Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Catholic News World : Wed. May 7, 2014 - Share!


(Vatican Radio) May is the month of Mary, and looking to her this Wednesday, Pope Francis raised a prayer of thanksgiving for her good counsel in times of difficulty. He also invited mothers world-wide to pray for this gift from the Holy Spirit to be able to counsel their children and announced that on Thursday the Vatican Secretary of State will travel to the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii.

Continuing his series of reflections at the General Audience on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, this week he focused on the Gift of Counsel. Emer McCarthy reports:

“We know how important it is, especially in the most delicate moments, to be able to count on the advice of wise people who love us. Now, through the gift of counsel, it is God himself, with his Spirit who enlightens our hearts, so as to help us understand the proper way to speak and behave and the path to follow. But how does this work? From the moment we welcome and host Him in our hearts, the Holy Spirit immediately begins to make us sensitive to His voice and to direct our thoughts, our feelings and our intentions according to God’s heart. At the same time, He increasingly brings us to turn our inward gaze upon Jesus as a model of how to act and relate with God the Father and our brothers and sisters. Counsel, then, is the gift by which the Holy Spirit makes our conscience capable of making a concrete choice in communion with God, according to the logic of Jesus and of his Gospel. In this way, the Spirit helps us grow inwardly, helps us grow positively, helps us grow in communion and helps us to avoid being at the mercy of selfishness and our own way of seeing things. This is how the Spirit helps us grow and also live in communion.”

The Holy Father went on to say that the essential condition to preserve this gift is prayer. “We always return to the same point: prayer. Prayer, praying is so important. Praying those prayers that we all know from childhood but also praying with our words, praying to the Lord: ‘Lord, help me, advise me, what should I do now?’. With prayer we make room for the Spirit to come and help us in that moment, he advises us all on what we must do. Prayer, never forget prayer, never. Nobody notices when we pray on the bus, on the streets, we pray in silence, with our hearts, take advantage of these moments to pray. Pray for the Spirit to give us this gift of counsel.”

“In intimacy with God and listening to His Word slowly we put aside our personal logic, dictated most of the time by our closure, our prejudices and our ambitions, and instead learn to ask the Lord, what is your wish? Seek advice from the Lord. And we do so with prayer.”

“In this way a profound harmony matures in us, almost innate in the Spirit and we experience how true the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Matthew are: ‘When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say (Mt 10:19-20)’. It is the Spirit who counsels us but we have to make room for the Spirit to give us counsel and give space to prayer, prayer for Him to come and always help us.”

“Like all the other gifts of the Spirit, counsel is also a treasure for the entire Christian community. The Lord speaks to us not only in the intimacy of our heart, - He speaks to us, yes, but not only there - but also through the voice and the testimony of others. It really is a great gift to meet the men and women of faith who , especially in the most complicated and important moments of our lives, help us to shed light in our hearts and recognize the will of the Lord.”

The Pope moved from his prepared text to add: “I remember once, I was in the confessional, and there was a long queue in front of the Shrine of Lujan, the diocese of that bishop there, and there was a young man in the queue, all modern with tattoos And ... he came to tell me what was happening in his life. He had a big, difficult problem. ' And [he asked me] what would you do? So I told my mother about this and my mother said to me: ‘Go to the Virgin Mary and she will tell you what you must do.’ Here was a woman who had the gift of counsel. She did not know how to solve her son’s problems but she indicated the right way: ‘Go to Our Lady and she’ll tell you.’ This is the gift of counsel. Do not say, ‘Do this ...’. Let the Spirit speak . And that woman, humble, simple, gave her son the truest, most beautiful advice, because this young man said to me: ‘I looked upon Our Lady and I heard that I need to do this, this, this.’ I did not have to say a word. It all came from my mother, the Virgin Mary and the young man. This is the gift of counsel. You mothers who have this gift, ask for this gift for your children: the gift of being able to counsel your children . It is a gift from God.”

“Dear friends, Psalm 16 invites us to pray with these words:" I bless the LORD who counsels me; even at night my heart exhorts me. I keep the LORD always before me; with him at my right hand, I shall never be shaken" (vv. 7-8) . May the Spirit can always instill in our hearts and fill us with the certainty of his consolation and peace! Always seek the gift of counsel . Thank you.”

