Thursday, May 22, 2014

Catholic News World : Thursday May 22, 2014 - Share!


Amazing Scripture Seminar at Mundelein Seminary with Fr. Robert Barron

Mundelein Seminary/ University of St. Mary of the Lake is offering a marvelous program called Summer Scripture Seminar. It's the 40th anniversary this year, but few people under the age of 65 have even heard of it! 
LIKE It is such a cool program that it's a shame so few people know about it.. It goes from the evening of June 22 thru the morning of June 27. We have great speakers coming to talk - including Fr. Robert Barron. It's designed to be a combo Scripture study/retreat, but we can also accommodate people whose schedule might limit them to only a few days or only a few talks. We hope to get more people who are on fire for the Faith to come too. 
Seminar Highlights:
Speakers and audience come from anywhere across and outside the United States. Approximate audience blend is 50% ordained priests & deacons 25% religious brothers or sisters and 25% lay ministers, educators or catechists.                                The Summer Scripture Seminar is the premier continuing education program of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake by the Institute for Ongoing Formation.  Since the early 1970’s, this seminar has enjoyed a loyal commitment on the part of participants.  Ninety percent of our students return each year. 
The Summer Scripture Seminar has become a community of women and men committed to ministry and learning in the Church.  Since the Bible is the soul of theology, USML chose to stress ongoing study of the scriptures as the emphasis of the seminar. 
We welcome you to our web site.  In its pages you will find information about this exciting program.  You will meet an exceptional faculty, learn what participants say about the seminar, and view next year’s program.
The seminar is a cooperative venture by the Institute For Ongoing Formation and the Department of Biblical Exegesis and Proclamation of Mundelein Seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake.  Fr. Martin Zielinski and Dr. Elizabeth Nagel direct the seminar. 
The outstanding faculty of the program is drawn from the top biblical scholars and theologians in the United States.


Today's Mass Readings Online : Thurs. May 22, 2014

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 288

Reading 1   ACTS 15:7-21

After much debate had taken place,
Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters,
“My brothers, you are well aware that from early days
God made his choice among you that through my mouth
the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe.
And God, who knows the heart,
bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit
just as he did us.
He made no distinction between us and them,
for by faith he purified their hearts.
Why, then, are you now putting God to the test
by placing on the shoulders of the disciples
a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?
On the contrary, we believe that we are saved
through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.”
The whole assembly fell silent,
and they listened
while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders
God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

After they had fallen silent, James responded,
“My brothers, listen to me.
Symeon has described how God first concerned himself
with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name.
The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:

After this I shall return
and rebuild the fallen hut of David;
from its ruins I shall rebuild it
and raise it up again,
so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord,
even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked.
Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things,
known from of old.

It is my judgment, therefore,
that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols,
unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.
For Moses, for generations now,
has had those who proclaim him in every town,
as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel JN 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”

Catholic Nuns Violently Beaten - 1 dies from injuries RIP Sister Julianna Lim in Malaysia

Agenzia Fides report - Sister Juliana Lim, 69, of the Congregation of the Infant Jesus, died yesterday after a violent attack suffered on May 14 in Seremban, a town near Kuala Lumpur. This is confirmed to Fides Agency by sources in the local Church. The Malaysian religious was attacked on May 14, along with Sister Mary Rose Teng, 79, by a man with covered face, while the two were in the Church of the Visitation. The man savagely beat them, and even stole a few dollars, and left them dying. Sister Juliana, was immediately taken to hospital, was in a coma for seven days and struggled between life and death. Even Sister Mary Rose was seriously injured and is still in hospital. As Fides learns, the funeral will be held tomorrow, May 23 in the same Church of the Visitation, in Seremban, presided by Archbishop Emeritus of Kuala Lumpur, His Excellency Mgr. Murphy Pakiam.
"The Malaysian Church is shocked and worried for such aggression", says to Fides Agency Fr. Augustine Julian, of the community of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Kuala Lumpur, until recently Secretary of the local Episcopal Conference. "According to the police, this attack may be the act of a desperate man, but there is also the possibility of aggression for religious hatred. Police are investigating the case", he reports. "For now, there seems to be no direct connection with regards to the issue on the use of the term Allah between Muslims and Christians", he explains. "In society, however, there is generally a climate of mutual respect, and interreligious dialogue continues", he concludes .
The country's Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has expressed public condolences to the nun’s family and the Catholic community. According to some members of parliament, members of the opposition, the attack should not be underestimated and is the result of "growing religious extremism and anti-Christian sentiments fomented by radical Muslim groups, linked to the members of Umno", the Prime Minister’s party. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/05/2014)

Free Catholic Movie - RITA - Stars Vittoria Belvedere - Drama of St. Rita

Rita da Cascia (2004) TV Movie - 180 min - Drama | Romance - 26 September 2004 (Italy) Director: Giorgio Capitani Writers: Saverio D'Ercole (associate writer), Elisabetta Lodoli, Stars: Vittoria Belvedere, Martin Crewes, Simone Ascani 

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Pope Francis "Peace, love and joy , "three words that Jesus left us".

