Thursday, September 4, 2014

Catholic News World : Thursday September 4, 2014 - Share!


Pope Francis meets with former President of Israel and of Jordan

Saint September 4 : Blessed Dina Belanger : Pianist and Nun

MICHAEL Journal: 

Dina Belanger was born in Quebec, Canada, on April 30th, 1897. Olivier and Seraphia Belanger were quite well off and lavished a great deal of attention on their only child. Although this could have made Dina quite spoiled, they were very careful that their precious little girl would only know and understand that which would keep her holy and pure.
Dina’s parents were truly the essence of devotion and Christian love that every mother or father could hope to achieve. They carefully trained their little girl to shun every offense against God, even the most involuntary. And from her earliest moments, Dina strove to please them. She would say later: "Only in Heaven will I understand the watchfulness, devotedness and love of my mother and father. It is one of the greatest heavenly favors, to be born and to live in a climate of peace, union, charity, sublime example and constant conformity to the designs of Providence" ... "To prove my gratitude to them, I have but one duty – and a very pressing duty: to become holy. It is a sacred obligation. If I fail in this, I am devoid of filial devotion; I do not deserve to be called their child."
Dina’s mother taught her how to pray and sing to God. As soon as Dina could follow along, she would unite herself with her mother in singing hymns of praise to Heaven. Mrs. Belanger would also take her small daughter to prayer meetings and other religious functions. One day, when Dina was four years old, her mother took her to a retreat being preached in honor of St. Francis Xavier. The priest spoke about Hell. The following night, Dina experienced a dream that she would never forget.
In her dream, she envisioned horrible demons, bright-red, rushing in and out of a railway train. They moved constantly and were full of distress. The fear she felt upon seeing them crushed Dina; the sight of these repulsive creatures gave her great pain. Afterwards, she described this dream as a great grace because she had only to remember it and she experienced a hatred and fear of sin equal to the sight of the demons. This attitude towards sin would follow her throughout her entire life.
During her childhood years, Dina often demonstrated tendencies to be strong-willed and obstinate. Her parents however, watchfully corrected this bad behavior. Later Dina would say of them, "How grateful I am to my parents for having known how to love me in the fullest sense of the word! For true love presupposes correction. What would have become of me had I been left to the mercy of my pride, my obstinacy, my whims, my unjustifiable roguishness. I would have been all the more ill-humored and unbearable because of being brought up on my own, never being thwarted by other children; and later on, I would never have been able to get on with people or be tolerated without unwittingly causing everyone else to suffer. My God, thank you for making my parents teach me to obey them."
Dina’s training in religion
Dina accompanied her mother during her charitable visits to the poor. These works of charity were not without sacrifice. However, the Belanger family conducted them in secret. More often than not, the individuals never knew who their benefactors were. God loves a generous giver and the parents of Dina are certainly recorded in the Book of Grace inscribed in Heaven, because of how they opened their hearts to the poor.
Dina’s education began with the faith. For these holy parents, everything good was simply attributed to God. Because of this Dina learned the advantage of a good relationship with God very quickly. She was a good student; she loved to study and took on her work with much enthusiasm. Often she would go with her parents to convents in Montreal and it was there, witnessing the investiture of a cousin into the convent, that she first became conscious of her desire for the religious life.
After her first confession, the unique attentions and favors she received from Our Lord started to increase. At the age of six, she started her formal education at the Congregation of Notre Dame. She describes herself during this time: "I was extremely shy and sensitive: the slightest thing made me cry. With unrelenting ambition, I aimed at first place; if I failed, I worked quickly to recover lost ground. Obedience came easily to me. I carried out the least recommendation as faithfully and promptly as I did the sternest commands."
Prayer-time at the school was very attractive to Dina. She would often go to evening prayers, with her mother watching from the window. One day, her teacher asked her who her patron saint was. Dina did not know the answer and so said to herself: "Very well! I will be a saint. I will provide a patron for those who will bear my name!"
Her First Holy Communion
At the age of eight, Dina began piano lessons and became very proficient in music. It became her own special way of praising God and through the melody, Dina would offer her thoughts of love to Jesus. Soon after, she made her First Holy Communion and Confirmation. She describes this great event in her life: "When I had received Holy Communion in the morning, I had no fear of exterior events" ... "I became much more recollected in prayer, avoiding every unnecessary movement and not raising my eyes when I was reading my prayer book. My conscience was extremely delicate: the slightest suggestion (of evil) made me tremble, for fear of causing my Jesus any pain: insignificant things seemed worthy of great fidelity."
At the age of eleven, Dina received her intermediate grade diploma for piano. She began to compete in various events, although any compliment was always received as a praise to God for her accomplishments. She would say: "Thank you but the credit is not mine; God did it, and I am merely His instrument."
At the age of thirteen, Dina consecrated herself to Mary through the devotion of Blessed Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort. This great blessing gave her much consolation and she abandoned herself to Mary’s care. Her studies continued, and she continued to devote a great deal of her time to her spiritual life. She listened with care to all sermons and other religious instruction.
She says: "I was an extremist by nature; I was dedicated to goodness, so I was determined to achieve perfection. If, one day, when grace left me to my own devices, I had said: ‘I am not going to follow the path of duty any longer’, I would have gone to any length. How good the infinite Master was to constrain me to follow Him!"
When she was sixteen, she asked her parents permission to enter the novitiate. However, because she was so young, they told her to wait. With her characteristic obedience, Dina acquiesced to her parents wishes. During these years of her life, she spent many pleasant hours with her family and friends. She joined several charitable organizations and did much volunteer work, visiting the sick and those in need.
