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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 03-20-13
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 03-20-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 03/19/2013 9:57:29 PM PDT by Salvation

March 20, 2013

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

 

Reading 1 Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95

King Nebuchadnezzar said:
“Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god,
or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
“There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up.”

King Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army
bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
“Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?”
“Assuredly, O king,” they answered.
“But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.”
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed,
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him;
they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies
rather than serve or worship any god
except their own God.”

Responsorial Psalm Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56

R. (52b) Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim;
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!

Gospel Jn 8:31-42

Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father.”

They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!”
So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”


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

1 posted on 03/19/2013 9:57:29 PM PDT 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 03/19/2013 10:01:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95 (New American Bible)
Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28 (Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate)

Condemnation For Those Who Will Not Worship the Golden Image (Continuation)


[14] Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-
nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image which I have
set up? [15] Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre,
trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and I have made, well
and good; but if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning
fiery furnace; and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?”

[16] Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar,
we have no need to answer you in this matter. [17] If it be so, our God whom we
serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out
of your hand, O king. [18] But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not
serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”

[19] Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression of his face was
changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace
heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated. [20] And he ordered cer-
tain mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to
cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

The King Acknowledges the God of the Jews


[24] Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He said
to his counsellors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They an-
swered the king, “True, O king?” [25] He answered, “But I see four men loose,
walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the
fourth is like a son of the gods.”

[28] Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in
him, and set at naught the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather
than serve and worship any god except their own God.”

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

3:1-4:3 This story has a very different tone to that of the previous ones, though
the scene is still the court of Babylon. It has to do with a confrontation between
Jews, worshipers of the one true God, and Gentiles, who worship idols; a simi-
lar situation arises in chapter 6. Following the Greek version (which is what the
Catholic Church follows and which is used in modern Catholic translations [in-
cluding the RSVCE]), the passage can be divided into three parts: the first tells
about the young men’s refusal to worship the statue set up by the king; for this
they are condemned to the fiery furnace (3:1-23); the second part, which does
not exist in the Aramaic text, records the prayers that the young men say in the
furnace (3:1:68: notice the italic verse-numbering in chap. 3); the third tells about
the king’s discovering that they are unscathed; as a result, he praises the God
of Israel (3:24-4:3). The RSVCE notes to the book of Daniel on page 886 of this
volume provide a concordance of verse numbers for this passage.

The entire passage shows that God can save from death those who are ready to
die rather than worship idols. Early on, the king asks: “Who is the God that will
deliver you out of my hands?” (3:15); he provides the answer himself when he
says at the end: “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who has sent his angel and delivered his servants” (3:28).

3:16-18. The young men’s answer is a model of what people’s attitude to God
should be when tragedy strikes and particularly when martyrdom beckons: they
should hope that God will come to their rescue, but even if he takes no action,
they should stay true to him. “Because of their faith, they believe that they can
escape death, but they say “if he does not deliver us out of your hand” so that
the king will know that they may also die in the arms of the God they love” (St
Cyprian, “Epistolae”, 58, 5). They do not seek to “compel” God to save them;
they want to show that they obey his will, not the king’s. That is the attitude our
Lord had when his passion loomed: “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup
from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk 22:42).

3:24-4:3. At 3:24 the RSV in roman type links up again with the Aramaic text.
The Greek translations introduce these verses by saying that the king heard the
young men singing in the fiery furnace: hence his amazement; the Aramaic text
simply says that he was astonished that they were alive (v. 24). Their delive-
rance reaches them in their place of torment, with the arrival of the angel to pro-
tect them. Nebuchadnezzar, looking down on the furnace, is able to see that
they are safe. To someone like the king, a believer in all sorts of gods, the fourth
person who looks like “a son of the gods” (v. 25) must have seemed a divine be-
ing; but the author makes it clear that he is simply an angel (v. 28). It is through
the angel that God manifests his providence. The divine help given to the three
young men, Novatian comments, “will not allow even their clothes to be singed
by flame.

This is just and right, for God sustains everything in the world in being and has
power over all, each and every thing; therefore, he can furnish any thing or per-
son with his help, since he is Lord of all” (”De Trinitate”, 8, 43).

The Fathers saw this “son of the gods” as meaning Christ. Daniel knew the Son
of God and saw the works of God. He saw the Son of God who cooled the fires
of the furnace with dew. But when he says “Bless the Lord, all works of the Lord”,
he does not include the Son among them, because he knows that He is not a
creature, but the One through whom all creatures were made, and who should
be praised and exalted in the Father” (St Athanasius, “Epistulae Ad Serapionem”,
2, 6).

There is not a little irony in what the text says about the king’s reaction: he prai-
ses the very fact that the young men disobeyed his orders, risking their lives in
the process, and he rewards them for doing so. The very people that the king or-
dered to worship the statue set up by himself, now benefit from a decree that
commands that the God of the Jews is to be respected. The young men’s hero-
ism (their readiness to accept martyrdom) and their miraculous deliverance have
completely changed the king’s attitude.

*********************************************************************************************
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 03/19/2013 10:14:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 8:31-42

Jesus Warns the Unbelieving Jews (Continuation)


[31] Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in Him, “If you continue in My
word, you are truly My disciples, [32] and you will know the truth, and the truth
will make you free.” [33] They answered Him, “We are descendants of Abraham,
and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, ‘You will be
made free’?”

[34] Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin
is a slave of sin. [35] The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son
continues forever. [36] So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. [37]
I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill Me, because
My word finds no place in you. [38] I speak of what I have seen with My Father,
and you do what you have heard from your father.”

[39] They answered Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you
were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did, [40] but now you
seek to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is
not what Abraham did. [41] You do what your father did.” They said to Him, “We
were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” [42] Jesus said to
them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded and came
forth from God; I came not on My own account, but He sent Me.”

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

30-32. Of those Jews who do believe in Him Jesus asks much more than a shal-
low faith resulting from superficial enthusiasm: they should be true disciples; Je-
sus’ words should imbue their whole life. That kind of faith will bring them to know
the truth and to become really free persons.

