Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Catholic News World : Wed. August 26, 2015 - SHARE!


Pope Francis greets pilgrims and visitors at the start of his weekly General Audience in St Peter's Square - ANSA
Pope Francis greets pilgrims and visitors at the start of his weekly General Audience in St Peter's Square - ANSA
26/08/2015 12:07

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday continued his reflections on family life, focusing especially on the importance of finding time for prayer.
Greeting visitors from many different countries, gathered for the weekly General Audience in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said families often experience difficulty in devoting time for prayer. But he said a heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or small gesture of devotion into a moment of prayer.
Pope Francis noted that family life is complicated and time consuming: parents, he said, should win Nobel prizes for the way they manage to squeeze 48 hours’ work into just 24 hours! But if we truly love God with all our hearts, and all our mind, and all our strength, he said, we will discover that the heart of prayer is the love of God, who constantly caresses us with his love.
The Pope urged parents to teach their children to pray, to read the bible and to make the sign of the Cross so that their homes may become places where Jesus always finds a warm welcome
Please find below the English summary of Pope Francis’ remarks at the Wednesday General Audience
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
 In our continuing catechesis on the family, today we reflect on the importance of devoting time to prayer.  We all know how important prayer is, yet it seems so difficult to find time for it.  Perhaps we need to ask if we truly love God, as he asks us to, with all our heart, and all our mind and all our strength.  For the heart of prayer is the love of God, the source of our life, who constantly “caresses” us with his own love. 
A heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or a small gesture of devotion a moment of prayer.  The Holy Spirit teaches us to pray, to call God our Father, and to grow daily in his love.  Our families need to ask for the gift of the Spirit!  Through prayer, even in the busiest times, we give time back to God, we find the peace that comes from appreciating the important things, and we encounter the joy of God’s unexpected gifts.  Through daily prayer may our homes become, like the house of Martha and Mary, places where Jesus always finds a warm welcome.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from England, Denmark, Malta, China, Dubai, Nigeria, Canada and the United States of America.  Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord Jesus.  God bless you all! 

Saint August 26 : Our Lady of Czestochowa of #Poland - #BlackMadonna - #Czestochowa