At the end of the General Audience, the Pope recalled that tomorrow the Church raises the Prayer of “Petition” to Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii: “The Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin will travel to that famous shrine. I invite everyone to invoke the intercession of Mary, so that the Lord grant mercy, and peace to the Church and to the whole world. I commend in particular to our Mother the young, the sick and newlyweds who are present here today, and I urge everyone in this month of May, to pray the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

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 counsel. Through this gift, God enlightens our hearts and directs our thoughts, words and actions in accordance with his saving will. By leading us to Jesus, and through him to the Father, the Holy Spirit guides us in our daily interaction with others and enables us to make right decisions in the light of faith. Through the gift of counsel, we also grow in the virtue of prudence, learning to overcome our self-centredness and to see all things with the eyes of Christ. The gift of counsel, like all spiritual gifts, needs to be cultivated through prayer, by which we become attuned to the voice of the Spirit and conformed to the heart of Christ. Nor does this gift enrich us as individuals alone; the Spirit also counsels us through the lives and experiences of our brothers and sisters in the Church. Today, as we give thanks for the gift of counsel, let us seek to support one another along the path of faith, as we seek to be ever more docile to the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, including those from England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Korea, the Philippines, China, India, 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 
the Vatican Radio website 


Supermodel Kathy Ireland explains PRO-LIFE Message in Viral Video - SHARE

The beautiful Kathleen Marie "Kathy" Ireland an American model, and actress. She and her husband Dr. Greg Olsen have 3 children Chloe, Erik and Lily. She is a Christian and Pro-Life Advocate. In this Viral Video she explains the Pro-Life issue using science. From Youtube:
After all you can't have a position that is either pro-life or pro-choice unless you can answer the question - What is the unborn? If it were not a life then you would not have to abort it. If the unborn is not a human being then no justification is necessary. If it is a human being then no justification is adequate. There is after all no difference on your DNA when you are an adult, child or just a few cells not yet fully developed but still fully human in nature. Body size does not determine value. The former Presidential candidate Huckabee learned something and maybe you will as well. 
SHARE this to support LIFE 

Today's Mass Online : Wed. May 7, 2014

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 275

Reading 1ACTS 8:1B-8

There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem,
and all were scattered
throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria,
except the Apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him.
Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church;
entering house after house and dragging out men and women,
he handed them over for imprisonment.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Responsorial Psalm PS 66:1-3A, 4-5, 6-7A

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel JN 6:35-40

Jesus said to the crowds,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.

1st Official Portrait of Pope Francis by Chinese Refugee Jiawei Shen of Australia

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese, RELEASE
7 May 2014

The first official portrait of Pope Francis by refugee Australian artist Jiawei Shen. Photography by Kitty Beale
Australia's acclaimed painter, former refugee Jiawei Shen of Bundeena NSW has made history as the artist chosen to paint the first official portrait of Pope Francis.
The life-size painting portrays the Holy Father against a multi-cultural backdrop of men women and children of all races, ages and cultures, their hands clasped in prayer. The painting, which is now the property of the Vatican Museum and was presented to Pope Francis during the recent Canonisations in Rome of St John Paul II and St John XXIII also features a dove with wings-spread about to alight on the Pontiff's shoulder. Other birds including an Australian parrot on the shoulder of a young girl pays tribute to traditional depictions of St Francis of Assisi, after whom Pope Francis took his name.
"When the Pope first saw the portrait, his first words were 'Paloma!' which in Spanish means dove," says Byron Hurst, a long time friend of Jiawei Shen. Byron is also visual arts teacher at De La Salle College, Cronulla as well as being a judge for the annual Clancy Prize and Chair of the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Art Centre at Gymea which is near the artist's home in Bundeena and where he has frequently exhibited his work.
Byron is also one of the key people involved in the commissioning of the portrait which was presented on behalf of Australia's Catholics. He was also responsible for helping organise shipping of the painting to Rome and negotiating the double complication of the strict laws governing not only the importation of art into Italy but into Vatican city as well.

