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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 02-23-11, Memorial, St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr
USCCB.org/New American Bible ^ | 02-23-11 | New American Bible

Posted on 02/22/2011 11:22:45 PM PST by Salvation

February 23, 2011


Memorial of Saint Polycarp, bishop and martyr

 

Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Gospel


Reading 1

Sir 4:11-19

Wisdom breathes life into her children
and admonishes those who seek her.
He who loves her loves life;
those who seek her will be embraced by the Lord.
He who holds her fast inherits glory;
wherever he dwells, the LORD bestows blessings.
Those who serve her serve the Holy One;
those who love her the LORD loves.
He who obeys her judges nations;
he who hearkens to her dwells in her inmost chambers.
If one trusts her, he will possess her;
his descendants too will inherit her.
She walks with him as a stranger
and at first she puts him to the test;
Fear and dread she brings upon him
and tries him with her discipline
until she try him by her laws and trust his soul.
Then she comes back to bring him happiness
and reveal her secrets to them
and she will heap upon him
treasures of knowledge and an understanding of justice.
But if he fails her, she will abandon him
and deliver him into the hands of despoilers.

R. (165a) O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Those who love your law have great peace,
and for them there is no stumbling block.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
I keep your precepts and your decrees,
for all my ways are before you.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
My lips pour forth your praise,
because you teach me your statutes.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
May my tongue sing of your promise,
for all your commands are just.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
I long for your salvation, O LORD,
and your law is my delight.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Let my soul live to praise you,
and may your ordinances help me.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.

 
Gospel

John said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer; saints
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 02/22/2011 11:22:54 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 02/22/2011 11:25:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: St. Polycarp
Feast Day: February 23
Born:

69

Died: 155 at Smyrna
Patron of: against dysentery, against earache



3 posted on 02/22/2011 11:28:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Polycarp

Feast Day: February 23
Born: (around)69 : : Died: 155


St. Polycarp became a Christian when the followers of Jesus were still few. In fact, Polycarp was a disciple of one of the first apostles, St. John. He was also a friend of St. Ignatius of Antioch.

All that Polycarp learned from St. John he taught to others and he was a well respected Christian leader. He was a new kind of Christian for his time. He was not a Jew and did not know the Old Testament Scriptures; instead he knew well the customs and beliefs of the Apostles.

Polycarp became a priest and then bishop of Smyrna in present-day Turkey. He was Smyrna's bishop for many years and the Christians loved their holy and brave shepherd. The Churches in Asia Minor chose St. Polycarp to go on their behalf and discuss with Pope Anicetus an important matter - the date of the Easter celebration in Rome.

During that time Christians faced torture and death under Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Polycarp was shown to his enemies by a traitor. When his captors came to arrest him, he invited them first to share a meal with him.

Then he asked them to let him pray a while. The judge tried to force Bishop Polycarp to curse Jesus and save himself from death. "For eighty-six years I have served Jesus Christ," answered the saint, "and he has never done me any wrong. How can I curse my King who died for me?"

The soldiers tied St. Polycarp's hands behind his back and placed him on a burning pile but the fire did not harm him. One of the soldiers then stabbed a dagger into his heart and killed him. And so, in the year 155, Polycarp died a martyr.

He went to be forever with his Divine Master Jesus Christ whom he had served so bravely.

4 posted on 02/22/2011 11:31:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Two Fathers [Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna]
ST POLYCARP, BISHOP OF SMYRNA, MARTYR—7?-166
St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr[Disciple of St John,the Evangelist]

5 posted on 02/22/2011 11:33:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
6 posted on 02/22/2011 11:56:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
7 posted on 02/22/2011 11:57:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus. High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

8 posted on 02/22/2011 11:59:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


9 posted on 02/23/2011 12:01:14 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

10 posted on 02/23/2011 12:01:41 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Bachmann: Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


11 posted on 02/23/2011 12:02:08 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Holy Family Icon by Nicholas Markell

February Devotion: The Holy Family

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of February has been primarily asociated with the Holy Family, probably due to the feast of Our Lord's presentation at the temple, celebrated on February 2. At the very outset of Christ's work on earth, God showed the world a family in which, as Pope Leo XIII teaches, "all men might behold a perfect model of domestic life, and of all virtue and holiness." The harmony, unity, and holiness which characterized this holy Family make it the model for all Christian families.

INVOCATION
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph most kind, Bless us now and in death's agony.

FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, ever to follow the example of Thy holy Family, that in the hour of our death Thy glorious Virgin Mother together with blessed Joseph may come to meet us and we may be worthily received by Thee into everlasting dwellings: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Roman Missal

CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY FAMILY
O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou defend us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace, and concord in Christian love: in order that, by conforming ourselves to the divine pattern of Thy family, we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by thy kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

O Saint Joseph, most holy guardian of Jesus and Mary, assist us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal necessities; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, three times.

IN HONOR OF THE HOLY FAMILY
O God, heavenly Father, it was part of Thine eternal decree that Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, should form a holy family with Mary, His blessed mother, and His foster father, Saint Joseph. In Nazareth home life was sanctified, and a perfect example was given to every Christian family. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may fully comprehend and faithfully imitate the virtues of the Holy Family so that we may be united with them one day in their heavenly glory. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

 

Holy Family Chaplet

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, be with me in my last hour.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul
in peace with you.

Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Amen.

Say 3 Our Father's, 3 Hail Mary's, and 3 Glory be's.

PRAYER TO
THE HOLY FAMILY
=====================================================================================

GOD our Heavenly Father, You call all peoples to be united as one family in worshipping You as the one and true God. You willed that Your Son become man, giving Him a virgin mother and a foster father to form the Holy Family of Nazareth.

WE pray: may the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, image and model of every human family unit walk in the spirit of Nazareth and grow in the understanding of its particular mission in society and the Church. May our families be living cells of love, faithfulness and unity, thus reflecting God's covenant with humanity and Christ's redeeming love for His Church.

JESUS, Mary and Joseph protect our families from all evil; keep us, who are away from home, one in love with our dear ones.

The Holy Family


"The Holy Family with the infant St. John the Baptist ( the Doni tondo )" by Michelangelo c.1506, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
 
Parent's Prayer

Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, and Son of Mary, I thank you for the gift of life you have entrusted to my care. Help me be a parent both tender and wise, both loving and forgiving.

Mary, Holy Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our Motherly Queen of Heaven, nourish our family with your heavenly grace. Help us to remain faithful to The Most Holy Trinity, in all our sorrows and joys.

Joseph, Earthly father to our Lord God, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.

Holy Family of Nazareth, help our family to walk in your footsteps. May we be peace-loving and peace-giving.
Amen.
 
 

 

  Feast of the Holy Family: The Christian Family is a Domestic Church
Chesterton on "The Human Family and the Holy Family"
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
ADVICE TO PARENTS by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
The Holy Family
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

Feast of the Holy Family
Feast of the Holy Family (Dom Guéranger OSB)
The Feast of the Holy Family
The Holy Family vs. The Holy Innocents: A Christmas season reflection [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican creche to place Holy Family in Joseph's carpentry workshop
The Redemption and Protection of the Family [Feast of the Holy Family]
Study Backs Tradition of Loreto House - Stones in Altar Match Those in Nazareth, It Says
Unraveling Jesus' mystery years in Egypt
Gaudi’s Church of the Holy Family to be ready for worship in 2008
Imitating the Holy Family; Four Traits that Make It Possible
Lots of Graphics: Post your favorite image of the St. Mary and Child, the Holy Family...



12 posted on 02/23/2011 12:02:47 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pope Benedict XVI's Intentions

General Intention: That the family may be respected by all in its identity and that its irreplaceable contribution to all of society be recognized.

Missionary Intention: That in the mission territories where the struggle against disease is most urgent, Christian communities may witness to the presence of Christ to those who suffer.


