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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Catholic News World : Wed. March 30, 2016 - SHARE

, 2016


#BreakingNews Nuns receive Easter #Miracle a new Home to Feed the Homeless from Tony Robbins

The Sisters of the order Fraternite Notre Dame Mary of Nazareth had a Soup Kitchen but were  evicted from their former location on Turk Street, SanFrancisco. Multimillionaire business coach and Tony Robbins  bought the French nuns their own soup kitchen. Robbins paid over $750,000 in cash this week for the property’s purchase, Now Sister Mary Benedicte, and Sister Mary of the Angels can serve meals to hundreds of homeless people. “It feels like God’s providence,” they said.“This is God’s blessing. Wow.” Robbins is known internationally for for counseling former President Bill Clinton to actor Leonardo DiCaprio. “ Inspired by their story’ Robbins spent time homeless before he became famous. “I was so inspired by their story,” he said. “I was deeply touched that not only are they feeding people, but their entire lives are spent toward loving and taking care of people....I have a deep love for the nuns, and I want them to be able to put all their efforts into doing the wonderful things that they do.” The real estate agent said,  “I had just closed the office when I heard something outside, went to the door — and there were these nuns,” said Antonio Gamero, an agent with Re/Max Future on Valencia Street. “I thought, ‘I don’t want to talk about religion right now,’ but then they told me who they were and what they wanted. And, like, the next day we got working.” Mary Martha said, “Finding this building is really like a resurrection for us — it goes so well with the holy week of Easter. We were so concerned for the sisters in San Francisco, and we were praying so hard for them, and then God sent Tony to help us.” Robbins said, “Three days later it was my birthday, and while I was doing my program, this music came on and three people dressed like nuns came walking toward me,” Robbins said. “It was members of my team, and they gave me a check from my platinum partners (large donors) for what they called ‘the nun bailout.’ It was $400,000. It was the best birthday present I ever had.” As for the soup kitchen sisters, they won’t start planning any move until next week. After Easter. “For now, this is a time only for prayer,” said Mary Benedicte. “We are closed. But in our prayers, we thank God for this miracle.”
Edited from SFGate

#PopeFrancis “God is greater than all the sins we may commit!" #Audience FULL TEXT - Video

Speaking at the General Audience Wednesday, Pope Francis said God is greater than our sins and will pull us up when we fall - ANSA
Speaking at the General Audience Wednesday, Pope Francis said God is greater than our sins and will pull us up when we fall - ANSA
30/03/2016 11:04



(Vatican Radio)  “God is greater than all the sins we may commit! God is greater than our sin!”    That’s what Pope Francis reminded pilgrims at the General Audience Wednesday 30 March.  In his remarks in Italian, the Pope said God's infinite mercy wipes away our sins like the dry cleaner eliminates the stains from our clothes. 
Listen to Tracey McClure's report:
 
But “divine forgiveness is supremely effective,” noted the Pope.  Unlike the dry cleaner, however, “it doesn’t hide the sin; it destroys it and cancels it… God eliminates our sin from its very roots – all of it!”
In his catechesis, Pope Francis reflected on the penitential prayer Psalm 51 from the Old Testament.  In ancient Hebrew tradition, the Pope noted, the psalm refers to a penitent King David who, trusting in God’s mercy, humbly prays for forgiveness after he committed not simply “a small lie” but the great sins of adultery and murder.
Pope Francis invited those gathered in Saint Peter’s square to raise their hands if any among them had not sinned in his or her lifetime.  He remarked that no one present had raised a hand and observed that “we are all sinners” and some people find themselves sinning over and over again. 
Like a child who reaches up to his parents to lift him after a fall - noted the Pope, when we fall in sin, we can raise our hand to God who will pull us up.  “God created man and woman to stand upright,” said the Pope.  "It is beautiful to be forgiven," stressed Pope Francis, "but you too, if you want to be pardoned, you should also forgive.  Forgive!"
Pope Francis conveyed this message to English speaking pilgrims:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:  In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now conclude our treatment of the Old Testament with a consideration of Psalm 51, the Miserere.  This Psalm is traditionally seen as King David’s prayer for forgiveness following his sin with Bathsheba.  Its opening words: “Have mercy on me, O God in your kindness”, are a moving confession of sin, repentance and confident hope in God’s merciful pardon.  Together with a heartfelt plea to be cleansed and purified of his sin, the Psalmist sings the praise of God’s infinite justice and holiness.  He asks for the forgiveness of his great sin but also for the gift of a pure heart and a steadfast spirit, so that, thus renewed, he may draw other sinners back to the way of righteousness.  God’s forgiveness is the greatest sign of his infinite mercy.  Through the prayers of Mary, Mother of Mercy, may we become ever more convincing witnesses to that divine mercy which forgives our sins, creates in us a new heart, and enables us to proclaim God’s reconciling love to the world.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from England, Ireland, Norway, Nigeria, Australia, Indonesia, Pakistan and the United States.  In the joy of the Risen Lord, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father.  May the Lord bless you all!