(Vatican Radio) A healthy Christian is a joyful Christian, even in times of sorrow and tribulation. This was Pope Francis reflection at Mass Thursday morning at Casa Santa Marta. During his homily the Pope returned to one of the recurrent themes of his Pontificate to date – there is no such thing as a sad Christian – stressing that it is the Holy Spirit who teaches us to love and fills us with joy. Pope Francis began by noting that before going to Heaven Jesus spoke of many things, but always dwelt on "three key words": "Peace, love and joy." Regarding peace "He told us that He does not give us peace, in the same way as the world gives it to us". Instead, He gives us a "peace forever”. Regarding love, Jesus frequently said “that the commandment was to love God and love your neighbor". The Pope noted that in Matthew 25, Jesus almost made a “protocol", “on which we will all be judged”. Then turning to the Gospel of the Day, Pope Francis added that in it "Jesus says something new about love: ‘Do not just love, but remain in my love'". "The Christian vocation is this: to remain in the love of God, that is, to breathe, to live of that oxygen, to live of that air. Remain in the love of God. And with this He encapsulates the depth of His discourse on love and moves on. And what is His love like? 'As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you'. It is a love that comes from the Father. The loving relationship between Him and the Father is also a relationship of love between Him and us. He asks us to remain in this love, which comes from the Father". Pope Francis continued: "He gives us a peace that is not of the world. A love that is not of the world, that comes from the Father". Then the Pope focused on Christ’s exhortation: "Remain in my love". The sign that we "remain in the love of Jesus", he emphasized, "is keeping the commandments". It is not enough to just follow them. "When we remain in love", he said, "the Commandments follow on their own, out of love". Love, he reiterated, "leads us to naturally fulfill the Commandments. The root of love blossoms in the Commandments". And these are the common threads in a chain: "the Father, Jesus, and us". Francis then turned his attention to joy: "Joy, which is like the sign of a Christian. A Christian without joy is either not a Christian or he is sick. There's no other type! He is not doing well health-wise! A healthy Christian is a joyful Christian. I once said that there are Christians with faces like pickled peppers [sour faces – ed] ... Always with these [long] faces! Some souls are also like this, this is bad! These are not Christians. A Christian without joy is not Christian. Joy is like the seal of a Christian. Even in pain, tribulations, even in persecutions". The Pope recalled that people would say of the early martyrs that they went towards "martyrdom as if going to a wedding feast". This is the joy of a Christian, he said, " who safeguards peace and safeguards love”. Peace, love and joy , "three words that Jesus left us". Who gives us this peace, this love? Who, asked the Pope, "gives us joy? The Holy Spirit!": "The great forgotten in our lives! I would like to ask you - but I will not, eh! - To ask you: how many of you pray to the Holy Spirit? Don't raise your hand ... He is the great forgotten, the great forgotten! And He is the gift, the gift that gives us peace, that teaches us to love and fills us with joy. In prayer we asked the Lord: 'Guard your gift'. We asked for the grace that the Lord guard the Holy Spirit in us. May the Lord give us this grace to always guard the Holy Spirit in us, the Spirit who teaches us to love, fills us with joy, and gives us peace". Shared From Radio Vaticana Web Site

Novena Prayer to St. Rita - Patron of Impossible Cases

O holy protectress of those who art in greatest need, thou who shineth as a star of hope in the midst of darkness, blessed Saint Rita, bright mirror of God's grace, in patience and fortitude thou art a model of all the states in life. I unite my will with the will of God through the merits of my Savior Jesus Christ, and in particular through his patient wearing of the crown of thorns, which with tender devotion thou didst daily contemplate. Through the merits of the holy Virgin Mary and thine own graces and virtues, I ask thee to obtain my earnest petition, provided it be for the greater glory of God and my own sanctification. Guide and purify my intention, O holy protectress and advocate, so that I may obtain the pardon of all my sins and the grace to persevere daily, as thou didst in walking with courage, generosity, and fidelity down the path of life. [Mention your request.]
Saint Rita, advocate of the impossible, pray for us.
Saint Rita, advocate of the helpless, pray for us. 
Pray 3 times: 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, and 1 Glory Be