Our Lady of Czestochowa
Feast day: August 26 ( Hist. )
The image of Our Lady in Czestochowa, Poland [at right] is among that small group of Black Madonnas recognized throughout the entire world, largely due to the recent manifestations of public piety shown by the reigning Polish Pope, John Paul II. The image is sometimes called Our Lady of Jasna Gora after the name of the monastery site in which it has been kept for six centuries. Joan Carroll Cruz relates the following 'miracle story' regarding the selection of this site:
St. Ladislaus determined to save the image from the repeated invasions of the Tartars by taking it to the more secure city of Opala, his birthplace. This journey took him through Czestochowa, where he decided to rest for the night. During this brief pause in their journey, the image was taken to Jasna Gora [meaning "Bright Hill"]. There it was placed in a small wooden church named for the Assumption. The following morning, after the portrait was carefully replaced in its wagon, the horses refused to move. Accepting this as a heavenly sign that the portrait was to remain in Czestochowa, St. Ladislaus had the image solemnly returned to the Church of the Assumption.
Another 'miraculous' aspect of this image is that its antiquity is so great that its origins are unknown, as if "dropped from the heavens." Legend attributes its creation to St. Luke, the evangelist, who "painted a portrait of the Virgin on the cedar wood table at which she had taken her meals." St. Helena, the Queen-Mother of Emperor Constantine is said to have located the portrait during her visit to the Holy Land and to have brought it to Constantinople in the fourth century. After remaining there for five centuries, it allegedly was transferred in royal dowries until it made its way to Poland, and the possession of St. Ladislaus in the fifteenth century.
The legend continues: During Ladislaus' time, the image was damaged during a siege, by a Tartar arrow, "inflicting a scar on the throat of the Blessed Virgin." In 1430, Hussites stole and vandalized the precious image, breaking it into three pieces. Adding insult to injury:
One of the robbers drew his sword, struck the image and inflicted two deep gashes. While preparing to inflict a third gash, he fell to the ground and writhed in agony until his death ... The two slashes on the cheek of the Blessed Virgin, together with the previous injury to the throat, have always reappeared--despite repeated attempts to repair them.
However, modern scholarship has its own views on this legend. Leonard Moss claims: "the figure is distinctly thirteenth-fourteenth century Byzantine in form." In general, its Byzantine style is obvious, a variant on Hodegetria. Janusz Pasierb states of the image that "in 1434 it was painted virtually anew" due to the extensive damage caused by vandalism. He adds that "the authors of the new version were faithful to the original as regards its contents." This might explain the persistence of the damage marks mentioned earlier. Finally, note that Pasierb sees the prototype of Our Lady of Czestochowa as "a Byzantine icon ... which from the fifth century on had been worshipped in a church in Constantinople's ton hodegon quarter."
The miracles worked by Our Lady of Czestochowa seem to occur mainly on a public scale. During her stay in Constantinople, she is reported to have frightened the besieging Saracens away from the city. Similarly, in 1655 a small group of Polish defenders was able to drive off a much larger army of Swedish invaders from the sanctuary. The following year, the Holy Virgin was acclaimed Queen of Poland by King Casimir. It is also recorded that Our Lady dispersed an army of Russian invaders by an apparition at the River Vistula on September 15, 1920. In more recent times, the Czestochowa Madonna has also been acknowledged for her protection of and cooperation with the Polish nation. Beyond these public prodigies:
The miracles attributed to Our Lady of Czestochowa are numerous and spectacular. The original accounts of these cures and miracles are preserved in the archives of the Pauline Fathers at Jasna Gora.
The image is not so well-known only on account of its history of miracles. Its international reputation has been considerably enhanced because of the personal devotion of Blessed John Paul II:
In modern times, Karol Wojtyla, a native son of Poland, prayed before the Madonna during his historic visit in 1979, several months after his election to the Chair of Peter as John Paul II. He made another visit to Our Lady of Czestochowa in 1983 and again in 1991.
Why Is She Black?
A final question remains: why is Our Lady of Czestochowa black? Cruz mentions a possible link to the Canticle of Canticles: "I am black but beautiful."; but concludes that "The darkness is ascribed to various conditions [e.g. accumulated residue from candles], of which its age is primary."
Broschart, by contrast, opines:
the shrine was destroyed by fire, but the picture was not burned--however, the flames and smoke had darkened it and from that day it has been known as the "Black Madonna."
Recall that Moss saw the image as Byzantine in form, dating from the Medieval period. He added: "the skin pigmentation is characteristic of this stylized portraiture."
Interestingly, Ernst Scheyer, an art historian who studied the image, believed that "the present image was restored in the nineteenth century and painted somewhat darker than previously."
Adding to all this confusion, a notable Swiss copy, completed by Kosmoski in 1956 and kept in the Hospice of the Great St. Bernard Pass, is much darker than the version in Jasna Gora, while a copy at a shrine in Doylestown, Pennsylvania is depicted in lighter flesh tones. All of which makes the question of authorial intent extremely complicated. Her miraculous reputation, though, is beyond dispute.
For further information on Our Lady of Czestochowa, refer to "In Quest of the Black Virgin ..." by Leonard W. Moss; pp. 53-74 in Mother Worship: Themes and Variations (1982) by James Preston (ed.); Miraculous Images of Our Lady (1993) by Joan Carroll Cruz; Call Her Blessed (1961) by Charles B. Broschart; and The Shrine of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa (1989) by Janusz Pasierb.
Source: The Marian Library : Michael Duricy

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. August 26, 2015

Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 427

Reading 11 THES 2:9-13
You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery.
Working night and day in order not to burden any of you,
we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and so is God,
how devoutly and justly and blamelessly
we behaved toward you believers.
As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children,
exhorting and encouraging you and insisting
that you walk in a manner worthy of the God
who calls you into his Kingdom and glory.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly,
that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us,
you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God,
which is now at work in you who believe.

Responsorial PsalmPS 139:7-8, 9-10, 11-12AB

R. (1) You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall hide me,
and night shall be my light”–
For you darkness itself is not dark,
and night shines as the day.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

Alleluia1 JN 2:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 23:27-32

Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

#PopeFrancis writes Special Letter to #Hebrew Catholics in #Israel - FULL TEXT

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has written a letter to Fr. David Neuhaus, SJ, who heads the St. James Vicariate for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Vicariate as the Work of St. James – so named after the Apostle who led the Church at Jerusalem in the founding generation. Signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, the letters states, “The Holy Father was pleased to learn of the celebrations marking the sixtieth anniversary of the Apostolate of Saint James and he sends cordial good wishes to you and the priests, religious and Hebrew speaking Catholics of the Saint James Vicariate.” The letter goes on to promise prayers for the continued and constant spiritual renewal of the Vicariate and its members. “In this way, not only will the Vicariate community be strengthened,” the letter reads, “it will also become an ever more effective instrument of dialogue and peace within broader society and a sign of Christ’s love for those most in need.” Please find the text of the letter in Enlgish, below "The Holy Father was pleased to learn of the celebrations marking the sixtieth anniversary of the Apostolate of Saint James and he sends cordial good wishes to you and the priests, religious and Hebrew speaking Catholics of the Saint James Vicariate. As you reflect on the many graces bestowed by God upon the Apostolate and Vicariate throughout these years, His Holiness prays that all of you may be renewed in your joyful witness to the Gospel, “not only with words, but above all by lives transfigured by God’s presence” (Evangelii Gaudium, 259). In this way, not only will the Vicariate community be strengthened, it will also become an ever more effective instrument of dialogue and peace within broader society and a sign of Christ’s love for those most in need. Commending the Saint James Vicariate to the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, Pope Francis willingly imparts his Apostolic Blessing as pledge of peace and joy in the Lord.”