Musical studies
Concert Pianist
Her music education continued and she earned her diplomas quickly. "This musical study brought me closer to God; I offered him each note I played as an act of perfect love. My hours of practice often turned into a meditation, especially when the pieces were slow and rather reflective in style." Although performing caused her nothing but aversion, she never showed it and was always gracious and pleasing.
At the end of 1915, it was decided that Dina would continue her musical training at the New York Conservatory of Music. Because this was a two-year course, Dina went with two companions who would later join a religious order also. Dina was loath to leave the safety of her parents care, but in a true spirit of obedience, she left for the United States.
The young Canadians stayed at the convent of the Ladies of Jesus and Mary. There was a chapel close to the entrance of the convent, and Dina never lost the opportunity to visit and speak with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Dina immersed herself in her studies with vigor, but with a natural prudence, frequented popular entertainment very seldom.
"My divine Master took the shortest possible route to ensure that I soon arrived at a desire to be humiliated and despised. On His part, this was not achieved in a moment, a day or a week, but was an incessant task – an attitude which was infiltrating my mind, a truth which was taking root in my heart never to be banished. They were invaluable resources from which I learnt to cherish humility as a pearl beyond price, and one day I wanted to gain possession of it. It made me indifferent to the opinion of others... Jesus did not want me to take any pleasure in my efforts, and He permitted that, by my way of acting, others could not suspect what was going on within me. What I am writing at this moment may seem very obscure; the divine action is so profound that I am powerless to put it into words."
Her deepening spiritual life
During the three years before Dina was to enter the convent, she experienced a terrible spiritual trial. All spiritual exercises became a source of aridity; prayers and meditations were a constant struggle. Despite this, Dina persisted in an intense prayer life, never neglecting even the slightest devotion. It was during the beginning of this trial that she began to hear the voice of Jesus speaking in her heart.
She says: "His light brought unfamiliar representations before the eyes of my imagination. I prayed a great deal about this voice and these representations. I was assured that they were my divine Master teaching me; anything that speaks of obedience, humiliation and self-sacrifice can come only from Him. I begged the grace not to allow myself to be ensnared by the evil spirit... I again told Our Lord of my ardent and sincere desire to love Him with a pure love and of my confidence in His goodness which could not allow me to give way to illusion against my will."
Our Lord helped Dina to understand that when He was speaking to her, than all was calm and at peace. However, when Satan tried to manifest himself as something other than he is, everything became noisy and disturbing. "I want to explain once and for all the expression that I shall use, such as: I saw... Jesus said to me... and other similar expressions. They mean I saw in my imagination, and Jesus told me by an interior voice which every soul hears in the depths of his heart in moments of divine consolation."
To make reparation for sacrileges committed against Jesus and the salvation of souls became two duties that Dina took upon herself to carry out. Throughout the rest of her earthly life, she was to concentrate on these two themes. Her sufferings and sacrifices brought countless souls to Heaven. For three years, Dina continued her studies in music by correspondence. This time filled her with much anticipation, because her love for the cloister through the years had never ceased. Then in the summer of 1920, Jesus spoke to her and told her to join the Congregation of Jesus and Mary. Good-byes’ to her mother and father were said. The day so long desired had come at last.
Dina enters the convent
Sister Mary Cecile of Rome
Dina entered the convent on August 11, 1921. Dina’s spiritual darkness intensified to the point that, as the sister’s admitted her within the convent walls, she had a distinct sense of repugnance. In her words: "I felt utterly dry. Far from experiencing the least emotion, my heart was cold as marble, as hard as a rock."
Dina’s postulancy was extremely difficult; the devil was always there to try to discourage her from her life’s mission. However, her intimate union with Jesus protected her and she resolved to put all her old life behind her and begin anew. She would not even allow memories from the past to distract her from her intense desire to follow her new way of life perfectly.
After a retreat while she was still a postulant, Dina made a summary of her plan for the future: "To obey blindly, to suffer with joy, and to love to the point of martyrdom!" Dina clung to her vocation and often said that to go back to the world would have been the cruelest suffering. Mother Superior instructed her to teach young people the piano and Dina undertook this new task with enthusiasm. In her young students, she saw the image of God.
On February 15, 1922, Dina went into the novitiate and took the name of Sister Mary St. Cecilia of Rome. She prayed to St. Cecilia: "Holy spouse of Jesus, my desire is to sing with you: I love my Christ. To honor you, I desire an immortal and noble crown, like yours. In heaven, I want to be adorned with the robes associated with your three claims to glory. Prepare a lyre for me, tune it with your own. Together we will sing a canticle of love, we will compose an eternal symphony of rich chords for the glory of the Eternal."
During the next few months, Dina wished fervently to progress further in holiness. During this time, she spent time writing thoughts and poems to her beloved Jesus, along with teaching music. Her one wish was to remain hidden in the confines of the cloistered life.
Jesus began to favor her with many insights into the divine mysteries. During Lent He shared with Dina a unique understanding of His divine Passion and she gained a greater knowledge of His love for her. "I longed for the moment when I would surrender myself to Jesus, in reality, as His Spouse, committing myself by the holy vows, I received this special permission and the day chosen was a Saturday, the 25th of March, feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin. A happy coincidence!"
Complete abandonment to Jesus
On the day of her profession, Dina took as her ideal the complete substitution of herself for her loving Jesus. She wished to remain so united with Him, that her thoughts, words and deeds would come from Him and her will would be entirely subjected to His. She repeated an examination of conscience frequently, always delving deeper and drawing ever closer to her beloved Spouse.
