Sunday, February 21, 2016

Catholic News World : Sun. February 21, 2016 - SHARE


Catholic #Music Artist Audrey Assad Beautiful version of Classic "Ubi Caritas"

Audrey Assad is a Catholic Musician. She releases music she calls “soundtracks for prayer” on the label Fortunate Fall Records, which she co-owns with her husband. In 2014, Audrey released an EP, 
which reflected on her recent encounters with loss and suffering- including her husband’s journey through cancer and chemotherapy. The album released just a few weeks after the birth of her first son. Her Latest Album includes this Breathtaking version of the Classic "Ubi Caritas" -
Please watch and SHARE

#BreakingNews 6 Killed and 8 Shot in #Michigan by Random Shooter who was Uber Driver - Please PRAY

At least 8 people have been shot and 6 died in a series of shooting in Michigan. Suspect Jason Brian Dalton age 45, was a quiet man who liked guns, has been arrested and will be charged. The shootings took place in 3 areas in Kalamazoo County, for over 6 hours. Dalton was a driver for Uber. He shot a mother of 3, four times in an apartment parking lot. She is in serious condition, but expected to survive. Dalton fired on two vehicles in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant, killing four adult women and "gravely" wounding a 14-year-old girl.  Dalton is married with two children, and according to reports seemed a "typical American family." Please Pray for the victims and families.

What are the Stations of the Cross - Powerful #Prayer meditating on Jesus' sufferings for Us - With Indulgences - SHARE

The Stations of the Cross is a series of images showing the struggles of Jesus Christ from his condemnation to his crucifixion. There are usually 14 images that are hung in order around a church or along a path. People walk from image to image, and stop at each "station" saying prayers and possibly reading scripture passages. This prayer is often held by groups or individually. Other names for the Stations of the Cross are the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, or, The Way. In Jerusalem, the Via Dolorosa is the actual path that Jesus walked, and the stations are the actual places where the events occurred.  St. Francis of Assisi started the tradition of moving from station to station although it was practiced less formerly before. In Lent, and on Good Friday, this practice is very popular but it is also prayed during the year.The number of stations varied throughout history; Pope Clement XII extended to all churches the right to have the stations. Ultimately, the stations are an act of love towards Jesus to thank him for the great sacrifices he made for love of us and to atone for our sins.
Here is the most common list of Stations:
 1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus carries his cross
3. Jesus falls the first time
4. Jesus meets his mother
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7. Jesus falls the second time
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
9. Jesus falls the third time
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
11.Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
12. Jesus dies on the cross
13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.
15. Resurrection of Jesus is sometimes included as a fifteenth station.
Common prayers at each Station:
(while genuflecting)

P/ We adore thee O Christ and we praise thee.

C/Becuase by thy Holy cross thou hast redeemed the world.

And, when moving from station to station:

All: Holy Mother, pierce me thorugh, in my heart each wound renew, of my saviour crucified.

Indulgences are: 
  • A plenary indulgence every time the devotion is completed.
  • An additional plenary indulgence if one receives Holy Communion on the day.
  • Also an additional plenary indulgence if one performs the devotion ten times and receives Holy Communion within a month after so doing.
  • A partial indulgence of ten years for every Station made if one was not able to finish the Stations.
    The conditions for gaining them are
    • Walking from Station to Station when making the Way of the Cross privately; when making it publicly, it suffices for the priest with the altar boys to do so.
    • Meditate at each Station on the sufferings of our Lord.
    • These two conditions are essential. No oral prayers are prescribed; yet they are profitable.
    • A plenary indulgence* is granted to the faithful for making the Stations of the Cross under the normal conditions: 
      • one is free from all attachment from sin
      • one receives the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist (7 days before or after)
      • one prays for the intentions of the Pope (1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be)

    #PopeFrancis “For a world without the death penalty.” at #Angelus - Text - FULL Video

    Pope Fancis speaking at the Angelus on Sunday. - RV
    Pope Fancis speaking at the Angelus on Sunday. - RV
    21/02/2016 13:02