The knowledge of the truth which Christ is speaking about is not just intellectual
knowledge; it is rather the maturing in the soul of the seed of divine Revelation.
That Revelation’s climax is to be found in Christ’s teaching and it constitutes a
genuine communication of supernatural life (cf. John 5:24): He who believes in
Jesus, and through Him in the Father, receives the wonderful gift of eternal life.
Knowing the truth is, in the last analysis, knowing Christ Himself, God become
man to save us; it means realizing that the inaccessible God has become man,
our Friend, our Life.

This is the only kind of knowledge which really sets us free, because it removes
us from a position of alienation from God—the state of sin and therefore of slavery
to the devil and to all attachments of our fallen nature—and puts us on the path of
friendship with God, the path of grace, of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, the libe-
ration we obtain is not just light which shows us the way; it is grace, which empo-
wers us to keep to that way despite our limitations. “Jesus Christ meets the man
of every age, including our own, with the same words: ‘You will know the truth,
and the truth will make you free’ (John 8:32). These words contain both a funda-
mental requirement and a warning: the requirement of an honest relationship with
regard to truth as a condition for authentic freedom, and the warning to avoid eve-
ry kind of illusory freedom, every superficial unilateral freedom, every freedom that
fails to enter into the whole truth about man and the world. Today also, even after
two thousand years, we see Christ as the One who brings man freedom based
on truth, frees man from what curtails, diminishes and as it were breaks off this
freedom at its root, in man’s soul, his heart and his conscience. What a stupen-
dous confirmation of this has been given and is still being given by those who,
thanks to Christ and in Christ, have reached true freedom and have manifested
it even in situations of external constraint!” (Bl. John Paul II, “Redemptor Homi-
nis”, 12).

“Christ Himself links liberation particularly with knowledge of the truth; ‘You will
know the truth and the truth will make you free’ (John 8:32). This sentence testi-
fies above all to the intimate significance of the freedom for which Christ liberates
us. Liberation means man’s inner transformation, which is a consequence of the
knowledge of truth. The transformation is, therefore, a spiritual process, in which
man matures ‘in true righteousness and holiness’ (Ephesians 4:24). [...] Truth is
important not only for the growth of human knowledge, deepening man’s interior
life in this way; truth has also a prophetic significance and power. It constitutes
the content of testimony and it calls for testimony. We find this prophetic power
of truth in the teaching of Christ. As a prophet, as a witness to truth, Christ re-
peatedly opposes non-truth; He does so with great forcefulness and decision and
often He does not hesitate to condemn falsehood” (Bl. John Paul II, “General Au-
dience”, 21 February 1979).

St. Thomas Aquinas explains the meaning of these words of our Lord in this way:
“In this passage, being made free does not refer to being freed of every type of
wrong [...]; it means being freed in the proper sense of the word, in three ways:
first, the truth of His teaching will free us from the error of untruth [...]; second,
the truth of grace will liberate us from the slavery of sin: ‘the law of the Spirit of
life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death’ (Romans 8:2);
third, the truth of eternity in Christ Jesus will free us from decay (cf. Romans 8:
21)” (”Commentary on St. John, in loc.”).

“The truth will set you free. How great a truth is this, which opens the way to free-
dom and gives it meaning throughout our lives. I will sum it up for you, with the
joy and certainty which flow from knowing there is a close relationship between
God and His creatures. It is the knowledge that we have come from the hands
of God, that the Blessed Trinity looks upon us with predilection, that we are chil-
dren of so wonderful a Father. I ask my Lord to help us decide to take this truth
to heart, to dwell upon it day by day; only then will we be acting as free men. Do
not forget: anyone who does not realize that he is a child of God is unaware of
the deepest truth about himself. When he acts he lacks the dominion and self-
mastery we find in those who love our Lord above all else” (St. J. Escriva,
“Friends of God”, 26).

33-34. For centuries the people of Israel were ruled by other nations (Egypt, Ba-
bylon, Persia...), and now they were under the dominion of Rome. Therefore, the
Jews thought that He was referring to political bondage or dominion — which in
fact they had experienced but never accepted. In addition, since they belong to
the people chosen by God, they regarded themselves as free of the moral errors
and aberrations of Gentile nations.

They thought that true freedom was a matter of belonging to the chosen people.
Our Lord replies that it is not enough to belong to the line of Abraham: true free-
dom consists in not being slaves of sin. Both Jews and Gentiles were subject to
the slavery of original sin and personal sin (cf. Romans 5:12; 6:20 and 8:2). Only
Christ, the Son of God, can liberate man from that sorry state (cf. Galatians 4:
21-51); but these Jews do not understand the redemptive work which Christ is
doing and which will reach its climax in His death and resurrection

“The Savior”, St. Augustine comments, “is here explaining that we will not be
freed from overlords, but from the devil; not from captivity of the body but from
malice of soul” (”Sermon”, 48).

35-36. The words slave and son are reminiscent of the two sons of Abraham:
Ishmael, born of the slave woman Hagar, who would be given no part in the inhe-
ritance; and Isaac, son of the free woman Sarah, who would be the heir to God’s
promises (cf. Genesis 21:10-12; Galatians 4:28-31). Physical descent from Abra-
ham is not enough for inheriting God’s promises and attaining salvation: by faith
and charity one must identify oneself with Jesus Christ, the true and only Son of
the Father, the only one who can make us sons of God and thereby bring us true
freedom (cf. Romans 8:21; Galatians 4:31). Christ gives “power to become chil-
dren of God [to those] who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor
of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). Thus, a person who identifies him-
self with Christ becomes a son of God and obtains the freedom proper to sons.

“Freedom finds its true meaning when it is put to the service of the truth which
redeems, when it is spent seeking God’s infinite Love which liberates us from all
forms of slavery. Each passing day increases my yearning to proclaim to the four
winds this inexhaustible treasure that belongs to Christianity: ‘the glorious free-
dom of the children of God!’ (Romans 8:21). [...] Where does our freedom come
from? It comes from Christ our Lord. This is the freedom with which He has ran-
somed us (cf. Galatians 4:31). That is why He teaches, ‘if the Son makes you
free, you will be free indeed’ (John 8:36). We Christians do not have to ask any-
one to tell us the true meaning of this gift, because the only freedom that can
save man is Christian freedom” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 27 and 35).