13 posted on 02/23/2011 12:03:18 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

No Navarre tonight — bummers.


14 posted on 02/23/2011 12:07:44 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings


First reading Ecclesiasticus 4:12-22 ©
Wisdom brings up her own sons,
  and cares for those who seek her.
Whoever loves her loves life,
  those who wait on her early will be filled with happiness.
Whoever holds her close will inherit honour,
  and wherever he walks the Lord will bless him.
Those who serve her minister to the Holy One,
  and the Lord loves those who love her.
Whoever obeys her judges aright,
  and whoever pays attention to her dwells secure.
If he trusts himself to her he will inherit her,
  and his descendants will remain in possession of her;
for though she takes him at first through winding ways,
  bringing fear and faintness on him,
plaguing him with her discipline until she can trust him,
  and testing him with her ordeals,
in the end she will lead him back to the straight road
  and reveal her secrets to him.
If he wanders away she will abandon him,
  and hand him over to his fate.

Psalm Psalm 118:165,168,171-172,174-175

Gospel Mark 9:38-40 ©
John said to Jesus, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop

15 posted on 02/23/2011 12:08:55 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
St. Polycarp, Bishop, Martyr (Memorial)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Sirach 4:11-19
Psalm 119:165, 168, 171-172, 174-175
Mark 9:38-40

When the communicant is free from venial sin, Jesus acts powerfully within him, unimpeded by any obstacle. He stays long. The soul acquires an astonishing refinement of feeling; it no longer accounts itself anything but is henceforth simply one with Jesus. It says to Him: " Take all, be King of all, and let us love each other always; I am Thine forever."

-- St. Peter Julian Eymard


16 posted on 02/23/2011 12:11:39 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


17 posted on 02/23/2011 12:12:16 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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18 posted on 02/23/2011 12:13:57 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Office of Readings and Invitatory Psalm

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
Thou madest all and dost control,
Lord, with thy touch divine.
Cast out the slumbers of the soul,
The rest that is not thine.
Look down, Eternal Holiness,
And wash the sins away,
Of those, who, rising to confess,
Outstrip the lingering day.
Our hearts and hands by night, O Lord,
We lift them in our need;
As holy Psalmist gives the word,
And holy Paul the deed.
Each sin to thee of years gone by,
Each hidden stain lies bare;
We shrink not from thine awful eye,
But pray that thou wouldst spare.
Grant this, O Father, Only Son
And Spirit, God of grace,
To whom all worship shall be done
In every time and place.

Psalm 88 (89)
The Lord's kindness to the house of David
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.
I will sing for ever of the kindnesses of the Lord:
  to generation upon generation
  my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said
  “My kindness shall be established for ever”;
  your faithfulness will be established in the heavens.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.
  I have sworn to David my servant:
To all eternity I will set your descendants firm;
  I shall build your house to last for all generations.”
The heavens will proclaim your wonders, O Lord,
  the assembly of your holy ones will proclaim your faithfulness.
For who in the sky can be compared to the Lord?
  Who could resemble the Lord among all the sons of God?
God is to be feared in the council of his holy ones,
  great and terrible above all who surround him.
Lord God of hosts, who is like you?
  Yours is the power, and faithfulness surrounds you.
You subdue the pride of the sea:
  when its waves rise high, you calm them.
You have trampled Rahab underfoot, like a wounded man;
  through the strength of your arm you have scattered your enemies.
Yours are the heavens and yours is the earth,
  you set firm the globe and all it contains.
You made the north and the south,
  Tabor and Hermon will rejoice in your name.
Your arm it is that has the power,
  your hand is strong, your right hand held high.
Your throne is founded on justice and right,
  kindness and faithfulness are your attendants.
Happy the nation that knows the cry of praise!
  They will walk in the light of your presence, Lord,
  and rejoice in your name all the day –
for you are the splendour of their strength,
  and by your good will our standard is held high.
For our shields belong to the Lord,
  and our king to the Holy One of Israel.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.

Psalm 88 (89)
The Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.
In a vision you spoke to your holy ones.
  You said, “I have given strength to a warrior,
  I have raised a chosen one from the people.
I have found David my servant,
  I have anointed him with my holy oil.
For my hand will always give him support,
  my right arm will give him strength.
The enemy shall make no headway against him,
  the son of iniquity shall have no power over him.
I will crush his foes in his sight
  and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and kindness shall be with him
  and his strength will be triumphant through my name.
I shall extend his power over the sea,
  and his right hand over the rivers.
He will call upon me: ‘you are my father,
  my God and my safe refuge.’
And I shall make him my first-born,
  supreme over all the kings of the earth.
My kindness to him will continue for ever,
  my covenant with him will remain firm.
For all ages I shall establish his descendants,
  and for all the days of heaven his throne will stand.”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.

Psalm 88 (89)
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever.
“But if his children abandon my law
  and walk no more in the paths of my decrees;
if they profane my judgements
  and do not keep to my commandments,
I will punish their transgressions with a rod,
  I will punish their wickedness with a beating.
Even so, I will not turn my kindness away from him,
  nor will I be untrue to my word.
I will not profane my covenant,
  I will not go against the word I have spoken.
I have sworn in my sanctuary, once and for all:
  I will not lie to David.
His seed shall remain for ever,
  his throne firm as the sun in my sight,
just as the moon stays firm for ever,
  a faithful witness in the sky.”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever.

The words that you utter give light
and understanding to the simple.

Reading Ecclesiastes 5:9-6:8 ©
He who loves money never has money enough,
he who loves wealth never has enough profit;
this, too is vanity.
Where goods abound,
parasites abound;
and what is the good of them to their owner? That he can feast his eyes on them. The labourer’s sleep is sweet, whether he has eaten little or much; but the rich man’s wealth will not let him sleep at all. There is a great injustice that I observe under the sun: riches stored and turning to loss for their owner. One unlucky venture, and those riches are lost; a son is born to him, and he has nothing to leave him. Naked from his mother’s womb he came, as naked as he came he will depart again; nothing to take with him after all his efforts. This is a grievous wrong, that as he came, so must he go; what profit can he show after toiling to earn the wind, as he spends the rest of his days in darkness, grief, worry, sickness and resentment?
  This, then, is my conclusion: the right happiness for man is to eat and drink and be content with all the work he has to do under the sun, during the few days God has given him to live, since this is the lot assigned him. And whenever God gives a man riches and property, with the ability to enjoy them and to find contentment in his work, this is a gift from God. He will not need to brood, at least, over the duration of his life so long as God keeps his heart occupied with joy.
  There is an evil I observe under the sun, that weighs men down: suppose : a man has received from God riches, property, honours – nothing at all left him to wish for. Yet God does not give him the chance to enjoy them, but some stranger enjoys them. There is vanity here, and grievous suffering. Or perhaps a man has had a hundred sons and as many daughters and lived for many years, and then derives no benefit from his estate, not even a tomb to call his own. Why then I say, better the untimely-born than he:
In darkness arriving,
in darkness departing;
even his name is wrapped in darkness.
Never seeing the sun,
never knowing rest;
the one no more than the other. Even if the man had lived a thousand years twice over, without deriving profit from his estate, do not both alike go to the same place?
Man toils but to eat,
yet his belly is never filled.
What advantage has the wise man over the fool? And what about the pauper who keeps up appearances before his fellow men?
Responsory
Keep falsehood and lies far from me, Lord. Give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of bread to eat.
I trust in you, Lord; my life is in your hands. Give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of bread to eat.

