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Monday, August 10, 2015

Catholic News World : Mon. August 10, 2015 -SHARE

 2015

#PopeFrancis announces World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation - FULL TEXT/Video - SHARE


 Pope Francis has set up a “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” to be celebrated on September 1st annually. The announcement was made in a letter to the heads of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
Below in English is Pope Francis' letter announcing the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” 
To my Venerable Brothers Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah TURKSON, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Cardinal Kurt KOCH, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity Sharing with my beloved brother the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew his concerns for the future of creation (cfr Encylical Letter. Laudato Si, 7-9) and taking up the suggestion by his representative, the Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum who took part in the presentation of the Encyclical Laudato Si on the care of our common home, I wish to inform you that I have decided to set up also in the Catholic Church, the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which, beginning this year, will be celebrated on the 1st of September, as the Orthodox Church has done for some time now.   
As Christians we wish to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living through.  Therefore, first of all we must draw from our rich spiritual heritage the reasons which feed our passion for the care of creation, always remembering that for believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man for us, “the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.” (ibid., 216).   The ecological crisis therefore calls us to a profound spiritual conversion: Christians are called to “an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.” (ibid., 217).  Thus, “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”(ibid).
The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live.  The celebration of the Day on the same date as the Orthodox Church will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our orthodox brothers.   We live in a time where all Christians are faced with identical and important challenges and we must give common replies to these in order to appear more credible and effective.  Therefore it is my hope that this Day can involve, in some way, other Churches and ecclesial Communities and be celebrated in union with the initiatives that the World Council of Churches is promoting on this issue.Cardinal Turkson, as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,  I asking you to inform the Justice and Peace Commissions of the Bishops’ Conferences, as well as the national and international Organizations involved in environmental issues about the establishment of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, so that in union with the needs and the local situation , this celebration can be rightly marked with the participation of the entire People of God: priests, men and women religious and the lay faithful.  For this reason, it will be the task of this Dicastery, in collaboration with the Episcopal Conferences to set up relevant initiatives to promote and illustrate this Day, so that this annual celebration becomes a powerful moment of prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate life styles.  
Cardinal Koch, as President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, I’m asking you to make the necessary contacts with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and with the other ecumenical organisations so that this World Day can become the sign of a path along all believers in Christ walk together.  It will also be your Dicastery’s task to take care of the coordination with similar initiatives set up by the World Council of Churches. Whilst I look forward to the widest possible cooperation for the best start and development of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, I invoke the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God and of St. Francis of Assisi, whose Canticle of the Creatures inspires so many men and women of goodwill to live in praise of the Creator and with respect for creation.  I support this pledge along with my Apostolic Blessing which I impart with all my heart to you, my dear Cardinals, and to all those who collaborate in your ministry. From the Vatican, 6th August 2015 Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.

#BreakingNews Child Abuse Scandal in Pakistan with Hundreds of Children - Please Pray

Massive child abuse scandal unveiled in Pakistan
Citizens in Pakistan are clamoring for justice after a sex abuse scandal involving hundreds of children shocked the nation. Pornographic films allegedly show victims being forced to have sex and abusing each other.
Pakistan is reeling from the aftermath of a huge child pornography scandal, which came to light a few days ago when protesters clashed with police in Kasur, a town close to the country's eastern city of Lahore.
The demonstrators were protesting against the police for allegedly failing to arrest members of a gang suspected of raping hundreds of children, filming them and blackmailing their parents, Pakistani daily "Dawn" reported.
According to local media, most of the 280 children were below 14 years of age and were residents of Husain Khanwala village, near Kasur. A local gang began filming sexual exploits with the children in 2006, which allegedly continued until last year. The victims were forced to have sex and the videos were then circulated for 50 Rupees (40 US cents, 36 euro cents).
A journalist working for Pakistani website "The Nation" posted some information about the videos on Twitter:
Local media websites also quoted villagers saying some films had been exported to European countries and the US.
Investigations begin
Kasur officials have ordered an inquiry, but District Police Officer Rai Babbar said only seven complainants had been made so far.
More than 10 people have been accused in a police complaint made by the children's parents, but nearly half are out on bail and six have been placed under judicial remand for 14 days. Punjab's Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, has meanwhile ordered the accused persons to be arrested.
The government's handling of the case also has journalists and rights activists up in arms, especially after Punjab Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah denied the cases of abuse, saying the reports surfaced because villagers were fighting over land.
Police have also disputed media reports that the number of victims ran into the hundreds.
Numbers could increase
Speaking to Deutsche Welle, Pakistan's prominent child rights activist and lawyer Rana Asif Habib said the numbers were simply "the tip of the iceberg." The actual number of victims could be much higher, considering that Kasur was very close to Lahore, where slum children attract abusers in large numbers.
"Pakistan is not a signatory to the UN Child Rights Convention," Habib says, adding that children can therefore not complain to any authority in the event that they are sexually exploited. He recalls a 1999 case when child abuser Javed Iqbal surrendered himself to the police, admitting that he had sexually abused over 100 children and drowned them in acid afterwards.
And as far as the Kasur child abuse case is concerned, Habib is cynical. Officials will probably make a show of an investigation as long as the media focuses on them. "After that there is usually no follow-up and then it is brushed under the carpet," Habib says. Text shared from Deutsche Welle - Image Freshpk Google Images