    (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis reflected on his Apostolic Voyage to Mexico during his Angelus address in St Peter’s Square on the Second Sunday of Lent.
    The Sunday Gospel tells the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus; Pope Francis said his journey to Mexico was also “an experience of transfiguration,” where “the Lord showed the light of His glory through the body of His Church, of the holy People who live in that land.”
    The Pope said the focus of his pilgrimage to Mexico was the visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Meditating before the miraculous image, the Holy Father reflected on the love and compassion the Blessed Virgin has for the many pilgrims who come to her with their sorrows. “From all over America,” he said, “they come to pray at the place where the “Virgen Morenita” showed herself to the Indian Juan Diego, giving a beginning to the evangelization of the continent and to its new civilization, the fruit of the encounter between different cultures.”
    And this, he said, is the true heritage Mexico has received from the Lord: “to guard the riches of diversity, and, at the same time, to manifest the harmony of the common faith.” Pope Francis said he had come to Mexico, like his predecessors, to confirm the faith of the Mexican people, but also to be confirmed by them — and he pointed to the witness of Mexican families, of young people, of priests and religious, of workers and of prisoners; “a testimony of a clear and strong faith, the testimony of a lived faith, of a faith that transfigures life.”
    Pope Francis offered thanks “to the Lord and to the Virgin of Guadalupe” for the Voyage; and also expressed his gratitude to all those who welcomed him to Mexico and made the journey so successful.
    Finally, Pope Francis praised the Most Holy Trinity for his meeting with his “dear brother Kirill,” the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, which took place in Cuba on his way to Mexico. The Pope concluded his address with the prayer that “the Mother of God might continue to guide us in the journey to unity.”
    (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has said that “all Christians and people of good will are called today to work not only for the abolition of the death penalty,” but also to improve conditions in prisons, out of respect for the human dignity of prisoners.
    In particular, the Holy Father appealed “to the consciences of government leaders” that they might join the “international consensus for the abolition of the death penalty” — and spoke directly to Catholic leaders, asking them, as a “courageous and exemplary act,” to not carry out any death sentences during the Holy Year of Mercy.
    The Holy Father made his remarks following the Angelus on Sunday, in the context of an international convention for the abolition of death penalty set to take place in Rome on Monday. The convention, promoted by the Sant’Egidio Community, has for its title “For a world without the death penalty.”
    “I hope,” the Pope said, “that this symposium can give a renewed impulse to efforts for the abolition of capital punishment.” He said growing opposition to the death penalty, even as an instrument of legitimate social defence, was a sign of hope. Modern society, he continued has the means of fighting crime without definitively taking from criminals the possibility of redemption. He placed the question of capital punishment within the context of a system of justice that continues to conform more closely “to the dignity of man and the design of God for and for society.” “The commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill’,” Pope Francis said, “has absolute value, and concerns both the innocent and the guilty,” and even criminals “maintain the inviolable right to life, the gift of God.”

    Sunday Mass Online : Sun. February 21, 2016 - Readings and Video - 2nd Sun. of Lent - C

    Second Sunday of Lent
    Lectionary: 27

    Reading 1GN 15:5-12, 17-18

    The Lord God took Abram outside and said,
    “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.
    Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.”
    Abram put his faith in the LORD,
    who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.

    He then said to him,
    “I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans
    to give you this land as a possession.”
    “O Lord GOD,” he asked,
    “how am I to know that I shall possess it?”
    He answered him,
    “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat,
    a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
    Abram brought him all these, split them in two,
    and placed each half opposite the other;
    but the birds he did not cut up.
    Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses,
    but Abram stayed with them.
    As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram,
    and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.

    When the sun had set and it was dark,
    there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch,
    which passed between those pieces.
    It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram,
    saying: “To your descendants I give this land,
    from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates.”

