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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Catholic News World : Wed. August 5, 2015 - SHARE

2015


#PopeFrancis explains Divorced and Remarried people not Excommunicated - #Marriage Catechesis - FULL TEXT


Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
With this catechesis we take up again our reflection on the family. After speaking last time of wounded families caused by the misunderstanding of spouses, today I would like to focus our attention on another reality: how to take care of those that, following the irreversible failure of their marital bond, have undertaken a new union.
The Church knows well that such a situation contradicts the Christian Sacrament. However, her look dof teacher draws always from her heart of mother; a heart that, animated by the Holy Spirit, always seeks the good and salvation of persons. See why she feels the duty, “for love of truth,” to “discern the situations well.” Saint John Paul II expressed himself thus in the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio (n. 84), pointing out, for instance, the difference between one who has suffered the separation and one who has caused it. This discernment must be made. If, then, we look at these new bonds with the eyes of little ones - and the little ones are looking - with the eyes of children, we see even more the urgency to develop in our communities a real acceptance of persons that live such situations. Therefore, it is important that the style of the community, its language, its attitudes are always attentive to persons, beginning with the little ones. They are the ones who suffer the most, in these situations. Otherwise, how will we be able to recommend to these parents to do their utmost to educate the children in the Christian life, giving them the example of a convinced and practiced faith, if we hold them at a distance from the life of the community, as if they were excommunicated? We must proceed in such a way as not to add other weights beyond those that the children, in these situations, already have to bear! Unfortunately, the number of these children and youngsters is truly great. It is important that they feel the Church as a mother attentive to all, always willing to listen and to come together.
In these decades, in truth, the Church has not been either insensitive or slow. Thanks to the reflection carried out by Pastors, guided and confirmed by my Predecessors, the awareness has greatly grown that a fraternal and attentive acceptance is necessary, in love and in truth, of the baptized that have established a new coexistence after the failure of their sacramental marriage; in fact, these people are not at all excommunicated, they are not excommunicated! And they are absolutely not treated as such: they are always part of the Church.
Pope Benedict XVI intervened on this question, soliciting careful discernment and wise pastoral support, knowing that “simple recipes” do not exist (Address to the 7th World Meeting of Families, Milan, June 2, 2012, answer n. 5).
Hence the repeated invitations of Pastors to manifest openly and consistently the community’s willingness to receive and encourage them, so that they live and develop increasingly their belonging to Christ and to the Church with prayer, with listening to the Word of God, with frequenting of the liturgy, with the Christian education of the children, with charity and service to the poor, with commitment to justice and peace. The biblical icon of the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18), summarizes the mission that Jesus received from the Father: to give his life for the sheep. This attitude is also a model for the Church, which receives her children as a mother that gives her life for them. “The Church is called to be always the open House of the Father [...]” No closed doors! No closed doors! “All can participate in some way in ecclesial life, all can form part of the community. The Church [...] is the paternal home where there is a place for each one with his difficult life” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, n. 47).
In the same way all Christians are called to imitate the Good Shepherd. Above all Christian families can collaborate with Him by taking care of wounded families, supporting them in the community’s life of faith. May each one do his part in assuming the attitude of the Good Shepherd, who knows each one of his sheep and excludes no one from his infinite love!
* * * Speaker:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: We return now to our catechesis on the family, by reflecting on the situation of our brothers and sisters who have divorced and entered a second union. Though their unions are contrary to the Sacrament of marriage, the Church, as a Mother, seeks the good and salvation of all her children. As these situations especially affect children, we are aware of a greater urgency to foster a true welcome for these families in our communities. For how can we encourage these parents to raise their children in the Christian life, to give them an example of Christian faith, if we keep them at arm’s length? I am especially grateful to the many pastors, guided by my Predecessors, who have worked diligently to let these families know they are still a part of the Church. There is no easy solution for these situations, but we can and must always encourage these families to participate in the Church’s life, through prayer, listening to the Word of God, the Christian education of their children, and service to the poor. As the Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep, so the Church as a Mother gives her life for all her children, by being always the “house of the Father, with doors wide open”. May everyone, especially Christian families, imitate the Good Shepherd, who knows all his sheep and excludes no one from his infinite love.
Pope Francis (in Italian):
I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present in today’s Audience, including those from England, South Africa, China and the United States. May your stay in the Eternal City confirm you in love for our Lord, and may he make you his witnesses, especially for families who feel separated from the Church. May God bless you all!
* * * Dear Italian-speaking pilgrims: Welcome! We can see that you are enthusiastic! I am happy to receive the participants in the Young People’s International Meeting to Assisi, the altar servers of the Dioceses of Palermo and Treviso and the Company of Saint Ursula, with the Ecclesiastical Assistant Monsignor Adriano Tessarollo. I greet the young people of the Festival of Folklore of Cori, the Association Solidarity with the Saharawi People, together with the Diocesan Missionary Center of Florence; the Committee Feasts of the Divine Crucifix of Pove del Grappa and the faithful of Baucina. May the visit to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul nourish in all a faith that is manifested in concrete works of charity. Today we celebrated the memorial of the Holy Mother of God, the Salus Populi Romani, who is venerated in Saint Mary Major. She is our patroness. It is the first Church in the West dedicated to Our Lady: I invite you all, as we are, without moving, to prayer to her: Hail Mary...
A particular thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today we celebrate the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where the icon is venerated of the Virgin Salus Populi Romani. Invoke the Mother of God, dear young people, to feel the sweetness of her love; pray to her in moments of the cross and of suffering, dear sick, in particular you “Angels of Liberty” of Syracuse; look at Her, dear newlyweds, as the model of your conjugal journey of dedication and fidelity. [Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. Aug. 5, 2015


Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 409


Reading 1NM 13:1-2, 25–14:1, 26A-29A, 34-35

The LORD said to Moses [in the desert of Paran,]
“Send men to reconnoiter the land of Canaan,
which I am giving the children of Israel.
You shall send one man from each ancestral tribe,
all of them princes.”

After reconnoitering the land for forty days they returned,
met Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the children of Israel
in the desert of Paran at Kadesh,
made a report to them all,
and showed the fruit of the country
to the whole congregation.
They told Moses: “We went into the land to which you sent us.
It does indeed flow with milk and honey, and here is its fruit.
However, the people who are living in the land are fierce,
and the towns are fortified and very strong.
Besides, we saw descendants of the Anakim there.
Amalekites live in the region of the Negeb;
Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites dwell in the highlands,
and Canaanites along the seacoast and the banks of the Jordan.”

Caleb, however, to quiet the people toward Moses, said,
“We ought to go up and seize the land, for we can certainly do so.”
But the men who had gone up with him said,
“We cannot attack these people; they are too strong for us.”
So they spread discouraging reports among the children of Israel
about the land they had scouted, saying,
“The land that we explored is a country that consumes its inhabitants.
And all the people we saw there are huge, veritable giants
(the Anakim were a race of giants);
we felt like mere grasshoppers, and so we must have seemed to them.”

At this, the whole community broke out with loud cries,
and even in the night the people wailed.

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron:
“How long will this wicked assembly grumble against me?
I have heard the grumblings of the children of Israel against me.
Tell them: By my life, says the LORD,
I will do to you just what I have heard you say.
Here in the desert shall your dead bodies fall.
Forty days you spent in scouting the land;
forty years shall you suffer for your crimes:
one year for each day.
Thus you will realize what it means to oppose me.
I, the LORD, have sworn to do this
to all this wicked assembly that conspired against me:
here in the desert they shall die to the last man.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 106:6-7AB, 13-14, 21-22, 23

R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
We have sinned, we and our fathers;
we have committed crimes; we have done wrong.
Our fathers in Egypt
considered not your wonders.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
But soon they forgot his works;
they waited not for his counsel.
They gave way to craving in the desert
and tempted God in the wilderness.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

AlleluiaLK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 15: 21-28

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But he did not say a word in answer to her.
His disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And her daughter was healed from that hour.

#PlannedParenthood Latest Undercover Video reveals Evil Sale of Babies - Please Pray

Intact Late-Term Aborted Baby Cadavers Available says Planned Parenthood Official in Latest Shock Video - August 4, 2015

From diversified revenue streams to intact fetal cadavers, Planned Parenthood says, "We can make that happen."