Right to Die is not the right to kill yourself - #ProLife message by Fr. Hans Feichtinger


The right to die is not the right to kill yourself

In Canada and beyond, for public and political debates on euthanasia and suicide assistance, one of the crucial question is this: Is letting someone die the same as killing someone? Is dying the same thing as committing suicide? Some people arguing in favour of legalizing assisted suicide say it is. What does your experience tell you? Based on my work as pastor, who meets dying people and people who have lost loved ones on a regular basis, I say there is a huge difference. The difference is: in order for us to have the right to die non one needs a right to kill him/herself, or others, quite the opposite.
Is killing someone in a hit-and-run the same thing as letting someone die because you saw her lying in the street? Both times someone dies, and it is your fault; both are mortal sins and crimes, but they are not the same, and you are not “causal agents in death” in the same sense. Moreover, common sense, legal practice, and ethical reflection demonstrate: If a principle works in scenario A, it does not necessarily work (as well) in B. If two causes lead to, or contribute to the same outcome, that does not mean the two causes are of the same nature, gravity, or meaning. Extending arguments in this way appears more rational than it actually is. Whether something is morally and legally, allowed or desirable depends heavily on the kind of acts you are contemplating and on the circumstances in which the acts are situated.
Withholding medical treatment from people for whom it would be unreasonable and overly burdensome, is not the same thing as administering them a lethal injection. In any case, claiming that it is the same, is only one view, based on one school of thought, most often utilitarianism. If you have ever worked in a department of philosophy, you know that philosophers never agree, either on the conditions, or the method, or the outcome of their reflections. In Carter v Canada, the Supreme Court claimed that there is “no ethical distinction between physician-assisted death and other end-of-life practices whose outcome is highly likely to be death”. Such a claim is one-sided, and the Court should not have limited Parliament’s decision so severely. Not even Parliament could impose one of the many philosophical standpoints on all Canadians.
The parliament of France, arguably the one that invented secularism, has quite different views on suicide assistance. The same is true for Westminster’s Lords and Commons, and for the Bundestag in Berlin. It certainly does not seem plausible to claim that the laws of other profoundly secular and democratic societies are the product of an inability to think properly. Interesting, how thinkers opposing absolute distinctions can become absolutist.
Many people want to be able to end their lives. This is a fact, but not necessarily therefore a “right”, with all the consequences that the concept of a “right” entails, namely that others have an obligation to help me exercise it, and that the state must guarantee it. Legislation has to take into account other aspects and consequences, notably the protection of vulnerable people and the rights of those who have fundamental objections to suicide. Declaring that these thoughts are not rational is unacceptable in a liberal democracy. Citizens of liberal democracies have the right to resist laws based on exclusionary philosophies, even if a Supreme Court embraces them.
Unbearable suffering, tragic and traumatic situations in which people see no solution other than killing themselves, are facts that cannot be explained away. Therefore, not treating (attempted) suicide as a crime makes sense. But it doesn’t make suicide into something good, to which we have a right: that is the fundamental flaw in the debate. The law Canada needs cannot be something that includes so many aspects running contrary to convictions held by so many doctors and people, religious and not. On this issue, philosophical and legal debate will not result in consensus. Parliament, therefore, needs to find a way that does not impose the view of one group on everyone. Legislative power needs to be exercised judiciously, avoiding extreme and exclusionary solutions. If Parliament wants to decriminalize suicide assistance or formally allow it (under certain conditions), that is one thing. A right-to-assisted-suicide, however, is something different: it would force all (publically funded) medical professionals and institutions to offer it as a public service. Such a solution will be pernicious for how we look at people who need palliative (long term, and expensive) care. No person who respects fact-based decisions can deny that. It is not too late to avert such a situation for Canada. Instead, the debate is only just beginning. Special to Catholic News World by :
Msgr. Hans Feichtinger
Fr. Hans Feichtiner born in Germany, obtained a Doctorate in Patristic Theology from the Augustinianum in Rome and an M.A. in Classics from Dalhousie University, Halifax NS. He was an Official at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Beginning 2010, He did the qualifying exams and coursework for a doctorate in philosophy from the Jesuit Philosophy Faculty in Munich. Since coming to Canada at the beginning of 2013, I have been working on the thesis in the library of St Paul University.He is Pastor (Parish Administrator) of St George’s in Ottawa, Canada