    Responsorial PsalmPS 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14

    R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
    The LORD is my light and my salvation;
    whom should I fear?
    The LORD is my life’s refuge;
    of whom should I be afraid?
    R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
    Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
    have pity on me, and answer me.
    Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
    R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
    Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
    Hide not your face from me;
    do not in anger repel your servant.
    You are my helper: cast me not off.
    R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
    I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
    in the land of the living.
    Wait for the LORD with courage;
    be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
    R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

    Reading 2PHIL 3:17—4:1

    Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters,
    and observe those who thus conduct themselves
    according to the model you have in us.
    For many, as I have often told you
    and now tell you even in tears,
    conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.
    Their end is destruction.
    Their God is their stomach;
    their glory is in their “shame.”
    Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
    But our citizenship is in heaven,
    and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    He will change our lowly body
    to conform with his glorified body
    by the power that enables him also
    to bring all things into subjection to himself.

    Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
    whom I love and long for, my joy and crown,
    in this way stand firm in the Lord.

    OrPHIL 3:20—4:1

    Brothers and sisters:
    Our citizenship is in heaven,
    and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    He will change our lowly body
    to conform with his glorified body
    by the power that enables him also
    to bring all things into subjection to himself.

    Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
    whom I love and long for, my joy and crown,
    in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.

    Verse Before The GospelCF. MT 17:5

    From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard:
    This is my beloved Son, hear him.

    GospelLK 9:28B-36

    Jesus took Peter, John, and James
    and went up the mountain to pray.
    While he was praying his face changed in appearance
    and his clothing became dazzling white.
    And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,
    who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus
    that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
    Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep,
    but becoming fully awake,
    they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
    As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus,
    “Master, it is good that we are here;
    let us make three tents,
    one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
    But he did not know what he was saying.
    While he was still speaking,
    a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
    and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
    Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
    “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
    After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
    They fell silent and did not at that time
    tell anyone what they had seen.

