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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Catholic News World : Sunday January 29, 2017 - SHARE

2017

#PopeFrancis "Jesus manifests God’s will to lead men to happiness." #Angelus FULL TEXT - Video

Before the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!This Sunday’s liturgy has us meditate on the Beatitudes (cf. Matthew 5:1-12a), which open the great address called “of the mountain,” the Magna Carta” of the New Testament. Jesus manifests God’s will to lead men to happiness. This message was already present in the preaching of the prophets: God is close to the poor and the oppressed and He delivers them from those who mistreat them. However, in this preaching Jesus follows a particular path: He begins with the term “Blessed,”  happy. He continues with the indication of the conditionto be so and He concludes by making a promise. The motive for beatitude, namely for happiness, is not in the condition requested — for instance, “poor in spirit,” “mourn,” “hunger for righteousness,” “persecuted” … but in the subsequent promise, to be received with faith as gift of God. One begins from the condition of hardship to open oneself to God’s gift and enter the new world, the “Kingdom” proclaimed by Jesus. This is not an automatic mechanism, but a way of life following the Lord, so that the reality of hardship and affliction is seen in a new perspective and experienced according to the conversion undertaken. One is not blessed if one is not converted, able to appreciate and live God’s gifts. I will pause on the first beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (v. 4). He is poor in spirit who has assumed the sentiments and the attitude of those poor, who do not rebel in their condition, but are able to be humble, docile, open to the grace of God. The happiness of the poor — of the poor in spirit —  has a twofold dimension: in relation to goods and in relation to God. In regard to goods, to material goods, this poverty in spirit is sobriety: not necessarily renunciation, but the capacity to enjoy the essential, to share; the capacity to renew every day the wonder of the goodness of things, without being weighed down in the opacity of voracious consumption. The more I have, the more I want; the more I have, the more I want: this is voracious consumption. And this kills the soul. And the man and woman who do this, who have this attitude “the more I have, the more I want,” are not happy and will not attain happiness. ”In relations with God, it is praise and gratitude that the world is a blessing and that at its origin is the creative love of the Father. But it is also openness to Him, docility to His lordship: He is the Lord; He is the Great One. I am not great because I have many things! He is: He who willed the world for all men and wanted it so that men would be happy. A poor one in spirit is a Christian who does not trust in himself, in his material riches, who is not obstinate in his opinions but listens with respect and disposes himself willingly to others’ decisions. If there were more poor in spirit in our communities, there would be fewer divisions, oppositions and controversies! Humility, like charity, is an essential virtue for coexistence in Christian communities. The poor, in this evangelical sense, appear as those that keep alive the goal of the Kingdom of Heaven, making one perceive that it is anticipated in germ in a fraternal community, which prefers sharing to possession. I would like to stress this: to prefer sharing to possession. To always have an open heart and hands (he makes the gesture), not closed (he makes the gesture). When the heart is closed (he makes the gesture) it is a narrow: it does not even know how to love. When the heart is open (he makes the gesture), it goes on the way of love.
May the Virgin Mary, model and first fruit of the poor in spirit because totally docile to the Lord’s will, help us to abandon ourselves to God, rich in mercy, so that He will fill us with His gifts, especially the abundance of His forgiveness.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters, as you see, the invaders have arrived … they are here!
Celebrated today is World Leprosy Day. This sickness, though regressing, is still among the most feared and it strikes the poorest and marginalized. It is important to fight against this disease, but also against the discriminations it engenders. I encourage all those who are committed in the rescue and social reinsertion of persons stricken by Hansen’s disease, to whom we assure our prayer.
I greet you all affectionately, who have come from different parishes of Italy and of other countries, as well as the Associations and Groups. In particular, I greet the students of Murcia and Badajoz, the young people of Bilbao and the faithful of Castellon. I greet the pilgrims of Reggio Calabria, Castelliri, and the Sicilian group of the National Association of Parents. I would also like to renew my closeness to the populations of Central Italy that are still suffering the consequences of the earthquake and of difficult atmospheric conditions. May these brothers and sisters of ours not lack the constant support of institutions and common solidarity. And please, may no type of bureaucracy make them wait and suffer further!
Now I turn to you, boys and girls of Catholic Action, of the parishes and Catholic schools of Rome. Accompanied by the Cardinal Vicar, this year also you have come at the end of the “Caravan of Peace,” whose slogan is Surrounded by Peace: a beautiful slogan Thank you for your presence and for your generous commitment in building a society of peace. Now, we will all listen to the message that your friends, beside me here, will read to us.
[Reading of the message]
And now the balloons are released, symbol of peace, symbol of peace … I wish you all a good Sunday. I wish you peace, humility, sharing in your families. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon! [Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. January 29, 2017 - 4th Ord. Time - A - #Eucharist


Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 70


Reading 1ZEP 2:3; 3:12-13

Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth,
who have observed his law;
seek justice, seek humility;
perhaps you may be sheltered
on the day of the LORD's anger.

