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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 02-26-13 ^ | 02-26-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 02/25/2013 8:29:53 PM PST by Salvation

February 26, 2013

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent


Reading 1 Is 1:10, 16-20

Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!

Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.

Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
the sword shall consume you:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!

Responsorial Psalm Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Gospel Mt 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

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

1 posted on 02/25/2013 8:29:58 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 02/25/2013 8:51:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20

Religion Without Soul

[10] Hear the word of the LORD,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!

Call to Conversion

[16] Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings
from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
[17] learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
defend the fatherless,
plead for the widow.

The People Must Decide—Obedience or Rebellion

[18] “Come now, let us reason together,
says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
[19] If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
[20] But if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be devoured by the sword;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”


1:10-20. These verses, too, in some ways form a literary unit in line with the
“lawsuit” (”rib”) style often found in prophetical literature: the charge sheet (vv.
10-15) is set against a list of good works, given here in the form of an exhortation
(vv. 16-17), and then comes to the sentence at the end, seen here in the attitude
of the judge, who is God (vv. 18-20).

Harsh words (v. 10) are used: the people of Judah are identified with those of So-
dom and Gomorrah, the epitome of sin and rejection of God. The transgressions
of which they are accused are against acts of worship (vv. 11-15), listed one af-
ter the other — sacrifices, incense offerings, festivals, entreaties. The accusation
is not against acts of worship in themselves, for these are laid down in the book
of Leviticus and therefore are right and proper. What the prophet is inveighing a-
gainst is religious formalism and the dichotomy between performance and inten-
tion, as can be seen from the verses that follow. What God desires is sincerity
of heart, virtue, protection for the weak — in other words, proper treatment of
others. In laying down the law here, the Lord shows his readiness to forgive,
while still holding out the threat of punishment (vv. 18-20).

Some passages of the section are read in the Liturgy during Lent (Tuesday of
the Second Week) to help people check whether they have given God the wor-
ship due to him, and as a call to a sincere change of heart. Christian writers
have used this passage from Isaiah (and other texts from the Scriptures) to ex-
plain that true religion and compassion begin in a person’s heart and then ex-
press themselves in actions. For example, one of the apostolic Fathers writes:
“Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the ministers of God’s grace will speak of penance.
And the Lord of all things himself spoke of penance, and swore an oath: I do not
desire the death of the wicked man, but that he should change his ways; and he
adds: “Cease to do evil, learn to do good; [...] though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they shall be-
come like wool.” The Lord desires that all whom he loves would repent, and he
affirms it by his all-powerful will. Let us be obedient, then, to his glorious plan,
and, by imploring his mercy and kindness, let us return to his goodness and
be converted, leaving aside all our vain works, the disputes and jealousies that
lead to death” (St Clement of Rome, “Ad Corinthios”, 8, 1-9, 1).

1-17. “Learn to do good”: in order to lead the sort of lives that God wants, we
need to be properly schooled. St Basil comments: “Since moral understanding
is neither self-evident nor clear to all, we must learn to do good deeds through
our study of sound doctrine” (”Enarratio in Isaiam”, 1, 40). As well as calling for
sound doctrine, holiness of life requires the practice of virtue, day after day, con-
sistently, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. The “human virtues are
[...] the foundation for the supernatural ones. These in turn provide us with con-
stant encouragement to behave in a noble way. But it is not sufficient merely to
want to have these virtues: we must learn how to practise them. “Discite bene-
facere” (Is 1:17), learn to do good. We need to make a habit of exercising each
virtue, by actually being sincere, truthful, balanced, calm, and patient — for love
is proved by deeds and we cannot love God only by word, but ‘with deeds and in
truth’ (1 Jn 3:18)” (St. Josemaria Escriva, “Friends of God”, 91).

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 02/25/2013 9:00:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 23:1-12

Vices of the Scribes and Pharisees

[1] Then said Jesus to the crowds and to His disciples, [2] “The scribes and the
Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; [3] so practice and observe whatever they tell you,
but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. [4] They bind heavy
burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves
will not move them with their finger. [5] They do all their deeds to be seen by
men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, [6] and they
love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, [7] and
salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. [8] But you are
not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. [9] And
call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in Heaven. [10]
Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. [11] He who is
greatest among you shall be your servant; [12] whoever exalts himself will be
humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”


1-39. Throughout this chapter Jesus severely criticizes the scribes and Phari-
sees and demonstrates the sorrow and compassion He feels towards the ordi-
nary mass of the people, who have been ill-used, “harassed and helpless, like
sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). His address may be divided into three
parts: in the first (verses 1-12) He identifies their principal vices and corrupt practi-
ces; in the second (verses 13-36) He confronts them and speaks His famous
“woes”, which in effect are the reverse of the Beatitudes He preached in Chapter
5: no one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven—no one can escape condemnation
to the flames — unless he changes his attitude and behavior; in the third part (ver-
ses 37-39) He weeps over Jerusalem, so grieved is He by the evils into which the
blind pride and hardheartedness of the scribes and Pharisees have misled the

2-3. Moses passed on to the people the Law received from God. The scribes,
who for the most part sided with the Pharisees, had the function of educating the
people in the Law of Moses; that is why they were said to “sit on Moses’ seat”.
Our Lord recognized that the scribes and Pharisees did have authority to teach
the Law; but He warns the people and His disciples to be sure to distinguish the
Law as read out and taught in the synagogues from the practical interpretations
of the Law to be seen in their leaders’ lifestyles. Some years later, St. Paul — a
Pharisee like his father before him — faced his former colleagues with exactly the
same kind of accusations as Jesus makes here: “You then who teach others,
will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?
You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You
who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor
God by breaking the law? For, as it is written, ‘The name of God is blasphemed
among the Gentiles because of you’” (Romans 2:21-24).