Reading From a letter on the martyrdom of Saint Polycarp by the Church of Smyrna
A rich and pleasing sacrifice
When the pyre was ready, Polycarp took off all his clothes and loosened his under-garment. He made an effort also to remove his shoes, though he had been unaccustomed to this, for the faithful always vied with each other in their haste to touch his body. Even before his martyrdom he had received every mark of honour in tribute to his holiness of life.
  There and then he was surrounded by the material for the pyre. When they tried to fasten him also with nails, he said: “Leave me as I am. The one who gives me strength to endure the fire will also give me strength to stay quite still on the pyre, even without the precaution of your nails.” So they did not fix him to the pyre with nails but only fastened him instead. Bound as he was, with hands behind his back, he stood like a mighty ram, chosen out for sacrifice from a great flock, a worthy victim made ready to be offered to God.
  Looking up to heaven, he said: “Lord, almighty God, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have come to the knowledge of yourself, God of angels, of powers, of all creation, of all the race of saints who live in your sight, I bless you for judging me worthy of this day, this hour, so that in the company of the martyrs I may share the cup of Christ, your anointed one, and so rise again to eternal life in soul and body, immortal through the power of the Holy Spirit. May I be received among the martyrs in your presence today as a rich and pleasing sacrifice. God of truth, stranger to falsehood, you have prepared this and revealed it to me and now you have fulfilled your promise.
  “I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal priest of heaven, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through him be glory to you, together with him and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.”
  When he had said “Amen” and finished the prayer, the officials at the pyre lit it. But, when a great flame burst out, those of us privileged to see it witnessed a strange and wonderful thing. Indeed, we have been spared in order to tell the story to others. Like a ship’s sail swelling in the wind, the flame became as it were a dome encircling the martyr’s body. Surrounded by the fire, his body was like bread that is baked, or gold and silver white-hot in a furnace, not like flesh that has been burnt. So sweet a fragrance came to us that it was like that of burning incense or some other costly and sweet-smelling gum.
Responsory
To the angel of the church at Smyrna, write, These are the words of the First and the Last, who was dead and came to life again: I know how hard-pressed you are, and poor – and yet you are rich; only be faithful till death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Do not be afraid of the suffering to come. The devil will throw some of you into prison, to put you to the test; only be faithful till death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Let us pray.
Lord of all creation, you gave Saint Polycarp a place in the company of the martyrs.
  Grant that, through his intercession, we may, like him, drink from that cup which Christ drank, and so rise to eternal life.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

19 posted on 02/23/2011 5:12:34 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Office of Readings and Invitatory Psalm

Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr
Memorial
February 23rd

St. Polycarp was converted to Christianity by St. John the Evangelist. He was later ordained Bishop of Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey). He was about eighty-six when the Roman proconsul urged him to renounce Christ and save his life. St. Polycarp said, "For eighty-six years I have served him and he has never wronged me. How can I reounce the King who has saved me?"

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

Collect:
God of all creation,
You gave Your bishop Polycarp
the privilege of being counted among the saints
who gave their lives in faithful witness to the Gospel.
May his prayers give us the courage
to share with him the cup of suffering
and to rise to eternal glory.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Revelation 2:8-11
And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: 'The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death."

Gospel Reading: John 15:18-21
"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on My account, because they do not know Him who sent Me.


Related links on the New Advent website:

Saint Polycarp

- Epistle to the Philippians
- The Martyrdom of Polycarp


20 posted on 02/23/2011 5:15:53 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Catholic
Almanac:

Wednesday, February 23

Liturgical Color: Red


Today is the Memorial of St. Polycarp, bishop and martyr. As a child Polycarp was brought to the faith by St. John the Evangelist. Some 86 years later he was martyred by Roman officials for refusing to deny his faith.


21 posted on 02/23/2011 5:18:17 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Spiritual Bouquet - Meditations by Pade Pio

Spiritual Bouquet
A different meditation each time you click.

 
Meditations by Padre Pio

Despise your temptations and do not dwell on them. Imagine you have Jesus Christ crucified in your arms and on your breast and, kissing his side, say: "Behold my hope, behold the living source of my happiness. I will hold You close, o my Jesus, and I will not leave You until You have put me in a place of safety".


22 posted on 02/23/2011 5:20:17 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

What a man of faith. Praise Jesus!


23 posted on 02/23/2011 8:29:01 AM PST by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: johngrace
St. Polycarp lived in about 69-155 A.D., and was the Bishop of Smyrna, Izmir in modern Turkey. He was the leading Christian figure in Roman Asia Minor. He is an important link between the tradition of the Church stretch from the apostles to the 2nd century church.

Few details of his life are extant with any reliability beyond his famous martyrdom, which was recounted in the Martyrium Polycarpi. It is believed, however, that he was converted to the faith by St. John the Evangelist about 80 A.D. St. Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyons in 2nd century) tells us that Polycarp sat at the feet of the Apostle St. John. Polycarp also knew others that saw Christ in the flesh. He was appointed to the See of Smyrna by the Apostles themselves about 96 A.D.

He was, as was his friend St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the most important intermediary links between the apostolic and the patristic eras in the Church, especially in Christian Asia Minor. When Ignatius was being taken to Rome to be put to death, he wrote of Polycarp being clothed “with the garment of grace.” A defender of orthodoxy, he opposed such heretical groups as the Marcionites and Valentinians. 

He also authored a surviving epistle to the Philippians, exhorting them to remain strong in the faith. The letter is of great interest to scholars because it demonstrates the existence of New Testament texts, with quotes from Matthew and Luke, the Acts of the Apostles, and the first letters of Peter and John.

Persecution broke out in Smyrna. Polycarp was himself arrested by Roman officials in Smyrna soon after returning from a trip to Rome to discuss the date for Easter with Pope Anicetus. When Polycarp heard that his pursuers were at the door, he said, “The will of God be done; ” and meeting them, he begged to be left alone for a little time, which he spent in prayer for “the Catholic Church throughout the world.” As Polycarp was led into the stadium where he was to be martyred, the uproar was so loud that many did not hear the announcement. A voice from heaven came to Polycarp as he was entering the stadium: “Be strong, Polycarp, and play the man!” No one saw the speaker, but many witnesses heard the voice.

The Roman proconsul attempted to persuade Polycarp to worship Caesar and say “Away with the atheists” referring to the Christians – Polycarp looked up to heaven and groaned “Away with the atheists!” refering to the Roman crowds. 

The proconsul asked him to revile Christ, and Polycarp replied: “I have served Him eight-six years and in no way has He dealt unjustly with me; so how can I blaspheme my King Who saved me?”

Polycarp declared his Christianity and refused any persistence by the proconsul. Many threats were made against him: wild beasts, fire, and any torture possible.

Polycarp’s response to these: “You threaten fire which burns for an hour and is soon quenched; for you are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and eternal punishment reserved for the wicked. But why do you wait? Come, do what you will!” 

As Polycarp spoke, he became filled with courage and joy. His face was covered with grace so much so that none of the threats stirred terror in his heart. The crowds shouted that Polycarp should be burned alive—they gathered wood and fuel from shops and baths.

Polycarp readily took off his garments and loosened his belt. He also made an effort to take off his shoes, although he was not used to doing this because the faithful always hurried to take them off so that they may be the first to touch his skin, since he was greatly adorned because of his Godly way of life. 

As they were about to nail Polycarp, he said: “Let me be as I am; for He who makes it possible for me to endure the fire will also make it possible for me to remain on the pyre unmoved without the security of nails.” Thus, they only bound him, but did not nail him.

Polycarp looked up to heaven and said this last prayer: “Lord God Almighty, Father of Your Beloved and Blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of You, God of angels and powers and every created thing and all the race of the just who dwell before You. I bless You because You have considered me worthy of this day and hour to receive a portion among the number of the martyrs in the Cup of your Christ unto the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body in the incorruption of the Holy Spirit. May I be received among them today as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, just as you have prepared beforehand and revealed beforehand, and fulfilled, O undeceiving and true God. For this reason and for all these things I praise You, I bless You, I glorify You, through the eternal and heavenly high priest, Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, through whom to You with Him and the Holy Spirit be glory now and forever. Amen.”