37-41. Our Lord replies to the Jew’s objection: yes indeed, they are Abraham’s
children, but only in a natural sense, according to the flesh; this is something
which does not count any more; what matters now is acceptance of Jesus as
the One sent by the Father. Jesus’ questioners are spiritually very far away from
being true children of Abraham: Abraham rejoiced to see the Messiah (cf. John
8:56); through his faith he was reckoned righteous (cf. Romans 4:1ff), and his
faith led him to act consequentially (cf. James 2:21-24); this was how he at-
tained the joy of eternal blessedness (cf. Matthew 8:11; Luke 16:24). Although
those Jews “derived from him the generation of the flesh, they had become de-
generate, by not imitating the faith of him whose sons they were” (St. Augus-
tine, “In Ioann. Evang.”, 42, 1). Those who live by faith, St. Paul says, are the
true sons of Abraham and like him they will be blessed by God (cf. Galatians 3:
7-9). In point of fact, the people who are arguing with our Lord have not only re-
jected His teaching: their own deeds indicate that they have a radically different
affiliation: “You do what your father did” is a veiled accusation that they are chil-
dren of the devil (cf. verse 44).

The false security Jews felt on the grounds of being descended from Abraham
has its parallel in a Christian who is content with being baptized and with a few
religious observances, but does not live up to the requirements of faith in Christ.

*********************************************************************************************
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 03/19/2013 10:15:02 PM PDT 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 Daniel 3:14-20,24-25,28 ©
King Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, is it true that you do not serve my gods, and that you refuse to worship the golden statue I have erected? When you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, or any other instrument, are you prepared to prostrate yourselves and worship the statue I have made? If you refuse to worship it, you must be thrown straight away into the burning fiery furnace; and where is the god who could save you from my power?’ Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘Your question hardly requires an answer: if our God, the one we serve, is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace and from your power, O king, he will save us; and even if he does not, then you must know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the statue you have erected.’ These words infuriated King Nebuchadnezzar; his expression was very different now as he looked at Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He gave orders for the furnace to be made seven times hotter than usual, and commanded certain stalwarts from his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the burning fiery furnace.
  Then King Nebuchadnezzar sprang to his feet in amazement. He said to his advisers, ‘Did we not have these three men thrown bound into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, O king.’ ‘But,’ he went on ‘I can see four men walking about freely in the heart of the fire without coming to any harm. And the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’
  Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: he has sent his angel to rescue the servants who, putting their trust in him, defied the order of the king, and preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their own.’

Canticle Daniel 3:52-56 ©
You are blest, Lord God of our fathers.
  To you glory and praise for evermore.
Blest your glorious holy name.
  To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest in the temple of your glory.
  To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest on the throne of your kingdom.
  To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest who gaze into the depths.
  To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest in the firmament of heaven.
  To you glory and praise for evermore.

Gospel Acclamation Mt4:4
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Or cf.Lk8:15
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Blessed are those who,
with a noble and generous heart,
take the word of God to themselves
and yield a harvest through their perseverance.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Gospel John 8:31-42 ©
To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said:
‘If you make my word your home
you will indeed be my disciples,
you will learn the truth
and the truth will make you free.’
They answered, ‘We are descended from Abraham and we have never been the slaves of anyone; what do you mean, “You will be made free”?’ Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
everyone who commits sin is a slave.
Now the slave’s place in the house is not assured,
but the son’s place is assured.
So if the Son makes you free,
you will be free indeed.
I know that you are descended from Abraham;
but in spite of that you want to kill me
because nothing I say has penetrated into you.
What I, for my part, speak of
is what I have seen with my Father;
but you, you put into action
the lessons learnt from your father.’
They repeated, ‘Our father is Abraham.’ Jesus said to them:
‘If you were Abraham’s children,
you would do as Abraham did.
As it is, you want to kill me
when I tell you the truth
as I have learnt it from God;
that is not what Abraham did.
What you are doing is what your father does.’
‘We were not born of prostitution,’ they went on ‘we have one father: God.’ Jesus answered:
‘If God were your father, you would love me,
since I have come here from God;
yes, I have come from him;
not that I came because I chose,
no, I was sent, and by him.’

5 posted on 03/19/2013 10:22:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray with Pope Benedict

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Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
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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 03/19/2013 10:23:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Cdl. Bergoglio's Lenten Letter, 2013
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 03/19/2013 10:24:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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40 Days for Life: Vision and Mission, February 13 - March 24, 2013
8 posted on 03/19/2013 10:25:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 03/19/2013 10:42:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 03/19/2013 10:42:30 PM PDT 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.


11 posted on 03/19/2013 10:43:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

2.  The Apostles Creed:  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]

12 posted on 03/19/2013 10:44:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

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

13 posted on 03/19/2013 10:44:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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.


14 posted on 03/19/2013 10:45:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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March Devotion: Saint Joseph

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to the solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. "It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself." --Pope Leo XIII

FOR OUR WORK
Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

FOR THE INTERCESSION OF SAINT JOSEPH
O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.

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

St. Joseph
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.

The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.

Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.

At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.

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

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.

 

 
Prayer to St. Joseph

Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.

Litany of Saint Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Joseph,
pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Light of the Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Faithful Protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most courageous, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of working men, pray for us.
Ornament of the domestic life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of the family, pray for us.
Consoler of the miserable, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church,
pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house.
R. And ruler of all His possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, who in Thy ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may have him for our intercessor in Heaven, whom on earth we venerate as out most holy Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Was St. Joseph a tzadik?
St. Joseph: Patron saint of three Popes [Catholic Caucus]
St. Joseph and the Staircase
St. Joseph, Foster Father, Novena [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Patron of a “Happy Death” A Special Role for St. Joseph [Catholic/Orhtodox Caucus]
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
Catholic Group Blasts Pelosi For Invoking St. Joseph on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
THE SEVEN SORROWS AND SEVEN JOYS OF ST. JOSEPH
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
Season of Announcement - Revelation to Joseph

In hard times, don't forget about the humble carpenter Joseph
Saint Joseph: Complete submission to the will of God (Pope Benedict XVI) (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus
St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus
Some divine intervention in real estate-[Bury St. Joseph Statues in Ground]

Many Turn To Higher Power For Home Sales
St. Joseph the Worker, Memorial, May 1
Catholic Devotions: St. Joseph the Worker
Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
St. Joseph's DAY
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (Preaching on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders
St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence

St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
St Joseph’s Paternal Love
The Heart of St. Joseph
MORE THAN PATRON OF HOMES, IT'S TIME FOR ST. JOSEPH TO GAIN HIGHEST OF RECOGNITION [Fatherhood]
The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph


Novena to Saint Joseph

O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

O Saint Joseph, assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath, Amen.

