DONATE TO JCE NEWS

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Catholic News World : Saturday May 2, 2015 - Share!

2015

#Catholic Quote to SHARE by Saint #JP2 "Chastity is..."



"Chastity is a difficult, long term matter; one must wait patiently for it to bear fruit, for the happiness of loving kindness which it must bring. But at the same time, chastity is the sure way to happiness." --Saint Pope John Paul II

Sponsor Angele Sweeney's Missionary work with #CCO

IMG_9433 (1200x674)

MY NAME IS ANGÈLE

Hello! I grew up in the small town of Espanola, Ontario, where my parents raised my brother and me. My immediate family still lives in Espanola as well as some extended family. The rest of my family is mostly in Ontario, with the exception of one uncle out West.
Growing up, God was always someone I could turn to when I needed help. I believed that God existed, but in my opinion, He didn’t play a large role in my life. However, while in high school I decidedly rejected God and the Catholic Church. This led me to frantically search for something to fulfil the void I had created. By the time I was in my first year of university, my life felt stressful and empty. I left the university setting to return home, feeling quite low. That summer through many conversations with a co-worker, I started pondering my life and God. When I returned to campus in September, I was searching for something that would fulfil me. That’s when I ran into some CCO missionaries and was invited to a CCO retreat. By the grace of God, I decided to attend.
During the first workshop, I realized just how huge and beautiful God’s love is. I realized that God loves the whole world, but that he loves everyone individually, that he loves ME personally. I had finally learned who God was. Saturday night, during a night of adoration I prayed that God would come into my heart completely. This was a pivotal moment for me. This was when I finally made the adult decision to enter into a relationship with the Creator of the Universe!
After making that decision, there were many areas of my life that I slowly gave to Christ. CCO’s annual Christmas conference, Rise Up was extremely significant in solidifying my relationship with Jesus. At this conference I felt the call to participate in a CCO summer mission, Impact Halifax. On this mission, I grew considerably in my faith. I like to describe it as a crash course on Catholicism, where I learned a lot of what I had ignored as a teenager.
Since Impact, God has taken me on a pretty amazing journey with both highs and lows. Now that I know Jesus personally, this doesn’t mean that my life is burden-free. However, this means that burdens are bearable, and meaningful. I’ve never been more deeply fulfilled or joyful then I am now that I’ve found Christ and the Church.

A HIGHLIGHT OF MY ROLE SO FAR

Being involved with CCO as a student has been absolutely amazing. I have had the privilege to witness God change many hearts and lives through the Discovery faith study. One particular semester, I witnessed three women give their hearts to Christ. Each of these women is now a student leader and leading her faith study participants to Christ! One of these girls served on the student executive for CCO and two of them are participating in Impact Victoria! I am so thankful that I got to see each of these women encounter the Lord.

IMPACT THAT SPECIFIC MINISTRIES HAVE HAD

The CCO annual fall retreat has impacted both my life and the lives of those around me. This retreat creates a perfect environment for participants to encounter Christ personally, whether during the Mass, during the Sacrament of Reconciliation or through Eucharistic Adoration. The lives of many of my close friends have been radically changed through the fall retreat. The fall retreat is where I first encountered the Lord: it is a powerful experience indeed.

HOW I HAVE GROWN BY BEING ON STAFF

By being on staff, I have been able to grow in my reliance on God. Committing to full-time missionary work is certainly a leap of faith, one that is not necessarily easy to take. However, God has clearly called me, and I have been able to rely more fully on Him and take this leap of faith. Since then, God has confirmed the calling, and allowed me to grow closer to Him.

ON GOING PRAYER REQUESTS

For an openness in the hearts of all those who will hear the Gospel.
To Donate to Angele Sweeney please click the following link:

#PopeFrancis at Mass "...three key aspects to the life" Full Text/Video honors Blessed Serra at North American College