When he lifted up the Amen and finished the prayer, the fire was lit. When the flame shot up, a miracle was witnessed: The fire took the form of an arch like the sail of a ship filled by the wind and encircled the body of the martyr like a wall. He was in the center of it not like burning flesh but like baking bread or like gold and silver being refined in a furnace. Those who witnessed this miracle also smelled a fragrant odor like the scent of incense or some other precious spice. 

When the pagans saw that his body could not be consumed by fire, they ordered the executioner to plunge a dagger into him. When he did this, a large quantity of blood came out—so much that it quenched the fire. Everyone was amazed that there was such a great difference between the unbelievers and the elect, of which Polycarp was a member.

After he departed, the Jews and others created an issue over what was to be done with St. Polycarp’s body—they thought that the faithful believers would begin to worship him, so the centurion decided to burn his body. 

”Then,” say the writers of his acts, “we took up the bones, more precious than the richest jewels or gold, and deposited them in a fitting place, at which may God grant us to assemble with joy to celebrate the birthday of the martyr to his life in heaven!”

24 posted on 02/23/2011 9:54:32 AM PST by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: February 23, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: God of all creation, you gave your bishop Polycarp the privilege of being counted among the saints who gave their lives in faithful witness to the Gospel. May his prayers give us the courage to share with him the cup of suffering and to rise to eternal glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ordinary Time: February 23rd

  Memorial of St. Polycarp of Smyrna, bishop and martyr Old Calendar: St. Peter Damian, bishop and doctor

St. Polycarp of Smyrna, was converted to Christianity by St. John the Evangelist. He was a disciple of the apostles and friend of St. Ignatius of Antioch. He was ordained bishop of Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey) and was about eighty-six when the Roman pro-consul urged him to renounce Christ and save his life. St. Polycarp said, "For eighty-six years I have served Him and he has never wronged me. How can I renounce the King who has saved me?" He suffered martyrdom in 155 by burning at the stake in the amphitheater of Smyrna.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Peter Damian. His feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on February 21. St. Polycarp's feast is observed on January 26.


St. Polycarp of Smyrna
Polycarp had known those who had known Jesus, and was a disciple of St. John the Apostle, who had converted him around the year 80 AD. He taught, says his own pupil Irenaeus of Lyons, the things that he learned from the Apostles, which the Church hands down, which are true. Irenaeus, who as a young boy knew Polycarp, praised his gravity, holiness, and majesty of countenance. He had lived near Jerusalem and was proud of his early associations with the Apostles.

Polycarp became bishop of Smyrna and held the see for about 70 years. He was a staunch defender of orthodoxy and an energetic opponent of heresy, especially Marcionism and Valentinianism (the most influential of the Gnostic sects). Toward the end of his life he visited Pope St. Anicetus in Rome and, when they could not agree on a date for Easter, decided each would observe his own date. To testify his respect and ensure that the bonds of charity were unbroken, Anicetus invited Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in the papal chapel on this occasion. Polycarp suffered martyrdom with 12 others of his flock around the year 156.

Excerpted from St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr by Fr. Paul Haffner (Inside the Vatican, February 2004)

Among the select few from apostolic times about whom we have some historical information is Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna and one of the most glorious martyrs of Christian antiquity. His life and death are attested by the authentic "Acts" of his martyrdom (no similar account is older), as well as by other contemporary writings. It moves us deeply when, for example, we find in St. Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, the passage in which he reminisces:

"The memory of that time when as a youth I was with Polycarp in Asia Minor is as fresh in my mind as the present. Even now I could point to the place where he sat and taught, and describe his coming and going, his every action, his outward appearance, and his manner of discourse to the people. It seems as though I still heard him tell of his association with the apostle John and with others who saw the Lord, and as though he were still relating to me their words and what he heard from them about the Lord and His miracles. . . ."

On the day of his death (February 23) the Martyrology recounts with deep reverence:

"At Smyrna, the death of St. Polycarp. He was a disciple of the holy apostle John, who consecrated him bishop of that city; and there he acted as the primate of all Asia Minor. Later, under Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, he was brought before the tribunal of the proconsul; and when all the people in the amphitheater cried out against him, he was handed over to be burned to death. But since the fire caused him no harm, he was put to death by the sword. Thus he gained the crown of martyrdom. With him, twelve other Christians, who came from Philadelphia, met death by martyrdom in the same city."

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Patron: Against ear ache, dysentery.

Things to Do:


25 posted on 02/23/2011 4:00:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Lauds -- Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
Hence, night and clouds that night-time brings,
Confused and dark and troubled things;
The dawn is here, the sky grown white,
Christ is at hand; depart from sight.
Earth’s dusky veil is torn away,
Pierced by the sparkling beams of day:
The world resumes its hues apace
Soon as the day-star shows its face.
But thee, O Christ, alone we seek,
With conscience pure and temper meek:
With tears and chants we humbly pray
That thou wouldst guide us through the day.
So many shades obscure each sense
Which needs thy beams to purge it thence:
Light of the Morning-Star, illume,
Serenely shining, all our gloom.
All laud to God the Father be;
All praise, eternal Son, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete.

Psalm 85 (86)
A poor man's prayer in time of trouble
Give joy to your servant, Lord, for to you I lift up my soul.
Turn your ear to me, Lord, and hear me,
  for I am poor and destitute.
Keep my life safe, for I am faithful;
  O God, save your servant, who trusts in you.
Take pity upon me, O Lord,
  for I call to you all the day long.
Make your servant’s heart glad,
  for to you, O Lord, I have raised it.
For you, Lord, are gentle and mild:
  you are kind to all those who call on you.
Let your ears hear my prayer, O Lord!
  Turn to the voice of my pleading!
In my time of trouble I call on you,
  for you, O Lord, will hear me.
No other god is like you, O Lord,
  and nothing compares with your works.
All people – all nations you made –
  will come and worship before you;
  they will give glory to your name.
For you are great, you work wonders:
  you alone are God.
O Lord, teach me your paths,
  and I will come to your truth.
Make my heart simple and guileless,
  so that it honours your name.
I will proclaim you, Lord my God,
  and give you praise with all my heart.
I will give glory to your name for ever,
  for your great kindness is upon me:
  you have rescued me from the deepest depths.
O God, the proud rise against me,
  in the meetings of the powerful they seek my life:
  they do not keep you in their sight.
And you, Lord, are a God of compassion,
  full of mercies, patient and true.
Look upon me, have mercy upon me,
  give your strength and protection to your servant:
  your servant, the child of your handmaid.
Give me a sign of your goodness,
  let my enemies see it and be confounded;
because you, O Lord, have helped me and given me comfort.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Give joy to your servant, Lord, for to you I lift up my soul.

Canticle Isaiah 33
The Lord will give just judgement
Blessed is the man who walks in justice and speaks what is true.
Hear what I have done, you who are far off,
  and you who are near, learn of my strength.
In Zion, the sinners are afraid;
  the hypocrites tremble.
Which of you could live with a devouring fire?
Which of you will abide in everlasting burning?
He who walks in justice, he who speaks fairly –
he who rejects the spoils of robbery –
he who throws back a bribe –
he who blocks his ears against murderous counsels –
he who shuts his eyes against evil sights –
this is he who will dwell on high, secure in a fortress of rocks.
Bread is given to him; his supply of water is secure.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Blessed is the man who walks in justice and speaks what is true.

