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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : TUES. DEC. 3, 2013 - SHARE

2013










POPE FRANCIS "CHRISTIAN PEACE IS A JOYFUL PEACE, BECAUSE OUR LORD IS JOYFUL"

DUTCH BISHOPS VISIT POPE DURING NETHERLANDS AD LIMINA
(Vatican Radio) The Church must always be joyful like Christ. That was the message of Pope Francis at Mass this morning at the Casa Santa Marta. The Pope emphasized that the Church is called to transmit the joy of the Lord to her children—a joy that gives true peace.

Peace and joy. Pope Francis’ homily dwelt on these two themes. In the reading from the book of Isaiah, he noted, we see the desire for peace that we all have. It is the peace, says Isaiah, that the Messiah brings to us. In the Gospel, on the other hand, “we are able to see a little into the soul of Jesus, the heart of Jesus: a joyful heart”:

“We always think of Jesus when He preaches, when He heals, when He travels, walks along the street, even during the Last Supper. . . But we aren’t used to thinking about Jesus smiling, joyful. Jesus was full of joy, full of joy. In that intimacy with His Father: ‘I rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and I praised the Father.’ It is precisely the internal mystery of Jesus, that relationship with the Father in the Spirit. It is His internal joy, the interior joy that He gives to us.” 

“And this joy,” he said, “is true peace: not a static peace, quiet, tranquil” no, “Christian peace is a joyful peace, because our Lord is joyful.” And, too, He is joyful “when He speaks about the Father: He loves the Father so much that He can’t talk about Him without joy.” Our God, the Pope said, “is joyful.” And Jesus has willed that His spouse, the Church, should also be joyful”:

“You can’t imagine a Church without joy; and the joy of the Church lies precisely in this: to proclaim the name of Jesus. To say: ‘He is the Lord. My spouse is the Lord. He is God. He saves us, He walks with us.’ And that is the joy of the Church, that in this joy of being a bride becomes a mother. Paul VI said: the joy of the Church is precisely to evangelize, to go forth and to speak about her Spouse. And also to transmit that joy to the children that she bears, that she raises.”

And so, he said, let us consider that the peace of which Isaiah speaks “is a peace that is so moving, it is a peace of joy, a peace of praise,” it is a peace that we could say is “noisy, in praise, a peace that bears fruit in becoming a mother of new children.” It is a peace, Pope Francis said, “that comes precisely in the joy of praise for the Trinity, and of evangelization, of going to the people to tell them who Jesus is.” Peace and joy, he repeated. And he pointed to the words of Jesus, “a dogmatic declaration,” when He affirms, “You decided to reveal Yourself not to the wise, but to the little ones”:

“Even in so many serious things, such as this, Jesus is joyful, the Church is joyful. She must be joyful. Even in her widowhood—because the Church has something of the widow who waits for her spouse to come back—even in her widowhood, the Church is joyful in hope. The Lord gives this joy to all of us, this joy of Jesus, praising the Father in the Spirit. This joy of our mother Church in evangelizing, in announcing her Spouse.
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

FREE CATHOLIC MOVIES - GRACE, GUTS AND GLORY - ST. FRANCIS XAVIER - 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 GRACE, GUTS AND GLORY - The Life of St. Francis Xavier, in English :
A film on the life of Saint Francis Xavier of Goa (1506-1552), the apostle to India, Indonesia and Japan. A great miracle worker (resurrected people from the dead, communicated after death etc.) He died in China. One of the greatest Catholic saints of all times, whose body remains incorrupt (does not disintegrate) since the 16th century and is kept in the Catholic Cathedral in Goa, India. Saint Francis Xavier was Spanish Jesuit, follower of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Modern Pope Francis is also Jesuit.

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : TUES. DEC. 3, 2013

Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest
Lectionary: 176


Reading 1               IS 11:1-10

On that day,
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A Spirit of counsel and of strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.

