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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Catholic News World : Sunday November 20, 2016 - SHARE

 2016


#PopeFrancis "Jesus as our King: his rule of love transforms sin..." #Homily Year of Mercy Close - FULL TEXT + Mass Video


Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
20 November 2016
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, is the crown of the liturgical year and this Holy Year of Mercy.  The Gospel in fact presents the kingship of Jesus as the culmination of his saving work, and it does so in a surprising way.  “The Christ of God, the Chosen One, the King” (Lk 23:35,37) appears without power or glory: he is on the cross, where he seems more to be conquered than conqueror.  His kingship is paradoxical: his throne is the cross; his crown is made of thorns; he has no sceptre, but a reed is put into his hand; he does not have luxurious clothing, but is stripped of his tunic; he wears no shiny rings on his fingers, but his hands are pierced with nails; he has no treasure, but is sold for thirty pieces of silver.
Jesus’ reign is truly not of this world (cf. Jn 18:36); but for this reason, Saint Paul tells us in the Second Reading, we find redemption and forgiveness (cf. Col 1:13-14).  For the grandeur of his kingdom is not power as defined by this world, but the love of God, a love capable of encountering and healing all things.  Christ lowered himself to us out of this love, he lived our human misery, he suffered the lowest point of our human condition: injustice, betrayal, abandonment; he experienced death, the tomb, hell.  And so our King went to the ends of the universe in order to embrace and save every living being.  He did not condemn us, nor did he conquer us, and he never disregarded our freedom, but he paved the way with a humble love that forgives all things, hopes all things, sustains all things (cf. 1 Cor 13:7).  This love alone overcame and continues to overcome our worst enemies: sin, death, fear.  
Dear brothers and sisters, today we proclaim this singular victory, by which Jesus became the King of every age, the Lord of history: with the sole power of love, which is the nature of God, his very life, and which has no end (cf. 1 Cor 13:8).  We joyfully share the splendour of having Jesus as our King: his rule of love transforms sin into grace, death into resurrection, fear into trust.
It would mean very little, however, if we believed Jesus was King of the universe, but did not make him Lord of our lives: all this is empty if we do not personally accept Jesus and if we do not also accept his way of being King.  The people presented to us in today’s Gospel, however, help us.  In addition to Jesus, three figures appear: the people who are looking on, those near the cross, and the criminal crucified next to Jesus.
First, the people: the Gospel says that “the people stood by, watching” (Lk23:35): no one says a word, no one draws any closer.  The people keep their distance, just to see what is happening.  They are the same people who were pressing in on Jesus when they needed something, and who now keep their distance.  Given the circumstances of our lives and our unfulfilled expectations, we too can be tempted to keep our distance from Jesus’ kingship, to not accept completely the scandal of his humble love, which unsettles and disturbs us.  We prefer to remain at the window, to stand apart, rather than draw near and be with him.  A people who are holy, however, who have Jesus as their King, are called to follow his way of tangible love; they are called to ask themselves, each one each day: “What does love ask of me, where is it urging me to go?  What answer am I giving Jesus with my life?”
There is a second group, which includes various individuals: the leaders of the people, the soldiers and a criminal.  They all mock Jesus.  They provoke him in the same way: “Save yourself!” (Lk 23:35,37,39).  This temptation is worse than that of the people.  They tempt Jesus, just as the devil did at the beginning of the Gospel (cf. Lk 4:1-13), to give up reigning as God wills, and instead to reign according to the world’s ways: to come down from the cross and destroy his enemies!  If he is God, let him show his power and superiority!  This temptation is a direct attack on love: “save yourself” (vv. 37,39); not others, but yourself.  Claim triumph for yourself with your power, with your glory, with your victory.  It is the most terrible temptation, the first and the last of the Gospel.  When confronted with this attack on his very way of being, Jesus does not speak, he does not react.  He does not defend himself, he does not try to convince them, he does not mount a defence of his kingship.  He continues rather to love; he forgives, he lives this moment of trial according to the Father’s will, certain that love will bear fruit.
In order to receive the kingship of Jesus, we are called to struggle against this temptation, called to fix our gaze on the Crucified One, to become ever more faithful to him.  How many times, even among ourselves, do we seek out the comforts and certainties offered by the world.  How many times are we tempted to come down from the Cross.  The lure of power and success seem an easy, quick way to spread the Gospel; we soon forget how the Kingdom of God works.  This Year of Mercy invites us to rediscover the core, to return to what is essential.  This time of mercy calls us to look to the true face of our King, the one that shines out at Easter, and to rediscover the youthful, beautiful face of the Church, the face that is radiant when it is welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means but rich in love, on mission.  Mercy, which takes us to the heart of the Gospel, urges us to give up habits and practices which may be obstacles to serving the Kingdom of God; mercy urges us to orient ourselves only in the perennial and humble kingship of Jesus, not in submission to the precarious regalities and changing powers of every age. 
In the Gospel another person appears, closer to Jesus, the thief who begs him: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (v. 42).  This person, simply looking at Jesus, believed in his kingdom.  He was not closed in on himself, but rather – with his errors, his sins and his troubles – he turned to Jesus.  He asked to be remembered, and he experienced God’s mercy: “Today you will be with me in paradise” (v. 43).  As soon as we give God the chance, he remembers us.  He is ready to completely and forever cancel our sin, because his memory – unlike our own – does not record evil that has been done or keep score of injustices experienced.  God has no memory of sin, but only of us, of each of us, we who are his beloved children.  And he believes that it is always possible to start anew, to raise ourselves up.
Let us also ask for the gift of this open and living memory.  Let us ask for the grace of never closing the doors of reconciliation and pardon, but rather of knowing how to go beyond evil and differences, opening every possible pathway of hope.  As God believes in us, infinitely beyond any merits we have, so too we are called to instil hope and provide opportunities to others.  Because even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy which is the heart of Christ always remains open wide for us.  From the lacerated side of the Risen One until the very end of time flow mercy, consolation and hope. 
So many pilgrims have crossed the threshold of the Holy Doors, and far away from the clamour of the daily news they have tasted the great goodness of the Lord.  We give thanks for this, as we recall how we have received mercy in order to be merciful, in order that we too may become instruments of mercy.  Let us go forward on this road together.  May our Blessed Lady accompany us, she who was also close to the Cross, she who gave birth to us there as the tender Mother of the Church, who desires to gather all under her mantle.  Beneath the Cross, she saw the good thief receive pardon, and she took Jesus’ disciple as her son.  She is Mother of Mercy, to whom we entrust ourselves: every situation we are in, every prayer we make, when lifted up to his merciful eyes, will find an answer.