Psalm 97 (98)
The Lord has brought salvation
Acclaim the King, the Lord.
Sing a new song to the Lord,
  for he has worked wonders.
His right hand, his holy arm,
  have brought him victory.
The Lord has shown his saving power,
  and before all nations he has shown his justice.
He has remembered to show his kindness
  and his faithfulness to the house of Israel.
The farthest ends of the earth
  have seen the saving power of our God.
Rejoice in God, all the earth.
  Break forth in triumph and song!
Sing to the Lord on the lyre,
  with the lyre and with music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn,
  sound jubilation to the Lord, our king.
Let the sea resound in its fulness,
  all the earth and all its inhabitants.
The rivers will clap their hands,
  and the mountains will exult at the presence of the Lord,
  for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge all the world in justice,
  and the peoples with fairness.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Acclaim the King, the Lord.

Short reading Job 1:21,2:10 ©
Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I shall return. The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back. Blessed be the name of the Lord! If we take happiness from God’s hand, must we not take sorrow too?

Short Responsory
Turn my heart, Lord, to your judgements.
Turn my heart, Lord, to your judgements.
Give me life and make me follow your path.
Turn my heart, Lord, to your judgements.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Turn my heart, Lord, to your judgements.

Canticle Benedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
I have served Christ for eighty-six years and no harm has come to me. How, then, can I curse my king, who has kept me safe?
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
  for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation
  in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones,
  his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies
  and all who hate us,
to take pity on our fathers,
  to remember his holy covenant
and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
  that he would give himself to us,
that we could serve him without fear
 – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him,
  for all of our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High:
  for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation,
  so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God,
  one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness,
  who live in the shadow of death;
  to lead our feet in the path of peace.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
I have served Christ for eighty-six years and no harm has come to me. How, then, can I curse my king, who has kept me safe?

Prayers and Intercessions
Christ feeds and cares for the Church, for which he gave his very self. And so we pray:
Lord, look after your Church.
Blessed are you, shepherd of your Church, because today you give us light and life:
  make us truly grateful for such wonderful gifts.
Lord, look after your Church.
Look kindly on the flock you have gathered in your name:
  let no-one perish from the flock your Father has given you.
Lord, look after your Church.
Lead your Church along the path of your commandments:
  may the Holy Spirit keep her faithful to you.
Lord, look after your Church.
By the feast of bread and the Word, give life to your Church:
  nourish her and give her the strength to follow you with joy.
Lord, look after your Church.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
  hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
  and forgive us our trespasses,
  as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.

Lord of all creation, you gave Saint Polycarp a place in the company of the martyrs.
  Grant that, through his intercession, we may, like him, drink from that cup which Christ drank, and so rise to eternal life.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.

AMEN


26 posted on 02/23/2011 4:37:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Sirach 4:11-19

“Wisdom instructs her children.” (Sirach 4:11)

Out of breath, the cartoon character has reached the top of the bare mountain peak. There a bearded sage sits cross-legged, waiting to answer his questions.

Isn’t it interesting that even comic strips portray our natural drive to seek out wisdom? Today’s reading from Sirach portrays this quest by describing wisdom as a person. The seeker must follow Lady Wisdom as one of her children. He or she must first be willing to embrace instruction and discipline from this Lady before finally finding happiness in learning her secrets.

For Sirach and other inspired authors of Scripture, this image of wisdom as a person was not a mere figure of speech. They knew that all wisdom ultimately has its source in God. So they pictured wisdom as one of God’s intimates—someone as close to him as his own breath (Sirach 24:3). And who is closer to God than his Son, Jesus, who not only offers wisdom to his followers, but is himself “the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24)?

Take a minute to reflect on your view of wisdom. How would you define it? Why should you pursue it? More importantly, do you look to God for this wisdom—even concerning finances, career development, or parenting? Do you think of Jesus as embodying wisdom even on these practical issues? He does, and he’s more than willing to share his wisdom with us.

Try going through this passage verse by verse and asking yourself whether you experience wisdom as Sirach describes it. For example, verse 11 states that “Wisdom teaches her children.” Ask yourself: When have I sought God’s wisdom? What “help” did I receive as a result?

As you grow in your relationship with the Father, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will taste the life of wisdom for which you were born. You will become familiar with what the Scripture writers describe. Jesus himself is wisdom. The more you come to know him, the more your life will be characterized by his ways and his insights.

“Lord Jesus, you chose what was foolish in the eyes of the world but wise in the sight of God. By your grace, enable me to grow in your wisdom. Come, Wisdom of God, and enlighten my life.”

Psalm 119:165,168,171-172, 174-175; Mark 9:38-40


27 posted on 02/23/2011 4:45:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Mark
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Mark 9
38 9:37 John answered him, saying: Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, who followeth not us, and we forbade him. 9:37 Respondit illi Joannes, dicens : Magister, vidimus quemdam in nomine tuo ejicientem dæmonia, qui non sequitur nos, et prohibuimus eum. απεκριθη δε αυτω [ο] ιωαννης λεγων διδασκαλε ειδομεν τινα τω ονοματι σου εκβαλλοντα δαιμονια ος ουκ ακολουθει ημιν και εκωλυσαμεν αυτον οτι ουκ ακολουθει ημιν
39 9:38 But Jesus said: Do not forbid him. For there is no man that doth a miracle in my name, and can soon speak ill of me. 9:38 Jesus autem ait : Nolite prohibere eum : nemo est enim qui faciat virtutem in nomine meo, et possit cito male loqui de me : ο δε ιησους ειπεν μη κωλυετε αυτον ουδεις γαρ εστιν ος ποιησει δυναμιν επι τω ονοματι μου και δυνησεται ταχυ κακολογησαι με
40 9:39 For he that is not against you, is for you. 9:39 qui enim non est adversum vos, pro vobis est. ος γαρ ουκ εστιν καθ υμων υπερ υμων εστιν

28 posted on 02/23/2011 6:50:00 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
38. And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in your name, and he follows not us: and we forbade him, because be follows not us.
39. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40. For he that is not against us is on our part.

BEDE; John, loving the Lord with eminent devotion, thought that He who performed an office to which He had no right was to be excluded from the benefit of it. Wherefore it is said, And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in your name, and he follows not us: and we forbade him, because he follows not us.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. For many believers received gifts, and yet were not with Christ, such was this man who cast out devils; for there were many of them deficient in some way; some were pure in life, but were not so perfect in faith; others again, contrariwise.

THEOPHYL. Or again, some unbelievers, seeing that the name of Jesus was full of virtue, themselves used it, and performed signs, though they were unworthy of Divine grace; for the Lord wished to extend His name even by those unworthy.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. It was not from jealousy or envy, however, that John wished to forbid him who cast out devils, but because he wished that all, who called on the name of the Lord, should follow Christ, and be one body with His disciples. But the Lord, however unworthy they who perform the miracles may be, incites others by their means to believe in Him, and induces themselves by this unspeakable grace to become better. Wherefore there follows: But Jesus said, Forbid him not.

BEDE; By which He shows that no one is fled to be driven away from that partial goodness which he possesses already, but rather to be stirred up to that which he has not as yet obtained

PSEUDO-CHRYS. In conformity to this, He shows that he is not to be forbidden, adding immediately after, For there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. He says lightly, to meet the case of those who fell into heresy, such as were Simon and Menander, and Cerinthus; not that they did miracles in the name of Christ, but by their deceptions had the appearance of doing them. But these others, though they do not follow us, cannot however set themselves to say any thing against us, because they honor My name by working miracles.

THEOPHYL. For how can he speak evil of Me, who draws glory from My name, and works miracles by the invocation of this very name. There follows, For he that is not against you is on your part.