    Saint February 21 : St. Peter Damian : #Bishop and #Doctor of the #Church

    Feast Day:
    February 14
    988, Ravenna

    February 22, 1072, Faenza
    (Or Damiani). Doctor of the Church, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, b. at Ravenna "five years after the death of the Emperor Otto III," 1007; d. at Faenza, 21 Feb., 1072. He was the youngest of a large family; his parents were noble, but poor. At his birth an elder brother protested against this new charge on the resources of the family with such effect that his mother refused to suckle him and the babe nearly died. A family retainer, however, fed the starving child and by example and reproaches recalled his mother to her duty. Left an orphan in early years, he was at first adopted by an elder brother, who ill-treated and under-fed him while employing him as a swineherd. The child showed signs of great piety and of remarkable intellectual gifts, and after some years of this servitude another brother, who was archpriest at Ravenna, had pity on him and took him away to be educated. This brother was called Damian and it was generally accepted that St. Peter added this name to his own in grateful recognition of his brother's kindness. He made rapid progress in his studies, first at Ravenna, then at Faenza, finally at the University of Parma, and when about twenty-five years old was already a famous teacher at Parma and Ravenna. But, though even then much given to fasting and to other mortifications, he could not endure the scandals and distractions of university life and decided (about 1035) to retire from the world. While meditating on his resolution he encountered two hermits of Fonte-Avellana, was charmed with their spirituality and detachment, and desired to join them. Encouraged by them Peter, after a forty days' retreat in a small cell, left his friends secretly and made his way to the hermitage of Fonte-Avellana. Here he was received, and, to his surprise, clothed at once with the monastic habit. Both as novice and as professed religious his fervour was remarkable and led him to such extremes of penance that, for a time, his health was affected. He occupied his convalescence with a thorough study of Holy Scripture and, on his recovery, was appointed to lecture to his fellow-monks. At the request of Guy of Pomposa and other heads of neighbouring monasteries, for two or three years he lectured to their subjects also, and (about 1042) wrote the life of St. Romuald for the monks of Pietrapertosa. Soon after his return to Fonte-Avellana he was appointed economus of the house by the prior, who also pointed him out as his successor. This, in fact, he became in 1043, and he remained prior of Fonte-Avellana till his death. His priorate was characterized by a wise moderation of the rule, as well as by the foundation of subject-hermitages at San Severino, Gamugno, Acerata, Murciana, San Salvatore, Sitria, and Ocri. It was remarkable, too, for the introduction of the regular use of the discipline, a penitential exercise which he induced the great abbey of Monte Cassino to imitate. There was much opposition outside his own circle to this practice, but Peter's persistent advocacy ensured its acceptance to such an extent that he was obliged later to moderate the imprudent zeal of some of his own hermits. Another innovation was that of the daily siesta, to make up for the fatigue of the night office. during his tenure of the priorate a cloister was built, silver chalices and a silver processional cross were purchased, and many books added to the library. (See Fonte-Avellana.) Although living in the seclusion of the cloister, Peter Damian watched closely the fortunes of the Church, and like his friend Hildebrand, the future Gregory VII, he strove for her purification in those deplorable times. In 1045 when Benedict IX resigned the supreme pontificate into the hands of the archpriest John Gratian (Gregory VI), Peter hailed the change with joy and wrote to the pope, urging him to deal with the scandals of the church in Italy, especially with the evil bishops of Pesaro, of Città di Castello, and of Fano (see BENEDICT IX; GREGORY VI.) He was present in Rome when Clement II crowned Henry III and his wife Agnes, and he also attended a synod held at the Lateran in the first days of 1047, in which decrees were passed against simony. After this he returned to his hermitage (see CLEMENT II; DAMASUS II). Pope St. Leo IX was solemnly enthroned at Rome, 12 Feb., 1049, to succeed Damasus II, and about two years later Peter published his terrible treatise on the vices of the clergy, the "Liber Gomorrhianus", dedicating it to the pope. It caused a great stir and aroused not a little enmity against its author. Even the pope, who had at first praised the work, was persuaded that it was exaggerated and his coldness drew from Damian a vigorous letter of protest. Meanwhile the question arose as to the validity of the ordinations of simoniacal clerics. The prior of Fonte-Avellana was appealed to and wrote (about 1053) a treatise, the "Liber Gratissimus", in favour of their validity, a work which, though much combatted at the time, was potent in deciding the question in their favour before the end of the twelfth century. In June, 1055, during the pontificate of Victor II, Damian attended a synod held at Florence, where simony and clerical incontinence were once more