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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 01-25-12, Feast, Conversion of St. Paul
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 01-25-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 01/24/2012 10:50:25 PM PST by Salvation

January 25, 2012

Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, the Apostle

 

Reading 1 Acts 22:3-16

Paul addressed the people in these words:
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia,
but brought up in this city.
At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law
and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today.
I persecuted this Way to death,
binding both men and women and delivering them to prison.
Even the high priest and the whole council of elders
can testify on my behalf.
For from them I even received letters to the brothers
and set out for Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem
in chains for punishment those there as well.

"On that journey as I drew near to Damascus,
about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me.
I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me,
'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'
I replied, 'Who are you, sir?'
And he said to me,
'I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.'
My companions saw the light
but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me.
I asked, 'What shall I do, sir?'
The Lord answered me, 'Get up and go into Damascus,
and there you will be told about everything
appointed for you to do.'
Since I could see nothing because of the brightness of that light,
I was led by hand by my companions and entered Damascus.

"A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the law,
and highly spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,
came to me and stood there and said,
'Saul, my brother, regain your sight.'
And at that very moment I regained my sight and saw him.
Then he said,
'The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will,
to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice;
for you will be his witness before all
to what you have seen and heard.
Now, why delay?
Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away,
calling upon his name.'"

Or Acts 9:1-22

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him
for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
He said, "Who are you, sir?"
The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do."
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
and the Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias."
He answered, "Here I am, Lord."
The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight
and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.
He is there praying,
and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him,
that he may regain his sight."
But Ananias replied,
"Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests
to imprison all who call upon your name."
But the Lord said to him,
"Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name."
So Ananias went and entered the house;
laying his hands on him, he said,
"Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight.
He got up and was baptized,
and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
that he is the Son of God.
All who heard him were astounded and said,
"Is not this the man who in Jerusalem
ravaged those who call upon this name,
and came here expressly to take them back in chains
to the chief priests?"
But Saul grew all the stronger
and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus,
proving that this is the Christ.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 117:1bc, 2

R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 16:15-18

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."


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

1 posted on 01/24/2012 10:50:32 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 01/24/2012 10:53:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Acts 22:3-16

Paul Defends Himself Before the Crowd


([Paul] spoke to them [the people] in the Hebrew language, saying:) [3] “I am a
Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel,
educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous
for God as you all are this day. [4] I persecuted this Way to the death, binding
and delivering to prison both men and women, [5] as the high priest and the
whole council of elders bear me witness. From them I received letters to the bre-
thren, and I journeyed to Damascus to take those also who were there and bring
them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.

[6] “As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light
from heaven suddenly shone about me. [7] And I fell to the ground and heard a
voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ [8] And I answered,
‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are
persecuting.’ [9] Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the
voice of the one who was speaking to me. [10] And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’
And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told
all that is appointed for you to do.’ [11] And when I could not see because of the
brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and
came into Damascus.

[12] “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all
the Jews who lived there, [13] came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Bro-
ther Saul, receive your sight.’ And in that very hour I received my sight and saw
him. [14] And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to
see the Just One and to hear a voice from his mouth; [15] for you will be a wit-
ness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard.[16] And now why do
you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’”

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

1-21. St Luke gives us Paul’s address to the Jews of Jerusalem, the first of three
speeches in his own defense (cf. 24:10-21; 26:1-23) in which he tries to show that
there is no reason why Christianity should be opposed by Jew or by Roman. Here
he presents himself as a pious Jew, full of respect for his people and their sacred
traditions. He earnestly desires his brethren to realize that there are compelling
reasons for his commitment to Jesus. He is convinced that they can experience
in their souls the same kind of spiritual change as he did. However, this speech
is not a closely-argued apologia. His main intention is not so much to answer the
accusations levelled against him as to use this opportunity to bear witness to
Jesus Christ, whose commandments validate Paul’s actions. What he is really
trying to do is to get his hearers to obey the voice of the Lord.

1. “Brethren and fathers”: the “fathers” may refer to members of the Sanhedrin
present in the crowd.

3. Gamaliel (cf. 5:34) belonged to the school of the rabbi Hillel, which was noted
for a less rigorous interpretation of the Law than that of Shammai and his disci-
ples.

4. The situation described by Paul is confirmed by 1 Cor 15:9: “I am the least of
the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of
God”; Gal 1:13: “You have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted
the church of God violently and tried to destroy it”; Phil 3:6: “as to the law a Pha-
risee, as to zeal a persecutor of the church”; and 1 Tim 1:13: “I formerly blas-
phemed and persecuted and insulted him [Christ]”.

6-11. Paul describes in his own words what happened on the way to Damascus
(cf. 9:3-9; 26:6-16). This account differs in some ways from—but does not contra-
dict—the two other versions of the episode, especially that of chapter 9, which is
told in St Luke’s words.

Paul adds that the whole thing happened at midday (cf. 26:13), and he says that
Jesus referred to himself as “Jesus of Nazareth”. He also include the question
“What shall I do, Lord?”, which is not given in chapter 9.

As far as Paul’s companions were concerned, we know that they saw the light
(Acts 22:9) but did not see anyone (Acts 9:7): they did not see the glorified Jesus;
they heard a voice (Acts 9:7) but did not hear the voice of the one who was spea-
king to Paul (Acts 22:9), that is, did not understand what the voice said.

10. Paul addresses Jesus as “Lord”, which shows that this vision has revealed to
him the divinity of him whom he was persecuting. The divine voice orders him to
get up from the ground and the future Apostle of the Gentiles obeys immediately.
The physical movement of getting up is a kind of symbol of the spiritual uplift his
soul is given by God’s call. “This was the first grace, that was given to the first
Adam; but more powerful than it is the grace in the second Adam. The effect of
the first grace was that a man might have justice, if he willed; the second grace,
therefore, is more powerful, because it affects the will itself; it makes for a strong
will, a burning charity, so that by a contrary will the spirit overcomes the conflic-
ting will of the flesh” (St Augustine, “De Correptione Et Gratia”, XI, 31).

“Many have come to Christianity”, Origen says, “as if against their will, for a cer-
tain spirit, appearing to them, in sleep or when they are awake, suddenly silences
their mind, and they change from hating the Word to dying for him” (”Against
Celsus”, I, 46).

Paul’s conversion is an outstanding example of what divine grace and divine as-
sistance in general can effect in a person’s heart.

12-16. This account of Ananias and his role in Paul’s conversion is much shorter
than that given in chapter 9 (cf. vv. 10-19). St Paul adapts it here to suit his au-
dience (who are all Jews). He presents Jesus as the one in whom the Old Tes-
tament prophecies are fulfilled. Like Peter (cf. 3:13ff) and Stephen (cf. 7:52) he
speaks of the “God of our fathers” and the “Just One” when referring to God and
to Jesus respectively.

*********************************************************************************************
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.


3 posted on 01/24/2012 11:00:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Acts 9:1-22 (Alternate)

Saul on His Way to Damascus


[1] But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest [2] and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damas-
cus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring
them bound to Jerusalem. [3] Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus,
and suddenly a light from Heaven flashed about him. [4] And he fell to the ground
and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” [5]
And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are per-
secuting; [6] but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
[7] The men who were travelling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but
seeing no one. [8] Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened,
he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damas-
cus. [9] And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Ananias Baptizes Saul


[10] Now there was a disciple at Damascus called Ananias. The Lord said to him
in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” [11] And the Lord said to
him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas
for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, [12] and he has seen
a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain
his sight.” [13] But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this
man, how much evil he has done to Thy saints at Jerusalem; [14] and here he
has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon Thy name.” [15] But
the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry My
name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; [16] for I will show
him how much he must suffer for the sake of My name.” [17] So Ananias depar-
ted and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul,
the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent
me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” [18] And
immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight.
Then he rose and was baptized, [19] and took food and was strengthened.

For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus.

Paul Begins His Apostolate


[20] And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, “He is
the Son of God.” [21] And all who heard were amazed and said, “Is not this the
man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name? And he
has come here for this purpose to bring them bound before the chief priests.”
[22] But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who
lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.

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

1-3. Roman authorities recognized the moral authority of the Sanhedrin and even
permitted it to exercise a certain jurisdiction over members of Jewish communi-
ties outside Palestine—as was the case with Damascus. The Sanhedrin even had
the right to extradite Jews to Palestine (cf. 1 Maccabees 15:21).

Damascus was about 230-250 kilometers (150 miles) from Jerusalem, depending
on which route one took. Saul and his associates, who would probably have been
mounted, would have had no difficulty in doing the journey in under a week. This
apparition took place towards the end of the journey, when they were near
Damascus.

2. “The Way”: the corresponding word in Hebrew also means religious behavior.
Here it refers to both Christian lifestyle and the Gospel itself; indirectly it means
all the early followers of Jesus (cf. Acts 18:25ff; 19:9, 23; 22:4) and all those who
come after them and are on the way to Heaven; it reminds us of Jesus’ words,
“The gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it
are few” (Matthew 7:14).

3-19. This is the first of the three accounts of the calling of Saul—occurring proba-
bly between the years 34 and 36—that are given in the Acts of the Apostles (cf.
Acts 22:5-16; 26:10-18); where important events are concerned, St. Luke does
not mind repeating himself. Once again the Light shines in the darkness (cf. John
1:5). It does so here in a spectacular way and, as in every conversion, it makes
the convert see God, himself and others in a new way.

However, the episode on the road to Damascus is not only a conversion. It marks
the beginning of St. Paul’s vocation: “What amazes you seems natural to me:
that God has sought you out in the practice of your profession!

“This is how He sought the first, Peter and Andrew, James and John, beside their
nets, and Matthew, sitting in the custom-house.

“And—wonder of wonders!—Paul, in his eagerness to destroy the seed of the
Christians” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 799).

The background to St. Luke’s concise account is easy to fill in. There would have
been no Hellenist Christians left in Jerusalem: they had fled the city, some going
as far afield as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. Many had sought refuge in Da-
mascus, and Saul must have realized that their evangelizing zeal would win many
converts among faithful Jews in that city. Saul genuinely wanted to serve God,
which explains his readiness to respond to grace. Like most Jews of his time, he
saw the Messiah as a political liberator, a warrior-king, a half-Heavenly, half-earth-
ly figure such as described in the apocryphal “Book of Enoch”, 46: “It is impossi-
ble to imagine how even his glance terrifies his enemies. Wherever he turns, every-
thing trembles; wherever his voice reaches everything is overwhelmed and those
who hear it are dissolved as wax in fire.” A hero of this type does not fall into the
power of his enemies, much less let them crucify him; on the contrary, he is a
victor, he annihilates his enemies and establishes an everlasting kingdom of
peace and justice. For Saul, Jesus’ death on a cross was a clear proof that He
was a false messiah; and the whole notion of a brotherhood of Jews and Gentiles
was inconceivable.