 2016

Novena to Christ the King - #Consecration - #Litany - #Prayers to SHARE #ChristtheKing


Novena to Christ the King
Recite One Our Father, One Hail Mary and One Glory Be per day followed by the Novena Prayer:


O Lord our God, You alone are the Most Holy King and Ruler of all nations.
We pray to You, Lord, in the great expectation of receiving from You, O Divine King, mercy, peace, justice and all good things.
Protect, O Lord our King, our families and the land of our birth.
Guard us we pray Most Faithful One.
Protect us from our enemies and from Your Just Judgment
Forgive us, O Sovereign King, our sins against you.
Jesus, You are a King of Mercy.
We have deserved Your Just Judgment
Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us.
We trust in Your Great Mercy.
O most awe-inspiring King, we bow before You and pray;
May Your Reign, Your Kingdom, be recognized on earth.

Amen.


Consecration to Christ the King with Indulgence
 One may gain a plenary indulgence by the public recitation of the Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and we exhort all faithful Catholics to offer, or renew, their consecration to the Sacred Heart of our Sovereign Lord.
“The kingship and empire of Christ have been recognized in the pious custom, practiced by many families, of dedicating themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; not only families have performed this act of dedication, but nations, too, and kingdoms. In fact, the whole of the human race was at the instance of Pope Leo XIII, in the Holy Year 1900, consecrated to the Divine Heart.
We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world on the last Sunday of the month of October–the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Our predecessor of saintly memory, Pope Pius X, commanded to be renewed yearly, be made annually on that day.”
Quas Primas, 
Encyclical of Pope Pius XI, December 11, 1925 On the Feast of Christ the King, this Act of Consecration is to be read solemnly with the Litany of the Sacred Heart before the blessed Sacrament exposed. Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thy altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy Most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.
Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and Honour forever. Amen.


Litany to Christ the King


Lord, have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us, 
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

God, our Heavenly Father, Who has made firm for all ages your Son's Throne, 
Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Jesus, our Victim-High Priest, True Prophet, and Sovereign King, 
Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, poured out upon us with abundant newness, 
Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, Three Persons yet One God in the Beauty of Your Eternal Unity, 
Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, our Eternal King,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, Most Merciful King,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, extending to us the Golden Scepter of Your Mercy,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, in Whose Great Mercy we have been given the Sacrament of Confession,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, Loving King Who offers us Your Healing Grace,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, our Eucharistic King,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, the King foretold by the prophets,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King of Heaven and earth,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King and Ruler of All Nations,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, Delight of the Heavenly Court,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Most Compassionate toward Your subjects,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King from Whom proceeds all authority,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, in whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, we are One,
Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Whose Kingdom is not of this world,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Whose Sacred Heart burns with Love for all mankind,
Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who has given us Mary, the Queen, to be our dear Mother,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who will come upon the clouds of Heaven with Power and Great Glory,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Whose Throne we are to approach with confidence,
Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who made Mary the Mediatrix of All Graces,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who made Mary Co-Redemptrix, Your partner in the Plan of Salvation,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who desires to heal us of all division and disunity,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King wounded by mankind's indifference,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who gives the balm of Your Love with which to console Your Wounded Heart,
 Reign in our hearts.
O Jesus, King Who is the Great I AM within us, our Wellspring of Pure Delight,
 Reign in our hearts.