Also See Today's Saint: ST. RITA

Saint May 22 : St. Rita of Cascia : Patron of Impossible Causes, Marriage Problems and Abuse Victims

St. Rita of Cascia
Feast: May 22

Feast Day:May 22
1381, Roccaporena, Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Died:May 22, 1457, Cascia, Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Canonized:May 24, 1900, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Patron of:Lost and impossible causes, sickness, wounds, marital problems, abuse, mothers
If St. Rita belongs to that wonderful band of elect who were holy from their cradles, it must be said that she required every available help that sanctity gives, to have enabled her to endure the trials and difficulties with which most of her life was filled! She was the daughter of parents, both nearing middle age at the time of her birth, and the author of the Latin memoir of the Saint says that shortly after this event (1386), a swarm of bees was seen to come and go several times to and from the cradle a portent which was taken as indicating that the career of the child was to be marked by industry, virtue and devotion. The father and mother of Rita were themselves very pious, and from their laudable habit of composing the quarrels and differences among their neighbours, they were known as the "Peacemakers of Jesus Christ." Little Rita as she grew up, seems to have acquired a great deal of this spirit of the supernatural, for she showed little if any inclination for games, seeking her recreation chiefly in prayer and visits to sacred shrines-an exercise, by the way, which-granted the proper disposition-brings with it a wealth of real enjoyment and satisfaction quite wanting to other arid more secular amusements. This being so, it is not surprising to learn that Rita, as she neared womanhood, felt that her vocation lay in the convent rather than in that of domestic life. We are not aware of the circumstances that led her parents to oppose this apparently obvious course, but oppose it they did, and Rita submitted, even so far as to please them by marrying a man whom all accounts describe as exceedingly bad-tempered and something worse! It is the teaching of the Church that the grace of the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, if corresponded with by a good life, works miracles, almost, in the way of establishing and perpetuating conjugal happiness. Acerbities of temper, temperamental differences, and all the other difficulties arising out of the necessary variations of human nature, are, under God's influence, toned down and adjusted, provided always Holy Mass, prayer and the sacraments are not forgotten—for "wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." So Rita tamed her rough spouse, and for two-and-twenty years lived harmoniously (concorditer) with a husband who, like most quarrelsome individuals in the days when sword and stiletto ever sharp, hung from every Italian gentleman's belt, perished in a feud. Such a death in the Italy of the Decamerone and the Republics, and, indeed, till well into our own time, usually meant a prolonged vendetta, and, of course, the two sons of the dead man at once took up the quarrel. Meantime, poor Rita was in despair, and finding her expostulations useless to prevent further effusion of blood, she had recourse to prayer, earnestly beseeching God to take her boys from this world rather than permit them to live on stained by homicide. The mother's prayer was heard, and the two youths shortly afterwards died edifying deaths, forgiving their father's slayers and resigned to God.

The way was now clear for our Saint to satisfy her long yearning for a conventual life. After due consideration, she applied to be "accepted" by the Augustinian nuns at Cascia, but was informed that the custom was only for women who had never been married, to be received as postulants. The time was to come when not only widows were to enter religious orders of their own sex as a matter of course, but even occasionally to found them, as in the case of St. Jane Francis de Chantal and the Nuns of the Visitation. Again did Rita have recourse  to prayer, and it is related that the night following her second great "storming of Heaven," St. John the Baptist, to whom she had a great devotion, appeared to her, accompanied by St. Augustine and St. Nicholas of Tolentino, and these three Saints conducted her to the convent, where the Superiors who had been similarly warned, received her with great kindness. The new postulant entered upon her life in religion with characteristic zeal and thoroughness. She disposed of her family property as alms to the poor, and in addition to the ordinary mortifications prescribed or permitted by the rule, she added others of great severity, wearing a hair shirt, fasting rigorously on bread and water and taking the discipline at intervals. The Passion of Our Lord was her constant meditation, and while recalling the manifold sufferings of the Man of Sorrows, she often seemed to be carried away by mingled grief and devotion.

