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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Catholic News World : Wednesday February 11, 2015

2015



Novena to Our Lady of #Lourdes and Litany Prayers - SHARE

NOVENA
Preliminary Prayer to be said each day
   Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us. 
DAY ONE
Sunday, February 3, 2013
   O Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, virgin and mother, queen of heaven, chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Eternal Word and in virtue of this title preserved from original sin, we kneel before you as did little Bernadette at Lourdes and pray with childlike trust in you that as we contemplate your glorious appearance at Lourdes, you will look with mercy on our present petition and secure for us a favorable answer to the request for which we are making this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY TWO
Monday, February 4, 2013
   Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest yourself shining with light, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child Saint Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception!" O Mary Immaculate, inflame our hearts with one ray of the burning love of your pure heart. Let them be consumed with love for Jesus and for you, in order that we may merit one day to enjoy your glorious eternity. O dispenser of His graces here below, take into your keeping and present to your Divine Son the petition for which we are making this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY THREE
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
   "You are all fair, O Mary, and there is in you no stain of original sin." O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. O brilliant star of sanctity, as on that lovely day, upon a rough rock in Lourdes you spoke to the child Bernadette and a fountain broke from thee plain earth and miracles happened and the great shrine of Lourdes began, so now I beseech you to hear our fervent prayer and do, we beseech you, grant us the petition we now so earnestly seek. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY FOUR
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
   O Immaculate Queen of Heaven, we your wayward, erring children, join our unworthy prayers of praise and thanksgiving to those of the angels and saints and your own the One, Holy, and Undivided Trinity may be glorified in heaven and on earth. Our Lady of Lourdes, as you looked down with love and mercy upon Bernadette as she prayed her rosary in the grotto, look down now, we beseech you, with love and mercy upon us. From the abundance of graces granted you by your Divine Son, sweet Mother of God, give to each of us all that your motherly heart sees we need and at this moment look with special favor on the grace we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY FIVE
Thursday, February 7, 2013
   O Mary Immaculate, Mother of God and our mother, from the heights of your dignity look down mercifully upon us while we, full of confidence in your unbounded goodness and confident that your Divine Son will look favorably upon any request you make of Him in our behalf, we beseech you to come to our aid and secure for us the favor we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY SIX
Friday, February 8, 2013
   O glorious Mother of God, so powerful under your special title of Our Lady of Lourdes, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare and for the special favor we so earnestly seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Lady of Bernadette, with the stars of heaven in your hair and the roses of earth at your feet, look with compassion upon us today as you did so long ago on Bernadette in the Grotto of Lourdes.
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us. 

DAY SEVEN
Saturday, February 9, 2013
   O Almighty God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary did prepare a worthy dwelling place for your Son, we humbly beseech you that as we contemplate the apparition of Our Lady in the Grotto of Lourdes, we may be blessed with health of mind and body. And, O most gracious Mother Mary, beloved Mother of Our Lord and Redeemer, look with favor upon us as you did that day on Bernadette and intercede with Him for us that the favor we now so earnestly seek may be granted to us. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY EIGHT
Sunday, February 10, 2013
   O Immaculate Mother of God, from heaven itself you came to appear to the little Bernadette in the rough Grotto of Lourdes! And as Bernadette knelt at your feet and the magic spring burst forth and as multitudes have knelt ever since before your shrine, O Mother of God, we kneel before you today to ask that in your mercy you plead with your Divine Son to grant the special favor we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY NINE
Monday, February 11, 2013
Feast Day: Our Lady of Lourdes
(First apparition to St. Bernadette)
   O glorious Mother of god, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly for the grace of a happy death. O Mother of our Divine Lord, as we conclude this novena for the special favor we seek at this time. (mention your request) We feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard. O Mother of My Lord, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His Name, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.
   O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
   Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
   Saint Bernadette, pray for us.
LITANY OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.


Exalted model of all mothers,
Pray for us.*
Mother who didst suffer so much,*
Mother poor and without shelter,*
Mother who didst bear along forgotten roads the fruit of thy womb,*
Who didst find no other shelter for thy Son and thy God than a wild cave, and no other cradle than a manger,*
Who didst declare: "I am the Immaculate Conception,*
Who didst appear to an humble peasant girl in order to teach us humility,*
Who wast clad in a white robe to remind us of purity,*
Who didst wear a girdle of blue to remind us of Heaven,*
Who didst tread on a rose bush to remind us of the sufferings we must endure in order to merit Heaven,*
Who didst carry the Rosary to induce us to pray,*
Who hadst thy hands joined and thy eyes raised to Heaven to draw us to penance,*
Who art the Star of Hope,*
Who dost pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for us,*
Who dost give strength to the clergy,*
Who dost heal the sick,*
Who art the health of the weak,*
Refuge of sinners,*
Comforter of the afflicted,*


Our Lady of Lourdes, conceived without sin:
Pray for us who have recourse to thee.


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare its, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.


Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us,


V. Pray for us, Our Lady of Lourdes, Holy Mother of God:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst prepare a worthy habitation for Thy Son: we humbly beseech Thee, that we who celebrate the feast of the Apparition of the same holy Virgin, may obtain health both of soul and body. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Kayla Mueller Confirmed Dead in ISIS Captivity - RIP - Please Pray for her Family

The US Government has confirmed that volunteer humanitarian worker held hostage by ISIS, is dead. Kayla Mueller, age 26, left her home in Prescott, Ariz., in December 2012, to work with the Danish Refugee Council. Images of children suffering in Syria inspired Mueller to help refugees. Kayla was captured on Aug. 4, 2013, in Aleppo, Syria while leaving a Spanish hospital. Mueller, was a 2009 graduate of Northern Arizona University. Mueller family quoted another letter she wrote to her father on his birthday in 2011. “I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine. If this is how you are revealed to me, this is how I will forever seek you,” Kayla wrote in the letter. “I will always seek God. Some people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love; I find God in suffering. I’ve known for some time what my life’s work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering,” she wrote. A letter was brought back to the US from her imprisonment by ISIS in 2014:
Full Text Letter of Kayla Mueller from her emprisonment: 
Everyone, If you are receiving this letter it means I am still detained but my cell mates (starting from 11/2/2014) have been released. I have asked them to contact you + send you this letter. It’s hard to know what to say. Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy (put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness. I wanted to write you all a well thought out letter (but I didn’t know if my cell mates would be leaving in the coming days or the coming months restricting my time but primarily) I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears. If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness. I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else … + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall. I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it. I pray each each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another … I miss you all as if it has been a decade of forced separation. I have had many a long hour to think, to think of all the things I will do w/ Lex, our first family camping trip, the first meeting @ the airport. I have had many hours to think how only in your absence have I finally @ 25 years old come to realize your place in my life. The gift that is each one of you + the person I could + could not be if you were not a part of my life, my family, my support. I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time. This should never have become your burden. I have asked these women to support you; please seek their advice. If you have not done so already, can contact  who may have a certain level of experience with these people. None of us could have known it would be this long but know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me. I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes. I wrote a song some months ago that says, “The part of me that pains the most also gets me out of bed, w/out your hope there would be nothing left …” aka-The thought of your pain is the source of my own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength. Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon. All my everything, Kayla

Free Catholic Movie : Bernadette - Drama of Girl who saw Our Lady of Lourdes with Actress Sydney Penny

TOP Catholic movies of all time.
119 min - Drama - January 1989 (USA)The true story of St. Bernadette Soubarous who saw Our Lady of Lourdes. An unemployed miller moves his family into grim lodgings; his wife takes in laundry. In February of 1858, at the Massabielle grotto, their 14-year old asthmatic, illiterate daughter, Bernadette, sees a light she later distinguishes as a beautiful young woman. Crowds follow her and people are cured by the waters from a spring Bernadette has cleared.
Director: Jean Delannoy
Writers: Robert Arnaut, Jean Delannoy
Stars: Sydney Penny, Jean-Marc Bory, Jean-Marie Bernicat
FOR FREE MOVIES AND MORE LIKE US ON FACEBOOK NOW


PART I http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of.html

PART II http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_10.html
PART III http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_11.html
PART IV  http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_12.html 
PART V http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_15.html  
PART VI http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_2525.html
PART VII http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_16.html
PART VIII http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_8154.html
PART IX http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_17.html
PART X http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_18.html
PART XI AND XII http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/11/catholic-movies-watch-st-bernadette-of_19.html 

#PopeFrancis " They are depressed societies because they don’t want children, they don’t have children."


Pope Francis embraces a child at the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square - AFP
11/02/2015 11:



(Vatican Radio)  Continuing his catechesis on the family this Wednesday Pope Francis spoke about the joy of children in family life and how the choice to have children is not irresponsible but vital for a healthy, happy society.
Below a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s Catechesis
Dear brothers and sisters,
After reflecting on the figures of mother and father, in this catechesis on the family I would like to mention the child or, rather, the children. I draw inspiration from a beautiful image from Isaiah. The prophet writes: "Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you— your sons from afar, your daughters in the arms of their nurses. Then you shall see and be radiant, your heart shall throb and overflow"(60, 4-5a).
It is a beautiful image of the happiness that is realized in the reunion between parents and children, walking together towards a future of freedom and peace, after a long period of deprivation and separation.
In fact, there is a close bond between a people’s hope and the harmony between generations. There is a very close link between a people’s hope and inter-generational harmony. The joy of children makes their parents hearts throb and reopens the future.
Children are the joy of family and society. They are not a problem of reproductive biology, or one of many ways to realize oneself in life. Let alone their parent’s possession. Children are a gift. Do you understand? Children are a gift! 
Each is unique and each is unrepeatable; and yet unmistakably tied to his or her roots. Being a son or daughter, according to God’s plan, means carrying within the memory and the hope of a love that has realized itself in lighting up another original and new human being. And for parents every child is different, is an individual… 
Allow me to share a childhood memory, my mother would always say – there were five of us in our family – when asked which one was her favorite, she would say ‘I have five children like I have five fingers…if they beat one of my fingers all five hurt…all of my children are mine, but each one is different, just like my fingers…this is the way it is in the family, all children are different but all children…
You love your child because he is a child, not because he is beautiful, healthy, and good; not because he thinks like me, or embodies my desires. A child is a child: a life created by us but destined for him, for his good, the good of the family, society, humanity.
This is where the depth of the human experience of being son and daughter comes from, which allows us to discover the most gratuitous dimension of love, which never ceases to amaze us. It is the beauty of being loved before:
How often I meet mothers here [the Holy Father indicates the Square] who show me their pregnant bellies and ask me to bless them, because these children are loved before coming into the world!
Before we have done anything to deserve it, before we can speak or think, even before coming into the world!
Being a child is the fundamental condition to know God’s love, which is the ultimate source of this real miracle. In the soul of every child, not matter how vulnerable, God puts the seal of this love, which is the basis of his or her personal dignity, a dignity that nothing and no one can destroy.
Today it seems more difficult for children to imagine their future. Fathers - as I mentioned in the previous catechesis - have perhaps taken a step back and the children have become more uncertain in taking their steps forward. We can learn about good inter-generational relations from our Heavenly Father, who leaves us each of us free but never leaves us alone. And if we fail, He continues to follow us patiently without diminishing His love for us. Our Heavenly Father never takes a step back, Our Heavenly Father never takes a backward step in His love for us never, he always moves forward and waits for us, but never, ever backwards; He wants his children to be brave, He wants us to progress.
The children, for their part, should not be afraid of the commitment to build a new world: it is only right that they should want to improve on what they have received! But this must be done without arrogance, without presumption. We must know how to recognize a child’s worth, and children should always honor their parents.
The fourth commandment asks children- and we all are children! - to honor their father and mother (cf. Ex 20:12). This commandment comes right after the ones concerning God Himself. After the first three about God we have this fourth one. In fact it contains something sacred, something divine, and something that is at the root of every other kind of respect among men. And the biblical formulation of the fourth commandment adds: "That you may live a long time in the land the LORD your God is giving to you gives you”.
The virtuous link between generations is a guarantee of the future, and it is a guarantee of a very human story. A society of children who do not honor their parents is a society without honor, when you do not honor your parents you lose your honor! It is a society destined to fill itself with arid and greedy young. 
However, even a society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that considers them above all worrisome, a weight, a risk, is a depressed society.
Just think of the many societies we know here in Europe.  They are depressed societies because they don’t want children, they don’t have children.  The birth rate doesn’t even reach 1%, why? Everyone should think about that and answer it personally. 
If a generous family of children is viewed as if it were a burden, there is something wrong! As the Encyclical Humanae Vitae of Blessed Pope Paul VI teaches, but having more children cannot be automatically viewed as an irresponsible choice. The choice to not have children is selfish. Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: It is enriched, not impoverished! Children learn to take charge of their family, they mature in the sharing of sacrifices, and they grow in appreciation of its gifts. The experience of joyful fraternity animates the respect and care of parents, who are due our gratitude.

Many of you, here, have children.  And we are all children. Let’s do something, it won’t take long.  Let each one of us think, privately, about your children – if you have them – and about our parents, and let us thank God for the gift of them…[followed by a lengthy pause] 
May the Lord bless our parents and your children.
Jesus, the eternal Son, made child in time, help us to find the way of a new outpouring of this human experience so simple and so great that is being children. In the multiplication of generations there is a mystery enrichment of life for all, which comes from God Himself. We must rediscover it, challenging prejudice; and live it, in faith, in perfect joy. 
And let me tell you how beautiful it is to pass among you and see the Dad’s and Moms who lift up their children for a blessing, it is an almost divine action! Thank you

(Emer McCarthy)

#PopeFrancis "O Mary, Seat of Wisdom, intercede as our Mother for all the sick" Full Text World Day of Sick Message



Pope Francis kisses a sick child before the cannonization Mass for St Joseph Vaz in Colombo, Sri Lanka - AFP



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis is asking people to take time out of their frenzied lives to visit the sick, spend time with them and learn from their suffering.  
Marking the World Day of the Sick this Wednesday, communities, parishes, dioceses and bishops' conferences around the world will gather in prayer with Pope Francis for the suffering and their careers.  
Instituted on May 13, 1992 by Saint John Paul II and celebrated every year on February 11, the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Day is a special time of sharing and pastoral outreach to people living with illness. 
In his message this year- titled “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame” (Job 29:15) - Pope Francis calls on Christians and all people of good will to have ‘wisdom of heart’, to go beyond themselves and reach out the sick.
(Emer McCarthy)