Jesus, King of All Nations, True Sovereign of all earthly powers,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, subjecting under Your feet forever the powers of hell
 , May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, the Light beyond all light, enlightening us in the darkness that surrounds us, 
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Whose Mercy is so Great as to mitigate the punishments our sins deserve
,  May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, recognized by the Magi as the True King,
May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, the Only Remedy for a world so ill,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Who blesses with Peace those souls and nations that acknowledge You as True King,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Who Mercifully sends us your Holy Angels to protect us,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Whose Chief Prince is Saint Michael the Archangel,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Who teaches us that to reign is to serve,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Just Judge Who will separate the wicked from the good,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, before Whom every knee shall bend,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Whose Dominion is an everlasting Dominion,
May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Lamb who will Shepherd us,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Who after having destroyed every sovereignty,
 May we serve You.  authority and power, will hand over the Kingdom to Your God and Father,
Jesus, King of All Nations, Whose Reign is without end,
 May we serve You. 
Jesus, King of All Nations, Whose kindness toward us is steadfast, and whose fidelity endures forever,
 May we serve You. 


Eternal Father, Who has given us Your Only Begotten Son, to be our Redeemer, One True Mediator, and Sovereign King, 
We praise and thank You.Loving Jesus, Sovereign King, Who humbled Yourself for Love of us and took the form of a servant, , We praise and thank You.

Holy Spirit, Third Person of the Trinity, Love of the Father and the Son, Who sanctifies us and gives us Life, We praise and thank You.

Mary, our Queen and Mother, who mediates to Jesus on our behalf,
Pray for us.

Mary, our Queen and Mother, through whom all Grace come to us, 
Pray for us.

Mary, our Queen and Mother, Singular Jewel of the Holy Trinity,
  We love You.

Holy Angels and Saints of our Divine King,  
Pray for us and Protect us.

Amen.
 

#PopeFrancis "..we give God praise and thanksgiving for the gift that the Holy Year of Mercy.." Angelus FULL TEXT at Year of Mercy Closing

Pope Francis’ Angelus address following the Mass for the closure of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Dec. 8, 2015-Nov. 20,2016, on the occasion of the Feast of Christ the King
***
Before the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
At the end of this celebration, we give God praise and thanksgiving for the gift that the Holy Year of Mercy has been for the Church and for so many people of good will. I respectfully greet the President of the Italian Republic and the official delegations present. I express deep gratitude to the leaders of the Italian Government and other institutions for their cooperation and commitment. A warm thanks to the police, the operators of caregiving facilities, information centers, health professionals and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. In particular, I thank the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, and those who have cooperated in various ways.
A grateful remembrance goes to those who have spiritually contributed to the success of the Jubilee: I think of many elderly and sick people, who prayed incessantly, even offering their sufferings for the Jubilee. I would especially like to thank the sisters, on the eve of Pro Orantibus Day [World Day of prayer for all contemplative cloistered religious], which will be celebrated tomorrow.
I encourage everyone to have a special remembrance for these, our Sisters, who are totally dedicated to prayer and need spiritual and material solidarity.
Yesterday in Avignon, France, Father Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, founder of the secular “Our Lady of Life,”a man of God who was attentive to the spiritual and material needs of his neighbors, was beatified. May his example and his intercession sustain our journey of faith.
I wish to warmly greet all of you who have come from various countries for the closing of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica. May the Virgin Mary help us all to keep heart and to render fruitful the spiritual gifts of the Jubilee of Mercy.
Angelus…
[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. November 20, 2016 - Readings and Video : Christ the King Solemnity


The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Lectionary: 162


Reading 12 SM 5:1-3

In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
“Here we are, your bone and your flesh.
In days past, when Saul was our king,
it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back.
And the LORD said to you,
‘You shall shepherd my people Israel
and shall be commander of Israel.’”
When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,
King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,
and they anointed him king of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm PS 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5

R. (cf. 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Reading 2COL 1:12-20

Brothers and sisters:
Let us give thanks to the Father,
who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

AlleluiaMK 11:9, 10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 23:35-43

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”


Saint November 20 : St. Edmund the Martyr : Patron of: against Plague, Kings, torture victims, wolves

