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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Catholic News World : Saturday November 29, 2014 - Share!

Pope Francis "The Holy Spirit brings unity to the Church..." Full Text Homily and Mass Video in Turkey


(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Saturday at Istanbul’s Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and in his homily reflected on the need for Christians to be guided by the Holy Spirit who is able to kindle diversity, multiplicity and, at the same time, bring about unity.  He warned that the temptation is always within us to resist the Holy Spirit because he takes us out of our comfort zone and unsettles us.  We must throw off our defensiveness, the Pope said, not remain entrenched within our ideas and unchanging ways and allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit. Please see below an English translation of the full text of Pope Francis’ homily:
 Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis - Holy Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit - Istanbul, 29 November 2014
 In the Gospel, Jesus shows himself to be the font from which those who thirst for salvation draw upon, as the Rock from whom the Father brings forth living waters for all who believe in him (cf. Jn 7:38).  In openly proclaiming this prophecy in Jerusalem, Jesus heralds the gift of the Holy Spirit whom the disciples will receive after his glorification, that is, after his death and resurrection (cf. v. 39).
                 The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church.  He gives life, he brings forth different charisms which enrich the people of God and, above all, he creates unity among believers: from the many he makes one body, the Body of Christ.  The Church’s whole life and mission depend on the Holy Spirit; he fulfils all things.
                 The profession of faith itself, as Saint Paul reminds us in today’s first reading, is only possible because it is prompted by the Holy Spirit: “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 12:3b).  When we pray, it is because the Holy Spirit inspires prayer in our heart.  When we break the cycle of our self-centredness, and move beyond ourselves and go out to encounter others, to listen to them and help them, it is the Spirit of God who impels us to do so.  When we find within a hitherto unknown ability to forgive, to love someone who doesn’t love us in return, it is the Spirit who has taken hold of us.  When we move beyond mere self-serving words and turn to our brothers and sisters with that tenderness which warms the heart, we have indeed been touched by the Holy Spirit.
               It is true that the Holy Spirit brings forth different charisms in the Church, which at first glance, may seem to create disorder.  Under his guidance, however, they constitute an immense richness, because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which is not the same thing as uniformity.  Only the Holy Spirit is able to kindle diversity, multiplicity and, at the same time, bring about unity.  When we try to create diversity, but are closed within our own particular and exclusive ways of seeing things, we create division.  When we try to create unity through our own human designs, we end up with uniformity and homogenization.  If we let ourselves be led by the Spirit, however, richness, variety and diversity will never create conflict, because the Spirit spurs us to experience variety in the communion of the Church.
 The diversity of members and charisms is harmonized in the Spirit of Christ, whom the Father sent and whom he continues to send, in order to achieve unity among believers.  The Holy Spirit brings unity to the Church: unity in faith, unity in love, unity in interior life.  The Church and other Churches and ecclesial communities are called to let themselves be guided by the Holy Spirit, and to remain always open, docile and obedient.
                 Ours is a hopeful perspective, but one which is also demanding.  The temptation is always within us to resist the Holy Spirit, because he takes us out of our comfort zone and unsettles us; he makes us get up and drives the Church forward.  It is always easier and more comfortable to settle in our sedentary and unchanging ways.  In truth, the Church shows her fidelity to the Holy Spirit in as much as she does not try to control or tame him.  We Christians become true missionary disciples, able to challenge consciences, when we throw off our defensiveness and allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit.  He is freshness, imagination and newness. 
                 Our defensiveness is evident when we are entrenched within our ideas and our own strengths – in which case we slip into Pelagianism – or when we are ambitious or vain.  These defensive mechanisms prevent us from truly understanding other people and from opening ourselves to a sincere dialogue with them.  But the Church, flowing from Pentecost, is given the fire of the Holy Spirit, which does not so much fill the mind with ideas, but enflames the heart; she is moved by the breath of the Spirit which does not transmit a power, but rather an ability to serve in love, a language which everyone is able to understand.
                 In our journey of faith and fraternal living, the more we allow ourselves to be humbly guided by the Spirit of the Lord, the more we will overcome misunderstandings, divisions, and disagreements and be a credible sign of unity and peace. 
                With this joyful conviction, I embrace all of you, dear brothers and sisters: the Syro-Catholic Patriarch, the President of the Bishops’ Conference, the Apostolic Vicar Monsignor Pel»Étre, the Bishops and Eparchs, the priests and deacons, religious, lay faithful, and believers from other communities and various rites of the Catholic Church.  I wish to greet with fraternal affection the Patriarch of Constantinople, His Holiness Bartholomew I, the Syro-Orthodox Metropolitan and the Armenian Apostolic Patriarchal Vicar, as well as the representatives of the Protestant communities, who have joined us in prayer for this celebration.  I extend to them my gratitude for this fraternal gesture.  I wish also to express my affection to the Armenian Patriarch, His Beatitude Mesrob II, assuring him of my prayers.
                 Brothers and sisters, let us turn our thoughts to the Virgin Mary, Mother of God.  With her, who prayed with the Apostles in the Upper Room as they awaited Pentecost, let us pray to the Lord asking him to send his Holy Spirit into our hearts and to make us witnesses of his Gospel in all the world.  Amen! Shared from Radio Vaticana