Pope Francis on Saturday at the North American College - AFP
02/05/2015 12:
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday made the short trip to Rome’s Janiculum Hill to the Pontifical North American College, the national seminary for the United States.
The College was hosting a day of reflection on Blessed Junipero Serra, the Franciscan missionary to California who will canonized by Pope Francis during his trip to Washington, DC, in September.
Pope Francis said during his homily he wanted to discuss three aspect of the life of Blessed Serra – his missionary zeal, his Marian devotion, and his witness of holiness.
Pope Francis said it was “that heartfelt impulse which seeks to share with those farthest away the gift of encountering Christ: a gift that he had first received and experienced in all its truth and beauty” which drove the Franciscan Missionary to leave everything he knew and go to the ends of the earth.
The Holy Father said this a challenge to us today, and asked if are able “to respond with the same generosity and courage to the call of God, who invites us to leave everything in order to worship him, to follow him, to rediscover him in the face of the poor, to proclaim him to those who have not known Christ and, therefore, have not experienced the embrace of his mercy.”
Pope Francis noted Blessed Junipero wanted to consecrate his life to Our Lady of Guadalupe and to ask her for the grace to open the hearts of the colonizers and indigenous peoples, for the mission he was about to begin.  The Pope said you cannot  “separate her from the hearts of the American people.”
And finally, Pope Francis pointed out he was one of the founding fathers of the United States, a saintly example of the Church’s universality and special patron of the Hispanic people of the country. 
He said this zeal was also true for the many missionaries who brought the Gospel to the New World and, at the same time, defended the indigenous peoples against abuses by the colonizers.
The Pontifical North American College has been at capacity enrollment for four years, reflecting an overall increase in vocations to the priesthood in the United States over the past few years.

The full text of the homily by Pope Francis at the Pontifical North American College is below.

       “I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47; cf. Is 49:6).  These words of the Lord, in the passage from the Acts of the Apostles which we have just heard, show us the missionary nature of the Church, sent by Jesus to go out and proclaim the Gospel.  The disciples experienced this from the first moment when, after the persecution broke out, they left Jerusalem (cf. Acts 8: 1-3).  This was true also for the many missionaries who brought the Gospel to the New World and, at the same time, defended the indigenous peoples against abuses by the colonizers. Among these missionaries was Friar Junípero; his work of evangelization reminds us of the first “12 Franciscan apostles" who were pioneers of the Christian faith in Mexico.  He ushered in a new springtime of evangelization in those immense territories, extending from Florida to California, which, in the previous two hundred years, had been reached by missionaries from Spain.  This was long before the pilgrims of the Mayflower reached the North Atlantic coast.
        There are three key aspects to the life and example of Friar Junípero: his missionary zeal, his Marian devotion and his witness of holiness.
         First of all, he was a tireless missionary. What made Friar Junípero leave his home and country, his family, university chair and Franciscan community in Mallorca to go to the ends of the earth?  Certainly, it was the desire to proclaim the Gospel ad gentes, that heartfelt impulse which seeks to share with those farthest away the gift of encountering Christ: a gift that he had first received and experienced in all its truth and beauty.  Like Paul and Barnabas, like the disciples in Antioch and in all of Judea, he was filled with joy and the Holy Spirit in spreading the word of the Lord. Such zeal excites us, it challenges us! These missionary disciples who have encountered Jesus, the Son of God, who have come to know him through his merciful Father, moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit, went out to all the geographical, social and existential peripheries, to bear witness to charity.  They challenge us!  Sometimes we stop and thoughtfully examine their strengths and, above all, their weaknesses and their shortcomings.
