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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Catholic News World : Wednesday May 24, 2017 - SHARE

2017

#BreakingNews Pope Francis and US President Donald Trump meet at Vatican and discuss Peace and Religious Freedom + Video

#PopeFrancis "God will never stop loving us. God will always walk with us, always, also in the most painful moments..." FULL TEXT + Video










The Holy Father’s Catechesis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Today I would like to reflect on the experience of the two disciples of Emmaus, of which Luke’s Gospel speaks (Cf. 24:13-35). Let us imagine the scene: two men are walking disappointed, sad, convinced of leaving behind them the bitterness of an event that ended badly. Before that Passover they were full of enthusiasm: convinced that those days would have been decisive for their expectations and for the hope of all the people. Jesus, to whom they had entrusted their life, seemed to have arrived finally to the decisive battle: now He would have manifested His power, after a long period of preparation and hiddenness. This is what they were expecting, and it was not so.
The two pilgrims nourished only a human hope, which was now shattered. That cross, raised on Calvary, was the most eloquent sign of a defeat, which they had not foreseen. If that Jesus was truly according to God’s heart, they had to conclude that God was helpless, defenseless in the hands of the violent, incapable of opposing resistance to evil.
So, that Sunday morning, these two fled from Jerusalem. In their eyes they still had the events of the Passion, Jesus’ death; and in their mind the painful vexation of those events, during the obligatory rest of the Sabbath. That Passover feast, which should intone the song of liberation, was transformed, instead, into the most painful day of their life. They left Jerusalem to go elsewhere, to a tranquil village. They had all the aspect of persons intent on removing a searing memory. So they are on the road, and walk, sad.
This scene – the road – was already important in the Gospel accounts; now it would become even more so, at the moment in which the history of the Church begins to be told.
Jesus’ encounter with those two disciples seems to be altogether fortuitous: it is like the many crossroads that happen in life. The two disciples are walking deep in thought and someone unknown comes beside them. It is Jesus, but their eyes are unable to recognize Him. And then Jesus begins His “therapy of hope.” What happens on this road is a therapy of hope. Who does it? Jesus.
First of all, He asks and listens: our God is not an invading God. Although He already knows the reason of the disappointment of those two, He gives them the time to be able to fathom the depth of the bitterness that has befallen them. A confession issues from it that is a refrain of human existence: “We had hoped but . . .  We had hoped but . . .“ (v. 21). How much sadness, how many defeats, how many failures there are in the life of every person! At bottom we are all somewhat like those two disciples. How many times in life we have hoped, how many times we have felt one step away from happiness, and then we have found ourselves disappointed on earth. But Jesus walks with all disheartened persons who walk with their head lowered. And, walking with them in a discreet way, He succeeds in giving them hope again.
Jesus speaks to them first of all through the Scriptures. Whoever takes God’s Book in hand will not come across stories of easy heroism, lightning campaigns of conquest. True hope is never at a low price: it always passes through defeats. The hope of someone who does not suffer, perhaps is not even such. God does not like to be loved as one would love a leader, who drags his people to victory annihilating his adversaries in blood. Our God is a faint light that burns on a cold and windy day, and although His presence in this world seems fragile, He has chosen the place that we all disdain.
Then Jesus repeats for the two disciples the cardinal gesture of every Eucharist: He took the bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it. Is not the whole story of Jesus in this series of gestures? And is there not, in every Eucharist, also the sign of what the Church should be? Jesus takes us, blesses us, “breaks” our life – because there is no love without sacrifice – and offers it to others, to all.
Jesus’ encounter with the two disciples of Emmaus is fleeting, but in it is the whole destiny of the Church. It tells us that the Christian community is not shut-in in a fortified citadel, but walks in her most vital environment, namely the road. And there she encounters persons, with their hopes and their disappointments, sometimes heavy. The Church listens to everyone’s story, as they emerge from the chest of the personal conscience, to then offer the Word of life, the witness of the love of God, faithful love to the end. And then persons’ heart burns again with hope.
All of us have had difficult, dark moments in our life; moments in which we walked sad, deep in thought, without horizons, with only a wall before us. And Jesus is always beside us to give us hope, to warm our heart and say: “Go on, I am with you. Go on.” The secret of the road that leads to Emmaus is all here: even through contrary appearances, we continue to be loved, and God will never stop loving us. God will always walk with us, always, also in the most painful moments, also in the most awful moments, also in moments of defeat: the Lord is there. And this is our hope. We go on with this hope! Because He is beside us and walks with us, always!
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
In Italian
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I greet the faithful from the earthquake areas of Valnerina; those of Massa di Somma, on the occasion of the anniversary of the foundation of the Saint Mary Assunta Parish and the Mayors of the Pinerolese. I greet the parish groups and the Associations, in particular that of the Lyrical Singers, as well as the artists of the Cirque du Soleil. On the eve of the Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension, may this visit to the Eternal City reawaken the faith and arouse new commitment in charity and solidarity.
A special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today we celebrate the Memoria of Mary Help of Christians. Dear young people, learn to love at the school of the Mother of Jesus; dear sick, in suffering ask for the celestial intercession of the Holy Virgin with the prayer of the Rosary; and you, dear newlyweds, as Our Lady, always be able to listen to the Will of God for your family.
[Original text: Italian]  [SHARED from ZENIT Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