But I will leave as a remnant in your midst
a people humble and lowly,
who shall take refuge in the name of the LORD:
the remnant of Israel.
They shall do no wrong
and speak no lies;
nor shall there be found in their mouths
a deceitful tongue;
they shall pasture and couch their flocks
with none to disturb them.

Responsorial PsalmPS 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10

R. (Mt 5:3) Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.
R. Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow the LORD sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 21 COR 1:26-31

Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.
Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God,
as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,
so that, as it is written,
"Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord."

AlleluiaMT 5:12A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad;
your reward will be great in heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:1-12A

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven."

#PopeFrancis sends #ProLife message to March for Life "... the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb," FULL TEXT

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent his support to the March for Life, which took place in Washington, DC, on Friday.
The Message – sent by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin – said Pope Francis “trusts that this event, in which so many American citizens speak out on behalf of the most defenseless of our brothers and sisters, will contribute to a mobilization of conscience in defense of the right to life and effective measures to ensure its adequate legal protection.”
Each year, the March for Life draws hundreds of thousands of people to the United States capital to call for the protection of the unborn, and end to euthanasia, and to promote other pro-life issues.
The full text of the Message is below
His Holiness Pope Francis sends warm greetings and the assurance of his closeness in prayer to the many thousands of young people from throughout America gathered in the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington for the annual March for Life. His Holiness is profoundly grateful for this impressive testimony to the sacredness of every human life. As he has made clear, “so great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right… can justify a decision to terminate that life” (Amoris Laetitia, 83). He trusts that this event, in which so many American citizens speak out on behalf of the most defenseless of our brothers and sisters, will contribute to a mobilization of conscience in defense of the right to life and effective measures to ensure its adequate legal protection. To all present the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

Saint January 29 : St. Gildas the Wise


Feast Day:
January 24
Born:
516, traditionally Strathclyde in modern Scotland
Died:
570, Street, Somerset or Rhuys
Major Shrine:
Glastonbury Abbey, now destroyed, or Rhuys Church, extant.
Patron of:
Welsh historians; bell founders
He was son to a British lord, who to procure him a virtuous education, placed him in his infancy in the monastery of St. Iltutus in Glamorganshire. The surname of Badonicus was given him, because, as we learn from his writings, he was born in the year in which the Britons under Aurelius Ambrosius, or, according to others, under king Arthur, gained the famous victory over the Saxons at Mount Badon, now Bannesdown, near Bath, in Somersetshire. This Bede places in the forty-fourth year after the first coming of the Saxons into Britain, which was in 451. Our saint, therefore, seems to have been born in 494; he was consequently younger than St. Paul, St. Samson, and his other illustrious school-fellows in Wales: but by his prudence and seriousness in his youth he seemed to have attained to the maturity of judgment and gravity of an advanced age. The author of the life of St. Paul of Leon, calls him the brightest genius of the school of St. Iltut. His application to sacred studies  was uninterrupted, and if he arrived not at greater perfection in polite literature, this was owing to the want of masters of that branch in the confusion of those times. As to improve himself in the knowledge of God and himself was the end of all his studies, and all his reading was reduced to the study of the science of the saints, the greater progress he made in learning, the more perfect he became in all virtues. Studies which are to many a source of dissipation, made him more and more recollected, because in all books he found and relished only God, whom alone he sought. Hence sprang that love for holy solitude, which, to his death, was the constant ruling inclination of his heart. Some time after his monastic profession, with the consent, and perhaps by the order of his abbot, St. Iltut, he passed over into Ireland, there to receive the lessons of the admirable masters of a religious life, who had been instructed in the most sublime maxims of an interior life, and formed to the practice of perfect virtue, by the great St. Patrick. The author of his Acts compares this excursion, which he made in the spring of his life, to that of the bees in the season of flowers, to gather the juices which they convert into honey. In like manner St. Gildas learned, from the instructions and examples of the most eminent servants of God, to copy in his own life whatever seemed most perfect. So severe were his continual fasts, that the motto of St. John Baptist might in some degree be applied to him, that he scarce seemed to eat or drink at all. A rough hair-cloth, concealed under a coarse cloak, was his garment, and the bare floor his bed, with a stone for his bolster.