St. Edmund the Martyr
KING AND MARTYR
Feast: November 20
Information:
Feast Day:
November 20
Born:
841 probably at Nuremburg, Germany
Died:
Hoxne, Suffolk, England 20 November 870
Patron of:
against plague, kings, torture victims, wolves

Though from the time of King Egbert, in 802, the Kings of the West-Saxons were monarchs of all England, yet several kings reigned in certain parts after that time, in some measure subordinate to them. One Offa was King of the East-Angles, who, being desirous to end his days in penance and devotion to Rome, resigned his crown to St. Edmund, at that time only fifteen years of age, but a most virtuous prince, and descended from the old English-Saxon kings of this isle. The saint was placed on the throne of his ancestors, as Lydgate, Abbo, and others express themselves, and was crowned by Humbert, Bishop of Elman, on Christmas Day, in 855, at Burum, a royal villa on the Stour, now called Bures, or Buers. Though very young, he was by his piety, goodness, humility, and all other virtues, the model of good princes. He was a declared enemy of flatterers and informers, and would see with his own eyes and hear with his own ears, to avoid being surprised into a wrong judgment, or imposed upon by the passions or ill designs of others. The peace and happiness of his people were his whole concern, which he endeavoured to establish by an impartial administration of justice and religious regulations in his dominions. He was the father of his subjects, particularly of the poor, the protector of widows and orphans, and the support of the weak. Religion and piety were the most distinguishing part of his character. Monks and devout persons used to know the psalter without book, that they might recite the psalms at work, in travelling, and on every other occasion. To get it by heart St. Edmund lived in retirement a whole year in his royal tower at Hunstanton (which he had built for a country solitude), which place is now a village in Norfolk. The book which the saint used for that purpose was religiously kept at St. Edmundsbury till the dissolution of abbeys.

The holy king had reigned fifteen years when the Danes infested his dominions. Hinguar and Hubba, two brothers, the most barbarous of all the Danish plunderers landing in England, wintered among the East-Angles; then, having made a truce with that nation, they in summer sailed to the north, and landing at the mouth of the Tweed, plundered with fire and sword Northumberland, and afterwards Mercia, directing their march through Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and Cambridgeshire. Out of a lust of rage and cruelty, and the most implacable aversion to the Christian name, they everywhere destroyed the churches and monasteries; and, as it were in barbarous sport, massacred all priests and religious persons whom they met with. In the great monastery of Coldingham, beyond Berwick, the nuns, fearing not death but insults which might be offered to their chastity, at the instigation of St. Ebba, the holy abbess, cut off their noses and upper lips, that appearing to the barbarians frightful spectacles of horror, they might preserve their virtue from danger; the infidels accordingly were disconcerted at such a sight, and spared their virtue, but put them all to the sword. In their march, amongst other monasteries, those of Bardney, Crowland, Peterborough, Ely, and Huntingdon were levelled with the ground, and the religious inhabitants murdered. In the Cathedral of Peterborough is shown a monument (removed thither from a place without the building) called Monks'-Stone, on which are the effigies of an abbot and several monks. It stood over the pit in which fourscore monks of this house were interred, whom Hinguar and Hubba massacred in 870. The barbarians, reeking with blood, poured down upon St. Edmund's dominions, burning Thetford, the first town they met with, and laying waste all before them. The people, relying upon the faith of treaties, thought themselves secure, and were unprepared. However, the good king raised what forces he could, met the infidels, or at least a part of their army near Thetford, and discomfited them. But seeing them soon after reinforced with fresh numbers, against which his small body was not able to make any stand, and being unwilling to sacrifice the lives of his soldiers in vain, and grieving for the eternal loss of the souls of his enemies, who would be slain in a fruitless engagement, he disbanded his troops and retired himself towards his castle of Framlingham, in Suffolk. The barbarian had sent him proposals which were inconsistent both with religion and with the justice which he owed to his people. These the saint rejected, being resolved rather to die a victim of his faith and duty to God, than to do anything against his conscience and religion. In his flight he was over taken and surrounded by infidels at Oxon, upon the Waveney: he concealed himself for some short time, but, being discovered, was bound with heavy chains and conducted to the general's tent. Terms were again offered him equally prejudicial to religion and to his people, which the holy Icing refused to confirm, declaring that religion was dearer to him than his life, which he would never purchase by offending God. Hinguar, exasperated at this answer, in his barbarous rage caused him to be cruelly beaten with cudgels, then to be tied to a tree and torn a long time together with whips. All this he bore with invincible meekness and patience, never ceasing to call upon the name of Jesus. The infidels were the more exasperated, and as he stood bound to the tree, they made him a mark wantonly to shoot at, till his body was covered with arrows like a porcupine. Hinguar at length, in order to put an end to the butchery, commanded his head to be struck off. Thus the saint finished his martyrdom on the 20th of November, in 870, the fifteenth of his reign, and twenty-ninth of his age; the circumstances of which St. Dunstan learned from one who was armour-bearer to the saint and an eye-witness. The place was then called Henglesdun, now Hoxon, or Hoxne; a priory of monks was afterwards built there which bore the name of the martyr.
The saint's head was carried by the infidels into a wood and thrown into a brake of bushes; but miraculously found by a pillar of light and deposited with the body at Hoxdon. These sacred remains were very soon after conveyed to Bedricsworth, or Kingston, since called St. Edmundsbury, because this place was St. Edmund's own town and private patrimony; not on account of his burial, for in the English-Saxon language signified a court or palace. A church of timber was erected over the place where he was interred, which was thus built according to the fashion of those times. Trunks of large trees were sawn lengthways in the middle and reared up with one end fixed in the ground, with the bark or rough side outermost. These trunks being made of an equal height and set up close to one another, and the interstices filled up with mud or mortar, formed the four walls, upon which was raised a thatched roof. Nor can we be surprised at the homeliness of this structure, since the same was the fabric of the royal rich abbey of Glastonbury, the work of the most munificent and powerful West-Saxon kings, till in latter ages it was built in a stately manner of stone. The precious remains of St. Edmund were honoured with many miracles. In 920, for fear of the barbarians under Turkil the Dane, in the reign of King Ethelred, they were conveyed to London by Alfun, bishop of that city, and the monk Egelwin, or Ailwin, the keeper of this sacred treasure, who never abandoned it. After remaining three years in the Church of St. Gregory, in London, it was translated again with honour to St. Edmundsbury in 923. The great church of timberwork stood till King Knute, or Canutus, to make reparation for the injuries his father Swein, or Sweno, had done to this place and to the relics of the martyr, built and founded there, in 1020, a new most magnificent church and abbey in honour of this holy martyr. The unparalleled piety, humility, meekness, and other virtues of St. Edmund are admirably set forth by our historians. This incomparable prince and holy martyr was considered by succeeding English kings as their special patron, and as an accomplished model of all royal virtues. The feast of St. Edmund is reckoned among the holidays of precept in this kingdom by the national council of Oxford in 1222; but is omitted in the constitutions of Archbishop Simon Islep, who retrenched certain holidays in 1362.
SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia
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Video of Pope Emeritus Benedict giving the new Cardinals his Special Blessing!