On that day,
The root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
The Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm                          PS 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17

R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
He shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Gospel                  LK 10:21-24

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

COUNCIL OF CARDINALS MEETS WITH POPE ABOUT REFORMS OF CURIA


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday met for the second time with the 8-member Council of Cardinals to discuss the proposed reforms of the Roman Curia. The meeting will last until Wednesday. The first meeting took place in October. In a press briefing, the head of the Holy See Press Office Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, stated the Cardinals have been gathering the insights of the bishops from their various regions of the world. The December meeting will focus on the various Dicasteries of the Curia, with the morning session devoted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Father Lombardi reminded the journalists the Cardinals are not seeking “mere tweaks” to the current Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, but will create a “substantial” revision, that will probably end with a new Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia. Father Lombardi also stated the Cardinals could be expected to meet the new Secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin. He stated he did not foresee Archbishop Parolin participating in the meetings of the Council of Cardinals, although the Cardinals are “always free, of course, to invite others to attend meetings.” In response to the questions of journalists, Father Lombardi said the Cardinals have widely consulted the various Dicasteries of the Curia, and invited their contributions before the discussions. He also confirmed the Council of Cardinals will come together again next February 17-18. SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA 

POPE FRANCIS "CHRISTMAS IS AN ENCOUNTER" WITH THE LORD

(Vatican Radio) Preparing for Christmas through prayer, charity and exhaltation. With this hope, Pope Francis called on the faithful Monday to open their hearts and allow themselves to encounter the Lord who renews all.
In his homily at the Santa Marta guesthouse on this, the first Monday of Advent, Pope Francis recalled that as we proceed towards Christmas, we embark on a journey of faith and prayer in preparation for our encounter with the Lord. “Because Christmas,” he said, isn’t just a temporal celebration or the memory of a beautiful (event).”

“Christmas is something more,” he said, “Christmas is an encounter” with the Lord. And as we make our way towards Him, we must go with open heart and faith, even though this is not always easy.

Speaking of today’s reading about the Roman centurion, who with great faith begs the Lord to heal his slave, the Pope said we are like this centurion on a pilgrimage of faith “to encounter the Lord and most of all, to allow ourselves to be encountered by Him.”

We must allow ourselves to be encountered by Him, the Pope repeated, to allow Him to enter us. “It is He who makes all new….Christ renews the heart, the soul , life, hope…”

The Lord does not always say to us what we want to hear, noted the Pope, but: He will tell me what is meant for me “because the Lord does not look at us all together, en masse.” “He looks each one of us in the face , in the eyes.” His is not an abstract love; "it is concrete," the Pope said. The Lord looks at me in a personal way. And "letting ourselves be encountered by God means just this: letting ourselves be loved by God!”
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

POPE FRANCIS WILL TRAVEL TO HOLY LAND - MEETING WITH PRESIDENT NETANYAHU

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday received Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, in private audience.

According to a Vatican Press Office communiqué, Pope Francis and Netanyahu spoke of the complex political and social situation in the Middle East, focusing in particular on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that have recently been re-launched and expressing their hope that a just and long-lasting solution, with respect for the rights of both parties, be reached as soon as possible.  
According to the communiqué the project of a pilgrimage by the Holy Father to the Holy Land was also mentioned. Other issues tackled by the two men included some questions regarding relations between State Authorities and local Catholic communities and relations between the State of Israel and the Holy See regarding which they expressed the hope for a rapid conclusion of an Agreement which has been in preparation for some time.

The Israeli Premiere presented the Pope with a book in Spanish on the Inquisition written by his father who was an historian. He also presented him with a silver “hanukkhiah”, a Jewish candle-holder with nine candleholders. On his part, the Pope presented Netanyahu with a bronze bas-relief of Saint Paul.
The cordial meeting took place in the Apostolic Palace, and after his exchange with the Pope, President Netanyahu also met with Vatican Secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin and Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for Relations with States.
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

12 ORTHODOX NUNS KIDNAPPED BY EXTREMIST GROUP IN SYRIA

ASIA NEWS REPORT: 
Msgr . Zenari tells AsiaNews: "There are no reports of the religious of St. Thecla in Maaloula , in the continuing clashes between the army and rebels ." Navi Pillay , UN High Commissioner for Human Rights : "Assad also guilty of war crimes ."