Today's Mass Readings : Saturday November 29, 2014

Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 509


Reading 1RV 22:1-7

John said:
An angel showed me the river of life-giving water,
sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God
and of the Lamb down the middle of the street,
On either side of the river grew the tree of life
that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month;
the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.
Nothing accursed will be found anymore.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
and his servants will worship him.
They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun,
for the Lord God shall give them light,
and they shall reign forever and ever.

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true,
and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits,
sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.”
“Behold, I am coming soon.”
Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.

Responsorial Psalm PS 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB

R. (1 Cor 16: 22b, see Rev. 22: 20c) Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great king above all gods;
In his hands are the depths of the earth,
and the tops of the mountains are his.
His is the sea, for he has made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Gospel LK 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to Pope Francis Full Text in Turkey

Pope Francis receives a fraternal kiss from Patriarch Bartholomew - REUTERS
29/11/2014 
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople jointly presided over an ecumenical prayer service on Saturday evening in the church of St. George, within the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Below, please find the full text of the allocution His All Holiness, Bartholomew, prepared for the occasion.*********************************************
Your Holiness, In offering glory to the all-good God in Trinity, we welcome You and Your honorable entourage to this sacred place, the hierarchal See of the historical and martyric Church charged by divine providence with a profoundly responsible ministry as being the First-Throne among the local most holy Orthodox Churches. We welcome You with joy, honor and gratitude because You have deemed it proper to direct Your steps from the Old Rome to the New Rome, symbolically bridging West and East through this movement, while translating the love of the Chief Apostle to his brother, the First-Called Apostle.
Your advent here, being the first since the recent election of Your Holiness to the throne that “presides in love,” constitutes a continuation of similar visits by Your eminent predecessors Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, but also bears witness to Your own will and that of the most holy Church of Rome to maintain the fraternal and stable advance with the Orthodox Church for the restoration of full communion between our Churches. Therefore, it is with great satisfaction and appreciation that we greet the arrival here of Your Holiness as an historical event filled with favorable signs for the future. This sacred space, where in the midst of diverse historical challenges Ecumenical Patriarchs have for centuries celebrated and celebrate the holy Mystery of the Divine Eucharist, constitutes a successor to other illustrious places of worship in this City, which have been brightened by renowned ecclesiastical personalities already adorning the choir of great Fathers of the universal Church. Such luminaries include our predecessors Saints Gregory the Theologian and John
Chrysostom, whose sacred relics now lie in this holy church, thanks to their gracious return to the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the Church of Rome; their relics are alongside those of Basil the Great and Euphemia the Great Martyr, who validated the Tome of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, as well as other saints of the Church. This year marks the tenth anniversary since the blessed return of the relics of St. Gregory and St. John; wherefore, we express to Your Holiness our fervent thanks for this fraternal gesture on behalf of Your Church to our Patriarchate. May these holy Fathers, on whose teaching our common faith of the first millennium was founded, intercede for us to the Lord so that we may rediscover the full union of our Churches, thereby fulfilling His divine will in crucial times for humanity and the world. For, according to St. John Chrysostom: “This is what ultimately holds the faithful together and upholds love; indeed, this is precisely why Christ said that we should be one.” (Homily on Philippians 4.3 PG62.208)
We express once again the joy and gratitude of the most holy Church of Constantinople and of ourselves on this formal and fraternal visit of Your Holiness, and we wish You and Your honorable entourage an altogether blessed sojourn among us so that we may further increase our fraternal relations for the glory of His name.
“Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift.” (2 Cor. 9.15) Welcome, beloved brother in the Lord! Shared from Radio Vaticana

