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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 02-14-13, OM, Sts. Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 02-14-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 02/13/2013 9:20:23 PM PST by Salvation

February 14, 2013

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

 

Reading 1 Dt 30:15-20

Moses said to the people:
“Today I have set before you
life and prosperity, death and doom.
If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin on you today,
loving him, and walking in his ways,
and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees,
you will live and grow numerous,
and the LORD, your God,
will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.
If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen,
but are led astray and adore and serve other gods,
I tell you now that you will certainly perish;
you will not have a long life
on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you:
I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.
For that will mean life for you,
a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore
he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Gospel Lk 9:22-25

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”


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

1 posted on 02/13/2013 9:20:29 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory Ping!

If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be on it, please Freepmail me.



2 posted on 02/13/2013 9:26:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Israel Facing Life and Death: The Two Ways


[15] “See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. [16] If you
obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day,
by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his com-
mandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multi-
ply, and I the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to
take possession of it. [17] But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear,
but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, [18] I declare to you
this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are
going over the Jordan to enter and possess. [19] I call heaven and earth to wit-
ness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing
and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, [20]
loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means
life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord
swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

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

30:15-20. The last verses of the discourse addresses a touching and solemn
appeal to Israel, spelling out what its responsibilities are: it is completely free
to choose between good and evil; but depending on whether it is faithful or un-
faithful, it will be blessed or punished by the Lord.

The concluding exhortation (vv. 19-20) is particularly moving: “choose life”, lo-
ving the Lord, for “that means life”. In the New Testament we find passages
which echo the same ideas: “I am the life,” our Lord will say (Jn 14:6); and St
Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20); “for to
me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21).

Cf. RSV footnote to v. 16: this follows the (fuller) Septuagint Greek (as do the
New Vulgate and the Spanish). The words “If you obey the commandments of
the Lord your God” do help to stress the contrast with what it says in v. 17.

*********************************************************************************************
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 02/13/2013 9:30:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

From: Luke 9:22-25

First Prophecy of the Passion


(Jesus said to His disciples), [22] “The Son of Man must suffer many things,
and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and
on the third day be raised.”

The Need for Self-Denial


[23] And He said to all, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow Me. [24] For whoever would save his life
will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake, he will save it. [25] For what
does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”

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

22. Jesus prophesied His passion and death in order to help His disciples be-
lieve in Him. It also showed that He was freely accepting these sufferings He
would undergo. “Christ did not seek to be glorified: He chose to come without
glory in order to undergo suffering; and you, who have been born without glory,
do you wish to be glorified? The route you must take is the one Christ took.
This means recognizing Him and it means imitating Him both in His ignominy
and in His good repute; thus you will glory in the Cross, which was His path
to glory. That was what Paul did, and therefore he gloried in saying, ‘Far be it
from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Galatians 6:14)”
(St. Ambrose, “Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.”).

23. “Christ is saying this again, to us, whispering it in our ears: the cross each
day. As St. Jerome puts it: ‘Not only in time of persecution or when we have the
chance of martyrdom, but in all circumstances, in everything we do and think, in
everything we say, let us deny what we used to be and let us confess what we
now are, reborn as we have been in Christ’ (”Epistola” 121, 3) [...]. Do you see?
The daily cross. No day without a cross; not a single day in which we are not to
carry the cross of the Lord, in which we are not to accept His yoke” (St. J. Es-
criva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 58 and 176). “There is no doubt about it: a person
who loves pleasure, who seeks comfort, who flies from anything that might spell
suffering, who is over-anxious, who complains, who blames and who becomes
impatient at the least little thing which does not go his way—a person like that
is a Christian only in name; he is only a dishonor to his religion for Jesus Christ
has said so: Anyone who wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and
take up his cross every day of his life, and follow Me” (St. John Mary Vianney,
“Selected Sermons”, Ash Wednesday).

The Cross should be present not only in the life of every Christian but also at
the crossroads of the world: “How beautiful are those crosses on the summits
of high mountains, and crowning great monuments, and on the pinnacles of ca-
thedrals...! But the Cross must also be inserted in the very heart of the world.

“Jesus wants to be raised on high, there in the noise of the factories and work-
shops, in the silence of libraries, in the loud clamor of the streets, in the still-
ness of the fields, in the intimacy of the family, in crowded gatherings, in stadi-
ums.... Wherever there is a Christian striving to lead an honorable life, he should,
with his love, set up the Cross of Christ, who attracts all things to Himself” (St.
J. Escriva, “The Way of the Cross”, XI, 3).

25. By this radical statement Jesus teaches us to do everything with a view to
eternal life: it is well worth while to devote our entire life on earth to attaining eter-
nal life. “We have been warned that it profits man nothing if he gains the whole
world and loses or forfeits himself. Far from diminishing our concern to develop
this earth, the expectance of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the
body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is
to come. That is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress
clearly from the increase of the Kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital con-
cern to the Kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of
human society” (Vatican II, “Gaudium Et Spes”, 39).

*********************************************************************************************
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 02/13/2013 9:31:05 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

Readings at Mass


First reading Deuteronomy 30:15-20 ©
Moses said to the people: ‘See, today I set before you life and prosperity, death and disaster. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I enjoin on you today, if you love the Lord your God and follow his ways, if you keep his commandments, his laws, his customs, you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to make your own. But if your heart strays, if you refuse to listen, if you let yourself be drawn into worshipping other gods and serving them, I tell you today, you will most certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today: I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live, in the love of the Lord your God, obeying his voice, clinging to him; for in this your life consists, and on this depends your long stay in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he would give them.’

Psalm Psalm 1:1-4,6 ©
Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.
Happy indeed is the man
  who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners
  nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
  and who ponders his law day and night.
Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.
He is like a tree that is planted
  beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
  and whose leaves shall never fade;
  and all that he does shall prosper.
Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.
Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they like winnowed chaff
  shall be driven away by the wind.
for the Lord guards the way of the just
  but the way of the wicked leads to doom.
Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.

Gospel Acclamation Ps50:12,14
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
A pure heart create for me, O God,
and give me again the joy of your help.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Or Mt4:17
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Repent, says the Lord,
for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Gospel Luke 9:22-25 ©
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’
  Then to all he said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to have won the whole world and to have lost or ruined his very self?’

5 posted on 02/13/2013 9:33:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray with Pope Benedict

On God As Creator of Heaven and Earth
On Abraham's Faith
On Christ As Mediator Between God and Man
On the Incarnation
On God the Almighty Father
Year of Faith: Indulgences and Places of Pilgrimage [Ecumenical]
On the Identity of Jesus

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

6 posted on 02/13/2013 9:35:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Your Guide To A Catholic Lent
Following the Truth: Lent: Becoming Uncomfortable About Being Comfortable [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Exercises – Week One [of Lent] In Review
Clerical Narcissism and Lent
Content of Pope's Lenten spiritual exercises revealed
How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God (Ecumenical Thread)
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
On the 40 Days of Lent
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Lent, A Time to Shoulder Our Christian Responsibilities
Consecrate this Lent to Jesus through Mary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [Catholic Caucus]
Opinion: Lent for Redacted [Ekoomenikal]

Ash (or Clean) Monday - Lent Begins (for some Catholics) - February 20, 2012
[Why I Am Catholic]: Lent And Holy Week (A Primer) [Catholic Caucus]
Lent, A Time to Give from the Heart [Catholic caucus}
Learning the beatitudes during Lent -- use your Rosary to learn the Beatitutdes [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Ember Days: March 16th, 18th, and 19th, 2011 (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Vincent Ferrer - Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent [Ecumenical]
Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
St. Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Tuesday's portion (Orthodox/Latin Caucus)
The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Monday's portion) [Orth/Cath Caucus]
Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
For Lent - Top 10 Bible Verses on Penance
Cana Sunday: Entrance into Great Lent
2011 Catechetical Homily on the opening of Holy and Great Lent
8 Ways to Pray During Lent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Baptists, Lent, and the Rummage Sale
So What Shall We Do during These Forty Days of Lent? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor
Blow the Trumpet! Call the Assembly! The Blessings of Fasting
Lenten Challenges

Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
Temptations Correspond to Our Vulnerabilities: Biblical Reflection for 1st Sunday of Lent
A Lenten “Weight” Loss Program
On the Lenten Season
Lent 2010: Pierce Thou My Heart, Love Crucified [Catholic Caucus]
US seminarians begin Lenten pilgrimage to Rome's ancient churches
Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
vanity] Hope you all make a good Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
On the Spiritual Advantages of Fasting [Pope Clement XIII]
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
Vatican Presents Lenten Website: LENT 2009
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]
History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)

Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
At Lent, let us pray for the Pope (converts ask us to pray for the pope)
Daily Lenten Reflections 2009
LENTEN STATIONS [Stational Churches for Lent] (Catholic Caucus)
40 Days for Life campaign is now under way (February 25 - April 5]
This Lent, live as if Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of your life
Reconciliation, forgiveness, hope – and Lent
Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
Getting Serious About Lent
Lent Overview
Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [Devotional]
On Lent... and Lourdes (Benedict XVI's Angelus address)
Lent for Newbies
Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself

Lenten Workshop [lots of ideas for all]
Lent and Reality
Forty Days (of Lent) [Devotional/Reflections]
Pope Benedict takes his own advice, plans to go on retreat for Lent
GUIDE FOR LENT - What the Catholic Church Says
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2008
40 Days for Life: 2008 Campaigns [Lent Registration this week]
Vatican Web Site Focuses on Lent
Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]
Lenten Stations -- Stational Churches - visit each with us during Lent {Catholic Caucus}
Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
Lent 2007: The Love Letter Written by Pope Benedict
Pre-Lent through Easter Prayer and Reflections -- 2007
Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving
Why We Need Lent
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR LENT 2006
Lent a Time for Renewal, Says Benedict XVI
Why You Should Celebrate Lent
Getting the Most Out of Lent
Lent: A Time to Fast >From Media and Criticism Says President of Pontifical Liturgical Institute
Give it up (making a Lenten sacrifice)
The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross
Lent and Fasting
Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]
Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children
Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

7 posted on 02/13/2013 9:36:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
40 Days for Life: Vision and Mission, February 13 - March 24, 2013
8 posted on 02/13/2013 9:37:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 02/13/2013 9:38:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 02/13/2013 9:39:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for Pope Benedict XVI

Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]

11 posted on 02/13/2013 9:40:57 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.


12 posted on 02/13/2013 9:42:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
During Lent the Sorrowful Mysteries are said.

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:  II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there 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 Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

13 posted on 02/13/2013 9:43:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ 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
+

14 posted on 02/13/2013 9:43:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
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"

   

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.


15 posted on 02/13/2013 9:44:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

February Devotion: The Holy Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Family Chaplet

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

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

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

The Holy Family Icon by Nicholas Markell

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

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

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

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

The Holy Family


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

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

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

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

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

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Recovering God’s Plan for Marriage and Family: A Sermon on the Feast of the Holy Family

“Why were you looking for me?" (On the Feast of The Holy Family)
U.S. Postal Service Issues Holy Family Forever Stamp
On Prayer in the Life of the Holy Family
The Holy Family - held together by Love through all their problems [Ecumenical]
Feast of the Holy Family: The Christian Family is a Domestic Church
Chesterton on "The Human Family and the Holy Family"
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
ADVICE TO PARENTS by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
The Holy Family
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

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


16 posted on 02/13/2013 9:45:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
February 2013
Pope's Intentions
 
Migrant Families: That migrant families, especially the mothers, may be supported and accompanied in their difficulties.
 
Peace: That the peoples at war and in conflict may lead the way in building a peaceful future.

17 posted on 02/13/2013 9:46:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Saints Cyril, Monk and Methodius, Bishop (Commemoration)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 1:4, 6
Luke 9:22-25

When I am before the Blessed Sacrament I feel such a lively faith that I can't describe it. Christ in the Eucharist is almost tangible to me...When it is time for me to leave, I have to tear myself away from His sacred presence.

-- St Anthony of Claret


18 posted on 02/13/2013 9:50:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

19 posted on 02/13/2013 9:52:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Angelus 

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

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

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

Hail Mary . . . 

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

Hail Mary . . . 


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

Let us pray: 

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

Amen. 


20 posted on 02/13/2013 9:54:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint Cyril, monk, & Saint Methodius, bishop

Saint Cyril, monk,
& Saint Methodius, bishop
Memorial
February 14th 

Saints Cyril and Methodius – Icon – tempera on wood. Artist unknown - ca 16th c

"The apostolic and missionary activity of Saints Cyril and Methodius, which belongs to the second half of the ninth century, can be considered the first effective evangelization of the Slavs. [ ] Their work is an outstanding contribution to the formation of the common Christian roots of Europe, roots which by their strength and vitality are one of the most solid points of reference, which no serious attempt to reconstruct in a new and relevant way the unity of the Continent can ignore [ ] Cyril and Methodius are as it were the connecting links or spiritual bridge between the Eastern and Western traditions, which both come together in the one great Tradition of the universal Church. For us they are the champions and also the patrons of the ecumenical endeavor of the sister Churches of East and West, for the rediscovery through prayer and dialogue of visible Unity in perfect and total communion...”

— Pope John Paul II
Slavorum Apostoli 23, 25, 27

In 1985, Pope John Paul II wrote an encyclical, Slavorum Apostoli (Apostles to the Slavs) on the life and work of the brothers, Saints Cyril and Methodius.

Following is the Holy Father's biographical sketch of these two missionary brothers whose apostolic work was key to the evangelization of Europe. Pope John Paul also declared  Saints Cyril and Methodius co-patrons of Europe (in addition to Sain Benedict).

The complete encyclical is accessible on the Vatican web site: http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0220/_INDEX.HTM

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

4. ... The city which saw the birth of the two holy Brothers is the modern Salonika, which in the ninth century was an important centre of commercial and political life in the Byzantine Empire, and occupied a notable position in the intellectual and social life of that part of the Balkans. Being situated on the frontier of the Slav territories, it also certainly had a Slav name: Solun.

Methodius was the elder brother and his baptismal name was probably Michael. He was born between 815 and 820. His younger brother Constantine, who came to be better known by his religious name Cyril, was born in 827 or 828. Their father was a senior official of the imperial administration. The family's social position made possible for the two Brothers a similar career, which in fact Methodius did take up, reaching the rank of Archon or Prefect in one of the frontier Provinces where many Slavs lived. However, towards the year 840 he interrupted his career and retired to one of the monasteries at the foot of Mount Olympus in Bithynia, then known as the Holy Mountain.

His brother Cyril studied with great success in Byzantium, where he received Holy Orders, after having resolutely refused a brilliant political future. By reason of his exceptional intellectual and religious talents and knowledge, there were entrusted to him while he has still a young man delicate ecclesiastical appointments, such as that of Librarian of the Archive attached to the great church of Holy Wisdom in Constantinople, and, simultaneously, the prestigious position of Secretary to the Patriarch of that city. However, he very soon made it known that he wished to be relieved of these posts, in order to be able to devote himself to study and the contemplative life, far from the pursuit of ambition. Thus he retired secretly to a monastery on the Black Sea coast. He was discovered six months later, and was persuaded to accept the task of teaching philosophy in the School of higher learning in Constantinople, where by reason of the excellence of his knowledge he gained the epithet of The Philosopher by which he is still known. Later on he was sent by the emperor and the Patriarch on a mission to the Saracens. On the completion of this task he retired from public life in order to join his elder brother Methodius and share with him the monastic life. But once again, together with Methodius, he was included in a Byzantine delegation sent to the Khazars, acting as a religious and cultural expert. While staying in the Crimea at Kherson, they identified what they believed to be the church in which had been buried Saint Clement, Pope of Rome and martyr, who had been exiled to that distant region. They recovered his relics and took them with them. These relics later accompanied the two holy Brothers on their missionary journey to the West, until they were able to bring them solemnly to Rome and present them to Pope Hadrian II.

5. The event which was to determine the whole of the rest of their lives was the request made by Prince Rastislav of Greater Moravia to the Emperor Michael III, to send to his peoples "a Bishop and teacher ... able to explain to them the true Christian faith in their own language".

Those chosen were Saints Cyril and Methodius, who readily accepted, set out and, probably by the year 863, reached Greater Moravia-a State then including various Slav peoples of Central Europe, at the crossroads of the mutual influences between East and West. They undertook among these peoples that mission to which both of them devoted the rest of their lives, spent amidst journeys, privations, sufferings, hostility and persecution, which for Methodius included even a period of cruel imprisonment. All of this they bore with strong faith and indomitable hope in God. They had in fact prepared well for the task entrusted to them: they took with them the texts of the Sacred Scriptures needed for celebrating the Sacred Liturgy, which they had prepared and translated into the Old Slavonic language and written in a new alphabet, devised by Constantine the Philosopher and perfectly adapted to the sounds of that language. The missionary activity of the two Brothers was accompanied by notable success, but also by the understandable difficulties which the preceding initial Christianization, carried out by the neighboring Latin Churches, placed in the way of the new missionaries.

