Thursday, March 5, 2015

Catholic News World : Thursday March 5, 2015 - Share!


Catholic Quote to SHARE by #MotherTeresa "Make us worthy, Lord, to serve..."

"Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow men throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give peace and joy."  Mother Teresa

Today's Mass Readings : Thursday March 5, 2015

Thursday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 233

Reading 1JER 17:5-10

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds.

Responsorial PsalmPS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Verse Before The GospelSEE LK 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

GospelLK 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied, ‘My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father’s house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said,
‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.’”

Breaking News 34 Killed in Attack on Government building in Syria - Stats 220,000 killed so far - PRAY

Aleppo, Syrian rebels attack the Damascus intelligence headquarters: dozens dead
At least 20 victims among Syrian security forces, another 14 on the rebels side. But the Damascus army managed to repel the assault. The offices of the Air Force Intelligence building targeted. Six other victims among civilians in a second attack. The rebels reject UN envoy’s truce proposal.

Aleppo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 34 people died in a rebel attack on a government security building in Aleppo, northern Syria yesterday. The bomb attack which was followed by a ground assault.
According to reports from the London based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 20 there were victims among security forces and 14 among the rebels.
Meanwhile the United Nations attempt at mediation has ground to a halt after the insurgents coalition rejected the peace plan proposed UN Envoy for the city of Aleppo.
Local jihadist groups, including the Al Nusra Front - the Syrian section of al Qaeda - together with Muhajireen and the Army of Ansar claimed responsibility for the attack, which began yesterday morning and destroyed part of the building that housed the offices of Air Force intelligence. The goal was to take control of a strategic building of the city, but the assault "failed."

Six civilians, meanwhile, were killed in a second attack launched by rebels against stations controlled by the Damascus army.

Aleppo, about 50 km south of the border with Turkey, has long been divided into areas controlled by the Syrian security forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad and rebel groups, a varied galaxy united by the common goal of overthrowing the government.
Yesterday's attack is the most serious since the failure of the proposed truce advanced by UN envoy Staffan De Mistura. The diplomat had suggested a temporary ceasefire in Aleppo, to allow the entry of humanitarian aid into the city and at the same time develop a first draft for political agreement.
However, the rebel delegates rejected the proposal; they claim that the only basis for a possible agreement must include the resignation of President Assad, to encourage a "comprehensive solution" to the question. A position that is not shared by De Mistura, who considers the Syrian president "part of the solution" to the Syrian conflict.

The "Arab Spring" which erupted in Syria in 2011, with a call for greater democracy, slid into an embedded civil war sparking a regional and international conflict, with the Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE) and the US that supporting the rebels, and Iran and Russia supporting Assad. Because of the divisions in the UN Security Council, any dialogue to find solutions has been impossible so far.

According to UN estimates, to date at least 220 thousand people have been killed in the war; more than 3 million Syrians have fled to Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq; about 6 million are internally displaced. Shared from Asia News IT

Pope Francis "Worldliness is a subtle sin – it is more than a sin – it is a sinful state of soul.” Lent Homily

Pope Francis at Mass on Thursday morning, March 3, 2015 - OSS_ROM
05/03/2015 11:44