Vatican Radio)  At the conclusion of the Consistory celebration on Saturday, Pope Francis made a visit to Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI along with 16 of the 17 new cardinals he had just created.
The 16 red-hatted men, led by white-hatted Pope Francis, boarded two buses and made the short journey from St. Peter’s Basilica to the Chapel of the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.
There they were greeted by Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI.
The one new Cardinal missing from the group was the 87-year-old bishop from Lesotho, Africa - Sebastian Koto Khoarai, OMI.
Cardinal Khoarai did not make the trip to Rome due to his advanced age and infirmity and shall receive the insignia of his new office by Papal emissary.

#PopeFrancis "In God’s heart there are no enemies" creates 17 New Cardinals - FULL TEXT Homily + Video

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis created 17 new Cardinals on Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica, during an Ordinary Public Consistory he had convoked for that purpose: 13 Cardinal-electors, and four Cardinals above the age of 80, who received the “Red Hat” in recognition of their exemplary service to the Church and witness to the Gospel.

-electors are:
  • Mario Zenari, who remains the Apostolic Nuncio of the beloved and martyred Syria (Italy)
  • Dieudonné Nzapalainga, cssp., of Bangui (Central African Republic)
  • Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid (Spain)
  • Sérgio da Rocha of Brasilia (Brazil)
  • Blase J. Cupich of Chicago (USA)
  • Patrick D’Rozario, csc, of Dhaka (Bangladesh)
  • Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Mérida (Venezuela)
  • Jozef De Kesel of Malines-Bruxelles (Belgium)
  • Bishop Maurice Piat, cssp., of Port Louis (Mauritius)
  • Kevin Joseph Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life (USA)
  • Carlos Aguiar Retes, Archbishop of Tlalnepantla (Mexico)
  • John Ribat, msc, Archbishop of Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)
  • Joseph William Tobin, cssr, Archbishop of Indianapolis (USA). [On November 7h, 2016 the Holy Father Francis appointed him as Archbishop of Newark, USA]
The four Cardinals above the age of 80 years are:
  • Anthony Soter Fernandez, Archbishop emeritus of Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
  • Renato Corti, Bishop emeritus of Novara (Italy)
  • Sebastian Koto Khoarai, OMI, Bishop emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek (Lesotho) – who did not make the trip to Rome due to his advanced age and infirmity, and who shall receive the insignia of his new office by Papal emissary
  • Ernest Simoni, Presbyter of the Archdiocese of Shkodrë-Pult (Shkodër – Albania)
Read the full text of the Pope’s homily, as prepared:
Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Consistory for the Creation of New Cardinals
19 November 2016