O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me. (mention your intention)

St. Joseph Novena

O good father Joseph! I beg you,  by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask.

(Here name your petition).

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)


15 posted on 03/19/2013 10:46:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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March 2013

Pope's Intentions

Respect for Nature

 That respect for nature may grow with the awareness that all creation is God's work entrusted to human responsibility.

Clergy

That bishops, priests, and deacons may be tireless messengers of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

16 posted on 03/19/2013 10:47:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent
Commentary of the day
Vatican Council II
Constitution on the Church in the Modern World « Gaudium et spes », § 16-17 (copyright Libreria Vaticana editrice)

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free"

In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience when necessary speaks to his heart: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged (Rm 2,14-16). Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths...

Only in freedom can man direct himself toward goodness. Our contemporaries make much of this freedom and pursue it eagerly; and rightly to be sure. Often however they foster it perversely as a license for doing whatever pleases them, even if it is evil. For its part, authentic freedom is an exceptional sign of the divine image within man (Gn 1,26). For God has willed that man remain "under the control of his own decisions,"(Sir 15,14) so that he can seek his Creator spontaneously, and come freely to utter and blissful perfection through loyalty to Him. Hence man's dignity demands that he act according to a knowing and free choice that is personally motivated and prompted from within, not under blind internal impulse nor by mere external pressure. Man achieves such dignity when, emancipating himself from all captivity to passion, he pursues his goal in a spontaneous choice of what is good, and procures for himself through effective and skilful action, apt helps to that end. Since man's freedom has been damaged by sin, only by the aid of God's grace can he bring such a relationship with God into full flower.


17 posted on 03/19/2013 10:49:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Lenten Weekday
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
Daniel 3:52-56
John 8:31-42

Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thine ear; for the King hath greatly desired thy beauty;. With thy comeliness and thy beauty, set out, proceed prosperously, and reign.

-- Psalm 45:11,12


18 posted on 03/19/2013 10:53:04 PM PDT 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.

19 posted on 03/19/2013 10:53:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

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

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

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

Hail Mary . . . 

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

Hail Mary . . . 


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

Let us pray: 

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

Amen. 


20 posted on 03/19/2013 10:54:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



Information: St. Herbert


Feast Day: March 20
Died: 20 March, 687

21 posted on 03/20/2013 9:15:57 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Cuthbert

Feast Day: March 20
Born: 636 :: Died: 687

St. Cuthbert was born somewhere in the British Isles. He was a poor shepherd boy who lost his parents when he was very young. Cuthbert loved to play games with his friends and he was very good at them.

One of his friends scolded him one day saying, "Cuthbert, how can you waste your time playing games when you have been chosen to be a priest and a bishop?" These words sounded strange coming from his playmate - as though they were not his own. Cuthbert was confused and very impressed and he wondered if he really was going to be a priest and a bishop.

In August, 651, fifteen-year-old Cuthbert received a vision. He first saw a totally black sky. Then suddenly a bright beam of light moved across it. In the light were angels carrying a ball of fire up beyond the sky. Sometime later, Cuthbert found out that on the night of the vision, the bishop, St. Aiden, had died.

Cuthbert did not know what this vision meant but he made up his mind to become a Benedictine monk and entered the monastery of Melrose, which had been founded by St. Aiden. Cuthbert became a priest and a bishop as foretold by his young playmate many years earlier.

From one village to another, from house to house, St. Cuthbert went, on horse or on foot. He visited the people to help them spiritually. He also worked and helped plague victims. Best of all, he could speak the language of the peasants because he had once been a poor shepherd boy.

He did good everywhere and brought many people to God. Cuthbert was cheerful and kind. People felt attracted to him and no one was afraid of him. He was also a prayerful, holy monk who had the gifts of healing and prophecy (telling the future).

When Cuthbert was ordained a bishop, he worked just as hard as ever to help his people. He visited them no matter how difficult the travel on poor roads or in very bad weather. As he lay dying, Cuthbert begged his monks to live in peace and charity with everyone.

He died peacefully at Lindesfarne in Ireland in 687. His body which has not decayed can be seen in the Durham Cathedral even today.

22 posted on 03/20/2013 9:22:46 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:

Wednesday, March 20

Liturgical Color: Violet


On this day in 1212, St. Clare of Assisi entered the convent against the wishes of her father. Coming from a wealthy family, she renounced that lifestyle for a more spiritual one, eventually founding the order of Poor Clares.


23 posted on 03/20/2013 2:26:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: March 20, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Enlighten, O God of compassion, the hearts of your children, sanctified by penance, and in your kindness grant those you stir to a sense of devotion a gracious hearing when they cry out to you. 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: March 20th

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Old Calendar: St. Photina (Hist)

The theme of life and light has colored the Liturgy of this week. Before leading the catechumens into the Mystery of Christ's Passion and Death, the Church presents Christ to them once more as the Light of the world who has power to open man's eyes to his Light. He will veil it for a while during his Passion but it will burst forth in full splendor again on Easter morning.

Historically today is the feast of St. Photina, the Samaritan woman at the well.

Stational Church


Meditation
We must forgive our neighbor always. This fraternal charity is the source of strength among the members of the Mystical Body: "If two of you shall consent upon earth concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father". This charity should animate us in giving fraternal correction, which should always be free from all vanity, self-love and desire to humiliate and defame.

The Church dispenses Christ's forgiveness through the power of the keys: "whatsoever you shall loose upon earth shall be loosed also in heaven". Christ's pardon of us is limitless. Just as the small quantity of oil, increasing miraculously at the word of Elias, enabled the poor widow to pay all her debts, so the infinite merits of Christ enable us to expiate all our sins.