About three years later, while travelling to Rome, they stopped in Pannonia where the Slav Prince Kocel, who had fled from the important civil and religious center of Nitra, gave them a hospitable reception. From here, after some months, they set out again for Rome together with their followers, for whom they desired to obtain Holy Orders. Their route passed through Venice, where the innovating elements of the mission they were carrying out were subjected to a public discussion. In Rome Pope Hadrian II, who had in the meantime succeeded Nicholas I, received them very cordially. He approved the Slavonic liturgical books, which he ordered to be solemnly placed on the altar in the Church of Saint Mary ad Praesepe, today known as Saint Mary Major, and recommended that their followers be ordained priests. This phase of their efforts concluded in a most favorable manner. Methodius however had to carry out the next stages by himself, because his younger brother, now gravely ill, scarcely had time to take religious vows and put on the monastic habit before he died shortly afterwards, on February 14, 869 in Rome.

6. Saint Methodius remained faithful to the words which Cyril had said to him on his deathbed: "Behold, my brother, we have shared the same destiny, ploughing the same furrow; I now fall in the field at the end of my day. I know that you greatly love your Mountain; but do not for the sake of the Mountain give up your work of teaching. For where better can you and salvation?"

Consecrated Archbishop for the territory of the ancient Diocese of Pannonia, and named Papal Legate "ad gentes" (for the Slav peoples), he assumed the ecclesiastical title of the re-established Episcopal See of Sirmium. However, Methodius' apostolic activity was cut short as the result of political and religious complications which culminated in his imprisonment for two years, on the charge of having invaded the episcopal jurisdiction of another. He was set free only on the personal intervention of Pope John VIII. The new sovereign of Greater Moravia, Prince Svatopluk, also subsequently showed hostility to the work of Methodius. He opposed the Slavonic liturgy and spread doubts in Rome about the new Archbishop's orthodoxy. In the year 880 Methodius was called ad limina Apostolorum, to present once more the whole question personally to John VIII. In Rome, absolved of all the accusations, he obtained from the Pope the publication of the Bull Industriae Tuae, which, at least in substance, restored the prerogatives granted to the liturgy in Slavonic by Pope John's predecessor Hadrian II.

When in 881 or 882 Methodius went to Constantinople, he received a similar recognition of perfect legitimacy and orthodoxy also from the Byzantine Emperor and the Patriarch Photius, who at that time was in full communion with Rome. He devoted the last years of his life principally to making further translations of the Sacred Scriptures, the liturgical books, the works of the Fathers of the Church and also the collection of ecclesiastical and Byzantine civil laws called the Nomocanon. Concerned for the survival of the work which he had begun, he named as his successor his disciple Gorazd. He died on April 6, 885 in the service of the Church established among the Slav peoples.

7. His far-seeing work, his profound and orthodox doctrine, his balance, loyalty, apostolic zeal and intrepid magnanimity gained Methodius the recognition and trust of Roman Pontiffs, of Patriarchs of Constantinople, of Byzantine Emperors and of various Princes of the young Slav peoples. Thus he became the guide and legitimate Pastor of the Church which in that age became established in the midst of those nations. He is unanimously venerated, together with his brother Constantine, as the preacher of the Gospel and teacher "from God and the holy Apostle Peter", and as the foundation of full unity between the Churches of recent foundation and the more ancient ones.

For this reason, "men and women, humble and powerful, rich and poor, free men and slaves, widows and orphans, foreigners and local people, the healthy and the sick" made up the throng that amid tears and songs accompanied to his burial place the good Teacher and Pastor who had become "all things to all men, that I might by all means save some".

To tell the truth, after the death of Methodius the work of the holy Brothers suffered a grave crisis, and persecution of their followers grew so severe that the latter were forced to abandon their missionary field. Nonetheless, their sowing of the Gospel seed did not cease to bear fruit, and their pastoral attitude of concern to bring the revealed truth to new peoples while respecting their cultural originality remains a living model for the Church and for the missionaries of all ages.

Collect:
O God, who enlightened the Slavic peoples
through the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius,
grant that our hearts may grasp the words of your teaching,
and perfect us as a people of one accord
in true faith and right confession.
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: The Acts of the Apostles 13:46-49
And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, 'I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.'"

And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of God; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord spread throughout all the region.

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:1-9
After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to come. And He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!' And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'


GRANDE MUNUS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII  ON SS. CYRIL AND METHODIUS

To all the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops and 
Bishops of the Catholic world who enjoy Favor and
Communion with the Apostolic See.
Venerable Brothers, Greetings and Apostolic Blessing.

Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs

The great duty of spreading the Christian name was entrusted in a special way to Peter, the head of the apostles, and to his successors. It urges the popes to send messengers of the Gospel to the various peoples of the earth, as the affairs of the merciful God demand. For this reason they sent Augustine to the Britons, Patrick to the Irish, Boniface to the Germans, and Willebrord to the Flemish, Dutch, and Belgians. Often they sent other men to other peoples to care for their souls. So in the exercise of their apostolic duty, they commissioned the holy men Cyril and Methodius to go to the Slavic people. Through their presence and more especially through their labors, those people have seen the light of the Gospel and have been led from their barbarian ways to a humane and civilized culture.

Extension of the Feast of Cyril and Methodius

2. All Slovenia has continued to celebrate the work of Cyril and Methodius, well-known peers of the apostles, and the Roman Church has honored both of them with just as much fervor. The Church honored both of them in many ways while they lived, and in death it did not want to be without the remains of one of them. The Bohemians, Moravians, and Croatians were accustomed to celebrating religious feasts annually on March 9. Since 1863 Pius IX granted them permission to hold their feasts on July 5 and to discharge due prayers in memory of Cyril and Methodius. Not long after that, when the great council was held at the Vatican, many bishops humbly requested from this Apostolic See that their cult and appointed feast be extended to the whole Church. Until now the matter has been under study. But because of the change in the status of the government in those areas over the years, it seems like an excellent opportunity to help the people of Slovenia, whose well-being and salvation greatly concern Us. Therefore, We shall not allow Our paternal love to fail. We wish to promote and increase the devotion to these most holy men who once spread the Catholic faith and recalled the Slavic people from ruin to salvation. They now serve as our heavenly advocates and will powerfully defend us. Moreover, in order to bring out more fully what kind of men We propose for the veneration and worship of the Catholic world, We wish to give a brief history of their deeds.

Youth and Cyril's First Mission

3. The brothers Cyril and Methodius, born in Thessalonica, went as boys to Constantinople in order to study the humanities in the chief city of the East. The spark of genius already discerned in these young men soon became apparent. They both advanced quickly, especially Cyril, who became so distinguished in learning that he won for himself the title of "The Philosopher." Soon after this, Methodius undertook the monastic life. Under the influence of the Patriarch Ignatius, the Empress Theodora commissioned Cyril to teach the Christian faith to the Khazer tribes who dwelt beyond the Chersonese. These people had asked that suitable priests might be sent to them from Constantinople. Cyril accepted the mission willingly and departed for Tauric Chersonese so that, as some relate, he could study the language of the people. It was at this time that he had the good fortune to discover the remains of Pope Clement I. This courageous martyr was thrown into the sea by order of the Emperor Trajan and was afterwards buried with the anchor to which he had been fastened. The anchor, together with the ancient tradition, made it very easy to identify the remains. With this priceless treasure, Cyril went into the towns and homes of the Khazars. In a short time, after abolishing many superstitions, he won for Jesus Christ these people, who were taught by his word and moved by the spirit of God. To the new Christian community Cyril gave an example of self control and charity by refusing all the gifts offered to him by the inhabitants, except the slaves whose liberty he restored to them when they embraced Christianity. He soon returned to Constantinople to enter the monastery of Polychronius, which Methodius had entered.

The Mission to Moravia

4. Meanwhile, reports of the great events happening among the Khazars reached Rastislav, Prince of Moravia. Aroused by their example, he negotiated with the Emperor Michael III for an evangelizing mission to be sent from Constantinople, and his wish was granted. Thus, the great worth of Cyril and Methodius as seen in their previous accomplishments, together with their zeal for helping their neighbors, caused their selection for the Moravian mission.

5. As they began their journey through Bulgaria, which had already been converted to Christianity, they let pass no opportunity for increasing the faith. Upon reaching Moravia, they were met by a large crowd who had come with great desire and joy to greet them. Without delay the apostles strove to penetrate their minds with the doctrines of Christianity and to raise their hopes to heavenly things. They did this with so much force and with such energetic zeal that in a very short rime the Moravian people gave themselves to Jesus Christ.