"In this way, I realized that I was an apostle of love. The divine Mendicant convinced me of the truth that men on earth are dependant on one another, for their spiritual as well as their social life. I had a moral responsibility towards all the souls throughout the world, those living at the present time and those who would be created in the future.
"This is the reason: the actions of Jesus are infinite in value; one single act of love offered by Him to the Father could save millions of worlds. Hence, if I remained annihilated, the Savior, hidden beneath the cloak of my exterior being, could freely carry out His pastoral mission, baptizing and purifying souls in His Blood, bringing them to perfection, enabling them to run towards the fragrance of His perfume. But, alas! If I simply hesitated to remain in the state of death, if for one moment I desired to be born again out of dust, then I would interrupt the action of Jesus; perhaps just at that moment He was ready to shed a torrent of graces on the entire universe and, if I placed an obstacle in His way, I would become responsible for the lack of good accomplished because of an absence of divine light. The Master was beginning to trace out for me the nature of the mission about which He had spoken to me some time before I entered the novitiate."
Dina became sick with tuberculosis during this time and began to spend many hours in the infirmary. However, because of her intimate union with Jesus, she often lost count of the days spent there. During the Holy Mass, she would receive visions of celebrations in Heaven which transported her soul into paradise. She would often hear the choirs of Heaven and she said: "I can no longer find pleasure in earthly harmonies and melodies. No! No! Even at their most perfect, they are but a faint murmur, lacking warmth. Oh! How captivating are the heavenly harmonies!"
Jesus continued to ask her to write about whatever she saw or heard. Her understanding of heavenly things grew and so did her love for God. She had many battles with the devil and although she suffered much because of this, by following the counsels of Jesus, she became more virtuous as a result of them.
As her illness progressed, Dina was told to give up her music students. She obeyed with the same willingness she showed in all things, although this new sacrifice cost her very much indeed. Our Lord asked her to accept or perform all acts of self-denial without dwelling on them. Although she was forbidden to go to Mass very often due to her illness, she was there in spirit. Her soul would fly towards her beloved Spouse in the Blessed Sacrament.
The salvation of souls
During the month of October, 1924, Dina revealed how God inspired her with a hunger for the salvation of souls. She united herself with Jesus to do reparation for the evil that had been done so that souls, who were on the danger of being eternally damned, would be saved and brought to eternal happiness.
God gave Dina to understand that she was nothing and that in accepting His will, her responsibility did not weigh her down, but gave her freedom. He told her that on earth millions of souls were depending on her willingness to conform and abandon herself to the divine action.
On February 16, 1925, Dina was given a special insight into Jesus in the Eucharist. The veil of mystery was torn apart and she beheld God in His true presence. "He is there, my God, infinite Unity, adorable Trinity, under the appearance of a small piece of bread. Jesus is there, in His sacred Humanity, His Heart, His precious Blood, His Soul, His eternal Divinity; He is there, whole and entire, in each Host consecrated throughout the world and in each fragment of consecrated Host." Jesus told her: "You will not possess me more in Heaven, because I have absorbed you totally."
Her spiritual desert continued throughout this time of grace. Dryness, aversion, temptation to discouragement and despair: all of these things she experienced. However, the peace in her soul was never disturbed and she often said that she was content, even in the midst of this spiritual dryness. She was given insight on the angels and saints in Heaven and the Blessed Trinity.
The importance of consecrated life
Dina made a vow of total perfection, something which she had wanted to do since she was a novice. Now that her superiors finally gave her permission, her joy was complete. Her submission to the Divine Will grew in leaps and bounds; because of this the devil continued to torment her and above all tried to prevent her from receiving Holy Communion. Many times, it was only because of her obedience that she was able to receive.
Jesus let her know in a special way how the link between souls is so important and especially those who are consecrated to Him in the religious life: "I am letting you see the whole multitude of consecrated souls, to the end of time, so that you will understand how even one soul completely given over to me can radiate on all the other souls. You can see that, through it, my rays reach out into the distance, far into the distance, to the furthest end, meaning that I am doing good until the end of time.
"I call upon all consecrated souls to abandon themselves totally to me, to let themselves be filled by me, to let me act freely in them and to shine through them as I will. I call upon all of them. And you see how few there are who do not refuse me anything. In all this multitude, in each soul, nothing human should be visible, only me, me alone. When my heavenly Father looks upon consecrated souls, he should recognize and see only me in each one of them. Alas! This is far from being the case!
"My little Bride, listen... listen well... If all consecrated souls refused me nothing, if they allowed me to act freely in them all the time, all other souls would be saved. Yes, all other souls would be saved. Seeing only me, his well-beloved Son, in consecrated souls, hearing only my divine voice, my heavenly Father could not refuse them anything... pray and intercede with my divine Father. Intercede, that means praying earnestly, praying untiringly, praying with the certainty of being given what you are asking. Pray and intercede!"
From this moment onwards and for the rest of her life on earth, Dina prayed constantly for the conversion of consecrated souls. Her suffering augmented as she threw herself into the light of God’s grace and worked to wrest souls from the snares of the devil. He fought with her with all his strength; but her trust in the love of Jesus won many souls for Heaven. Although she often felt totally abandoned by God, in those same moments He was showering graces of pardon and purity upon the earth and saving many souls. She said: "I am undertaking a completely new life, a life of consuming love."
Perpetual vows and death