 Houston, TX -- A fifth video was released today by the Center for Medical Progress, this one discussing Planned Parenthood's willingness alter abortion procedures to procure intact late-term aborted fetal cadavers form babies that could have been born alive. This information adds a shocking new layer of insight into Planned Parenthood's participation in the illegal sale of fetal body parts.

Today's video focuses on Planned Parenthood's Center for Choice Surgical Center, located on Gulf Freeway in Houston, Texas.

CMP actors posing as representatives of an organ procurement company engaged in conversations with Melisa Farrell, Planned Parenthood's Director of Research, who explained that abortion procedures are being altered to produce "intact specimens" when orders require it.

The discussion centered on the desire for aborted baby remains, particularly intact cadavers that were in the 16 to 22 week range. If such babies were birthed intact, the possibility exists that they could be born alive during the abortions, which is illegal.

Altering a medical procedure to ensure organs are better suited for harvesting is illegal. It is also dangerous. If a woman were to be injured or die during a procedure that was altered to ensure marketable organs, it would be grossly unethical and would represent huge liabilities to Planned Parenthood.

The Houston Planned Parenthood facility has been the site of multiple documented medical emergencies. Operation Rescue obtained 911 records that indicated that a February 6, 2015, incident involved a patient with a ruptured uterus during an abortion that required emergency transport to a nearby hospital.

"Whether any of those injuries were done during altered abortions is a matter for investigators to determine," said Newman.

Other topics discussed in the video included:
  • Financial benefit and Planned Parenthood's efforts to diversify their revenue stream.
  • The fact that intact late-term fetal cadavers are requested by laboratories  for pharmaceutical testing.
  • Houston's Planned Parenthood runs the largest "research" department, bigger than all Planned Parenthood affiliates combined.
  • Planned Parenthood abortion providers in Houston are personally engaged in their own experiments using fetal body parts from abortions they perform.
"The admission that Planned Parenthood abortionists manipulate procedures in order to better harvest organs or even intact late-term fetal cadavers for human experimentation purposes conjures images of H.G. Wells' Dr. Moreau. It is all clearly illegal," said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.   "Are ethical standards adhered to during these private experiments? Given Planned Parenthood's propensity for unethical, above-the-law arrogance, it is doubtful."

Newman also serves on the Board of the Center for Medical Progress, and acted in an advisory capacity during the nearly three-year long investigation.

The scene shifts to the "POC Room" where the fetal remains, also known as the 'products of conception' are sorted and stored in a freezer.

One technician produced from a freezer a bag of remains from an 18-20 week old fetus that was aborted earlier that day. She poured the tissue in a colander and rinsed it, then dumped the chunky lumps of flesh into a glass pan.

There, the baby's dismembered remains were inspected. Arms with hands attached and legs with feet were clearly observed, as well as eyeballs still within the orbital pockets.

There were discussions of an upcoming National Abortion Federation meeting where Planned Parenthood executives were to present on matters related to "fetal collection."

"This information implicates the National Abortion Federation in the illegal selling of fetal organs," said Newman.

Evidence of alleged NAF involvement comes one day after a San Francisco judge extended a temporary restraining order on videos taken during secretive NAF national meetings, citing NAF's arguments that their meetings are confidential and attendees must sign non-disclosure agreements.

"The NAF knows that if the public understood what really is discussed behind closed doors that there is no public relations firm in existence that could spin that in a favorable light. In order for abortion to continue, the veil of secrecy that conceals horrifying acts from the public must be maintained at any cost," said Newman, who was named in the suit along with the Center for Medical Progress and its Director, David Daleiden. "We will continue to fight to protect our Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. The truth will ultimately come out, no matter how hard the Abortion Cartel tries to hide it." Shared from Operation Rescue

Special message of #PopeFrancis to Convention of #KnightsofColumbus in Philadelphia

Archive photo of Pope Francis meeting with Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson - AP
05/08/2015 12:56