By the constant mortification of his natural appetites, and crucifixion of his flesh, his life was a prolongation of his martyrdom, or a perpetual sacrifice which he made of himself to God in union with that which he daily offered to him on his altars. If it be true that he preached in Ireland in the reign of king Ammeric, he must have made a visit to that island from Armorica, that prince only beginning to reign in 560: this cannot be ascribed to St. Gildas the Albanian, who died before that time. It was about the year 527, in the thirty-fourth of his age, that St. Gildas sailed to Armorica, or Brittany, in France: for he wrote his invective ten years after his arrival there, and in the forty-fourth year of his age, as is gathered from his life and writings. Here he chose for the place of his retirement the little isle of Houac, or Houat, between the coast of Rhuis and the island of Bellisle, four leagues from the latter. Houat exceeds not a league in length; the isle of Hoedre is still smaller, not far distant: both are so barren as to yield nothing but a small quantity of corn. Such a solitude, which appeared hideous to others, offered the greatest charms to the saint, who desired to fly, as much as this mortal state would permit, whatever could interrupt his commerce with God. Here he often wanted the common necessaries and conveniences of life; but the greater the privation of earthly comforts was in which he lived, the more abundant were those of the Holy Ghost which he enjoyed, in proportion as the purity of his affections and his love of heavenly things were more perfect. The saint promised himself that he should live here always unknown to men: but it was in vain for him to endeavor to hide the light of divine grace under a bushel, which shone forth to the world, notwithstanding all the precautions which his humility took to conceal it. Certain fishermen who discovered him were harmed with his heavenly deportment and conversation, and made known on the continent the treasure they had found. The inhabitants flocked from the coast to hear the lessons of divine wisdom which the holy anchoret gave with a heavenly unction which penetrated their hearts. To satisfy their importunities, St. Gildas at length consented to live among them on the continent, and built a monastery at Rhuis, in a peninsula of that name, which Guerech, the first lord of the Britons about Vannes, is said to have bestowed upon him. This monastery was soon filled with excellent disciples and holy monks. St. Gildas settled them in good order; then, sighing after closer solitude, he withdrew, and passing beyond the gulf of Vannes, and the promontory of Quiberon, chose for his habitation a grot in a rock, upon the bank of the river Blavet, where he found a cavern formed by nature extended from the east to the west, which on that account he converted into a chapel. However, he often visited this abbey of Rhuis, and by his counsels directed many in the paths of true virtue. Among these was St. Trifina, daughter of Guerech, first British count of Vannes. She was married to count Conomor, lieutenant of king Childebert, a brutish and impious man, who afterwards murdered her, and the young son which he had by her, who at his baptism received the name of Gildas, and was godson to our saint: but he is usually known by the surname of Treuchmour, or Tremeur, in Latin 'Trichmorus. SS. Trifina and Treuchmeur are invoked in the English Litany of the seventh century, in Mabillon. The great collegiate church of Carhaix bears the name of St. Treuchmour: the church of Quim per keeps his feast on the 8th of November, on which day he is commemorated in several churches in Brittany, and at St. Magloire's at Paris. A church situated between Corlai and the abbey of Coetmaloon in Brittany, is dedicated to God under the invocation of St. Trifina.
St. Gildas wrote eight canons of discipline, and a severe invective against the crimes of the Britons, called De Excidio Britanniae, that he might confound those whom he was not able to convert, and whom God in punishment delivered first to the plunders of the Picts and Scots, and afterwards to the perfidious Saxons, the fiercest of all nations. He reproaches their kings, Constantine, (king of the Danmonians, in Devonshire and Cornwall,) Vortipor, (of the Dimetians, in South Wales,) Conon, Cuneglas, and Maglocune, princes in other parts of Britain, with horrible crimes: but Constantine was soon after sincerely converted, as Gale informs us from an ancient Welsh chronicle. According to John Fordun he resigned his crown, became a monk, preached the faith to the Scots and Picts, and died a martyr in Kintyre: but the apostle of the Scots seems to have been a little more ancient than the former. Our saint also wrote an invective against the British clergy, whom he accuses of sloth of seldom sacrificing at the altar &c. In his retirement he ceased not with tears to recommend to God his own cause, or that of his honor and glory, and the souls of blind sinners, and died in his beloved solitude in the island of Horac, (in Latin Horata,) according to Usher, in 570, but according to Ralph of Disse, in 581.[6] St. Gildas is patron of the city of Vannes. The abbey which bears his name in the peninsula of Rhuis, between three and four leagues from Vannes, is of the reformed congregation of St. Maur since the year 1649. The relics of St. Gildas were carried thence for fear of the Normans into Berry, about the year 919, and an abbey was erected there on the banks of the river Indre, which was secularized and united to the collegiate church of Chateauroux in 1623. St. Gildas is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 29th of January. A second commemoration of him is made in some places on the 11th of May, on account of the translation of his relics. His life, compiled from the ancient archives of Rhuis by a monk of that house, in the eleventh century, is the best account we have of him, though the author confounds him sometimes with St. Gildas the Albanian. It is published in the library of Fleury, in Bollandus, p. 954, and most correctly in Mabillon, Act. SS. Ord. Saint Bened. t. 1, p. 138. See also Dom Lobineau, Vies des Saints de Bretagne, (for. an. 1725,) p. 72, and Hist. de la Bretagne, (2 vol. fol. an. 1707) and the most accurate Dom Morice, Memoires sur l'Histoire de Bretagne, 3 vol. fol. in 1745, and Hist. de la Bretagne, 2 vol. fol. an. 1750.
SOURCE: Ewtn