The Gospel passage we have just heard (cf. Lk 6:27-36) is often referred to as the “Sermon on the Plain”.  After choosing the Twelve, Jesus came down with his disciples to a great multitude of people who were waiting to hear him and to be healed.  The call of the Apostles is linked to this “setting out”, descending to the plain to encounter the multitudes who, as the Gospel says, were “troubled” (cf. v. 18).   Instead of keeping the Apostles at the top of the mountain, their being chosen leads them to the heart of the crowd; it sets them in the midst of those who are troubled, on the “plain” of their daily lives.  The Lord thus shows the Apostles, and ourselves, that the true heights are reached on the plain, while the plain reminds us that the heights are found in a gaze and above all in a call: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (v. 36). 
This call is accompanied by four commands or exhortations, which the Lord gives as a way of moulding the Apostles’ vocation through real, everyday situations.  They are four actions that will shape, embody and make tangible the path of discipleship.  We could say that they represent four stages of a mystagogy of mercy: lovedo goodbless and pray.  I think we can all agree on these, and see them as something reasonable.  They are four things we can easily do for our friends and for those more or less close to us, people we like, people whose tastes and habits are similar to our own.
The problem comes when Jesus tells us for whom we have do these things.  Here he is very clear.  He minces no words, he uses no euphemisms.  He tells us: love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who mistreat you (cf. vv. 27-28).
These are not things we spontaneously do in dealing with people we consider our opponents or enemies.  Our first instinctive reaction in such cases is to dismiss, discredit or curse them.  Often we try to “demonize” them, so as to have a “sacred” justification for dismissing them.  Jesus tells us to do exactly the opposite with our enemies, those who hate us, those who curse us or slander us.  We are to love them, to do good to them, to bless them and to pray for them.
Here we find ourselves confronted with one of the very hallmarks of Jesus’ message, where its power and secret are concealed.  Here too is the source of our joy, the power of our mission and our preaching of the Good News.  My enemy is someone I must love.  In God’s heart there are no enemies.  God only has sons and daughters.  We are the ones who raise walls, build barriers and label people.  God has sons and daughters, precisely so that no one will be turned away.  God’s love has the flavour of fidelity towards everyone, for it is a visceral love, a parental love that never abandons us, even when we go astray.  Our Father does not wait for us to be good before he loves the world, he does not wait for us to be a little bit better or more perfect before he loves us; he loves us because he chose to love us, he loves us because he has made us his sons and daughters.  He loved us even when we were enemies (cf. Rom5:10).  The Father’s unconditional love for all people was, and is, the true prerequisite for the conversion of our pitiful hearts that tend to judge, divide, oppose and condemn.  To know that God continues to love even those who reject him is a boundless source of confidence and an impetus for our mission.  No matter how sullied our hands may be, God cannot be stopped from placing in those hands the Life he wishes to bestow on us.
Ours is an age of grave global problems and issues.  We live at a time in which polarization and exclusion are burgeoning and considered the only way to resolve conflicts.  We see, for example, how quickly those among us with the status of a stranger, an immigrant, or a refugee, become a threat, take on the status of an enemy.  An enemy because they come from a distant country or have different customs.  An enemy because of the colour of their skin, their language or their social class.  An enemy because they think differently or even have a different faith.  An enemy because…  And, without our realizing it, this way of thinking becomes part of the way we live and act.  Everything and everyone then begins to savour of animosity.  Little by little, our differences turn into symptoms of hostility, threats and violence.  How many wounds grow deeper due to this epidemic of animosity and violence, which leaves its mark on the flesh of many of the defenceless, because their voice is weak and silenced by this pathology of indifference!  How many situations of uncertainty and suffering are sown by this growing animosity between peoples, between us!  Yes, between us, within our communities, our priests, our meetings.  The virus of polarization and animosity permeates our way of thinking, feeling and acting.  We are not immune from this and we need to take care lest such attitudes find a place in our hearts, because this would be contrary to the richness and universality of the Church, which is tangibly evident in the College of Cardinals.  We come from distant lands; we have different traditions, skin colour, languages and social backgrounds; we think differently and we celebrate our faith in a variety of rites.  None of this makes us enemies; instead, it is one of our greatest riches.
Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus never stops “coming down from the mountain”.  He constantly desires to enter the crossroads of our history to proclaim the Gospel of Mercy.  Jesus continues to call us and to send us to the “plain” where our people dwell.  He continues to invite us to spend our lives sustaining our people in hope, so that they can be signs of reconciliation.  As the Church, we are constantly being asked to open our eyes to see the wounds of so many of our brothers and sisters deprived of their dignity, deprived in their dignity.
My dear brothers, newly created Cardinals, the journey towards heaven begins in the plains, in a daily life broken and shared, spent and given.  In the quiet daily gift of all that we are.  Our mountaintop is this quality of love; our goal and aspiration is to strive, on life’s plain, together with the People of God, to become persons capable of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Today each of you, dear brothers, is asked to cherish in your own heart, and in the heart of the Church, this summons to be merciful like the Father.  And to realize that “if something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life” (Evangelii Gaudium, 49).