Cardinal George Pell follows Pope Francis into the ceremony where the Holy Father saw the portrait painted of him by Jiawei Shen for the first time
"I suppose you could describe me as a facilitator as well as Catholic consultant for the artist," he says smiling.
The idea to commission an official portrait of the Holy Father to be given to him by Australia's faithful was a case of serendipity and chance meetings.
Staying on in Rome for further art study after completing the Path of Peter Pilgrimage from the Holy Land organised by Harvest Pilgrimages and the Archdiocese of Sydney's Catholic Education Office last year, Bryon was able to attend the Anzac Day Memorial Service at Rome's Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.
"Before leaving Australia I had been given a fair bit of material such as medals and cards by Catholic students to be blessed by the Holy Father and after the ceremony, I asked the Australian Ambassador to Rome, John McCarthy if he could help organise this,"  Bryon says.
Later when he went to pick up the medals and cards from the Embassy, the Ambassador invited him for afternoon tea. While the two were having tea, Byron noticed a print of the painting of Mary MacKillop inside a Cobb and Co coach hanging on the wall. He recognised it immediately as the one that had won a $25,000 competition organised by the NSW Government and the Church to mark the beatification of Australia's first saint in 1995.

Artist Jiawei Shen with Pope Francis in front of the portrait he painted of the Holy Father
"I told John the artist was a friend of mine," he says and told him how he had met him 10 years or so back through his involvement with the Hazelhurst Art Gallery and Art Centre. "This was when John told me that a portrait of the Holy Father by an Australian artist would be a wonderful way of commemorating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Australian Embassy to the Holy See as well as the 100th anniversary of the first appointment of a Papal Nuncio to Australia."
The two milestone anniversaries occurred last year but the gift from Australia's Catholics to the Holy Father and the negotiations with customs and paper work were not completed until earlier this year.
"The choice of the artist for the commission was important and not only is Shen a superb portraitist he is also a painter of history. For him history is extremely important as growing up in China he saw history wiped out by Mao and the Cultural Revolution," Byron explains.
Coopted into the Red Guard during the madness of China's cultural revolution, teenage Shen watched as churches were ransacked, all religions banned and businessmen and women and intellectuals imprisoned or forced to work in the fields. When the purge finally ended, Shen was able to return to his first love which was painting. Self taught as an artist because Mao had closed all the universities, he eventually managed to train at Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts and make a name for himself as one of China's leading history painters. But the downfall of the Gang of Four saw his work destroyed and in yet another purge, his life was now also in danger.

Self portrait of the artist by Jiawei Shen the former Red Guard who found refuge in Australia and who credits St John Paul II with changing his life
Arriving in Australia as a refugee in 1989 with just $45 in pocket, he managed to survive by sketching tourists at Darling Harbour which earned him enough to pay for English lessons, a small one room rental, but little else.
"But in 1995 all that changed when he won the competition to mark the Beatification of Mary MacKillop and met Pope John Paul II who presented him with a Papal medal," says Byron.
Since then Jiawei Shen has become one of the nation's most admired artists. His paintings have been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York as well as in galleries across Australia. In addition his painting of the Australian-born Princess Mary of Denmark is part of the National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection and his portrait of John Howard can be seen on permanent display in the Members Hall at Parliament House.
What is remarkable however is that when Shen was commissioned to paint Pope Francis, he refused to accept any fee for his work.
"I think this was a way of saying thank you to Australia for giving him refuge and a home and a country to call his own. I also think it was a way of thanking St John Paul II whom he says changed his life," Byron says.
A few years ago Shen had his first chance to travel to Rome and first opportunity to see the work of Michelangelo, da Vinci and the other great masters. But on landing his first port of call was to St Peter's Basilica, not to admire or study the artworks but to sit beside the tomb of St John Paul II.

Australian Ambassador John McCarthy presents Sr Maria Casey to Pope Francis watched by Byron Hurst
"He told me he sat there and cried, thinking about how Pope John Paul II had changed his life," says Byron.
Shen's second visit to Rome came last month when he flew with the Australian contingent to be part of the historic canonisations of St John Paul II and St John XXIII. This was also the time Cardinal George Pell, who had stored the portrait of Pope Francis in Cathedral House in Sydney until all the paperwork for Italy and the Vatican to agree to import of the art work was completed.
"Cardinal Pell is well known as a lover of art and an authority on art, and he was very much involved from the start and I am sure was instrumental in obtaining permission from the Holy Father for the portrait to be painted," he says.