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. March 30, 2016


Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 263


Video To Be Added

Reading 1ACTS 3:1-10

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, “Look at us.”
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Responsorial PsalmPS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
or:
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
or:
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
or:
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations—
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaPS 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

New #Book "Israel Madigan" by Robert Eady about Mystery of Good and Evil with Explosive ending!

New for autumn 2015. We are pleased to present Robert Eady's second novel Israel Madigan, both as a printed copy and an ebook. The standard epub version can be downloaded from this site and is readable in any standard epub reader on various devices. The kindle version can only be downloaded from the Amazon site.
This is Robert Eady's second novel. 336 pages, paperback, printed and bound in Canada on paper containing 50% post-consumer fibre. Also available as an ebook on this web site and as a kindle version on Amazon.



Buy your copy Now!https://editio-sanctus-martinus.myshopify.com/products/israel-madigan

Also on KINDLE by AMAZON
It plays in a fictitious small town, Glendevon, situated north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The narrator, Sean, suffers from psychological problems due to a traumatic experience in his younger years. He relates the story of the last years of Fr. Collins to the Father's sister. It involves the relationship between the three main persons, namely Fr. Collins, Caitlin Madigan, and Eddie Jacks, former mayor of Glendevon and involved in shady businesses. Caitlin comes from a broken home and gets involved with Eddie Jacks and serves as a prostitute for Eddie and others. When Caitlin falls pregnant and refuses an abortion she is violently kicked out of Eddie's pick-up truck in front of St. Michael's Church where Fr. Collins is pastor. When the child, Jacob Madigan, is born he is adopted by Caitlin's half-sister, Shauna. Fr. Collins grants Caitlin to room and board in the basement of the church and otherwise looks after her. When Eddie shows a renewed interest in Caitlin and her son, pretending that Jacob is his, the plot thickens and leads to a surprising result...
Barbara Kay, novelist and well known National Post columnist, has said the following about Israel Madigan: “It made me think about the intractably insoluble mystery of good vs evil” and “the explosive ending was an imaginative triumph.”

After reading the book, David Warren, former editor of The Idler, said that “Caitlan and all the other characters keep rising, to Dostoyevskian heights, and are enthralling in and of themselves." He also said that "The plot is gripping as a murder mystery...with all the dropped clues to what is developing, just as in Fyodor.”