But I wonder if today we are able to respond with the same generosity and courage to the call of God, who invites us to leave everything in order to worship him, to follow him, to rediscover him in the face of the poor, to proclaim him to those who have not known Christ and, therefore, have not experienced the embrace of his mercy.  Friar Junípero’s witness calls upon us to get involved, personally, in the mission to the whole continent, which finds its roots in Evangelii Gaudium.
         Secondly, Friar Junípero entrusted his missionary activity to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  We know that before leaving for California, he wanted to consecrate his life to Our Lady of Guadalupe and to ask her for the grace to open the hearts of the colonizers and indigenous peoples, for the mission he was about to begin.  In this prayer we can still see this humble brother kneeling in front of the "Mother of the true God", the Morenita, who brought her Son to the New World. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was and has been present in the twenty-one missions that Friar Junípero founded along the coast of California.  Since then, Our Lady of Guadalupe has become, in fact, the Patroness of the whole American continent.  You cannot separate her from the hearts of the American people.  She represents our shared roots in this land.  Indeed, today's mission to the continent is entrusted to her, the first, holy missionary disciple, a constant presence and companion, our source of comfort and hope.  For she always hears and protects her American children.
       Thirdly, brothers and sisters, let us contemplate the witness of holiness given by Friar Junípero.  He was one of the founding fathers of the United States, a saintly example of the Church’s universality and special patron of the Hispanic people of the country.  In this way may all Americans rediscover their own dignity, and unite themselves ever more closely to Christ and his Church.
       With the universal communion of saints and, in particular, with the assembly of American saints, may Friar Junípero Serra accompany us and intercede for us, along with the many other holy men and women who have distinguished themselves through their various charisms:
•  contemplatives like Rose of Lima, Mariana of Quito and Teresita de los Andes;
• pastors who bear the scent of Christ and of his sheep, such as Toribio de Mogrovejo, Francois de Laval, and Rafael Guizar Valencia;
• humble workers in the vineyard of the Lord, like Juan Diego and Kateri Tekakwitha;
•  servants of the suffering and the marginalized, like Peter Claver, Martín de Porres, Damian of Molokai, Alberto Hurtado and Rose Philippine Duchesne;
•  founders of communities consecrated to the service of God and of the poorest, like Frances Cabrini, Elizabeth Ann Seton and Katharine Drexel;
•  tireless missionaries, such as Friar Francisco Solano, José de Anchieta, Alonso de Barzana, Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa and Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero;
•  martyrs like Roque Gonzalez, Miguel Pro and Oscar Arnulfo Romero;
and so many other saints and martyrs, whom I do not mention here, but who pray before the Lord for their brothers and sisters who are still pilgrims in those lands.
         May a powerful gust of holiness sweep through all the Americas during the coming Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy!  Confident in Jesus’ promise, which we heard today in the Gospel, we ask God for this special outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
         We ask the Risen Jesus, Lord of all ages, that the life of our American continent may be rooted ever more deeply in the Gospel it has received; that Christ may be ever more present in the lives of individuals, families, peoples and nations, for the greater glory of God.  We pray too that this glory may be manifested in the culture of life, brotherhood, solidarity, peace and justice, with a preferential and concrete love for the poor, through the witness of Christians of various confessions and communities, together with believers of other religious traditions, and people of upright conscience and good will. Lord Jesus, we are merely your missionary disciples, your humble co-workers so that your Kingdom may come!
            With this heartfelt prayer, I ask Our Lady of Guadalupe, Friar Junípero and all the American saints to lead me and guide me during my approaching apostolic journeys to South America and North America. I ask all of you to keep this intention in your prayers, and to continue to pray for me. Amen.