Love of God and of neighbor imposes on us constant self-denial and self-mastery. Only love working through mortification will enable us to ascend the "holy hill" and dwell in "God's tabernacle". — The Cathedral Daily Missal by Right Rev. Msgr. Rudolph G. Bandas

Things to Do:

  • Discuss the idea of forgiveness with your children — emphasizing with today's Gospel that Christ's forgiveness is limitless to those who humbly repent of their offenses against Him. Ask them ways in which they practice this virtue every day, with their sisters and brothers, with their parents, and with their friends.

  • Throughout this fourth week of Lent, often the time when children begin to lose focus or weary of this penitential season, give them something tangible to work on, such as a Lenten Scrapbook, an ongoing activity that will engage their minds and stretch their creativity in putting their faith into pictures.


St. Photina
St. Photina was that Samaritan woman whom our Lord met at Jacob’s Well. When He disclosed the secret of her profligate life, she believed in Him at once as that Messiah which was to come, and began spreading the Gospel among the Samaritans, converting many. Later, she and her son Josiah and her five sisters went to Carthage to preach and then to Rome. Another son, Victor, was a soldier and had already come to Emperor Nero’s attention as being a Christian. The Emperor summoned the whole family and with threats and tortures tried to force them to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, when Nero’s daughter Domnina came in contact with Photina (the Lord Himself had given her the name, meaning “resplendent” or “shining with light”), she, too, was converted. The enraged emperor had the heads of the sons and sisters cut off; Photina was held in prison for a few more weeks before being thrown into a well, where she joyously gave her soul to the Lord.

Excerpted from Orthodox America


The Station today is at the church of St. Marcellus at the Corso. Legend claims that Pope St. Marcellus (308-309) was sentenced by Emperor Maxentius to look after the horses at the station of the Imperial mail on the Via Lata, where the Via del Corso now lies. He was freed by the people, and hidden in the house of the Roman lady Lucina (see also San Lorenzo in Lucina). He was rearrested, and imprisoned in the stables.


24 posted on 03/20/2013 2:43:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
John
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 8
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews, who believed him: If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed. Dicebat ergo Jesus ad eos, qui crediderunt ei, Judæos : Si vos manseritis in sermone meo, vere discipuli mei eritis, ελεγεν ουν ο ιησους προς τους πεπιστευκοτας αυτω ιουδαιους εαν υμεις μεινητε εν τω λογω τω εμω αληθως μαθηται μου εστε
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. et cognoscetis veritatem, et veritas liberabit vos. και γνωσεσθε την αληθειαν και η αληθεια ελευθερωσει υμας
33 They answered him: We are the seed of Abraham, and we have never been slaves to any man: how sayest thou: you shall be free? Responderunt ei : Semen Abrahæ sumus, et nemini servivimus umquam : quomodo tu dicis : Liberi eritis ? απεκριθησαν αυτω σπερμα αβρααμ εσμεν και ουδενι δεδουλευκαμεν πωποτε πως συ λεγεις οτι ελευθεροι γενησεσθε
34 Jesus answered them: Amen, amen I say unto you: that whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin. Respondit eis Jesus : Amen, amen dico vobis : quia omnis qui facit peccatum, servus est peccati. απεκριθη αυτοις ο ιησους αμην αμην λεγω υμιν οτι πας ο ποιων την αμαρτιαν δουλος εστιν της αμαρτιας
35 Now the servant abideth not in the house for ever; but the son abideth for ever. Servus autem non manet in domo in æternum : filius autem manet in æternum. ο δε δουλος ου μενει εν τη οικια εις τον αιωνα ο υιος μενει εις τον αιωνα
36 If therefore the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. Si ergo vos filius liberaverit, vere liberi eritis. εαν ουν ο υιος υμας ελευθερωση οντως ελευθεροι εσεσθε
37 I know that you are the children of Abraham: but you seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. Scio quia filii Abrahæ estis : sed quæritis me interficere, quia sermo meus non capit in vobis. οιδα οτι σπερμα αβρααμ εστε αλλα ζητειτε με αποκτειναι οτι ο λογος ο εμος ου χωρει εν υμιν
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do the things that you have seen with your father. Ego quod vidi apud Patrem meum, loquor : et vos quæ vidistis apud patrem vestrum, facitis. εγω ο εωρακα παρα τω πατρι μου λαλω και υμεις ουν ο εωρακατε παρα τω πατρι υμων ποιειτε
39 They answered, and said to him: Abraham is our father. Jesus saith to them: If you be the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham. Responderunt, et dixerunt ei : Pater noster Abraham est. Dicit eis Jesus : Si filii Abrahæ estis, opera Abrahæ facite. απεκριθησαν και ειπον αυτω ο πατηρ ημων αβρααμ εστιν λεγει αυτοις ο ιησους ει τεκνα του αβρααμ ητε τα εργα του αβρααμ εποιειτε [αν]
40 But now you seek to kill me, a man who have spoken the truth to you, which I have heard of God. This Abraham did not. Nunc autem quæritis me interficere, hominem, qui veritatem vobis locutus sum, quam audivi a Deo : hoc Abraham non fecit. νυν δε ζητειτε με αποκτειναι ανθρωπον ος την αληθειαν υμιν λελαληκα ην ηκουσα παρα του θεου τουτο αβρααμ ουκ εποιησεν
41 You do the works of your father. They said therefore to him: We are not born of fornication: we have one Father, even God. Vos facitis opera patris vestri. Dixerunt itaque ei : Nos ex fornicatione non sumus nati : unum patrem habemus Deum. υμεις ποιειτε τα εργα του πατρος υμων ειπον ουν αυτω ημεις εκ πορνειας ου γεγεννημεθα ενα πατερα εχομεν τον θεον
42 Jesus therefore said to them: If God were your Father, you would indeed love me. For from God I proceeded, and came; for I came not of myself, but he sent me: Dixit ergo eis Jesus : Si Deus pater vester esset, diligeretis utique et me ; ego enim ex Deo processi, et veni : neque enim a meipso veni, sed ille me misit. ειπεν ουν αυτοις ο ιησους ει ο θεος πατηρ υμων ην ηγαπατε αν εμε εγω γαρ εκ του θεου εξηλθον και ηκω ουδε γαρ απ εμαυτου εληλυθα αλλ εκεινος με απεστειλεν

25 posted on 03/20/2013 5:37:46 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
31. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed in him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;
32. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, you shall be made free?
34. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say to you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.
35. And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever.
36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

CHRYS. Our Lord wished to try the faith of those who believed, that it might not be only a superficial belief: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed in Him, If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed. His saying, if you continue, made it manifest what was in their hearts. He knew that some believed, and would not continue. And He makes them a magnificent promise, viz. that they shall become His disciples indeed; which words are a tacit rebuke to some who had believed and afterwards withdrawn.