(Vatican Radio) Worldliness darkens the soul, making it unable to see the poor who live next to us with all their wounds: this was the message, in brief, that Pope Francis had for the faithful gathered for Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican on Thursday morning.
Commenting on the parable of the rich man, a man dressed “in purple and fine linen,” who “every day gave lavish banquets,” the Pope said that we never hear ill spoken of this man, we are not told that he was a bad man. In fact, “He was, perhaps, a religious man, in its own way: he prayed, perhaps, a few prayers and two or three times a year definitely went to the temple to make the sacrifices and gave large offerings to the priests, and they – with their clerical pusillanimity – gave him to sit in the place of honor.” They did not notice the poor beggar at his door, Lazarus, hungry, full of sores, which were the evidence of his grave need. Pope Francis went on to describe the situation of the rich man:
“When he went about town, we might imagine his car with tinted windows so as not [to be] seen from without – who knows – but definitely, yes, his soul, the eyes of his soul were darkened so that he could not see out. He saw only into his life, and did not realize what had happened to [himself]. He was not bad: he was sick, sick with worldliness – and worldliness transforms souls  It transforms souls, makes them lose consciousness of reality. Worldly souls live in an artificial world, one of their making. Worldliness anesthetizes the soul. This is why the worldly man was not able to see reality.”
The reality is that many poor people are living right in our midst:
“So many people are there, who bear so many difficulties in life, who live in great difficulty:  but if I have the worldly heart, never will understand that. It is impossible for one with a  worldly heart to  comprehend the needs and the neediness of others. With a worldly heart you can go to church, you can pray, you can do so many things. But Jesus, at the Last Supper, in the prayer to the Father, what did He pray? ‘But please, Father, keep these disciples from falling into the world, from falling into worldliness.’ Worldliness is a subtle sin – it is more than a sin – it is a sinful state of soul.”
The Holy Father went on to discuss the two judgments given in the story: a curse for the man who trusts in the world and a blessing for those who trust in the Lord. The rich man turns his heart away from God, “his soul is empty,” a “salt and desolate land,” for, “the worldly, truth be told, are alone with their selfishness.” The worldly have “a heart that is sick, so attached to this worldly way of life that it could only be healed with great difficulty.” The Pope underlined that, while the poor man had a name, Lazarus, the rich man in the account does not. “[The rich man] had no name, because the worldly lose their name. They are just one of the crowd affluent, who do not need anything. The worldly lose their name.”
In the parable, the rich man dies, and when he finds himself in torment in hell, and asks Abraham to send someone from the dead to warn family members still living. Abraham, however, replies that if they hear not Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead. The Pope says that the worldly want extraordinary manifestations, yet, “in the Church all is clear, Jesus spoke clearly: [His] is the way.” In the end, though, there is a word of consolation:
“When the poor worldly man, in torment, asks that Lazarus be sent with a little water to help him, how does Abraham respond? Abraham is the figure of God the Father. How does He respond? ‘Son, remember…’ The worldly have lost their name: we too, if we have a worldly heart, will have lost our name. We are not orphans, however: until the end, until the last moment there is the confidence that we have a Father who awaits us. Let us entrust ourselves to Him. ‘Son,’ he says: ‘son’, in the midst of that worldliness; ‘son.’ We are not orphans.”

Latest News from #Vatican Information and #PopeFrancis

04-03-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 045 

- General audience: awaken a collective sense of gratitude towards grandparents and the elderly
- The Pope receives bishop friends of the Focolare Movement
- Other Pontifical Acts