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday August 10, 2015


Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr
Lectionary: 618


Reading 12 COR 9:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.


The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Responsorial PsalmPS 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9

R. (5) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

AlleluiaJN 8:12BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness
but will have the light of life, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

Saint August 10 : St. Lawrence : #Deacon and Martyr


MARTYR died 10 August, 258.St. Lawrence, one of the deacons of the Roman Church, was one of the victims of the persecution of Valerian in 258, like Pope Sixtus II and many other members of the Roman clergy. At the beginning of the month of August, 258, the emperor issued an edict, commanding that all bishops, ,priests, and deacons should immediately be put to death ("episcopi et presbyteriet diacones incontinenti animadvertantur" — Cyprian Epist. lxxx, 1). This imperial command was immediately carried out in Rome. On 6 August Pope Sixtus II was apprehended in one of the catacombs, and executed forthwith ("Xistum in cimiterio animadversum sciatis VIII id. Augusti et cum eo diacones quattuor." Cyprian , ep. lxxx, 1). Two other deacons, Felicissimus and Agapitus, were put to death the same day. In the Roman Calendar of feasts of the fourth century their feast day is on the same date. Four days later, on the 10th of August of that same year, Lawrence, the last of the seven deacons, also suffered a martyr's death.  The burial-place is in the Catacomb of Cyriaca in agro Verano. source: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Sunday, August 9, 2015

#PopeFrancis "May one cry rise up from every land, ‘No’ to war and violence and ‘Yes’ to dialogue and to peace." at Angelus Text/Video

Pope Francis waves to crowd - REUTERS
Pope Francis waves to crowd - REUTERS
09/08/2015 12:



(Pope Francis)  Pope Francis on Sunday recalled the 70th anniversary of the "terrible" atomic bomb attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, saying this tragic event "still arouses horror and repulsion" in us many years later. The Pope said these attacks have become the symbol of the enormous destructive power of humanity when it makes a distorted use of scientific and technical progress and serves as a lasting warning to us. Turning to the situation in El Salvador, Pope Francis spoke of his deep concern for the suffering of the population there as a result of the famine, the economic crisis and growing violence.  
His remarks came in an appeal following the Angelus prayer addressed to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square. In his earlier Angelus address, the Pope spoke of how faith only blooms if we allow our hearts to be opened by God’s love.
 Please find below a translation in English of the Pope’s appeal and a summary of his earlier Angelus address:
 Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“Seventy years ago, on the 6th and the 9th of August 1945, the terrible atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place.  Even after so many years, this tragic event still arouses horror and repulsion. This (event) has become the symbol of mankind’s enormous destructive power when it makes a distorted use of scientific and technical progress and serves as a lasting warning to humanity so that it rejects forever war and bans nuclear weapons and all arms of mass destruction. Above all, this sad anniversary urges us to pray and strive for peace, to spread brotherhood throughout the world and a climate of peaceful coexistence between peoples. May one cry rise up from every land, ‘No’ to war and violence and ‘Yes’ to dialogue and to peace.  With war one always loses. The only way to win a war is never to wage it.
I am following with deep concern the news coming from El Salvador where recently the suffering of the population has worsened owing to the famine, the economic crisis, social clashes and growing violence. I encourage the beloved people of El Salvador to persevere united in hope and urge everybody to pray in order that justice and peace can flower ago in the land of the Blessed Oscar Romero.”
During his earlier Angelus address, Pope Francis said faith only blooms if we allow our hearts to be opened by God’s love.  Taking his inspiration from the gospel reading of John where Jesus tells the crowd that “no one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me,” the Pope said Christ’s words introduce “the dynamics of faith.”  He stressed that “it’s not enough to meet Jesus to believe in Him, it’s not enough to read the Bible, the Gospel, it’s not even enough to witness a miracle.” 
The Pope said many people were in close contact with Jesus and “still did not believe in him and actually even despised and condemned him.”  He explained that this occurred because “their hearts were closed to the work of the Holy Spirit. Instead, faith, which is like a seed in the depths of our heart, blooms when we allow ourselves to be drawn by God towards Jesus, and we go to Him with an open mind and with no prejudices.”
Pope Francis said with “this attitude of faith” we can also understand Jesus’s words when he describes himself as the “bread of life.”  Whoever is drawn by this love of God goes towards Jesus with faith and receives from him eternal life.  The Pope concluded by saying the person who lived through this experience “in an exemplary fashion was Mary, the virgin of Nazareth, the first human person who believed in God by welcoming the flesh of Jesus.”  "Let us learn from her example.”