condemned. About two years later he fell ill at Fonte-Avellana and nearly died, but suddenly, after seven weeks of pain, recovered, as he believed, through a miracle. During his illness the pope died, and Frederic, abbot of Monte Cassino, was elected as Stephen X. In the autumn of 1057, Stephen X determined to create Damian a cardinal. For a long time he resisted the offer, but was finally forced, under threat of excommunication, to accept, and was consecrated Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia on 30 Nov., 1057. In addition he was appointed administrator of the Diocese of Gubbio. The new cardinal was impressed with the great responsibilities of his office and wrote a stirring letter to his brother-cardinals, exhorting them to shine by their example before all. Four months later Pope Stephen died at Florence and the Church was once more distracted by schism. The Cardinal of Ostia was vigorous in his opposition to the antipope Benedict X, but force was on the side of the intruder and Damian retired to Fonte-Avallana. (See NICHOLAS II; GREGORY VII.) About the end of the year 1059 Peter was sent as legate to Milan by Nicholas II. The Church at Milan had been, for some time, the prey of simony and incontinence. So bad was the state of things, that benefices were openly bought and sold and the clergy publicly "married" the women they lived with. But the faithful of Milan, led by St. Ariald the Deacon and St. Anselm, Bishop of Lucca, strove hard to remedy these evils. At length the contest between the two parties became so bitter that an appeal was made to the Holy See to decide the matter. Nicholas II sent Damian and the Bishop of Lucca as his legates. But now the party of the irregular clerics took alarm and raised the cry that Rome had no authority over Milan. At once Peter took action. Boldly confronting the rioters in the cathedral, he proved to them the authority of the Holy See with such effect that all parties submitted to his decision. He exacted first a solemn oath from the archbishop and all his clergy that for the future no preferment should be paid for; then, imposing a penance on all who had been guilty, he re-instated in their benefices all who under took to live continently. This prudent decision was attacked by some of the rigourists at Rome, but was not reversed. Unfortunately, on the death of Nicholas II, the same disputes broke out; nor were they finally settled till after the martyrdom of St. Ariald in 1066. Meanwhile Peter was in vain pleading to be released from the cares of his office. Neither Nicholas II nor Hildebrand would consent to spare him. In July, 1061, the pope died and once more a schism ensued. Damian used all his powers to persuade the antipope Cadalous to withdraw, but to no purpose. Finally Hanno, the Regent of Germany, summoned a council at Augsburg at which a long argument by St. Peter Damian was read and greatly contributed to the decision in favour of Alexander II. In 1063 the pope held a synod at Rome, at which Damian was appointed legate to settle the dispute between the Abbey of Cluny and the Bishop of Mâcon. He proceeded to France, summoned a council at Châlon-sur-Saône, proved the justice of the contentions of Cluny, settled other questions at issue in the Church of France, and returned in the autumn to Fonte-Avellana. While he was in France the antipope Cadalous had again become active in his attempts to gain Rome, and Damian brought upon himself a sharp reproof from Alexander and Hildebrand for twice imprudently appealing to the royal power to judge the case anew. In 1067 the cardinal was sent to Florence to settle the dispute between the bishop and the monks of Vallombrosa, who accused the former of simony. His efforts, however, were not successful, largely because he misjudged the case and threw the weight of his authority on the side of the bishop. The matter was not settled till the following year by the pope in person. In 1069 Damian went as the pope's legate to Germany to prevent King Henry from repudiating his wife Bertha. This task he accomplished at a council at Frankfort and returned to Fonte-Avellana, were he was left in peace for two years. Early in 1072 he was sent to Ravenna to reconcile its inhabitants to the Holy See, they having been excommunicated for supporting their archbishop in his adhesion to the schism of Cadalous. On his return thence he was seized with fever near Faenza. He lay ill for a week at the monastery of Santa Maria degl'Angeli, now Santa Maria Vecchia. On the night preceding the feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch, he ordered the office of the feast to be recited and at the end of the Lauds he died. He was at once buried in the monastery church, lest others should claim his relics. Six times has his body been translated, each time to a more splendid resting-place. It now lies in a chapel dedicated to the saint in the cathedral of Faenza in 1898. No formal canonization ever took place, but his cultas has existed since his death at Faenza, at Fonte-Avellana, at Monte Cassino, and at Cluny. In 1823 Leo XII extended his feast (23 Feb.) to the whole Church and pronounced him a Doctor of the Church. The saint is represented in art as a cardinal bearing a discipline in his hand; also sometimes he is depicted as a pilgrim holding a papal Bull, to signify his many legations. Catholic Encyclopedia