Saturday, January 28, 2017

#BreakingNews Hundreds of Thousands at MARCH FOR LIFE in Washington DC - USA - over 58 Millions Abortions since 1973

THOUSANDS attended the MARCH FOR LIFE in Washington, DC on January 27, 2017. The great crowds marked the 44th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade the decision in 1973 that permitted abortion. Even POPE FRANCIS sent a letter in support. His tweet from 2014 was in English and Spanish, “I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable”. Last year he tweeted "Every Life is a Gift". 
Over 58,000,000 Abortions have occurred in America Since Roe vs. Wade in 1973.  The United States remembers 43 years of legalized abortion in all fifty states at any time for any reason throughout pregnancy on January 22nd, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.  This massive crowd gathered to honor life from conception to natural death despite a massive snow storm predicted. It is hoped that the legislation will soon be changed to end abortion in the US. (IMAGE SOURCE : GOOGLE)
 There was an overnight prayer vigil in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception with thousands in attendance. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, and seminarians were present at the Mass in the Basilica. This annual March has become a large event spanning many days and involving talks, demonstrations, prayer, videos and other activities. Many politicians, clergy, religious, youth and leaders partake every year. This year Vice-President Mike Pence gave a speech, Martin Luther King's niece Dr. Alveda King also attended and is part of a large movement in support of life. Last year over 800,000 attended. This year noted a particularly strong youth presence.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday January 28, 2017


Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 322


Reading 1HEB 11:1-2, 8-19

Brothers and sisters:
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for
and evidence of things not seen.
Because of it the ancients were well attested.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place
that he was to receive as an inheritance;
he went out, not knowing where he was to go.
By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country,
dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise;
for he was looking forward to the city with foundations,
whose architect and maker is God.
By faith he received power to generate,
even though he was past the normal age
Band Sarah herself was sterileB
for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy.
So it was that there came forth from one man,
himself as good as dead,
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky
and as countless as the sands on the seashore.

All these died in faith.
They did not receive what had been promised
but saw it and greeted it from afar
and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth,
for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland.
If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come,
they would have had opportunity to return.
But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one.
Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for he has prepared a city for them.

By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac,
and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son,
of whom it was said,
Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.
He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead,
and he received Isaac back as a symbol. 

Responsorial PsalmLUKE 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75

R. (see 68) Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
R. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old.
that he would save us from our sins
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
R. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the bonds of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
R. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

AlleluiaJN 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 4:35-41

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
"Let us cross to the other side."
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him,
"Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"
He woke up,
rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!"
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?"
They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
"Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"

Top 10 #Quotes of St. Thomas Aquinas to SHARE - these might help your Life!