#BreakingNews Pope Francis and US President Donald Trump meet at Vatican and discuss Peace and Religious Freedom + Video

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump met in the Vatican on Wednesday, discussing issues of peace, interfaith dialogue and religious freedom, as well as the role of the American Church in education, healthcare and support for immigrants.



The American leader spent half an hour in conversation with the Pope behind closed doors in the Apostolic Palace, before meeting with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States or foreign minister.
Press office statement
A statement from the Vatican press office said during the course of the cordial encounter, the two men discussed the good bilateral relations that exist between the U.S. and the Holy See. They also spoke of their “common commitment in favour of life, religious liberty and freedom of conscience”.
The statement expressed the hope for a “serene cooperation between the State and the Catholic Church in the United States, which is committed to serving the population in the fields of health care, education and assistance to immigrants.
Dialogue and negotiations
It said the Pope and the President also exchanged views on international affairs and on the promotion of peace through political negotiations and interfaith dialogue, mentioning especially the situation in the Middle East and the protection of Christian communities.
Trump, who was accompanied by his wife Melania, as well as his daughter and son-in-law, is on the third leg of a nine day presidential tour that has already taken him to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine.
Sistine chapel visit
After the papal audience, Trump was taken on a tour of St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, before meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
Melania Trump, meanwhile, visited Rome’s 'Bambin Gesù' Children’s Hospital, while the president's daughter, Ivanka, was scheduled to meet with victims of trafficking together with members of Rome's Sant’Egidio lay Catholic community
.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday May 24, 2017 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 293


Reading 1ACTS 17:15, 22—18:1

After Paul's escorts had taken him to Athens,
they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy
to join him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
"You Athenians, I see that in every respect
you are very religious.
For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines,
I even discovered an altar inscribed, 'To an Unknown God.'
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and all that is in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.
Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.
He made from one the whole human race
to dwell on the entire surface of the earth,
and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions,
so that people might seek God,
even perhaps grope for him and find him,
though indeed he is not far from any one of us.
For 'In him we live and move and have our being,'
as even some of your poets have said,
'For we too are his offspring.'
Since therefore we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image
fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.
God has overlooked the times of ignorance,
but now he demands that all people everywhere repent
because he has established a day on which he will 'judge the world
with justice' through a man he has appointed,
and he has provided confirmation for all
by raising him from the dead."

When they heard about resurrection of the dead,
some began to scoff, but others said,
"We should like to hear you on this some other time."
And so Paul left them.
But some did join him, and became believers.
Among them were Dionysius,
a member of the Court of the Areopagus,
a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

After this he left Athens and went to Corinth. 

Responsorial PsalmPS 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Alleluia.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 14:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you."

