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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Catholic News World : Thursday December 1, 2016 - SHARE

 2016

#PopeFrancis "Those kinds of obstacles are put there by the devil, to stop the Lord from going ahead.” #Homily #Advent

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday encouraged the faithful to ask the Lord for help whenever they feel they may be resisting his grace.
The Pope was speaking during his homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta.
Finding inspiration in the opening prayer of the day “May Your grace conquer the obstacles caused by our sins”, Pope Francis said each of us have obstacles in our hearts which resist God’s grace.
He warned in particular against various types of obstacles [it. resistenze]:
The ones  he called  ‘open obstacles’  that are born of good faith – like in Saul’s case when he resisted grace but was ‘convinced he was doing God’s will' before he was converted by Jesus.
“Open obstacles are healthy” - the Pope said – “in the sense that they are open to the grace of conversion”. 
The most ‘dangerous’ obstacles according to Francis are the hidden ones because they do not show themselves. Each of us, he said, have our own way of resisting grace but we must recognize it and allow the Lord to purify us. It’s the type of obstacle that Stephen accused the Doctors of Law of concealing whilst they wanted to appear as though they were in search of the glory of God. An accusation – the Pope said – that cost Stephen his life:  
    
"We all have hidden obstacles; we must ask ourselves what is their nature. They always surface to stop a process of conversion. Always!”
But, the Pope said,  in these cases we must passively and silently allow the process of change to take place. 
“Think of when there is a process of change in an institution or in a family. I hear you say: 'But, there are obstacles… (…) Those kinds of obstacles are put there by the devil, to stop the Lord from going ahead.”
Francis then spoke of three types of hidden obstacles: 
The obstacle of ‘empty words’ which he illustrated with the example provided by the Gospel reading of the day which reads “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven;” and by the Parable of the two sons sent by their father to work in the vineyard: the first says ‘no’ and then goes ahead and does the work, while the other says ‘yes’ and then doesn’t go:
 “Saying yes, yes, diplomatically; but then it is 'no, no, no'. So many words” he said.
Saying yes – the Pope continued – so as not change anything is the ‘resistance of empty words.’
And then, he said, there is the “obstacle of words that justify": that’s when a person constantly justifies himself – he always finds a reason to oppose. 
Too many excuses the Pope said do not exude the good “aroma of God”, but the “bad stink of the devil”.
He said a Christian has no need to justify himself: “He is justified by the Word of God". This kind of resistance he explained is a resistance of words which I use “to attempt to justify my position when I do not follow what the Lord is indicating”.
And then, he said, there's the obstacle of "accusatory words": when we accuse others so as not to look to ourselves. In this case too we are ‘resisting’ conversion and grace as illustrated by the Parable of the Pharisee and the publican.
So, Pope Francis concluded, there are not only the great historical actions of resistance as for example the Maginot Line or other such events, but those that "are inside our hearts every day.”
He said the resistance to grace is a good sign "because it shows that the Lord is working in us" and he invited us to make the obstacles fall in order to allow grace in.
Wherever the Lord is there is a cross, the Pope said, be it a small one or a large one, and it is resistance to the Cross, to the Lord, that ultimately brings redemption. So, when there are obstacles we must not be afraid but ask for the Lord’s help and acknowledge that we are all sinners.  