AUG. We must take care that this saying of the Lord appear not to be contrary to that, where He says, He who is not with me is against me. Or will any one say that the difference lies in that here He says to His disciples, For he that is not against you is on your part, but in the other He speaks of Himself, He who is not with me is against me? As if indeed it were possible that he who is joined to Christ's disciples, who ate as His members, should not be with Him. How if it were so, could it be true that he that receives you receives me? Or how is he not against Him, who is against His disciples? Where then will be that saying, He who despises you, despises me? But surely what is implied is, that a man is not with Him in as far as he is against Him, and is not against Him as far as he is with Him. For instance, he who worked miracles in the name of Christ, and yet did not join himself to the body of His disciples, in as far as he worked the miracles in His name, was with them, and was not against them: again, in that he did not join their society, he was not with them, and was against them. But because they forbade his doing that in which he was with them, the Lord said to them, Forbid him not; for they ought to have forbidden his being without their society, and thus to have persuaded him of the unity of the Church, but they should not have forbidden that in which he was with them, that is, his commendation of the name of their Lord and Master by the expulsion of devils. Thus the Church Catholic does not disapprove in heretics the sacraments, which are common, but she blames their division, or some opinion of theirs adverse to peace and to truth; for in this they are against us.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Or else, this is said of those who believe on Him, but nevertheless do not follow Him from the looseness of their lives. Again, it is said of devils, who try to separate all from God, and to disperse His congregation. There follows, For whoever shall give you a cup of cold water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ, verily I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

THEOPHYL. Not only will I not forbid him who works miracles in My name, but also whosoever shall give you the smallest tithing for My name's sake, and shall receive you, not on account of human and worldly favor, but from love to Me, shall not lose his reward.

AUG. By which He shows, that he of whom John had spoken was not so far separated from the fellowship of the disciples, as to reject it, as a heretic, but as men are wont to hang back from receiving the Sacraments of Christ, and yet favor the Christian name, so as even to succor Christians, and do them service only because they are Christians. Of these He says they shall not lose their reward; not that they ought already to think themselves secure on account of this good will which they have towards Christians, without being washed with His baptism, and incorporated in His unity, but that they are already so guided by the mercy of God, as also to attain to these, and thus to go away from this life in security.

Catena Aurea Mark 9
29 posted on 02/23/2011 6:50:38 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


Legend of St Francis: 10. Exorcism of the Demons at Arezzo

Giotto di Bondone

1297-99
Fresco, 270 x 230 cm
Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi

30 posted on 02/23/2011 6:51:31 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman

Daily Marriage Tip for February 23, 2011:

Your love may have started as a cozy couple but as it grows, so does your responsibility to share love with others. Look for someone to feed, clothe, or shelter today.

31 posted on 02/23/2011 8:04:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Confidence in God's love

 on February 23, 2011 11:00 AM |
Risen Christ Fra Angelico.jpg

Today (in the traditional Benedictine calendar) is the feast of Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (1007-1072). Monk, cardinal, and reformer, Saint Peter Damian is best known for his denunciations of the vices and sexual immorality rampant among the clergy of his day, but the saint does more than denounce vice and turpitudes. He announces the mercy of God and calls sinners to confidence in the life-transforming grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He is, after all, a Benedictine saint and, as such, he repeats the Holy Patriarch's most heartening injunction: "And never to despair of God's mercy" (RSB 4:72). Here is an extract from Saint Peter Damian's famous Letter XXXI.

Christ Will Enlighten You

Rouse yourself, I tell you, arise and be awake, you who were overcome by the sleep of pathetic pleasure; come alive at last, you who fell before the deadly sword of your enemies. The apostle Paul is here. Listen to him as he briskly demands a hearing, knocking at your door and calling to you in clear cut words: "Wake up from your sleep," he says, "and rise from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you." (Ephesians 5:14)

Why Feel Uncertain of Your Restoration

If you hear Christ who restores life, why do you feel uncertain of your restoration? Listen to his own words: "If anyone believes in me," he says, "even though he die he will live." (John 11:25) If life-endowing Life itself seeks to raise you up, why do you further tolerate lying dead?

Your Heart Should Beat With Confidence in God's Love

Your heart should beat with confidence in God's love and not grow hard and impenitent in the face of your great crime. It is not sinners, but the wicked who should despair; it is not the magnitude of one's crime, but contempt of God that dashes one's hopes. If, indeed, the devil is so powerful that he is able to hurl you into the depths of this vice, how much more effective is the strength of Christ to restore you to the lofty position from which you have plummeted? "Shall he that has fallen never get up again?" (Psalm 40:9). "If the ass of your flesh has fallen amuck under its load," (cf. Exodus 23:5) it is the goad of penance that urges it and the hand of the spirit that manfully draws it free. . . .

Do Not Utterly Despair

If your impure flesh has deceived you . . . if it has stolen the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, if it has distinguished not merely the light of your countenance but that of your spirit, do not be depressed and utterly despair. Once again collect your forces, bestir yourself like a man, dare to perform great deeds, and by so acting you will have the strength, through the mercy of God to triumph over your enemies.

32 posted on 02/23/2011 8:18:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Vespers -- Evening Prayer

Vespers (Evening Prayer)


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
To thee our inmost heart doth cry,
Our voice resounds in melody,
For thee chaste love with longing yearns,
Our humbled soul doth worship thee.
And when dense blackness falls to close
The day in thickest folds of night,
Let not our faith such darkness know,
But by that faith let dark be light.
Allow thou not our souls to rest;
Our sins in rest, we pray thee, bind:
Let pure, refreshing faith be strong
To cool all dreams that heat the mind.
Stripped clean from senses’ danger, let
Our inmost heart dream deep of thee;
Let not our envious foe disturb
Our rest with guile and treachery.

Psalm 125 (126)
Gladness and hope in the Lord
Those who were sowing in tears will sing when they reap.
When the Lord gave Zion back her captives, we became like dreamers.
Our mouths were filled with gladness and our voices cried in exultation.
Among the Gentiles they were saying,
  “By his deeds the Lord has shown himself great.”
The Lord’s deeds showed forth his greatness,
  and filled us with rejoicing.
Give us back our captives, O Lord,
  as you renew the dry streams in the desolate South.
Those who sow in tears will rejoice at the harvest.
They wept as they went, went with seed for the sowing;
but with joy they will come, come bearing the sheaves.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Those who were sowing in tears will sing when they reap.

Psalm 126 (127)
Without the Lord, we labour in vain
The Lord will build a house for us; he will watch over our city.
If the Lord does not build the house,
  its builders labour in vain.
If the Lord does not watch over a city,
  its workmen guard it in vain.
It is vain for you to rise before the dawn
  and go late to your rest,
  eating the bread of toil –
  to those he loves, the Lord gives sleep.
The Lord bestows sons as an heirloom,
  the fruit of the womb as a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior –
  so are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy the man who fills his quiver thus:
  when he disputes with his enemies at the gate,
  he will not be the loser.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Lord will build a house for us; he will watch over our city.

Canticle (Colossians 1)
Christ, firstborn of all creatures and firstborn from the dead
He is the first-born of all creation, he is supreme over all creatures.
Let us give thanks to God the Father,
  who has made us worthy to share in the light that is the saints’ inheritance.
He has rescued us from the power of the shadows
  and brought us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption
  and the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God,
  the first-born of all creation,
for in him all things were created,
  in heaven and on earth,
  visible and invisible,
thrones and dominations,
  principalities and powers.
All things were created through him and for him:
  he is before all things,
  and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the Church.
  He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead,
  and so he is pre-eminent above all.
For it was the Father’s will that the fullness of God should dwell in him,
  and that through him all things should be reconciled to himself.
Through the blood of the Cross he brought peace to all things,
  both on Earth and in the heavens.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
He is the first-born of all creation, he is supreme over all creatures.

Short reading Ephesians 3:20-21 ©
Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.

Short Responsory
Redeem me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
Redeem me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
Do not cast me away with sinners.
Redeem me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Redeem me, Lord, and have mercy on me.