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent his good wishes to the Knights of Columbus who are currently holding their the 133rd Supreme Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In a message signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and addressed to the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson, Pope Francis assured his closeness in prayer to all the participants who are looking at the theme “Endowed by their Creator with Life and Liberty”.
Listen to Lydia O’Kane's report.
Below find the message addressed to the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson and signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin 
Dear Mr Anderson,
His Holiness Pope Francis has been informed that from 4 to 6 August 2015, the 133rd Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He has asked me to convey his warm good wishes to all present, together with the assurance of his closeness in prayer.
As he prepares to visit Philadelphia next month for the Eighth World Meeting of Families, the Holy Father expresses deep appreciation for the steadfast public witness which your Order has borne to our Christian understanding of marriage and the family.  Elevated by the Savior to the dignity of a sacrament, marriage is, in the Creator’s plan, a natural institution, a life-long covenant of love and fidelity between a man and a woman, directed to their perfection and sanctification, and to the future of our human family.  Today, when the institution of marriage is under attack from powerful cultural forces, the faithful are called to bear witness to this basic truth of biblical faith and natural law, which is essential to the wise and just ordering of society.  In meeting the moral, social and political challenges of the present hour, great wisdom and perseverance will be required of them – “the patience of the saints, who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to their faith in Jesus” (Rev 14:12). 
For this reason, His Holiness trusts that the theme of this year’s Supreme Convention – Endowed by their Creator with Life and Liberty – will draw attention to the duty of American Catholics, precisely as responsible citizens, to contribute to the reasoned defense of those freedoms on which their nation was founded.  The cornerstone of these is religious freedom, understood not simply as the liberty to worship as one chooses, but also, for individuals and institutions, to speak and act in accordance with the dictates of their conscience.  To the extent that this right is menaced, whether by invasive public policies, or by the growing influence of a culture which sets alleged personal rights above the common good, there is need for a mobilization of consciences on the part of all those citizens who, regardless of party or creed, are concerned for the overall welfare of society.  It is the Holy Father’s hope  that  the  program of catechesis and prayer which the Knights have inaugurated in view of the forthcoming Synod on the Family and the World Meeting of Families will contribute significantly to this prophetic witness.
  The protection of religious freedom must also engage the consciences of believers on the global level, in response to the attacks unleashed on minority communities, most often Christian, in various parts of our world.  His Holiness is profoundly grateful for the efforts of the Knights to raise public attention to this grave humanitarian tragedy.  He is likewise grateful for the practical solidarity shown to suffering individuals and families through the recently established Christian Refugee Relief Fund.  He appeals once more to your Order for constant prayer, in families, parishes and the local Councils, for these, our beleaguered brothers and sisters, who strive only to be faithful to Christ.  It is urgent that, from Catholics throughout the world, an unceasing sacrifice of prayer be offered for the conversion of hearts, an end to fanatical violence and intolerance, and a general recognition of those fundamental human rights which are not granted by the state, but from the hand of the Creator, whom all believers invoke as a God of peace.
Finally, the Holy Father has asked me to express his appreciation for the outstanding charitable, educational and spiritual activities with which the Knights of Columbus contribute to the Church’s mission, and to his own ministry as the Successor of Peter, charged with solicitude for all the Churches.
Commending the deliberations of the Supreme Convention to the intercession of Mary, Seat of Wisdom, the Holy Father assures all the Knights and their families of a special remembrance in his prayers.  With great affection he imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord.
Yours sincerely, Pietro Cardinal  Parolin Secretary of State

Saint August 5 : St. Afra : #Convert and Former #Prostitute



Today, August 5, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Afra (died 304), Martyr of the Church. Saint Afra worked as a prostitute, but kindly hid her local bishop during the persecution of Christians. From his influence, she converted to the faith, dedicated herself to acts of charity, and was eventually persecuted and executed for her beliefs. The life of Saint Afra reminds us that true conversion and repentance for past sins is always possible, and that Our Loving Father calls us to Him regardless of the sins we have committed in the past!

Afra was originally a courtesan in the German town of Augsburg, having grown up in Cyprus, and moved to that area.
Upon moving to Ausburg, it is likely that Afra worked in a brothel, possibly close to the pagan Temple of Venus. At the onset of the persecution of Christians under the orders of Emperor Diocletian, Afra and her mother, Hilaria, hid the local bishop from harm. The holy man, Bishop Narcissus of Girona, did not know the profession of Afra and her mother, and through his witness, converted them to the faith. Afra and her mother, as well as her servants, were baptized, and began spending their time in charitable acts to the poor and suffering around them.
Despite the threat of death and persecution, Afra continued to hide the holy bishop until she herself was arrested and brought before the authorities. The judge, Gaius, knew of Afra and her profession, and ordered her to sacrifice to the pagan gods or be condemned to death.