#Novena to Our Lady Help of Christians of St. John Bosco - SHARE #Miracle Prayer


Everyday of the Novena: 
Our Father...
Hail Mary, full of grace…
Glory Be...
V. Pray for us, O Immaculate, Help of Christians
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray
Heavenly Father, place deep in our hearts the love of Mary, our help and the help of all Christians. May we
fight vigorously for the faith here on earth, and may
we one day praise your victories in heaven. Grant this
in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
Amen.
First Day
O Mary, you readily agreed to the Angel’s request when you were asked to be the mother of God’s Son, and throughout your life your one desire was to do the will of your Father in heaven. Help me always to be obedient and humble. May I, like you, always have the generosity to follow Jesus, wherever he calls.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)

Second Day
O Mary, by your visit to your cousin, Saint Elizabeth, you joyfully spread the good news of the coming of Jesus into the world. May many young people generously follow your example, and give their lives totally to the service of your Son as priests, brothers and sisters.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Third Day
O Mary, ever since the wedding feast of Cana you have always been the powerful help of all those who have asked your aid and protection. By your prayers, keep me free from all dangers and help me always to rise above my faults and failings.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Fourth Day
O Mary, by your presence at the foot of the cross, you comforted and strengthened your son as he offered his life to the Father. Be with me at the hour of my death, and lead me quickly to the joys of your Son’s kingdom in heaven.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Fifth Day
O Mary, by your presence in the upper room you strengthened and encouraged the apostles and disciples as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. May I always be open to the gifts of the Spirit, and may my faith always be deep and living.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Sixth Day
O Mary, throughout her long history you have always defended your Son’s Church from the attacks of her enemies. Be with her again in our days. Help each one of us to be her loyal subjects and to work without ceasing for that unity of peace and love for which your Son so fervently prayed.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Seventh Day
O Mary, you have always been the special guide and protector of Saint Peter’s successor, the Bishop of Rome. Keep our present Holy Father in your loving care. Defend him from all harm and give him all those gifts he needs to be the faithful shepherd of your Son’s flock.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Eight Day
O Mary, the wonderful way you helped Saint John Bosco’s work to grow and spread shows that you have a great love for the young. As you watched over the child Jesus at Nazareth, so now watch over all young people, especially those most in need, and help them to grow daily in love of your Son.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Ninth Day
O Mary, you so often showed great courage during your life here on earth. Help all those who are suffering pain and persecution as they try to worship your Son. Obtain for me a deep love of Jesus, so that my life may always be pure, my service of others generous and loving, and my death a truly happy one.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Source: Salesians of St. Don Bosco
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Saint May 24 : St. Vincent of Lerins : Monk and Writer : #France


 



Feast Day:May 24
Born:445, Lérins, France

St. Vincent was of Gaulish extraction, had a polite education, was afterwards for some time an officer in the army, and lived with dignity in the world. He informs us in his Prologue, that having been some time tossed about in the storms of a bustling military life, he began seriously to consider the dangers with which he was surrounded, and the vanity and folly of his pursuits. He desired to take shelter in the harbor of religion, which he calls the safest refuge from the world. His view in this resolution was, that he might strenuously labor to divest his soul of its ruffling passions, of pride and vanity, and to offer to God the acceptable sacrifice of a humble and Christian spirit, and that being further removed from worldly temptations, he might endeavor more easily to avoid not only the wrecks of the present life, but also the burnings of that which is to come. In these dispositions he retired from the crowds of cities, and made for the desired haven with all the sail he could. The  place he chose for his retirement was in a small remote island, sheltered from the noise of the world. This Gennadius assures us to have been the famous monastery of Lerins, situated in the lesser of the two agreeable green islands which formerly bore the name of Lerins, not far from the coast of Lower Provence towards Antibes. In this place he shut himself up, that he might attend solely to what God commands us, and study to know him. Vincent reflected that time is always snatching something from us: its fleeting moments pass as quick as they come, never, never more to return, as water which is gone from its source runs to it no more. Our course is almost run out; the past time appears as a shadow; so will that which is now to come when it shall be once over, and no tears, no entreaties, no endeavors, can recall the least moment we have already let slip unimproved. In these reflections the fervent servant of God assures us that he earnestly strove to redeem time,and to be always turning it to the best account, that this invaluable grace might not rise up at the last day in judgment against him. He considered that true faith is necessary to salvation no less than morality, and that the former is the foundation of Christian virtue; and he grieved to see the church at that time pestered with numberless heresies, which sucked their poison from their very antidote, the Holy Scriptures, and which, by various wiles, spread on,, every side their dangerous snares. To guard the faithful against the false and perplexing glosses of modern subtle refiners, and to open the eyes of those who had been already seduced by them, he, with great clearness, eloquence, and force of reasoning, wrote a book, which he entitled, A Commonitory against Heretics, which he composed in 434, three years after the general council of Ephesus had condemned the Nestorians. He had chiefly in view the heretics of his own times, especially the Nestorians and the Apollinarists, but he confuted them by general, clear principles, which overturn all heresies to the end of the world. Together with the ornaments of eloquence and erudition, the inward beauty of his mind, and the brightness of his devotion, sparkle in every page of his book.