Pope Francis "The foundation rock is the Lord’s promise: “Behold, I will save my people..." Full Text Ecumenical Service


- EPA
29/11/2014 06:

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis participated in an ecumenical prayer service on Saturday evening with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I. Below, please find the full text of Pope Francis' remarks on the occasion.
******************************************
Your Holiness, my dear Brother,
Each evening brings a mixed feeling of gratitude for the day which is ending and of hope-filled trust as night falls.  This evening my heart is full of gratitude to God who allows me to be here in prayer with Your Holiness and with this sister Church after an eventful day during my Apostolic Visit. At the same time my heart awaits the day which we have already begun liturgically: the Feast of the Apostle Saint Andrew, Patron of this Church.
In the words of the prophet Zechariah, the Lord gives us anew in this evening prayer, the foundation that sustains our moving forward from one day to the next, the solid rock upon which we advance together in joy and hope.  The foundation rock is the Lord’s promise: “Behold, I will save my people from the countries of the east and from the countries of the west… in faithfulness and in righteousness” (8:7.8).
Yes, my venerable and dear Brother Bartholomew, as I express my heartfelt “thank you” for your fraternal welcome, I sense that our joy is greater because its source is from beyond; it is not in us, not in our commitment, not in our efforts – that are certainly necessary – but in our shared trust in God’s faithfulness which lays the foundation for the reconstruction of his temple that is the Church (cf. Zech 8:9).  “For there shall be a sowing of peace” (Zech8:12); truly, a sowing of joy.  It is the joy and the peace that the world cannot give, but which the Lord Jesus promised to his disciples and, as the Risen One, bestowed upon them in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Andrew and Peter heard this promise; they received this gift.  They were blood brothers, yet their encounter with Christ transformed them into brothers in faith and charity.  In this joyful evening, at this prayer vigil, I want to emphasize this; they became brothers in hope.  What a grace, Your Holiness, to be brothers in the hope of the Risen Lord!  What a grace, and what a responsibility, to walk together in this hope, sustained by the intercession of the holy Apostles and brothers, Andrew and Peter!  And to know that this shared hope does non deceive us because it is founded, not upon us or our poor efforts, but rather upon God’s faithfulness.
With this joyful hope, filled with gratitude and eager expectation, I extend to Your Holiness and to all present, and to the Church of Constantinople, my warm and fraternal best wishes on the Feast of your holy Patron. And I ask you one favor: to bless me and the Church of Rome. Shared from Radio Vaticana

 2014

Saint November 29 : St. Saturninus : Missionary and Martyr

St. Saturninus
MISSIONARY AND MARTYR
Feast: November 29


Information:
Feast Day:November 29
Born:third century, Patras, Greece
Died:257, Toulouse, France
Canonized:Basilique St-Sernin, Toulouse
Patron of:Toulouse, France

St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there were already Christians in the town or his preaching made numerous conversions, he soon had a little church. To reach it he had to pass before the capitol where there was a a temple, and according to the Acts, the pagan priests ascribed to his frequent passings the silence of their oracles. One day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the idols they condemned him be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke. Two Christian women piously gathered up the remains and buried them in a deep ditch, that they might not be profaned by the pagans. His successors, Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, gave him more honourable burial. A church was erected where the bull stopped. It still exists, and is called the church of the Taur (the bull). The body of the saint was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus), one of the most ancient and beautiful of Southern France. His feast was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology for 29 November; his cult spread abroad. The account of his Acts was embellished with several details, and legends linked his name with the beginning of the churches of Eauze, Auch, Pamplona, and Amiens, but these are without historic foundations.