5. “Phylacteries”: belts or bands carrying quotations from sacred Scripture which
the Jews used to wear fastened to their arms or foreheads. To mark themselves
out as more religiously observant than others, the Pharisees used to wear broa-
der phylacteries. The fringes were light-blue stripes on the hems of cloaks; the
Pharisees ostentatiously wore broader fringes.

8-10. Jesus comes to teach the truth; in fact, He is the Truth (John 14:6). As a
teacher, therefore, He is absolutely unique and unparalleled. “The whole of Christ’s
life was a continual teaching: His silences, His miracles, His gestures, His prayer,
His love for people, His special affection for the little and the poor, His acceptance
of the total sacrifice on the cross for the redemption of the world, and His resurrec-
tion are the actualization of His word and the fulfillment of revelation. Hence for
Christians the crucifix is one of the most sublime and popular images of Christ
the Teacher.

“These considerations are in line with the great traditions of the Church and they
all strengthen our fervor with regard to Christ, the Teacher who reveals God to man
and man to himself, the Teacher who saves, sanctifies and guides, who lives, who
speaks, rouses, moves, redresses, judges, forgives, and goes with us day by day
on the path of history, the Teacher who comes and will come in glory” (Bl. John
Paul II, “Catechesi Tradendae”, 9).

11. The Pharisees were greedy for honor and recognition: our Lord insists that
every form of authority, particularly in the context of religion, should be exercised
as a form of service to others; it must not be used to indulge personal vanity or
greed. “He who is the greatest among you shall be your servant”.

12. A spirit of pride and ambition is incompatible with being a disciple of Christ.
Here our Lord stresses the need for true humility, for anyone who is to follow Him.
The verbs “will be humbled”, “will be exalted” have “God” as their active agent.
Along the same lines, St. James preaches that “God opposes the proud, but
gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). And in the “Magnificat”, the Blessed Vir-
gin explains that the Lord “has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exal-
ted those of low degree [the humble]” (Luke 1:52).

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 02/25/2013 9:01:36 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 Isaiah 1:10,16-20 ©
Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the command of our God,
you people of Gomorrah.
‘Wash, make yourselves clean.
Take your wrong-doing out of my sight.
Cease to do evil.
Learn to do good,
search for justice,
help the oppressed,
be just to the orphan,
plead for the widow.
‘Come now, let us talk this over,
says the Lord.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
‘If you are willing to obey,
you shall eat the good things of the earth.
But if you persist in rebellion,
the sword shall eat you instead.’

Psalm Psalm 49:8-9,16-17,21,23 ©
‘I find no fault with your sacrifices,
  your offerings are always before me.
I do not ask more bullocks from your farms,
  nor goats from among your herds.
  ‘But how can you recite my commandments
  and take my covenant on your lips,
you who despise my law
  and throw my words to the winds,
‘You do this, and should I keep silence?
  Do you think that I am like you?
A sacrifice of thanksgiving honours me
  and I will show God’s salvation to the upright.’
*I will show God’s salvation to the upright.

Gospel Acclamation Mt4:17
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Repent, says the Lord,
for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Or Ezk18:31
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Shake off all your sins – it is the Lord who speaks –
and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel Matthew 23:1-12 ©
Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
  ‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’

5 posted on 02/25/2013 9:05:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray with Pope Benedict

On Ash Wednesday
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 02/25/2013 9:08:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thank you so much, dearest Salvation. God bless and Keep you.

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To: onyx

appreciate your kind words.

8 posted on 02/25/2013 9:23:43 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
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

9 posted on 02/25/2013 9:24:35 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
10 posted on 02/25/2013 9:25:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
11 posted on 02/25/2013 9:36:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
12 posted on 02/25/2013 9:37:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Prayers for Our Holy Father Benedict XVI and the Papal Conclave

Prayers for Pope Benedict XVI

Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]

Prayer Thread - Prayer for the Conclave

13 posted on 02/25/2013 9:38:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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

14 posted on 02/25/2013 9:41:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

2.  The Apostles Creed:  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]

15 posted on 02/25/2013 9:42:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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.

16 posted on 02/25/2013 9:43:40 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"



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.

17 posted on 02/25/2013 9:44:44 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.

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

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

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.

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


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.

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...

18 posted on 02/25/2013 9:45:41 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.

19 posted on 02/25/2013 9:46:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Daily Gospel Commentary

Tuesday of the Second week of Lent
Commentary of the day
From the Sayings of the Desert Fathers (4th-5th centuries)
Macarius 11

"Whoever exalts himself will be humbled"

One day Abba Macarius returned to his cell from the marshes carrying some palm leaves. While he was on his way the devil came to meet him carrying a reaper's scythe: he wanted to strike him with it but did not succeed. Then the devil said to him: “Macarius, I undergo a good many torments on your account because I am unable to overcome you. Yet I do everything that you do: you fast and I never eat; you watch and I don't sleep at all. There is just one point on which you beat me. “Which?”, Macarius asked. “It is your humility that prevents me conquering you.”

20 posted on 02/25/2013 9:50:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Lenten Weekday
First Reading:
Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Matthew 23:1-12

Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question the beauty of the sky. . . question all these realities. All respond: "See, we are beautiful." Their beauty is a profession [confessio]. These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if not the Beautiful One [Pulcher] who is not subject to change?