Out of humility, he disguises himself under the name of Peregrinus, to express the quality of being a pilgrim or stranger on earth, and one by his monastic state, in a more particular manner, estranged from the world. He styles himself The least of all the servants of God, and less than the least of all the saints, unworthy to bear the holy name of a Christian. He lays down this rule, or fundamental principle, in which he found, by a diligent inquiry, all Catholic pastors and the ancient fathers to agree, that such doctrine is truly Catholic as hath been believed in all places, at all times, and by all the faithful. By this test of universality, antiquity, and consent, he saith, all controverted points in belief must be tried. He showeth, that while Novatian, Photinus, Sabellius, Donatus, Arius, Eunomius, Jovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, and  Nestorius expounded the divine oracles different ways, to avoid the perplexity of errors, we must interpret the Holy Scriptures by the tradition of the Catholic church, as the clew to conduct us in the truth. For this tradition, derived from the apostles, manifesteth the true meaning of the Holy Scriptures, and all novelty in faith is a certain mark of heresy; and, in religion, nothing is more to be dreaded than itching ears after new teachers. He saith: "They who have made bold with one article of faith will proceed on to others; and what will be the consequence of this reforming of religion, but only that these refiners will never have done till they have reformed it quite away." He elegantly expatiates on the divine charge given to the church, to maintain inviolable the sacred depositum of faith. He takes notice that heretics quote the sacred writings at every word, and that in the works of Paulus Samosatenus, Priscillian, Eunomius, Jovinian, and other like pests of Christendom, almost every page is painted and laid on thick with scripture texts, which Tertullian also remarks. But in this, saith, St. Vincent, heretics are like those poisoners or quacks who put off their destructive potions under inscriptions of good drugs, and under the title of infallible cures. They imitate the father of lies, who quoted scripture against the Son of God when he tempted him. The saint adds, that if a doubt arise in interpreting the meaning or the scriptures in any point of faith we must summon in the holy fathers, who nave lived and died in the faith and communion of the Catholic church, and by this test we shall prove the false doctrine to be novel. For that only we must look upon as indubitably certain and unalterable, which all, or the major part of these fathers have delivered, like the harmonious consent of a general council. But if any one among them, be he ever so holy, ever so learned, holds any thing besides, or in opposition to the rest, that is to be placed in the rank of singular and private opinions, and never to be looked upon as the public, general, authoritative doctrine of the church. After a point has been decided in a general council, the definition is irrefragable. These general principles, by which all heresies are easily confounded, St. Vincent explains with equal eloquence and perspicuity." His diction is pure and agreeable, his reasoning close and solid; and no controversial book ever expressed so much, and such deep sense, in so few words. The same rules are laid down by Tertullian in his book of Prescriptions, by St. Irenaeus and other fathers. St. Vincent died in the reigns of Theodosius II. and Valentinian III., consequently before the close of the year 456. His relics are preserved with respect at Lerins, and his name occurs in the Roman Martyrology.