Surprise! Fisherman makes a Miracle Catch in the Water....Share!



Catholic Review A new adoration chapel in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, dedicated to be used in a special way to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, holds a monstrance that was fished from the Loch Raven Reservoir. (Special to the Review | Catholic Review)
Monstrance fished from reservoir centerpiece of new adoration chapel
By George P. Matysek Jr. gmatysek@CatholicReview.org Twitter: @ReviewMatysek
A man fishing at the Loch Raven Reservoir in north Baltimore County some two decades ago was convinced he had snagged a big fish after his line hooked something substantial. After reeling in his haul, the angler had no fish. He had, however, caught something even more remarkable: a large Gothic monstrance used by Catholics to hold the Eucharist for worship.Unsure what the ornate object was, but thinking it looked “churchy,” the man took the monstrance to a local Catholic church. A priest examined the vessel, suggesting that the man take the beautiful brass finding to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, where it subsequently remained in storage for years.During a joyous Nov. 23 Mass that attracted hundreds of people to the historic basilica, Archbishop William E. Lori placed the consecrated host inside the restored monstrance fished from the water and carried it in a solemn procession to the church’s undercroft.There, he placed the monstrance atop a gleaming altar inside a new adoration chapel that he dedicated to be used in a special way to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. "Using a monstrance fished out of a lake, we will ask the Lord to send us new ‘fishers of men,’ ” Archbishop Lori said in his homily prior to dedicating the new chapel, “both here in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and in the whole church.”How the monstrance found its way into the reservoir is a mystery, Archbishop Lori said, “but how it found its way here to the basilica is a remarkable sign of God’s providence.”
Full Story...http://www.catholicreview.org/article/home/monstrance-fished-from-reservoir-centerpiece-of-new-adoration-chapel

Pope Francis "...our common spiritual heritage – through interreligious dialogue – helps us to promote..." Full Text - Video in Turkey


Pope Francis at Turkey's Department of Religious Affairs in Ankara - EPA
28/11/2014 02:

(Vatican Radio)  Speaking on the first day of his visit to Turkey, Pope Francis condemned the “barbaric violence” waged by fundamentalists in Iraq and Syria against entire communities, especially Christians and Yazidis, because of their ethnic and religious identity.  His remarks came in a speech to Turkey’s Department for Religious Affairs which is the nation’s highest Islamic authority.  As religious leaders, Pope Francis said, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human life and “any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation.”  
Please find below the English translation of the full text of Pope Francis’ speech to the Department for Religious Affairs:
Mr President, Religious and Civil Authorities, Ladies and Gentlemen,
                I am pleased to meet with you today in the course of my visit to your country.  I thank the President of this distinguished office for his cordial invitation which affords me the opportunity to share these moments with political and religious leaders, both Muslim and Christian.
                It is a tradition that Popes, when they visit different countries as part of their mission, meet also with the leaders and members of various religions.  Without this openness to encounter and dialogue, a Papal Visit would not fully correspond to its purposes. And so I have wished to meet you, following in the footsteps of my venerable predecessors.  In this context, I am pleased to recall in a special way Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to this very same place in November 2006.
                Good relations and dialogue between religious leaders have, in fact, acquired great importance.  They represent a clear message addressed to their respective communities which demonstrates that mutual respect and friendship are possible, notwithstanding differences.  Such friendship, as well as being valuable in itself, becomes all the more meaningful and important in a time of crises such as our own, crises which in some parts of the world are disastrous for entire peoples.                Wars cause the death of innocent victims and bring untold destruction, interethnic and interreligious tensions and conflicts, hunger and poverty afflicting hundreds of millions of people, and inflict damage on the natural environment – air, water and land.                Especially tragic is the situation in the Middle East, above all in Iraq and Syria.  Everyone suffers the consequences of these conflicts, and the humanitarian situation is unbearable.  I think of so many children, the sufferings of so many mothers, of the elderly, of those displaced and of all refugees, subject to every form of violence.  Particular concern arises from the fact that, owing mainly to an extremist and fundamentalist group, entire communities, especially – though not exclusively – Christians and Yazidis, have suffered and continue to suffer barbaric violence simply because of their ethnic and religious identity.  They have been forcibly evicted from their homes, having to leave behind everything to save their lives and preserve their faith.  This violence has also brought damage to sacred buildings, monuments, religious symbols and cultural patrimony, as if trying to erase every trace, every memory of the other.
                As religious leaders, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human rights.  Human life, a gift of God the Creator, possesses a sacred character.  As such, any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the Omnipotent is the God of life and peace.  The world expects those who claim to adore God to be men and women of peace who are capable of living as brothers and sisters, regardless of ethnic, religious, cultural or ideological differences.
                As well as denouncing such violations, we must also work together to find adequate solutions.  This requires the cooperation of all: governments, political and religious leaders, representatives of civil society, and all men and women of goodwill.  In a unique way, religious leaders can offer a vital contribution by expressing the values of their respective traditions.  We, Muslims and Christians, are the bearers of spiritual treasures of inestimable worth.  Among these we recognize some shared elements, though lived according to the traditions of each, such as the adoration of the All-Merciful God, reference to the Patriarch Abraham, prayer, almsgiving, fasting… elements which, when lived sincerely, can transform life and provide a sure foundation for dignity and fraternity.  Recognizing and developing our common spiritual heritage – through interreligious dialogue – helps us to promote and to uphold moral values, peace and freedom in society (cf. JOHN PAUL II, Address to the Catholic Community in Ankara, 29 November 1979).  The shared recognition of the sanctity of each human life is the basis of joint initiatives of solidarity, compassion, and effective help directed to those who suffer most.  In this regard, I wish to express my appreciation for everything that the Turkish people, Muslims and Christians alike, are doing to help the hundreds of thousands of people who are fleeing their countries due to conflicts. There are two million. This is a clear example of how we can work together to serve others, an example to be encouraged and maintained.
                I wish also to express my satisfaction at the good relations which exist between the Diyanet and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.  It is my earnest desire that these relations will continue and be strengthened for the good of all, so that every initiative which promotes authentic dialogue will offer a sign of hope to a world which so deeply needs peace, security and prosperity. And also after my discussions with the President, I hope that this dialogue becomes creative in new forms.
                Mr President, I renew my gratitude to you and your colleagues for this meeting, which fills my heart with joy.  I am grateful also to each one of you, for your presence and for your prayers which, in your kindness, you offer for me and my ministry.  For my part, I assure you of my prayers.  May the Lord grant us all his blessing. Shared from Radio Vaticana

What is Advent - Prepare for the Coming of Jesus - Free Resources - SHARE


Latin ad-venio, to come to.
Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) and embracing four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches. During this time the faithful are admonished
  • to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
  • thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and
  • thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.
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Duration and ritual

In the Massthe Gloria in excelsis is not said. The Alleluia, however, is retained. During this time the solemnization of matrimony Benediction) cannot take place; which prohibition binds to the feast of Epiphany inclusively. The celebrant and sacred ministers use violet vestments.   An exception is made for the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday), on which the vestments may be rose-coloured.   Flowers and relics of Saints are not to be placed on the altars during the Office and Masses of this time, except on the third Sunday. 


Historical origin

The preparation for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord was not held before the feast itself existed, and of this we find no evidence before the end of the fourth century, when, according to Duchesne [Christian Worship (London, 1904), 260], it was celebrated throughout the whole Church,    Several synods had made laws about fasting to be observed during this time,. 

Advent

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Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).
Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind us of the meaning of the season. Our Advent calendar above can help you fully enter in to the season with daily activity and prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.  More Advent resources are listed below.
Advent Resources