Special Mass in Australia for Expectant #Mothers by Archbishop Fisher "Author of Life - God the Father."

Archbishop Urges Mothers to Raise Their Child in the Ways of God

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
25 Aug 2015
Archbishop Anthony blessed and spoke with each of the 100 mothers at last weekend's eighth annual Mass for Pregnant Mothers
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP celebrated the Archdiocese of Sydney's annual Mass for Pregnant Mothers urging them to raise their child in the ways of God by praying with them, even in the months before they are born.
More than 100 expectant mothers, their husbands and families attended the much- anticipated Mass for Pregnant Mothers at St Mary's Cathedral on Sunday, 23 August.
Each of the mothers-to-be were individually blessed by the Archbishop who used his homily to thank them for "choosing life, for serving life and for collaborating with the Author of Life - God the Father."
Speaking out against what he called the "self-idolisation of modernity," the Archbishop expressed his concern at the plummeting fertility rates in the Western world and said many couples today considered children an optional extra, something to think about after the pair had set about achieving what they considered the "really important things" such as career advancement, the acquisition of real estate and overseas travel.
"If babies are welcomed at all, it is often to fulfil adult desires and we have various tests and scans to ensure they measure up - or else," the Archbishop said.
He compared the recent media and public outrage at the shooting of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe by an American recreational hunter with the relative silence about recent revelations in the media that abortion provider Planned Parenthood regularly traffics in foetal body-parts.
Citing US commentator, Elizabeth Scalia, he spoke of her dismay at the way women are increasingly made to feel unwelcome for bringing their children into shops, entertainments, doctor's surgeries, and even churches.
Even more troubling for Scalia is the puzzled awe that crossed the faces of some people when they saw babies, as if they are aberrant artefacts or sweet hallucinations worthy of a passing smile, before returning to their own child-free normality.
(l to r)Mark and Monica Aarts and Hannah and James van Schie and their much loved toddler, Mary
"Our pregnant mothers today are counter witness to this," Archbishop Fisher said pointing out that mothers uniquely show the pursuit of self is not all there is to life, or even what is most fulfilling.
"By this Mass the Church in Sydney recognises the dedication of women who bring new life into the world and the Christ-like self-sacrifice of the parents who care for those children thereafter," he said.
Quoting Pope Francis and his critiques of the all-too-common attitudes to children that make them a population or ecological problem, or a threat to personal life style, or a kind of project aimed at satisfying the needs of others, the Archbishop reminded those at the Mass that children are a gift.
"Not just because they are cute, not just for the joy they can bring, but precisely because they are so demanding; they demand our love and care," he said adding that there was no better strategy designed by nature to make adults really grow up, accept responsibility and compromise their comfort than the birth of a baby.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP blesses one of the more than 100 mothers in waiting at Sunday's Mass for Pregnant Mothers
Archbishop Fisher also spoke of his recent introduction to a popular internet site for funny ultrasound photos of unborn babies.  He talked of how some babies looked like Shrek the swamp dwelling cartoon ogre, others who high fived or gave a thumbs up seemingly waving at the camera. But it was a recently posted video that charmed the Archbishop as well as all those who have seen the footage of an unborn baby clapping along to the song "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands."
Even if a baby is not yet born they are sentient beings who respond to music, voices, emotions and the world beyond the womb.
"Who knows what our unborn babies will do after today's blessing," the Archbishop said.
"The Church our mother joins with you, praying for you and your child, and calls you to raise your child in the ways of God by praying with them and for them, even now.'
The Mass for Pregnant Mothers is now in its eighth year with a number of those who attended at the weekend bringing along their toddlers and school age children, who were unborn when they attended their first Mass for mothers-to-be.
Photography by Giovanni Portelli
Shared from Archdiocese of Sydney

#BreakingNews Latest Planned Parenthood video shows Babies being Sold...Please Pray