On August 15, 1928, Dina Belanger made her perpetual vows in the Congregation of Jesus and Mary. What a great joy she felt as she became the spouse of Christ forever and was united for eternity with Him.
The following year Dina’s health started to decline very quickly. Because she could not write anymore, one of the sisters was always with her to take down the reflections and interior inspirations she received from Our Lord. They said that when they went to visit her in the infirmary, it was like walking into a sanctuary. Her love of suffering found goodness and delight in all the moments of her last days on earth. Although sometimes in excruciating pain, she continued to smile and her face was shining with happiness at being able to suffer for her Jesus.
"This general weakness, this sense of oppression, these violent spasms of pain... they are all a consummation of every moment (of my life)... I feel I am being torn to pieces and destroyed for Him... How good it is!..." As the end approached, she was fully conscious and joined in the prayers for the dying with the other sisters. At about three in the afternoon her breath slowed and she said, "I am suffocating." She left in the same position as St. Therese of Lisieux, almost sitting up in the bed with her gaze fixed on Heaven. Dina died September 4th, 1929, at the age of thirty-three years old.
Cardinal Rouleau, Archbishop of Quebec at that time, wrote to the Mother Superior after reading Dina’s autobiography. He said: "These pages, radiant with faith and divine love, reveal to us the increasingly profound working of Our Lord in the soul of his ‘little Bride’. To read and meditate on these writings can bring only profit, especially to souls consecrated to the Lord."