Saint March 30 : St. Benjamin : Martyr and #Deacon of #Persia


St. Benjamin
MARTYR, DEACON
Feast: March 31
Feast Day:
March 31
Died:
424 in Persia Isdegerdes, son of Sapor III, put a stop to the cruel persecution against the Christians in Persia, which had been begun by Sapor II, and the church had enjoyed twelve years' peace in that kingdom when, in 420, it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of one Abdas, a Christian bishop, who burned down the Pyraeum, or temple of fire, the great divinity of the Persians. King Isdegerdes threatened to demolish all the churches of the Christians unless he would rebuild it. Abdas had done ill in destroying the temple, but did well in refusing to rebuild it; for nothing can make it lawful to contribute to any act of idolatry, or to the building a temple, as Theodoret observes. Isdegerdes therefore demolished all the Christian churches in Persia, put to death Abdas, and raised a general persecution against the church, which continued forty years with great fury. Isdegerdes died the year following, in 421. But his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with greater inhumanity. The very description which Theodoret, a contemporary writer, and one that lived in the neighbourhood, gives of the cruelties he exercised on the Christians strikes us with horror: some were flayed alive in different parts of the body, and suffered all kinds of torture that could be invented: others, being stuck all over with sharp reeds, were hauled and rolled about in that condition; others were tormented divers other ways, such as nothing but the most hellish malice was capable of suggesting. Amongst these glorious champions of Christ was St. Benjamin, a deacon. The tyrant caused him to be beaten and imprisoned. He had lain a year in the dungeon when an ambassador from the emperor obtained his enlargement on condition he should never speak to any of the courtiers about religion.

The ambassador passed his word in his behalf that he would not; but Benjamin, who was a minister of the gospel, declared that he could not detain the truth in captivity, conscious to himself of the condemnation of the slothful servant for having hid his talent. He therefore neglected no opportunity of announcing Christ. The king, being informed that he still preached the faith in his kingdom, ordered him to be apprehended; but the martyr made no other reply to his threats than by putting this question to the king: What opinion he would have of any of his subjects who should renounce his allegiance to him, and join in war against him? The enraged tyrant caused reeds to be run in between the nails and the flesh both of his hands and feet, and the same to be thrust into other most tender parts, and drawn out again, and this to be frequently repeated with violence. He lastly ordered a knotty stake to be thrust into his bowels, to rend and tear them, in which torment he expired in the year 424. The Roman Martyrology places his name on the 31st of March.
St. Ephrem, considering the heroic constancy of the martyrs, makes on them the following pious reflections: "The wisdom of philosophers, and the eloquence of the greatest orators, are dumb through amazement, when they contemplate the wonderful spectacle and glorious actions of the martyrs: the tyrants and judges were not able to express their astonishment when they beheld the faith, the constancy, and the cheerfulness of these holy champions. What excuse shall we have in the dreadful day of judgment, if we, who have never been exposed to any cruel persecutions, or to the violence of such torments, shall have neglected the love of God and the care of a spiritual life? No temptations,  no torments, were able to draw them from that love which they bore to God; but we, living in rest and delights, refuse to love our most merciful and gracious Lord. What shall we do in that day of terror, when the martyrs of Christ, standing with confidence near his throne, shall show the marks of their wounds? What shall we then show? Shall we present a lively faith? true charity towards God? a perfect disengagement of our affections from earthly things? souls freed from the tyranny of the passions? silence and recollection? meekness? almsdeeds? prayers poured forth with clean hearts? compunction, watchings, tears? Happy shall he be whom such good works shall attend. He will be the partner of the martyrs, and, supported by the treasure of these virtues, shall appear with equal confidence before Christ and his angels." We entreat you, O most holy martyrs, who cheerfully suffered most cruel torments for God our Saviour and his love, on which account you are now most intimately and familiarly united to him, that you pray to the Lord for us miserable sinners, covered with filth, that he infuse into us the grace of Christ that it may enlighten our souls that we may love him, &c."
Edited from Butler's Lives of the Saints

