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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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2014

Pope Francis "Let's ask the Lord to give us, to give all of us this gift to understand...."

Saint April 30 : St. Pius V : Pope and Reformer - Died 1572


(Vatican Radio) Under clear blue skies Wednesday, tens of thousands attended Pope Francis general audience, the first since the great canonization of the two Pope Saints on Sunday, the second in his series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

After touring at length through the throngs in his open top jeep, the Holy Father took to the raised dias before St Peter’s basilica for his catechesis, this week focusing on the second of these gifts: Understanding.

Below please find a Vatican Radio transcript and translation of the Holy Father’s full catechesis 

Dear Brothers and Sisters Buongiorno,

After reflecting on wisdom, as the first of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, today I would like to focus attention on the second gift, that of understanding. It is not a question of human intelligence, the intellectual capacity with which we can be gifted to a greater or lesser degree. Instead, it is a grace that only the Holy Spirit can infuse and which awakens in the Christian the ability to go beyond the outward appearance of reality and scrutinize the depths of God’s thoughts and His plan of salvation.

The apostle Paul, speaking to the community of Corinth, describes the effects of this gift well – what this of understanding does in us - and Paul says this: "What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him, this God has revealed to us through the Spirit"(1 Cor 2:9-10 ) . This of course does not mean that a Christian can understand everything and have full knowledge of God’s plan: All of this will only be revealed in all its clarity when we find ourselves in the sight of God, and we are truly one with Him. Yet, as suggested by the word itself, understanding allows us to "intus legere" to "read into": and this gift helps us understand things as God he understands, as God understands, with the intelligence of God, because one can understand a situation with human intelligence, with prudence, and that's okay. But, to understand the situation in depth, as God understands, this is the effect of this gift. And Jesus wanted to send the Holy Spirit so that we could have this gift so that we can all see things as God understands, with the intelligence of God. This is a beautiful gift that the Lord has given us all. It is the gift with which the Holy Spirit brings us into intimacy with God and makes us part of the plan of love that He is weaving into the plots of our lives and history. It helps us to understand the true meaning of history.

So it is clear that the gift of understanding is closely related to faith. When the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts and enlighten our minds, it makes us grow day by day in the understanding of what the Lord has said and done. Jesus himself said to his disciples: I will send the Holy Spirit and he will make you understand all that I have taught you. Understanding the teachings of Jesus, to understand His Word, to understand the Gospel, to understand God's Word. One can read the Gospel and understand something, but if we read the Gospel with this gift of the Holy Spirit we can understand the depth of God's words . And this is a great gift, a great gift that we all have to ask for and ask together: Give us, O Lord, the gift of understanding. It helps us to perceive more and more how everything is a gift of His love for our salvation. The Lord himself has told us that the Holy Spirit would remind us of his teachings and would explain what we do not understand.

There is an episode from the Gospel of Luke, which expresses the depth and strength of this gift very well. After witnessing Christ’s death on the cross and his burial, two of his disciples , disappointed and heartbroken, leave Jerusalem and return to their village called Emmaus. While they are on the road, the Risen Jesus joins them and start talking with them, but their eyes, veiled with sadness and despair, are unable to recognize him. But when the Lord explained the Scriptures to them, so that they would understand that He had to suffer and die and then rise again, their minds open and hope is rekindled in their hearts (cf. Lk 24.13 to 27) . And this is what the Holy Spirit does for us: it opens our minds, opens us to better understand, to better understand the things of God, human things, situations, all things. It is an important gift for our Christian life. Let's ask the Lord to give us, to give all of us this gift to understand, as he understands, the things that happen, and, most importantly, to understand the Word of God in the Gospel.

This is precisely how the Holy Spirit acts within a Christian with the gift of understanding. We, too, oppressed by the weight of life and of our limitations, are unable to recognize the Lord beside us by ourselves. When, however, we welcome the Holy Spirit into our hearts, everything acquires a new light and tells us about God and His love.

Dear friends, how important the gift of understanding is for our Christian life! Through this gift , the Spirit of God breaks through the darkness of our minds and our hearts and makes us true believers, able to enjoy what the Lord reveals to us in His Word and rejoice in all that he does in our lives .