He has almost reached Damascus when a light flashes; he is thrown onto the
ground and hears a voice from Heaven calling his name twice, in a tone of sad
complaint.

Saul surrenders unconditionally and places himself at the Lord’s service. He
does not bemoan his past life; he is ready to start anew. No longer is the Cross
a “scandal”: it has become for him a sign of salvation, the “power of God”, a
throne of victory, whose praises he will sing in his epistles. Soon St. Paul will
learn more about this Way and about all that Jesus did and taught, but from this
moment onwards, the moment of his calling, he realizes that Jesus is the risen
Messiah, in whom the prophecies find fulfillment; he believes in the divinity of
Christ: he sees how different his idea of the Messiah was from the glorified, pre-
existing and eternal Son of God; he understands Christ’s mystical presence in
His followers: “Why do you persecute ME?” In other words, he realizes that he
has been chosen by God, called by God, and immediately places himself at his
service.

4. This identification of Christ and Christians is something which the Apostle will
later elaborate on when he speaks of the Mystical Body of Christ (cf. Colossians
1:18; Ephesians 1:22f).

St. Bede comments as follows: “Jesus does not say, ‘Why do you persecute My
members?’, but, ‘Why do you persecute Me?’, because He Himself still suffers
affronts in His body, which is the Church. Similarly Christ will take account of the
good actions done to His members, for He said, ‘I was hungry and you gave Me
food...’ (Matthew 25:35), and explaining these words He added ‘As you did it to
one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’ (Matthew 25:40)” (”Super
Act. Expositio, ad loc.”).

5-6. In the Vulgate and in many other translations these words are added between
the end of verse 5 and the start of verse 6: “It is hard for thee to kick against the
goad. And he, trembling and astonished, said: “Lord, what will Thou have me to
do? And the Lord said to him”. These words do not seem to be part of the original
sacred text but rather a later explanatory gloss; for this reason the New Vulgate
omits them. (The first part of the addition comes from Paul’s address in Acts
26:14).

6. The calling of Saul was exceptional as regards the manner in which God called
him; but the effect it had on him was the same as what happens when God gives
a specific calling to the apostolate to certain individual Christians, inviting them to
follow Him more closely. Paul’s immediate response is a model of how those who
receive these specific callings should act (all Christians, of course, have a com-
mon calling to holiness and apostolate that comes with Baptism).

Paul VI describes in this way the effects of this specific kind of vocation in a per-
son’s soul: “The apostolate is [...] an inner voice, which makes one both restless
and serene, a voice that is both gentle and imperious, troublesome and affectio-
nate, a voice which comes unexpectedly and with great events and then, at a
particular point, exercises a strong attraction, as it were revealing to us our life
and our destiny. It speaks prophetically and almost in a tone of victory, which
eventually dispels all uncertainty, all timidity and all fear, and which facilitates—
making it easy, desirable and pleasant—the response of our whole personality,
when we pronounce that word which reveals the supreme secret of love: Yes;
Yes, Lord, tell what I must do and I will try to do it, I will do it. Like St. Paul,
thrown to the ground at the gates of Damascus: What would You have me do?

“The roots of the apostolate run deep: the apostolate is vocation, election, inte-
rior encounter with Christ, abandonment of one’s personal autonomy to His will,
to His invisible presence; it is a kind of substitution of our poor, restless heart,
inconstant and at times unfaithful yet hungry for love, for His heart, the heart of
Christ which is beginning to pulsate in the one who has been chosen. And then
comes the second act in the psychological drama of the apostolate: the need to
spread, to do, to give, to speak, to pass on to others one’s own treasure, one’s
own fire. [...]

“The apostolate becomes a continuous expansion of one’s soul, the exuberance
of a personality taken over by Christ and animated by His Spirit; it becomes a
need to hasten, to work, to do everything one can to spread the Kingdom of God,
to save other souls, to save all souls” (”Homily”, 14 October 1968).

8-11. Straight Street runs through Damascus from east to west and can still be
identified today.

13. Ananias refers to Christ’s followers as “saints”; this was the word normally
used to describe the disciples, first in Palestine and then in the world at large.
God is THE Holy One (cf. Isaiah 6:3); as the Old Testament repeatedly says,
those who approach God and keep His commandments share in this holiness:
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel,
You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy’” (Leviticus 19:1-2).

The use of this term is an example of the spiritual sensitivity of our first bro-
thers and sisters in the faith: “What a moving name—saints!—the early Chris-
tians used to address each other!...

“Learn to be a brother to your brothers” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 469).

15-16. Our Lord calls St. Paul His “vessel of election”, which is a Hebraicism
equivalent to “chosen instrument”, and He tells Ananias how much the Apostle
will have to suffer on His account. A Christian called to the apostolate is also,
by virtue of this divine vocation, an instrument in the hands of God; to be effec-
tive he must be docile: he must let God use him and must do what God tells
him.

The task God has given him is far beyond Paul’s ability—”to carry My name be-
fore the Gentiles and kings and sons of Israel”. In Acts we will see how Paul ful-
fills his mission, with the help of God’s grace and suffering a great deal on ac-
count of His name. Down through the centuries, in diverse circumstance, those
whom the Lord elects to carry out specific missions will also be able to perform
them if they are good instruments who allow grace to act in them and who are
ready to suffer for their ideals.

19. In spite of the exceptional manner in which God called St. Paul, He desired
him to mature in the normal way—to be instructed by others and learn God’s will
through them. In this case he chose Ananias to confer Baptism on Paul and
teach him the basics of the Christian faith.

In Ananias we can see a trace of the role of the spiritual director or guide in
Christian asceticism. There is a principle which states that “no one can be a
good judge in his own case, because everyone judges according to his own in-
clinations” (cf. Cassian, “Collationes”, XVI, 11). A person guiding a soul has a
special “grace of state” to make God’s will known to him; and even if the guide
makes a mistake, the person who is being guided will—if obedient—always do the
right thing, always do God’s will. In this connection St. Vincent Ferrer says: “Our
Lord Jesus Christ, without whom we can do nothing, will not give His grace to
him who, though he has access to an expert guide, rejects this precious means
of sanctification, thinking that he can look after on his own everything that tou-
ches on his salvation. He who has a director, whom he obeys in everything, will
reach his goal more easily and more quickly than if he had acted as his own
guide, even if he be very intelligent and have the very best of spiritual books”
(”Treatise on the Spiritual Life”, 2, 1).

On the spiritual guidance of ordinary Christians, who seek holiness and carry
out apostolate in the context of everyday life, St. Escriva, writes: “A Director.
You need one. So that you can give yourself to God, and give yourself fully...by
obedience. A director who understands your apostolate, who knows what God
wants: that way he will second the work of the Holy Spirit in your soul, without
taking you from your place, filling you with peace, and teaching you how to
make your work fruitful” (”The Way”, 62).

20-23. In his letter to the Galatians (cf. Galatians 1:16f) St. Paul tells of how he
went into Arabia after his conversion and then returned to Damascus. He spent
almost three years away, and it was on his return that he preached the divinity
of Jesus, using all his energy and learning, now placed at the service of Christ.
This surprised and confounded the Jews, who immediately began to take action
against him.

*********************************************************************************************
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.


4 posted on 01/24/2012 11:01:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Mark 16:15-18

Jesus Appears to the Eleven. The Apostle’s Mission


[15] And He (Jesus) said to them (the Eleven), “Go into all the world and preach
the Gospel to the whole creation. [16] He who believes and is baptized will be
saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. [17] And these signs
will accompany those who believe; in My name they will cast out demons; they
will speak in new tongues; [18] they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any
deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they
will recover.”

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

15. This verse contains what is called the “universal apostolic mandate” (paral-
leled by Matthew 28:19-20 and Luke 24:46-48). This is an imperative command
from Christ to His Apostles to preach the Gospel to the whole world. This same
apostolic mission applies, especially to the Apostles’ successors, the bishops
in communion with Peter’s successor, the Pope.

But this mission extends further: the whole “Church was founded to spread the
Kingdom of Christ over all the earth for the glory of God the Father, to make all
men partakers in redemption and salvation.... Every activity of the Mystical Body
with this in view goes by the name of ‘apostolate’; the Church exercises it through
all its members, though in various ways. In fact, the Christian vocation is, of its
nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. In the organism of a living body no
member plays a purely passive part, sharing in the life of the body it shares at the
same time in its activity. The same is true for the body of Christ, the Church: ‘the
whole body achieves full growth in dependence on the full functioning of each part’
(Ephesians 4:16). Between the members of this body there exists, further, such
a unity and solidarity (cf. Ephesians 4:16) that a member who does not work at
the growth of the body to the extent of his possibilities must be considered use-
less both to the Church and to himself.

“In the Church there is diversity of ministry but unity of mission. To the apostles
and their successors Christ has entrusted the office of teaching, sanctifying and
governing in His name and by His power. But the laity are made to share in the
priestly, prophetical and kingly office of Christ; they have therefore, in the Church
and in the world, their own assignment in the mission of the whole people of God”
(Vatican II, “Apostolicam Actuositatem”, 2).

It is true that God acts directly on each person’s soul through grace, but it must
also be said that it is Christ’s will (expressed here and elsewhere) that men
should be an instrument or vehicle of salvation for others.

Vatican II also teaches this: “On all Christians, accordingly, rests the noble obli-
gation of working to bring all men throughout the whole world to hear and accept
the divine message of salvation” (”ibid.”, 3).

16. This verse teaches that, as a consequence of the proclamation of the Good
News, faith and Baptism are indispensable pre-requisites for attaining salvation.
Conversion to the faith of Jesus Christ should lead directly to Baptism, which
confers on us “the first sanctifying grace, by which Original Sin is forgiven, and
which also forgives any actual sins there may be; it remits all punishment due
for sins; it impresses on the soul the mark of the Christian; it makes us children
of God, members of the Church and heirs to Heaven, and enables us to receive
the other Sacraments” (”St. Pius X Catechism”, 553).

Baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation, as we can see from these words
of the Lord. But physical impossibility for receiving the rite of Baptism can be
replaced either by martyrdom (called, therefore, “baptism of blood”) or by a per-
fect act of love of God and of contrition, together with an at least implicit desire
to be baptized: this is called “baptism of desire” (cf. “ibid.”, 567-568).