Sunday Mass Online : Sunday August 9, 2015 - 19th Ord. Time


Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 116

Reading 11 KGS 19:4-8
Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert,
until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it.
He prayed for death saying:
“This is enough, O LORD!
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree,
but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat.
Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake
and a jug of water.
After he ate and drank, he lay down again,
but the angel of the LORD came back a second time,
touched him, and ordered,
“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”
He got up, ate, and drank;
then strengthened by that food,
he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
Let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
And delivered me from all my fears.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy.
And your faces may not blush with shame.
When the afflicted man called out, the LORD heard,
And from all his distress he saved him.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Reading 2EPH 4:30—5:2

Brothers and sisters:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling
must be removed from you, along with all malice.
And be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.

AlleluiaJN 6:51

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:41-51

The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said,
“I am the bread that came down from heaven, ”
and they said,
“Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph?
Do we not know his father and mother?
Then how can he say,
‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Stop murmuring among yourselves.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

Saint August 9 : St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross : Edith Stein : #Jewish #convert



Edith Stein was born in Breslau on 12 October 1891, the youngest of 11, as her family were celebrating Yom Kippur, that most important Jewish festival, the Feast of Atonement. "More than anything else, this helped make the youngest child very precious to her mother." Being born on this day was like a foreshadowing to Edith, a future Carmelite nun.
Edith's father, who ran a timber business, died when she had only just turned two. Her mother, a very devout, hard-working, strong-willed and truly wonderful woman, now had to fend for herself and to look after the family and their large business. However, she did not succeed in keeping up a living faith in her children. Edith lost her faith in God. "I  consciously decided, of my own volition, to give up praying," she said.
In 1913, Edith Stein transferred to G6ttingen University, to study under the mentorship of Edmund Husserl. She became his pupil and teaching assistant, and he later tutored her for a doctorate. At the time, anyone who was interested in philosophy was fascinated by Husserl's new view of reality, whereby the world as we perceive it does not merely exist in a Kantian way, in our subjective perception. His pupils saw his philosophy as a return to objects: "back to things". Husserl's phenomenology unwittingly led many of his pupils to the Christian faith. In G6ttingen Edith Stein also met the philosopher Max Scheler, who directed her attention to Roman Catholicism. Nevertheless, she did not neglect her "bread-and-butter" studies and passed her degree with distinction in January 1915, though she did not follow it up with teacher training.
In 1916, she followed Husserl as his assistant to the German city of Freiburg, where she passed her doctorate summa cum laude (with the utmost distinction) in 1917, after writing a thesis on "The Problem of Empathy."
Edith Stein had been good friends with Husserl's Göttingen assistant, Adolf Reinach, and his wife.
When Reinach fell in Flanders in November 1917, Edith went to Göttingen to visit his widow. The Reinachs had converted to Protestantism. Edith felt uneasy about meeting the young widow at first, but was surprised when she actually met with a woman of faith.
Later, she wrote: "Things were in God's plan which I had not planned at all. I am coming to the living faith and conviction that - from God's point of view - there is no chance and that the whole of my life, down to every detail, has been mapped out in God's divine providence and makes complete and perfect sense in God's all-seeing eyes."
. One evening Edith picked up an autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila and read this book all night. "When I had finished the book, I said to myself: This is the truth." Later, looking back on her life, she wrote: "My longing for truth was a single prayer."