Indeed, in the life of Blessed Dina Belanger we can find an unfailing faith and hope in Jesus. She was beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II on March 20th, 1993. Let us follow her example during these troubled times, when evil grips our world and abandon ourselves to God’s loving and merciful care. May God bless you!
Shared from the Michael Journal

Pope Francis meets with former President of Israel and of Jordan

Pope Francis with Shimon Peres of Israel and Prince Hassan of Jordan

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held two private audiences on Thursday morning, one with the ex-President of Israel, Shimon Peres, and another with Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan. The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, briefed journalists on the audiences. “Peres,” explained Fr. Lombardi, “asked for the audience in order to inform the Pope about his activities and his projects for peace,” which include a joint youth sporting initiative involving “twinned” Israeli and Palestinian cities, in which more than eighty children will participate during the course of the year, and a “United Religions” organization modelled on the United Nations.   Speaking to Vatican Radio after the audiences and the briefing, Fr. Lombardi said that the audience with the former Israeli president lasted roughly forty-five minutes, during which time “The Holy Father expressed all his attention, his respect for President Peres’s initiative, and guaranteed the attention of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, which are particularly committed to [peacebuilding and religious-cultural understanding], most especially the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, with Cardinals Tauran and Turkson [at their respective heads].”
About the former president’s proposal for a “United Religions” organization, Fr. Lombardi said that it was a topic discussed during the audience, and an occasion also to revisit the historic meeting at the Vatican, in which then-President Peres participated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “The prayer for peace initiative which took place here at the Vatican, with the participation of Peres and [Abbas],” said Fr. Lombardi, “is in no wise to be considered a failure – subsequent developments notwithstanding – but rather as the opening of a door that remains open, through which initiatives and values can be encouraged to develop and go forward - something that Pope Francis stressed to me following the audience, in agreement with President Peres.”
The audience with Prince Hassan of Jordan was of equal importance and similar scope, with the Prince presenting the work of the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue, of which the prince is founder and co-chairman, as well as the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies, of which the prince is also a founder. “The activity of the Foundation, of the Institute that [Prince Hassan] has founded,” said Fr. Lombardi, “is entirely directed toward interreligious dialogue and commitment to peace, in the current context of violence: the importance of dialogue among the religions for human dignity and peace, to helping the poor in the time of globalilzation, to the education of young people in fraternity, to insistence on respect and on the dignity of persons.” 
 Fr. Lombardi also briefed journalists on a wide array of other topics, including the meeting of the Council for the Economy – taking place all day Thursday in order to examine technical legal issues associated with the reform of the Vatican’s financial and administrative institutions – and the possibility of a meeting between the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, and the head of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, which Fr. Lombardi was able to confirm is being planned, though a firm date has not yet been set for it.

10 Tips to Prevent Depression - Q and A about Suicide and the Church - SHARE

1. LOVE GOD. Offer up all sufferings to Him. Rely on Him for this strength. Remember you are safe in His care. God to Church Regulary (Daily or Weekly)
2. GO TO CONFESSION regularly. This Sacrament was instituted by Jesus in the Bible. Unconfessed sin can often lead to depression. (Weekly or Monthly)
3. PRAY every single day. JESUS is your BEST friend. Someone you talk to every hour, every moment - as often as you can. Tell Him about your sufferings, joys, fears and sins. Also PRAY specific Prayers like the Rosary, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and other Prayers.
4. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS and Stop thinking negatively. Remember those less fortunate than us, either spiritually or financially. Try not compare your life to others. Be Happy with what God has given you in your life. Good and Bad. Things can always be worse.
5. SLEEP WELL...Lack of sleep can lead to toxins and the mind cannot cope with lack of sleep. Nap periodically through the day.
6. FOOD plays a very large part on what we feel like. Eat lighter meals, and avoid foods that can lead to depression. Most importantly cut out junk food.
7. EXERCISE. Regular walks can help the body cleanse toxins that can lead to depression.
8. Start a HOBBY and or do things to keep busy.   For instance learning music can release anti-depressant chemicals in the brain and combat Depression. (Join your Church Choir)
10. KNOW THAT ALL THINGS PASS. This is hard to remember when we are struggling. But try to remember the last time you were happy. Remind yourself that happy days will come again and that Heaven is Eternal Happiness...
Keep contact with family and friends as well.  Family can sometimes become the reason for our depression instead of support. If this is the situation, find good friends you can trust, and that will support you. 
There are times that depression can be serious and does need to be treated. If you have a chemical reason for your depression these tips will help as you as you treat it. You might need to seek counsel or medical treatment.
Above all maintain an ordered life, – try not to sin, go to confession, go to Church and Pray this will help prevent Depression.
Questions and Answers - What does the Catholic Church Teach?
What is Suicide?
Suicide is a mortal sin
To kill oneself is a violation of the fifth commandment.  It is a mortal sin.  “Thou shall not kill.”  The Catholic Church teaches that is a mortal sin to kill.  The Catholic Church stands in defense of life from the moment of conception to the time of natural death.

What is the Catholic Church's position on suicide? According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church1: Suicide
 2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.
 2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.
2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law. Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.
 2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.
What does the Catholic Church teach about Purgatory?
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.604 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire.605
As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.606
Prayer against Depression - by Saint Ignatius of Loyola 
O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of Your presence, Your love, and Your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things. By Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Prayer for People Who Have Committed Suicide

Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father, we understand that Thy sixth commandment, "Thou shalt do no murder," includes self murder. But in Thy divine mercy, we beg Thy forgiveness especially for (name), who have been so confounded by the pressures of this life that they felt there was no way they could continue. Grant, we beseech Thee, that they be forgiven their terrible sin and accepted into Thy divine providence, and that they may come to understand Thy ways and Thy nature. We ask this in Jesus Christ's name.