Regarding infant Baptism, St. Augustine taught that “the custom of our Mother
the Church of infant Baptism is in no way to be rejected or considered unneces-
sary; on the contrary, it is to be believed on the ground that it is a tradition from
the Apostles” (”De Gen., Ad Litt.”, 10, 23, 39). The new “Code of Canon Law”
also stresses the need to baptize infants: “Parents are obliged to see that their
infants are baptized within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the
birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the
Sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it” (Canon 867).

Another consequence of the proclamation of the Gospel, closely linked with the
previous one, is that “the Church is necessary”, as Vatican II declares: “Christ
is the one mediator and way of salvation; He is present to us in His body which
is the Church. He Himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism
(cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity
of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they
could not be saved who, knowing that the Church was founded as necessary by
God through Christ, would refuse to enter it, or to remain in it” (”Lumen Gentium”,
14; cf. “Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 4; “Ad Gentes”, 1-3; “Dignitatis Humanae”, 11).

17-18. In the early days of the Church, public miracles of this kind happened
frequently. There are numerous historical records of these events in the New
Testament (cf., e.g., Acts 3:1-11; 28:3-6) and in other ancient Christian writings.
It was very fitting that this should be so, for it gave visible proof of the truth of
Christianity.

Miracles of this type still occur, but much more seldom; they are very exceptio-
nal. This, too, is fitting because, on the one hand, the truth of Christianity has
been attested to enough; and, on the other, it leaves room for us to merit through
faith. St. Jerome comments: “Miracles were necessary at the beginning to conf-
irm the people in the faith. But, once the faith of the Church is confirmed, mira-
cles are not necessary” (”Comm. In Marcum, in loc.”). However, God still works
miracles through saints in every generation, including our own.

*********************************************************************************************
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.


5 posted on 01/24/2012 11:02:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings


First reading Acts 22:3-16 ©
Paul said to the people, ‘I am a Jew and was born at Tarsus in Cilicia. I was brought up here in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was taught the exact observance of the Law of our ancestors. In fact, I was as full of duty towards God as you are today. I even persecuted this Way to the death, and sent women as well as men to prison in chains as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify, since they even sent me with letters to their brothers in Damascus. When I set off it was with the intention of bringing prisoners back from there to Jerusalem for punishment.
  ‘I was on that journey and nearly at Damascus when about midday a bright light from heaven suddenly shone round me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” I answered: Who are you, Lord? and he said to me, “I am Jesus the Nazarene, and you are persecuting me.” The people with me saw the light but did not hear his voice as he spoke to me. I said: What am I to do, Lord? The Lord answered, “Stand up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told what you have been appointed to do.” The light had been so dazzling that I was blind and my companions had to take me by the hand; and so I came to Damascus.
  ‘Someone called Ananias, a devout follower of the Law and highly thought of by all the Jews living there, came to see me; he stood beside me and said, “Brother Saul, receive your sight.” Instantly my sight came back and I was able to see him. Then he said, “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Just One and hear his own voice speaking, because you are to be his witness before all mankind, testifying to what you have seen and heard. And now why delay? It is time you were baptised and had your sins washed away while invoking his name.”’

First reading Acts 9:1-22 ©
Saul was still breathing threats to slaughter the Lord’s disciples. He had gone to the high priest and asked for letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, that would authorise him to arrest and take to Jerusalem any followers of the Way, men or women, that he could find.
  Suddenly, while he was travelling to Damascus and just before he reached the city, there came a light from heaven all round him. He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ he asked, and the voice answered, ‘I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me. Get up now and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do.’ The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless, for though they heard the voice they could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but even with his eyes wide open he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus by the hand. For three days he was without his sight, and took neither food nor drink.
  A disciple called Ananias who lived in Damascus had a vision in which he heard the Lord say to him, ‘Ananias!’ When he replied, ‘Here I am, Lord’, the Lord said, ‘You must go to Straight Street and ask the house of Judas for someone called Saul, who comes from Tarsus. At this moment he is praying, having had a vision of a man called Ananias coming in and laying hands on him to give him back his sight.’
  When he heard that, Ananias said, ‘Lord, several people have told me about this man and all the harm he has been doing to your saints in Jerusalem. He has only come here because he holds a warrant from the chief priests to arrest everybody who invokes your name.’ The Lord replied, ‘You must go all the same, because this man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before pagans and pagan kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he himself must suffer for my name.’ Then Ananias went. He entered the house, and at once laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on your way here so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately it was as though scales fell away from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. So he was baptised there and then, and after taking some food he regained his strength.
  He began preaching in the synagogues, ‘Jesus is the Son of God.’ All his hearers were amazed. ‘Surely’ they said ‘this is the man who organised the attack in Jerusalem against the people who invoke this name, and who came here for the sole purpose of arresting them to have them tried by the chief priests?’ Saul’s power increased steadily, and he was able to throw the Jewish colony at Damascus into complete confusion by the way be demonstrated that Jesus was the Christ.


Psalm Psalm 116:1-2 ©
Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.
or
Alleluia!
O praise the Lord, all you nations,
  acclaim him all you peoples!
Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.
or
Alleluia!
Strong is his love for us;
  he is faithful for ever.
Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.
or
Alleluia!

Gospel Acclamation cf.Jn15:16
Alleluia, alleluia!
I chose you from the world
to go out and bear fruit,
fruit that will last,
says the Lord.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 16:15-18 ©
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’

6 posted on 01/24/2012 11:06:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 01/24/2012 11:21:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
8 posted on 01/24/2012 11:21:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
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.

9 posted on 01/24/2012 11:22:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
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]


10 posted on 01/24/2012 11:24:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation



~ 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 the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

11 posted on 01/24/2012 11:24:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
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.


12 posted on 01/24/2012 11:25:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Feast of
the Holy Name of Jesus


Luke 2:21 "...Et vocatum est Nomen eius IESUS"
("And His Name was called JESUS")

Psalm 90:14 "Because he hoped in me I will deliver him:
I will protect him because he hath known My Name."

Zacharias 10:12 "I will strengthen them in the Lord,
and they shall walk in His Name, saith the Lord."

Apocalypse 3:8 "I know thy works. Behold, I have given before thee a door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied My Name."

Apocalypse 15:4 "Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and magnify Thy Name?..."

 

Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus without end!



January Devotion: The Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. This feast is also celebrated on January 3. Here is an explanation of the devotion.

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has associated entire months to special devotions. The devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus has been traditionally associated with the month of January, due to its celebration on January 3. The name Jesus was given to the Holy Child at God's command (Luke 1:31). The Holy Name is all-powerful because of the Person who bears it; we honor it because of the command of Christ, that we should pray in His Name and because it reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. Hence St. Paul was able to write to the Philippians: ". . . at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Phil. 2:10). By means of this devotion we also make amends for improper use of the Holy Name.

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

Prayer/Hymn in Honor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus - Iesu, Dulcis Memoria

Iesu, Dulcis Memoria is a celebrated 12th century hymn attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Doctor Mellifluus. The entire hymn has some 42 to 53 stanzas depending upon the manuscript. Parts of this hymn were used for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which was formerly celebrated on the Sunday between the Circumcision and Epiphany, or failing such a Sunday, on January 2. The part below was used at Vespers. In the liturgical revisions of Vatican II, the feast was deleted, though a votive Mass to the Holy Name of Jesus had been retained for devotional use. With the release of the revised Roman Missal in March 2002, the feast was restored as an optional memorial on January 3.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus' name,
The Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart!
0 joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity. Amen.

---Roman Breviary

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

O Divine Jesus, Thou hast promised that anything we ask of the Eternal Father in Thy name shall be granted.

O Eternal Father. In the name of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, in fulfillment of this promise, and because Jesus has said it, grant us our petitions for the sake of Jesus, Thy Divine Son. 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


That at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
Phil:2:10-11
 

 
 

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Jesus, The Name above all Names
Devotion to the Holy Name (of Jesus) [Catholic Caucus]
Lessons In Iconography : The Chi Rho - Christ
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Excerpt from a Sermon) (Catholic Caucus)
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

St. Bernard on the Most Holy Name of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Saving the day in His Holy Name: St. Genevieve gets a reprieve [Catholic Caucus]
The Holy Name of Jesus
Holy Name of Jesus [San Bernadino of Siena] Ecumenical
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name [of Jesus]
The Name of Jesus: Its Power in Our Lives
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus
The Holy Name of Jesus

13 posted on 01/24/2012 11:26:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

January 2012

Pope's Intentions

General Intention: Victims of Natural Disasters.
That the victims of natural disasters may receive the spiritual and material comfort they need to rebuild their lives.

Missionary Intention: Dedication to Peace.
That the dedication of Christians to peace may bear witness to the name of Christ before all men and women of good will.


14 posted on 01/24/2012 11:26:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle (Feast)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Acts 22:3-16 or 9:1-22
Psalm 117:1-2
Mark 16:15-18

An action of small value performed with much love of God is far more excellent than one of a higher virtue, done with less love of God.

-- St Francis de Sales



15 posted on 01/24/2012 11:29:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



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. 


16 posted on 01/24/2012 11:29:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Jan 25, Invitatory for Conversion of St. Paul, Ap

Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us worship God on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant.

The Lord is God, the mighty God,
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him,
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship,
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people,
the flock he shepherds.

Ant.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah
they challenged me and provoked me,
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant.

Forty years I endured that generation.
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger,
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship God on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

17 posted on 01/25/2012 1:25:21 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Jan 25, Office of Readings – Feast for Conversion of St. Paul, Ap

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. III:
Ordinary: 651
Proper of Saints: 1320
Common of Apostles: 1661

Christian Prayer:
Does not contain Office of Readings

Office of Readings for the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, apostle

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

The glorious company of the Apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth
acknowledge thee;
The Father of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true, and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.

“Te Deum in D major, HWV 283, “Dettingen”: The Glorious company of the Apostles” by Tam, Triest, Arnopole, LaBarge of UCDSO; Composer: George Frideric Handel

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Who are you, Lord? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting; you harm only yourself by kicking against the goad.

Psalm 19A
Praise of the Lord, Creator of all

The dawn from on high shall break on us . . . to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78, 79).

The heavens proclaim the glory of God
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message.

No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth,
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

There he has placed a tent for the sun;
it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent,
rejoices like a champion to run its course.

At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun;
to the furthest end of the sky is its course.
There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Who are you, Lord? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting; you harm only yourself by kicking against the goad.