Afra declared: “I was a great sinner before I knew God; but I will not add new crimes, nor do what you command me. My capitol is Jesus Christ, whom I have always before my eyes. I every day confess my sins; and, because I am unworthy to offer him any sacrifice, I desire to sacrifice myself for his name, that this body in which I have sinned may be purified and sacrificed to him by torments.” 

Gaius persisted, referencing her former profession, and urging her to recant her faith. “I am informed,” he said, “that you are a prostitute. Sacrifice, therefore, as you are a stranger to the God of the Christians, and cannot be accepted by him.”
But Afra replied, “Our Lord Jesus Christ hath said, that he came down from heaven to save sinners. The gospels testify that an abandoned woman washed his feet with her tears, and obtained pardon, and that he never rejected the publicans, but permitted them to eat with him.” 

Gaius said, “Jesus Christ will have nothing to do with you. It is in vain for you to acknowledge him for your God: a common prostitute can never he called a Christian.”

Afra replied, “It is true, I am unworthy to bear the name of a Christian; but Christ hath admitted me to be one.” 

Growing frustrated, the judge ordered her again: “Sacrifice to the gods, and they will save you.”
The martyr replied: “My Savior is Jesus Christ, who upon the cross promised paradise to the thief who confessed him. The only subject of my confusion and grief are my sins.”

Having run out of patience, Gaius declared, “I am ashamed that I have disputed so long with you. If you do not comply, you shall die.”

Afra replied: “That is what I desire, if I am not unworthy to find rest by this confession. Let that body which hath sinned undergo torments; but as to my soul, I will not taint it by sacrificing to demons.” 

Throwing up his hands, Gaius sentenced Afra to death. “We condemn Afra, a prostitute who hath declared herself a Christian, to be burnt alive, because she hath refused to offer sacrifice to the gods.”
Afra was immediately seized, stripped of her clothing, tied to a stake, and set ablaze. While she burned, she lifter her eyes to heaven and prayed:“O Lord Jesus Christ, Omnipotent God, who camest to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance, accept now the penance of my sufferings, and by this temporal fire deliver me from the everlasting fire, which torments both body and soul. I return thee thanks, O Lord Jesus Christ, for the honor thou hast done me in receiving me a holocaust for thy name’s sake; thou who hast vouchsafed to offer thyself upon the altar of the cross a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, the just for the unjust, and for sinners. I offer myself a victim to thee, O my God, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost world without end. Amen.”

Having prayed and handed her life over to her creator, Saint Afra died. Her mother and her servants rescued her body and interred her relics in a selpuchre. In the process of this act they were caught, and refusing to sacrifice to the pagan gods, were likely executed.
Inspired by Saint Afra, today we pray for the conversion of sinners throughout the world, and for our own personal conversion and repentance. Holy Saint Afra, pray for us!

Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Savior of the world, we humbly beseech You, by Your most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep who stray out of Your fold may in one days be converted to You, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end.
Amen. Shared from 365Rosaries

Saint August 5 : Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome

Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome
Feast: August 5


Information:
Feast Day:August 5
THERE are in Rome three patriarchal churches, in which the Pope officiates on different festivals. These are the Basilics of St. John Lateran, St. Peter's on the Vatican Hill, and St. Mary Major. This last is so called because it is, both in antiquity and dignity, the first church in Rome among those that are dedicated to God in honor of the Virgin Mary. The name of the Liberian Basilic was given it because it was founded in the time of Pope Liberius, in the fourth century; it was consecrated, under the title of the Virgin Mary, by Sixtus III., about the year 435. It is also called St. Mary ad Nives, or at the snow, from a popular tradition that the Mother of God chose this place for a church under her invocation by a miraculous snow that fell upon this spot in summer, and by a vision in which she appeared to a patrician named John, who munificently founded and endowed this church in the pontificate of Liberius. The same Basilic has sometimes been known by the name of St. Mary ad Præsepe, from the holy crib or manger of Bethlehem, in which Christ was laid at His birth. It resembles an ordinary manger, is kept in a case of massive silver, and in it lies an image of a little child, also of silver. On Christmas Day the holy Manger is taken out of the case, and exposed. It is kept in a sumptuous subterraneous chapel in this church.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/D/dedicationofthebasilicaofstmarymajor.asp#ixzz1UARqPwRp