#BreakingNews Princess Kate and #PrinceWilliam welcome a Baby Girl

 The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, delivered a baby girl. The baby weighs 8lbs 3oz. The last baby girl was Prince Andrew's daughter Princess Eugenie in 1990.  Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered her daughter at 8.34am. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families are happy with the news. Princess Kate and her child are both doing well. 

Today's Mass Readings : Saturday May 2, 2015


Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 284

Video added later

Reading 1ACTS 13:44-52

On the following sabbath
almost the whole city
gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth
.”

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R. (3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 8:31B-32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 14:7-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to Jesus,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

Saint May 2 : St. Athanasius : Doctor : Patron of #Handicapped and #Orthodoxy

St. Athanasius
BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: May 2


Information:
Feast Day:May 2
Born:
295 at Alexandria, Egypt
Died:2 May 373 at Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine:Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt

San Zaccaria, Venice, Italy
St. Athanasius, known as the "champion of orthodoxy," was  born about the year 297, in Alexandria. There is a tradition, related by Rufinus, that he first attracted the notice of Patriarch Alexander as he was playing at baptism on the seashore with other small boys. After watching young Athanasius perform the rite, the prelate called the boys to him and by questioning satisfied himself that the baptisms were valid. He then undertook to have these boys trained for the priesthood. Athanasius received an excellent education, not only in Christian doctrine, but also in Greek literature and philosophy, rhetoric, and jurisprudence. He knew the Scriptures thoroughly, and learned theology from teachers who had been confessors during the terrible persecutions under Maximian. In youth he appears to have formed friendships with several hermits of the desert, especially with the great Antony, whose biography he was to write. He was reader to the patriarch, and in 318 became his secretary. During this period he wrote a discourse, , in which he attempted an explanation of the Incarnation and the doctrine of the Trinity.
In Egypt two strong and often divergent forces had early appeared in the Christian Church: the conservative hierarchy in Alexandria, represented by the patriarch or bishop, and the theologians of the schools, who cared little for tradition and stood for free reasoning on theological subjects. The leaders of the latter party had sometimes been obliged, like the famous Origen, to go into exile. There were also schisms over the distribution of authority in the Church and over doctrinal questions. It was probably about the year 323 that one Arius, a priest of the church of Baucalis, began to teach that Jesus, though more than man, was not eternal God, that he was created in time by the Eternal Father, and could therefore be described only figuratively as the Son of God. The patriarch demanded a written statement of these doctrines. With only two dissenting voices the bishops condemned them as heresy, and deposed Arius, together with eleven priests and deacons of Alexandria. Arius retired to Caesarea, where he continued to propagate his ideas, enlisting the support of Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia and other Syrian prelates. In Egypt he had already won over many of the metaphysicians, as well as Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis, and leader of a dissident group. Theology being the topic which most deeply engaged men's minds, the Arian controversy interested all classes of the population. The heretical propositions were publicized in the form of songs set to popular tunes, and these were chanted in the forums and carried by sailors from port to port.
Athanasius, as the patriarch's secretary, took a prominent part in this great Church struggle. It is probable that he even composed the encyclical letter announcing the condemnation of Arius. We know that he was present, as an attendant on Alexander, at the famous Council of Nicaea, summoned by the Emperor Constantine to determine matters of dogma. There the sentence against Arius was confirmed, and the confession of faith known as the Nicene Creed promulgated and subscribed. This gathering of churchmen influenced Athanasius deeply, and, as a modern writer has said, the rest of his life was a testimony to the divinity of the Saviour.
Shortly after this Alexander died, and Athanasius succeeded him, although he was not yet thirty. One of his first acts was a tour of his enormous diocese, which included the great monastic settlements, especially the Thebaid. He ordained a bishop for Abyssinia, where the Christian faith had recently been established. Yet in spite of his best efforts, there was strong opposition. The Meletians made common cause with the Arians, and the movement, temporarily discredited by the Council of Nicaea, was soon again rampant in Asia Minor and Egypt.
In 330 the Arian bishop of Nicomedia, Eusebius, returned from his exile and before long had persuaded the aging Constantine to write to Athanasius, bidding him readmit Arius into communion, in the interests of unity. Eusebius sent an ingratiating letter in defense of Arius, but Athanasius held to his conviction that the Church could have no communion with heretics who attacked the divinity of Christ. Then Eusebius wrote the Egyptian Meletians urging them to impeach Athanasius for personal misconduct. They brought charges that he had levied a general tribute of linen for use in his own church, and made other petty accusations. At his trial before the emperor, Athanasius cleared himself and returned in triumph to Alexandria, bearing with him a letter of approval from Constantinople.