Ant. 2 Go, Ananias, and seek out Saul, who is praying to me; he is the one I have chosen to make my name known to the Gentiles and their kings, as well as to the people of Israel.

Psalm 64
Prayer for help against enemies

This psalm commemorates most particularly our Lord’s passion (Saint Augustine).

Hear my voice, O God, as I complain,
guard my life from dread of the foe.
Hide me from the band of the wicked,
from the throng of those who do evil.

They sharpen their tongues like swords;
they aim bitter words like arrows
to shoot at the innocent from ambush,
shooting suddenly and recklessly.

They scheme their evil course;
they conspire to lay secret snares.
They say: “Who will see us?
Who can search out our crimes?”

He will search who searches the mind
and knows the depths of the heart.
God has shot them with his arrow
and dealt them sudden wounds.
Their own tongue has brought them to ruin
and all who see them mock.

Then will all men fear;
they will tell what God has done.
They will understand God’s deeds.
The just will rejoice in the Lord
and fly to him for refuge.
All the upright hearts will glory.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Go, Ananias, and seek out Saul, who is praying to me; he is the one I have chosen to make my name known to the Gentiles and their kings, as well as to the people of Israel.

Ant. 3 Paul went into the synagogues and proclaimed to the Jews that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.

Psalm 97
The glory of the Lord in his decrees for the world

This psalm foretells a world-wide salvation and that peoples of all nations will believe in Christ (St. Athanasius).

The Lord is king, let earth rejoice,
let all the coastlands be glad.
Cloud and darkness are his raiment;
his throne, justice and right.

A fire prepares his path;
it burns up his foes on every side.
His lightnings light up the world,
the earth trembles at the sight.

The mountains melt like wax
before the Lord of all the earth.
The skies proclaim his justice;
all peoples see his glory.

Let those who serve idols be ashamed,
those who boast of their worthless gods.
All you spirits, worship him.

Zion hears and is glad;
the people of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments, O Lord.

For you indeed are the Lord,
most high above all the earth,
exalted far above all spirits.

The Lord loves those who hate evil:
he guards the souls of his saints;
he sets them free from the wicked.

Light shines forth for the just
and joy for the upright of heart.
Rejoice, you just, in the Lord;
give glory to his holy name.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Paul went into the synagogues and proclaimed to the Jews that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

The Lord is gracious and merciful.
He is slow to anger and full of compassion.

READINGS

First Reading
From a letter of the apostle Paul to the Galatians
1:11–24
The Father has revealed his Son to me that I might proclaim his Gospel

I assure you, brothers, the gospel I proclaimed to you is no mere human invention. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I schooled in it. It came by revelation from Jesus Christ.

You have heard, I know, the story of my former way of life in Judaism. You know that I went to extremes in persecuting the Church of God and tried to destroy it; I made progress in Jewish observance far beyond most of my contemporaries, in my excess of zeal to live out all the traditions of my ancestors.

But the time came when he who had set me apart before I was born and called me by his favor chose to reveal his Son to me, that I might spread among the Gentiles the good tidings concerning him. Immediately, without seeking human advisers or even going to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before me, I went off to Arabia; later I returned to Damascus. Three years after that I went up to Jerusalem to get to know Cephas, with whom I stayed fifteen days. I did not meet any other apostles except James, the brother of the Lord. I declare before God that what I have just written is true.

Thereafter I entered the regions of Syria and Cilicia. The communities of Christ in Judea had no idea what I looked like; they had only heard that “he who was formerly persecuting us is now preaching the faith he tried to destroy,” and they gave glory to God on my account.

RESPONSORY Galatians 1:11-12; 2 Corinthians 11:10, 7

The Gospel which I preached to you is not a human message.
I did not receive it through any man, but from our Lord Jesus Christ who revealed it to me.

As surely as Christ’s truth is in me, I have preached the Gospel to you.
I did not receive it through any man, but from our Lord Jesus Christ who revealed it to me.

Second reading
From a homily by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop
For love of Christ, Paul bore every burden

Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is, and in what our nobility consists, and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. Each day he aimed ever higher; each day he rose up with greater ardor and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead. When he saw death imminent, he bade others share his joy: Rejoice and be glad with me! And when danger, injustice and abuse threatened, he said: I am content with weakness, mistreatment and persecution. These he called the weapons of righteousness, thus telling us that he derived immense profit from them.

Thus, amid the traps set for him by his enemies, with exultant heart he turned their every attack into a victory for himself; constantly beaten, abused and cursed, he boasted of it as though he were celebrating a triumphal procession and taking trophies home, and offered thanks to God for it all: Thanks be to God who is always victorious in us! This is why he was far more eager for the shameful abuse that his zeal in preaching brought upon him than we are for the most pleasing honors, more eager for death than we are for life, for poverty than we are for wealth; he yearned for toil far more than others yearn for rest after toil. The one thing he feared, indeed dreaded, was to offend God; nothing else could sway him. Therefore, the only thing he really wanted was always to please God.

The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else; were he without it, it would be no satisfaction to be the friend of principalities and powers. He preferred to be thus loved and be the least of all, or even to be among the damned, than to be without that love and be among the great and honored.

To be separated from that love was, in his eyes, the greatest and most extraordinary of torments; the pain of that loss would alone have been hell, and endless, unbearable torture.

So too, in being loved by Christ he thought of himself as possessing life, the world, the angels, present and future, the kingdom, the promise and countless blessings. Apart from that love nothing saddened or delighted him; for nothing earthly did he regard as bitter or sweet.

Paul set no store by the things that fill our visible world, any more than a man sets value on the withered grass of the field. As for tyrannical rulers or the people enraged against him, he paid them no more heed than gnats.

Death itself and pain and whatever torments might come were but child’s play to him, provided that thereby he might bear some burden for the sake of Christ.

RESPONSORY 1 Timothy 1:13-14; 1 Corinthians 15:9

God was merciful to me,
because in my unbelief I acted in ignorance.
The abundant grace of our Lord was poured out on me,
and gave me the faith and love which are ours through union with Christ Jesus.

I am not worthy to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the Church of God.
The abundant grace of our Lord was poured out on me,
and gave me the faith and love which are ours through union with Christ Jesus.

TE DEUM

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
And we shall never hope in vain.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

God our Father,
you taught the gospel to all the world
through the preaching of Paul your apostle.
May we who celebrate his conversion to the faith
follow him in bearing witness to your truth.
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.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

18 posted on 01/25/2012 1:25:25 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Jan 25, Morning Prayer – Feast for Conversion of St. Paul, Ap

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. III:
Ordinary: 654
Proper of Saints: 1324
Common of Apostles: 1666
Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I, 688

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 689
Proper of Saints: 1069
Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I, 707

Morning Prayer for the Feast of the Conversion of Paul, Apostle

God, come to my assistance.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Text: Francis of Assisi, circa 1225 (Cantico di fratre sole, Song of Brother Sun). He wrote this hymn shortly before his death, but it was not published for almost 400 years. Translated to English by William H. Draper for a children’s Whitsuntide festival in Leeds, England; first appeared in the Public School Hymn Book, 1919.
“All Creatures Of Our God And King” performed by Gloucester Cathedral Choir is available from Amazon.com.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 I know the one whom I have trusted and I am certain that he, the just judge, has power to keep safe what he has entrusted to me until that Day.

Psalm 63:2-9
A soul thirsting for God

Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. I know the one whom I have trusted and I am certain that he, the just judge, has power to keep safe what he has entrusted to me until that Day.

Ant. 2 Paul, my grace is sufficient for you; my power is made perfect in weakness.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord

The Creator… is blessed for ever (Romans 1:25)

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. Paul, my grace is sufficient for you; my power is made perfect in weakness.

Ant. 3 God’s grace in me has not been without fruit; it is always at work in me

Psalm 149
The joy of God’s holy people

Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. God’s grace in me has not been without fruit; it is always at work in me

READING Acts 26:16b-18

I have appeared to you to designate you as my servant and as a witness to what you have seen of me and what you will see of me. I have delivered you from this people and from the nations, to open the eyes of those to whom I am sending you, to turn them from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God; that through their faith in me they may obtain the forgiveness of their sins and a portion among God’s people.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

You are a chosen instrument, holy apostle Paul.
You are a chosen instrument, holy apostle Paul.

Preacher of truth to the whole world,
holy apostle Paul.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
You are a chosen instrument, holy apostle Paul.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Let us celebrate the conversion of Saint Paul the apostle. He was transformed from being a persecutor of Christ into a vessel of his grace.

Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Let us celebrate the conversion of Saint Paul the apostle. He was transformed from being a persecutor of Christ into a vessel of his grace.

INTERCESSIONS

Beloved friends, we have inherited heaven along with the apostles. Let us give thanks to the Father for all his gifts:
The company of apostles praises you, O Lord.

Praise be to you, Lord, for the banquet of Christ’s body and blood given us through the apostles,
which refreshes us and gives us life.
The company of apostles praises you, O Lord.

Praise be to you, Lord, for the feast of your word prepared for us by the apostles,
giving us light and joy.
The company of apostles praises you, O Lord.

Praise be to you, Lord, for your holy Church, founded on the apostles,
where we are gathered together into your community.
The company of apostles praises you, O Lord.

Praise be to you, Lord, for the cleansing power of baptism and penance that you have entrusted to your apostles,
through which we are cleansed of our sins.
The company of apostles praises you, O Lord.

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.

Concluding Prayer

God our Father,
you taught the gospel to all the world
through the preaching of Paul your apostle.
May we who celebrate his conversion to the faith
follow him in bearing witness to your truth.
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.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

19 posted on 01/25/2012 1:25:31 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Jan 25, Midday Prayer for Wednesday of the 3rd week of Ordinary Time

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. III:
Ordinary: 659
All from the Psalter: Wednesday, Week III, 1050 (Midday)

Liturgy of the Hours Vol. IV:
Ordinary: 623
All from the Psalter: Wednesday, Week III, 1014 (Midday)

Midday Prayer for Wednesday using Current Psalmody

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Lord of all being, thronèd afar,
Thy glory flames from sun and star;
Center and soul of every sphere,
Yet to each loving heart how near!

Sun of our life, Thy quickening ray,
Sheds on our path the glow of day;
Star of our hope, Thy softened light
Cheers the long watches of the night.

Our midnight is Thy smile withdrawn;
Our noontide is Thy gracious dawn;
Our rainbow arch, Thy mercy’s sign;
All, save the clouds of sin, are Thine.