    Amazing Homily by Fr. Paul Scalia at the Funeral of Justice Scalia - FULL Video - Text - SHARE

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Sclalia passed away on Feb. 13, 2016. His funeral was held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on Feb. 20. His son, Father Paul Scalia gave the Homily at the Mass for his father.
     "God blessed Dad, as it's well known, with a love for his country," Fr. Paul Scalia said. Scalia was a conservative pro-life Supreme Court Justice. Thousands of people came to pay their respects to Justice Scalia. His son's homily was excellent and surprising when he explained;
    "We are gathered here because of one man, a man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to many more; a man loved by many, scorned by others; a man known for great controversy and for great compassion,” Fr. Scalia said. 
    Then he said: “That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth.” 
    Fr. PAUL SCALIA: "Your immense, your excellencies, archbishop, bishops, my brother priests, deacons, distinguished guests, dear friends and faithful gathered. On behalf of our mother and the entire Scalia family, I want to thank you for your presence here, for your many words of consolation, and even more, for the many prayers and masses you have offered at the death of our father Antonin Scalia. In particular, I thank cardinal weurl first for reaching out to quickly and graciously to console our mother. It was a consolation to her and therefore to us as well. Thank you also for allowing us to have this parish funeral mass here in this basilica dedicated to our lady. What a great privilege and consolation that we were able to bring our father through the holy doors and for him gain the indulgence promised to those who enter in faith. I that I think the bishop of our diocese of Arlington. A shepherd our father liked and respected a great deal. Thank you, bishop, for your prompt visit to our mother, for your words of consolation, for your prayers. The family will depart for the private burial immediately after mass and will not have time to visit. So I want to express our thanks at this time. So that you all know our profound appreciation and thanks. 
    You'll notice in the program mention of a memorial that will be held on March 1st. We hope to see many of you there. We pray that the lord will reward your great goodness to us. We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more, a man loved by many, scorned by others, a man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man of course is Jesus of nazareth. It is he whom we proclaim Jesus Christ son of the father, born of the virgin Mary, crucified, buried, risen, seated at the right hand of the father. It is because of him, because of his life, death, and resurrection, that we do not modern as those who have no hope, but in confidence we commend Antonin Scalia to the mercy of god. Scripture says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And that sets a good course for our thoughts and our prayers here today. In effect we look in three directions. To yesterday in Thanksgiving, to today in petition, and into eternity with hope. We look to Jesus Christ yesterday, that is, to the past, in Thanksgiving for the blessings god bestowed upon dad. In the past week many have recounted what dad did for them. But here today, we recount what god did for dad, how he blessed him. We give thanks first of all for the atoning death and life giving resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our lord died and rose not only for all of us but also for each of us. And at this time we look to that yesterday of his death and resurrection and we give thanks that he died and rose for dad. Further, we give thanks that Jesus brought him to new life and baptism, nourished him with the eucharist, and healed him in the confessional. We give thanks that Jesus bestowed upon him 55 years of marriage to the woman he loved, a woman who could match him at every step. And even hold him accountable. 
    God bless dad with a deep catholic faith, the conviction that Christ's presence and power continue in the world today through his body, the church. He loved the clarity and coherence of the church's teachings. He treasured the church's ceremonies, especially the beauty of her ancient worship. He trusted the power of her sacraments as the means of salvation, as Christ working within him for his salvation. Although one time, one Saturday afternoon, he did scold me for having heard confessions that afternoon, that same day. And I hope that is some source of consolation, if there are any lawyers present, that the Roman collar was not a shield there are lawyers present that the Roman collar was not a shield against his criticism. The issue that evening was not that I had be hearing confessions but that he found himself in my confessional line. [ Laughter ] And he quickly departed it. As he put it later, like heck if I'm confessing to you. The feeling was mutual. 
    God bless dad as is well known with a love of his country. He knew well what a close run thing the founding of our nation was and he saw in that founding as did the founders themselves a blessing. A blessing quickly lost when faith is banned from the public square or when we refuse to bring it there. So he understood that there is no conflict between loving god and loving one's country, between one's faith and one's public service. Dad understood the deeper he went in his catholic faith, the better citizen and public servant he became. 
    God blessed him with the desire to be the country's good servant because he was God's first. We scalias, however, give things for a particular blessing god bestowed. God blessed dad with a love for his family. We have been thrilled to read and hear the many words of praise and admiration for his intellect, his writings, speeches, influence and so on. But more important to us and to him, he was dad. He was the father that god gave us for the great adventure of family life. Sure, he forgot our names at times or mixed them up. But there are nine of us. He loved us and sought to show that love. And sought to share the blessing of the faith he treasured. And he gave us one another, to have each other for support. That's the greatest wealth parents can bestow. And right now, we are particularly grateful for it. 
    So we look to the past, Jesus Christ yesterday, and call to mind all these blessings and give our lord the honor and glory for them, for they are his work. We look to Jesus today in petition, to the present moment here and now, as we mourn the one we love and admire, the one whose absence pains us. Today we pray for him, for the repose of his soul. We thank god for goodness and know that dad believed, he did so imperfectly like the rest of us. He tried to love god and neighbor, but like the rest of us did so imperfectly. He was a practicing catholic, practicing in the sense that he hadn't perfected it yet. Or rather Christ was not yet perfected in him. And only those in whom Christ is brought to perfection can enter heaven. 
    We are here then to lend our prayers to that perfecting. To that final work of god's grace, freeing dad from every encumbrance of sin. But don't take my word for it. Dad himself, not surprisingly, had something to say on the matter. Writing years ago to presbyterian minister whose funeral service he admired, he summarized quite nicely the pitfalls of funerals and why he didn't like eulogies. He wrote even when the deceased was an admirable person, indeed especially when the deceased was an admirable person, praise for his virtues can cause us to forget that we are praying for and giving thanks for god's inexplicable mercy to a sinner. Now, he would not have exempted himself from that. We are here then as he would want to pray for god's inexplicable mercy to a sinner, to this sinner, Antonin Scalia. Let us not show him a false love and allow our admiration to deprive him of our prayers. We continue to show affection for him and do good for him by praying for him. All stain of sin be washed away. That all wounds be healed. That he be purified of all that is not Christ. That he rest in peace. 
    Finally we look to Jesus forever, into eternity. Or better, we consider our own place in eternity and whether it will be with the lord. Even as we pray for dad to enter swiftly into eternal glory, we should be mindful of ourselves. Every funeral reminds us of just how thin the veil is between this world and the next, between time an eternity, and the moment of judgment. So we cannot depart here unchanged. It makes no sense to celebrate god's mercy to dad if we are not attentive and responsive to those own realities in our own lives. We must allow this encounter with eternity to change us, to turn us from sin and toward t  he lord. The English Dominican father, B. Jarrett put it beautifully when he prayed oh strong son of god, while you prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place that we may be with you and with those we love for all eternity. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 
    My dear friends, this is also the structure of the mass. The greatest prayer we can offer for dad because it is not our prayer but the lord's. The mass looks to Jesus yesterday, it reaches into the past, reaches to the last supper, to the crucifix, to the resurrection, and it makes those mysteries and their power present here on this altar. Jesus himself becomes present here today under the form of bread and wine so that we can unite all our prayers of Thanksgiving, sorrow and petition with Christ himself as an offering to the father. And all of this with a view to eternity, stretching toward heaven, where we hope one day to enjoy that perfect union with god himself and to see dad again and with him rejoice in the communion of saints."
    Scalia is pictured above with his wife and 9 children.  In the front row was every member of the current Supreme Court. Justice Clarence Thomas a close friend of Scalia who did the reading from the book of Romans. Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice Sonia Sotomayor -- were joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Also in attendence was Vice President Joe Biden, Former Vice President Dick Cheney --solicitor general, Donald Verrilli,. Texas senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz -- . "As Ronald Reagan was to the presidency, so too was Antonin Scalia to the U.S. Supreme Court," Cruz told CNN. "Justice Scalia has been a personal hero of mine, virtually my entire life." Cruz. "It has been 80 years since the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court nominee who was nominated during an election year and we should not start now," Cruz said. "We have an election in just a few months and I think the American people should be able to choose the direction of this court." President Barack Obama did not attend.