Damascus (AsiaNews) - The fate of the 12 Orthodox nuns of the monastery of Santa Tecla in Maaloula , seized yesterday afternoon by a group of Islamist insurgents is still uncertain says Mgr . Mario Zenari , Apostolic Nuncio to Damascus speaking to AsiaNews.  "We have no other news - says the Vatican representative in Syria - since last night. We can confirm that the nuns were forced to leave the monastery and follow these armed people."

The 12 nuns of the monastery of St. Thecla were abducted yesterday afternoon . According to latest reports , the nuns were being marched by a contingent of Islamist rebels towards Yabrud , about 80 km north of the capital.

For two days Maaloula has been the scene of violent clashes between the army and rebels of the Free Syrian Army ( FSA) , in whose ranks many members of the al - Qaeda linked extremist Jabat - al- Nousra militia are fighting. Archbishop Zenari points out that "the whole area is in tumult". The attacks occur mainly in the upper part of the city - the oldest - where the monasteries of St. Thecla and the Greek - Catholic Saints Sergius and Bacchus are located. On 5 September the village wasinvaded by the rebels, who defeated government troops.

Meanwhile, Navi Pillay , UN High Commissioner for Human Rights , said yesterday that the war crimes committed in Syria were also authorized by the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Citing an inquiry conducted by the United Nations, Pillai said that " there is ample evidence of very serious crimes . Crimes of war, crimes against humanity . [...] The brutality of the abuses perpetrated by elements on both sides defies imagination. Responsibility lies with the highest levels of government, including the head of state . "

2013

TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 3: ST. FRANCIS XAVIER

St. Francis Xavier
JESUIT PRIEST AND GREAT MISSIONARY
Feast: December 3


Information:
Feast Day:December 3
Born:April 7, 1506, Javier, Navarre
Died:December 3, 1552, China
Canonized:March 12, 1622 by Gregory XV
Patron of:African missions; Apostleship of Prayer; Australia; Bombay, India; China; East Indies; Fathers of the Precious Blood; foreign missions; Goa India; India; Tokyo, Japan; missionaries; Missioners of the Precious Blood; navigators; parish missions; plague epidemics; Propagation of the Faith