Planned Parenthood Protested by Thousands as New Video Trailer Shows “A Lot” of Intact Fetal Cadavers Harvested and Sold

Operation Rescue Press Release : By Cheryl Sullenger
Washington, DC – A Los Angeles judge dissolved an injunction Friday against the Center for Medical Progress that had blocked the release of footage of an interview with a StemExpress executive who was harvesting the remains of aborted babies.
Within hours of the decision, the CMP released a two-minute trailer showing a clip of StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer laughing about sending intact fetuses to her lab employees. That trailer was the eighth video released by the CMP that showed Planned Parenthood profiting from the sale of fetal organs and parts.
“Oh yeah, if you had intact cases, which we’ve done a lot, we sometimes ship those back to our lab in its entirety,” Dryer said. “Tell the lab it’s coming! They’ll open the box and ‘Oh, my God!’”
Dyer then is seen laughing heartily at the prospect of her lab employees being shocked by an intact body of an aborted child.
“The callous, cavalier attitude toward of Dryer and other Planned Parenthood employees toward the brutal killing of aborted babies – some apparently with their hearts still beating – is shocking, sociopathic behavior. It’s as if their consciences have been switched off, just like we see in serial killers,” said Newman. “The CMP videos have shown us like never before that world of abortion and fetal tissue harvesting is a depraved one.”
Intact aborted babies cannot be given drugs that produce fetal demise before the dismemberment or extraction process begins. The fact that Dyer admits that her company gets intact remains “a lot” indicates there is a likelihood that “a lot” of babies are being aborted alive.
Last week’s longer video, Episode 3 of the Human Capital documentary series, supported that concern.
Holly O’Donnell related an experience at Planned Parenthood in San Jose where a baby boy was born “mostly intact” and that she observed his heart beating. She was then ordered by another StemExpress employee to cut through the baby’s face and harvest his brain.
The videos sparked a nationwide protest on Saturday at 342 Planned Parenthood locations. Those protests featured huge crowds of pro-life supporters, including an estimated group of 4,000 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and over 1,000 in several cities such as Tempe, Arizona, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Cincinnati, Ohio. Several locations reported babies saved from abortion as the result of the protests. In Los Angeles, Kristina Garza of Hispanics for Life reported that a security guard quit his job at Planned Parenthood after speaking with pro-life protesters.
In Michigan, pro-abortion Satanists turned out to two protests and conducted Satanic rituals on the sidewalk. Women involved appeared to be in pain as others poured milk on them as pro-life protesters stood by praying.
Operation Rescue was one of the numerous sponsors for the event. With sites still reporting in, total attendance is expected to exceed 70,000 participants.
In Wichita, Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Board member for the Center for Medical Progress, released a short video encouraging protesters that Planned Parenthood is in crisis mode and losing support as the result of the videos.
It is illegal to sell human fetal remains for profit, and it is also illegal to alter an abortion process in order to ensure that body parts are available for “donation” or sale.
So far, the CMP video exposés have each gone viral with millions of total of nearly 8 million views and have sparked defunding efforts at the national and state level, numerous state investigations and a Congressional inquiry. The subject of Planned Parenthood’s illegal trafficking in aborted baby remains has even dominated presidential politics with all GOP candidates making statements in support of defunding the abortion giant. Some, such as Texas Rep. Ted Cruz, are pushing for criminal prosecutions of Planned Parenthood executives.
More videos are expected to be released in the coming days and weeks. Shared from Operation Rescue

Saint August 26 : St. Zephyrinus : #Pope of #Rome

ZEPHYRINUS, a native of Rome, succeeded Victor in the pontificate, in the year 202, in which Severus raised the fifth most bloody persecution against the Church, which continued not for two years only, but until the death of that emperor in 211. Under this furious storm this holy pastor was the support and comfort of the distressed flock of Christ, and he suffered by charity and compassion what every confessor underwent. The triumphs of the martyrs were indeed his joy, but his heart received many deep wounds from the fall of apostates and heretics. Neither did this latter affliction cease when peace was restored to the Church. Our Saint had also the affliction to see the fall of Tertullian, which seems to have been owing partly to his pride. Eusebius tells us that this holy Pope exerted his zeal so strenuously against the blasphemies of the heretics that they treated him in the most contumelious manner; but it was his glory that they called him the principal defender of Christ's divinity. St. Zephyrinus filled the pontifical chair seventeen years, dying in 219. He was buried in his own cemetery, on the 26th of August. He is, in some Martyrologies, styled a martyr, which title he might deserve by what he suffered in the persecution, though he perhaps did not die by the executioner. SOURCE: EWTN

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