Lord of all life, below, above,
Whose light is truth, whose warmth is love,
Before Thy ever blazing throne
We ask no luster of our own.

Grant us Thy truth to make us free,
And kindling hearts that burn for Thee,
Till all Thy living altars claim
One holy light, one heavenly flame.

Lord of all being by The Jubilate Singers; Words: Oliver W. Holmes, Sr. Music: Virgil C. Taylor
Lord of all being by The Jubilate Singers is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Whoever follows me does not walk in the dark; he will have the light of life.

Psalm 119
XIV (Nun)
A meditation on God’s law

This is my commandment: that you should love one another (John 15:12).

Your word is a lamp for my steps
and a light for my path.
I have sworn and have made up my mind
to obey your decrees.

Lord, I am deeply afflicted:
by your word give me life.
Accept, Lord, the homage of my lips
and teach me your decrees.

Though I carry my life in my hands,
I remember your law.
Though the wicked try to ensnare me
I do not stray from your precepts.

Your will is my heritage for ever,
the joy of my heart.
I set myself to carry out your will
in fullness, for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Let your Word, Father, be a lamp for our feet and a light to our path, so that we may understand what you wish to teach us and follow the path your light marks out for us.

Ant. Whoever follows me does not walk in the dark; he will have the light of life.

Ant. 2 Help me, O God, for I am poor and needy.

Psalm 70
O God, come to my aid

Lord, save us, we are lost (Matthew 8:25).

O God, make haste to my rescue,
Lord, come to my aid!
Let there be shame and confusion
on those who seek my life.

O let them turn back in confusion,
who delight in my harm,
let them retreat, covered with shame,
who jeer at my lot.

Let there be rejoicing and gladness
for all who seek you.
Let them say for ever: “God is great,”
who love your saving help.

As for me, wretched and poor,
come to me, O God.
You are my rescuer, my help,
O Lord, do not delay.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

God, our help and deliverer, do not abandon us among the many temptations of life but deliver us from evil and turn our tears and struggles into joy.

Ant. Help me, O God, for I am poor and needy.

Ant. 3 God, who is justice and truth, does not judge by appearances.

Psalm 75
The Lord, the ruler over all

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up the lowly (Luke 1:52).

We give thanks to you, O God,
we give thanks and call upon your name.
We recount your wonderful deeds.

“When I reach the appointed time,
then I will judge with justice.
Though the earth and all who dwell in it may rock,
it is I who uphold its pillars.

To the boastful I say: ‘Do not boast,’
to the wicked: ‘Do not flaunt your strength,
do not flaunt your strength on high.
Do not speak with insolent pride.’”

For neither from the east nor from the west,
nor from desert or mountains comes judgment,
but God himself is the judge.
One he humbles, another he exalts.

The Lord holds a cup in his hand,
full of wine, foaming and spiced.
He pours it; they drink it to the dregs:
all the wicked on the earth must drain it.

As for me, I will rejoice for ever
and sing psalms to Jacob’s God.
He shall break the power of the wicked,
while the strength of the just shall be exalted.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Father, by the passion of your Son you proclaimed the final judgment of the world; when you raised Christ upon the cross, you deposed the prince of darkness. Strike down the pride that rules our hearts and raise us to the glory of the resurrection.

Ant. God, who is justice and truth, does not judge by appearances.

READING 1 Corinthians 13:8-9, 13

Love never fails. Prophecies will cease, tongues will be silent, knowledge will pass away.
Our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect. There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

Lord, show us your love and mercy.
For we put our trust in you.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

God of mercy,
this midday moment of rest
is your welcome gift.
Bless the work we have begun,
make good its defects
and let us finish it in a way that pleases you.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

20 posted on 01/25/2012 1:25:35 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Jan 25, Evening Prayer – Feast for Conversion of St. Paul, Ap

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. III:
Ordinary: 668
Proper of Saints: 1327
Common of the Apostles: 1669

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 694
Proper of Saints: 1071
Common of the Apostles: 1394

Evening Prayer for the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

The eternal gifts of Christ the King,
the apostles’ glory, let us sing,
and all, with hearts of gladness, raise
due hymns of thankful love and praise.

For they the Church’s princes are,
triumphant leaders in the war,
in heavenly courts a warrior band,
true lights to lighten every land.

Theirs is the steadfast faith of saints,
and hope that never yields nor faints;
and love of Christ in perfect glow
that lays the prince of this world low.

In them the Father’s glory shone,
in them the will of God the Son,
in them exults the Holy Ghost,
through them rejoice the heavenly host.

To thee, Redeemer, now we cry,
that thou wouldst join to them on high
thy servants, who this grace implore,
for ever and for evermore.

“The Eternal Gifts of Christ the King” by Newcastle Cathedral Choir; Attributed to Ambrose of Milan, 4th Century (Aeterna Christi munera); translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale in the Hymnal Noted, 1854.
“The Eternal Gifts of Christ the King” performed by Newcastle Cathedral Choir is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Willingly I glory in my infirmities, that the healing power of Christ may dwell in me.

Psalm 116:10-19
Thanksgiving in the Temple

Through Christ let us offer God a continual sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15).

I trusted, even when I said:
I am sorely afflicted,
and when I said in my alarm:
No man can be trusted.

How can I repay the Lord
for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the Lord’s name.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfill
before all his people.
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
you have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
I will call on the Lord’s name.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfill
before all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Willingly I glory in my infirmities, that the healing power of Christ may dwell in me.

Ant. 2 I planted the seed; Apollos watered it, but it was God who gave the increase.

Psalm 126
Joyful hope in God

Just as you share in sufferings so you will share in the divine glory (2 Corinthians 1:7).

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
on our lips there were songs.

The heathens themselves said: “What marvels
the Lord worked for them!”
What marvels the Lord worked for us!
Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears
will sing when they reap.

They go out, they go out, full of tears,
carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song,
carrying their sheaves.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. I planted the seed; Apollos watered it, but it was God who gave the increase.

Ant. 3 For me life is Christ, and death is gain. God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Canticle – Ephesians 1:3-10
God our Savior

Praised be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who bestowed on us in Christ
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

God chose us in him
before the world began
to be holy
and blameless in his sight.

He predestined us
to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ,
such was his will and pleasure,
that all might praise the glorious favor
he has bestowed on us in his beloved.

In him and through his blood, we have been redeemed,
and our sins forgiven,
so immeasurably generous
is God’s favor to us.

God has given us the wisdom
to understand fully the mystery,
the plan he was pleased
to decree in Christ.

A plan to be carried out
in Christ, in the fulness of time,
to bring all things into one in him,
in the heavens and on earth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. For me life is Christ, and death is gain. God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

READING 1 Corinthians 15:9-10

I am the least of the apostles; in fact, because I persecuted the church of God, I do not even deserve the name. But by God’s favor I am what I am. This favor of his to me has not proved fruitless. Indeed, I have worked harder than all the others, not on my own but through the favor of God.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

I will sing your praise, O Lord, with all my heart.
I will sing your praise, O Lord, with all my heart.

I will glorify your name among all nations,
with all my heart.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
I will sing your praise, O Lord, with all my heart.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Holy apostle Paul, preacher of truth and teacher of the Gentiles, intercede for us with God, who chose you.

Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Holy apostle Paul, preacher of truth and teacher of the Gentiles, intercede for us with God, who chose you.

INTERCESSIONS

My brothers, we build on the foundation of the apostles. Let us pray to our almighty Father for his holy people and say:
Be mindful of your Church, O Lord.

Father, you wanted your Son to be seen first by the apostles after the resurrection from the dead,
we ask you to make us his witnesses to the farthest corners of the world.
Be mindful of your Church, O Lord.

You sent your Son to preach the good news to the poor,
help us to preach this Gospel to every creature.
Be mindful of your Church, O Lord.

You sent your Son to sow the seed of unending life,
grant that we who work at sowing the seed may share the joy of the harvest.
Be mindful of your Church, O Lord.

You sent your Son to reconcile all men to you through his blood,
help us all to work toward achieving this reconciliation.
Be mindful of your Church, O Lord.

Your Son sits at your right hand in heaven,
let the dead enter your kingdom of joy.
Be mindful of your Church, O Lord.

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.

Concluding Prayer

God our Father,
you taught the gospel to all the world
through the preaching of Paul your apostle.
May we who celebrate his conversion to the faith
follow him in bearing witness to your truth.
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.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

21 posted on 01/25/2012 1:25:40 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Jan 25, Night Prayer for Wednesday of the 3rd week of Ordinary Time

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours:
Vol I, page 1180
Vol II, Page 1638
Vol III, Page 1280
Vol IV, Page 1244

Christian Prayer:
Page 1047

General instruction:
Please pray with us actively, especially by joining with us in saying antiphons and responses, most of which are indicated in this highlight.

Consider an examination of your own conscience before beginning to best make use of our time together in prayer.

Night Prayer for Wednesday

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Examination of conscience:

We are called to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and to ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask for His strength to do better.

I confess to almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;
and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

HYMN

Maker of this heart of mine
You know me very well
You understand my deepest part
More than I know myself
So when I face the darkness
When I need to find my way
I’ll trust in You
Shepherd of my heart

Keeper of this heart of mine
Your patience has no end
You’ve loved me back into Your arms
Time and time again
So if I start to wander
Like a lamb that’s gone astray
I’ll trust in You
Shepherd of my heart

You’re the beacon of my nights
You’re the sunlight of my days
I can rest within Your arms
I can know Your loving ways
So let the cold winds blow
Let the storms rage all around
I’ll trust in You
Shepherd of my heart

Giver of this life in me
You’re what I’m living for
For all my deepest gratitude
You love me even more
So as I walk through valleys
Listening for the Master’s call
I’ll trust in you
Shepherd of my heart

You’re the beacon of my nights
You’re the sunlight of my days
I can rest within Your arms
I can know Your loving ways
So as I walk through valleys
Listening for my Master’s call
I’ll trust in You
Shepherd of my heart

I’ll trust in You
Shepherd of my heart

“Shepherd of my heart” song performed by Melinda Kirigin-Voss on her album “Yesterday, Today, and Forever”
“Shepherd of my heart” by Melinda Kirigin-Voss is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Lord God, be my refuge and my strength.

Psalm 31:1-6
Trustful prayer in adversity

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit (Luke 23:46).

In you, O Lord, I take refuge.
Let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free,
hear me and speedily rescue me.

Be a rock of refuge for me,
a mighty stronghold to save me,
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.

Release me from the snares they have hidden
for you are my refuge, Lord.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
It is you who will redeem me, Lord.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Lord God, be my refuge and my strength.