Top 10 Quotations of Saint Thomas Aquinas
1. “Charity is the form, mover, mother and root of all the virtues.”
2. “If you seek the example of love: “Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends.” Such a man was Christ on the cross.
3. “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”
4.“The things that we love tell us what we are.”
5. “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”
6. “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
7. “Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.”
8. “To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them.”
9. "The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life."
10. "To love God is something greater than to know Him."

Novena to St. Thomas Aquinas - Patron of Students - Miracle Prayers to SHARE


Novena prayer 

St. Thomas Aquinas,
patron of students and Catholic schools,
I thank God for the gifts
of light and knowledge he bestowed on you,
which you used to build up the Church in love.
I thank God, too,
for the wealth and richness of theological teaching
you left in your writings.
Not only were you a great teacher,
you lived a life of virtue
and you made holiness the desire of your heart.
If I cannot imitate you
in the brilliance of your academic pursuits,
I can follow you in the humility and charity which marked your life.
As St. Paul said,
charity is the greatest gift,
and it is open to all.
Pray for me that I might grow in holiness and charity.
Pray also for Catholic schools,
and for all students.
In particular, please obtain the favor I ask during this novena.

[Make you request here...]

Amen.

First Day

St. Thomas, called by God
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Mt 10:37).

St. Thomas, as a young man
you became convinced that God was calling you to religious life.
Although your family was opposed to it,
you were determined to follow God's call.
Even when your brothers kidnapped you
and forced you to remain a prisoner in your own house,
you did not give up but waited patiently for God's hour.
St. Thomas, pray for all young people
who are considering their vocation in life.
Help them to be open to the call of God.
Inspire them to make choices
motivated by love for God
and an unselfish love for other people.
Whatever their state in life,
help them to see their chosen path
as a call to service.
May all married couples, single persons,
priests and religious build up the Church
through lives of unselfish devotion and love.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Second Day

St. Thomas, lover of purity

"For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness" (1 Thes 4:7).

St. Thomas, you had a great esteem for the virtue of purity.
When your family tried to deter you
from entering the Dominicans by sending a woman to lead you into sin,
you resisted the temptation
and determined to consecrate your chastity to God forever.

Today we are immersed in a culture
that degrades the gift of human sexuality.
Human persons are viewed as objects of pleasure
and their human dignity is devalued.
As a consequence, society tolerates abortion,
disregarding human life at the very outset.
Children suffer abuse
and families are damaged by infidelity.

Pray that our society may once again
value the virtue of chastity.
Pray that those in the media will work
to promote a Christian view of marriage and family life.
May the plague of pornography in all its forms be eliminated.
May Christian moral standards act as a leaven in society
and bring about a greater respect for human life.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Third Day

St. Thomas, example of humility

"All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted" (Mt 23:12).

St. Thomas, when you were a young student
some of your classmen called you the "dumb ox."
Although you were more intelligent than all of them,
you bore their insults patiently without retaliating.
You were endowed with a keen mind
but recognized that God is the source of all gifts.
You humbly acknowledged your dependence on God,
and begged him to enlighten you
so that you would act only for his glory.

St. Thomas, pray for me
that I too learn to act out of humility
and never from the empty desire
for esteem in the sight of others.
Help me to seek only God's glory
and to act with a right intention.
May I seek to humble myself now,
so that in heaven
I will shine like the stars for all eternity.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Fourth Day

St. Thomas, devoted to truth

"But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ" (Eph 4:15).

St. Thomas, you devoted your life
to seeking the truth and explaining it to others.
You dedicated your mind to God,
and used it to probe the Word of God more deeply.
Your gifts as a theologian and philosopher
make you stand out as one of the greatest doctors of the Church.
In your discussions,
you made truth your primary aim,
while treating respectfully anyone who differed with you.

Obtain for me too a great love of truth.
Help me to ponder God's word
so as to draw from it the light I need
to nourish myself spiritually.
Keep me firmly rooted in the truth,
and never let me be swayed by false teachings.
I pray also for those who are lost in darkness;
please bring them into the light of truth.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Fifth Day

St. Thomas, afire with love for the Blessed Sacrament

"So Jesus said to them, 'Very truly, I tell you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you have no life in you"' (Jn 6:53).