    #Vatican Spokesperson Explains #PopeFrancis comments on #DonaldTrump - SHARE

    On Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 the Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi, S.J., answered  a question about Pope Francis' comments on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The transcript (in Italian) and was made available by Vatican Radio.
    (Translation by Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., the English-language assistant to the Holy See Press Office.)
    Interviewer: The Pope emphasized that those who only think of building walls, not bridges, is not Christian. Many have spoken about excommunication, if I may say, against the Republican candidate in the race for the White House, Donald Trump...
    Fr. Lombardi: But the Pope said what we all know, when we follow his teaching and his position: that we should not build walls but bridges. He (the Pope) has always said this, continuously, and he has said this said about the issues of migration in Europe, many times. So it is not a specific issue, limited to this case. This is one of [the Pope’s] general attitudes, very consistent with what is a courageous following of the Gospel of welcome and solidarity. Of course, this was then raised, but it is not that the Pope wishes to be, in any way, a personal attack nor an indication of voting. The Pope has made it clear that would not enter into the [Presidential] election campaign in the United States and he has also said—which was not reported by many—if it were correct and true what he was told—he would give the benefit of the doubt over what had been reported about the Republican candidate’s expressions. Therefore the key point is welcome—the building of bridges instead of walls—that is characteristic of this Pontificate. It must be interpreted and understood in this way.
    FULL TEXT Interview :

    Catholic #Quote to SHARE by Mother Teresa “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

    “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ― Mother Teresa
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