6. Much of their success was due to Cyril's knowledge of the Slavic language, which he had acquired earlier. The influence of the Old and New Testaments as translated by him into the vernacular was also considerable. The whole Slavic people owe much to the man who gave them the Christian faith and with it the advantages of civilization. Cyril and Methodius were also the inventors of the alphabet which afforded the Slavic tongue the means for a written language, and they are even looked upon as having formed the language.

Journey to Rome

7. Another report from these remote provinces announced to Dome the glory of their deeds. And so, when Pope Nicholas I ordered the brothers to Rome, they obeyed without hesitation. They began their Roman journey quickly, bringing with them the remains of St. Clement. At this news Adrian II, who was elected to replace the late Pope Nicholas, went out with the clergy and the people to greet the illustrious visitors. The body of St. Clement was brought with great portents into the basilica constructed at the time of Constantine, in the very tracks of the ancestral home of that invincible martyr.

8. Cyril and Methodius then recounted to the Supreme Pontiff and his clergy the apostolic mission they had fulfilled with so much holiness and labor. They were accused of acting in opposition to ancient customs and contrary to holy rites in making use of the Slavic language for religious matters. However, they pleaded their cause with such indisputable and noble reasoning that the pope and all the clergy praised them and approved their course of action. Both then took an oath in the Catholic manner and swore that they would remain in the faith of St. Peter and of the popes. After that they were created bishops and consecrated by Adrian himself, and many of their disciples were raised to different grades in Holy Orders.

Death of Cyril

9. However, it was divine foresight that Cyril should die on February 14, 869, more mature in virtue than in age. After a splendid public funeral like that given to popes, he was buried with honors in a tomb which Adrian had built for himself. Because the Roman people could not bear to send the holy corpse to Constantinople though his grieving parent asked for it, it was brought to the basilica of St. Clement and buried near him whom Cyril had held in reverence for so many years. As he was taken through the city among festal songs and psalms - not so much in the manner of a funeral as that of a triumph - the Roman people made offerings of heavenly honor to the holy man.

Methodius' Return to Moravia

10. After these things had taken place, Methodius returned under Papal orders to Moravia as bishop. In that province, having become a spiritual model for his flock, he began to serve Catholicism more keenly every day. He strongly resisted the factions of reform, lest the Catholic name fall through unsound thinking. He educated prince Svatopluk, who succeeded Rastislav in religious matters. He warned him about shirking his duties, rebuked him, and finally excommunicated him. For these reasons he incurred the anger of that revolting and wicked tyrant; then he was sent into exile. He was recalled a short time later, and his efforts produced a change of heart in the prince and an understanding that he should return to a new purity of life.

11. It is remarkable that Methodius' vigilant love had crossed the borders of Moravia and reached the Liburnians and Serbs, since he was Cyril's successor. Now it reached the Pannonians, whose prince, Kocel, he disposed to the Catholic religion and retained in his duties. It also reached the Bulgarians, whom he confirmed in the faith along with their leader Boris. Then he dispensed the gifts of heaven to the Dalmatians. Finally, he worked strenuously that the Carinthians might be brought to the knowledge and the worship of the one true God.

Methodius' Trip to Rome

12. But this became a source of trial to Methodius. Some members of the new Christian community became jealous of his accomplishments and virtue. They accused him, to Pope John VIII, Adrian's successor, of being unsound in faith, though he was innocent. They also accused him of violating the traditions of the Fathers who used only the Latin or Greek languages in discharging their religious duties. Wanting to preserve the integrity of the faith and to maintain the ancient traditions, the pope then summoned Methodius to Rome to justify himself. Methodius appeared before Pope John, several bishops, and the Roman clergy in 880, for he was ever ready to obey and confident in the testimony of his conscience. He obtained an easy victory by proving that he had followed Catholic teachings himself. He showed that he had always taught others the faith which he had sworn on the tomb of St. Peter, the prince of the Apostles, an oath given in the presence of Adrian and with his approval. If he had used the Slavic language in the celebration of the sacraments, he had done so for good reasons, since he had the special permission of Pope Adrian himself and the Holy Scriptures did not forbid it. Methodius freed himself so completely from every suspicion of guilt that the pope embraced him then and there and confirmed his archiepiscopal jurisdiction and his mission to the Slavs. Methodius returned to Moravia in the company of several bishops who were to be his coadjutors, with letters of recommendation and freedom of action in his work.

Return to Moravia

13. To confirm those things, the pope sent letters to Methodius so that he would not again become subject to the envy of his detractors. For this reason, Methodius performed his assigned duties more vigilantly, confident that he was joined to the pope and to the whole Roman church in a close bond of faith and love. His labor soon produced an exceptional harvest. With the assistance of a priest, he converted prince Boriwoj of Bohemia, then his wife Ludmilla, and before long Christianity spread throughout that land. At the same time he brought the light of the Gospel to Poland; he penetrated Galicia, where he established the episcopal see of Lwdw. Then, as some report, he penetrated into Muscovy and established the episcopal See of Kiev.

Death of Methodius

14. Having crowned himself with imperishable laurels, he returned to Moravia and his own people. He felt his death approaching and named his successor, and his last words exhorted the clergy and people to practice virtue. He departed in peace from this life, which had been the path to heaven for him. As Rome mourned Cyril, so Moravia mourned the loss of Methodius, showing its grief by giving his burial every honor.

Papal Concern for the Slavs

15. Venerable brothers, the memory of these events causes Us great joy. We are deeply moved by the magnificent association of the Slavic nation and the Roman church, an association with the noblest beginnings. Though these two apostles of the Christian faith went from Constantinople to preach to people in foreign lands, it was from this Apostolic See, the center of Catholic unity, that they received the investiture of their mission or, as happened more than once, its solemn approbation. Truly it was here in this city of Rome that they rendered an account of their mission and answered their accusers. It was here at the tombs of Peter and Paul that they swore to keep the Catholic faith. It was here that they received episcopal consecration and the power to establish the sacred hierarchy, while observing in it the distinction of each order. Finally, it was here that they sought and obtained permission to use the Slavic language in holy rites. This year, ten centuries will have passed since Pope John VIII wrote to prince Svatopluk of Moravia: "It is right that we praise the Slavic language, which re-echoes with the praises due to God. We ordain that the proclamations and works of our Lord Jesus Christ should be said in that language. Nothing in true faith, or doctrine forbids us to sing the Mass in the Slavic language, or to read the Gospel lessons (correctly translated and interpreted) in it, or to chant in it the Divine Hours." After many changes, Pope Benedict XIV sanctioned this custom in an apostolic letter dated August 25, 1754. Whenever the rulers of the peoples evangelized by Cyril and Methodius asked them, the popes gave generously of their humanity in teaching, kindness in giving advice, and singular good will wherever possible. Above all, Rastislav, Svatopluk, Kocel, Saint Ludmilla, and Boris have experienced the remarkable love of Our predecessors.

16. The paternal concern of the popes for the Slavic people did not stop with the death of Cyril and Methodius. Rather, it has always shone forth in preserving among them the holiness of religion and public prosperity. In fact, Nicholas I sent priests from Rome to the Bulgarians to educate the people, and he also sent the bishops of Populonia and Ostia to govern the new Christian community. He gave a loving response in the frequent controversies of the Bulgarians concerning holy law. In this matter, even those who do not favor the Roman Church praise and admire its prudence. After this calamitous disagreement, We must praise Innocent III for reconciling the Bulgarians with the Catholic Church, and We must praise Gregory IX, Innocent IV, Nicholas IV, and Eugene IV for preserving them in reconciled grace. Similarly the love of Our predecessors shines forth in their contacts with the Bosnians and Erzevovinenses, who were deceived by evil opinions. We make special note of Innocent III and Innocent IV, who eradicated this spiritual error, and of Gregory IX, Clement VI, and Pius II who were eager to establish firmly the levels of sacred authority in those areas. Innocent III, Nicholas IV, Benedict XI, and Clement V conferred neither the last nor the least of their cares on the Serbs, who cunningly prepared deceptions to harm religion, deceptions which the popes prudently contained. The Dalmatians and the Liburnians received singular favor because of the constancy of their faith and their changing duties. John X, Gregory VII, Gregory IX, and Urban IV held them up as examples for all. Finally, there are many evidences of the good will of Gregory IX and Clement XIV toward the church of Sirmium, which was destroyed in the sixth century by barbarians and later rebuilt through the care of St. Stephen I, king of Hungary.