Saint December 1 : St. Edmund Campion & Companions


Born:
January 24, 1540, London
Died:
December 1, 1581, Tyburn, England
Canonized:
October 25, 1970 by Pope Paul VI 
English Jesuit and martyr; he was the son and namesake of a Catholic bookseller, and was born in London, 25 Jan., 1540; executed at Tyburn, 1 Dec., 1581. A city company sent the promising child to a grammar school and to Christ Church Hospital. When Mary Tudor entered London in state as queen, he was the schoolboy chosen to give the Latin salutatory to her majesty. Sir Thomas White, lord mayor, who built and endowed St. John's College at Oxford, accepted Campion as one of his first scholars, appointed him junior fellow at seventeen, and, dying, gave him his last messages for his academic family. Campion shone at Oxford in 1560, when he delivered one oration at the reburial of Amy Robsart, and another at the funeral of the founder of his own college; and for twelve years he was to be followed and imitated as no man ever was in an English university except himself and Newman. He took both his degrees, and became a celebrated tutor, and, by 1568, junior proctor. Queen Elizabeth had visited Oxford two years before; she and Dudley, then chancellor, won by Campion's bearing, beauty, and wit, bade him ask for what he would. Successes, local responsibilities, and allurements, his natural ease of disposition, the representations, above all, of his friend Bishop Cheyney of Gloucester, blinded Campion in regard to his course as a Catholic: he took the Oath of Supremacy, and deacon's orders according to the new rite. Afterthoughts developing into scruples, scruples into anguish, he broke off his happy Oxford life when his proctorship ended, and betook himself to Ireland, to await the reopening of Dublin University, an ancient papal foundation temporarily extinct. Sir Henry Sidney, the lord deputy, was interested in Campion's future as well as in the revival which, however, fell through. With Philip Sidney, then a boy, Campion was to have a touching interview in 1577.