Canticle Magnificat
My soul rejoices in the Lord
I bless you, Lord God almighty, because you have made me worthy to join the martyrs and receive a share in the cup that was drunk by your Anointed One.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
  and my spirit rejoices in God, my salvation.
For he has shown me such favour –
  me, his lowly handmaiden.
Now all generations will call me blessed,
  because the mighty one has done great things for me.
His name is holy,
  his mercy lasts for generation after generation
  for those who revere him.
He has put forth his strength:
  he has scattered the proud and conceited,
  torn princes from their thrones;
  but lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
  the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
  he has remembered his mercy as he promised to our fathers,
  to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
I bless you, Lord God almighty, because you have made me worthy to join the martyrs and receive a share in the cup that was drunk by your Anointed One.

Prayers and Intercessions
God sent his Son as an example for our lives and as our Saviour. Humbly we pray to him:
Lord, may your people sing your praises.
We give you thanks because you have chosen us to be the first-fruits of your salvation;
  you have called us to be a new people to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, may your people sing your praises.
May all who profess your holy name be at one in the truth of your teaching,
  and on fire with the flame of your love.
Lord, may your people sing your praises.
You are the creator of all things; your Son chose to work with his hands, among men and with men.
  Remember the workers who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow.
Lord, may your people sing your praises.
Remember also those who devote themselves to the service of their brethren:
  may neither failure nor the failings of others distract them from their chosen task.
Lord, may your people sing your praises.
Grant your mercy to our deceased brethren:
  do not hand them over to the power of the devil.
Lord, may your people sing your praises.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
  hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
  and forgive us our trespasses,
  as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.

Lord of all creation, you gave Saint Polycarp a place in the company of the martyrs.
  Grant that, through his intercession, we may, like him, drink from that cup which Christ drank, and so rise to eternal life.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.

AMEN


33 posted on 02/23/2011 9:06:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

The Zeal of Charity
INTERNATIONAL | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Memorial of Saint Polycarp, bishop and martyr (Feb. 23, 2011)

February 23, 2011
Memorial of Saint Polycarp, bishop and martyr
Father Edward Hopkins, LC

Mark 9:38-40
John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.”

Introductory Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I believe in you and in all the expressions of your goodness and love in my life. I believe in your Eucharist, where you have made yourself my bread and a prisoner of love to teach me goodness of heart. I trust that you can train my heart to react more as you do, with forgiveness and blessing. I love you, Lord; I wish to love you with my prayer and increased charity. Mary, teach me to love with the heart of your son.

Petition: Make my heart more like yours, Lord.

1. A Son of Thunder  The young apostle says with uncontrolled fervor, “We tried to prevent him.” They obviously acted first and consulted Jesus only afterwards. What moved them? What so often moves us––a sense of righteous zeal! We know or think we know what is right. “Let no one step out of line, or we will let him know!” Moreover, this person “does not follow us,” so he should not be able to act in your name! What is this “Son of Thunder” missing? Is not the mightiest deed an act of charity? How often do I make rash judgments without really knowing the full picture and without consulting Jesus first?

2. Judgments of Gospel Charity  Jesus does not hesitate to offer a positive judgment. Mighty deeds in his name can be found only in one speaking well of him. Moreover, beyond logic, Jesus possesses a deeper insight. He reads all actions with a heart of charity. His judgments will always be colored by his looking to find the very best in each person. His every action will be interpreted by love. In such manner he interprets well the actions of the woman who wipes his feet with her tears and hair, of the paralytic lowered from the roof, of the tax collector who climbed a tree to see him. Do I judge others with a heart filled with gospel charity, or am I very quick to spot faults? Are my impulses modified by my experience of Christ’s love for me?

3. For or Against Him?  Jesus presents a simple principle for judging. Unless a person shows himself to be against us, consider him for us. We should fight to help others be “for us.” “Believe all the good you hear and only believe the evil you see.”This supposition of goodness runs contrary to our tendency to judge and speak evil of others with a minimum of evidence while demanding disproportionate proofs to credit them for good. Is it my job to find deformities in a member of the Body of Christ? A good person sees with eyes of goodness. Why can I not find excuses for the weakness and failings I see in others? Why is it so easy to speak poorly of others, to point out their defects and to fall into slander or gossip? Would the answer be found in the narrow or stingy dimensions of my own heart?

Conversation with Christ:  Dear Lord, grant me a heart overflowing with your love. Make charity my first reaction, my constant hope and my irresistible tendency. Open my eyes in faith to see you working in people of all backgrounds and faiths. Help me to dismiss all personal, unnecessary judgments with an assumption of charity. May I win souls with my goodness and never be without charity in my fight for your Kingdom.

Resolution:  I will counter every thought against charity with two thoughts of charity. I will counter every word against charity with two words of sincere charity for the one maligned.


34 posted on 02/23/2011 9:11:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

What You Have Received as a Gift, Give as a Gift

February 23rd, 2011 by Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.

Sir 4:11-19/ Mk 9:38-40

Hardly a day goes by without serving up ample evidence that few of us understand or at least remember the basic truth that everything we have – our life, our talents, our world – everything we have is an unearned gift from God. And that all these gifts have been entrusted into our hands FOR A TIME, with the instruction to handle them respectfully and to carry them where they’re needed.

That’s the truth, but we so easily forget it and come to think of our gifts as ours and ours alone, clutching them possessively to our breast. We see that in today’s gospel, where the apostles are outraged that some man who was not a member of their group was nevertheless casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Somehow they’d come to think of this power as something that BELONGED to them and was for their sole use and discretion.

They still had a lot to learn, and they’d not yet taken into their hearts Jesus’ words, “What you have received as a gift, give as a gift.”

We each have different gifts and talents, and for each of us there are people to whom God intended those gifts to be carried. Learning how to carry our gifts of time, talent, and treasure to those who need them is one of life’s most important lessons. The skill and the habit of sharing our gifts will bring us life’s greatest and most lasting joys.


35 posted on 02/23/2011 9:26:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body


<< Tuesday, February 22, 2011 >> Chair of St. Peter
Saint of the Day
 
1 Peter 5:1-4
View Readings
Psalm 23:1-6 Matthew 16:13-19
 

"UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL"

 
"I for My part declare to you, you are 'Rock,' and on this rock I will build My Church." —Matthew 16:18
 

The Church has the "keys of the kingdom" (Mt 16:19). It can attack the gates of hell which shall not prevail against it (Mt 16:18). Whatever the Church binds on earth is bound in heaven; whatever it looses on earth is loosed in heaven (Mt 16:19). The Church can bring down the strongholds of Satan (2 Cor 10:4) and quickly crush him (Rm 16:20). The Church can lead the world to Christ.

However, we don't see the Church exercising its authority and claiming God's victory. Instead, we see abortion, war, pornography, racism and starvation. The Church is weakened because it is not united. The Church is Christ's body (1 Cor 12:12). Like all bodies, it must be united to function properly.

Therefore, Jesus right now is praying for the Church to be one (Jn 17:21) under His headship (Eph 1:10) and one in the Spirit (Eph 4:3). He has given us the Pope to unite us. Because of our sinfulness, even Christians under Jesus' lordship and alive in the Spirit are often not united. We need a leader who will exercise his God-given authority and lead us to unity. The Pope is called by Jesus to do this. If we obey Him, we will be one and we will be able to win the victories Jesus promised us.

 
Prayer: Father, may I obey You by obeying the Pope, and thereby help stop abortions, starvation, and war.
Promise: "God's flock is in your midst; give it a shepherd's care." —1 Pt 5:2
Praise: Praise Jesus, Who is with us through the Popes always, even to the end of the age!

36 posted on 02/23/2011 9:30:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Compline -- Night Prayer

Compline (Night Prayer)


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

This is an excellent moment for an examination of conscience. In a communal celebration of Compline, one of the penitential acts given in the Missal may be recited.