Ant. 2 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord.

Psalm 130
A cry from the depths

He will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleading.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,
Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness:
for this we revere you.

My soul is waiting for the Lord,
I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord
more than watchman for daybreak.
Let the watchman count on daybreak
and Israel on the Lord.

Because with the Lord there is mercy
and fullness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem
from all its iniquity.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord.

READING Ephesians 4:26-27

If you are angry, let it be without sin. The sun must not go down on your wrath; do not give the devil a chance to work on you.

RESPONSORY

Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Gospel Canticle

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32
Christ is the light of the nations and the glory of Israel

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Concluding Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have given your followers
an example of gentleness and humility,
a task that is easy, a burden that is light.
Accept the prayers and work of this day,
and give us the rest that will strengthen us
to render more faithful service to you
who live and reign for ever and ever.
Amen.

Blessing

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death.
Amen.

Antiphon or song in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women and
Blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death.

22 posted on 01/25/2012 1:25:49 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: All
The Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle

The Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle
Feast Day
January 25th

Year of Saint Paul
June 28, 2008-June 29, 2009

The Conversion of Saul
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
1542-45
Fresco, 625 x 661 cm
Cappella Paolina, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

 

The conversion of Saul of Tarsus while he was on his way to Damascus is one of the most touching miracles in the history of the early Church. It shows us how faith comes from grace and from one's free cooperation. The doctrine on the Mystical Body of Christ receives proof and a clear illustration when Christ says, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" We should realize that the best way to hasten the unity of all Christians is to foster our own daily personal conversion.

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

 

Collect:
O God, who taught the whole world
through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Paul,
draw us, we pray, nearer to you
through the example of him whose conversion we celebrate today,
and so make us witnesses to your truth in the world.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 22:3-16
"I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamali-el, educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as you all are this day. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brethren, and I journeyed to Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.

"As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?' And I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.' Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the One who was speaking to me. And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.' And when I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.

"And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And in that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, 'The God of our fathers appointed you to know His will, to see the Just One and to hear a voice from His mouth; for you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.'

Alternative First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 9:1-22
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to Him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?" And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon thy name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My name." So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened.

For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, "He is the Son of God." And all who heard him were amazed, and said, "Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name? And he has come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests." But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.


Gospel Reading: Mark 16:15-18
He[Jesus] said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Related links on the Vatican Website:

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Saint Peter's Square, Wednesday, October 25, 2006, Paul of Tarsus

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Saint Peter's Square, Wednesday, November 8, 2006, St Paul's new outlook

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Saint Peter's Square, Wednesday, November 15, 2006, St Paul and the Spirit

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Saint Peter's Square, Wednesday, 22 November 2006, St Paul and the Church

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 2 July 2008, Saint Paul (part 1), Religious and Cultural Environment

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 27 August 2008, Saint Paul (2), Life of Saint Paul before and after Damascus.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 3 September 2008, Saint Paul (3), St Paul's "Conversion".

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 10 September 2008, Saint Paul (4), Saint Paul's Concept of Apostolate.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, St Peter's Square, Wednesday, 24 September 2008, Saint Paul (5), Paul, the Twelve and the pre-Pauline Church.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 1 October 2008, Saint Paul (6), The "Council" of Jerusalem and the Incident in Antioch.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, St Peter's Square, Wednesday, 8 October 2008, Saint Paul (7), The Relationship with the Historical Jesus.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, St. Peter's Square, Wednesday, 15 October 2008, Saint Paul (8), Paul's Ecclesiological Dimension.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, St. Peter's Square, Wednesday, 22 October 2008, Saint Paul (9), The Importance of Christology: Pre-existence and Incarnation.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, St. Peter's Square, Wednesday, 29 October 2008, Saint Paul (10), The Importance of Christology: the Theology of the Cross.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, St. Peter's Square, Wednesday, 5 November 2008, Saint Paul (11), The Importance of Christology: the Decisiveness of the Resurrection.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, St. Peter's Square, Wednesday, 12 November 2008, Saint Paul (12), Eschatology : the Expectation of the Parusia.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, St. Peter's Square, Wednesday, 19 November 2008, Saint Paul (13), The Doctrine of Justification: from Works to Faith.

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 26 November 2008, Saint Paul (14): The Apostle's Teaching on Faith and Works In Regard to Justification

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, Wednesday, 3 December 2008, Saint Paul (15), The Apostle’s teaching on the relation between Adam and Christ

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday,10 December 2008, Saint Paul (16), Theology of the sacraments

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 7 January 2009, Saint Paul (17), Spiritual Worship

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 14 January 2009, Saint Paul (18), The Theological vision of the Letters to the Colossians and Ephesians

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 28 January 2009, Saint Paul (19), Theological vision of Pastoral Letters

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 4 February 2009, Saint Paul (20), St Paul's martyrdom and heritage


23 posted on 01/25/2012 10:53:48 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
[St. Paul's] Conversion to Christ
On Christian Unity (Pope Benedict XVI Homily on Feast of Conversion of St. Paul)
St. Paul's Faith Based Not on Conversion of Thought, but Personal Meeting With Christ, Pope Says
Paul's Conversion
The Conversion of St. Paul
Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul -- January 25
24 posted on 01/25/2012 10:54:28 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
Conversion of St. Paul
Feast Day: January 25

25 posted on 01/25/2012 12:01:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

Conversion of St. Paul

Conversion of St. Paul
Feast Day: January 25

Paul was born at Tarsus in Cilicia (Turkey) lived around the time of Jesus but never met Him. Paul was first called Saul. As a young man, he was a very bright student of the Hebrew religion. He was a Pharisee and a tent-maker by trade.

He hated the Christians. When he grew older he tortured and harassed the followers of Jesus. He even helped at the stoning of St. Stephen the martyr.

In the Bible's Acts of the Apostles, we read about Saul's amazing conversion (chapters 9, 22, 26). What happened?

One day, Paul was on his way to the city of Damascus to hunt down more Christians. Suddenly, a great light shone all around him and he was knocked to the ground. He was struck blind; and he heard a voice say, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"

Saul answered, "Who are you, Sir?" And the voice said, "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting." Saul was shocked and confused. After a few seconds, he asked, "What do you want me to do?" Jesus told him to continue on to Damascus and there he would be told what to do.

At that moment, through the power of God, Saul received the gift to believe in Jesus. Weak and trembling, he reached out for help and his companions led him into Damascus. The light had blinded him temporarily. Now that he was blind he could really "see" the truth.

And Jesus had come personally to meet him, to invite him to conversion. Saul became a great lover of Jesus. He was baptized and changed his name to Paul to show that he was a changed person. Now he thought only of helping everyone know and love Jesus, the Savior.

We know Saul by his Roman name of Paul. He is called "the apostle." He traveled all over the world, preaching the Good News and led so many people to Jesus. He worked and suffered.

His enemies tried to kill him several times but nothing could stop him. When he was old and tired, he was once again put in prison and sentenced to die. Still St. Paul was happy to suffer and even die for Christ.

This great apostle wrote wonderful letters to the Christians. They are in the Bible. These letters, called epistles, are read often during the Liturgy of the Word at Mass.


26 posted on 01/25/2012 12:11:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Catholic
Almanac:
Wednesday, January 25
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. He persecuted Christians until a vision of Jesus caused him to convert. He went on to be one of the greatest missionaries of the Church. Many of his letters have become books in the Bible.

27 posted on 01/25/2012 1:39:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: January 25, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who taught the whole world through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Paul, draw us, we pray, nearer to you through the example of him whose conversion we celebrate today, and so make us witnesses to your truth in the world. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Ordinary Time: January 25th

  Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle Old Calendar: Conversion of St. Paul

St. Paul, named Saul at his circumcision, a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, was born at Tarsus, the capitol of Cilicia. He was a Roman citizen. He was brought up as a strict Jew, and later became a violent persecutor of the Christians. While on his way to Damascus to make new arrests of Christians, he was suddenly converted by a miraculous apparition of Our Lord. From a fierce persecutor he became the great Apostle of the Gentiles. He made three missionary journeys which brought him to the great centers of Asia Minor and southern Europe, and made many converts. Fourteen of his Epistles are found in the New Testament. He was beheaded in Rome in 66, and his body is kept in the Basilica of St. Paul near the Ostian Way.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity


St. Paul
St. Paul was born at Tarsus, Cilicia, of Jewish parents who were descended from the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Roman citizen from birth. As he was "a young man" at the stoning of Stephen and "an old man" when writing to Philemon, about the year 63, he was probably born around the beginning of the Christian era.

To complete his schooling, St. Paul was sent to Jerusalem, where he sat at the feet of the learned Gamaliel and was educated in the strict observance of the ancestral Law. Here he also acquired a good knowledge of exegesis and was trained in the practice of disputation. As a convinced and zealous Pharisee, he returned to Tarsus before the public life of Christ opened in Palestine.

Some time after the death of Our Lord, St. Paul returned to Palestine. His profound conviction made his zeal develop to a religious fanaticism against the infant Church. He took part in the stoning of the first martyr, St. Stephen, and in the fierce persecution of the Christians that followed.

Entrusted with a formal mission from the high priest, he departed for Damascus to arrest the Christians there and bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was nearing Damascus, about noon, a light from heaven suddenly blazed round him. Jesus with His glorified body appeared to him and addressed him, turning him away from his apparently successful career.

An immediate transformation was wrought in the soul of St. Paul. He was suddenly converted to the Christian Faith. He was baptized, changed his name from Saul to Paul, and began travelling and preaching the Faith. He was martyred as an Apostle in Rome around 65 AD.

— Excerpted from Lives of the Saints

Patron: Against snakes; authors; Cursillo movement; evangelists; hailstorms; hospital public relations; journalists; lay people; missionary bishops; musicians; poisonous snakes; public relations personnel; public relations work; publishers; reporters; rope braiders; rope makers; saddlemakers; saddlers; snake bites; tent makers; writers; Malta; Rome; Poznan, Poland; newspaper editorial staff Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Diocese of Covington, Kentucky; Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama; Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada; Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Symbols: Book and sword; three fountains; two swords; scourge; serpent and a fire; armour of God; twelve scrolls with names of his Epistles; phoenix; palm tree; shield of faith; sword; book.

Often portrayed as: Thin-faced elderly man with a high forehead, receding hairline and long pointed beard; man holding a sword and a book; man with 3 springs of water nearby.