Please find below the English translation of the full text of the Pope’s message:
Sapientia Cordis
“I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame”
(Job 29:15)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On this, the twenty-third World Day of the Sick, begun by Saint John Paul II, I turn to all of you who are burdened by illness and are united in various ways to the flesh of the suffering Christ, as well as to you, professionals and volunteers in the field of health care.
This year’s theme invites us to reflect on a phrase from the Book of Job: “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame” (Job 29:15).  I would like to consider this phrase from the perspective of “sapientia cordis” – the wisdom of the heart.
1.            This “wisdom” is no theoretical, abstract knowledge, the product of reasoning.  Rather, it is, as Saint James describes it in his Letter, “pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity” (3:17).  It is a way of seeing things infused by the Holy Spirit in the minds and the hearts of those who are sensitive to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters and who can see in them the image of God.  So let us take up the prayer of the Psalmist: “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps 90:12).  This “sapientia cordis”, which is a gift of God, is a compendium of the fruits of the World Day of the Sick.
2.            Wisdom of the heart means serving our brothers and sisters.  Job’s words: “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame”, point to the service which this just man, who enjoyed a certain authority and a position of importance amongst the elders of his city, offered to those in need.  His moral grandeur found expression in the help he gave to the poor who sought his help and in his care for orphans and widows (Job 29:12-13).
Today too, how many Christians show, not by their words but by lives rooted in a genuine faith, that they are “eyes to the blind” and “feet to the lame”!  They are close to the sick in need of constant care and help in washing, dressing and eating.  This service, especially when it is protracted, can become tiring and burdensome.  It is relatively easy to help someone for a few days but it is difficult to look after a person for months or even years, in some cases when he or she is no longer capable of expressing gratitude.  And yet, what a great path of sanctification this is!  In those difficult moments we can rely in a special way on the closeness of the Lord, and we become a special means of support for the Church’s mission.
3.            Wisdom of the heart means being with our brothers and sisters.  Time spent with the sick is holy time.  It is a way of praising God who conforms us to the image of his Son, who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28).  Jesus himself said: “I am among you as one who serves” (Lk 22:27).
With lively faith let us ask the Holy Spirit to grant us the grace to appreciate the value of our often unspoken willingness to spend time with these sisters and brothers who, thanks to our closeness and affection, feel more loved and comforted.  How great a lie, on the other hand, lurks behind certain phrases which so insist on the importance of “quality of life” that they make people think that lives affected by grave illness are not worth living!
4.            Wisdom of the heart means going forth from ourselves towards our brothers and sisters.  Occasionally our world forgets the special value of time spent at the bedside of the sick, since we are in such a rush; caught up as we are in a frenzy of doing, of producing, we forget about giving ourselves freely, taking care of others, being responsible for others.  Behind this attitude there is often a lukewarm faith which has forgotten the Lord’s words: “You did it unto me’ (Mt 25:40).
For this reason, I would like once again to stress “the absolute priority of ‘going forth from ourselves toward our brothers and sisters’ as one of the two great commandments which ground every moral norm and as the clearest sign for discerning spiritual growth in response to God’s completely free gift” (Evangelii Gaudium, 179).  The missionary nature of the Church is the wellspring of an “effective charity and a compassion which understands, assists and promotes” (ibid).
5.            Wisdom of the heart means showing solidarity with our brothers and sisters while not judging them.  Charity takes time.  Time to care for the sick and time to visit them.  Time to be at their side like Job’s friends: “And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great” (Job 2:13).  Yet Job’s friends harboured a judgement against him: they thought that Job’s misfortune was a punishment from God for his sins.  True charity is a sharing which does not judge, which does not demand the conversion of others; it is free of that false humility which, deep down, seeks praise and is self-satisfied about whatever good it does.
Job’s experience of suffering finds its genuine response only in the cross of Jesus, the supreme act of God’s solidarity with us, completely free and abounding in mercy.  This response of love to the drama of human pain, especially innocent suffering, remains for ever impressed on the body of the risen Christ; his glorious wounds are a scandal for faith but also the proof of faith (cf. Homily for the Canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II, 27 April 2014).
Even when illness, loneliness and inability make it hard for us to reach out to others, the experience of suffering can become a privileged means of transmitting grace and a source for gaining and growing in sapientia cordis.  We come to understand how Job, at the end of his experience, could say to God: “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you” (42:5).  People immersed in the mystery of suffering and pain, when they accept these in faith, can themselves become living witnesses of a faith capable of embracing suffering, even without being able to understand its full meaning.
6.            I entrust this World Day of the Sick to the maternal protection of Mary, who conceived and gave birth to Wisdom incarnate: Jesus Christ, our Lord.
O Mary, Seat of Wisdom, intercede as our Mother for all the sick and for those who care for them!  Grant that, through our service of our suffering neighbours, and through the experience of suffering itself, we may receive and cultivate true wisdom of heart!
With this prayer for all of you, I impart my Apostolic Blessing.

Today's Mass Readings : Wednesday February 11, 2015


Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 331


Reading 1GN 2:4B-9, 15-17

At the time when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens—
while as yet there was no field shrub on earth
and no grass of the field had sprouted,
for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth
and there was no man to till the soil,
but a stream was welling up out of the earth
and was watering all the surface of the ground—
the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground
and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being.

Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east,
and he placed there the man whom he had formed.
Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow
that were delightful to look at and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The LORD God then took the man
and settled him in the garden of Eden,
to cultivate and care for it.
The LORD God gave man this order:
“You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden
except the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
From that tree you shall not eat;
the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 104:1-2A, 27-28, 29BC-30

R. (1a) O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
All creatures look to you
to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!

AlleluiaSEE JN 17:17B, 17A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth:
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 7:14-23

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

When he got home away from the crowd
his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them,
“Are even you likewise without understanding?
Do you not realize that everything
that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach
and passes out into the latrine?”
(Thus he declared all foods clean.)
“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.
From within the man, from his heart,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

Latest News from #Vatican Information Service - RIP Cardinal Becker - Homiletic Directory..