-- St. Augustine

21 posted on 02/25/2013 9:53:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
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.

22 posted on 02/25/2013 9:54:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

The Angelus 

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

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

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

Hail Mary . . . 

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

Hail Mary . . . 

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

Let us pray: 

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


23 posted on 02/25/2013 9:56:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Information: St. Porphyrius
Feast Day: February 26

347, Thessalonica, Greece

Died: February 26, 420, Gaza, Palestine

24 posted on 02/26/2013 7:24:38 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Porphyry

Feast Day: February 26
Born: (around)360 : : Died: 420

Porphyry was born at Thessalonica, in Greece to wealthy, noble parents. He left his family when he was twenty-five and went to Egypt to enter a monastery as a Hermit, in the desert of Skete. After five years, he made a trip to Jerusalem. He wanted to visit the places where Jesus had actually been while he was on earth.

Porphyry was very fascinated by the Holy Land. His love for Jesus made him more deeply aware of the sufferings of the poor. At home in Thessalonica he had never known what it was like to be poor. Now he still owned all the property and wealth that his parents had left him, but not for long.

He asked his friend Mark to go to Thessalonica and sell everything for him. After three months, Mark returned with the money. This, Porphyry gave away to those who really needed it. He then lived for a while as a Hermit in Palestine on the banks of the river Jordan.

At the age of forty he became a priest and was given care of the relics (remains) of the true cross of Jesus. Porphyry was then made bishop of Gaza in Palestine. He worked generously to lead the people to believe in Jesus and to accept the faith.

But it was hard and slow work that required a great amount of patience. Most of people who lived there at that time were pagans who worshiped false gods and had wrong ideas. Although Porphyry was able to stop many of these pagan practices, he had enemies who made him suffer much.

Others who were Christians loved and admired him very much. They prayed and made sacrifices for him begging God to protect him. Bishop Porphyry spent many years strengthening the Christian community, teaching and preaching about all that Christianity stood for. He died in 420.

Have I trusted God in all my undertakings, believing that he watches over me? Are there some parts of my life still controlled by fear?

25 posted on 02/26/2013 8:00:24 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 23
1 THEN Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Tunc Jesus locutus est ad turbas, et ad discipulos suos, τοτε ο ιησους ελαλησεν τοις οχλοις και τοις μαθηταις αυτου
2 Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. dicens : Super cathedram Moysi sederunt scribæ et pharisæi. λεγων επι της μωσεως καθεδρας εκαθισαν οι γραμματεις και οι φαρισαιοι
3 All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not. Omnia ergo quæcumque dixerint vobis, servate, et facite : secundum opera vero eorum nolite facere : dicunt enim, et non faciunt. παντα ουν οσα εαν ειπωσιν υμιν τηρειν τηρειτε και ποιειτε κατα δε τα εργα αυτων μη ποιειτε λεγουσιν γαρ και ου ποιουσιν
4 For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on men's shoulders; but with a finger of their own they will not move them. Alligant enim onera gravia, et importabilia, et imponunt in humeros hominum : digito autem suo nolunt ea movere. δεσμευουσιν γαρ φορτια βαρεα και δυσβαστακτα και επιτιθεασιν επι τους ωμους των ανθρωπων τω δε δακτυλω αυτων ου θελουσιν κινησαι αυτα
5 And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad, and enlarge their fringes. Omnia vero opera sua faciunt ut videantur ab hominibus : dilatant enim phylacteria sua, et magnificant fimbrias. παντα δε τα εργα αυτων ποιουσιν προς το θεαθηναι τοις ανθρωποις πλατυνουσιν δε τα φυλακτηρια αυτων και μεγαλυνουσιν τα κρασπεδα των ιματιων αυτων
6 And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues, Amant autem primos recubitus in cœnis, et primas cathedras in synagogis, φιλουσιν τε την πρωτοκλισιαν εν τοις δειπνοις και τας πρωτοκαθεδριας εν ταις συναγωγαις
7 And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi. et salutationes in foro, et vocari ab hominibus Rabbi. και τους ασπασμους εν ταις αγοραις και καλεισθαι υπο των ανθρωπων ραββι ραββι
8 But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master; and all you are brethren. Vos autem nolite vocari Rabbi : unus est enim magister vester, omnes autem vos fratres estis. υμεις δε μη κληθητε ραββι εις γαρ εστιν υμων ο καθηγητης ο χριστος παντες δε υμεις αδελφοι εστε
9 And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. Et patrem nolite vocare vobis super terram : unus est enim pater vester qui in cælis est. και πατερα μη καλεσητε υμων επι της γης εις γαρ εστιν ο πατηρ υμων ο εν τοις ουρανοις
10 Neither be ye called masters; for one is you master, Christ. Nec vocemini magistri : quia magister vester unus est, Christus. μηδε κληθητε καθηγηται εις γαρ υμων εστιν ο καθηγητης ο χριστος
11 He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. Qui major est vestrum, erit minister vester. ο δε μειζων υμων εσται υμων διακονος
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Qui autem se exaltaverit, humiliabitur : et qui se humiliaverit, exaltabitur. οστις δε υψωσει εαυτον ταπεινωθησεται και οστις ταπεινωσει εαυτον υψωθησεται

26 posted on 02/26/2013 11:35:00 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2. Saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
3. All therefore whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say, and do not do.
4. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. When the Lord had overthrown the Priests by His answer, and shown their condition to be irremediable, forasmuch as clergy, when they do wickedly, cannot be amended, but laymen who have gone wrong are easily set right, He turns His discourse to His Apostles and the people. For that is an unprofitable word which silences one, without conveying improvement to another.