Jiawei Shen's painting of Mary Mackillop to mark her Beatification in 1995 changed his life and his fortunes
His Eminence, who is now based in Rome as Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy of the Holy See and the Vatican, also played a key role together with Ambassador John McCarthy arranging for the Pope to attend a special presentation ceremony of the portrait and to meet the artist himself.
The ceremony was held in the Apostolic Palace where the Holy Father blessed the portrait and then said: "What I want you all to do is pray for us."
"I felt he was asking not only all those there but Australia and Australia's Catholics to keep him in their prayers and believe this was a plea that came very much from his heart," Byron says.
That evening a special Mass was celebrated at the Mary Mother of the Family Chapel in the grounds of the Vatican by Cardinal Pell along with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State.
After this a large reception was held for Rome's diplomatic and arts community, President of the Australian Senate John Hogg, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Sydney Bishop Peter Comensoli, Bishop Bosco Puthur of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy, Ambassador McCarthy, Business Manager for the Archdiocese of Sydney, Danny Casey, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Monsignor John Usher, Sister Maria Casey RSJ former postulator for the Cause of St Mary MacKillop, and artist and art patron, Australian-born  Princess Nike Arrighi Borghese .

Over 200 Girls Kidnapped in Nigeria from School to be sold as Slaves - Please Pray

ASIA NEWS IT REPORT: After their capture, 53 of the 276 abducted girls managed to escape. Now they are praying for their schoolmates, who might be sold in Chad, Cameroon and other neighbouring countries for $ 12. Boko Haram's arsenal is more modern and sophisticated than that of Nigeria's regular army. Its actions could influence upcoming elections.Lagos (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility yesterday for the abduction of more than two hundred girls from their boarding school on 14 April in northern Nigeria, claiming that they did it "by Allah" in order to sell them into slavery or forcibly marry them off.
"I abducted your girls," Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video in which he boasts of his success in abducting 276 schoolgirls from their dormitory in Chibok (Borno state), mostly between 16 and 18 years. Some 53 of them managed however to escape and return home.
"Girls, you should go and get married," he is also heard saying, dressed in fatigues, standing in front of an armoured vehicle and two vans with two machine guns; six armed men, their faces covered, flanking him.
Although the images are blurry, the Islamist chief is clearly recognisable in the 57-minute video, "I will sell them in the market, by Allah," Shekau also said, adding that "Western education should end," and "I will marry off a woman at the age of 12. I will marry off a girl at the age of nine."
In the first part of the video, Shekau also expressed his contempt for democracy, Western education and those who do not believe in Islam.
According to local unconfirmed reports, the victims might have already been taken across the border into Cameroon and Chad. Other reports last week said that some of the girls were sold for US$ 12.
Over the past two years, Boko Haram (which means 'Western education is sinful') has carried out a series of terrorist attacks against churches, schools and places where Christians and Muslims meet, killing more than 1,500 people.
Many Nigerians are frustrated by the inability of their government, police and armed forces to ensure security and defeat the Islamist group that, according to observers, has more modern and sophisticated weapons and equipment than the regular army.
"I'm so sad now because when I'm at home I think about all my school friends who are there in the bush," said one of the girls that managed to escape. "I hope they are set free. We are all praying for God to release them so they come back home."

As Nigerians get ready to go to the polls next year, "It is also feared that Boko Haram could escalate attacks to undermine the elections," said the International Crisis Group (ICG) in its latest report on the insecurity plaguing Nigeria.