Prayer for Deliverance

My Lord, You are all powerful, You are God, You are Father. We beg You through the intercession and help of the archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel, for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All saints of heaven, come to our aid.

From anxiety, sadness, and obsessions, we beg You: Free us, O Lord. From hatred, fornication, and envy, we beg You: Free us, O Lord. From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death, we beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every thought of suicide and abortion, we beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every form of sinful sexuality, we beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship, we beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult, we beg You: Free us, O Lord.

Lord, You Who said: "I leave You peace, My Peace I give You," grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every evil spell and enjoy Your peace always. In the Name of Christ, our Lord.

Today's Mass Readings : Thursday September 4, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 434

Reading 11 COR 3:18-23

Brothers and sisters:
Let no one deceive himself.
If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age,
let him become a fool, so as to become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God,
for it is written:

God catches the wise in their own ruses,

and again:

The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you,
Paul or Apollos or Cephas,
or the world or life or death,
or the present or the future:
all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 24:1BC-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R. (1) To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.

Gospel LK 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon said in reply,
“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

Pope Francis “Become fools – don’t search for security in your knowledge or in the knowledge of the world”. Homily

Pope Francis at Santa Marta
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday reflected on the transforming grace of God’s Word and invited Christians to recognize their sins and let themselves be transformed by their encounter with Christ.
The Pope was addressing the faithful gathered for morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. During his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians which reads: “If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool, so as to become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God”.
Paul – he said – is telling us that it is the power of God’s Word that brings about a true change of heart, that has the strength  to change the world, giving us hope, giving us life.
He pointed out that this power is not to be found in human knowledge or in man’s intelligence. “Become fools” – Francis exhorted – don’t search for security in your knowledge or in the knowledge of the world”.
And the Pope said that although Paul had studied with the most knowledgeable teachers of his time, he never boasted of his knowledge. In a “scandalous” way – Francis said – he boasted of his sins and of his encounter with Christ and the crucifix, because that encounter between his sins and the blood of Christ is the only salvific encounter there is. And when we forget that encounter – the Pope said – we lose the power of Christ’s strength and we speak of the things of God with a human language, And  this – he said – is useless.
Pope Francis also recalled the Gospel story of Peter and the miraculous catch of fish during which Peter said to Jesus: “Go away from me Lord for I am a sinful man”. In this moment of meeting between his sins and Christ, the Pope said Peter finds salvation.
So, the Pope said: “the privileged place for an encounter with Christ are our sins. If a Christian is incapable of seeing his sins and his salvation in the blood of Christ, he has only gone half-way. He is a tepid Christian. 
And the Pope pointed to those decadent Churches, decadent parishes, decadent institutions where most certainly Christians have never really met Christ or else they have forgotten that encounter.
Pope Francis concluded his homily inviting the faithful to ask themselves whether they are capable of telling the Lord they are sinners; whether they really believe  the Lord has given them a new life; whether they trust in Christ. Because – he said – a Christian can be boastful of two things: of his sins and of Christ on the cross.

Novena Birth of Mary Mother of Jesus - SHARE - Plenary Indulgence - 5

To all faithful Christians who, in private or public, in church or in their own houses, shall keep any of the following Novenas, in preparation for the principal feasts of most holy Mary, Pope Pius VII., at the prayer of several holy persons, granted, by Rescripts issued through his Eminence the Cardinal-Vicar, Aug. 4 and Nov. 24, 1808, and Jan. 11, 1800 (all of which are kept in the Segretaria of the Vicariate) -
i. An indulgence of 300 days, daily.
ii. A plenary indulgence to all who shall assist at these Novenas every day, and who shall afterwards, either on the Feast-day itself, to which each Novena respectively has reference, or on some one day in its Octave, after Confession and Communion, pray to our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin ac cording to the pious intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.


(Beginning Aug. 30.)

Veni Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.


Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Most holy Mary, Elect One, predestined from all eternity by the Most Holy Trinity to be Mother of the only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, foretold by the Prophets, expected by the Patriarchs, desired by all nations, Sanctuary and living Temple of the Holy Ghost, Sun without stain, conceived free from original sin, Mistress of Heaven and of Earth, Queen of angels:- humbly prostrate at thy feet we give thee our homage, rejoicing that the year has brought round again the memory of thy most happy Nativity; and we pray thee with all our hearts to vouchsafe in thy goodness now to come down again and be reborn spiritually in our souls, that, led captive by thy loveliness and sweetness, they may ever live united to thy most sweet and loving heart.

i. So now whilst we say nine angelic salutations, we will direct our thoughts to the nine months which thou didst pass enclosed in thy mother’s womb; celebrating at the same time thy descent from the royal house of David, and how thou didst come forth to the light of heaven with high honour from the womb of holy Anna, thy most happy mother.
Ave Maria.