Papal Decree

17. For this reason, We thank God for giving Us this suitable occasion to thank the Slavic people and to effect a common benefit for them. Indeed We do this no less eagerly than Our predecessors. Certainly We foresee and desire that the Slavic nation should learn from the great abundance of bishops and priests. May they be strengthened in the profession of the true faith, in true obedience to the Church of Jesus Christ. May they understand more each day how great a force of good comes from the customs of the Catholic Church in family life and in all the orders of government. Certainly those churches vindicate the many great cares We showed toward them. There is nothing We desire more than to take the appropriate measures for their comfort and prosperity and to have all their relations with Us be in perpetual harmony. This is the greatest and the best bond of safety. It remains that God, who is rich in mercy, might look upon Our plans and favor what We have begun. Meanwhile, We have Cyril and Methodius, the teachers of Slovenia, as intercessors with Him. As We wish to promote their veneration, so We trust in their future heavenly patronage.

18. Therefore, We decree that July 5 be set aside in the calendar of the universal Roman Church, as Pius IX ordained. On this day the feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius shall be celebrated annually with the office and mass proper to a double minor rite, as approved by the holy council.

19. And We entrust to all of you, venerable brothers, the publication of this letter. Order every priest who celebrates the divine office according to the rites of the Roman Church to observe everything that is prescribed in this letter in each church, province, city, diocese, and monastery. We persuade and encourage you to stimulate prayer to Cyril and Methodius, so that they might intercede with God and watch over Christianity in the East. May there be constancy in all Catholic men and the will to reconcile all dissidents to the true Church.

20. We order this to be established and fixed as written above, notwithstanding the constitutions of Pope St. Pius V and other apostolic documents on the reform of the breviary and the Roman Missal, or other statutes and customs - even very old ones - or anything else to the contrary.

21. As a pledge of Our good wishes and of divine favor, venerable brothers, We lovingly impart Our apostolic blessing to each one of you, to all the clergy, and to each and every person committed to your care.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, on September 30, 1880, in the third year of Our Pontificate.

LEO XIII

© Copyright 1880 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


21 posted on 02/14/2013 8:00:25 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Saint Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine's Day
February 14th 

Let's Put the Saint back in Valentine's Day
Family prayers and activities
/Bible-verse Valentines/Valentine treats

Cupids. Candy. Flowers. Lacy hearts. Strange, isn't it, that the best known Christian saint on the secular calendar -- a holiday devoted to romantic love -- is a martyr for the Christian faith?

Saint Valentine did "die of love", to be sure -- but not of the romantic sort! Strange, also, considering its enormous popularity, that this saint's feast no longer appears on the Church's calendar. (Officially, February 14 marks the feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodias, 9th century missionaries to the Slavs.)

How did the "Saint" dissappear from Valentine's Day? Can we "re-Christianize" the celebration of this popular holiday? Who is Saint Valentine, anyway?

There are at three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, mentioned in the early martyrologies for the date of February 14th.

One is described as a priest in Rome, another a bishop (of Interamna, the modern Terni). Both apparently were martyred in the second half of the third century and buried at different places on the Flaminian Way outside of Rome. The third St. Valentine was martyred in Africa with a number of companions.

Almost nothing is known about any of these early Christian men -- except that they died for the love of Christ!

The popular customs connected with Saint Valentine's Day's probably originated in medieval Europe. At that time, when "courtly love" was in flower, there was a common belief in England and France that on February 14th, precisely half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair.
Thus, we read in the 14th century English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer's "Parliament of Foules":

For this was on Seynt Valentynes' day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate. (Chaucer's original spelling).

This belief about "love-birds" is probably the reason Saint Valentine's feast day came to be seen as specially consecrated to lovers, and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lover's tokens. The literature of the fourteenth and fifteenth-century in both France and England contain allusions to this practice.

This association with romantic love, along with the medieval revival of interest in classic literature, no doubt led to the "paganizing" of this martyr's feast, so that the Roman god, Cupid (the counterpart of Eros in Greek mythology), supplanted the saint in the celebration of the feast. In Roman mythology, Cupid, the son of Venus, was a winged immortal who had the mischievous habit of shooting invisible arrows into the hearts of mortals, which inflamed them with blind and helpless passion -- for the next person they might see.

The Golden Legend, a medieval book of stories about saints, says that Valentine, a priest, was imprisioned by the emperor Claudius II for leading people to Christ. While Valentine was being interrogated by a Roman officer, the priest preached Christ as the "one and only Light". The officer, who had a blind daughter, challenged Valentine to pray to Christ for her cure. The girl was cured, and the entire family were converted to Christianity.
According to legend, while awaiting execution, he wrote notes of instruction, affection and encouragement to the Christian community in Rome, which were secretly delivered by a boy who visited him in prison.

It is ironic that a Roman Christian who died defending the faith is now chiefly associated with a pagan god, Cupid!

 

"Christianizing" Valentine's Day:
Family prayers and activities

On Saint Valentine's Day, we Christians have an opportunity for some real "inculturation" -- that is, planting seeds of Christ's truth into the culture in which we live.

When we remember that the heart of Saint Valentine was, like other Christian martyrs, "pierced" by the love of Our Lord, and he shed his blood for this, it seems appropriate that the red heart is a symbol for this powerful love. We think about the power of the love of God - our love for Him and His for us - to inspire our love for others. It is this kind of love that gives heart (or "en-courages") to faithful Christians to accomplish deeds of extraordinary courage - even unto death - to bring the truth of faith to others. We are reminded, too, that suffering that often accompanies genuine love.

In our Catholic families, we can focus our thoughts, this day, not only in expressing our love for our friends and families (and yes, sweethearts) by gifts and loving greetings; but also in prayer and meditation on Scripture.

 

A Prayer for Saint Valentine's Day

The following prayer is adapted from a collect (prayer) for feasts of martyrs.

Most Gracious Heavenly Father, You gave Saint Valentine the courage to witness to the gospel of Christ, even to the point of giving his life for it. Help us to endure all suffering for love of you, and to seek you with all our hearts; for you alone are the source of life and love. Grant that we may have the courage and love to be strong witnesses of your truth to our friends and family and to the whole world. 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.

Prayer to St. Valentine
Almighty God, grant we beseech You,
that we who celebrate the glorious martyrdom of St. Valentine, Your servant, may by his intercession be filled with the love of God and neighbor and be delivered from all the evils that threaten us.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen +

There are many passages of the Bible that reflect God's love. One of the best known of these is probably John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

During family prayers, or at dinner time, older children could read aloud the "love chapter" of Saint Paul's first letter to the Christian Church in Corinth, I Corinthians 13.

This would be a good time, too, to explain the three kinds of "love" in the Scripture (in English there is only one word for these three separate kinds of love, but Greek has a word for each one).

Agape (a-gah-pay) - selfless love for others and for God
Philio (fee-lee-o) - brotherly love
Eros (air-ross) - romantic or sexual love

 

 

Bible-verse Valentines

Why not start children on memorizing parts of Holy Scripture with John 3:16, which tells about God's immense love for us and our response to this love? One way to help with memorizing is to have them write out this verse on cut-out paper hearts -- for Valentines!

The color red is used by the Church as a symbol of the blood shed by martyrs who died for the faith. (You can point out that priests wear red vestments on feasts of martyrs.) Hearts, too, are symbols of deep Christian love. (The traditional devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an example.)

Young children may need help cutting out the hearts and printing the verse, but even very tiny ones can make original designs with crayon or markers.

In addition to construction paper, you might also supply some paper doilies, heart-shaped red foil stickers, markers or crayons, glitter glue, etc., red or gold ribbon, for a real assembly line of Valentine production. (We've found it's a good idea to start this project a few days before Valentine's day, to allow time to make enough for everyone - and to send to out-of-town grandparents and aunts and uncles.)

We can almost guarantee that teachers, parents and grandparents would be very, very pleased to receive a Valentine like this!

While you're overseeing the Valentine-making project, you can tell about the real saint, and about the great love he had for Christ and for other people.

 




Valentine treats
Valentine cake or cupcakes

If you have heart-shaped cake pans, you can make a very impressive big cake that will delight children. You can use any flavor cake-mix, and use a buttercream frosting or ready-made white icing. Cupcakes are another option -- especially as a treat to bring to school on Valentine's Day. The cake or cupcakes decorated with white or pink icing, adorned with candy sprinkles shaped like hearts (store-bought) or gum-drop hearts, heart-shaped red-hots, or red jelly beans. This is pretty, and simple enough that even toddlers can get into the spirit (and mess!) of it.

Store-bought sugar cookies or graham crackers can be decorated like this, too, if you're really short on time.