#PopeFrancis meets with Altar Servers "...you experience the intimate closeness of Jesus, the sweetness and power of his presence. "


Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter's Square for an audience with Altar boys and girls from across Europe - AP
04/08/2015 17:31



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met Tuesday with thousands of altar servers from around Europe. The encounter in Saint Peter’s Square was part of the ninth International Pilgrimage of Acolytes and Altar Servers.
In his prepared remarks, Pope Francis reflected on the theme of this year’s pilgrimage, “Here I am: Send me!” The Holy Father told the young people, “It is important to realize that being close to Jesus and knowing him in the Eucharist through your service at the altar, enables you to open yourselves to others, to journey together, to set demanding goals and to find the strength to achieve them.”
The International Pilgrimage of Altar Servers, which takes place every five years, is organized by the group Coetus Internationalis Ministrantium, a group that includes representatives from countries throughout Europe, including Germany, Italy, and France, as well as smaller countries such as Croatia, Luxembourg, Serbia, and Slovakia. The international pilgrimage allows altar servers to take part in a unique experience for their service, and helps them to discover the diversity of the universal Church.
Address of Pope Francis
to the International Pilgrimage of Altar Servers
Saint Peter’s Square, 4 August 2015
Dear Altar Servers,
I thank you all for coming in such great numbers; you have withstood the heat of the sun in Rome in August. I thank Bishop Német, your President, for his words of introduction and greeting. You have come from a variety of countries on pilgrimage to Rome, the city where the Apostles Peter and Paul were martyred.
It is important to realize that being close to Jesus and knowing him in the Eucharist through your service at the altar, enables you to open yourselves to others, to journey together, to set demanding goals and to find the strength to achieve them. It is a source of real joy to recognize that we are small and weak, all the while knowing that, with Jesus’ help, we can be strengthened and take up the challenge of life’s great journey in his company.
The prophet Isaiah also discovered this truth, which is to say that God purified his intentions, forgave his sins, healed his heart and made him ready to take up the important task of bringing God’s word to his people. In so doing, he became an instrument of the presence of divine mercy. Isaiah realized that, by entrusting himself into the hands of the Lord, his whole existence would be transformed.
The biblical verse that we have just heard speaks to us precisely of this. Isaiah had a vision of the glory of the Lord. At the same time, the vision showed to him that, although the Lord revealed himself, he still remained far off.
Isaiah was astonished to discover that it was God who made the first move; do not forget this! It is always God who makes the first move in our life. God is the one drawing close. He noticed that God’s actions were not impeded by his imperfections; it was God’s goodness alone that enabled him to take up the mission, transforming him into a totally new person and therefore one able to respond to the call of the Lord, saying, “Here I am! Send me” (Is 6:8).
You are more fortunate today than the prophet Isaiah. In the Eucharist and in the other sacraments, you experience the intimate closeness of Jesus, the sweetness and power of his presence. You do not encounter Jesus placed on an inaccessibly high throne, but in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. His word does not shake the doorposts, but rather caresses the strings of the heart. Like Isaiah, each of you sees that God, although making himself close to us in Jesus and bending down towards you with love, remains always immeasurably greater, beyond our ability to understand him in his deepest being. Like Isaiah, you too have experienced that it is always God who takes the lead, because it is he who created you and willed you into being. It is he who, in your baptism, has made you into a new creation; he is always patiently waiting for your response to his initiative, offering forgiveness to whoever asks him in humility.
If we do not resist him, Jesus will touch our lips with the flame of his merciful love, as he did to the prophet Isaiah. This will make us worthy to receive him and to bring him to our brothers and sisters. Like Isaiah, we too are invited to not remain closed in on ourselves, protecting our faith in an underground bunker to which we flee in difficult moments. Rather, we are called to share the joy of knowing we are chosen and saved by God’s mercy, the joy of being witnesses to the fact that faith gives new direction to our steps, that it makes us free and strong so as to be ready and able for mission.
How beautiful it is to realize that faith brings us out of ourselves, out of our isolation. Precisely because we are filled with the joy of being friends with Jesus Christ, faith draws us towards others, making us natural missionaries! 
Dear altar boys and altar girls, the closer you are to the altar, the more you will remember to speak with Jesus in daily prayer; the more you will be nourished by the Word and the Body of the Lord, the better able you will be to go out to others, bringing them the gift that you have received, giving in turn with enthusiasm the joy you have received.              
Thank you for serving at the Lord’s altar and for making of this service a real school of learning the faith, and charity toward your neighbour. Thank you also for having begun to respond to the Lord, like the prophet Isaiah, “Here I am. Send me” (Is 6:8).