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. November 19, 2016


Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 502


Reading 1RV 11:4-12

I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me:
Here are my two witnesses:
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands
that stand before the Lord of the earth.
If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths
and devours their enemies.
In this way, anyone wanting to harm them is sure to be slain.
They have the power to close up the sky
so that no rain can fall during the time of their prophesying.
They also have power to turn water into blood
and to afflict the earth with any plague as often as they wish.

When they have finished their testimony,
the beast that comes up from the abyss
will wage war against them and conquer them and kill them.
Their corpses will lie in the main street of the great city,
which has the symbolic names “Sodom” and “Egypt,”
where indeed their Lord was crucified.
Those from every people, tribe, tongue, and nation
will gaze on their corpses for three and a half days,
and they will not allow their corpses to be buried.
The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them
and be glad and exchange gifts
because these two prophets tormented the inhabitants of the earth.
But after the three and a half days,
a breath of life from God entered them.
When they stood on their feet, great fear fell on those who saw them.
Then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, “Come up here.”
So they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies looked on.

Responsorial PsalmPS 144:1, 2, 9-10

R. (1b) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
My mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

AlleluiaSEE 2 TM 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 20:27-40

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.

Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called ‘Lord’
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”
Some of the scribes said in reply,
“Teacher, you have answered well.”
And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

Friday, November 18, 2016


Saint November 19 : St. Mechtilde : Benedictine


St. Mechtilde
BENEDICTINE
Feast: November 19
Information:
Feast Day:
November 19
Born:
1240 or 1241 at the ancestral castle of Helfta, near Eisleben, Saxony
Died:
19 November, 1298

