had told me that you would have given him the throne of David, his forefather, that he would have reigned forever and now I see him there!’ Our Lady was human! And perhaps she even had the desire to say: ‘Lies! I was deceived!’ John Paul II would say this, speaking about Our Lady in that moment. But she, with her silence, hid the mystery that she did not understand and with this silence allowed for this mystery to grow and blossom in hope.”

“Silence is that which guards the mystery,” for which the mystery “of our relationship with God, of our journey, of our salvation cannot be… publicized,” the Pope repeated.

“May the Lord give all of us the grace to love the silence, to seek him and to have a heart that is guarded by the cloud of silence,” he said.

SHARED Vatican Radio 

PETER FAVRE JESUIT CANONIZED - MODEL OF SPIRITUALITY

Ind. Cath. News Share: 
Pierre Favre canonized | Pierre Favre, Pope Francis, canonize,  Companions of Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier,

St Pierre Favre
Pierre Favre, one of the original Companions of Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier, has been made a saint by Pope Francis. The canonisation of Favre - also known as Peter Faber - holds a special meaning because he is a model of spirituality and priestly life for today's Pope and at the same time an important reference to understand his style of government.
Favre lived on the crest of an era when the unity of the Church was undermined and he remained essentially alien to doctrinal dispute, directing his apostolate to the reform of the Church and becoming a pioneer of ecumenism. How much his example is rooted in the pastoral horizon of Pope Francis is felt in the description he gave in the interview he gave to La Civiltà Cattolica, revealing some essential aspects of his personality: "His dialogue with everybody, even the most remote and even with his opponents; his simple piety, a certain naiveté perhaps, his immediate availability, his careful interior discernment, the fact that he was a man capable of great and strong decisions but also of being so gentle and loving, loving."
The aspect of Favre is that of a contemplative in action, a man attracted to Christ, passionate about the cause of the brothers, experienced in discerning the spirits, devoted to the priestly ministry with patience and mildness, offering himself without expecting any human reward. Favre meets God in all things and everywhere, even the most cold and hostile settings. In his Memoriale, which is one of the main documents of the spirituality of the early Society of Jesus, his life is conceived as a journey, a journey through the various regions of Europe following the example of Christ: traveling for obedience, always alert to make God's will and not his own.
Pope Francis canonised Pierre Favre on 17 December 2013 by means of a 'equipollent' (equal in force) canonization in which the Pope, by his authority, extends the worship and liturgical celebration of a saint to the universal Church, after having fulfilled certain conditions established by Pope Benedict XIV (1675-1758). This practice was used by Pope Francis himself on October 9 for the canonization of Blessed Angela from Foligno and by his predecessors Benedict XVI, John Paul II, John XXIII, among others.


Source: Jesuit Communications

CHRISTMAS NOVENA - DAY 5 - PLENARY INDULGENCE

Opening Prayer:

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without
end.
Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

Day 5 Prayers


The Circumcision


O most sweet infant Jesus, circumcised when

eight days old, and called by the glorious name

of Jesus, and proclaimed both by your name and

by your blood, to be the Savior of the world.

Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
Hail Mary...

 Amen.

FROM THE RACCOLTA OFFICIAL

NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 21: ST. PETER CANISIUS


St. Peter Canisius
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: December 21