St. Thomas, you had a great love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist
and spent many hours in adoration be fore the Blessed Sacrament.
You once said that you learned more from prayer
before the tabernacle than from many hours of study.
The Church owes you a debt of gratitude
for the beautiful Eucharistic hymns you wrote
at the request of Pope Urban IV,
for the newly-established feast of Corpus Christi.

Pray that I too might be inflamed
with an ardent love for the Holy Eucharist.
Help me to always esteem and reverence this wonderful sacrament.
Pray for me that I might always participate devoutly in Mass,
receive Holy Communion with great fervor,
and often visit Jesus in the tabernacle.
Through contact with the Eucharistic Lord,
may my heart overflow with love for God and for my neighbor.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Sixth Day

St. Thomas, filled with charity

"Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth" (1 Cor 1 3 :4-6).

St. Thomas, you were noted during your life
for the charity you showed to others.
During debates at the university,
you did not ridicule those who argued with you
but treated them with respect and love.
You showed consideration for the needs of other people.
Help me also to be more deeply rooted
in love of God and neighbor,
keeping in mind Jesus' words,
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another" (Jn 13:35).
Help me to practice this same charity
in a concrete way that does not stop at words,
but is shown with sacrifice.
May it begin first of all in my family,
and then radiate to everyone I meet.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Seventh Day

St. Thomas, defender of the Church

"...the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15).

St. Thomas, from your youth you learned to love the Church,
your spiritual home.
In your teaching, you sought to explain
and defend the doctrine of the Church,
making it known through your writings.
You understood that true wisdom
means to let oneself be instructed by the Church,
for Jesus guaranteed that the Holy Spirit
would always be with the Church,
to lead it into all truth.
At the end of your life you said,
"I have taught and written much...
according to my faith in Christ
and in the holy Roman Church,
to whose judgment I submit all my teaching."
Intercede for the Church today,
that it might grow stronger
and more spiritually fruitful in the world.
Raise up holy priests,
religious and laity,
that they may all be the salt of the earth
and the light of the world.
Bless the pope in his efforts to guide the Church,
witnessing to the power of the Gospel
to renew the face of the earth.
May all theologians work to explore the richness of Catholic teaching
so as to show forth its truth and benefit the faithful.
Pray for missionaries as they work to spread the Gospel.
May the whole Church be renewed by the power of the Spirit
to more effectively witness to Christ in the world today.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Eighth Day

St. Thomas, teacher of prayer

"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving" (Col 4:2).

St. Thomas, you knew that prayer is the source of wisdom
and you spent long hours in conversation with God.
Prayer became your very life.
Whenever you pondered over a problem in theology,
you turned to prayer to seek God's enlightenment.
Now in heaven you see God face to face.
Pray for me, too,
that I might become a person of profound prayer.
Obtain for me the grace
that I might always pray with humility,
confidence and perseverance.
Help me to grow more and more in the spirit of prayer,
so that my whole life may become a prayer.
May I always seek the face of the living God.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Ninth Day

St. Thomas, patron of students

"For in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind" (1 Cor 1:5).

St. Thomas, God called you
to spend most of your life in academic pursuits,
first as a student, and then as a professor of theology.
In your work as a teacher,
you desired to help your students apply
what they learned to their lives,
in order to grow in holiness.
You realized that knowledge is meant
to draw people closer to God.
In your teaching you sought to communicate the truth,
desiring to help your students become better Christians.

Pray for all students.
Pray for those who may have difficulty in their studies,
as well as for those who can study with ease.
Pray that they may all be open to the truth,
and always seek to better under stand it.
May they grow in knowledge
so as to know God better
and to be able to serve
their brothers and sisters as the Lord desires.
St. Thomas, pray especially for theologians,
that in their studies and research
they may come to a deeper knowledge of revealed doctrine
in keeping with the mind of the Church.
May their lives reflect the holiness of the Word of God
which they seek to more fully under stand.