Saint May 7 : St. John of Beverley - Bishop - Died 721 - England

St. John of Beverley
Feast: May 7

Feast Day:May 7
Died:7 May 721, Beverley
This illustrious saint was born at Harpham, a village in the province of the Deiri, which comprised Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the rest of the kingdom of the Northumbers, on the south side of the Tyne; what lay beyond it being called Bernicia.
An earnest desire of qualifying himself for the service of God drew him young into Kent, where he made great progress in learning and piety, in the famous school of St. Theodorus, the archbishop, under the direction of the holy abbot Adrian.
Afterwards returning into his own country, he pursued the exercises of piety in the monastery of men under St. Hilda at Whithy; till in the beginning of the reign of king Alfred, upon the death of Eata, he was made bishop of Hagulstad, or Hexam. What time he had to spare from his functions he consecrated to heavenly contemplation; retiring for that purpose into the churchyard of St. Michael's, beyond the river Tyne, about a mile and a half from Hagulstad, especially during the forty days of Lent. He was accustomed to take with him some poor person, whom he served during that time.
Once in the beginning of a Lent, he took with him a dumb youth, who never had been able to utter one word, and whose head was covered with hideous scabs and scales, without any hair. The saint caused a mansion to be built for this sick youth within his enclosure, and often admitted him into his own cell. On the second Sunday he made the sign of the cross upon his tongue, and loosed it. Then. he taught him to say , which signifies in Saxon , or ; then the letters of the alphabet, A, B, C, and afterwards syllables and words. Thus the youth miraculously obtained his speech.
Moreover, by the saint's blessing the remedies prescribed by  a physician whom he employed, his head was entirely healed, and became covered with hair. When St. Wilfred returned from banishment, St. John yielded up to him the see of Hagulstad: but some time after, upon the death of Bosa, a man of great sanctity and humility, as Bede testifies, he was placed in the archiepiscopal chair of York. Venerable Bede, who received the holy orders of deacon and priest at his hands, gives ample testimony to his sanctity; and relates the instantaneous cure of the sick wife of a neighboring thane or lord, by holy water, and several other miracles performed by him, from the testimony of Bercthun, abbot of Beverley, and Herebald, abbot of Tinmouth, who had been eye-witnesses to several of them. St. John made frequent retirement his delight, to renew thereby his spirit of devotion, lest the dissipation of exterior employs should extinguish it.
He chose for his retreat a monastery which he had built at Beverley, then a forest, now a market-town, twenty-seven miles from York. This monastery, according to the custom of those times, he erected for the use of both sexes, and put it under the government of his disciple, Bercthun, or Brithun, first abbot of Beverley, then called Endeirwood, or wood of the Deiri. In 717, being much broken with age and fatigues, he resigned his bishopric to his chaplain, St. Wilfrid the, younger, and having ordained him bishop of York, he retired to Beverley, where he spent the remaining four years of his life in the punctual performance of all monastic duties. He died there the death of the just, on the 7th of May, 721. His successor governed the see of York fifteen years, was a great lover of the beauty of God's house and is named among the saints, April the 29th. The monastery of Beverley having been destroyed by the Danes, king Athelstan, who had obtained a great victory over the Scots by the intercession of St. John, founded in his honor, in the same place, a rich collegiate church of canons.
King Henry V. attributed to the intercession of this saint the glorious victory of Agincourt, on which occasion a synod, in 1416, ordered his festival to be solemnly kept over all England. Henschenius the Bollandist, in the second tome of May, has published four books of the miracles wrought at the relics of Saint John of Beverley, written by eye-witnesses. His sacred bones were honorably translated into the church by Alfric, archbishop of York, in 1037: a feast in honor of which translation was kept at York on the 25th of October.
On the 13th of September, (not the 24th, as Mr. Stevens says,) in 1664, the sexton, digging a grave in the church of Beverley, discovered a vault of freestone, in which was a box of lead, containing several pieces of bones, with some dust, yielding a sweet smell; with inscriptions, by which it appeared that these were the mortal remains of St. John of Beverley, as we read in Dugdale's History of the Collegiate Church of Beverley, who has transcribed them, p. 57. These relics had been hid in the beginning of the reign of king Edward VI. Dugdale and Stevens testify, that they were all reinterred in the middle-alley of the same church.
Alcuin had an extraordinary devotion to St. John of Beverley, and in his poem on the saints of York, published by Thomas Gale gives a long history of the miracles wrought by him from verse 1085 to 1215. Rabanus Maurus has placed Alcuin in his Martyrology on the 19th of May, and Henschenius on that day gives his life, and mentions several private Martyrologies in which his name is found, though he has never been anywhere honored in the office of the church.


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