On 1 January 1922 Edith Stein was baptized. It was the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus, when Jesus entered into the covenant of Abraham. Edith Stein stood by the baptismal font, wearing Hedwig  Conrad-Martius' white wedding cloak. Hedwig washer godmother. "I had given up practising my Jewish religion when I was a 14-year-old girl and did not begin to feel Jewish again until I had returned to God."
After her conversion she went straight to Breslau: "Mother," she said, "I am a Catholic." The two women cried. Hedwig Conrad Martius wrote: "Behold, two Israelites indeed, in whom is no deceit!" (cf. John 1:47).
Immediately after her conversion she wanted to join a Carmelite convent.
In 1933 darkness broke out over Germany. "I had heard of severe measures against Jews before. But now it dawned on me that God had laid his hand heavily on His people, and that the destiny of these people would also be mine." The Aryan Law of the Nazis made it impossible for Edith Stein to continue teaching. "If I can't go on here, then there are no longer any opportunities for me in Germany," she wrote; "I had become a stranger in the world."
The Arch-Abbot of Beuron, Walzer, now no longer stopped her from entering a Carmelite convent. While in Speyer, she had already taken a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience. In 1933 she met with the prioress of the Carmelite Convent in Cologne. "Human activities cannot help us, but only the suffering of Christ. It is my desire to share in it."
Edith Stein went to Breslau for the last time, to say good-bye to her mother and her family. Her last day at home was her birthday, 12 October, which was also the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Edith went to the synagogue with her mother. It was a hard day for the two women. "Why did you get to know it [Christianity]?" her mother asked, "I don't want to say anything against him. He may have been a very good person. But why did he make himself God?" Edith's mother cried. The following day Edith was on the train to Cologne. "I did not feel any passionate joy. What I had just experienced was too terrible. But I felt a profound peace - in the safe haven of God's will." From now on she wrote to her mother every week, though she never received any replies. Instead, her sister Rosa sent her news from Breslau.
Edith joined the Carmelite Convent of Cologne on 14 October, and her investiture took place on 15 April, 1934. The mass was celebrated by the Arch-Abbot of Beuron. Edith Stein was now known as Sister Teresia Benedicta a Cruce - Teresa, Blessed of the Cross.
When she made her eternal profession on 21 April 1938, she had the words of St. John of the Cross printed on her devotional picture: "Henceforth my only vocation is to love." Her final work was to be devoted to this author.
On 9 November 1938 the anti-Semitism of the Nazis became apparent to the whole world.
Edith Stein was arrested by the Gestapo on 2 August 1942, while she was in the chapel with the other sisters. She was to report within five minutes, together with her sister Rosa, who had also converted and was serving at the Echt Convent. Her last words to be heard in Echt were addressed to Rosa: "Come, we are going for our people."
Together with many other Jewish Christians, the two women were taken to a transit camp in Amersfoort and then to Westerbork. This was an act of retaliation against the letter of protest written by the Dutch Roman Catholic Bishops against the pogroms and deportations of Jews. Edith commented, "I never knew that people could be like this, neither did I know that my brothers and sisters would have to suffer like this. ... I pray for them every hour. Will God hear my prayers? He will certainly hear them in their distress." Prof. Jan Nota, who was greatly attached to her, wrote later: "She is a witness to God's presence in a world where God is absent."
On 7 August, early in the morning, 987 Jews were deported to Auschwitz. It was probably on 9 August that Sister Teresia Benedicta a Cruce, her sister and many other of her people were gassed.
When Edith Stein was beatified in Cologne on 1 May 1987, the Church honoured "a daughter of Israel", as Pope John Paul II put it, who, as a Catholic during Nazi persecution, remained faithful to the crucified Lord Jesus Christ and, as a Jew, to her people in loving faithfulness."
EDITED FROM http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_19981011_edith_stein_en.html
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