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. August 4,2015


Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest
Lectionary: 408


Reading 1NM 12:1-13

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on the pretext
of the marriage he had contracted with a Cushite woman.
They complained, “Is it through Moses alone that the LORD speaks?
Does he not speak through us also?”
And the LORD heard this.
Now, Moses himself was by far the meekest man on the face of the earth.
So at once the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam,
“Come out, you three, to the meeting tent.”
And the three of them went.
Then the LORD came down in the column of cloud,
and standing at the entrance of the tent,
called Aaron and Miriam.
When both came forward, he said,
“Now listen to the words of the LORD:

Should there be a prophet among you,
in visions will I reveal myself to him,
in dreams will I speak to him;
not so with my servant Moses!
Throughout my house he bears my trust:
face to face I speak to him;
plainly and not in riddles.
The presence of the LORD he beholds.

Why, then, did you not fear to speak against my servant Moses?”

So angry was the LORD against them that when he departed,
and the cloud withdrew from the tent,
there was Miriam, a snow-white leper!
When Aaron turned and saw her a leper, he said to Moses,
“Ah, my lord! Please do not charge us with the sin
that we have foolishly committed!
Let her not thus be like the stillborn babe
that comes forth from its mother’s womb
with its flesh half consumed.”
Then Moses cried to the LORD, “Please, not this! Pray, heal her!”

Responsorial PsalmPS 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 6CD-7, 12-13

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense;
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned;
and done what is evil in your sight.”
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
That you may be justified in your sentence,
vindicated when you condemn.
Indeed, in guilt was I born,
and in sin my mother conceived me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not off from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

AlleluiaJN 1:49B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God;
you are the King of Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 14:22-36

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.

OrMT 15:1-2, 10-14

Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?
They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal.”
He summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand.
It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man;
but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.”
Then his disciples approached and said to him,
“Do you know that the Pharisees took offense
when they heard what you said?”
He said in reply, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted.
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
If a blind man leads a blind man,
both will fall into a pit.”

Saint August 4 : St. John Vianney : Patron of #Confessors and #Parish #Priests

St. John Vianney
CURE OF ARS, PATRON SAINT OF PARISH PRIESTS
Feast Day:

August 4
Born:
May 8, 1786, Dardilly, France
Died:
August 4, 1859, Ars-sur-Formans, France
Canonized:
1925, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine:
Shrine of St. John Vianney; Ars-sur-Formans, France
Patron of:
parish priests; confessors Curé of Ars, born at Dardilly, near Lyons, France, on 8 May, 1786; died at Ars, 4 August, 1859; son of Matthieu Vianney and Marie Beluze."