As too Catholic minded an Anglican, Campion was suspected, and exposed to danger. Hidden in friendly houses, he composed his treatise called "A History of Ireland" Written from an English standpoint it gave much offence to the native Irish, and was severely criticized, in the next century, by Geoffrey Keating In his Irish history of Ireland. Urged to further effort by the zeal of Gregory Martin, he crossed to England in disguise and under an assumed name, reaching London in time to witness the trial of one of the earliest Oxonian martyrs, Dr. John Storey. Campion now recognized his vocation and hastened to the seminary at Douai. Cecil lamented to Richard Stanihurst the expatriation of "one of the diamonds of England" At Douai Campion remained for his theological course and its lesser degree, but then set out as a barefoot pilgrim to Rome, arriving there just before the death of St. Francis Borgia; " for I meant", as he said at his examination, "to enter into the Society of Jesus, thereof to vow and to be professed". This he accomplished promptly in April (1573), being the first novice received by Mercurianus, the fourth general. As the English province was as yet non-existent, he was allotted to that of Bohemia, entering on his noviceship at Prague and passing his probation year at Brunn in Moravia. Returning to Prague, he taught in the college and wrote a couple of sacred dramas; and there he was ordained in 1578. Meanwhile, Dr. Allen was organizing the apostolic work of the English Mission, and rejoiced to secure Fathers Robert Parsons and Edmund Campion as his first Jesuit helpers. In the garden at Brunn, Campion had had a vision, in which Our Lady foretold to him his martyrdom. Comrades at Prague were moved to make a scroll for P. Edmundus Campianus Martyr, and to paint a prophetic garland of roses within his cell. Parsons and Campion set out from Rome, had many adventures, and called upon St. Charles Borromeo in Milan, and upon Beza in Geneva. Campion was met in London, and fitly clothed, armed, and mounted by a devoted young convert friend. His office was chiefly to reclaim Catholics who were wavering or temporizing under the pressure of governmental tyranny; but his zeal to win Protestants, his preaching, his whole saintly and soldierly personality, made a general and profound impression. An alarm was raised and he fled to the North, where he fell again to writing and produced his famous tract, the "Decem Rationes". He returned to London, only to withdraw again, this time towards Norfolk. A spy, a former steward of the Roper family, one George Eliot, was hot upon his track, and ran him and others down at Lyford Grange near Wantage in Berkshire on 17 July, 1581.
Amid scenes of violent excitement, Campion was derisively paraded through the streets of his native city, bound hand and foot, riding backwards, with a paper stuck in his hat to denote the " seditious Jesuit". First thrown into Little Ease at the Tower, he was carried privately to the house of his old patron, the Earl of Leicester; there he encountered the queen herself, and received earnest proffers of liberty and preferments would he but forsake his papistry. Hopton having tried in vain the same blandishments, on Campion's return to the Tower, the priest was then examined under torture, and was reported to have betrayed those who had harboured him. Several arrests were made on the strength of the lie. He had asked for a public disputation. But when it came off in the Norman chapel of the Tower, before the Dean of St. Paul's and other divines, Campion had been denied opportunity to prepare his debate, and had been severely racked. Thus weakened, he stood through the four long conferences, without chair, table, or notes, and stood undefeated. Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, who was looking on in the flush of worldly pride, became thereby inspired to return to God's service. The privy council, at its wits' end over so purely spiritual a "traitor", hatched a plot to impeach Campion's loyalty, and called in the hirelings Eliot and Munday as accusers. A ridiculous trial ensued in Westminster Hall, 20 Nov., 1581. Campion, pleading not guilty, was quite unable to hold up his often-wrenched right arm, seeing which, a fellow prisoner, first kissing it, raised it for him. He made a magnificent defence. But the sentence was death, by hanging, drawing, and quartering: a sentence received by the martyrs with a joyful shout of Haec dies and Te Deum. Campion, with Sherwin and Briant, who were on a separate hurdle, was dragged to Tyburn on 1 December. Passing Newgate arch, he lifted himself as best he could to salute the statue of Our Lady still in situ. On the scaffold, when interrupted and taunted to express his mind concerning the Bull of Plus V excommunicating Elizabeth, he answered only by a prayer for her, "your Queen and my Queen". He was a Catholic Englishman with political opinions which were not Allen's, though he died, as much as ever Felton did, for the primacy of the Holy See. The people loudly lamented his fate; and another great harvest of conversions began. A wild, generous-hearted youth, Henry Walpole, standing by, got his white doublet stained with Campion's blood; the incident made him, too, in time, a Jesuit and a martyr.
Historians of all schools are agreed that the charges against Campion were wholesale sham. They praise his high intelligence, his beautiful gaiety, his fiery energy, his most chivalrous gentleness. He had renounced all opportunity for a dazzling career in a world of master men. Every tradition of Edmund Campion, every remnant of his written words, and not least his unstudied golden letters, show us that he was nothing less than a man of genius; truly one of the great Elizabethans, but holy as none other of them all. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 9 December, 1886, and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970. Relics of him are preserved in Rome and Prague, in London, Oxford, Stonyhurst, and Roehampton. A not very convincing portrait was made soon after his death for the Gesù in Rome under the supervision of many who had known him. Of this there is a copy in oils at Stonyhurst, and a brilliantly engraved print in Hazart's "Kerckelycke Historie" (Antwerp, 1669), Vol. III (Enghelandt, etc.), though not in every copy of that now scarce work.
SOURCE: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday December 1, 2016


Thursday of the First Week in Advent
Lectionary: 178


Reading 1IS 26:1-6

On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah:

“A strong city have we;
he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.
Open up the gates
to let in a nation that is just,
one that keeps faith.
A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace;
in peace, for its trust in you.”

Trust in the LORD forever!
For the LORD is an eternal Rock.
He humbles those in high places,
and the lofty city he brings down;
He tumbles it to the ground,
levels it with the dust.
It is trampled underfoot by the needy,
by the footsteps of the poor.

Responsorial PsalmPS 118:1 AND 8-9, 19-21, 25-27A

R. (26a) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Open to me the gates of justice;
I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD.
This gate is the LORD’s;
the just shall enter it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, grant salvation!
O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaIS 55:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call him while he is near.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 7:21, 24-27

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

Novena for the #ImmaculateConception of Mary : #Prayers - Plenary #Indulgence - SHARE


The Immaculate Conception – Celebrating the Blessed Virgin’s Mary’s conception as freed from all sin -

Feast: December 8


Plenary indulgence to all who shall assist at these Novenas every day, and who shall afterwards, either on the Feast-day itself, to which each Novena respectively has reference, or on some one day in its Octave, after Confession and Communion, pray to our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin according to the pious intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

NOVENA-

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

PREPARATORY PRAYER FOR EVERY DAY OF THE NOVENA.