ORIGEN; The disciples of Christ are better than the common herd; and you may find in the Church such as with more ardent affection come to the word of God; these are Christ's disciples, the rest are only His people. And sometimes He speaks to His disciples alone, sometimes to the multitudes and His disciples together, as here. The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, as professing his Law, and boasting that they can interpret it. Those that do not depart from the letter of the Law are the Scribes; those who make high professions, and separate themselves from the vulgar as better than they, are called Pharisees, which signifies 'separate.' Those who understand and expound Moses according to his spiritual meaning, these sit indeed on Moses' seat, but are neither Scribes nor Pharisees, but better than either, Christ's beloved disciples. Since His coming these have sat upon the seat of the Church, which is the seat of Christ.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. But regard must be had to this, after what sort each man fills his seat; for not the seat makes the Priest, but the Priest the seat; the place does not consecrate the man, but the man the place. A wicked Priest derives guilt and not honor from his Priesthood.

CHRYS. But that none should say, For this cause am I slack to practice, because my instructor is evil, He removes every such plea, saying, All therefore whatever they say to you, that observe and do, for they speak not their own, but God's, which things He taught through Moses in the Law. And look with how great honor He speaks of Moses, showing again what harmony there is with the Old Testament.

ORIGEN; But if the Scribes and Pharisees who sit in Moses' seat are the teachers of the Jews, teaching the commandments of the Law according to the letter, how is this that the Lord bids us do after all things which they say; but the Apostles in the Acts forbid the believers to do according to the letter of the Law. These indeed taught after the letter, not understanding the Law spiritually. Whatsoever they say to us out of the Law, with understanding of its sense, that we do and keep, not doing after their works, for they do not what the law enjoins, nor perceive the veil that is upon the letter of the Law. Or by all we are not to understand every thing in the Law, many things for example relating to the sacrifices, and the like, but such as concern our conduct.

But why did He command this not of the Law of grace, but of the doctrine of Moses? Because truly it was not the time to publish the commandments of the New Law before the season of His passion. I think also that He had herein something further in view. He was about to bring many things against the Scribes and Pharisees in His discourse following, wherefore that vain men might not think that He coveted their place of authority, or spoke thus out of enmity to them, he first puts away from Himself this suspicion, and then begins to reprove them, that the people might not fall into their faults; and that, because they ought to hear them, they Should not think that therefore they ought to imitate them in the works, He adds, But do you not after their works. What can be more pitiable than such a teacher, whose life to imitate is ruin, to refuse to follow is salvation for his disciples?

PSEUDO-CHRYS. But as gold is picked out of the dross, and the dross is left, so hearers may take doctrine and leave practice, for good doctrine oft comes from an evil man. But as Priests judge it better to teach the bad for the sake of the good, rather than to neglect the good for the sake of the bad; so also let those who are set under them pay respect to the bad Priests for the sake of the good, that the good may not be despised because of the bad; for it is better to give bad what is not their due, rather than to defraud the good of what is justly theirs.

CHRYS. Look with what He begins His reproof of them, For they say, and do not. Every one who transgresses the Law is deserving of blame, but especially he who has the post of instruction. And this for a threefold cause; first, because he is a transgressor; secondly, because when he ought to set others right, he himself halts; thirdly, because, being in the rank of a teacher, his influence is more corrupting. Again, He brings a further charge against them, that they oppress those that are put under them; They bind heavy burdens; in this He shows a double evil in them; that they exacted without any allowance the utmost rigor of life from those that were put under them, while they allowed themselves large license herein. But a good ruler should do the contrary of this, to be to himself a severe judge, to others a merciful one. Observe in what forcible words He utters His reproof; He says not they cannot, but they will not; and not, lift them, but touch then with one of their fingers.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. And to the Scribes and Pharisees of whom He is now speaking, heavy burdens not to be borne are the commandments of the Law; as St. Peter speaks in the Acts, Why seek you to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? For commanding the burdens of the Law by fabulous proofs, they bound as it were the shoulders of the heart of their hearers with bands, that thus tied as though with proof of reason to them, they might not fling them off; but themselves did not in the least measure fulfill them, that is, not only did not wholly, but did not so much as attempt to.

GLOSS. Or, bind burdens, that is, gather traditions from all sides, not to aid, but to burden the con. science.

JEROME; But all these things, the shoulders, the finger, the burdens, and the bands with which they bind the burdens, have a spiritual meaning. Herein also the Lord speaks generally against all masters who enjoin high things, but do not even little things.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Such also are they who lay a heavy burden upon those who come to penitence, so that while men would avoid present punishment, they overlook that which is to come. For if you lay upon a boy's shoulders a burden more than he can bear, he must needs either cast it off, or be broken down by it; so the man on whom you lay too grievous a burden of penance must either wholly refuse it, or if he submit himself to it will find himself unable to bear it, and so be offended, and sin worse. Also, if we should be wrong in imposing too light a penance, is it not better to have to answer for mercy than for severity? Where the master of the household is liberal, the steward should not be oppressive. If God be kind, should His Priest be harsh? Do you seek thereby the character of sanctity? Be strict in ordering your own life, in that of others lenient; let men hear of you as enjoining little, and performing much. The Priest who gives license to himself, and exacts the utmost from others, is like a corrupt tax-gatherer in the state, who to ease himself taxes others heavily.

5. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6. And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7. And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8. But be not you called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ, and all you are brethren.
9. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
10. Neither be you called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
11. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

CHRYS. The Lord had charged the Scribes and Pharisees with harshness and neglect; He now brings forward their vain-glory, which made them depart from God.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Every substance breeds in itself that which destroys it, as wood the worm, and garments the moth; so the Devil strives to corrupt the ministry of the Priests, who are ordained for the edification of holiness, endeavoring that this good, while it is done to be seen of men, should be turned into evil. Take away this fault from the clergy, and you will have no further labor in their reform, for of this it comes that a clergyman who has sinned can hardly perform penance. Also the Lord here points out the cause why they could not believe in Christ, because nearly all they did was in order to be seen of men; for he whose desire is for earthly glory from men, cannot believe on Christ who preaches things heavenly.

I have read one who interprets this place thus. In Moses' seat, that is, in the rank and degree instituted by Moses, the Scribes and Pharisees are seated unworthily, forasmuch as they preached to others the Law which foretold Christ's coming, but themselves did not receive Him when come. For this cause He exhorts the people to hear the Law which they preached, that is, to believe in Christ who was preached by the Law, but not to follow the Scribes and Pharisees in their disbelief of Him. And He shows the reason why they preached the coming of Christ out of the Law, yet did not believe on Him; namely, because they did not preach that Christ should come through any desire of His coming, but that they might be seen by men to be doctors of the Law.

ORIGEN; And their works likewise they do to be seen of men, using outward circumcision, taking away actual leaven out of their houses, and doing such like things. But Christ's disciples fulfill the Law in things secret, being Jews inwardly, as the Apostle speaks.

CHRYS. Note the intensive force of the words of His reproofs. He says not merely that they do their works to be seen of men, but added, all their works. And not only in great things but in some things trivial they were vainglorious, They make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments.

JEROME; For the Lord, when He had given the commandments of the Law through Moses, added at the end, And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be ever before your eyes; the meaning of which is, Let my precepts be in your hand so as to he fulfilled in your works; let them be before your eyes so as that you shall meditate upon them day and night. This the Pharisees misinterpreting, wrote on parchments the Decalogue of Moses, that is, the Ten Commandments, and folding them up, tied them on their forehead, so making them a crown for their head, that they should be always before their eyes.

Moses had in another place given command that they should make fringes of blue in the borders of their garments, to distinguish the people of Israel; that as in their bodies circumcision, so in their garments the fringe, might discriminate the Jewish nation. But these superstitious teachers, catching at popular favor, and making gain of silly women, made broad hems, and fastened them with sharp pins, that as they walked or sat they might be pricked, and by such monitors be recalled to the duties of God's ministry. This embroidery then of the Decalogue they called phylacteries, that is, conservatories, because those who wore them, wore them for their own protection and security. So little did the Pharisees understand that they were to be worn on the heart and not on the body; for in equal degree may cases and chests be said to have books, which assuredly have not the knowledge of God.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. But after their example do many invent Hebrew names of Angels, and write them, and bind them on themselves, and they seem dreadful to such as are without understanding. Others again wear round their neck a portion of the Gospel written out. But is not the Gospel read every day in the Church, and heard by all? Those therefore who receive no profit from the Gospel sounded in their ears, how shall the having them hung about their neck save them? Further, wherein is the virtue of the Gospel? in the shape of its letters, or in the understanding its meaning? If in the characters, you do well to hang them round your neck; if in their meaning, they are of more profit when laid up in the heart, than hung round the neck. But others explain this place thus, That they made broad their teachings concerning special observances, as phylacteries, or preservatives of salvation, preaching them continually to the people. And the broad fringes of their garments they explain of the same undue stress upon such commandments.

JEROME; Seeing they thus make broad their phylacteries, and make them broad fringes, desiring to have glory of men, they are convicted also in other things; For they love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues.

RABAN. It should be noted, that He does not forbid those to whom this belongs by right of rank to be saluted in the forum, or to sit or recline in the highest room; but those who unduly desire these things, whether they obtain them or not, these He enjoins the believers to shun as wicked.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. For He rebukes not those who recline in the highest place, but those who love such places, blaming the will not the deed. For to no purpose does he humble himself in place who exalts himself in heart. For some vain men hearing that it was a commendable thing to seat himself in the lowest place, chooses so to do; and thus not only does not put away the vanity of his heart, but adds this additional vain ostentation of his humility, as one who would be thought righteous and humble. For many proud men take the lowest place in their bodies, but in haughtiness of heart think themselves to be seated among the highest; and there are many humble men who, placed among the highest, are inwardly in their own esteem among the lowest.

CHRYS. Observe where vain glory governed them, to wit, in the synagogues, whither they entered to guide others. It had been tolerable to have felt thus at feasts, notwithstanding that a doctor ought to be had in honor in all places alike, and not in the Churches only. But if it be blameworthy to love such things, how wrong is it to seek to attain them?

PSEUDO-CHRYS. They love the first salutations, first, that is, not in time only, before others; but in tone, that we should say with a loud voice, Hail, Rabbi and in body that we should bow low our head; and in place, that the salutation should be in public.

RABAN. And herein they are not without fault, that the same men should be concerned in the litigations of the forum, who in the synagogue in Moses' seat, seek to be called Rabbi by men.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. That is, they wish to be called, not to be such; they desire the name, and neglect the duties.