In 1806, the curé at Ecully, M. Balley, opened a school for ecclesiastical students, and Jean-Marie was sent to him. Though he was of average intelligence and his masters never seem to have doubted his vocation, his knowledge was extremely limited, being confined to a little arithmetic, history, and geography, and he found learning, especially the study of Latin, excessively difficult. One of his fellow-students, Matthias Loras, afterwards first Bishop of Dubuque, assisted him with his Latin lessons.
But now another obstacle presented itself. Young Vianney was drawn in the conscription, the war with Spain and the urgent need of recruits having caused Napoleon to withdraw the exemption enjoyed by the ecclesiastical students in the diocese of his uncle, Cardinal Fesch. Matthieu Vianney tried unsuccessfully to procure a substitute, so his son was obliged to go. His regiment soon received marching orders. The morning of departure, Jean-Baptiste went to church to pray, and on his return to the barracks found that his comrades had already left. He was threatened with arrest, but the recruiting captain believed his story and sent him after the troops. At nightfall he met a young man who volunteered to guide him to his fellow-soldiers, but led him to Noes, where some deserters had gathered. The mayor persuaded him to remain there, under an assumed name, as schoolmaster. After fourteen months, he was able to communicate with his family. His father was vexed to know that he was a deserter and ordered him to surrender but the matter was settled by his younger brother offering to serve in his stead and being accepted.
Jean-Baptiste now resumed his studies at Ecully. In 1812, he was sent to the seminary at Verrieres; he was so deficient in Latin as to be obliged to follow the philosophy course in French. He failed to pass the examinations for entrance to the seminary proper, but on re-examination three months later succeeded. On 13 August, 1815, he was ordained priest by Mgr. Simon, Bishop of Grenoble. His difficulties in making the preparatory studies seem to have been due to a lack of mental suppleness in dealing with theory as distinct from practice -- a lack accounted for by the meagreness of his early schooling, the advanced age at which he began to study, the fact that he was not of more than average intelligence, and that he was far advanced in spiritual science and in the practice of virtue long before he came to study it in the abstract. He was sent to Ecully as assistant to M. Balley, who had first recognized and encouraged his vocation, who urged him to persevere when the obstacles in his way seemed insurmountable, who interceded with the examiners when he failed to pass for the higher seminary, and who was his model as well as his preceptor and patron. In 1818, after the death of M. Balley, M. Vianney was made parish priest of Ars, a village not very far from Lyons. It was in the exercise of the functions of the parish priest in this remote French hamlet that as the "curé d'Ars" he became known throughout France and the Christian world. A few years after he went to Ars, he founded a sort of orphanage for destitute girls. It was called "The Providence" and was the model of similar institutions established later all over France. M. Vianney himself instructed the children of "The Providence" in the catechism, and these catechetical instructions came to be so popular that at last they were given every day in the church to large crowds. "The Providence" was the favourite work of the "curé d'Ars", but, although it was successful, it was closed in 1847, because the holy curé thought that he was not justified in maintaining it in the face of the opposition of many good people. Its closing was a very heavy trial to him.
But the chief labour of the Curé d'Ars was the direction of souls. He had not been long at Ars when people began coming to him from other parishes, then from distant places, then from all parts of France, and finally from other countries. As early as 1835, his bishop forbade him to attend the annual retreats of the diocesan clergy because of "the souls awaiting him yonder". During the last ten years of his life, he spent from sixteen to eighteen hours a day in the confessional. His advice was sought by bishops, priests, religious, young men and women in doubt as to their vocation, sinners, persons in all sorts of difficulties and the sick. In 1855, the number of pilgrims had reached twenty thousand a year. The most distinguished persons visited Ars for the purpose of seeing the holy curé and hearing his daily instruction. The Venerable Father Colin was ordained deacon at the same time, and was his life-long friend, while Mother Marie de la Providence founded the Helpers of the Holy Souls on his advice and with his constant encouragement. His direction was characterized by common sense, remarkable insight, and supernatural knowledge. He would sometimes divine sins withheld in an imperfect confession. His instructions were simple in language, full of imagery drawn from daily life and country scenes, but breathing faith and that love of God which was his life principle and which he infused into his audience as much by his manner and appearance as by his words, for, at the last, his voice was almostinaudible.
The miracles recorded by his biographers are of three classes:
* first, the obtaining of money for his charities and food for his orphans;
* secondly, supernatural knowledge of the past and future;
* thirdly, healing the sick, especially children.
The greatest miracle of all was his life. He practised mortification from his early youth. and for forty years his food and sleep were insufficient, humanly speaking, to sustain life. And yet he laboured incessantly, with unfailing humility, gentleness, patience, and cheerfulness, until he was more than seventy-three years old.
On 3 October, 1874 Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney was proclaimed Venerable by Pius IX and on 8 January, 1905, he was enrolled among the Blessed. Pope Pius X proposed him as a model to the parochial clergy.
[Note: In 1925, Pope Pius XI canonized him. His feast is kept on 4 August.]Shared from EWTN
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