10-02-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 029 

Summary
- Publication of the Homiletic Directory
- Cardinal Robert Sarah presents the Homiletic Directory
- Telegram for the death of Cardinal Karl Joseph Becker
- Declaration of the director of the Holy See Press Office on the situation in Ukraine
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Notice
Publication of the Homiletic Directory
Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) – The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments today published the Homiletic Directory, which opens with the decree of Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the dicastery on the date on which it was signed, 29 June 2014, Solemnity of the apostles Peter and Paul. The text also bears the signature of Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the same Congregation.
 “It is very poignant that Pope Francis wished to devote considerable attention to the theme of the homily in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium”, writes the Cardinal. “Both positive and negative aspects of the state of preaching had already been expressed by Bishops gathered in Synod, and guidance for homilists was offered in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortations Verbum Domini and Sacramentum caritatis of Pope Benedict XVI.
From this perspective, and bearing in mind the provisions of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, as well as subsequent Magisterial teaching, and in light of the 'Introduction of the Lectionary for Mass and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal', this two-part 'Homiletic Directory' has been prepared.
“In the first part, entitled 'The homily and its liturgical setting', the nature, function, and specific context of the homily are described. Other aspects that define it are also addressed, namely, the appropriate ordained minister who delivers it, its reference to the Word of God, the proximate and remote preparation for its composition, and its recipients.
“In the second part, 'Ars praedicandi', essential questions of method and content that the homilist must know and take into account in the preparation and delivery of the homily are illustrated. In a way that is meant to be indicative and not exhaustive, interpretive keys are proposed for the cycle of Sundays and Feasts, beginning at the heart of the liturgical year (the Sacred Triduum and Easter Time, Lent, Advent, Christmas Time, and Ordinary Time), and also for the Masses of weekdays, weddings, and funerals. In these examples, the criteria outlined in the first part of the Directory are put into practice: typology between the Old and New Testaments, the importance of the Gospel reading, the ordering of the readings, and the nexus between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, between the Biblical message and the liturgical texts, between celebration and life, and between listening to God and the particular assembly.
“Two appendices follow the main text. In the first, with the intention of showing the link between the homily and the doctrine of the Catholic Church, references are given to the Catechism according to various doctrinal themes in the readings for each of the Sundays and Feasts of the three year cycle. In the second appendix, references to various Magisterial teachings on the homily are provided.
“This text was presented to each of the Fathers of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and was reviewed and approved at the Ordinary Sessions of 7 February and 20 May 2014. It was then presented to Pope Francis, who approved the publication of the Homiletic Directory. This Congregation is pleased, therefore, to make it available, desiring that 'the homily can actually be an intense and happy experience of the Spirit, a consoling encounter with God’s word, a constant source of renewal and growth' (Evangelii gaudium, 135). Each homilist, making his own the sentiments of the Apostle Paul, is to renew the understanding that 'as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts' (1 Thess 2:4).
“Translations into the principal languages have been undertaken by this Dicastery, while translations into other languages remain the responsibility of the concerned Conferences of Bishops. All things to the contrary notwithstanding.
“From the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 29 June 2014, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles”.
Cardinal Robert Sarah presents the Homiletic Directory
Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) – In a press conference held in the Holy See Press Office this morning, Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, presented the “Homiletic Directory” drawn up by the same dicastery during the mandate of his predecessor, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera. The cardinal was accompanied by Archbishop Arthur Roche and Fr. Corrado Maggione, S.M.M., respectively secretary and under secretary of the Congregation.
“Often, for many faithful, it is precisely the homily, considered as good or bad, interesting or boring, that is the yardstick by which the entire celebration is judged”, explained Cardinal Sarah. “Certainly, the Mass is not the homily, but it represents a moment relevant for the purpose of participation in the holy Mysteries, that is, listening to the Word of God and the communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord”.