ORIGEN; And in the Church of Christ are found some who take to them selves the uppermost places, that is, become deacons; next they aspire to the chief seats of those that are called presbyters; and some intrigue to be styled among men Bishop, that is, to be called Rabbi. But Christ's disciple loves the uppermost place indeed, but at the spiritual banquet, where he may feed on the choicer morsels of spiritual food, for, with the Apostles who sit upon twelve thrones, he loves the chief seats, and hastens by his good works to render himself worthy of such seats; and he also loves salutations made in the heavenly market-place, that is, in the heavenly congregations of the primitive. But the righteous man would be called Rabbi, neither by man, nor by any other, because there is One Master of all men.

CHRYS. Or otherwise, Of the foregoing things with which He had charged the Pharisees, He now passes over many as of no weight, and such as His disciples needed not to be instructed in; but that which was the cause of all evils, namely, ambition of the master's seat, that He insists upon to instruct His disciples..

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Be not you called Rabbi, that you take not to yourselves what belongs to God. And call not others Rabbi, that you pay not to men a divine honor. For One is the Master of all, who instructs all men by nature. For if man were taught by man, all men would learn that have teachers; but seeing it is not man that teaches, but God, many are taught, but few learn. Man cannot by teaching impart an understanding to man, but that under standing which is given by God man calls forth by schooling

HILARY; And that the disciples may ever remember that they are the children of one parent, and that by their new birth they have passed the limits of their earthly origin.

JEROME; All men may be called brethren in affection, which is of two kinds, general and particular. Particular, by which all Christians are brethren; general, by which all men being born of one Father are bound together by like tie of kindred.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. And call no man your Father upon earth; because in this world though man begets man, yet there is one Father who created all men. For we have not beginning of life from our parents, but we have our life transmitted through them.

ORIGEN; But who calls no man father upon earth? He who in every action done as before God, says, Our Father, which art in Heaven.

GLOSS. Because it was clear who was the Father of all, by this which was said, Which art in Heaven, He would teach them who was the Master of all, and therefore repeats the same command concerning a master, Neither be you called masters; for one is your Master, even Christ.

CHRYS. Not that at when Christ is here said to be our Master, the Father is excluded, as neither when God is said to be our Father, is Christ excluded, Who is the Father of men.

JEROME; It is a difficulty that the Apostle against this command calls himself the teacher of the Gentiles; and that in monasteries in their common conversation, they call one another, Father. It is to be cleared thus. It is one thing to be father or master by nature, another by sufferance. Thus when we call any man our father, we do it to show respect to his age, not as regarding him as the author of our being. We also call men 'Master,' from resemblance to a real master; and, not to use tedious repetition, as the One God and One Son, who are by nature, do not preclude us from calling others gods and sons by adoption, so the One Father and One Master, do not preclude us from speaking of other fathers and masters by an abuse of the terms.

CHRYS Not only does the Lord forbid us to seek supremacy, but would lead His hearer to the very opposite; He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

ORIGEN; Or otherwise; And if one minister the divine word, knowing that it is Christ that makes it to be fruitful, such a one professes himself a minister and not a master; whence it follows, He that is greatest among you, let him be your servant. As Christ Himself, who was in truth our Master, professed Himself a minister, saying, I am in the midst of you as one that ministers. And well does He conclude this prohibition of all vain-glory with the words, And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

REMIG. Which means that every one who thinks highly of his own deserts, shall be humbled before God; and every one who humbles himself concerning his good deeds, shall be exalted with God.

Catena Aurea Matthew 23
27 posted on 02/26/2013 11:36:39 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Guido da siena

Tempera on wood
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena

28 posted on 02/26/2013 11:37:22 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Crucifixion with the Virgin and St John the Evangelist

Monaco Lorenzo

Tempera on panel, 85 x 37 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

29 posted on 02/26/2013 11:38:15 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Christ at the Column (detail)

15th century

Church of St Nizier, Troye, France

30 posted on 02/26/2013 11:38:55 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All

Tuesday, February 26

Liturgical Color: Violet

Today the Church recalls St. Paula of Saint Joseph of Calasanz. In 1847, she founded the Daughters of Mary, which operated several schools in Spain. The goal of the order was to provide a good education while maintaining devotion to God.

31 posted on 02/26/2013 4:31:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: February 26, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Guard your Church, we pray, O Lord, in your unceasing mercy, and, since without you mortal humanity is sure to fall, and directed to all that brings salvation. 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 26th

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent

Old Calendar: Saint Porphyrius, bishop (Hist)

Historically today is the feast of St. Porphyrius, a wealthy Greek who became a hermit first in the desert of Skete in Egypt and then in Palestine on the banks of the Jordan. Much against his will he was raised to the see of Gaza, which he ruled with extraordinary energy, ability and success. He almost completely uprooted the remnants of paganism in his diocese. His biography written by his deacon Mark is one of the most valuable historical sources of the fifth century.

Stational Church

Saint Porphyrius
Saint Porphyrius, Archbishop of Gaza, was born about the year 346 at Thessalonica. His parents were people of substance, and this allowed St Porphyrius to receive a fine education. Having the inclination for monastic life, he left his native region at twenty-five years of age and set off for Egypt, where he lived in the Nitrian desert under the guidance of St Macarius the Great (January 19). There he also met St Jerome (June 15), who was then visiting the Egyptian monasteries. He went to Jerusalem on pilgrimage to the holy places, and to venerate the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord (September 14), then he moved into a cave in the Jordanian wilderness for prayer and ascetic deeds.