Born in the Castle of Xavier near Sanguesa, in Navarre, 7 April, 1506; died on the Island of Sancian near the coast of China, 2 December, 1552. In 1525, having completed a preliminary course of studies in his own country, Francis Xavier went to Paris, where he entered the college de Sainte-Barbe. Here he met the Savoyard, Pierre Favre, and a warm personal friendship sprang up between them. It was at this same college that St. Ignatius Loyola, who was already planning the foundation of the Society of Jesus, resided for a time as a guest in 1529. He soon won the confidence of the two young men; first Favre and later Xavier offered themselves with him in the formation of the Society. Four others, Lainez, Salmeron, Rodriguez, and Bobadilla, having joined them, the seven made the famous vow of Montmartre, 15 Aug., 1534.
After completing his studies in Paris and filling the post of teacher there for some time, Xavier left the city with his companions 15 November, 1536, and turned his steps to Venice, where he displayed zeal and charity in attending the sick in the hospitals. On 24 June, 1537, he received Holy orders with St. Ignatius. The following year he went to Rome, and after doing apostolic work there for some months, during the spring of 1539 he took part in the conferences which St. Ignatius held with his companions to prepare for the definitive foundation of the Society of Jesus. The order was approved verbally 3 September, and before the written approbation was secured, which was not until a year later, Xavier was appointed , at the earnest solicitation of the John III, King of Portugal, to evangelize the people of the East Indies. He left Rome 16 March, 1540, and reached Lisbon about June. Here he remained nine months, giving many admirable examples of apostolic zeal.
On 7 April, 1541, he embarked in a sailing vessel for India, and after a tedious and dangerous voyage landed at Goa, 6 May, 1542. The first five months he spent in preaching and ministering to the sick in the hospitals. He would go through the streets ringing a little bell and inviting the children to hear the word of God. When he had gathered a number, he would take them to a certain church and would there explain the catechism to them. About October, 1542, he started for the pearl fisheries of the extreme southern coast of the peninsula, desirous of restoring Christianity which, although introduced years before, had almost disappeared on account of the lack of priests. He devoted almost three years to the work of preaching to the people of Western India, converting many, and reaching in his journeys even the Island of Ceylon. Many were the difficulties and hardships which Xavier had to encounter at this time, sometimes on account of the cruel persecutions which some of the petty kings of the country carried on against the neophytes, and again because the Portuguese soldiers, far from seconding the work of the saint, retarded it by their bad example and vicious habits.
In the spring of 1545 Xavier started for Malacca. He laboured there for the last months of that year, and although he reaped an abundant spiritual harvest, he was not able to root out certain abuses, and was conscious that many sinners had resisted his efforts to bring them back to God. About January, 1546, Xavier left Malacca and went to Molucca Islands, where the Portuguese had some settlements, and for a year and a half he preached the Gospel to the inhabitants of Amboyna, Ternate, Baranura, and other lesser islands which it has been difficult to identify. It is claimed by some that during this expedition he landed on the island of Mindanao, and for this reason St. Francis Xavier has been called the first Apostle of the Philippines. But although this statement is made by some writers of the seventeenth century, and in the Bull of canonization issued in 1623, it is said that he preached the Gospel in Mindanao, up to the present time it has not been proved absolutely that St. Francis Xavier ever landed in the Philippines.
By July, 1547, he was again in Malacca. Here he met a Japanese called Anger (Han-Sir), from whom he obtained much information about Japan. His zeal was at once aroused by the idea of introducing Christanity into Japan, but for the time being the affairs of the Society demanded his presence at Goa, whither he went, taking Anger with him. During the six years that Xavier had been working among the infidels, other Jesuit missionaries had arrived at Goa, sent from Europe by St. Ignatius; moreover some who had been born in the country had been received into the Society. In 1548 Xavier sent these missionaries to the principal centres of India, where he had established missions, so that the work might be preserved and continued. He also established a novitiate and house of studies, and having received into the Society Father Cosme de Torres, a Spanish priest whom he had met in the Maluccas, he started with him and Brother Juan Fernandez for Japan towards the end of June, 1549. The Japanese Anger, who had been baptized at Goa and given the name of Pablo de Santa Fe, accompanied them.
They landed at the city of Kagoshima in Japan, 15 Aug., 1549. The entire first year was devoted to learning the Japanese language and translating into Japanese, with the help of Pablo de Santa Fe, the principal articles of faith and short treatises which were to be employed in preaching and catechizing. When he was able to express himself, Xavier began preaching and made some converts, but these aroused the ill will of the bonzes, who had him banished from the city. Leaving Kagoshima about August, 1550, he penetrated to the centre of Japan, and preached the Gospel in some of the cities of southern Japan. Towards the end of that year he reached Meaco, then the principal city of Japan, but he was unable to make any headway here because of the dissensions the rending the country. He retraced his steps to the centre of Japan, and during 1551 preached in some important cities, forming the nucleus of several Christian communities, which in time increased with extraordinary rapidity.
After working about two years and a half in Japan he left this mission in charge of Father Cosme de Torres and Brother Juan Fernandez, and returned to Goa, arriving there at the beginning of 1552. Here domestic troubles awaited him. Certain disagreements between the superior who had been left in charge of the missions, and the rector of the college, had to be adjusted. This, however, being arranged, Xavier turned his thoughts to China, and began to plan an expedition there. During his stay in Japan he had heard much of the Celestial Empire, and though he probably had not formed a proper estimate of his extent and greatness, he nevertheless understood how wide a field it afforded for the spread of the light of the Gospel. With the help of friends he arranged a commission or embassy the Sovereign of China, obtained from the Viceroy of India the appointment of ambassador, and in April, 1552, he left Goa. At Malacca the party encountered difficulties because the influential Portuguese disapproved of the expedition, but Xavier knew how to overcome this opposition, and in the autumn he arrived in a Portuguese vessel at the small island of Sancian near the coast of China. While planning the best means for reaching the mainland, he was taken ill, and as the movement of the vessel seemed to aggravate his condition, he was removed to the land, where a rude hut had been built to shelter him. In these wretched surroundings he breathed his last.
It is truly a matter of wonder that one man in the short space of ten years (6 May, 1542-2 December, 1552) could have visited so many countries, traversed so many seas, preached the Gospel to so many nations, and converted so many infidels. The incomparable apostolic zeal which animated him, and the stupendous miracles which God wrought through him, explain this marvel, which has no equal elsewhere. The list of the principal miracles may be found in the Bull of canonization. St. Francis Xavier is considered the greatest missionary since the time of the Apostles, and the zeal he displayed, the wonderful miracles he performed, and the great number of souls he brought to the light of true Faith, entitle him to this distinction. He was canonized with St. Ignatius in 1622, although on account of the death of Gregory XV, the Bull of canonization was not published until the following year.
The body of the saint is still enshrined at Goa in the church which formerly belonged to the Society. In 1614 by order of Claudius Acquaviva, General of the Society of Jesus, the right arm was severed at the elbow and conveyed to Rome, where the present altar was erected to receive it in the church of the Gesu.