- Programme of the Holy Father's visit to Pompeii and Naples
- The Pope approves the statutes of the new economic entities
- The Piazza and the Temple: new meeting of the Courtyard of the Gentiles
- Other Pontifical Acts
General audience: awaken a collective sense of gratitude towards grandparents and the elderly
Vatican City, 4 March 2015 (VIS) – Grandparents were the focus of this Wednesday'sgeneral audience in St. Peter's Square. Continuing his catechesis on the family, today the Pope considered the difficult current situation faced by the elderly, commenting that next week he will present a more positive view of the vocation that corresponds to this stage in life.
 Thanks to advances in medical care, the Holy Father observed, life expectancy has increased and there is a far greater number of elderly people, but nevertheless society has not adapted to this change, and has not responded by creating space for them, with the respect and consideration their fragility and dignity demand. “When we are young, we are induced to ignore old age, as if it were an illness to keep at bay; however, once we become old, especially if we are poor, ill and alone, we experience the gaps in a society programmed for efficiency, which as a consequence ignores the elderly”.
He recalled the words of Benedict XVI during his visit to a residential home for the elderly: “The quality of a society … is also judged by how it treats elderly people and by the place it gives them in community life”, and exclaimed, “A civilisation can sustain itself if it respects wisdom, the wisdom of the elderly. On the contrary, a civilisation in which there is no place for the elderly or in which they are discarded because they create problems … carries the virus of death”.
He continued, “In the west, scholars present the current century as 'the century of old age: there are fewer children and an increase in elderly people. This imbalance is a great challenge to contemporary society. And yet, a certain culture of profit insists on making the elderly appear to be a burden, an extra weight. They are not only unproductive; they are an encumbrance, and are to be discarded. And discarding them is sinful. We do not dare to say this openly, but it happens. There is something cowardly in this inurement to throwaway culture. We want to remove our growing fear of weakness and vulnerability, but in this way we increase in the elderly the anguish of being inadequately supported and abandoned”.
Francis recalled that during his ministry in Buenos Aires he had first hand experience of these problems. “The elderly are abandoned, and not only to material precariousness. They are abandoned as a result of our selfish inability to accept their limits, which reflect our own limits, in the many difficulties that they must overcome nowadays to survive in a civilization that does not allow them to participate, to have their say, or to be referents according to a consumerist model in which 'only the young can be useful and can enjoy themselves'. The elderly should instead be, for all of society, the reserve of wisdom of our population. How easy it is for our conscience to slumber when there is no love”.
In the tradition of the Church, there is “a legacy of wisdom that has always promoted a culture of closeness to the elderly, a willingness to provide affectionate and supportive accompaniment in this final stage of life. This tradition is rooted in the Sacred Scripture”. Therefore, “the Church cannot and does n wish to conform to a mentality of impatience, far less indifference and disdain, with regard to old age. We must reawaken our collective sense of gratitude, appreciation and hospitality that enable the elderly to feel like a living part of the community. The elderly are men and women, mothers and fathers who have walked the same road before us, in the same house, in our everyday struggle for a dignified life. They are men and women from whom we have received much. The elderly person is not an alien. We are the elderly: sooner or later but in any case inevitably, even if we do not think about it”.
“We are all a little fragile, the elderly”, he continued. “Some, however, are particularly weak, many are alone, and affected by illness. Some depend on the indispensable care and attention of others. Will we take a step back for this? Will we abandon them to their fate? A society without closeness, in which gratuitousness and selfless affection – even among strangers – are disappearing, is a perverse society. The Church, faithful to the Word of God, cannot tolerate these degenerations. A Christian community in which closeness and gratuitousness are no longer considered indispensable, would lose its soul with this. Where there is no honour to the elderly, there is no future for the young”.
The Pope receives bishop friends of the Focolare Movement
Vatican City, 4 March 2015 (VIS) – The Pope, before today's general audience, received in the Paul VI Hall the seventy prelates from thirty-five countries attending the 38th Congress of Bishop Friends of the Focolare Movement, which began yesterday and will conclude on 6 March. The theme of the congress is “Eucharist, mystery of communion”. The president of the Movement, Maria Voce, and the co-president Jesus Moran, were also present in the Paul VI Hall. Following greetings from Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, archbishop of Bangkok, Thailand, the Holy Father gave a brief address.
 “You have united in Rome the friendship of this Movement and an interest in the spirituality of communion”, said the Holy Father. “Effectively, the charism of unity, typical of the Work of Mary, is strongly anchored in the Eucharist, which confers its Christian and ecclesial character. Without the Eucharist, unity would be reduced to an emotion and a solely human, psychological, sociological dynamic. Instead, the Eucharist guarantees that Christ is at the centre, that it is His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, that guides our steps and our initiatives for encounter and communion”.
“As bishops, we gather our communities around the Eucharist, the dual nourishment of the Word and the Bread of Life. This is our service, and it is fundamental. The bishop is the principle of unity in the Church, but this is not possible without the Eucharist: the bishop does not gather the people around his person or his ideas, but rather around Christ, present in His Word and in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. And following Jesus, the good pastor who made Himself lamb, sacrificed and resurrected, the bishop gathers the flock entrusted to him by offering his life, assuming himself a form of Eucharistic existence.”
The Holy Father gave special thanks to the prelates from the “bloodsoaked lands” of Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. “In the suffering you live with your people, you experience the strength that comes from Jesus in the Eucharist, the strength to go ahead united in faith and hope. In the daily celebration of Mass we join with you, and we pray for you, offering Christ's Sacrifice; and in this way the many initiatives of solidarity with your Churches take on strength and meaning”.
“Dear brothers”, he concluded, “I encourage you to continue in your commitment to promoting the ecumenical path and interreligious dialogue. And I thank you for the contribution you give towards greater communion between the various ecclesial movements”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 4 March 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Bishop Joaquim Wladimir Lopes Dias as bishop of Colatina (area 13,086, population 568,000, Catholics 484,000, priests 59, permanent deacons 11, religious 86), Brazil. Bishop Lopes Dias is currently auxiliary of the archdiocese of Vitoria, Brazil.
- appointed Rev. Jorge Cuapio Bautista as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Tlalnepantla (area 682, population 2,300,239, Catholics 1,953,239, priests 312, permanent deacons 10, religious 347), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Santa Ana Chiauhteman, Mexico in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He belongs to the Community of the Missionaries of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. He holds a licentiate in philosophy from the Universidad Popular Autonoma of the state of Pueblo, and a licentiate in science of the family from the John Paul II Institute in Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Texcoco, including parish vicar, professor in the seminary, parish priest of the “San Salvador” and “San Bartolome Apostol” parishes, episcopal vicar for pastoral ministry and member of the College of Consultors. He currently assists in the parish of “Santa Isabel Ixtapan”.
- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, presented by Bishop Francisco Ramirez Navarro upon reaching the age limit.
03-03-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 044 
Programme of the Holy Father's visit to Pompeii and Naples
Vatican City, 3 March 2015 (VIS) – Pope Francis will travel to Pompeii and Naples onSaturday, 21 March. He will leave the Vatican by helicopter at 7 a.m., and will arrive at the meeting area of the Shrine of Pompeii an hour later. Following a moment of prayer at the shrine, he will transfer by helicopter to the Scampia sports field in Naples. He will meet with representatives of various different groups in Piazza Giovanni Paolo II, and at 11 a.m. he will celebrate Holy Mass in Piazza del Plebiscito.
At 1 p.m., Pope Francis will visit the “Giuseppe Salvia” detention centre at Poggioreale, where he will lunch with a group of detainees. Two hours later he will venerate the relics of St. Januarius and, in the Cathedral of Naples, will meet the clergy, men and women religious and permanent deacons of the archdiocese. An hour later, in the Gesù Nuovo Basilica, he will meet with a group of sick people and, at 5 p.m. in the maritime quarter of Caracciolo, he will meet with a group of young Neapolitans.
The Pope will depart from the Naples Maritime Centre by helicopter at 6.15 p.m., and is due to arrive in the Vatican at 7 p.m.
The Pope approves the statutes of the new economic entities
Vatican City, 3 March 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has approved the statutes of the new economic entities of the Holy See: the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat for the Economy and the General Auditor's Office. The three statutes, signed 22 February 2015, feast of the Chair of St. Peter, were approved “ad experimentum” and entered into force on 1 March 2015, prior to their publication in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
The statutes may be consulted on the Vatican website:
The Piazza and the Temple: new meeting of the Courtyard of the Gentiles
Vatican City, 3 March 2015 (VIS) - “The Piazza and the Temple” is the title of an event to take place next Friday, 6 March, in the Centre for American Studies in Rome. It is an initiative of the Courtyard of the Gentiles, a forum for dialogue between believers and non-believers which has for some years organised meetings of this type in various cities throughout the world, under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
The event in Rome, organised with the collaboration of the Institut Francais-Centre St. Louis of the French Embassy at the Holy See and the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, will be a meeting between believers and non-believers on how these two sensibilities – city square and temple – can coexist in the twenty-first century. According to a communique released by the Courtyard of the Gentiles, “the square is increasingly occupied by merchants, and by those who demand justice for the victims of merchants. The faithful of the temple also ask that their voice be heard in the square, because in a free society the square must be open to all”. The meeting will facilitate discussion regarding “the way in which these different voices can coexist, what limits every right involves, and the relationship that the square and the temple can have with the Palace”, or seats of power. A post-secular dialogue, that unfolds against the backdrop of the sure decline of an idea of secularisation according to which the temples would have gradually emptied”.
The chair and moderator will be the constitutional lawyer and former prime minister of Italy, Giuliano Amato, president of the Courtyard of the Gentiles Foundation. The meeting will also be attended by the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, author of the influential essay “A Secular Age”, among other works, and other experts on the theme of secularisation: Jose Casanova, professor of the sociology of religion at Georgetown University, Washington D.C., U.S.A.; Alessandro Ferrara, professor of political philosophy at the Tor Vergata University of Rome; Giacomo Marramao, professor of theoretical philosophy at the University of Rome III; and Francois Bousquet, historian and anthropologist of religions.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 3 March 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Robert W. McElroy, auxiliary of San Francisco, U.S.A., as bishop of San Diego (area 22,942, population 3,127,045, Catholics 986,499, priests 309, permanent deacons 145, religious 335), U.S.A.