His enemies now accused him of having murdered a Meletian  bishop named Arsenius, and summoned him to attend a council at Caesarea. Knowing that his supposed victim was in hiding, Athanasius ignored the summons. In 335 an order came from Constantinople to appear before another assembly at Tyre, packed by his opponents and presided over by an Arian who had seized the see of Antioch. Realizing that his condemnation had been decided on, Athanasius abruptly left the council and took ship for Constantinople. There he accosted the emperor as a suppliant in the street and obtained an interview. So completely did he vindicate himself that Constantine summoned the bishops to Constantinople for a retrial of the case. Then, for some unexplained reason, he suddenly changed his mind. Before the first letter arrived, a second was sent, confirming the sentence and banishing Athanasius to Treves. During this first exile, Athanasius kept in touch with his flock by letter.
In 337 Constantine died, shortly after his baptism by Eusebius of Nicomedia, and his empire was divided among his three sons, Constantine II, Constantius, and Constans. Many of the exiled prelates were now recalled. One of the first acts of Constantine II, who had sovereignty over Britain, Spain, and Gaul, was to allow Athanasius to return to his see. Two years later Constantine II was to be killed in battle in Aquileia. The patriarch reentered Alexandria in seeming triumph, but his enemies were as relentless as ever, and Eusebius of Nicomedia had completely won over the Emperor Constantius, within whose portion of the empire Alexandria was situated. New scandals were invented and Athanasius was now accused of raising sedition, promoting bloodshed, and keeping for himself corn intended for the poor. A Church council which met at Antioch again deposed him, and ratified an Arian bishop for Alexandria.
In the midst of all this confusion a Cappadocian priest named Gregory was forcibly installed as patriarch of Alexandria by the city prefect, pagans and Arians having now joined forces against the Catholics. Confronted unceasingly by acts of violence and sacrilege, Athanasius betook himself to Rome to await the hearing of his case by the Pope. A synod was summoned, but the Eusebians who had proposed it failed to appear. The result was a complete vindication of Athanasius, a verdict afterwards endorsed by the Council of Sardica. Nevertheless he found it impossible to return to Alexandria until after the death of Gregory, and then only because Emperor Constantius, on the eve of a war with Persia, thought it politic to propitiate his brother Constans by restoring Athanasius to his see.
After an absence then of eight years, Athanasius was welcomed back to Alexandria in 346, and for three or four years there was comparative peace. But the murder of Constans in 350 removed the most powerful support of orthodoxy, and Constantius, once he found himself ruler of both West and East, set himself to crush the man he now regarded as a personal enemy. At Arles in 353 he obtained the condemnation of Athanasius from a council of Gallic bishops, who seem to have been kept in ignorance of the importance of the issues. Two years later at Milan he met with more opposition from the Italian bishops, but when with his hand on his sword he gave them their choice between condemnation of Athanasius and exile, by far the greater number yielded. The few stubborn bishops were exiled, including the new Pope Liberius. He was sent into isolation in Thrace until, broken in body and spirit, he too gave his consent to the Arian decrees. Athanasius held on for another year with the support of his own clergy and people. Then one night, as he was celebrating a vigil in the church of St. Thomas, soldiers broke in. Athanasius was instantly surrounded by his people, who swept him out into the safety of darkness; but for six years thereafter he had to live in hiding. His abounding energy now expressed itself in literary composition, and to this period are ascribed his chief writings, including a , three letters to Serapion, a defense of his position to Constantius, and a treatise on the synods of Rimini and Seleucia.
The death of Constantius in 361 was followed by another shift in the situation. The new emperor, Julian, a pagan, revoked the sentences of banishment enacted by his predecessors, and Athanasius returned once again to his own city. But it was only for a few months. Julian's plans for a reconquest of the Christian world could make little headway as long as the champion of the Catholic faith ruled in Egypt; he also considered it necessary to banish Athanasius from Alexandria as "a disturber of the peace and an enemy of the gods." During this fourth exile, he seems to have explored the entire Thebaid. He was in Antinopolis when two hermits informed him of the death of Julian, who, it was later ascertained, at that moment was expiring in distant Persia, slain by an enemy's arrow.
The new emperor, Jovian, a soldier of Catholic sympathies, revoked the sentence of banishment and invited Athanasius to Antioch, to expound the doctrine of the Trinity. Jovian's reign lasted only a year, and his successor in the East, Valens, succumbed to Arian pressure in Constantinople and in May, 365, issued an order banishing again all orthodox bishops who had been exiled by Constantius and restored by his successors. Once more the worn and aged prelate was forced to flee. The ecclesiastical historian, Socrates, tells us that Athanasius hid himself this time in his father's tomb, but a better- informed writer says that he spent the months in a villa in a suburb of Alexandria. Four months later Valens revoked his edict, fearing possibly a rising of the Egyptians, who were determined to accept no other man as bishop. Joyfully they escorted him back. Athanasius had spent seventeen years in exile, but his last years were peaceful. He died in Alexandria on May 2, 373. His body was twice removed, first to Constantinople, and then to Venice.
While the theological controversies which marked this period  may seem both complex and remote, they were an important milestone in the history of the Church, Athanasius rendering an outstanding service. The statement of Christian doctrine known as the Athanasian Creed was probably composed during his life, but not actually by him. In his works there is deep spiritual feeling and understanding, and as Cardinal Newman said, he stands as "a principal instrument after the Apostles by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been conveyed and secured to the world."