Saint March 30 : St. John Climacus : Abbott of Sinai



Information:
Feast Day:March 30
Born:525, Syria
Died:30 March 606, Mount Sinai
St John, generally distinguished by the appellation of Climacus, from his excellent book entitled Climax, or the Ladder to Perfection, was born about the year 525, probably in Palestine. By his extraordinary progress in the arts and sciences he obtained very young the surname of the Scholastic. But at sixteen years of age he renounced all the advantages which the world promised him to dedicate himself to God in a religious state, in 547. He retired to Mount Sinai, which, from the time of the disciples of St. Anthony and St. Hilarion, had been always peopled by holy men, who, in imitation of Moses, when he received the law on that mountain, lived in the perpetual contemplation of heavenly things. Our novice, fearing the danger of dissipation and relaxation to which numerous communities are generally more exposed than others, chose not to live in the great monastery on the summit, but in an hermitage on the descent of the mountain, under the discipline of Martyrius, an holy ancient anchoret. By silence he curbed the insolent itch of talking about everything, an ordinary vice in learned men, but usually a mark of pride and self-sufficiency. By perfect humility and obedience he banished the dangerous desire of self-complacency in his actions. He never contradicted, never disputed with anyone. So perfect was his submission that he seemed to have no self-will. He undertook to sail through the deep sea of this mortal life securely, under the direction of a prudent guide, and shunned those rocks which he could not have escaped, had he presumed to steer alone, as he tells us. From the visible mountain he raised his heart, without interruption, in all his actions, to God, who is invisible; and, attentive to all the motions of his grace, studied only to do his will. Four years he spent in the trial of his own strength, and in learning the obligations of his state, before he made his religious profession, which was in the twentieth year of his age. In his writings he severely condemns engagements made by persons too young, or before a sufficient probation. By fervent prayer and fasting he prepared himself for the solemn consecration of himself to God, that the most intense fervour might make his holocaust the more perfect; and from that moment he seemed to be renewed in spirit; and his master admired the strides with which, like a mighty giant, the young disciple advanced daily more and more towards God, by self-denial, obedience, humility, and the uninterrupted exercises of divine love and prayer.