ii. We hail thee, heavenly Babe, white Dove of purity; who in spite of the serpent wast conceived free from original sin.
Ave Maria.

iii. We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth.
Ave Maria.

iv. We hail thee, Elect; who, like the untarnished Sun, didst burst forth in the dark night of sin.
Ave Maria.

v. We hail thee, beauteous Moon; who didst shed light upon a world wrapt in the darkness of idolatry.
Ave Maria.

vi. We hail thee, dread Warrior-Queen; who, in thyself a host, didst put to flight all hell.
Ave Maria.

vii. We hail thee, fair Soul of Mary; who from eternity wast possessed by God and God alone.
Ave Maria.

viii. We hail thee, dear Child, and we humbly venerate thy most holy infant body, the sacred swaddling-clothes wherewith they bound thee, the sacred crib wherein they laid thee, and we bless the hour and the day when thou wast born.
Ave Maria.

ix. We hail thee, much-loved Infant, adorned with every virtue immeasurably above all saints, and therefore worthy Mother of the Saviour of the world; who, having been made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, didst bring forth the Word Incarnate.
Ave Maria.


O most lovely Infant, who by thy holy birth hast comforted the world, made glad the heavens, struck terror into hell, brought help to the fallen, consolation to the sad, salvation to the weak, joy to all men living; we entreat thee, with the most fervent love and gratitude, to be spiritually reborn in our souls by means of thy most holy love; renew our spirits to thy service, rekindle in our hearts the fire of charity, bid all the virtues blossom there, that so we may find more and more favour in thy gracious eyes. Mary! be thou our Mary, and may we feel the saving power of thy sweetest name; may it ever be our comfort to call on that name in all our troubles; may it be our hope in dangers, our shield in temptation, and our last utterance in death. Sit nomen Mariae mel in ore, melos in aure, et jubilus in corde. Amen. Let the name of Mary be honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, joy in the heart. Amen.

V. Nativitas tua, Dei Genitrix Virgo.
R. Gaudium annuntiavit universo mundo.

Famulis tuis, quaesumus Domine, coelestis gratiae munus impertire: ut quibus Beata Virginis partus extitit salutis exordium, nativitatis ejus votiva solemnitas pacis tribuat incrementum.

Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.


V. Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God.
R. Hath brought joy to the whole world.

Let us pray.
Grant to us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace; that to all those for whom the delivery of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, this her votive festival may give increase of peace. Through, &c.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Saint September 4 : Saint Boniface I : Pope