“The Directory was not born without a reason. The aim is to respond to the need to improve the service of ordained ministers in liturgical preaching”, he continued, noting that during the 2005 Synod of Bishops ordained ministers were asked to prepare their homilies carefully, and basing them on adequate knowledge of the Sacred Scripture. “This is the first fact to bear in mind”, he underlined: “that the homily is directly linked to the Sacred Scriptures, especially the Gospel, and is enlightened by them”. During the same Synod, it was also requested that in the homily “the great themes of the faith and the life of the Church should resound throughout the year”, in order to “help demonstrate the nexus connecting the message of the biblical readings with the doctrine of the faith as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church”. He added, “on the basis of these expectations, Benedict XVI in the exhortation Sacramentum caritatis … encouraged reflection on the matter”.
The bishops returned to this issue in the Synod on the Word of God, and Benedict XVI in the exhortation Verbum domini, while reiterating that preaching appropriately with reference to the Lectionary was “truly an art that must be cultivated”, also indicated that it would be opportune to compile a directory on the homily, so that preachers might find help in preparing for the exercise of their ministry”.
“The way was thus prepared and the Congregation initiated the project. A further impetus to bring it to a conclusion was provided by the emphasis placed on the homily by Pope Francis, who reserves 25 points to this theme in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium: 10 to the homily and 15 to its preparation”.
“The homily is a liturgical service reserved to the ordained minister, who is called upon by vocation to serve the Word of God according to the faith of the Church and not in a personalised fashion. It is not a mere discourse like any other, but rather a speech inspired by the Word of God that resounds in an assembly of believers, in the context of liturgical action, with a view to learning to put into practice the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
Among the criteria mentioned in the Directory, the Cardinal mentioned, “first, the homily is inspired by the Scriptures inserted by the Church in the Lectionary, or rather the Book that contains, for all the days of the year, the biblical readings for the Mass; second, the homily is inspired by the celebration of which these readings form a part, or rather, by the prayers and the rites that constitute this liturgy, whose main protagonist is God, for Christ His Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit”.
“Obviously”, he concluded, “the homily makes demands of he who pronounces it. Therefore, the preparation of the homilist is of the first importance: this requires study and prayer, experience of God and knowledge of the community he addresses, love for the holy Mysteries and love for the living Body of Christ that is the Church”.
Telegram for the death of Cardinal Karl Joseph Becker
Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram on behalf of the Holy Father to Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, superior general of the Society of Jesus, for the death of Cardinal Karl Joseph Becker, S.J., at the age of 86.
 In his text, the Pope expresses his heartfelt condolences and recalls with gratitude the late Cardinal's intense and exemplary service throughout the years in the teaching and formation of the new generations, especially priests; in theological research; and in the Holy See. “I raise fervent prayers to the Lord”, he writes, “so that, by the intercession of Mary Most Holy and St. Ignatius of Loyola, He may grant the departed Cardinal the eternal reward promised to His disciples, and I invoke for you and his loved ones the consolation of an apostolic blessing”.
Declaration of the director of the Holy See Press Office on the situation in Ukraine
Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) - “The Holy See is following attentively the situations of crisis in various parts of the world, including the eastern regions of Ukraine. In the presence of an escalation of the conflict that has claimed many innocent victims, the Holy Father Francis has renewed his appeal for peace on several occasions. By these interventions, while inviting the faithful to pray for those who have been killed and injured as a result of the hostilities, the Pope also underlined the urgency of resuming negotiations as the only possible way out of the logic of mounting accusations and reactions.
“Faced with differing interpretations of the Pope’s words, especially those of Wednesday 4 February, I consider it useful to specify that he has always wished to address all the interested parties, trusting in the sincere efforts of each one to implement agreements reached by common consent and invoking the principle of international law, to which the Holy See has referred several times since the beginning of the crisis. As St. John Paul II often repeated, humanity must find the courage to substitute the right to force with the power of law.
 “The Holy Father joyfully awaits the 'Ad limina' visit of the Ukrainian Episcopate, scheduled for the days 16-21 February. This will constitute a further occasion to meet those brother Bishops, to be directly informed on the situation of that dear country, to console the Church and those who suffer and to evaluate together paths for reconciliation and peace”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Jozef Gorzynski, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Warsaw, as coadjutor archbishop of Warmia (area 12,000, population 711,800, Catholics 695,000, priests 521, religious 413), Poland.
Notice
Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) – No VIS bulletin will be transmitted tomorrow, Wednesday 11 February, the 86th anniversary of the signing of the Lateran Pacts and of the institution of Vatican City State. Service will resume on Tuesday, February 12.