In the year 560, and the thirty-fifth of his age, he lost Martyrius by death; having then spent nineteen years in that place in penance and holy contemplation. By the advice of a prudent director, he then embraced an eremitical life in a plain called Thole, near the foot of Mount Sinai. His cell was five miles from the church, probably the same which had been built a little before, by order of the Emperor Justinian, for the use of the monks at the bottom of this mountain, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, as Procopius mentions. Thither he went every Saturday and Sunday to assist, with all the other anchorets and monks of that desert, at the holy office and at the celebration of the divine mysteries, when they all communicated. His diet was very sparing, though, to shun ostentation and the danger of vainglory, he ate of everything that was allowed among the monks of Egypt, who universally abstained from flesh, fish, &c. Prayer was his principal employment; and he practiced what he earnestly recommends to all Christians, that in all their actions, thoughts, and words they should keep themselves with great fervour in the presence of God, and direct all they do to his holy will. By habitual contemplation he acquired an extraordinary purity of heart, and such a facility of lovingly beholding God in all his works that this practice seemed in him a second nature. Thus he accompanied his studies with perpetual prayer. He assiduously read the holy scriptures and fathers, and was one of the most learned doctors of the church. But, to preserve the treasure of humility, he concealed, as much as possible, both his natural and acquired talents, and the extraordinary graces with which the Holy Ghost enriched his soul. By this secrecy he fled from the danger of vainglory, which, like a leech, sticks to our best actions and, sucking from them its nourishment, robs us of their fruit. As if this cell had not been sufficiently remote from the eyes of men, St. John frequently retired into a neighbouring cavern which he had made in the rock, where no one could come to disturb his devotions or interrupt his tears. So ardent were his charity and compunction, that his eyes seemed two fountains, which scarce ever ceased to flow; and his continual sighs and groans to heaven, under the weight of the miseries inseparable from his moral pilgrimage, were not to be equaled by the vehemency of the cries of those who suffer from knives and fire. Overcome by importunities, he admitted a holy anchoret named Moyses to live with him as his disciple.
God bestowed on St. John an extraordinary grace of healing the spiritual disorders of souls. Among others, a monk called Isaac was brought almost to the brink of despair by most violent temptations of the flesh. He addressed himself to St. John, who perceived by his tears how much he underwent from that conflict and struggle which he felt within himself. The servant of God commended his faith, and said, "My son, let us have recourse to God by prayer." They accordingly prostrated themselves together on the ground in fervent supplication for a deliverance, and from that time the infernal serpent left Isaac in peace. Many others resorted to St. John for spiritual advice; but the devil excited some to jealousy, who censured him as one who, out of vanity, lost much time in unprofitable discourse. The saint took this accusation, which was a mere calumny, in good part, and as a charitable admonition; he therefore imposed on himself a rigorous silence for near a twelvemonth. This, his humility and modesty, so much astonished his calumniators that they joined the rest of the monks in beseeching him to reassume his former function of giving charitable advice to all that resorted to him for it, and not to bury that talent of science which he had received for the benefit of many. He who knew not what it was to contradict others, with the same humility and deference again opened his mouth to instruct his neighbour in the rules of perfect virtue, in which office, such was the reputation of his wisdom and experience, that he was regarded as another Moses in that holy place.
St. John was now seventy-five years old, and had spent forty of them in his hermitage, when, in the year 600, he was unanimously chosen Abbot of Mount Sinai, and superior-general of all the monks and hermits in that country. Soon after he was raised to this dignity, the people of Palestine and Arabia, in the time of a great drought and famine, made their application to him as to another Elias, begging him to intercede with God in their behalf. The saint failed not, with great earnestness, to recommend their distress to the Father of mercies, and his prayer was immediately recompensed with abundant rains. St. Gregory the Great, who then sat in St. Peter's chair, wrote to our holy abbot, recommending himself to his prayers, and sent him beds, with other furniture and money, for his hospital, for the use of pilgrims near Mount Sinai. John, who had used his utmost endeavours to decline the pastoral charge when he saw it laid upon him, neglected no means which might promote the sanctification of all those who were entrusted to his care. That posterity might receive some share in the benefit of his holy instructions, John, the learned and virtuous Abbot of Raithu, a monastery situate towards the Red Sea, entreated him by that obedience he had ever practiced, even with regard to his inferiors, that he would draw up the most necessary rules by which fervent souls might arrive at Christian perfection. The saint answered him that nothing but extreme humility could have moved him to write to so miserable a sinner, destitute of every sort of virtue; but that he received his commands with respect, though far above his strength, never considering his own insufficiency. Wherefore, apprehensive of falling into death by disobedience, he took up his pen in haste, with great eagerness mixed with fear, and set himself to draw some imperfect outlines, as an unskillful painter, leaving them to receive from him, as a great master, the finishing strokes. This produced the excellent work which he called "Climax; or, the Ladder of religious Perfection." This book, being written in sentences, almost in the manner of aphorisms, abounds more in sense than words. A certain majestic simplicity- an inexpressible unction and spirit of humility, joined with conciseness and perspicuity-very much enhance the value of this performance; but its chief merit consists in the sublime sentiments and perfect description of all Christian virtues which it contains. The author confirms his precepts by several edifying examples, as of obedience and penance. In  describing a monastery of three hundred and thirty monks which he had visited near Alexandria, in Egypt, he mentions one of the principal citizens of that city, named Isidore, who, petitioning to be admitted into the house, said to the abbot, "As iron is in the hands of the smith, so am I in your hands." The abbot ordered him to remain without the gate, and to prostrate himself at the feet of everyone that passed by, begging their prayers for his soul struck with a leprosy. Thus