St. Boniface I
Feast: September 4
Information: Feast Day: September 4
Died: September 4, 422
Elected 28 December, 418; d. at Rome, 4 September, 422. Little is known of his life antecedent to his election. The "Liber Pontificalis" calls him a Roman, and the son of the presbyter Jocundus. He is believed to have been ordained by Pope Damasus I (366-384) and to have served as representative of Innocent I at Constantinople (c. 405).
At he death of Pope Zosimus, the Roman Church entered into the fifth of the schisms, resulting from double papal elections, which so disturbed her peace during the early centuries. Just after Zosimus's obsequies, 27 December, 418, a faction of the Roman clergy consisting principally of deacons seized the Lateran basilica and elected as pope the Archdeacon Eulalius. The higher clergy tried to enter, but were violently repulsed by a mob of adherents of the Eulalian party. On the following day they met in the church of Theodora and elected as pope, much against his will, the aged Boniface, a priest highly esteemed for his charity, learning, and good character. On Sunday, 29 December, both were consecrated, Boniface in the Basilica of St. Marcellus, supported by nine provincial bishops and some seventy priests; Eulalius in the Lateran basilica in the presence of the deacons, a few priests and the Bishop of Ostia, who was summoned from his sickbed to assist at the ordination. Each claimant proceeded to act as pope, and Rome was thrown into tumultuous confusion by the clash of the rival factions. The Prefect of Rome, Symmachus, hostile to Boniface, reported the trouble to the Emperor Honorius at Ravenna, and secured the imperial confirmation of Eulalius's election. Boniface was expelled from the city. His adherents, however, secured a hearing from the emperor who called a synod of Italian bishops at Ravenna to meet the rival popes and discuss the situation (February, March, 419). Unable to reach a decision, the synod made a few practical provisions pending a general council of Italian, Gaulish, and African bishops to be convened in May to settle the difficulty. It ordered both claimants to leave Rome until a decision was reached and forbade return under penalty of condemnation. As Easter, 30 March, was approaching, Achilleus, Bishop of Spoleto, was deputed to conduct the paschal services in the vacant Roman See. Boniface was sent, it seems, to the cemetery of St. Felicitas on the Via Salaria, and Eulalius to Antium. On 18 March, Eulalius boldly returned to Rome, gathered his partisans, stirred up strife anew, and spurning the prefect's orders to leave the city, seized the Lateran basilica on Holy Saturday (29 March), determined to preside at the paschal ceremonies. The imperial troops were required to dispossess him and make it possible for Achilleus to conduct the services. The emperor was deeply indignant at these proceedings and refusing to consider again the claims of Eulalius, recognizedBoniface as legitimate pope (3 April, 418). The latter re-entered Rome 10 April and was acclaimed by the people. Eulalius was madeBishop either of Nepi in Tuscany or of some Campanian see, according to the conflicting data of the sources of the "Liber Pontificalis". The schism had lasted fifteen weeks. Early in 420, the pope's critical illness encouraged the artisans of Eulalius to make another effort. On his recovery Boniface requested the emperor (1 July, 420) to make some provision against possible renewal of the schism in the event of his death. Honorius enacted a law providing that, in contested Papal elections, neither claimant should be recognized and a new election should be held.
Boniface's reign was marked by great zeal and activity in disciplinary organization and control. He reversed his predecessor's policy of endowing certain Western bishops with extraordinary papal vicariate powers. Zosimus had given to Patroclus, Bishop of Arles, extensive jurisdiction in the provinces of Vienna and Narbonne, and had made him an intermediary between these provinces and the Apostolic See. Boniface diminished these primatial rights and restored the metropolitan powers of the chief bishops of provinces. Thus he sustained Hilary, Archbishop of Narbonne, in his choice of a bishop of the vacant See of Lodeve, against Patroclus, who tried to intrude another (422). So, too, he insisted that Maximus, Bishop of Valence, should be tried for his alleged crimes, not by a primate, but by a synod of the bishops of Gaul, and promised to sustain their decision (419). Boniface succeeded to Zosimus's difficulties with the African Church regarding appeals to Rome and, in particular, the case of Apiarius. The Council of Carthage, having heard the representations of Zosimus's legates, sent to Boniface on 31 May, 419, a letter in reply to the commonitorium of his predecessor. It stated that the council had been unable to verify the canons which the legates had quoted as Nicene, but which were later found to be Sardican. It agreed, however, to observe them until verification could be established. This letter is often cited in illustration of the defiant attitude of theAfrican Church to the Roman See. An unbiased study of it, however, must lead to no more extreme conclusion than that of Dom Chapman: "it was written in considerable irritation, yet in a studiously moderate tone" (Dublin Review. July, 1901, 109-119). TheAfricans were irritated at the insolence of Boniface's legates and incensed at being urged to obey laws which they thought were not consistently enforced at Rome. This they told Boniface in no uncertain language; yet, far from repudiating his authority, they promised to obey the suspected laws thus recognizing the pope's office as guardian of the Church's discipline. In 422 Boniface received the appeal of Anthony of Fussula who, through the efforts of St. Augustine, had been deposed by a provincial synod of Numidia, and decided that he should be restored if his innocence be established. Boniface ardently supported St. Augustine in combating Pelagianism. Having received two Pelagian letters calumniating Augustine, he sent them to him. In recognition of this solicitude Augustine dedicated to Boniface his rejoinder contained in "Contra duas Epistolas Pelagianoruin Libri quatuor".
In the East he zealously maintained his jurisdiction over the ecclesiastical provinces of Illyricurn, of which the Patriarch of Constantinople was trying to secure control on account of their becoming a part of the Eastern empire. The Bishop of Thessalonica had been constituted papal vicar in this territory, exercising jurisdiction over the metropolitans and bishops. By letters to Rufus, the contemporary incumbent of the see, Boniface watched closely over the interests of the Illyrian church and insisted on obedience to Rome. In 421 dissatisfaction expressed by certain malcontents among the bishops, on account of the pope's refusal to confirm the election of Perigines as Bishop of Corinth unless the candidate was recognized by Rufus, served as a pretext for the young emperor Theodosius II to grant the ecclesiastical dominion of Illyricurn to the Patriarch of Constantinople (14 July, 421). Boniface remonstrated with Honorius against the violation of the rights of his see, and prevailed upon him to urge Theodosius to rescind his enactment. The law was not enforced, but it remained in the Theodosian (439) and Justinian (534) codes and caused much trouble for succeeding popes. By a letter of 11 March, 422, Boniface forbade the consecration in Illyricum of any bishop whom Rufus would not recognize. Boniface renewed the legislation of Pope Soter, prohibiting women to touch the sacred linens or to minister at the burning of incense. He enforced the laws forbidding slaves to become clerics. He was buried in the cemetery of Maximus on the Via Salaria, near the tomb of his favorite, St. Felicitas, in whose honor and in gratitude for whose aid he had erected an oratory over the cemetery bearing her name.