Virgin most pure, conceived without sin, all fair and stainless from thy Conception; glorious Mary, full of grace, Mother of my God, Queen of angels and of men, - I humbly venerate thee as Mother of my Saviour, who, though He was God, taught me by His own veneration, reverence, and obedience to thee, the honour and homage which are due to thee. Vouchsafe, I pray thee, to accept this Novena, which I dedicate to thee. Thou art the safe refuge of the penitent sinner; it is very fitting, then, that I should have recourse to thee. Thou art the Mother of compassion; then wilt thou surely be moved with pity for my many miseries. Thou art my best hope after Jesus; thou canst not but accept the loving confidence that I have in thee. Make me worthy to be called thy son, that so I may dare to cry unto thee,
Monstra te esse matrem.
Show thyself a mother.

Nine Ave Maria’s, one Gloria Patri, and the following Prayer.

PRAYER FOR THE FIRST DAY. .

Behold me at thy sacred feet, O Immaculate Virgin. I rejoice with thee, because from all eternity thou wast elected to be the Mother of the Eternal Word, and wast preserved stainless from the taint of original sin. I praise and bless the Most Holy Trinity, who poured out upon thy soul in thy Conception the riches of that privilege. I humbly pray thee to obtain for me grace effectually to overcome the sad effects produced in my soul by original sin; make me wholly victorious over them, that I may never cease to love my God.

After the Litanies, or Hymn as above, say as follows:

V. All fair art thou, O Mary.
R. All fair art thou, O Mary.
V. The original stain is not in thee.
R. The original stain is not in thee.
V. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem.
R. Thou art the joy of Israel.
V. Thou art the honour of our people.
R. Thou art the advocate of sinners.
V. O Mary.
R. O Mary.
V. Virgin most prudent.
R. Mother most clement.
V. Pray for us.
B. Intercede for us to our Lord Jesus Christ.

V. In thy Conception, O Virgin, thou wast immaculate.
R. Pray for us to the Father, whose Son was born of thee.

Let us pray.
O God, who through the Immaculate Conception of a Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling-place for Thy Son, we beseech Thee, who by the death of that Son, foreseen by Thee, didst preserve her from every stain of sin, to grant that by her intercession we also may be purified, and so may come to Thee.

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look down upon Thy servant N., whom Thou host chosen to be the pastor of Thy Church; and grant him, we beseech Thee, both by word and example, so to direct those over whom Thou hast placed him, that, together with the flock entrusted to his care, he may attain eternal life.

O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all holiness, listen to the pious prayers of thy Church, and grant that what we ask in faith we may effectually obtain. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The same order is to be observed en all the other days of the Novena, the Prayers for the Day alone being changed.

PRAYER FOR THE SECOND DAY. 

Mary, unsullied Lily of purity, I rejoice with thee, because from the first moment of thy Conception thou wast filled with grace, and hadst given unto thee the perfect use of reason. I thank and I adore the Ever-blessed Trinity, who gave thee these high gifts. Behold me at thy feet overwhelmed with shame to see myself so poor in grace. O thou who wast filled full of heavenly grace, grant me a portion of that same grace, and make me a partaker in the treasures of thy Immaculate Conception.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE THIRD DAY. 

Mary, mystic Rose of purity, I rejoice with thee at the glorious triumph thou didst gain over the serpent by thy Immaculate Conception, in that then wast conceived without original sin. I thank and praise with my whole heart the Ever-blessed Trinity, who granted thee that glorious privilege and I pray thee to obtain for me courage to overcome every snare of the great enemy, and never to stain my soul with mortal sin. Be thou always mine aid, and enable me with thy protection to obtain the victory over all the enemies of man’s eternal welfare.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE FOURTH DAY. 