After five years, St Porphyrius was afflicted with a serious malady of the legs. He decided to go to the holy places of Jerusalem to pray for healing. As he lay half-conscious at the foot of Golgotha, St Porphyrius fell into a sort of trance. He beheld Jesus Christ descending from the Cross and saying to him, "Take this Wood and preserve it."

Coming out of his trance, he found himself healthy and free from pain. Then he gave away all his money to the poor and for the adornment of the churches of God. For a time he supported himself by working as a shoemaker. The words of the Savior were fulfilled when the saint was forty-five years old. The Patriarch of Jerusalem ordained St Porphyrius to the holy priesthood and appointed him custodian of the Venerable Wood of the Cross of the Lord.

In 395 the bishop of the city of Gaza (in Palestine) died. The local Christians went to Caesarea to ask Metropolitan John to send them a new bishop who would be able to contend against the pagans, which were predominant in their city and were harassing the Christians there. The Lord inspired the Metropolitan to summon the priest Porphyrius. With fear and trembling the ascetic accepted the office of bishop, and with tears he prostrated himself before the Life-Creating Wood and went to fulfill his new obedience.

In Gaza there were only three Christian churches, but there were a great many pagan temples and idols. During this time there had been a long spell without rain, causing a severe drought. The pagan priests brought offerings to their idols, but the woes did not cease. St Porphyrius imposed a fast for all the Christians; he then served an all-night Vigil, followed by a church procession around the city. Immediately the sky covered over with storm clouds, thunder boomed, and abundant rains poured down. Seeing this miracle, many pagans cried out, "Christ is indeed the only true God!" As a result of this, 127 men, thirty-five women and fourteen children were united to the Church through Holy Baptism, and another 110 men soon after this.

The pagans continued to harass the Christians. They passed them over for public office, and burdened them with taxes. St Porphyrius and Metropolitan John of Caesarea journeyed to Constantinople to seek redress from the emperor. St John Chrysostom (September 14, January 27 and 30) received them and assisted them.

Ss. John and Porphyrius were presented to the empress Eudoxia who was expecting a child at that time. "Intercede for us," said the bishops to the empress, "and the Lord will send you a son, who shall reign during your lifetime". Eudoxia very much wanted a son, since she had given birth only to daughters. Through the prayer of the saints an heir was born to the imperial family. As a result of this, the emperor issued an edict in 401 ordering the destruction of pagan temples in Gaza and the restoration of privileges to Christians. Moreover, the emperor gave the saints money for the construction of a new church, which was to be built in Gaza on the site of the chief pagan temple.

St Porphyrius upheld Christianity in Gaza to the very end of his life, and guarded his flock from the vexatious pagans. Through the prayers of the saint numerous miracles and healings occurred. The holy archpastor guided his flock for twenty-five years, and reposed in 420 at an advanced age.

Excerpted from

Things to Do:

The Station today is at St. Balbina's, virgin and martyr (130), the daughter of the tribune and martyr, St. Quirinus. The church is ancient, and was probably built in the 4th century above the house of the consul Lucius Fabius Cilone. The first reference to it is found in a 6th century document, where it is referred to as Sanctae Balbinae. It was consecrated by Pope St. Gregory the Great.

32 posted on 02/26/2013 4:40:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20

2nd Week of Lent

Learn to do good. Make justice your aim. (Isaiah 1:17)

In just a few words, the prophet Isaiah urged the Israelites to make a vital decision: “Wash yourselves clean! Cease doing evil!” Moments like this are a great grace, moments when we clearly see what we have done wrong and choose to deal with it. If I’ve stolen money, I should make restitution. If I’ve been swearing, I should resolve to stop. Whatever the situation, I need to do something. I may need to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, seek forgiveness from someone I have hurt, or avoid a particular place or thing that endangers me.

But let’s be clear. Not all change occurs in dramatic moments. Most of the time, our goal is to “aim at” justice and “learn to do good” one step at a time. Perhaps God is inviting you to grow in kindness. There are many ways you can do this. You can take time to pray for a person who irritates you and then look for ways to compliment him or her. You can pause before you begin each new chore or activity and ask God to show you one small way that you can be helpful there.

Here’s another strategy: instead of focusing on the negative trait you are trying to overcome, try cultivating its opposite. If you tend toward passivity, cultivate zeal by stepping forward to help out. If you tend to be critical, practice appreciation by saying positive and encouraging things. If pride is your main temptation, cultivate humility by putting other people first. If you are impatient, cultivate patience by waiting longer before grumbling or even looking at your watch.

This kind of learning doesn’t happen overnight, and it can be challenging. But know this: your tiniest efforts bring a smile to God’s face. When you offer him even your desire to do better, he multiplies this little gift and fills it with the transforming power of his love. Just as a parent teaches a baby to talk by praising and repeating his first sounds, Jesus, our patient teacher, is eager to work with us as we grow in his love.

“Holy Spirit, I am still learning to know you and walk in your ways. Keep teaching me and forming me. Lord, I want to learn to do good!”

Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23; Matthew 23:1-12

33 posted on 02/26/2013 6:21:03 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 26, 2013:

Have you ever tried a “tech fast”? For one day resolve not to use any technology – no TV, computer, cell phone, iPod, etc. Temporarily going without can put you in solidarity with those who don’t have a choice.