Benedictine; born in 1240 or 1241 at the ancestral castle of Helfta, near Eisleben, Saxony; died in the monastery of Helfta, 19 November, 1298. She belonged to one of the noblest and most powerful Thuringian families, while here sister was the saintly and illustrious Abbess Gertrude von Hackeborn. Some writers have considered that Mechtilde von Hackeborn and Mechtilde von Wippra were two distinct persons, but, as the Barons of Hackeborn were also Lords of Wippra, it was customary for members of that family to take their name indifferently from either, or both of these estates. So fragile was she at birth, that the attendants, fearing she might die unbaptized, hurried her off to the priest who was just then preparing to say Mass. He was a man of great sanctity, and after baptizing the child, uttered these prophetic words: "What do you fear? This child most certainly will not die, but she will become a saintly religious in whom God will work many wonders, and she will end her days in a good old age." When she was seven years old, having been taken by her mother on a visit to her elder sister Gertrude, then a nun in the monastery of Rodardsdorf, she became so enamoured of the cloister that her pious parents yielded to her entreaties and, acknowledging the workings of grace, allowed her to enter the alumnate. Here, being highly gifted in mind as well as in body, she made remarkable progress in virtue and learning.
Ten years later (1258) she followed her sister, who, now abbess, had transferred the monastery to an estate at Helfta given her by her brothers Louis and Albert. As a nun, Mechtilde was soon distinguished for her humility, her fervour, and that extreme amiability which had characterized her from childhood and which, like piety, seemed hereditary in her race. While still very young, she became a valuable helpmate to Abbess Gertrude, who entrusted to her direction the alumnate and the choir. Mechtilde was fully equipped for her task when, in 1261, God committed to her prudent care a child of five who was destined to shed lustre upon the monastery of Helfta. This was that Gertrude who in later generations became known as St. Gertrude the Great. Gifted with a beautiful voice, Mechtilde also possessed a special talent for rendering the solemn and sacred music over which she presided as domna cantrix. All her life she held this office and trained the choir with indefatigable zeal. Indeed, Divine praise was the keynote of her life as it is of her book; in this she never tired, despite her continual and severe physical sufferings, so that in Hisrevelations Christ was wont to call her His "nightingale". Richly endowed, naturally and supernaturally, ever gracious, beloved of all who came within the radius of her saintly and charming personality, there is little wonder that this cloistered virgin should strive to keep hidden her wondrous life. Souls thirsting for consolation or groping for light sought her advice; learned Dominicans consulted her on spiritual matters. At the beginning of her own mystic life it was from St. Mechtilde that St. Gertrude the Great learnt that the marvellous gifts lavished upon her were from God.
Only in her fiftieth year did St. Mechtilde learn that the two nuns in whom she had especially confided had noted down the favours granted her, and, moreover, that St. Gertrude had nearly finished a book on the subject. Much troubled at this, she, as usual, first had recourse to prayer. She had a vision of Christ holding in His hand the book of her revelations, and saying: "All this has been committed to writing by my will and inspiration; and, therefore you have no cause to be troubled about it." He also told her that, as He had been so generous towards her, she must make Him a like return, and that the diffusion of therevelations would cause many to increase in His love; moreover, He wished this book to be called "The Book of Special Grace", because it would prove such to many. When the saint understood that the book would tend to God's glory, she ceased to be troubled, and even corrected the manuscript herself. Immediately after her death it was made public, and copies were rapidly multiplied, owing chiefly to the widespread influence of the Friars Preachers. Boccaccio tells how, a few years after the death of Mechtilde, the book of her revelations was brought to Florence and popularized under the title of "La Laude di donna Matelda". It is related that the Florentines were accustomed to repeat daily before their sacred images the praises learned from St. Mechtilde's book. St. Gertrude, to whose devotedness we owe the "Liber Specialis Gratiae" exclaims: "Never has there arisen one like to her in our monastery; nor, alas! I fear, will there ever arise another such!" -- little dreaming that her own name would be inseparably linked with that of Mechtilde. With that of St. Gertrude, the body of St. Mechtilde most probably still reposes at Old Helfta thought the exact spot is unknown. Her feast is kept 26 or 27 February in different congregations and monasteries of her order, by special permission of the Holy See.There is another honour, inferior certainly to that of sanctity, yet great in itself and worthy of mention here: the homage of a transcendent genius was to be laid at the feet of St. Mechtilde. Critics have long been perplexed as to one of the characters introduced by Dante in his "Purgatorio" under the name of Matelda. After ascending seven terraces of a mountain, on each of which the process of purification is carried on, Dante, in Canto xxvii, hears a voice singing: "Venite, benedicti patris mei"; then later, in Canto xxviii, there appears to him on the opposite bank of the mysterious stream a lady, solitary, beautiful, and gracious. To her Dante addresses himself; she it is who initiates him into secrets, which it is not given to Virgil to penetrate, and it is to her that Beatrice refers Dante in the words: "Entreat Matilda that she teach thee this." Most commentators have identified Matilda with the warrior-Countess of Tuscany, the spiritual daughter and dauntless champion of St. Gregory VII, but all agree that beyond the name the two have little or nothing in common. She is no Amazon who, at Dante's prayer that she may draw nearer to let him understand her song, turns towards him "not otherwise than a virgin that droppeth her modest eyes". In more places than one the revelations granted to the mystics of Helfta seem in turn to have become the inspirations of the Florentine poet. All writers on Dante recognize his indebtedness to St. Augustine, the Pseudo-Dionysius, St. Bernard, and Richard of St. Victor. These are precisely the writers whose doctrines had been most assimilated by the mystics of Helfta, and thus they would the more appeal to the sympathies of the poet. The city of Florence was among the first to welcome St. Mechtilde's book. Now Dante, like all true poets, was a child of his age, and could not have been a stranger to a book which was so popular among his fellow-citizens. The "Purgatorio" was finished between 1314 and 1318, or 1319 --just about the time when St. Mechtilde's book was popular. This interpretation is supported by the fact that St. Mechtilde in her "Book of Special Grace" (pt. I, c. xiii) describes the place of purification under the same figure of a seven-terraced mountain. The coincidence of the simile and of the name, Matelda, can scarcely be accidental. For another among many points of resemblance between the two writers compare "Purgatorio", Canto xxxi, where Dante is drawn by Matelda through the mysterious stream with pt. II, c. ii. of the "Liber Specialis Gratiae". The serene atmosphere which seems to cling about the gracious and beautiful songstress, her virgin modesty and simple dignity, all seem to point to the recluse of Helfta rather than to the stern heroine of Canossa, whose hand was thrice bestowed in marriage. Besides, in politics Dante, as an ardent Ghibelline, supported the imperial pretensions and he would have been little inclined to sing the praises of the Tuscan Countess. The conclusion may therefore be hazarded that this "Donna Matelda" of the "Purgatorio" personifies St. Mechtilde as representing mystic theology.
SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia
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