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Mirror of holy purity, I rejoice exceedingly to see how from thy Immaculate Conception there were infused into thy soul the most sublime and perfect virtues, with all the gifts of the Most Holy Spirit. I thank and praise the Ever-Blessed Trinity, who bestowed upon thee these high privileges, and I beseech thee, gracious Mother, obtain for me grace to practise every Christian virtue, and so to become worthy to receive the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE FIFTH DAY. 

Mary, bright Moon of purity, I congratulate thee in that the mystery of thy Immaculate Conception was the beginning of salvation to the human race, and was the joy of the whole world. I thank and bless the Ever-blessed Trinity, who did so magnify and glorify thy Person. I entreat thee to obtain for me the grace so to profit by the Death and Passion of thy dear Son, that His Precious Blood may not have been shed upon the cross for me in vain, but that after a holy life I may be saved.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE SIXTH DAY.

Mary Immaculate, brilliant Star of purity, I rejoice with thee, because thy Immaculate Conception brought exceeding joy to all the angels in Paradise. I thank and bless the Ever-blessed Trinity, who enriched thee with this privilege. Enable me also one day to take part in this heavenly joy, praising and blessing thee in the company of angels world without end. Amen.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVENTH DAY. 

Mary immaculate, rising Morn of purity, I rejoice with thee, and I am filled with admiration at beholding thee confirmed in grace and rendered sinless from the first moment of thy Conception. I thank and praise the Ever-blessed Trinity, who elected thee alone from all mankind for this especial privilege. Holiest Virgin, obtain for me an entire and lasting hatred of sin, as the worst of all evils, that I may rather die than ever again commit a mortal sin.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE EIGHTH DAY..

Mary, Virgin, Sun without stain, I congratulate thee, and I rejoice with thee, because God gave unto thee in thy Conception a greater and a more abundant grace than He gave to all His angels and His saints together, even when their merits were most exalted. I thank and admire the immense beneficence of the Ever-blessed Trinity, who hath dispensed to thee alone this privilege. O, enable me too to correspond with the grace of God, and never more to receive it in vain; change my heart, and help me to begin in earnest a new life.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE NINTH DAY. 

Immaculate Mary, living Light of holiness, Model of purity, Virgin and Mother, as soon as thou wast conceived thou didst profoundly adore thy God, giving Him thanks, because by means of thee the ancient curse was blotted out, and blessing was again come upon the sinful sons of Adam. Let this blessing kindle in my heart love towards God; and do thou inflame my heart still more and more, that I may ever love Him more constantly, and afterwards eternally enjoy Him in heaven, there to thank and praise Him more and more fervently for all the wondrous privileges conferred on thee, and to rejoice with thee for thy high crown of glory.
Litanies, &c., as before.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Christmas Novena - Miracle Prayer - SHARE #Novena #Prayer of #Christmas


SHARE - St. Andrew Christmas NOVENA -

Starts November 30, the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, and concludes on Christmas Eve. It is piously believed to be very
efficacious. Recite 15 times a day until December 24- possibly 5 times before each meal.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

#PopeFrancis meets with Director Martin Scorsese about his New Movie "Silence" on the #Jesuits

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday met the Italo-American movie director Martin Scorsese whose latest film “Silence” recounts the persecution of a group of Jesuit missionaries in 17th century Japan. Scorsese was accompanied at the audience in the Vatican by his wife, his two daughters, the producer of the “Silence” film and the Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications Monsignor Dario Viganò.  A Vatican statement said the meeting was very cordial and lasted 15 minutes.
Pope Francis told those present that he had read the novel on which the film “Silence” was based, written by the late Japanese author Shusaku Endo. 
Scorsese gave the Pope two paintings on the theme of “hidden Christians,” one of them a much-venerated image of the Madonna painted by a 17th century Japanese artist. Pope Francis gave his guests rosaries. 
The audience in the Vatican came after a special screening of “Silence” in Rome on Tuesday night for more than 300 Jesuit priests. The movie is due to premiere in the United States this December. 