The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Eight Days reflecting on our change in Christ

Day Eight: United in the Reign of Christ
To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne
(Rv 3:21)

On this last day of our week of prayer for Christian Unity we celebrate the Reign of Christ. Christ’s victory enables us to look into the future with hope. This victory overcomes all that keeps us from sharing fullness of life with him and with each other. Christians know that unity among us is above all a gift of God. It is a share in Christ’s glorious victory over all that divides.

Vatican Resources


28 posted on 01/25/2012 2:12:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Acts 22:3-16

The Conversion of St.Paul

About noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me. (Acts 22:6)

Have you taken a close look at your bathroom mirrors lately? The daily routine of brushing your teeth, washing your face, and combing your hair in front of a mirror can leave a build-up of water marks, left­over toothpaste, and hairspray, all obstructing your reflection and giving you a miry view of your appearance. But with just a little glass cleaner and some paper towels, you can wipe the grime away, enabling you to see your reflection clearly without any spots or buildup.

In today’s first reading, the buildup that hindered Paul’s view about his life was removed when he met the Lord on the Damascus road. The revelation of Jesus—and of him­self—moved Paul to turn away from his old way of thinking and embrace the church he had been persecut­ing. With a new clarity of vision and a new understanding of who God is and how he works, Paul turned his heart to Jesus, and immedi­ately began preaching in the streets of Damascus. You can just imagine him telling people about his own experience of the Lord and urging them to turn to Jesus so that they too could come to see him as clearly as Paul had.

What made Paul so passionate and so clear? His conversion, that’s what. The moment Jesus entered his life, everything changed! Paul knew what he was like before that day, and he saw how God had been at work transforming him from that point on. That one event was so powerful that the story is told three times in the Book of Acts alone—not to men­tion all the times Paul refers to it in his letters!

Take some time today to write down the story of your own faith journey. Even if you didn’t have a dramatic “road to Damascus” expe­rience, it is still important to write down how God has been at work, giving you a clearer vision of your­self and of his love. St. Paul himself shows us that a clear mind always leads to a pure heart.

“Praise you, Lord, for your love for me is strong and mighty! You are forever faithful to everyone who trusts in your name. May I always live to give you glory and honor!”

Psalm 117:1-2; Mark 16:15-18


29 posted on 01/25/2012 2:31:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST, PAUL ENDURED ALL THINGS

A reading from a homily by St. John Chrysostom 

Hom 2 on St. Paul

[The Feast of THE CONVERSION OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE]

It was Saint Paul more than anyone else who showed what man is and how great is the nobility of our nature, as well as what capacity for virtue this human animal has. Every day he advanced in stature, every day he fought with ever-renewed keenness against the dangers threatening him; he showed this when he said: “I forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead.” When he was expecting to die he summoned others to share his joy, saying, “You also should be glad and rejoice with me.” Again he actually leaped with joy at the dangers and insults and every dishonour  which pressed on him, as he wrote to the Corinthians, “I am content with weaknesses, insults, persecutions.” He called these the weapons of righteousness, showing that from them the greatest benefits are reaped.

Therefore he was always undefeated by his enemies. Everywhere he was beaten, insulted, and reviled. He treated it all as though it were a triumphal procession setting up trophies of victory everywhere on earth, glorying in them, giving thanks to God, saying, “Thanks be to God who in Christ always leads us to triumph.” So he sought dishonour and insults in his preaching of the gospel more readily than we seek honours. He sought death more than we seek life, and poverty more than we seek riches; and he looked for work to do more than others look for rest. It was not simply that he looked for more, he looked for much more.

There was one thing, and one thing only that he feared and shunned, and that was to give offence to God. Just as there was one thing he longed for, to please God.

He was rich with the love of Christ which was the greatest of all things to him. While he had this, he reckoned himself the most blessed of men. Without it he had no wish to be numbered among princes and rulers and powers. Possessing love he wished to be among the lowliest of men, among those being chastised, rather than without love to be among the loftiest and honoured. There was one torment for him, to fall away from this love. That for him was hell, that was damnation. That was the sum of all evils.

Even so to find this love was joy. This to him was life, it was the whole world, his angel, things present, things to come, the Kingdom and the promise. This was the sum of all blessings. Anything else which was not concerned with this he regarded neither  as painful nor as pleasant. Things visible he considered of no more worth than withered grass. Tyrants or peoples breathing fury seemed to him like gnats. Death, torture, and a thousand torments he thought of as child’s play, provided only he could endure something for Christ’s sake.

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, today we celebrate the conversion of Saint Paul, Your chosen vessel for carrying Your name to the whole world. Help us to make our way towards You by following in his footsteps, and by witnessing to Your truth before the men and women of our day. Amen. 

Note: St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, was born at Antioch about the year 349. After a brilliant course of studies he began to lead a life of austerity. He was ordained priest and laboured in preaching, with great fruit. In 397 he became Bishop of Constantinople and showed himself a true pastor, striving to reform the morals of both clergy and people. He incurred the hatred of the imperial court and his work was undermined because of jealousy, and twice he was sent into exile. Overcome by exhaustion he died at Comana in Pontus on 14 September 407. Because of his sermons and writings to explain the faith and to encourage the practice of the Christian life he was called John of the Golden Mouth.


30 posted on 01/25/2012 2:37:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for January 25, 2012:

Sometimes it’s worth doing something with your honey, just because it pleases the other person. For example, watch her favorite movie or his favorite sport, try dancing together, take a lesson…


31 posted on 01/25/2012 2:43:46 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 16
15 And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Et dixit eis : Euntes in mundum universum prædicate Evangelium omni creaturæ. και ειπεν αυτοις πορευθεντες εις τον κοσμον απαντα κηρυξατε το ευαγγελιον παση τη κτισει
16 He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. Qui crediderit, et baptizatus fuerit, salvus erit : qui vero non crediderit, condemnabitur. ο πιστευσας και βαπτισθεις σωθησεται ο δε απιστησας κατακριθησεται
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. Signa autem eos qui crediderint, hæc sequentur : in nomine meo dæmonia ejicient : linguis loquentur novis : σημεια δε τοις πιστευσασιν ταυτα παρακολουθησει εν τω ονοματι μου δαιμονια εκβαλουσιν γλωσσαις λαλησουσιν καιναις
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. serpentes tollent : et si mortiferum quid biberint, non eis nocebit : super ægros manus imponent, et bene habebunt. οφεις αρουσιν καν θανασιμον τι πιωσιν ου μη αυτους βλαψη επι αρρωστους χειρας επιθησουσιν και καλως εξουσιν

32 posted on 01/25/2012 5:34:06 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
15. And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.
16. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believed not shall be damned.
17. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

AUG. But how was this done the last time? The last occasion on which the Apostles saw the Lord upon earth happened forty days after the resurrection; but would He then have upbraided them for not believing those who had seen Him risen, when they themselves had so often seen Him after His resurrection? It remains therefore that we should understand that Mark wished to say it in few words, and said for the last time, because it was the last time that He showed Himself that day, as night was coming on, when the disciples returned from the country into Jerusalem, and found, as Luke says, the eleven and those who were with them, speaking together concerning the resurrection of our Lord.

But there were some there who did not believe; when these then were sitting at meat, (as Mark says,) and were still speaking, (as Luke relates,) The Lord stood in the midst of them, and said to them, Peace be to you; as Luke and John say. The rebuke therefore which Mark here mentions, must have been amongst those words, which Luke and John say, that the Lord at that time spoke to the disciples. But another question is raised, how Mark says that He appeared when the eleven sat at meat, if the time was the first part of the night on the Lord's day, when John plainly says that Thomas was not with them, who, we believe, had gone out, before the Lord came in to them, after those two had returned from the village, and spoken with the eleven, as we find in Luke's Gospel.

But Luke in his relation leaves room for supposing that Thomas went out first, while they spoke these things, and that the Lord entered afterwards; Mark however from his saying, for the last time he appeared to the eleven as they sat at meat, forces us to believe that he was there, unless indeed, though one of them was absent he chose to call them the eleven, because the company of the Apostles was then called by this number, before Matthias was chosen into the place of Judas. Or if this be a harsh way of understanding it, let us understand that it means that after many appearances, He showed Himself for the last time, that is, on the fortieth clay, to the Apostles, as they sat at meat, and that since He was about to ascend from them, He rather wished on that day to reprove them for not having believed those who had seen Him risen before seeing Him themselves, because after His ascension even the Gentiles on their preaching were to believe a Gospel, which they had not seen.

And so the same Mark immediately after that rebuke says, And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. And lower down, He that believes not shall be condemned. Since then they were to preach this, were not they themselves to be first rebuked, because before they saw the Lord they had not believed those to who He had first appeared?

GREG. Another reason also why our Lord rebuked His disciples, when He left them as to His bodily presence, was, that the words which He spoke on leaving them might remain more deeply impressed, upon the hearts of His hearers.

PSEUDO-JEROME; But He rebukes their want of faith, that faith might take its place; He rebukes the hardness of their stony heart, that the fleshy heart, full of love, might take its place.

GREG. After rebuking the hardness of their hearts, let us hear the words of advice which He speaks. For it goes on: Go you into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. Every man must be understood by every creature; for man partakes something of every creature; he has existence as have stones, life as trees, feeling as animals, understanding as have Angels. For the Gospel is preached to every creature, because he is taught by it, for whose sake all are created, whom all things are in some way like, and from whom therefore they are not alien. By the name of every creature also every nation of the Gentiles may be meant. For it had been said before, Go not into the way of the Gentiles. But now it is said, Preach the Gospel to every creature, so that the preaching of the Apostles which was thrust aside by Judea, might be an assistance to us, since Judea, had haughtily rejected it, thus witnessing to her own damnation.

THEOPHYL. Or else; to every creature, that is, whether believing or unbelieving. It goes on: He that believes and is baptized shall be saved. For it is not enough to believe, for he who believes and is not baptized, but is a catechumen, has not yet attained to perfect salvation.

GREG. But perhaps some one may say in himself, I have already believed, I shall be saved. He says what is true, if he keeps his faith by works; for that is a true faith, which does not contradict by its deeds what it says in words. There follows: But he that believes not shall be damned.

BEDE; What shall we say here about infants, who by reason of their age cannot yet believe; for as to older persons there is no question. In the Church then of our Savior children believe by others, as also they drew from others the sins which are remitted to them in baptism. It goes on: And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents.