AUG. We have all one Master, and are fellow disciples under Him. Nor because we speak with authority, are we therefore masters; but He is the Master of all, Who dwells in the hearts of all. It is a small thing for the disciple to come to Him in the first instance: he must continue in Him: if we continue not in Him, we shall fall. A little sentence this, but a great work; if you continue. For what is it to continue in God's word, but to yield to no temptations. Without labor, the reward would be gratis; if with, then a great reward indeed.

And you shall know the truth.

AUG. As if to say: Whereas you have now belief, by continuing, you shall have sight. For it was not their knowledge which made them believe, but rather their belief which gave them knowledge. Faith is to believe that which you see not: truth to see that which you believe? By continuing then to believe a thing, you come at last to see the thing; i.e. to the contemplation of the very truth as it is; not conveyed in words, but revealed by light. The truth is unchangeable; it is the bread of the soul, refreshing others, without diminution to itself; changing him who eats into itself; itself not changed. This truth is the Word of God, which put on flesh for our sakes, and lay hid, not meaning to bury itself, but only to defer its manifestation, till its suffering in the body, for the ransoming of the body of sin, had taken place.

CHRYS. Or, You shall know the truth, i.e. Me: for I am the truth. The Jewish was a typical dispensation; the reality you can only know from Me.

AUG. Some one might say perhaps, And what does it profit me to know the truth? So our Lord adds, And the truth shall free you; as if to say, If the truth does not delight you, liberty, will. To be freed is to be made free, as to be healed is to be made whole. This is plainer in the Greek; in the Latin we use the word free chiefly in the sense of escape of danger, relief from care, and the like.

THEOPHYL. As He said to the unbelievers alone, You shall die in your sin, so now to them who continue in the faith He proclaims absolution.

AUG. From what shall the truth free us, but from death, corruption, mutability, itself being immortal, uncorrupt, immutable? Absolute immutability is in itself eternity.

CHRYS. Men who really believed could have borne to he rebuked. But these men began immediately to show anger. Indeed if they had been disturbed at His former saying, they had much more reason to be so now. For they might argue; If He says we shall know the truth, He must mean that we do not know it now: so then the law is a lie, our knowledge a delusion. But their thoughts took no such direction: their grief is wholly worldly; they know of no other servitude, but that of this world: They answered Him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man. How say you then, we shall be made free? As if to say, They of Abraham's stock are free, and ought not to be called slaves: we have never been in bondage to any one.

AUG. Or it was not those who believed, but the unbelieving multitude that made this answer. But how could they say with truth, taking only secular bondage into account, that we have never been in bondage to any man? Was not Joseph sold? were not the holy prophets carried into captivity? Ungrateful people! Why does God remind you so continually of His having taken you out of the house of bondage if you never were in bondage? Why do you who are now talking, pay tribute to the Romans, if you never were in bondage?

CHRYS. Christ then, who speaks for their good, not to gratify their vainglory, explains His meaning to have been that they were the servants not of men, but of sin, the hardest kind of servitude, from which God only can rescue: Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say to you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.

AUG. This asseveration is important: it is, if one may say so, His oath. Amen means true, but is not translated. Neither the Greek nor the Latin Translator have dared to translate it. It is a Hebrew word; and men have abstained from translating it, in order to throw a reverential veil over so mysterious a word: not that they wished to lock it up, but only to prevent it from becoming despised by being exposed. How important the word is, you may see from its being repeated. Verily I say to you, says Verity itself; which could not be, even though it said not verily. Our Lord however has recourse to this mode of enforcing His words, in order to rouse men from their state of sleep and indifference. Whosoever, He said, commits sin, whether Jew or Greek, rich or poor, king or beggar, is the servant of sin.

GREG. Because whoever yields to wrong desires, puts his hitherto free soul under the yoke of the evil one, and takes him for his master. But we oppose this master, when we struggle against the wickedness which has laid hold upon us, when we strongly resist habit, when we pierce sin with repentance, and wash away the spots of filth With tears.

GREG. And the more freely men follow their perverse desires, the more closely are they in bondage to them.

AUG. O miserable bondage! The slave of a human master when wearied with the hardness of his tasks, sometimes takes refuge in flight. But whither does the slave of sin flee? He takes it along with him, wherever he goes; for his sin is within him. The pleasure passes away, but the sin does not pass away: its delight goes, its sting remains behind. He alone can free from sin, who came without sin, and was made a sacrifice for sin. And thus it follows: The servant abides not in the house for ever. The Church is the house: the servant is the sinner; and many sinners enter into the Church. So He does not say, The servant is, not in the house; but, The servant abides not in the house for ever. If a time then is to come, when there shall be no servant in the house; who will there be there? Who will boast that he is pure from sin? Christ's are fearful words. But He adds, The Son abides for ever. So then Christ will live alone in His house. Or does not the word Son, imply both the body and the head? Christ purposely alarms us first, and then gives us hope. He alarms us, that we may not love sin; He gives us hope, that we may not despair of the absolution of our sin. Our hope then is this, that we shall be freed by Him who is free. He has paid the price for us, not in money, but in His own blood: If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

AUG. Not from the barbarians, but from the devil; not from the captivity of the body, but from the wickedness of the soul.

AUG. The first stage of freedom' is, the abstaining from sin. But that is only incipient, it is not perfect freedom: for the flesh still lusts against the spirit, so that you do not do the things that you would. Full and perfect freedom will only be, when the contest is over, and the last enemy, death, is destroyed.

CHRYS, Or thus: Having said that whosoever commits sin, is the servant of sin, He anticipates the answer that their sacrifices saved them, by saying, The servant abides not in the house for ever, but the Son abides ever. The house, He says, meaning the Father's house on high; in which, to draw a comparison from the world, He Himself had all the power, just as a man has all the power in his own house. Abides not, means, has not the power of giving; which the Son, who is the master of the house, has. The priests of the old law had not the power of remitting sins by the sacraments of the law; for all were sinners. Even the priests, who, as the Apostle says, were obliged to offer up sacrifices for themselves. But the Son has this power; and therefore our Lord concludes: If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed; implying that that earthly freedom, of which men boasted so much, was not true freedom.