Information:
Feast Day:December 21
Born:May 8, 1521, Nijmegen in the Duchy of Guelders, Netherlands
Died:December 21, 1597
Canonized:May 21, 1925, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Patron of:Catholic press, Germany
This doctor of the church is often called the second Apostle of Germany. Both Holland and Germany claim him as their son, for Nijmegen, where he was born, May 8th, 1521, though a Dutch town today, was at that time in the ecclesiastical province of Cologne and had the rights of a German city. His father, a Catholic and nine times burgomaster of Nijmegen, sent him at the age of fifteen to the University of Cologne, where he met the saintly young priest, Nicolaus van Esch. It was he who drew Canisius into the orbit of the loyal Catholic party in Cologne, which had been formed in opposition to the archbishop, Hermann von Wied, who had secretly gone over to the Lutherans. Canisius was chosen by the group to approach the emperor, and the deposition of the archbishop which followed averted a calamity from the Catholic Rhineland. Shortly afterwards Peter Canisius met Bd. Peter Faber, one of the first companions of St Ignatius, and made the under his direction. During this retreat he found the answer to the question he had put to himself: how best could he serve God and assist the stricken Catholic church in Germany?
He was inspired to join the Society of Jesus, and, after his ordination in 1546, soon became known by his editions of works of St Cyril of Alexandria and of St Leo the Great. In 1547 he attended the council of Trent as procurator for the bishop of Augsburg, where he became still further imbued with the spirit of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. His obedience was tested when he was sent by St Ignatius to teach rhetoric in the comparative obscurity of the new Jesuit college at Messina, but this interlude in his public work for the church was but a brief one.
Recalled to Rome in 1549 to make his final profession, he was entrusted with what was to become his life's work: the mission to Germany. At the request of the duke of Bavaria, Canisius was chosen with two other Jesuits to profess theology in the University of Ingolstadt. Soon he was appointed rector of the University, and then, through the intervention of King Ferdinand of the Romans, he was sent to do the same kind of work in the University of Vienna. His success was such that the king tried to have him appointed to the archbishopric. Though he refused this dignity, he was compelled to administer the diocese for the space of a year.
It was at this period, 1555, that he issued his famous , one of his greatest services to the church. With its clear and popular exposition of Catholic doctrine it met the need of the day, and was to counter the devastating effect of Luther's . In its enlarged form it went into more than four hundred editions by the end of the seventeenth century and was translated into fifteen languages.
From Vienna Canisius passed on to Bohemia, where the condition of the church was desperate. In the face of determined opposition he established a college at Prague which was to develop into a university. Named Provincial of southern Germany in 1556, he established colleges for boys in six cities, and set himself to the task of providing Germany with a supply of well-trained priests. This he did by his work for the establishment of seminaries, and by sending regular reinforcements of young men to be trained in Rome.
On his many journeys in Germany St Peter Canisius never ceased from preaching the word of God. He often encountered apathy or hostility at first, but as his zeal and learning were so manifest great crowds soon thronged the churches to listen. For seven years he was official preacher in the cathedral of Augsburg, and is regarded m a special way as the apostle of that city. Whenever he came across a country church deprived of its pastor he would halt there to preach and to administer the sacraments. It seemed impossible to exhaust him: 'If you have too much to do, with God's help you will find time to do it all,' he said, when someone accused him of overworking himself.
Another form of his apostolate was letter writing, and the printed volumes of his correspondence cover more than eight thousand pages. Like St Bernard of Clairvaux he used this means of comforting, rebuking and counselling all ranks of society. As the needs of the church or the individual required, he wrote to pope and emperor, to bishops and princes, to ordinary priests and laymen. Where letters would not suffice he brought to bear his great powers of personal influence. Thus at the conference between Catholics and Protestants held at Worms in 1556, it was due to his influence that the Catholics were able to present a united front and resist Protestant invitations to compromise on points of principle. In Poland in 1558 he checked an incipient threat to the traditional faith of the country; and in the same year, he earned the thanks of Pope Pius IV for his diplomatic skill in healing a breach between the pope and the emperor. This gift of dealing with men led to his being entrusted in 1561 with the promulgation in Germany of the decrees of the council of Trent.
Shortly afterwards he was called on to answer the of Magdeburg. This work, 'the first and worst of all Protestant church histories', was a large-scale attack on the Catholic church, and its enormous distortions of history would have required more than one man to produce an adequate answer. Yet Peter Canisius showed the way by his two works, , and .
From 1580 until his death in 1597 he labored and suffered much in Switzerland. His last six years were spent in patient endurance and long hours of prayer in the college of Fribourg, now that broken health had made further active work impossible. Soon after his death, December 21st, 1597, his tomb began to be venerated, and numerous miracles were attributed to his intercession, He had the unique honor of being canonized and declared a doctor of the church on the same day, June 21st, 1925.
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