he passed seven years in profound humility and patience. He told St. John that, during the first year, he always considered himself as a slave condemned for his sins, and sustained violent conflicts; the second year he passed in tranquillity and confidence; and the third with relish and pleasure in his humiliations. So great was his virtue that the abbot determined to present him to the bishop in order to be promoted to the priesthood, but the humility of the holy penitent prevented the execution of that design; for, having begged at least a respite, he died within ten days. St. John could not help admiring the cook of this numerous community, who seemed always recollected, and generally bathed in tears amidst his continual occupation, and asked him by what means he nourished so perfect a spirit of compunction, in the midst of such a dissipating laborious employment. He said that serving the monks, he represented to himself that he was serving not men, but God in his servants; and that the fire he always had before his eyes reminded him of that fire which will burn souls for all eternity. The moving description which our author gives of the monastery of penitents called the Prison, above a mile from the former, hath been already abridged in our language. John the Sabaite told our saint, as of a third person, that seeing himself respected in his monastery, he considered that this was not the way to satisfy for his sins; wherefore, with the leave of his abbot, he repaired to a severe monastery in Pontus, and after three years saw in a dream a schedule of his debts, to the amount in appearance of one hundred pounds of gold, of which only ten were cancelled. He therefore repeated often to himself, "Poor Antiochus, thou hast still a great debt to satisfy." After passing other thirteen years in contempt and the most fervent practices of penance, he deserved to see in a vision his whole debt blotted out. Another monk, in a grievous fit of illness, fell into a trance, in which he lay as if he had been dead for the space of an hour; but, recovering, he shut himself up in a cell, and lived a recluse twelve years, almost continually weeping, in the perpetual meditation of death. When he was near death, his brethren could only extort from him these words of edification, "He who hath death always before his eyes will never sin." John, Abbot of Raithu, explained this book of our saint by judicious comments, which are also extant. We have likewise a letter of St. John Climacus to the same person concerning the duties of a pastor, in which he exhorts him in correcting others to temper severity with mildness, and encourages him zealously to fulfil the obligations of his charge; for nothing is greater or more acceptable to God than to offer him the sacrifice of rational souls sanctified by penance and charity.
St. John sighed continually under the weight of his dignity during the four years that he governed the monks of Mount Sinai; and as he had taken upon him that burden with fear and reluctance, he with joy found means to resign the same a little before his death. Heavenly contemplation, and the continual exercise of divine love and praise, were his delight and comfort in his earthly pilgrimage: and in this imitation of the functions of the blessed spirits in heaven he placeth the essence of the monastic state. In his excellent maxims concerning the gift of holy tears, the fruit of charity, we seem to behold a lively portraiture of his most pure soul. He died in his hermitage on the 30th day of March, in 605, being fourscore years old. His spiritual son, George, who had succeeded him in the abbacy, earnestly begged of God that he  might not be separated from his dear master and guide; and followed him by a happy death within a few days. On several Greek commentaries on St. John Climacus's ladder, see Montfaucon, Biblioth. Coisliana, pp. 305, 306.
St. John Climacus, speaking of the excellence and the effects of charity, does it with a feeling and energy worthy of such a subject: "A mother," says he, "feels less pleasure when she folds within her arms the dear infant whom she nourishes with her own milk than the true child of charity does when united as he incessantly is, to his God, and folded as it were in the arms of his heavenly Father.—Charity operates in some persons so as to carry them almost entirely out of themselves. It illuminates others, and fills them with such sentiments of joy, that they cannot help crying out: The Lord is my helper and my protector: in him hath my heart confided, and I have been helped And my flesh hath flourished again, and with my will I will give praise to him. This joy which they feel in their hearts, is reflected on their countenances; and when once God has united, or, as we may say, incorporated them with his charity, he displays in their exterior, as in the reflection of a mirror, the brightness and serenity of their souls: even as Moses, being honored with a sight of God, was encompassed round by his glory." St. John Climacus composed the following prayer to obtain the gift of charity: "My God, I pretend to nothing upon this earth, except to be so firmly united to you by prayer that to be separated from you may be impossible; let others desire riches and glory; for my part, I desire but one thing, and that is, to be inseparably united to you, and to place in you alone all my hopes of happiness and repose."



source:EWTN

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. March 29, 2016


Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 262


Reading 1ACTS 2:36-41

On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jewish people,
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made him both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart,
and they asked Peter and the other Apostles,
“What are we to do, my brothers?”
Peter said to them,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is made to you and to your children
and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.”
He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them,
“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand persons were added that day.

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:4-5, 18-19, 20 AND 22

R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaPS 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,”
which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me,
for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he had told her.

Saint March 29 : St. Barachisius and St. Jonas of Perisa


Sts. Barachisius and Jonas
PERSIAN MARTYRS
Feast: March 29


     Information:
Feast Day:March 29
Died:24 December 327
They were monks at a monastery in Perisa (modern Iran) and were arrested during the persecution conducted by Sassanid King Shapur II (r. 309-379). Barachisius and Jonas were giving spiritual support to other martyrs when they were taken into custody. Refusing to abjure the faith, Jonas was crushed to death, and his body cut to pieces. Barachisius had brimstone and boiling pitch poured down his throat.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)
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