"Message" cookies

Of course, there's no substitute for real, home-made sugar cookies cut out with heart-shaped cutters. They can be frosted in different pastel colors (quickie hint: canned vanilla frosting divided into different bowls and colored with cake coloring).

Older children could use a tube of red icing to write "John 3:16" on each cookie - or "JOY" (which stands for "Jesus, Others, You"-- a Christian's order of priorities in loving). The cookies resemble those little candy hearts with cute sayings - only they have a real message of love. Kids can explain these "code messages" to their classmates.

 

 

 

Love Knots

More ambitious, but interesting, is this recipe for "Love Knots", a recipe from Evelyn Birge Vitz's cookbook for feasts of the church year, A Continual Feast (Ignatius Press). In the late Middle Ages, she says, there was a custom of wearing "love knots" on Saint Valentines's Day - golden pins shaped like sideways figure-8s, a symbol of infinity, to suggest that love is without end, eternal. The love knots were made of gold, which never tarnishes, never loses it perfection, and were given to one's sweetheart.
This is a recipe for edible "love Knots", a sweet pretzel-like twist.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
a few drops yellow food coloring
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Yellow sugar sprinkles

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract and yellow food coloring (to make the dough more "golden"). Sift and stir in the flour; add the lemon rind.
Chill the dough for several hours and only remove it from the refrigerator a little at a time: this will make it easier to handle.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Shape the dough into ropes about 1/2 inch in diameter and 12 inches long, and twist these into figure 8s. Place the twists on a greased baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes. About halfway through the cooking, "gild" with yellow sprinkles.
Yield: 12 to 14 "love knots".


22 posted on 02/14/2013 8:05:46 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



Information: St. Cyril & St. Methodius

Feast Day: February 14
Born:

827 and 826, Thessaloniki, Byzantine Empire (present-day Greece)

Died: February 14, 869 and 6 April 885
Patron of: Bulgaria, Czech Republic (including Bohemia, and Moravia), Ecumenism, unity of the Eastern and Western Churches, Europe, Slovakia



23 posted on 02/14/2013 8:18:01 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
St. Valentine
Feast Day: February 14

24 posted on 02/14/2013 8:19:20 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Cyril and St. Methodius

 
Feast Day: February 14
Born:827/815 :: Died:869/885

Cyril and Methodius were brothers from Thessalonica in Greece. In their youth they learnt how to speak many languages, including Slavonic which at that time was not written down. Methodius was a provincial governor and the younger brother Cyril was a distinguished professor of Philosophy in Constantinople.

They both became priests and shared the same holy desires to spread the faith. Then the prince of Moravia asked for missionaries. He wanted them to bring the Good News of Jesus and the Church to his country. The prince added one more request: that the missionaries speak the language of his people.

The two brothers, Cyril and Methodius, volunteered and were accepted. They realized that they were being asked to leave their own country, language and culture behind out of love for Jesus. They did this willingly. They became missionaries to the Slav nations of Moravia, Bohemia and Bulgaria.

Cyril and Methodius invented a Slav alphabet. They translated the Bible and the Church's liturgy into the Slav language. Because of them, the people were able to receive Christianity in words they could understand.

Some people in the Church at that time did not approve of the use of a native language in the Church's liturgy and complained about the two brothers to the pope. Pope Nicholas I called them to Rome for a meeting to solve the problem.

But by the time they arrived, Adrian II had became pope and he was in favor of using the local language of the people in the liturgy. The pope showed his gratitude and admiration for the two missionaries. He approved their methods of spreading the faith and named them bishops.

Unfortunately, Cyril died on February 14, 869 before he could actually be consecrated a bishop and is buried in the Church of St. Clement in Rome. But Methodius became bishop, returned to the Slav countries and continued his labors for fifteen more years. He died on April 6, 885.

Cyril and Methodius were Greeks, under the authority of a Roman Pope, working together with the authorities of the Eastern Church. They symbolized bridge-building and connection between the two churches and are now seen as patron saints of ecumenism (unity) between the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom (Christianity).

St. Cyril and St. Methodius are also named co-patrons of Europe along with St. Benedict.

Reflection: These two men brought the light of the Gospel to the Slavic nations and helped promote unity without imposing rigid uniformity. Let us pray for unity among Christians that we may become one in faith and praise

25 posted on 02/14/2013 8:23:48 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:
Thursday, February 14
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of St. Cyril, monk and St. Methodius, bishop. They were 8th century brothers of Greek nobility with a calling to the religious life. Together they evangelized Slavic countries and translated the Bible into the Slavic languages.

26 posted on 02/14/2013 4:11:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Daily Gospel Commentary

Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Commentary of the day
The Imitation of Christ, spiritual treatise of the 15th century
Book II, ch. 12 (trans. Robert Dudley)

"If anyone wishes to come after me, he must... take up his cross daily and follow me"

To many the word seems harsh; "Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus"... Why do you fear then to take up the cross, the way that leads to the kingdom? In the cross you are saved, revived, protected. In the cross you are showered with sweetness from on high, your mind is strengthened, your spirit rejoiced. In the cross is virtue's sum, and perfect holiness. In the cross alone is the hope of life eternal, the soul's salvation. So take up your cross and follow Jesus; and you will enter eternal life...  For if you die with him, you shall also likewise live with him. If you are his companion in punishment, so shall you be in glory.

Everything is founded on the cross... There is no other way to life, nor to true inner peace... Walk where you will, seek what you will; you will find neither a loftier way above nor a safer way below, but only the way of the holy cross.

Plan as you will, arrange as you see fit; all you will ever find is suffering you cannot help but bear; and so you will always find the cross. You will either have bodily pain or mental and spiritual affliction. Now God will leave you, again your fellow will provoke you; and what is more, you will often weigh heavy on yourself. There is neither remedy to free you nor comfort to ease you... For God will have you learn to endure affliction with total submission to himself and become more humble... You must endure with patience everywhere, if you would be at peace within, and earn the lasting crown.


27 posted on 02/14/2013 4:14:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 9
22 Saying: The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the ancients and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day rise again. dicens : Quia oportet Filium hominis multa pati, et reprobari a senioribus, et principibus sacerdotum, et scribis, et occidi, et tertia die resurgere. ειπων οτι δει τον υιον του ανθρωπου πολλα παθειν και αποδοκιμασθηναι απο των πρεσβυτερων και αρχιερεων και γραμματεων και αποκτανθηναι και τη τριτη ημερα αναστηναι
23 And he said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Dicebat autem ad omnes : Si quis vult post me venire, abneget semetipsum, et tollat crucem suam quotidie, et sequatur me. ελεγεν δε προς παντας ει τις θελει οπισω μου ελθειν απαρνησασθω εαυτον και αρατω τον σταυρον αυτου και ακολουθειτω μοι
24 For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; for he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall save it. Qui enim voluerit animam suam salvam facere, perdet illam : nam qui perdiderit animam suam propter me, salvam faciet illam. ος γαρ εαν θελη την ψυχην αυτου σωσαι απολεσει αυτην ος δ αν απολεση την ψυχην αυτου ενεκεν εμου ουτος σωσει αυτην
25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, and cast away himself? Quid enim proficit homo, si lucretur universum mundum, se autem ipsum perdat, et detrimentum sui faciat ? τι γαρ ωφελειται ανθρωπος κερδησας τον κοσμον ολον εαυτον δε απολεσας η ζημιωθεις

28 posted on 02/14/2013 6:32:58 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
22. Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and Chief Priests and Scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

CYRIL; It was the duty then of the disciples to preach Him throughout the world. For this was the work of those who were chosen by Him to the office of the Apostleship. But as holy Scripture bears witness, There is a time for every thing. For it was fitting that the cross and resurrection should be accomplished, an d then should follow the preaching of the Apostles; as it is spoken, saying, The Son of man must needs suffer many things.

AMBROSE; Perhaps because the Lord knew that the disciples would believe even the difficult mystery of the Passion and Resurrection, He wished to be Himself the proclaimer of His own Passion and Resurrection.

23. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

CYRIL; Great and noble leaders provoke the mighty in arms to deeds of velour, not only by promising them the honors of victory, but by declaring that suffering is in itself glorious. Such we see is the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. For He had foretold to His disciples, that He must needs suffer the accusations of the Jews, be slain, and rise again on the third day. Lest then they should think that Christ indeed was to suffer persecution for the life of the world, but that they might lead a soft life, He shows them that they must needs pass through similar struggles, if they desired to obtain His glory. Hence it is said, And he said to all.

THEOPHYL; He rightly addressed Himself to all, since He treats of the higher things (which relate to the belief in His birth and passion) apart with His disciples.