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/A/stathanasius.asp#ixzz1tiEbVSRT

#PopeFrancis to Anglo-Catholics "...our efforts to overcome the obstacles to full communion" Full Text/Video


Pope Francis met on Thursday with members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission - OSS_ROM
30/04/2015 11:17



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Thursday with members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, telling them that the cause of unity is not an optional undertaking. The 18 Anglican and Catholic members of the commission, known as ARCIC III,  are holding their annual encounter this week at an ancient retreat house in the Alban hills, south of Rome. The original Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission was founded in the wake of a historic meeting in 1966 between a Pope and an Archbishop of Canterbury  - the first since the Reformation and the Church of England’s breakaway from Rome. On that occasion, Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey inaugurated a dialogue “ founded on the Gospels and on the ancient common traditions” which they hoped would lead to “unity in truth for which Christ prayed”.
Meeting with the members of ARCIC III, Pope Francis noted the current session is studying the relationship between the universal Church and the local Church – a question central to his own reform programme -  with particular reference to difficult decision making over moral and ethical questions.
These discussions, the Pope said, and the forthcoming publication of five jointly agreed statements from the previous phase of the dialogue, remind us that ecumenism is not a secondary element in the life of the Church and that the differences which divide us must not be seen as inevitable. Despite the seriousness of the challenges, he said we must trust even more in the power of the Spirit to heal and reconcile what may not seem possible to our human understanding.
Finally Pope Francis  highlighted the powerful testimony of Christians from different Churches and traditions who have been victims of violence and persecution. The blood of these martyrs, he said, will nourish a new era of ecumenical commitment to fulfill the last will and testament of the Lord: that all may be one.
Please see below the full text of Pope Francis’ address to the members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
1.         It is a pleasure to be with you, the members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.  In these days you are gathered for a new session of your dialogue, which is now studying the relationship between the universal Church and the local Church, with particular reference to processes for discussions and decision making regarding moral and ethical questions.  I cordially welcome you and wish you a successful meeting.
Your dialogue is the result of the historic meeting in 1966 between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey, which gave rise to the first Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.  On that occasion, they both prayed with hope for "a serious dialogue which, founded on the Gospels and on the ancient common traditions, [would] lead to that unity in truth for which Christ prayed" (The Common Declaration by Pope Paul VI and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey, Rome, 24 March 1966). 
We have not yet reached that goal, but we are convinced that the Holy Spirit continues to move us in that direction, notwithstanding new difficulties and challenges.  Your presence here today is an indication of how the shared tradition of faith and history between Anglicans and Catholics can inspire and sustain our efforts to overcome the obstacles to full communion.  Though we are fully aware of the seriousness of the challenges ahead, we can still realistically trust that together great progress will be made.
2.         Shortly you will publish five jointly agreed statements of the second phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue, with commentaries and responses.  I offer my congratulations for this work.  This reminds us that ecumenical relations and dialogue are not secondary elements of the life of the Churches.  The cause of unity is not an optional undertaking and the differences which divide us must not be seen as inevitable.  Some wish that, after fifty years, greater progress towards unity would have been achieved.  Despite difficulties, we must not lose heart, but we must trust even more in the power of the Holy Spirit, who can heal and reconcile us, and accomplish what humanly does not seem possible. 
  3.       There is a strong bond that already unites us which goes beyond all divisions: it is the testimony of Christians from different Churches and traditions, victims of persecution and violence simply because of the faith they profess.  The blood of these martyrs will nourish a new era of ecumenical commitment, a fervent desire to fulfill the last will and testament of the Lord: that all may be one (cf. Jn 17:21).  The witness by these our brothers and sisters demands that we live in harmony with the Gospel and that we strive with determination to fulfill the Lord's will for his Church.  Today the world urgently needs the common, joyful witness of Christians, from the defence of life and human dignity to the promotion of justice and peace.
Together let us invoke the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to respond courageously to "the signs of the times" which are calling all Christians to unity and common witness.  May the Holy Spirit abundantly inspire your work.

Why is May the Month of Mary - Free Resources - FAQ about Mary

USCCB REPORT
Mary
As the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary has a unique position among the saints, indeed, among all creatures. She is exalted, yet still one of us
"Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved."
FOR BREAKING NEWS AND FREE MOVIES LIKE US ON FACEBOOK NOWhttp://www.facebook.com/catholicnewsworld