AUG. Do not then abuse your freedom, for the purpose of sinning freely; but use it in order not to sin at all. Your will will be free, if it be merciful: you will be free, if you become the servant of righteousness.

37. I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you.
38. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.
39. They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.
40. But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
41. You do the deeds of your father.

AUG. The Jews had asserted they were free, because they were Abraham's seed. Our Lord replies, I know that you are Abraham's seed; as if to say, I know that you are the sons of Abraham, but according to the flesh, not spiritually and by faith. So He adds, But you seek to kill Me.

CHRYS. He says this, that they might not attempt to answer, that they had no sin. He reminds them of a present sin; a sin which they had been meditating for some time past, and which was actually at this moment in their thoughts: putting out of the question their general course of life. He thus removes them by degrees out of their relationship to Abraham, teaching them not to pride themselves so much upon it: for that, as bondage and freedom were the consequences of works, so was relationship. And that they might not say, We do so justly, He adds the reason why they did so; Because My word has no place in you.

AUG. That is, has not place in your hearts, because your heart does not take it in. The word of God to the believing, is like the hook to the fish; it takes when it is taken: and that not to the injury of those who are caught by it. They are caught for their salvation, not for their destruction.

CHRYS He does not say, you do not take in My word, but My word has not room in you; showing the depth of His doctrines. But they might say; What if you speak of yourself? So He adds, I speak that which I have seen of My Father; for I have not only the Father's substance, but His truth.

AUG. Our Lord by His Father wishes us to understand God: as if to say, I have seen the truth, I speak the truth, because I am the truth. If our Lord then speaks the truth which He saw with the Father, it is Himself that He saw, Himself that He speaks; He being Himself the truth of the Father.

ORIGEN. This is proof that our Savior was witness to what was done with the Father: whereas men, to whom the revelation is made, were not witnesses.

THEOPHYL. But when you hear, I speak that which I have seen, do not think it means bodily vision, but innate knowledge, sure, and approved. For as the eyes when they see an object, see it wholly and correctly; so I speak with certainty what I know from My Father.

And, you do that which you have seen with your father.

ORIGEN. As yet He has not named their father; He mentioned Abraham indeed a little above, but now He is going to mention another father, viz. the devil: whose sons they were, in so far as they were wicked, not as being men. Our Lord is reproaching them for their evil deeds.

CHRYS. Another reading has, And do you do that which you have seen with your father; as if to say, As I both in word and deed declare to you the Father, so do you by your works show forth Abraham.

ORIGEN. Also another reading has; And, do you do what you have heard from the Father. All that was written in the Law and the Prophets they had heard from the Father. He who takes this reading, may use it to prove against them who hold otherwise, that the God who gave the Law and the Prophets, was none other than Christ's Father. And we use it too as an answer to those who maintain two original natures in men, and explain the words, My word has no place in you, to mean that these were by nature incapable of receiving the word. How could those be of an incapable nature, who had heard from the Father? And how again could they be of a blessed nature, who sought to kill our Savior, and would not receive His words. They answered and said to Him, Abraham is our father. This answer of the Jews is a great falling off from our Lord's meaning. He had referred to God, but they take Father in the sense of the father of their nature, Abraham.

AUG. As if to say, What are you going to say against Abraham? They seem to be inviting Him to say something in disparagement of Abraham; and so to give them an opportunity of executing their purpose.

ORIGEN. Our Savior denies that Abraham is their father: Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.

AUG. And yet He says above, I know that you are Abraham's seed. So He does not deny their origin, but condemns their deeds. Their flesh was from him; their life was not.

ORIGEN. Or we may explain the difficulty thus. Above it is in the Greek, I know that you are Abraham's seed. So let us examine whether there is not a difference between a bodily seed and a child. It is evident that a seed contains in itself all the proportions of him whose seed it is, as yet however dormant, and waiting to be developed; when the seed first has changed and molded the material it meets within the woman, derived nourishment from thence and gone through a process in the womb, it becomes a child, the likeness of its begetter. So then a child is formed from the seed: but the seed is not necessarily a child. Now with reference to those who are from their works judged to be the seed of Abraham, may we not conceive that they are so from certain seminal proportions implanted in their souls? All men are not the seed of Abraham, for all have not these proportions implanted in their souls. But he who is the seed of Abraham, has yet to become his child by likeness. And it is possible for him by negligence and indolence even to cease to be the seed. But those to whom these words were addressed, were not yet cut off from hope: and therefore Jesus acknowledged that they were as yet the seed of Abraham, and had still the power of becoming children of Abraham. So He says, If you are the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham. If as the seed of Abraham, they had attained to their proper sign and growth, they would have taken in our Lord's words. But not having grown to be children, they cared not; but wish to kill the Word, and as it were break it in pieces, since it was too great for them to take in. If any of you then be the seed of Abraham, and as yet do not take in the word of God, let him not seek to kill the word; but rather change himself into being a son of Abraham, and then he will be able to take in the Son of God. Some select one of the works of Abraham, viz. that in Genesis, And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. But even granting to them that faith is a work, if this were so, why was it not, Do the work of Abraham: using the singular number, instead of the plural? The expression as it stands is, I think, equivalent to saying, Do all the works of Abraham: i.e. in the spiritual sense, interpreting Abraham's history allegorically. For it is not incumbent on one, who would be a son of Abraham, to marry his maidservants, or after his wife's death, to marry another in his old age.

But now you seek to kill Me, a man that has told you the truth.

CHRYS. This truth, that is, that He was equal to the Father: for it was this that moved the Jews to kill Him. To show, however, that this doctrine is not opposed to the Father, He adds, Which I have heard from God.

ALCUIN. Because He Himself, Who is the truth, was begotten of God the Father, to hear, being in fact the same with to be from the Father.

ORIGEN. To kill Me, He says, a man. I say nothing now of the Son of God, nothing of the Word, because the Word cannot die; I speak only of that which you see. It is in your power to kill that which you see, and offend Him Whom you see not.

This did not Abraham.