#PopeFrancis "..spiritual mercy calls to pray for the living and the deceased." #Audience FULL TEXT + Video


Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
With today’s catechesis, we conclude the series dedicated to mercy. But although the catecheses finish, mercy must continue! We thank the Lord for all this and we keep it in our heart as consolation and comfort.

The last work of spiritual mercy calls to pray for the living and the deceased. We can also place it side by side with the last work of corporal mercy, which invites to bury the dead. The latter might seem a strange request; instead, in some areas of the world that live under the scourge of war, with bombardments that day and night sow fear and innocent victims, this work is sadly timely. In this connection, the Bible a good example: that of old Tobit, who, at the risk of his own life, buried the dead despite the king’s prohibition (cf. Tobit 1:17-19; 2:2-4). There are those also today who risk their life to bury the poor victims of wars. Hence, this corporal work of mercy is not far from our daily existence. And it makes us think of what happened on Good Friday, when the Virgin Mary with John and some women were close to Jesus’ cross. After His death, Joseph of Arimathea came — a rich man, member of the Sanhedrin, but who had become a disciple of Jesus — and offered his new sepulcher for Him, excavated in the rock. He went personally to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body: a true work of mercy made with great courage (cf. Matthew 27:57-60)! For Christians, burial is an act of piety, but also an act of great faith. We place in the tomb the body of our dear ones, with the hope of their resurrection (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-34). It is a rite that remains strong and heartfelt in our people, and which finds special resonances in this month of November, dedicated in particular to remembering and praying for the deceased.
To pray for the deceased is, first of all, a sign of gratitude for the testimony they left us and for the good they did. It is to thank the Lord for having given them to us and for their love and their friendship. The priest says: “Remember, Lord, your faithful, who have preceded us with the sign of faith and sleep the sleep of peace” (Roman Canon). A simple, effective remembrance charged with meaning, because it entrusts our dear ones to God’s mercy. We pray with Christian hope that they may be with Him in Paradise, in the expectation of meeting one another again in that mystery of love, which we do not understand, but which we know is true because it is a promise Jesus made. All of us will resurrect and all of us will remain forever with Jesus, with Him.
The remembrance of the faithful deceased must not make us forget to pray also for the living who, together with us, face every day the trials of life. The necessity of this prayer is yet more evident if we place it in the light of the profession of faith, which says: “I believe in the Communion of Saints.” It is the mystery that expresses the beauty of the mercy that Jesus has revealed to us. In fact, the Communion of Saints indicates that we are all immersed in the life of God and we live in His love. All, living and deceased, are in communion, that is, as a union; united in the community of all those that received Baptism, and of those that are nourished by the Body of Christ and are part of the great family of God. United, we are all the same family; therefore, we pray for one another.
How many different ways there are to pray for our neighbor! They are all valid and accepted by God if done with the heart. I am thinking particularly of mothers and fathers who bless their children in the morning and the evening. There is still this habit in some families: to bless a child is a prayer; I am thinking of prayer for sick people, when we go to see them and pray for them; of the silent intercession, sometimes with tears, of so many difficult situations for which to pray. Yesterday a good man, a businessman, came to Mass at Casa Santa Marta. That young man must close his factory because he cannot make ends meet and he wept, saying: “I don’t like leaving more than 50 families without work. I could declare the failure of the business go home with my money, but I will feel hurt all my life for these 50 families.” There is a good Christian who prays with works: he came to Mass to pray that the Lord might give him a way out, not only for himself, but for the 50 families. This is a man who knows how to pray, with the heart and with the facts, he knows how to pray for his neighbor. He is in a difficult situation, and he does not look for the easiest way out: “That they make do themselves.” This is a Christian. It did me so much good to hear him!