CHRYS. Now the Savior of His great mercy and loving kindness will have no one serve Him unwillingly and from constraint, but those only who come of their own accord, and are grateful for being allowed to serve Him. And so not by compelling men and putting a yoke upon them, but by persuasion and kindness, He draws to Him every where those who are willing, saying, If any man will, &c.

BASIL; But He has left His own life for an example of blameless conversation to those who are willing to obey Him; as He says, Come after me, meaning thereby not a following of His body, for that would be impossible to all, since our Lord is in heaven, but a due imitation of His life according to their capacities.

THEOPHYL; Now unless a man renounces himself, he comes not near to Him, who is above him; it is said therefore, Let him deny himself.

BASIL; A denial of one's self is indeed a total forgetfulness of things past, and a forsaking of his own will ill anti affection

ORIGEN; A man also denies himself when by a sufficient alteration of manners or a good conversation he changes a life of habitual wickedness. He who has long lived in lasciviousness, abandons his lustful self when he becomes chaste, and in like manner a forsaking of any crimes is a denial of one's self.

BASIL; Now a desire of suffering death for Christ and a mortification of one's members which are upon the earth, end a manful resolution to undergo any danger for Christ, and an indifference towards the present life, this it is to take up one's cross. Hence it is added, And let him take up his cross daily.

THEOPHYL. By the cross, He speaks of an ignominious death, meaning, that if any one will follow Christ, he must not for his own sake flee from even an ignominious death.

GREG. In two ways also is the cross taken up, either when the body is afflicted through abstinence, or the mind touched by sympathy.

GREEK EX. He rightly joins these two, Let him deny himself, and let him take up his cross, for as he who is prepared to ascend the cross conceives in his mind the intention of death, and so goes on thinking to have no more part in this life, so he who is willing to follow our Lord, ought first to deny himself, and so take up his cross, that his will may be ready to endure every calamity.

BASIL; Herein then stands a man's perfection, that he should have his affections hardened, even towards life itself, and have ever about him the answer of death, that he should by no means trust in himself. But perfection takes its beginning from the relinquishment of things foreign to it; suppose these to be possessions or vain-glory, or affection for things that profit not.

THEOPHYL; We are bid then to take up the cross of which we have above spoken, and having taken it, to follow our Lord who bore His own cross. Hence it follows, And let him follow me.

ORIGEN; He assigns the cause of this when He adds, For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; that is, whosoever will according to the present life keep his own soul fixed on things of sense, the same shall lose it, never reaching to the bounds of happiness. But on the other hand He adds, but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, shall save it. That is, whosoever forsakes the things of sense looking upon truth, and exposes himself to death, as it were losing his life for Christ, shall the rather save it. If then it is a blessed thing to save our life, (with regard to that safety which is in God,) there must be also a certain good surrender of life which is made by looking upon Christ. It seems also to me from resemblance to that denying of one's self which has been before spoken of, that it becomes us to lose a certain sinful life of ours, to take up that which is saved by virtue.

CYRIL; But that incomparable exercise of the passion of Christ, which surpasses the delights and precious things of the world, is alluded to when he adds, What is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world and lose himself, or be a cast away? As if he says, When a man, through his looking after the present delights, gains pleasure, and refuses indeed to suffer, but chooses to live splendidly in his riches, what advantage will he get then, when he has lost his soul? For the fashion of this world passes away, and pleasant things depart as a shadow. For the treasures of ungodliness shall not profit, but righteousness snatches a man from death.

GREG. Since then the holy Church has one time of persecution, another time of peace, our Lord has noticed both times in His command to us. For at the time of persecution we must lay down our soul, that is our life, which He signified, saying, Whosoever shall lose his life. But in time of peace, those things which have the greatest power to subdue us, our earthly desires, must be vanquished; which He signified, saying, What does it profit a man, &c. Now we commonly despise all fleeting things, but still we are so checked by that feeling of shame so common to man, that we are yet unable to express in words the uprightness which we preserve in our hearts.

But to this wound the Lord indeed subjoins a suitable application, saying, For whoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed.

Catena Aurea Luke 9
29 posted on 02/14/2013 6:35:53 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Stefaneschi Triptych: Martyrdom of Peter

Giotto di Bondone

c. 1330
Tempera on panel
Pinacoteca, Vatican

30 posted on 02/14/2013 6:36:39 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Condemnation of St Lawrence by the Emperor Valerian

Fra Angelico

1447-49
Fresco, 271 x 235 cm
Cappella Niccolina, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

31 posted on 02/14/2013 6:37:15 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Andrea Mantegna

St Sebastian

c. 1506
Oil on canvas, 213 x 95 cm
Galleria Franchetti, Ca' d'Oro, Venice

32 posted on 02/14/2013 6:37:50 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: February 14, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who enlightened the Slavic peoples through the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius, grant that our hearts may grasp the words of your teaching, and perfect us as a people of one accord in true faith and right confession. 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.

Lent: February 14th

Memorial of Sts. Cyril, monk and St. Methodius, bishop

Old Calendar: St. Valentine, priest and martyr

St. Cyril was a priest and a philosopher and accompanied his brother St. Methodius to Moravia to preach the Gospel. They both perfected a Slavonic alphabet which is now known as the Cyrillic alphabet and translated the liturgy into this language. They were summoned to Rome, where Cyril died on this date in 869, and Methodius was consecrated bishop and sent to Pannonia. He died on April 6, 885, in Velehrad, Czech Republic, after working tirelessly on spreading the Gospel. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, their feast is celebrated on July 7.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Valentine. St. Valentine, a priest of Rome, was martyred, it would appear, in about 270. On the Flaminian Way, at the site of his martyrdom, Julius I built a basilica which was visited frequently.

Stational Church


Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Cyril and Methodius, the apostles of the Slavs, were brothers who hailed from Thessalonia. After receiving an excellent education, they were sent by the Eastern Emperor Michael III (842-856) into the kingdom of Grand-Moravia; through great effort and in spite of tremendous difficulties they converted the Slavonic nations. They translated the Bible into Slavonic and devised a kind of writing, called glagolitic, which even to the present day is used in the liturgical services of some Eastern rites.
   
In 867 the two brothers came to Rome, were met by Pope Hadrian II (867-872) and the whole papal court. They gave a report of their labors but encountered opposition on the part of jealous clergy who took offense, it was said, because of their liturgical innovations. Cyril and Methodius explained their methods and from the Pope himself received episcopal consecration (868). Soon after, Cyril died at Rome, only forty-two years old, and was buried in St. Peter's; later his body was transferred to San Clemente, where his remains still rest. His funeral resembled a triumphal procession.

Methodius returned to Moravia and labored as a missionary among the Hungarians, Bulgarians, Dalmatians, and the inhabitants of Carinthia. Falling again under suspicion, he returned to Rome and defended the use of the Slavonic language in the liturgy. The Pope bestowed upon him the dignity of archbishop. After his return to Moravia, he converted the duke of Bohemia and his wife, spread the light of faith in Bohemia and Poland, is said to have gone to Moscow (after the erection of the See of Lemberg), and to have established the diocese of Kiev. After his return he died in Bohemia and was buried in the Church of St. Mary at Velehrad, the services being conducted in Greek, Slavonic, and Latin.

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

Patron: Bohemia; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Czechoslovakia; ecumenism; Europe; Moravia; unity of the Eastern and Western Churches; Yugoslavia.

Symbols for St. Cyril: With Saint Methodius; Oriental monk holding a church with the help of Methodius; surrounded by Bulgarian converts; wearing a long philosopher's coat.

Symbols for St. Methodius: With Saint Cyril; Oriental bishop holding up a church with Saint Cyril; Oriental bishop holding a picture of the Last Judgement.

Things to Do:


St. Valentine
Legend states that Valentine, along with St. Marius, aided the Christian martyrs during the Claudian persecution. In addition to his other edicts against helping Christians, Claudius had also issued a decree forbidding marriage. In order to increase troops for his army, he forbade young men to marry, believing that single men made better soldiers than married men.

Valentine defied this decree and urged young lovers to come to him in secret so that he could join them in the sacrament of matrimony. Eventually he was discovered by the Emperor, who promptly had Valentine arrested and brought before him. Because he was so impressed with the young priest, Claudius attempted to convert him to Roman paganism rather than execute him. However, Valentine held steadfast and in turn attempted to convert Claudius to Christianity, at which point the Emperor condemned him to death.

While in prison, Valentine was tended by the jailer, Asterius, and his blind daughter. Asterius' daughter was very kind to Valentine and brought him food and messages. They developed a friendship and toward the end of his imprisonment Valentine was able to convert both father and daughter to Christianity. Legend has it that he also miraculously restored the sight of the jailer's daughter.