Mary embraces God's will and freely chooses to cooperate with God's grace, thereby fulfilling a crucial role in God's plan of salvation. Throughout the centuries, the Church has turned to the Blessed Virgin in order to come closer to Christ. Many forms of piety toward the Mother of God developed that help bring us closer to her Son. In these devotions to Mary, "while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly known, loved and glorified and . . . all His commands are observed." The Church honors her as the Mother of God, looks to her as a model of perfect discipleship, and asks for her prayers to God on our behalf.
May as a month of our Lady was strengthened especially by the Rosary Encyclicals of Leo XIII – beginning in 1883 and concluding in 1889, the Pontiff wrote twelve encyclicals and five apostolic letters on the Rosary. The Catholic Encyclopedia discusses the rather recent origin of Mary Month:
“The May devotion [to our Lady] in its present form originated at Rome where Father Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus, to counteract infidelity and immorality among the students, made a vow at the end of the eighteenth century to devote the month of May to Mary. From Rome the practice spread to the other Jesuit colleges and thence to nearly every Catholic church of the Latin rite (Albers, "Bluethenkranze", IV, 531 sq.). This practice is the oldest instance of a devotion extending over an entire month.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, “Special Devotions for Months”)
Mary Month – Why May?
There was an ancient tradition of connecting May with new life and fecundity, led to a realization that May is very much the month of motherhood – this may be the reason why Mother’s Day is celebrated during May .
Q.Do Catholics Adore Mary? 
Though English words like 'worship' and 'adoration' are occasionally used to signify only veneration, honor or affection, they are generally understood to refer to that highest type of worship reserved for God alone. In this sense, Catholics do NOT adore or worship Mary, or any other created person or thing. 
The Ecumenical Council held at Nicaea in 787 considered the issue of veneration which is not directed to the Divine persons in relation to sacred images. At this Council, the Church taught that the special type of worship called adoration may only be offered to God: Latria from the Greek term for enslavement. However, the Church also acknowledged that certain persons, though only creatures of God, are entitled to honor or veneration of a qualitatively lesser degree than the absolute allegiance owed to God. The Conciliar Fathers termed this lesser devotion:Dulia. Such veneration was proper for Mary and the Saints. In view of Mary's important role in salvation history as Mother of Jesus, the Church recognized that Mary warranted a special degree of honor among the Saints. For this class of devotion, St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) suggested the term hyperdulia
No, Catholics do not worship Mary, if by worshiping is meant adoring. She is not God for us, has never been and will never be. Addressing prayer to Mary is like asking a dear and close friend for help. Do we make a God of our friend when asking him to keep us in his prayers? Do we divinize him/her when asking for his prayerful support in sickness and the trials of life? Believers on earth and in heaven constitute a living community which the major Christian denominations recognize as the communion of saints. The saints in heaven are not dead. Their Christian example of virtuous living and their closeness to God make of them powerful allies for us struggling mortals. They do not take God's place; they are an expression of his grace.
Likewise, there is nothing in Mary that would not have been in God and come from him. She is a pure product of God; this is the essential meaning of Mary's sinlessness. Never forget: if God wanted the exclusively direct relation between him and you and me he would never send Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, never allow scripture to be the foundation of our faith, never encourage his Son to found the Church or institute the sacraments. Christianity is the religion of mediation, essential and foundational in Christ; participative and subordinate in his Church and in varying degrees in the believers. Source: udayton
Q.  Why do Catholics pray to Mary?

A. 1. A saying that is well known among Catholics is, "To Jesus, through Mary." This does not mean, "To Mary, through Jesus." Nor does it mean, "To Jesus and to Mary." This saying affirms that Catholics do not pray "to" Mary as an equal to God. They pray "through" Mary as an intercessor who prays to God on behalf of mankind.

If Catholics were to pray to Mary, this would imply that they are worshipping her as a god. But Catholics do not perceive Mary as a god. (i) They honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. (ii) The view Mary as the holiest of all the Saints. (iii) The accept the fact that Mary is the most successful Saint at obtaining Divine favours through her intercession.

Q.  Is there any Biblical support for the belief of Catholics to call upon Mary to intercede to God on their behalf?

A.  First of all, because Mary was the birth mother of the humanity of Jesus in who "the fullness of the deity (God) was pleased to dwell bodily," [Col. 1:19, 2:9] Catholics recognize the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God.

Secondly, because Mary was "favoured by God" [Lk. 1:30] when she was personally chosen by the Lord to become the mother of Jesus, God incarnated, Catholics believe that they have a greater chance of obtaining God's grace for their daily physical and spiritual needs by asking Mary to intercede on their behalf.

Thirdly, the above mentioned belief is partially based on the fact that Jesus is the King of kings and Mary, as the mother of the King, is the "queen mother." Then, when studying Jewish history, it is discovered that the institution of the "queen mother" was established during the reign of King Solomon.