And perhaps there are many like him, today, at this moment in which so many people suffer because of lack of work. I am also thinking of gratitude for good news concerning a friend, a relative, a colleague …: “Thank you, Lord, for this good thing!” This too is to pray for others! To thank the Lord when things go well. Sometimes, as Saint Paul says, “we do not know how to pray as we ought but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).
It is the Spirit who prays in us. Therefore, let us open our hearts, so that the Holy Spirit, scrutinizing the desires that are deep inside us, is able to purify them and bring them to fulfilment. In any case, let us always ask for ourselves and for others that God’s Will be done, as in the Our Father, because His Will is certainly the greatest good, the goodness of a Father who never abandons us: to pray and to let the Holy Spirit pray in us. And this is good in life: pray thanking and praising God, asking for something, weeping when there is a difficulty, as that man. But may our heart be always open to the Spirit, so that He prays in us, with us and for us.
Concluding these catecheses on mercy, let us commit ourselves to pray for one another so that the works of corporal and spiritual mercy become increasingly our style of life. The catecheses, as I said at the beginning, finish here. We went through the 14 works of mercy, but mercy continues and we must exercise it in these 14 ways. Thank you.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
I give a warm welcome to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I greet the children affected by the Batten Syndrome, patients at the Bambino Gesu Hospital; the staff of the Technical Center of Military Aeronautics of Fiumicino; and the members of the Federation of Institutes of Educational Activities, gathered on the occasion of the seventieth of its foundation, and I invite them to continue in their endeavor of support to Catholic schools, so that the freedom of parents’ educational choice for their children is always safeguarded.
I greet the students, in particular those of the “Asisium” Institute and the delegation of the Municipality of Cervia, present here for the traditional delivery of salt.
An affectionate greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today is the Feast of the Apostle Andrew, brother of Saint PeterMay his run to the sepulcher to find the Lord remind you, dear young people, that our life is a pilgrimage towards the House of the Father; may his strength, in facing martyrdom, sustain you, dear sick, when your suffering seems unbearable; and may his passionate following of the Savior induce you, dear newlyweds, to understand the importance of love in your new family. And, on the feast of the Apostle Andrew, I would also like to greet the Church of Constantinople and the beloved Patriarch Bartholomew, and to unite myself to him and to the Church in Constantinople on this feast – to that Sister Church in the name of Peter and Andrew, all together – and to wish them all possible good, all the Lord’s blessing and a great embrace.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]
The Holy Father’s Appeals
Tomorrow, December 1, is World AIDS Day, promoted by the United Nations. Millions of persons live with this sickness and only half of them have access to lifesaving therapies. I invite you to pray for them and for their dear ones and to promote solidarity so that even the poorest can benefit from diagnosis and adequate care. Finally, I make an appeal so that all adopt responsible behaviours to prevent the further spread of this sickness.
On the initiative of France and of the United Arab Emirates, with the collaboration of UNESCO, an international Conference on the Protection of Patrimony in Areas of Conflict will be held at Abu Dhabi this coming December 2-3 – a subject that unfortunately is tragically current. In the conviction that the protection of cultural riches constitutes an essential dimension  of the defense of the human being, I hope this event will mark a new stage in the process of the implementation of human rights.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

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

Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle
Lectionary: 684


Reading 1ROM 10:9-18

Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

Responsorial PsalmPS 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (10) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. (John 6:63) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