Saint February 11 : Our Lady of Lourdes


Information:
Feast Day:February 11
The pilgrimage of Lourdes is founded on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to a poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux. The first apparition occurred 11 February, 1858. There were eighteen in all; the last took place 16 July, of the same year. Bernadette often fell into an ecstasy. The mysterious vision she saw in the hollow of the rock Massabielle was that of a young and beautiful lady. "Lovelier than I have ever seen" said the child. But the girl was the only one who saw the vision, although sometimes many stood there with her. Now and then the apparition spoke to the seer who also was the only one who heard the voice. Thus, she one day told her to drink of a mysterious fountain, in the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and of which there was no sign, but which immediately gushed forth. On another occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be made to the grotto. At first the clergy were incredulous. It was only four years later, in 1862, that the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful "justified in believing the reality of the apparition". A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873 the great "national" French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church; it is now observed on 11 February.
Never has a sanctuary attracted such throngs. At the end of the year 1908, when the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition was celebrated, although the record really only began from 1867, 5297 pilgrimages had been registered and these had brought 4,919,000 pilgrims. Individual pilgrims are more numerous by far than those who come in groups. To their number must be added the visitors who do not come as pilgrims, but who are attracted by a religious feeling or sometimes merely by the desire to see this far-famed spot. The Company of the Chemins de Fer du Midi estimates that the Lourdes station receives over one million travellers per annum. Every nation in the world furnishes its contingent. Out of the total of pilgrimages given above, four hundred and sixty-four came from countries other than France. They are sent by the United States, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, etc. The bishops lead the way. At the end of the year of the fiftieth anniversary, 2013 prelates, including 546 archbishops, 10 primates, 19 patriarchs, 69 cardinals, had made the pilgrimage to Lourdes. But more remarkable still than the crowd of pilgrims is the series of wonderful occurrences which take place under the protection of the celebrated sanctuary. Passing over spiritual cures, which more often than not escape human observance, we shall confine ourselves to bodily diseases. The writer of this article has recorded every recovery, whether partial or complete, and in the first half-century of the shrine's existence he has counted 3962. Notwithstanding very careful statistics which give the names and surnames of the patients who have recovered, the date of the cure, the name of the disease, and generally that of the physician who had charge of the case, there are inevitably doubtful or mistaken cases, attributable, as a rule, to the excited fancy of the afflicted one and which time soon dispels. But it is only right to note: first, that these unavoidable errors regard only secondary cases which have not like the others been the object of special study; it must also be noted that the number of cases is equalled and exceeded by actual cures which are not put on record. The afflicted who have recovered are not obliged to present themselves and half of them do not present themselves, at the Bureau des Constatations M├ędicales at Lourdes, and it is from this bureau's official reports that the list of cures is drawn up.
The estimate that about 4000 cures have been obtained at Lourdes within the first fifty years of the pilgrimage is undoubtedly considerably less than the actual number. The Bureau des Constatations stands near the shrine, and there are recorded and checked the certificates of maladies and also the certificates of cure; it is free to all physicians, whatever their nationality or religious belief. Consequently, on an average, from two to three hundred physicians annual visit this marvellous clinic. As to the nature of the diseases which are cured, nervous disorders so frequently mentioned, do not furnish even the fourteenth part of the whole; 278 have been counted, out of a total of 3962. The present writer has published the number of cases of each disease or infirmity, among them tuberculosis, tumours, sores, cancers, deafness, blindness, etc. The "Annales des Sciences Physiques", a sceptical review whose chief editor is Doctor Ch. Richet, Professor at the Medical Faculty of Paris, said in the course of a long article, apropos of this faithful study: "On reading it, unprejudiced minds cannot but be convinced that the facts stated are authentic."

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

 2015


#PopeFrancis "... to seek the Lord's face, the face that one day we will see, but which we must seek here on Earth"


Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Santa Marta - RV
10/02/2015 12:07




(Vatican Radio) If you are looking for God you won’t find him sitting on a comfortable couch flicking through a magazine, or sitting at your computer.  The search for God means having the courage to set out on a risky path, it means following our restless hearts, said Pope Francis at Mass Tuesday morning at Casa Santa Marta.   The restless will see God
Pope Francis began his reflections drawing on the reading from Genesis that speaks of man's creation "in the image of God" . He spoke of the right and wrong paths that a Christian can take in search of his origins and identity. Pope Francis noted that we certainly cannot find the image of God “on a computer, or in encyclopedias”.  Instead, there is only one way to find it and to “understand our own identity” that is to “set out on a journey”.  Otherwise, said Pope Francis, “we will never know the face of God”:
"Those who never set out on this journey, will never know the image of God, will never find the face of God. Sedentary Christians, lethargic Christians will not know the face of God: They do not know Him. They say: 'God is like this...', but those who are lethargic do not know Him. The lethargic. You need a certain restlessness to set out on this path, the same restlessness that God placed in each of our hearts and that brings us forward in search of Him”.
A "caricature" of God
Pope Francis went on to say that of course “setting out on the journey and allowing God or life test us means taking a risk”.  He added that this is what the giants [of Scripture] did, like the prophet Elijah, or Jeremiah, or Job, braving dangers and feeling themselves defeated by fatigue and distrust. But there is another way in which we risk being stationary and thus falsifying our search for God. Pope Francis pointed to it in the Gospel episode where the scribes and Pharisees rebuke Jesus because his disciples eat without having performed the ritual ablutions:

"In the Gospel, Jesus meets people who are afraid to set out on the path [in search of their identity] and who “content themselves with a caricature of God. It is a fake ID. These lethargic people have silenced the restlessness of their heart, they depict God with commandments and forget God: 'You, by neglecting the commandment of God, observe the tradition of men', and in doing so they turn away from God, they do not journey towards God and when they are insecure, they invent or make up another commandment".
The grace to remain on the right path
Pope Francis concluded that “people who act like this travel a "so-called path" a "path that goes nowhere, a slumberous path”:
"Today the liturgy invites us to reflect on these two texts, which are two identity cards, which we all have. The Lord has made us this way. One tells us: ‘Set out on the path and you will discover your identity, because you are the image of God, you are made in the likeness of God. Get up and seek God '. And the other: 'No, do not worry: fulfill all these commandments, and this is God. This is the face of God'. May the Lord give us all the grace of courage to always set out on the path, to seek the Lord's face, the face that one day we will see, but which we must seek here on Earth”.
(Emer McCarthy)

Today's Mass Readings : Tuesday February 10, 2015


Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin
Lectionary: 330


Reading 1GN 1:20—2:4A

God said,
“Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures,
and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.”
And so it happened:
God created the great sea monsters
and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems,
and all kinds of winged birds.
God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying,
“Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas;
and let the birds multiply on the earth.”
Evening came, and morning followed–the fifth day.

Then God said,
“Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures:
cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.”
And so it happened:
God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle,
and all kinds of creeping things of the earth.
God saw how good it was.
Then God said:
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.”