Below please find the English language summary of the Holy Father’s catechesis


Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, we now turn to the gift of understanding. Born of our sharing in God’s life through faith and baptism, the gift of understanding enables us to see in all things the unfolding of his eternal plan of love. The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts and enlightens our minds, guiding us to an ever deeper understanding of Christ’s teaching and his saving mission. Like the disciples on the way to Emmaus, we often fail to recognize the the Lord walking at our side and the working of God’s grace in our lives and the world around us. Yet thanks to the Spirit’s gift of understanding, our eyes are opened and our hearts burn within us (cf. Lk 24:13-27) as we recognize the Risen Lord’s presence and view all things in a new light, with fresh spiritual insight. How important it is to implore this gift of understanding! Through it the Holy Spirit dispels the darkness of our minds and hearts, strengthens us in faith and enables us to savour the richness of God’s word and its promise of salvation.


I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, including those from England, Ireland, Finland, Norway, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Uganda, South Africa, Canada and the United States. Upon all of you, and upon your families, I invoke the joy and peace of the Risen Lord. God bless you all!



Text from Vatican Radio website 



Pope John Paul II Free Catholic Movies "Karol The Man who became Pope" Watch

"Karol: A Man Who Became Pope" (2005) "Karol, un uomo diventato Papa" (original title) TV Movie - 186 min - Biography | Drama - 15 August 2005 (USA) The life of the Pope John-Paul II, from his youth as a writer, actor, and athlete in war-torn occupied Poland to his election as Pope at the age of 58. Director: Giacomo Battiato Writers: Giacomo Battiato (screenplay), Gianfranco Svidercoschi (book) Stars: Piotr Adamczyk, Malgorzata Bela, Ken Duken 

Today's Mass Online : Wednesday April 30, 2014



Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 269

Reading 1ACTS 5:17-26

The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
“Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life.”
When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
When the high priest and his companions arrived,
they convened the Sanhedrin,
the full senate of the children of Israel,
and sent to the jail to have them brought in.
But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison,
so they came back and reported,
“We found the jail securely locked
and the guards stationed outside the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”
When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report,
they were at a loss about them,
as to what this would come to.
Then someone came in and reported to them,
“The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area
and are teaching the people.”
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them,
but without force,
because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

Responsorial Psalm PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel JN 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Pope Francis meets with Council of Cardinals - Discusses Protection of Minors

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican released a statement on Wednesday saying the Council of 8 Cardinals, which met for 3 days this week, has completed a first review of the Pontifical Councils. Part of the time was dedicated to planning the work to be completed between this week’s session and the next session, scheduled for the beginning of July. The 8 cardinals were appointed by the Pope shortly after his election to serve as advisers to him on the governance of the Church and on planned reforms of the Roman Curia.  
It was also announced that the new Council for the Economy will meet for the first time on Friday, May 2nd and Pope Francis will greet the participants. The main focus of the meeting will be the Statutes of the Council itself and the planning of its work.
And the new Commission for the Protection of Minors will have its first meeting later this week, from Thursday May 1st to Saturday the 3rd , at the Santa Marta residence. The Commission will reflect on the nature and scope of its tasks, as well as its integration with members representing different geographical areas worldwide. As with the New Council for the Economy, Pope Francis is scheduled to greet the members of the Commission. Both bodies were set up by him.


Text from Vatican Radio website 


Storms in the USA cause over 30 Deaths - Please Pray



Severe storms have caused great damage and over 30 deaths in the United States Midwest and South since Sunday. Deadly tornadoes and storms hit parts of the Southern United States on Monday and into Tuesday. Many business and homes were destroyed, while tens of thousands of people were without power. This system of severe weather swept through Arkansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma on Sunday. Arkansas suffered the most with a half-mile-wide tornado through Little Rock. Torrential rain in southeastern Alabama and Florida brought high water into homes and forced two major military bases to shut down Wednesday. Tornadoes have penetrated several states. Some regions had more than a foot of rain in 24 hours. At least 36 lives were taken in Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida. About 37 million people are at risk in places like Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Virginia Beach; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Atlanta, according to the National Weather Service. (Image source: Google Images)