In the midst of such wonderful progress on the road to perfection, this pattern to the community was afflicted by God after the following mysterious manner. She was meditating one day on the Passion before the crucifix, when she apparently, accidentally, wounded her forehead by striking it against some of the no doubt very realistic thorns in Our Lord's crown. The injury caused by the hurt developed into a serious ulcer, one most painful and unsightly, so unsightly, in fact, that for many years Sister Rita had to make her devotions alone! She accepted this great trial in the light of an additional penance sent her by God, and it was about this time that many spiritual and temporal favours are said to have been granted to various persons as the direct result of the prayers of this wonderful religious, the fame of whose sanctity had already extended far beyond the convent walls. The extraordinary fact, too, that her garden—which, in common with the rest of the nuns, she had allotted to her—produced beautiful roses and ripe figs in the depths of an abnormally severe winter, was taken as an additional sign that the unceasing prayers and heroic virtues of Sister Rita were blessed beyond measure, even in this world. The last years of the Saint were marked by a most painful and lingering illness—cancer doubtless—which as in the case of all her other seeming misfortunes she employed as another means of forwarding her greater sanctification. At the approach of death, she received with wonderful fervour the last rites of the Church, and then, as it is piously believed, at the call of Our Lady, she breathed forth her spotless soul to God on 20th May, 1456.1
The sacred remains long after death yielded a most sweet and refreshing odour, and many miracles have been recorded as the fruit of her powerful intercession. The cultus of the wonderful nun of Cascia spread far and wide, notably in Spain, where she has since been known as "La Santa de los impossibiles!" She was Beatified by Clement XII, though as far back as 1637, a Mass and office were granted in her honour by Urban VIII. Finally, on 24th May, 1900, Pope Leo XIII enrolled her name among the Saints-the Saints it may be added, whose virtues shone as stars both in the world and in the  cloister.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pope Francis "Creation is a gift that God has given us, so that we might take care of it..."

Vatican City, 21 May 2014 (VIS) – The gift of knowledge, 'scientia', that “is not limited to human knowledge, but which through creation leads us to perceive the greatness of God and His love for His creatures” was the theme of the Pope's catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience.
In the presence of more than 50,000 people in St. Peter's Square, Francis explained that this gift of the Holy Spirit also enables us to discover how the beauty and immensity of the cosmos speaks to us of the Creator and invites us to praise Him “from the depths of our heart and to recognise that all that we have, and all that we are. is an inestimable gift of God and a sign of His infinite love for us”.
 In the first chapter of Genesis, at the very beginning of the Bible, it is made clear that God is pleased with His creation, and the beauty and goodness of everything is repeatedly emphasised. If God sees that creation is good and beautiful, then we too should assume this attitude. … And when God finished creating man, He did not say that what he saw was good, but rather that it was 'very good'. In the eyes of God we are the most beautiful, the greatest, the best of His creation: even the angels were beneath us, we are greater than the angels. The Lord loves us, and we should thank Him for this. … The gift of knowledge places us in profound harmony with the Creator and allows us to participate in the clarity of his vision and judgement. And it is from this perspective that we are able to perceive in man and woman the peak of His creation, as the fulfilment of a plan of love that is inherent in each one of us, and enables us to recognise each other as brothers and sisters”.
“All this is a reason for serenity and peace, and makes the Christian a joyful witness to God, like St. Francis of Assisi and many other saints who knew how to sing and to praise their love through the contemplation of creation. At the same time, however, the gift of knowledge helps us to avoid falling prey to the danger of … considering ourselves to be the masters of creation. Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or even less, is it the property of only a few. Creation is a gift that God has given us, so that we might take care of it and make use of it
 for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude. The second mistake is the temptation for us to limit ourselves to creatures, as if they were able to offer the answer to all our expectations”.
The Pope returned to the first risk, that of seeking to appropriate creation instead of protecting it. Creation is “a gift from God to us … and when we exploit it, we destroy the sign of His love. Destroying creation is like saying to God, 'I don't like it', and this is not good, it is a sin. Care for creation is care for God's gift to us, and it means saying to God, 'thank you, I am the custodian of creation, but to enable it to progress, never to destroy your gift'”.
“This must be our attitude in relation to creation”, continued the Holy Father: “to protect it, because if we destroy creation, creation will destroy us! Do not forget this”. He went on to recount a story of a very simple person he once met, who loved flowers and took great care of them. “He said, we must look after these beautiful things God has given us; creation is ours so that we may benefit from it, not to exploit it but to protect it, because God always forgives, we human beings forgive sometimes, but creation never forgives and if you do not protect it, it will destroy you”.
“This should make us think, and to ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of knowledge to understand well that creation is God's most beautiful gift. He has made so many good things for the greatest creation of all, the human person”.

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