The night before his execution, the priest wrote a farewell message to the girl and signed it affectionately "From Your Valentine," a phrase that lives on even to today. He was executed on February 14th, 273 AD in Rome. The Martyrology says, "At Rome, on the Flaminian Way, the heavenly birthday of the blessed martyr Valentine, a priest. After performing many miraculous cures and giving much wise counsel he was beaten and beheaded under Claudius Caesar."

The church in which he is buried existed already in the fourth century and was the first sanctuary Roman pilgrims visited upon entering the Eternal City.

The valentine has become the universal symbol of friendship and affection shared each anniversary of the priest's execution -- St. Valentine's Day. Valentine has also become the patron of engaged couples.

Patron: Affianced couples; against fainting; bee keepers; betrothed couples; engaged couples; epilepsy; fainting; greeting card manufacturers; greetings; happy marriages; love; lovers; plague; travellers; young people.

Symbols: Birds; roses; bishop with a crippled or epileptic child at his feet; bishop with a rooster nearby; bishop refusing to adore an idol; bishop being beheaded; priest bearing a sword; priest holding a sun; priest giving sight to a blind girl.

Things to Do:


Today's station is at St. George's. Pope St. Gregory established a diaconia, an institution that cared for the poor, at the site of this church. The area has a special place in the history of Rome, as an ancient tradition claims that it was here that Romulus killed his brother Remus before founding the city.


33 posted on 02/14/2013 8:15:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop

Choose life … (Deuteronomy 30:19)

The Israelites were just about to enter the Promised Land. Forty years of waiting and wandering had finally come to an end, and Moses was preparing the people for the next phase of their history: the time when God would bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey.

So standing before the Israelites, Moses issued them the most important challenge they would ever hear. Would they choose life by following Yahweh’s commands? Or would they choose death by following their own ways and the ways of the nations around them?

This challenge didn’t come out of nowhere. Moses had already spent much time reminding them of all the Lord had done. He reminded them how God had delivered them from Egypt and continued to offer them his protection. He spoke of how manna showed up every morning, and quail every evening. He told them that even their clothes did not wear out as they wandered in the desert. But now the time had come for the people to decide for themselves to live under God’s protection. The manna would stop, and so would the quail. God’s miraculous provision would end so that they could choose the way of life, the way of faithful obedience.

Today the Lord stands before us and offers us the same call and promise. He is asking us to choose life, not death. He is asking us to follow his commands and share his love with one another. And he is promising that if we do, he will be with us to strengthen us and lift us into his presence.

Our God has already performed so many miracles for us: he has risen from the dead; he has opened heaven to us; he has filled us with his Holy Spirit; he has given us every gift and blessing we need for our everyday lives.

Now the choice is ours. Will we choose life and live in his presence and know his love? Or will we choose death and live a life of isolation and loneliness?

“Father, you are the author of life. I choose to receive you today. I choose to follow you and heed your voice. Thank you for calling me and filling me with your infinite love.”

Psalm 1:1-4, 6; Luke 9:22-25


34 posted on 02/14/2013 8:19:20 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 February 15, 2013:

Spiritually Lent is a time to take stock of our lives, see what we can live without and notice who needs our help. Clean out a closet. Clean out your soul – maybe it’s time to go to to confession. Do you know how to make an examination of conscience?


35 posted on 02/14/2013 9:21:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

The Cross is the Only Path to God
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Thursday after Ash Wednesday


Father Paul Hubert, LC

Luke 9:22-25

Jesus said to his disciples, "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised." Then he said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you did not flee before suffering, but did what your love for us told you to do. I trust in you. Lord Jesus, you went towards Jerusalem in the hope that we would return to the Father’s home. I hope in you, for you did not put a limit on your love. Even when you were rejected and put to death by your enemies, you prayed for them. Lord, I love you.

Petition: Lord, help me to see the redeeming power of the cross you have laid on my shoulders and embrace it.

1. An Opportunity to be Relished: Suffering is present at every turn of life. Our tendency is to flee from it, to avoid it. This holds true from the small scratch we get when we first fall off our bicycle to the profound sorrow we feel when a friend betrays us. When we feel pain, we take every means in our power to get rid of it. In today’s society, there is a medicine to alleviate any pain or suffering we might feel. Yet, in every suffering there is a lesson, and we remember the lesson better when we have suffered to learn it. Christ foresaw his rejection, suffering, and death, yet did not flee them. He embraced them as a way of showing his most profound love: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). It is what parents do when they give their children their time and attention. It is what real friends do when they serve without counting the cost. It is what we do when we help someone in need.

2. Taking Comfort Even When I Fall:Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed. With the passing of time we may tire of our defects and their effects. The constant, on-going battle to follow Christ may slowly wear us down. The path to perfection in the virtues is surely full of rewards, but it has its share of wear-and-tear. We should not become discouraged even if we fall a thousand times, as long as we love the fight and not the fall. It therefore makes no sense to despair, especially when we fight with Christ on our side. The effort of a prolonged battle can please Christ more than an easy and comfortable victory. Christ reminds us: He will suffer greatly, be rejected and killed, and everyone who wants to be his disciple must take up his cross and follow him.

3. When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong:With the coming of Christ on the earth, suffering took on a new meaning. He gave us the possibility to give to suffering, illness and pain—the consequences of sin—the redemptive and salvific meaning of love. When the apostles asked our Lord who was responsible for the misfortune of a man blind from birth, Christ answered: “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him” (John 9:3). Misfortune and weaknesses made St. Paul exclaim: “Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). It is through denial of self, through the recognition of our weakness, through willfully embracing our trials and sufferings, that we can show the strength of God and the wonders of God in our life.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to see all that happens to me, even pain, suffering and illness, as an opportunity to love, grow in love and offer you my love.

Resolution: Before doing something today I will pause to examine the motives for which I do it: is it for me or for God? If it is only for me, I will rectify my intentions or leave the deed aside, especially if I have the opportunity to do something else for God or to serve God in my neighbor.


36 posted on 02/14/2013 9:41:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Are We Going to Turn Him Down?

 

by Food For Thought on February 14, 2013 · 

Our Gospel today is telling us that if we want to follow Jesus, we must deny ourselves and carry our cross. Like Jesus, we have to suffer much. We have to give up material things and other earthly desires because these are barricades that stop us from knowing God’s will for us. We have to live a simple life as Jesus did. We have to love our brothers and sisters and even our enemies. Jesus loves us so much that he wants us to be with him in paradise.

Life itself is a cross that we have to carry each day. We have to struggle to survive, but if we have Jesus as center of our lives, things will be easy and light. We just have to trust and believe in our Father in heaven and He will never abandon us. Jesus wants us to follow him so we can be with him in heaven. He loves us so much that he suffered and died on the cross for our salvation. Jesus is inviting us to his followers. Are we going to turn him down?


37 posted on 02/14/2013 9:55:50 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

 


<< Thursday, February 14, 2013 >> Sts. Cyril & Methodius
 
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
View Readings
Psalm 1:1-4, 6 Luke 9:22-25
 

LOVE-LIFE

 
"Whoever wishes to be My follower must deny his very self." —Luke 9:23
 

In a cartoon, the patient said to the psychiatrist: "Do I have to do my own thing? Do I have to do what feels good?" Living for self and pleasure gets old.

We like this kind of life at first, but after a while we suspect we're destroying ourselves and wasting our lives. Jesus said as much: "Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. What profit does he show who gains the whole world and destroys himself in the process?" (Lk 9:24-25)

Those who live to do their own thing are to be pitied. They have traded their birthright for trifles (see Gn 25:31ff), and have given up life and love for a shadow of human existence. The only way to escape slavery to self, the emptiness of pleasure-seeking, and the boredom of doing your own thing is to love Jesus with all your heart.

Only Christ's love makes life worth living, gives meaning to everyday existence, and provides sure hope for the future. What joy there is in not being enslaved to self! What freedom is to be found in not reducing life to mere pleasure-seeking! What sweetness in carrying the daily cross, for Jesus' yoke is easy and His burden light! (Mt 11:30)

 
Prayer: Father, I accept the power of the cross and reject the futility of doing my own thing.
Promise: "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding His voice, and holding fast to Him." —Dt 30:19-20
Praise: Sts. Cyril and Methodius opened up several nationalities to the good news with their missionary zeal.

38 posted on 02/14/2013 9:59:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Pray for an end to abortion and a return to a culture of life in our nation.
 
 

39 posted on 02/14/2013 10:00:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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