[Recite the novena prayer.]
Shared from Catholic Doors Ministry 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Saint January 28 : St. Thomas Aquinas : Patron of Catholic #Universities, #Colleges, and schools


Feast Day:
January 28
Born:
1225, Roccasecca, in Lazio, Italy
Died:
7 March 1274, Fossanuova Abbey, Italy
Canonized:
July 18, 1323, Avignon, France
Major Shrine:
Church of the Jacobins, Toulouse, France
Patron of:
Catholic universities, colleges, and schools
Today, January 28, we celebrate the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Doctor of the Church, patron saint of universities and students, and the greatest teacher of the medieval Catholic Church. Alternately referred to as the Angelic Doctor and the Universal Doctor, the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas greatly influenced not only Church doctrine, but schools of theological and philosophical thought. Candidates for the priesthood are instructed to model themselves after this holy man, and Pope Benedict XV declared that his teachings were the teachings of the Church, herself. By universal consent, this holy man is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and divine revelation.
Thomas was born in Aquino, Italy (the name “Aquinas” is not his surname, but translates as “of Aquino”), the son of the Count of Aquino. At the ago of five years old, his father placed him in the care of the monks at the Benedictine Monastery at Monte Casino. He was immediately observed to excel at the scholastic life, and his teachers were astounded not only by his eagerness to learn and aptitude for difficult concepts, but also by the virtuous manner in which he lived his life. As he grew older, he was sent to Naples to continue his studies, where he first encountered the philosophy of Aristotle.
His father, who had hoped he would enter the Benedictine Order upon reaching the age of consent was dismayed to learn that Thomas had other plans. Renouncing all his worldly ties and possessions, Thomas entered the Dominican Order in Naples. His family, for their part, did all in their power to convince him otherwise, first kidnapping him, and later sending him all manners of temptation (including “impure women”) to lead him astray. However, Thomas remained constant in his pursuits of the Lord, and maintained perfect chastity throughout his life (which is why he is referred to as the “Angelic Doctor.”)
Upon ordination, Thomas left Naples and traveled to Paris and Cologne, Germany, where he studied under the tutelage of Albert the Great. Here he was nicknamed the "dumb ox" because of his silent ways and huge size, but his brilliance as a student was evident in his writings. While he pursued his philosophical and theological writings, Thomas held two tenures as professor at the University of Paris. During that time, he resided at the court of Pope Urban IV, under whose direction he combated all forms of heresy and adversaries of the Church. Thomas similarly directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, traveling between them as frequently as needed. He received his doctorate at the age of 31.
While a gifted preacher, the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas (which fill twenty volumes) are considered his greatest contribution to the Catholic Church. His writings reconcile the unity of faith and reason, of those things revealed by God, and those things discovered through natural human knowledge. The breadth and depth of his theory encompass the entirety of the natural order, as a cherished and divine gift granted to us by God. Pope John Paul II affirmed the importance of this tradition, saying: "The whole living tradition of the Church teaches us this: faith seeks understanding, and understanding seeks faith. Both the need to understand and the need to believe are deeply rooted in man's heart. It is for this reason that the Church herself was the point of departure for the creation of universities.” Similarly, Pope Benedict XVI asserted, “With his charism as a philosopher and theologian, he [Thomas] offered an effective model of harmony between reason and faith, dimensions of the human spirit that are completely fulfilled in the encounter and dialogue with one another. Both the light of reason and the light of faith come from God, he [Thomas] argued; hence there can be no contradiction between them.” Prior to his death, Saint Thomas Aquinas undertook to deal with the entirety of Catholic theology. His most acclaimed work, the Summa Theologiae, although incomplete summarizes the theological underpinnings of our faith in a scientific and rational manner. Saint Thomas ceased writing this work following a supernatural encounter with the Lord while celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. During Mass, he is said to have heard the voice of Jesus asking him what he most desired. Thomas is said to have replied, “Only you, Lord,” following which he experienced something which he never revealed. Following that experience, he stopped writing, explaining, “I cannot go on… All I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” Saint Thomas fell ill (likely from overwork) at the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova, and died peacefully while providing commentary on the Song of Songs. His remains were placed in the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse in 1369.
Prayer for Guidance
O creator past all telling, you have appointed from the treasures of your wisdom the hierarchies of angels, disposing them in wondrous order above the bright heavens, and have so beautifully set out all parts of the universe. You we call the true fount of wisdomand the noble origin of all things. Be pleased to shed on the darkness of mind in which I was born, The twofold beam of your light and warmth to dispel my ignorance and sin. You make eloquent the tongues of children. Then instruct my speech and touch my lips with graciousness. Make me keen to understand, quick to learn, able to remember; make me delicate to interpret and ready to speak. Guide my going in and going forward, lead home my going forth. You are true God and true man, and live for ever and ever. Amen. Text shared from 365 Rosaries Blog
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