Hymn
Now that the daylight dies away,
By all thy grace and love,
Thee, Maker of the world, we pray
To watch our bed above.
Let dreams depart and phantoms fly,
The offspring of the night,
Keep us, like shrines, beneath thine eye,
Pure in our foe’s despite.
This grace on thy redeemed confer,
Father, co-equal Son,
And Holy Ghost, the Comforter,
Eternal Three in One.

Psalm 30 (31)
Trustful prayer in time of adversity
O God, be my protector and my refuge.
In you, Lord, I put my trust: may I never be put to shame.
  In your justice, set me free,
Turn your ear to me,
  make haste to rescue me.
Be my rampart, my fortification;
  keep me safe.
For you are my strength and my refuge:
  you will lead me out to the pastures,
  for your own name’s sake.
You will lead me out of the trap that they laid for me –
  for you are my strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit:
  you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
O God, be my protector and my refuge.

Psalm 129 (130)
Out of the depths
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Out of the depths I have cried to you, Lord:
  Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears listen out
  for the voice of my pleading.
If you took notice of our transgressions, Lord –
  Lord, who would be left?
But with you is forgiveness,
  and for this we revere you.
I rely on you, Lord,
  my spirit relies on your promise;
my soul hopes in the Lord,
  more than the watchman for daybreak.
More than the watchman for daybreak,
  let Israel hope in the Lord:
for with the Lord there is kindness
  and abundant redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
  from all its transgressions.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

Reading Ephesians 4:26-27 ©
Even if you are angry, you must not sin: never let the sun set on your anger, or else you will give the devil a foothold.

Short Responsory
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
You have redeemed us, Lord, God of faithfulness.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Canticle Nunc Dimittis
Keep us safe, Lord, while we are awake, and guard us as we sleep, so that we can keep watch with Christ and rest in peace.
Now, Master, you let your servant go in peace.
  You have fulfilled your promise.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
  which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness;
  the glory of your people Israel.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Keep us safe, Lord, while we are awake, and guard us as we sleep, so that we can keep watch with Christ and rest in peace.

Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, you lay a gentle yoke upon those who follow you. Meek and humble, you give them a light burden to carry. Receive the work and the prayers we have offered to you today; and give us rest, to make us more eager to serve you, who live and reign for ever and ever, Amen.

May the almighty Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

AMEN


Ave Regina Caelorum
Hail, Queen of the heavens,
  hail, Lady of the angels.
Root of our salvation
  and our gateway to heaven,
  the light of the world was born to you.
Be joyful, Virgin of glory,
  most beautiful of all in heaven.
We greet you now, true beauty –
  pray for us to Christ.
Ave, Regina caelorum,
ave, Domina angelorum,
salve, radix, salve, porta,
ex qua mundo lux est orta.
Gaude, Virgo gloriosa,
super omnes speciosa;
vale, o valde decora,
et pro nobis Christum exora.

37 posted on 02/23/2011 9:32:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

From: Sirach 4:11-19

Love of Wisdom


[11] Wisdom exalts her sons and gives help to those who seek her. [12] Who-
ever loves her loves life, and those who seek her early will be filled with joy. [13]
Whoever holds her fast will obtain glory, and the Lord will bless the place she
enters. [14] Those who serve her will minister to the Holy One; the Lord loves
those who love her. [15] He who obeys her will judge the nations, and whoever
gives heed to her will dwell secure. [16] If he has faith in her he will obtain her,
and his descendants will remain in possession of her. [17] For at first she will
walk with him on tortuous paths, she will bring fear and cowardice upon him,
and will torment him by her discipline until she. trusts I and she will test him
with her ordinances. [18] Then she will come straight back to him and gladden
him, and will reveal her secrets to him. [19] If he goes astray she will forsake
him, and hand him over to his ruin.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

4:11-19. This passage, as do others in the wisdom books, proclaims the advan-
tages that wisdom brings to those who seek her. Read in a Christian context,
where we can see Jesus Christ as being the Wisdom of God become man, eve-
rything it says becomes very plain. The quest for wisdom is indeed the quest for
“the Holy One” (v. 14), that is, God himself. The path described here (vv. 17-21)
with all its twists and turns, is the path to intimate knowledge of God.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


38 posted on 02/24/2011 10:01:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

Being the Servant of All


[38] John said to Him (Jesus), “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in
Your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” [39] But Je-
sus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name
will be able soon after to speak evil of Me. [40] For he that is not against us is
for us.”

Scandal


[41] “For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because
you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose his reward.

[42] “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin it would
be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were
thrown into the sea. [43] And if your hand causes you to sin cut it off; it is bet-
ter for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquen-
chable fire. [45] And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you
to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. [47] And if your eye
causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God
with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, [48] where their worm
does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

38-40. Our Lord warns the Apostles, and through them all Christians, against ex-
clusivism in the apostolate—the notion that “good is not good unless I am the one
who does it.” We must assimilate this teaching of Christ’s: good is good, even if
it is not I who do it. Cf. note on Luke 9:49-50.

[The note on Luke 9:49-50 states:

49-50. Our Lord corrects the exclusivist and intolerant attitude of the Apostles.
St Paul later learned this lesson, as we can see from what he wrote during his
imprisonment in Rome: “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but
others from good will [...]. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pre-
tense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice” (Philippians 1:15, 18).
“Rejoice, when you see others working in good apostolic activities. And ask God
to grant them abundant grace and that they may respond to that grace. Then,
you, on your way: convince yourself that it’s the only way for you” (St. J. Escriva,
“The Way”, 965).]

41. The value and merit of good works lies mainly in the love of God with which
they are done: “A little act, done for love, is worth so much” (St. J. Escriva, “The
Way”, 814). God regards in a special way acts of service to others, however
small: “Do you see that glass of water or that piece of bread which a holy soul

gives to a poor person for God’s sake; it is a small matter, God knows, and in
human judgment hardly worthy of consideration: God, notwithstanding, recompen-
ses it, and forthwith gives for it some increase of charity” (St Francis de Sales,
“Treatise on the Love of God”, book 2, chap. 2).

42. “Scandal is anything said, done or omitted which leads another to commit
sin” (”St Pius X Catechism”, 417). Scandal is called, and is, diabolical when the
aim of the scandal-giver is to provoke his neighbor to sin, understanding sin as
offense against God. Since sin is the greatest of all evils, it is easy to understand
why scandal is so serious and, therefore, why Christ condemns it so roundly.
Causing scandal to children is especially serious, because they are so less able
to defend themselves against evil. What Christ says applies to everyone, but es-
pecially to parents and teachers, who are responsible before God for the souls of
the young.

43. “Hell”, literally “Gehenna” or “Ge-hinnom”, was a little valley south of Jerusa-
lem, outside the walls and below the city. For centuries it was used as the city
dump. Usually garbage was burned to avoid it being a focus of infection. Gehen-
na was, proverbially, an unclean and unhealthy place: our Lord used this to ex-
plain in a graphic way the unquenchable fire of hell.

43-48. After teaching the obligation everyone has to avoid giving scandal to
others, Jesus now gives the basis of Christian moral teaching on the subject of
“occasions of sin”—situations liable to lead to sin. He is very explicit: a person
is obliged to avoid proximate occasions of sin, just as he is obliged to avoid sin
itself; as God already put it in the Old Testament: “Whoever lives in danger will
perish by it” (Sir 3:26-27). The eternal good of our soul is more important than
any temporal good. Therefore, anything that places us in proximate danger of
committing sin should be cut off and thrown away. By putting things in this way
our Lord makes sure we recognize the seriousness of this obligation.

The Fathers see, in these references to hands and eyes and so forth, people who
are persistent in evil and ever-ready to entice others to evil behavior and erroneous
beliefs. These are the people we should distance ourselves from, so as to enter
life, rather than accompany them to hell (St Augustine, “De Consensu Evangelis-
tarum”, IV, 16; St John Chrysostom, “Hom. on St Matthew”, 60).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


39 posted on 02/24/2011 10:02:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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