God created man in his image;
in the divine image he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying:
“Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth.”
God also said:
“See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food.”
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
Evening came, and morning followed–the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing,
he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,
because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.

Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation.

Responsorial PsalmPS 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place—
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

AlleluiaPS 119:36, 29B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees;
and favored me with your law.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 7:1-13

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.


You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
He went on to say,
“How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
‘If someone says to father or mother,
“Any support you might have had from me is qorban”’
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things.”

Saint February 10 : St. Scholastica - Patron of Nuns - Storms - Sister of St. Benedict



Information:
Feast Day:February 10
Born:
480, Nursia, Italy
Died:543
Patron of:convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain
BENEDICTINE ABBESS AND FOUNDER, VIRGIN

This saint was sister to the great St. Benedict. She consecrated herself to God from her earliest youth, as St. Gregory testifies. Where her first monastery was situated is not mentioned; but after her brother removed to Mount Cassino she chose her retreat at Plombariola, in that neighbourhood, where she founded and governed a nunnery about five miles distant to the south from St. Benedict's monastery. St. Bertharius, who was Abbot of Cassino three hundred years after, says that she instructed in virtue several of her own sex. And whereas St. Gregory informs us that St. Benedict governed nuns as well as monks, his sister must have been their abbess under his rule and direction. She visited her holy brother once a year, and as she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he went out with some of his monks to meet her at a house at some small distance. They spent these visits in the praises of God, and in conferring together on spiritual matters. St. Gregory relates a remarkable circumstance of the I last of these visits. Scholastica having passed the day as usual in singing psalms and pious discourse, they sat down in the evening to take their refection. After it was over, Scholastica, perhaps foreknowing it would be their last interview in this world, or at least desirous of some further spiritual improvement, was very urgent with her brother to delay his return till the next day, that they might entertain themselves till morning upon the happiness of the other life. St. Benedict, unwilling to transgress his rule, told her he could not pass a night out of his monastery, so desired her not to insist upon such a breach of monastic discipline. Scholastica finding him resolved on going home, laying her hands joined upon the table, and her head upon them, with many tears, begged of Almighty God to interpose in her behalf. Her prayer was scarce ended when there happened such a storm of rain, thunder, and lightning, that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions could set a foot out of doors. He complained to his sister, saying, "God forgive you, sister; what have you done?" She answered, "I asked you a favour, and you refused it me; I asked it of Almighty God, and he has granted it me." St. Benedict was therefore obliged to comply with her request, and they spent the night in conferences on pious subjects, chiefly on the felicity of the blessed, to which both most ardently aspired, and which she was shortly to enjoy. The next morning they parted, and three days after St. Scholastica died in her solitude. St. Benedict was then alone in contemplation on Mount Cassino, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he saw the soul of his sister ascending thither in the shape of a dove. Filled with joy at her happy passage, he gave thanks for it to God, and declared her death to his brethren, some of whom he sent to bring her corpse to his monastery, where he caused it to be laid in the tomb which he had prepared for himself. She must have died about the year 543. Her relics are said to have been translated into France, together with those of St. Bennet, in the seventh century, according to the relation given by the monk Adrevald.1 They are said to have been deposited at Mans, and kept in the collegiate church of St. Peter in that city, in a rich silver shrine. In 1562 this shrine was preserved from being plundered by the Huguenots as is related by Chatelain. Her principal festival at Mans is kept a holyday on the 11th of July, the day of the translation of her relics. She was honored in some places with an office of three lessons, in the time of St. Louis, as appears from a calendar of Longchamp written in his reign.

Louis of Granada, treating on the perfection of the love of God, mentions the miraculous storm obtained by St. Scholastica to show with what excess of goodness God is always ready to hear the petitions and desires of his servants. This pious soul must have received strong pledges and most sensible tokens of his love, seeing she depended on receiving so readily what she asked of him. No child could address himself with so great confidence to his most tender parent. The love which God bears us, and his readiness to succour and comfort us, if we humbly confess and lay before him our wants, infinitely surpasses all that can be found in creatures. Nor can we be surprised that he so easily heard the prayer of this holy virgin, since at the command of Joshua he stopped the heavens, God obeying the voice of man! He hears the most secret desires of those that fear and love him, and does their will: if he sometimes seems deaf to their cries, it is to grant their main desire by doing what is most expedient for them, as St. Austin frequently observes. The short prayer by which St. Scholastica gained this remarkable victory over her brother, who was one of the greatest saints on earth, was doubtless no more than a single act of her pure desires, which she continually turned toward, and fixed on her beloved. It was enough for her to cast her eyes interiorly upon him with whom she was closely and inseparably united in mind and affections, to move him so suddenly to change the course of the elements in order to satisfy her pious desire. By placing herself, as a docile scholar, continually at the feet of the Divine Majesty, who filled all the powers of her soul with the sweetness of his heavenly communications, she learned that sublime science of perfection in which she became a mistress to so many other chaste souls by this divine exercise. Her life in her retirement, to that happy moment which closed her mortal pilgrimage, was a continued uniform contemplation, by which all her powers were united to and transformed into God.



SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/stscholastica.asp#ixzz1mFrde9rE

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