Over 16 Civilians Killed in Central African Republic by Rebels - Please Pray

Agenzia Fides REPORT- On April 26, dozens of heavily armed Muslim rebels opened fire in a hospital in Central African Republic, killing at least 16 people, including three local health workers for Doctors Without Borders. (Image Source: Worldatlas.com) The statement sent to Fides Agency adds new details about the tragic event, commenting on the numerous incidents of violence in the Country.
"We are extremely shocked and saddened by the brutal violence used against our health workers team and against the community. This scary incident has forced us to withdraw staff and suspend activities in Boguila" said the Head of Mission for DWB in the Central African Republic. According to the statement sent to Fides, the attacks occurred when armed members of ex-Seleka, surrounded Boguila Hospital, where a meeting with 40 community leaders invited by DWB was taking place to discuss the population's access to medical care. While some of the gunmen robbed the DWB office at gunpoint and fired shots into the air, other armed men approached the meeting place where DWB staff and community members had gathered together. Unprovoked, the armed men started firing heavily into the crowd, leaving both dead and critically wounded. DWB is the only group working in much of the impoverished country and has kept up its efforts despite the fighting.
Since the coup in March 2013, Boguila has been unstable, tensions and violence continue which in August 2013 caused a massive displacement of the population in the area. In December 2013, the Muslims escaped from the violence in the neighboring village of Nana Bakassa, seeking refuge with families living in Boguila, before heading towards the north. Recently, on April 11, almost 7,000 people fled into the countryside after a convoy came under attack in the area. As many as 40 people sought refuge at the DWB clinic at the time. Since 2006, DWB has been running the hospital in Boguila with 115 beds, offering primary and specialized health care. The teams also give support to 7 health centers around Boguila. Each month between 9000 and 13 000 general visits are carried out, and from 5000 to 10 000 people are treated for malaria. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 29/04/2014)



Saint April 30 : St. Pius V : Pope and Reformer - Died 1572

St. Pius V
POPE AND REFORMER
Feast: April 30


Information:
Feast Day:April 30
Born:17 January 1504 at Bosco, diocese of Alessandria, Lombardy, Italy
Died:1 May 1572 in Rome, Italy
Canonized:22 May 1712 by Pope Clement XI
Patron of:Bosco Marengo, Italy
Born at Bosco, near Alexandria, Lombardy, 17 Jan., 1504 elected 7 Jan., 1566; died 1 May, 1572. Being of a poor though noble family his lot would have been to follow a trade, but he was taken in by the Dominicans of Voghera, where he received a good education and was trained in the way of solid and austere piety. He entered the order, was ordained in 1528, and taught theology and philosophy for sixteen years. In the meantime he was master of novices and was on several occasions elected prior of different houses of his order in which he strove to develop the practice of the monastic virtues and spread the spirit of the holy founder. He himself was an example to all. He fasted, did penance, passed long hours of the night in meditation and prayer, traveled on foot without a cloak in deep silence, or only speaking to his companions of the things of God. In 1556 he was made Bishop of Sutri by Paul IV. His zeal against heresy caused him to be selected as inquisitor of the faith in Milan and Lombardy, and in 1557 Paul II made him a cardinal and named him inquisitor general for all Christendom. In 1559 he was transferred to Mondovì, where he restored the purity of faith and discipline, gravely impaired by the wars of Piedmont. Frequently called to Rome, he displayed his unflinching zeal in all the affairs on which he was consulted. Thus he offered an insurmountable opposition to Pius IV when the latter wished to admit Ferdinand de' Medici, then only thirteen years old, into the Sacred College. Again it was he who defeated the project of Maximilian II, Emperor of Germany, to abolish ecclesiastical celibacy. On the death of Pius IV, he was, despite his tears and entreaties, elected pope, to the great joy of the whole Church.
He began his pontificate by giving large alms to the poor, instead of distributing his bounty at haphazard like his predecessors. As pontiff he practiced the virtues he had displayed as a monk and a bishop. His piety was not diminished, and, in spite of the heavy labours and anxieties of his office, he made at least two meditations a day on bended knees in presence of the Blessed Sacrament. In his charity he visited the hospitals, and sat by the bedside of the sick, consoling them and preparing them to die. He washed the feet of the poor, and embraced the lepers. It is related that an English nobleman was converted on seeing him kiss the feet of a beggar covered with ulcers. He was very austere and banished luxury from his court, raised the standard of morality, laboured with his intimate friend, St. Charles Borromeo, to reform the clergy, obliged his bishops to reside in their dioceses, and the cardinals to lead lives of simplicity and piety. He diminished public scandals by relegating prostitutes to distant quarters, and he forbade bull fights. He enforced the observance of the discipline of the Council of Trent, reformed the Cistercians, and supported the missions of the New World. In the Bull "In Coena Domini" he proclaimed the traditional principles of the Roman Church and the supremacy of the Holy See over the civil power.
But the great thought and the constant preoccupation of his pontificate seems to have been the struggle against the Protestants and the Turks. In Germany he supported the Catholics oppressed by the heretical princes. In France he encouraged the League by his counsels and with pecuniary aid. In the Low Countries he supported Spain. In England, finally, he excommunicated Elizabeth, embraced the cause of Mary Stuart, and wrote to console her in prison. In the ardour of his faith he did not hesitate to display severity against the dissidents when necessary, and to give a new impulse to the activity of the Inquisition, for which he has been blamed by certain historians who have exaggerated his conduct. Despite all representations on his behalf he condemned the writings of Baius, who ended by submitting.
He worked incessantly to unite the Christian princes against the hereditary enemy, the Turks. In the first year of his pontificate he had ordered a solemn jubilee, exhorting the faithful to penance and almsgiving to obtain the victory from God. He supported the Knights of Malta, sent money for the fortification of the free towns of Italy, furnished monthly contributions to the Christians of Hungary, and endeavoured especially to bring Maximilian, Philip II, and Charles I together for the defence of Christendom. In 1567 for the same purpose he collected from all convents one-tenth of their revenues. In 1570 when Solyman II attacked Cyprus, threatening all Christianity in the West, he never rested till he united the forces of Venice, Spain, and the Holy See. He sent his blessing to Don John of Austria, the commander-in-chief of the expedition, recommending him to leave behind all soldiers of evil life, and promising him the victory if he did so. He ordered public prayers, and increased his own supplications to heaven. On the day of the Battle of Lepanto, 7 Oct., 1571, he was working with the cardinals, when, suddenly, interrupting his work opening the window and looking at the sky, he cried out, "A truce to business; our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian army". He burst into tears when he heard of the victory, which dealt the Turkish power a blow from which it never recovered. In memory of this triumph he instituted for the first Sunday of October the feast of the Rosary, and added to the Litany of Loreto the supplication "Help of Christians". He was hoping to put an end to the power of Islam by forming a general alliance of the Italian cities Poland, France, and all Christian Europe, and had begun negotiations for this purpose when he died of gravel, repeating "O Lord, increase my sufferings and my patience!" He left the memory of a rare virtue and an unfailing and inflexible integrity. He was beatified by Clement X in 1672, and canonized by Clement XI in 1712.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)


Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpiusv.asp#ixzz1tW71OzXG

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Pope Francis "The Spirit creates unity. The Spirit leads us to witness..."


(Vatican Radio) The Christian community should be capable of full agreement within, able to bare witness to Christ to the outside world, to prevent any of its members from suffering and misery. These according to Pope Francis are the "three characteristics of a people reborn". In his homily at Mass Tuesday morning, the Pope focused on what the Church brought to light during the Octave of Easter: our "rebirth from on high”, in the Holy Spirit , who gave life to the first group of "new Christians" when "they still didn’t have that name".


 "'They had one heart and mind'. Peace. A community in peace. This means that in this community there was no room for gossip, envy, calumnies, defamation. Peace. Forgiveness: 'Love covered everything' . To qualify a Christian community on this, we have to ask about the attitude of the Christians. Are they meek, humble? Do they vie for power between each other in that community? Are there envious quarrels? Is there gossip? They are not on the path of Jesus Christ. This feature is so important, so important, because the devil always tries to divide us. He is the father of division".

Not that problems were lacking in the first community. Pope Francis recalled "the infighting, the doctrinal struggles, power struggles " which also overtook [the community] later. As an example of this he pointed to the widows who complained of a lack of assistance and the Apostles "had to create deacons". However, the "high point" of the community’s beginnings forever fixes the essence of a community that is born of the Holy Spirit . A harmonious community and, second, a community of witnesses of faith. Pope Francis invited today’s community to dwell on this:
"Does this community give witness to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? Does this parish, this community, this diocese really believe that Jesus Christ is Risen? Or rather: ' Yes, He is Risen, but only here', because they only believer here, in their hearts far removed from this force. By how we bear witness that Jesus is alive, that He is among us: that is how we verify the life of a community".

The third characteristic from which we can measure the life of a Christian community are "the poor" . And here, Pope Francis distinguished two points of evaluation:
"First, what's your attitude or the attitude of this community toward the poor? Second, is this community poor? Poor in heart, poor in spirit? Or does it place its trust in riches? In power? Harmony, witness, poverty and care for the poor. This is what Jesus explained to Nicodemus: This comes from above. Because the only one who can do this is the Holy Spirit . This is the work of the Spirit. The Church is built up by the Spirit. The Spirit creates unity. The Spirit leads us to witness. The Spirit makes us poor, because He is our wealth and leads us to care for the poor”.

"May the Holy Spirit - concluded Pope Francis - help us to walk on this path reborn through the power of Baptism".

Text from the Vatican Radio website 

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