POPE FRANCIS "JESUS HEALS OUR SINS" - MASS FOR 1ST ADVENT IN ROME - Click Link

(VIS) – Pope Francis today received in audience a group of prelates from the Bishops' Conference of the Netherlands on their “ad limina” visit. The Holy Father focused on how to accompany those who suffer from “spiritual emptiness” and who seek the meaning of life. “Listen to them”, he said, “to help them share in the hope, joy, and capacity to carry on that Jesus Christ gives us”.
“The Church”, he continued, “not only proposes immutable moral truths and attitudes which go against the grain, but also proposes them as the key to the good of humanity and social development. Christians have the mission of taking up this challenge. The education of consciences therefore becomes a priority, especially through the formation of critical judgement, in order to have a positive approach to social realities: superficial judgement and resignation to indifference can thus be avoided”.  
In the society of the Netherlands, “strongly characterised by secularism”, the Pope invited the prelates to “be present both in public debate in all spheres which affect humanity, to make visible God's mercy and his tenderness to every living creature. … As I have often stated, … the Church enlarges not by proselytism but by attraction. She is sent everywhere to awaken, reawaken and maintain hope! This brings us to the importance of encouraging the faithful to seize opportunities for dialogue, to be present in those places where the future is decided; they will thus be able to bring their contribution into the debates on important social matters regarding, for instance, the family, marriage and the end of life”.
“In a country rich in many respects, poverty affects a growing number of people. Make the most of the generosity of the faithful to bring the light and compassion of Christ where He is awaited, and especially among the most marginalised people”, the Pope continued. Furthermore, Catholic schools, which provide a solid education for the young, must continue to favour their human and spiritual formation, in a spirit of dialogue and brotherhood with those who do not share their faith”.
He went on to reconfirm the importance of “advancing along the path of ecumenism”, and reminded the bishops that the future and the vitality of the Church in the Netherlands depend also on priestly and religious vocations, stressing the importance of being close to priests, of listening to and guiding them as necessary. “Do not forget to go towards those who do not approach you; some of them, unfortunately, are disappointed in their efforts”.
“In particular”, he added, “I wish to express my compassion and to ensure my closeness in prayer to every victim of sexual abuse, and to their families; I ask you to continue to support them along the painful path of healing, that they have undertaken with courage”
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