AlleluiaMT 4:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Saint November 30 : St. Andrew #Apostle : Patron of Fishermen, Singers, Scotland, Russi

early 1st Century, Bethsaida
Died:
mid-late 1st Century, Patras
Major Shrine:
Church of St. Andreas at Patras
Patron of:
Scotland, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Romania, Amalfi, Luqa (Malta) and Prussia; Army Rangers, mariners, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, singers and performers
The name "Andrew" (Gr., andreia, manhood, or valour), like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the second or third century B.C. St. Andrew, the Apostle, son of Jonah, or John (Matthew 16:17; John 1:42), was born in Bethsaida of Galilee (John 1:44). He was brother of Simon (Peter) (Matthew 10:2; John 1:40). Both were fishermen (Matthew 4:18; Mark 1:16), and at the beginning of Our Lord's public life occupied the same house at Capharnaum (Mark 1:21, 29).
From the fourth Gospel we learn that Andrew was a disciple of the Baptist, whose testimony first led him and John the Evangelist to follow Jesus (John 1:35-40). Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messias, and hastened to introduce Him to his brother, Peter, (John 1:41). Thenceforth the two brothers were disciples of Christ. On a subsequent occasion, prior to the final call to the apostolate, they were called to a closer companionship, and then they left all things to follow Jesus (Luke 5:11; Matthew 4:19-20; Mark 1:17-18).
Finally Andrew was chosen to be one of the Twelve; and in the various lists of Apostles given in the New Testament (Matthew 10:2-4); Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13) he is always numbered among the first four. The only other explicit reference to him in the Synoptists occurs in Mark 13:3, where we are told he joined with Peter, James and John in putting the question that led to Our Lord's great eschatological discourse. In addition to this scanty information, we learn from the fourth Gospel that on the occasion of the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, it was Andrew who said: "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fishes: but what are these among so many?" (John 6:8-9); and when, a few days before Our Lord's death, certain Greeks asked Philip that they might see Jesus, Philip referred the matter to Andrew as to one of greater authority, and then both told Christ (John 12:20-22). Like the majority of the Twelve, Andrew is not named in the Acts except in the list of the Apostles, where the order of the first four is Peter, John, James, Andrew; nor have the Epistles or the Apocalypse any mention of him.
From what we know of the Apostles generally, we can, of course, supplement somewhat these few details. As one of the Twelve, Andrew was admitted to the closest familiarity with Our Lord during His public life; he was present at the Last Supper; beheld the risen Lord; witnessed the Ascension; shared in the graces and gifts of the first Pentecost, and helped, amid threats and persecution, to establish the Faith in Palestine.
When the Apostles went forth to preach to the Nations, Andrew seems to have taken an important part, but unfortunately we have no certainty as to the extent or place of his labours. Eusebius (Church History III.1), relying, apparently, upon Origen, assigns Scythia as his mission field: Andras de [eilechen] ten Skythian; while St. Gregory of Nazianzus (Oration 33) mentions Epirus; St. Jerome (Ep. ad Marcell.) Achaia; and Theodoret (on Ps. cxvi) Hellas. Probably these various accounts are correct, for Nicephorus (H.E. II:39), relying upon early writers, states that Andrew preached in Cappadocia, Galatia, and Bithynia, then in the land of the anthropophagi and the Scythian deserts, afterwards in Byzantium itself, where he appointed St. Stachys as its first bishop, and finally in Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and Achaia. It is generally agreed that he was crucified by order of the Roman Governor, Aegeas or Aegeates, at Patrae in Achaia, and that he was bound, not nailed, to the cross, in order to prolong his sufferings. The cross on which he suffered is commonly held to have been the decussate cross, now known as St. Andrew's, though the evidence for this view seems to be no older than the fourteenth century. His martyrdom took place during the reign of Nero, on 30 November, A.D. 60); and both the Latin and Greek Churches keep 30 November as his feast.
St. Andrew's relics were translated from Patrae to Constantinople, and deposited in the church of the Apostles there, about A.D. 357. When Constantinople was taken by the French, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, Cardinal Peter of Capua brought the relics to Italy and placed them in the cathedral of Amalfi, where most of them still remain. St. Andrew is honoured as their chief patron by Russia and Scotland. Shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia 
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