THEOPHYL. That is, they shall scatter before them serpents, whether intellectual or sensible, as it is said, you shall tread upon serpents and scorpions, which is understood spiritually. But it may also mean sensible serpents, as when Paul received no hurt from the viper. There follows: And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. We read of many such cases in history, for many persons have drank poison unhurt, by guarding themselves with the sign of Christ. It goes on: They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

GREG. Are we then without faith because we cannot do these signs? Nay, but these things were necessary in the beginning of the Church, for the faith of believers was to be nourished by miracles, that it might increase. Thus we also, when we plant groves, pour water upon them, until we see that they have grown strong in the earth; but when once they have firmly fixed their roots, we leave off irrigating them. These signs and miracles have other things which we ought to consider more minutely.

For Holy Church does every day in spirit what then the Apostles did in body; for when her Priests by the grace of exorcism lay their hands on believers, and forbid the evil spirits to dwell in their minds, what do they, but cast out devils? And the faithful who have left earthly words, and whose tongues sound forth the Holy Mysteries, speak a new language; they who by their good warnings take away evil from the hearts of others, take up serpents; and when they are hearing words of pestilent persuasion, without being at all drawn aside to evil doing, they drink a deadly thing, but it will never hurt them; whenever they see their neighbors growing weak in good works, and by their good example strengthen their life, they lay their hands on the sick, that they may recover. And all these miracles are greater in proportion as they are spiritual, and by them souls and not bodies are raised.

Catena Aurea Mark 16
33 posted on 01/25/2012 5:34:42 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


The Conversion of St Paul

Parmigianino (1503 – 1540)

Oil on canvas, 177,5 x 128,5 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

34 posted on 01/25/2012 5:35:37 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Conversion: Saint Paul's and Ours

 on January 25, 2012 7:30 AM |
caravaggio_la_conversione_di_lauro_San_Paolo_1601.jpg
Image: A detail from the incomparable Caravaggio's Conversion of Saint Paul.


A Divine Inbreaking

For Benedictines who make a vow of conversion -- conversatio morum -- the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul holds a special significance. For the Benedictine monk, the nun, or the Oblate, conversion is not a once-and-for-all event, it is a mystery of grace that unfolds day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. It is a Divine inbreaking that re-orders what is disordered in a soul; that re-shapes what is misshapen; and that calls one out of the darkness into the radiance of the glory of God shining on the Face of Christ.

Blind Me that I May See Rightly

One does not embrace the monastic way in order to settle into a tranquil routine of pious complacency. One embraces the monastic way in order to expose one's heart to the piercing two-edged sword of the Word of God, and to the wounding darts of Divine Love. One embraces the monastic way in order to blinded by Deifying Light, so as to see again not as one once saw, but with new eyes and from an altogether new perspective.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Praying Against Oneself

One embraces the monastic life, in a certain sense, to pray tirelessly against one's own twisted and twisting proclivities, and to turn, and turn, and turn again, until one lives facing Christ or, as Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity puts it, until one lives "with one's eyes in His eyes," avec les yeux dans ses yeux. To vow oneself to conversion of manners is to say relentlessly over an entire lifetime with the poet:

Batter my heart, three-personed God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurped town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betrothed unto your enemy:
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

(John Donne, Holy Sonnet XIV)

But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

The Presence of Saint Paul

Why does Saint Paul hold, even after two thousand years, such sway over hearts and minds in every culture and nation? Why does Saint Paul continue to speak compellingly to every man and every woman? Why was Saint Augustine's life turned around so dramatically and so gloriously when he seized upon a book and, opening it, read from Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans? Why is the Rule of Saint Benedict shot through with the Pauline passion for the love of Christ? Why, even in the conflicts that set believer against believer, did Saint Paul remain, on both sides of the conflict, the measure of what it means to belong to Christ? Why, in the last century did Saint Paul so capture the thought of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, Doctor of the Church; of the Benedictine Abbot, Blessed Columba Marmion; of the young Carmelite, Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity that one is obliged to conclude that, apart from an immersion in his Epistles, there can be no lasting conversion of souls to Christ, and no authentically Christian mysticism?

To me, the least of all the saints, is given this grace, to preach among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Ephesians 3:8)

Paul Gives Me Christ

I began reading Saint Paul as a small boy, withdrawing on quiet mornings into the narrow space between my bed and the wall, and going from discovery to discovery in the New Testament that my father gave me, and that I still treasure. More than fifty years on, I am still reading Saint Paul in whatever quiet space I can find? Why? Because Saint Paul gives me Christ. Because Saint Paul places my soul in Christ, and Christ in my soul. Because Saint Paul, once converted on the road to Damascus, has never stopped converting others to Christ Jesus in the wake of his own experience, and because I need, and want, and have vowed a lifetime of conversion.

And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

35 posted on 01/25/2012 8:12:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Caught by the Mission
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, the apostle (January 25, 2012).

January 25, 2012
Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, the apostle

Mark 16:15-18
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I renew my faith in the power of your word. I come to you today to listen to you and allow you to lead me. I renew my trust in your mercy: You are constantly looking upon me and the world with love. I want to love you in return and lead others to love you.

Petition: Fill me with the power of your good news, Lord.

1. The World Needs Messengers of Hope: Jesus Christ is the message that everyone vitally needs. He is God’s message to man, the message that tells people that God loves them deeply and offers them a way to true life and salvation. Our world often looks for love in the wrong places; it needs to find the answer to its deepest desires in Christ. But who will spread this message? Those like St. Paul who take Christ’s love seriously and see that they, too, can become messengers of hope. Am I meant to be a messenger of hope?

2. God Acts Powerfully in Those Who Trust Him: St. Paul is an example of what God can do through someone who trusts in him. St. Paul valued the grace Christ gave him. He put his life totally in the hands of Christ and was not afraid to proclaim him to everyone he met. Even though Paul faced many difficulties, his work produced enormous fruit and helped extend the number of Christian communities. Do I believe that Christ can work through me as I participate in the New Evangelization? In what ways can I trust him more?

3. Our Opportunity Is Now: St. Paul and the first apostles did not wait until all the circumstances were right before beginning evangelization. Once Christ had touched their lives and once he had given them the command to begin, they began right away. The Church has asked us to begin again today. Like St. Paul, we must feel that the fire of Christ’s love impels us (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14). We cannot wait until the circumstances are favorable; we must do whatever we can now. We have already experienced Christ’s love. Why are we waiting to share it? What holds me back from a greater surrender to the work of evangelization?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, like Saint Paul I have been touched by your love, and I have heard your command to go out and spread the good news. I renew my trust in your companionship, and I resolve to do all I can to bring your Gospel to others. Help me to keep my eyes on you.

Resolution: Today I will share a thought from the Gospel or from the Holy Father’s teaching with at least two people whom I encounter.


36 posted on 01/25/2012 8:19:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Would I say “Yes”?

January 25th, 2012 by Food For Thought ·

First Reading: Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9:1-22
Psalm: Ps 117:1bc, 2
Gospel: Mk 16:15-18

Saul of Tarsus was a leading persecutor of the early Christians. He
was a zealous Pharisee and though he was born of Jewish parents, he
was a citizen of Rome, or in other words, a Gentile. He had all the
qualifications to be a hated man of the early Christians and even by
ordinary Jews who despised the Romans.

We can imagine the shock of Christians and Jews alike when Saul, the
tireless persecutor of Christians, became Paul the tireless apostle
of Jesus. We can surmise – Paul was surprised himself and probably
had great anxiety before he began preaching especially since his
credibility must have been at its lowest point during this time.

Why does Jesus choose people like Saul - people whom we would
consider the most unqualified to be His apostles? Those of us who
are professionals know and believe that when it comes to
recruitment, qualifications and skills fit for the job are crucial
criteria. Jesus seems to turn these beliefs upside down when he
chose Paul and many of his Twelve Apostles.

Perhaps we should remind ourselves that our Christian Church is very
much unlike
a business or any human institution. Our Church is a
community and it welcomes all people from all walks of life. Our
Church does not run on the rules of a business or an exclusive
club. Everyone in the Church is a qualified member, no matter how
imperfect we may be. Jesus goes further in that even the lowest of
all members of our community has the potential to be the greatest in
our Church.

There is nothing more encouraging and more inspiring in knowing that
as Christians, we can be and are chosen by Jesus to be great leaders
or high achievers of our Church. It makes us think that maybe the
least we can do is to respond with passion and commitment to bring
the Word of God to all our neighbors.

POINTS TO PONDER
If God called me to service in my church, how would I react? Would
I immediately say “yes” or would I step back and feel burdened?


37 posted on 01/25/2012 8:24:53 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

 


<< Wednesday, January 25, 2012 >> Conversion of St. Paul
Saint of the Day
 
Acts 22:3-16 or
Acts 9:1-22

View Readings
Psalm 117:1-2 Mark 16:15-18
 

MEET YOUR ENEMY

 
"Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man." —Acts 9:13
 

David encountered his enemy, King Saul, in a cave while Saul was going to the "bathroom." Saul was hunting down David to kill him. David found his enemy in a vulnerable position, and refused to harm him (1 Sm 24:4ff). "For if a man meets his enemy, does he send him away unharmed?" (1 Sm 24:20) The implied answer is "No."

Ananias encountered his enemy, Saul of Tarsus. Saul was hunting down Ananias and all Christians in Damascus to arrest them (see Acts 9:2; 26:10). Saul was in a far more vulnerable position than King Saul; he was blind and had not taken food or drink for three days (Acts 9:9). It would have been amazing if Ananias simply sent Saul away unharmed. Yet, in obedience to God, he proclaimed the good news of the risen Jesus to Saul. When Ananias laid his hands on Saul, the Lord healed Saul's blindness, baptized him, and filled him with the Spirit (Acts 9:17-19). The man who in his fury (Acts 26:11) and blasphemy (1 Tm 1:13) would have put Ananias to death was now filled with the Spirit (Acts 9:17).

When Saul (now Paul) converted to Christianity, he also met his enemy, a jailer who chained him to a stake. When an earthquake struck, Paul was set free and the jailer was about to kill himself with his sword. When Paul met his enemy, did he send him away unharmed? No, Paul forgave his enemy, spared his life, and baptized him into salvation in Jesus (see Acts 16:24-33). The world will know we are God's children by our love for our enemies (Mt 5:44-45).

 
Prayer: Father, may I leave my enemies filled with the Holy Spirit.
Promise: "The man who believes in [the good news] and accepts baptism will be saved." —Mk 16:16
Praise: "He who was formerly persecuting us is now preaching the faith he tried to destroy" (Gal 1:23).

38 posted on 01/25/2012 8:27:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Pray for an end to the Culture of Death in America!

39 posted on 01/25/2012 8:30:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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