34 posted on 02/26/2013 6:57:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent


Matthew 23: 1-12

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses´ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father-- the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, though I cannot see you with my eyes, I believe you are present to me now, in my innermost being, and that you know me far better than I know myself. I also know that you love me much more than I love my own self. Thank you for loving and watching over me, though I don’t deserve your love. In return, I offer you my sorrow for my sins and my hopes to love you more each day.

Petition: Lord, help me to be humble like you.

1. Disinterested Charity: How do we know that we are truly working for God? When we are willing to work for him for nothing. God calls some missionaries to work with the poor, who can repay their benefactors with nothing more than smiles and gratitude. Other missionaries work with the humanly and spiritually poor, who neither recognize their neediness nor value the work of Christian evangelization. Parents put in long, hidden hours of service to sustain their families, often without receiving a simple “thank you.” Christ shunned human recognition not just with his words: when the people wanted to make him king, he hurried off to proclaim the Good News somewhere else. Do I value my charity towards others more than I value any position of authority? Do I seek the praise of others for the good deeds I do?

2. Little Misunderstandings: Christian authority comes not from titles or positions, but from our faithful adherence to Christ’s commandment of charity and service. We should welcome misunderstanding in the face of our doing good. It means that God is inviting us to attain a higher level in our charity and Christian leadership. With his fidelity, Christ shows us that we have every reason to believe in the fulfillment of God’s promise. The book of Wisdom shows us that misunderstanding is part of God’s plan: “He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father. Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him” (Wisdom 2: 16-20).

3. The Cross is Our Claim to Glory: “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (John 12:32). Christ did not lift himself up for others to notice; he refused to exalt himself. He refused the places of honor at banquets (he sat with the tax collectors), seats of honor in synagogues (they threw him out), and special greetings in marketplaces (“Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone” (Mark 10:18)). His silence infuriated Pilate: “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” (John 19:10). They asked Christ to exalt himself by coming down from the cross, and he refused. This is the real test of our trust and love: trusting that God really cares for us when he allows us to be crucified for being faithful, and loving that crucifixion by embracing it willingly for the good of souls.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, I know I will never be able to be as humble as you, but I want to desire and work for the greatest degree of humility possible for me. I want to leave behind the pride that has damaged so many areas of my life. I want to have your example always fresh in my mind so that I can keep advancing—not in order to glory in my own perfection, but in order to please you and do your will.

Resolution: I will think of the relationship in my life where my pride is most destructive. I will take concrete steps to deal with that person more positively and humbly.

35 posted on 02/26/2013 7:04:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Covenant Love

by Food For Thought on February 26, 2013 · 

In the first reading, Isaiah, in a satiric mode, calls the nation’s
leaders, “Princes of Sodom,” and its citizens, “people of Gomorrah.”
The reference is to the two cities, which were notorious in the Bible
for the most licentious kinds of sexual perversion. One commentator
suggests that Isaiah was not accusing the Israelites of reviving the
Sodom and Gomorrah life-style. Rather, he was suggesting that the
people of Judah were very like the people of the two cities in their
“rabidly individualistic gluttonies.” Judah’s great gluttony, however,
was not sexual, but avaricious and this led to massive social
injustices, which denied the covenant relationship the people of Judah
had formed with God. Isaiah pleaded with this people, “Make justice
your aim; redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the

A religion from which true covenant living is absent is no religion at
all. One commentator calls it a “religion that has lost its soul” and
which gives importance only to externals. The people of Judah worshiped
God only with their lips; their hearts were not rooted in covenant of
love, but in the love of material success.

In the Gospel, Jesus offers a similar critique to the scribes and
Pharisees. Their interest was not centered in covenant living, or in
covenant love. They gloried in the hundreds of rules and regulations,
which they imposed on the people and on themselves, making religion for
the people an impossible obstacle course. Meanwhile they delighted in
distinctive clothing, in tokens of personal esteem, in honorific

Today’s readings demand that we ask ourselves some very hard questions:
To what extent is our living of the Catholic faith rooted in the
Christian covenant, in Christian covenant love?

36 posted on 02/26/2013 7:25:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body


<< Tuesday, February 26, 2013 >>
Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
View Readings
Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23 Matthew 23:1-12


"Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." —Matthew 23:12

God "is stern with the arrogant but to the humble He shows kindness" (1 Pt 5:5; Prv 3:34). God the Father loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and give us the opportunity for a new life (see Jn 3:16). The Lord wants to overwhelm us with His love and blessings (Dt 28:2). However, if we are arrogant, we will not rightly understand or use God's gifts. We will use them to exalt ourselves rather than the Lord. This will be harmful to us. Therefore, the Lord in His love is stern with the arrogant and humbles them for their own good.

The Lord wants to surround and fill us with His love, but does not want to "spoil us rotten" in our arrogance. It's up to us to humble ourselves and let the Lord exalt us in His love. Otherwise, the Lord will do the humbling. Therefore, let us humble ourselves by repenting, forgiving, confessing, apologizing, sacrificing, serving, admitting our mistakes, choosing a simple lifestyle, exposing ourselves to persecution, loving our enemies, obeying those in authority, suffering redemptively, giving up our plans, giving all to the Lord, etc. Let us humble ourselves to the point that we can say: "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own" (Gal 2:19-20). Then He will exalt us.

Prayer: Father, when I hear the "Exsultet" sung at Easter Vigil this year, may it mean something special to me because I have humbled myself.
Promise: "Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow." —Is 1:18
Praise: Practicing with and singing in the Easter choir strengthens Belinda's faith.

37 posted on 02/26/2013 7:34:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

38 posted on 02/26/2013 7:35:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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