Saint March 5 : St. John Joseph of the Cross : Confessor

St. John Joseph of the Cross
Feast: March 5

Feast Day:March 5
August 15, 1654, Ischia
Died:March 5, 1739
1839, Rome by Pope Gregory XVI
Patron of:Ischiaa
Born on the Island of Ischia, Southern Italy, 1654; d. 5 March, 1739. From his earliest years he was given to prayer and virtue. So great was his love of poverty that he would always wear the dress of the poor, though he was of noble birth. At the age of sixteen years he entered the Order of St. Francis at naples, amongst the Friars of the Alcantarine Reform, being the first Italian to join this reform which had been instituted in Spain by St. Peter of Alcantara. Throughout his life he was given to the greatest austerity: he fasted constantly, never drank wine, and slept but three hours each night. In 1674 he was sent to found a friary at Afila, in Piedmont; and he assisted with his own hands in the building. Much against his will, he was raised to the priesthood. As superior, he always insisted upon performing the lowliest offices in the community. In 1702 he was appointed Vicar Provincial of the Alcantarine Reform in Italy. He was favoured in a high degree with the gift of miracles, people of every condition being brought to him in sickness. His zeal for souls was such that even in sickness he would not spare any labour for them. His great devotion was to our Blessed Lady, and he was urgent with his penitents that they also should cultivate this. He was beatified in 1789, and canonized in 1839.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)