In the Old Testament, we learn of the favoured position of the queen mother through the following words, "... then the king sat on his throne, and had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat on his right. Then she said, 'I have one small request to make of you, do not refuse me.' And the king said to her, 'Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.'" [1 Kgs. 2:19-20]

Following the reign of King Solomon, many of the kings kept this practice. The mother of the king, through who the king received his throne, was trusted as a confident and advisor. So important was the function of the queen mothers in the days of the Old Testament that their names were listed in the succession records of the kings of Judah. [See 1 Kgs 14:21, 15:13; 2 Kgs. 12:1, 14:2, 15:2, etc...]

Similar to the intercession of the Queen Mother, when a child desires a favour and cannot obtain it from his/her parents, frequently the child will make the request to the grandparent to intercede on his/her behalf, therefore obtaining the favour that was being sought. This does not mean that the child is seeking the parental favour from the grandparent. Rather, the child is seeking the intercession of the grandparents before the parents.

Furthermore, Catholics do not differentiate between the living (in this world) and the dead (those who departed) members of the Body of Christ (the fullness of the Church.) The fullness of the mystical Body of Christ is found in the union of all the saints, past and present, here below and those above in Heaven.

In view of the aforementioned, it cannot be denied that those who were called to Heaven, including Mary, are still alive in spirit in the Kingdom of God that coexists with our world. As some non-Catholics pray through their deceased parents, grandparents or other biological relatives, asking these beloved departed persons to intercede before God on their behalf, Catholics pray through Mary to Jesus, taking advantage of her blessed position as the Mother of God.

This Catholic action affirms the prophetic and Divinely inspired passage that is found in the Holy Bible where it states, "Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed." [Lk. 1:47] All generations could not call Mary blessed if she was not actively involved in the progressive Divine Plan that continues to develop before our eyes.

Indeed, all generations have called the Blessed Virgin Mary blessed, including this one, because she has never stopped interceding on behalf of the world, her intercession obtaining endless miraculous cures and other favours. The role of Mary in the area of obtaining physical miraculous cures is well known and documented in Lourdes, France, this being only one of the many holy places where the grace of God has been manifested through the Virgin Mary at apparition sites.
Many popular devotional practices involve veneration of the saints. The saints have a special place in the Body of Christ, which includes both the living and the dead. Through Christ we on earth remain in communion both with the saints in heaven and with the dead who are still in Purgatory. We can pray for those in Purgatory and ask the saints to pray for us. Through their prayers of intercession, the saints in heaven play an integral role in the life of the Church on earth. "For after they have been received into their heavenly home and are present to the Lord, through Him and with Him and in Him they do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, showing forth the merits which they won on earth through the one Mediator between God and man." The saints, the members of the Church who have arrived at perfect union with Christ, join their wills to the will of God in praying for those in the Church who are still on their pilgrimage of faith.
Besides what the saints can do for us by their prayers, the very practice of venerating the saints does great good for those who are devoted to the saints. By practicing love of the saints we strengthen the unity of the entire Body of Christ in the Spirit. This in turn brings us all closer to Christ. "For just as Christian communion among wayfarers brings us closer to Christ, so our companionship with the saints joins us to Christ, from Whom as from its Fountain and Head issues every grace and the very life of the people of God." Love of the saints necessarily includes and leads to love of Christ and to love of the Holy Trinity. "For every genuine testimony of love shown by us to those in heaven, by its very nature tends toward and terminates in Christ who is the 'crown of all saints,' and through Him, in God Who is wonderful in his saints and is magnified in them."
—From Popular Devotional PracticesBeatification
A canonization today is the Church's official declaration, through the decision of the pope, that a person is a saint, truly in heaven and worthy of public veneration and imitation. The process begins by naming the person "Venerable," a "Servant of God" who has demonstrated a life of heroic virtue. 
The next stage is beatification, by which a person is named "Blessed." This step requires one miracle attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God. 
For canonization, a second miracle is needed, attributed to the intercession of the Blessed and having occurred after the individual's beatification. Miracles are not required for martyrs. The pope may dispense with some of the formalities or steps in the process.

Miracles

108. Why did Jesus manifest the Kingdom by means of signs and miracles?

Jesus accompanied his words with signs and miracles to bear witness to the fact that the Kingdom is present in him, the Messiah. Although he healed some people, he did not come to abolish all evils here below but rather to free us especially from the slavery of sin. The driving out of demons proclaimed that his cross would be victorious over "the ruler of this world" (John 12:31).
Post a Comment