St. Vincent observes that souls which have lost the anchorage of the Catholic faith, "are tossed and shattered with inward storms of clashing thoughts, that by this restless posture of mind they may be made sensible of their danger; and taking down the sails of pride and vanity which they have unhappily spread before every gust of heresy, they may make all the sail they can into the safe and peaceful harbor of their holy mother the Catholic church; and being sick from a surfeit of errors, may there discharge those foul and bitter waters to make room for the pure waters of life. There they may unlearn well what they have learned ill; may get a right notion of all those doctrines of the church they are capable of understanding, and believe those that surpass all understanding."
Lives of the Saints by Butler 

#PopeFrancis “Let us ask the Lord for the grace for renewed vigor in faith and conversion.." #Homily


(Vatican Radio) On the second anniversary of the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was killed in 1980 by military squadrons linked to the Regime in San Salvador as he defended the poor, Pope Francis recalled Romero’s religious fervor and passion for justice while warning the faithful against a ‘lukewarm’ Church. 
The Pope was speaking during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.
Pope Francis exhorted believers to leave comfort to the side and embrace an energetic lifestyle proclaiming Jesus with joy. 
He reflected on the liturgical reading of the day which tells the story of Paul and Silas in Philippi where they were followed by a slave girl with an oracular spirit who was shouting “These people are slaves of the Most High God”. This seemed like praise, the Pope said, but Paul became annoyed and cast out the spirit.  Paul understood, the Pope explained, that that was not the path to conversion of that city; it was not the Church of Christ. Everyone there accepted the doctrine, there were no conversions.
Similar situations, the Pope continued, have been repeated in the history of salvation: when the people of God are quiet, they do not take risks, but are servants of ‘worldliness’.
Then the Lord, he said, sent the prophets who – like Paul - were persecuted "because they made people uncomfortable." 
“In the Church when someone cries out against the many ways of worldliness, they are given ‘the crooked eye’ as if something were wrong with them, and then they are distanced” he said.
Francis spoke of personal memories from his own homeland recalling many men and women, whom he said, were not supporters of an ideology but  “were good consecrated people” who spoke out saying “No, the Church of Jesus is like this....: they were branded as communists and persecuted” he said.
“Think of the Blessed Romero.What happened to him for having told the truth? And so many others in the history of the Church, even here in Europe. Why? Because the evil spirit prefers a tranquil, risk-free Church, a business-like Church, a comfortable and lukewarm Church” he said.
In chapter 16 of the Acts it is also said that the slaves of the slave were angry: they had lost their hope of earning money because the slave could no longer divine. 
"The evil one, the Pope warned, always starts from the pocket. When the Church is lukewarm, quiet, organized, when there are no problems, look to where business is to be made" he said.
Pope Francis also focused his homily, on joy. In fact, he told of how Paul and Silas were dragged by the slaves to the magistrates who ordered them to be beaten and then thrown into jail. The jailer threw them into the innermost part of the jail where the two men broke into song. Towards midnight a tremendous earthquake flung all the gates of the prison open.  The jailer was about to take his life because he would have been killed if the prisoners had escaped but Paul urged him not to do so because, he said, “we are all here”. Then the jailer asked for explanations and converted. He washed their sores, was baptized, and “was filled with joy”. 
This, the Pope said, is the path of our daily conversion: “to move from a worldly, tranquil, safe, Catholic” lukewarm yes, to the true proclamation of Jesus Christ; to the joy of ' Christ's announcement. We must move, he said, from a religion that looks too much to earnings, to faith and to the proclamation that ‘Jesus is the Lord'.
This, Francis continued, is the miracle performed by the Holy Spirit, and he invited the faithful to read Chapter 16 of the Acts in order to see how the Lord “together with his martyrs” makes the Church move forward.
The Pope concluded his homily saying that a Church without martyrs breeds distrust; a Church that doesn’t take risks breeds distrust; a Church that is afraid of proclaiming Jesus Christ and of chasing out demons, idols and the lord of money is not Christ’s Church.
“Let us ask the Lord for the grace for renewed vigor in faith and conversion from a lukewarm way of life so we are able to make the joyful proclamation that Jesus is the Lord” he said.  
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