ALCUIN. As if to say, By this you prove that you are not the sons of Abraham; that you do works contrary to those of Abraham.

ORIGEN. It might seem to some, that it were superfluous to say that Abraham did not this; for it were impossible that it should be; Christ was not born at that time. But we may remind them, that in Abraham's time there was a man born who spoke the truth, which he heard from God, and that this man's life was not sought for by Abraham. Know too that the Saints were never without the spiritual advent of Christ. I understand then from this passage, that every one who, after regeneration, and other divine graces bestowed upon him, commits sin, does by this return to evil incur the guilt of crucifying the Son of God, which Abraham did not do.

You do the works of your father.

AUG. He does not say as yet who is their father.

CHRYS. Our Lord says this with a view to put down their vain boasting of their descent; and persuade them to rest their hopes of salvation no longer on the natural relationship, but on the adoption. For this it was which prevented them from coming to Christ; viz. their thinking that their relationship to Abraham was sufficient for their salvation.

41. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
42. Jesus said to them, If God were your Father you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.


AUG. The Jews had begun to understand that our Lord was not speaking of sonship according to the flesh, but of manner of life. Scripture often speaks of spiritual fornication, with many gods, and of the soul being prostituted, as it were, by paying worship to false gods. This explains what follows: Then said they to Him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

THEOPHYL. As if their motive against Him was a desire to avenge God's honor.

ORIGEN. Or their sonship to Abraham having been disproved, they reply by bitterly insinuating, that our Savior was the offspring of adultery. But perhaps the tone of the answer is disputatious, more than any thing else. For whereas they have said shortly before, We have Abraham for our father, and had been told in reply, If you are Abraham's children, do the works of Abraham; they declare in return that they have a greater Father than Abraham, i.e. God; and that they were not derived from fornication. For the devil, who has no power of creating any thing from himself, begets not from a spouse, but a harlot, i.e. matter, those who give themselves up to carnal things, that is, cleave to matter.

CHRYS. But what say you? Have you God for your Father, and do you blame Christ for speaking thus? Yet true it was, that many of them were born of fornication, for people then used to form unlawful connections. But this is not the thing our Lord has in view. He is bent on proving that they are not from God. Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God.

HILARY. It was not that the Son of God condemned the assumption of so religious a name; that is, condemned them for professing to be the sons of God, and calling God the Father; but that He blamed the rash presumption of the Jews in claiming God for their Father, when they did not love the Son. For I proceeded forth, and came from God. To proceed forth is not the same with to come. When our Lord says that those who called God their Father, ought to love Him, because He came forth from God, He means that His being born of God was the reason why He should be loved: the proceeding forth, having reference to His incorporeal birth. Their claim to be the sons of God, was to be made good by their loving Christ, Who was begotten from God. For a true worshiper of God the Father must love the Son, as being from God. And he only can love the Father, who believes that the Son is from Him.

AUG. This then is the eternal procession, the proceeding forth of the Word from God: from Him. It proceeded as the Word of the Father, and came to us: The Word was made flesh. His advent is His humanity: His staying, His divinity. You call God your Father; acknowledge Me at least to be a brother.

HILARY. In what follows, He teaches that His origin is not in Himself; Neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me.

ORIGEN. This was said, I think, in allusion to some who came without being sent by the Father, of whom it is said in Jeremiah, I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. Some, however, use this passage to prove the existence of two natures. To these we may reply, Paul hated Jesus when he persecuted the Church of God, at the time, viz. that our Lord said, Why persecute you Me? Now if it is true, as is here said, If God were your Father, you would love Me; the converse is true, If you do not love Me, God is not your Father. And Paul for some time did not love Jesus. There was a time when God was not Paul's father. Paul therefore was not by nature the son of God, but afterwards was made so. And when does God become any one's Father, except when he keeps His commandments?

Catena Aurea John 8
26 posted on 03/20/2013 5:38:13 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Descent into Limbo

Giotto di Bondone

1320-25
Tempera on wood, 45 x 44 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

27 posted on 03/20/2013 5:38:46 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
The Word Among Us

Meditation: John 8:31-42

5th Week of Lent

I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me. (John 8:37)

The concepts of fatherhood and sonship seem to be the center of the debate here between Jesus and some of the Jewish leaders. Weren’t they all sons of Abraham? Didn’t God choose them out of all the other nations of the world and call them his own?

Well, yes and no.

There are two ways to understand what it means to be someone’s child. You can conceive a child, and genetically that child is yours. However, unless that child lives under your roof and takes on your reasoning, your outlook, and your approach on life, then something essential is missing.

For many of the Jewish leaders, being children of Abraham was a lot like the first kind of sonship. God had adopted them as his own, and that’s all there was to it. As a result, they missed out on the more intimate, and more satisfying, aspect of being children of God. Of course, not all the Jews approached their faith like this. But some were content simply to enjoy their exalted status. As a sad consequence, they never experienced the joy and freedom God longed to give them.

Here’s the good news: we can become children of God in the deepest way possible. We can begin to take on our Father’s habits, likeness, and philosophies. This is why Jesus came in the first place. He didn’t come just to do away with sin. He came to remake us into his own image and likeness. “Becoming a disciple of Jesus means accepting the invitation to belong to God’s family, to live in conformity with his way of life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2233).

Every day is filled with opportunities to take on the family resemblance. It’s not always easy, but neither is it hopelessly difficult. We can refuse to join in on gossip. We can forgive someone who has hurt us. We can lend a helping hand or perform anonymous acts of service. As often as we do these things, we are giving the Lord another opportunity to make us more like him. We really can be changed!

“Father, thank you for making me your child. Help me to be faithful to your law of love so that I can become more like you.”

Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Psalm) Daniel 3:52-56


28 posted on 03/20/2013 8:16:14 PM PDT 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 March 20, 2013:

(Spring Equinox) Today the amount of daylight equals the amount of darkness. Equality is good – in nature and marriage, BUT equality does not make light and dark the same. How are you most like your beloved? How most different?


29 posted on 03/20/2013 8:21:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

A Torch Lifted High

 on March 20, 2013 7:52 PM |
 
_CAR7311.JPG

A Translation and a Commentary

Back in July 2011 I translated this extraordinary page from the writings of Catherine de Bar, Mother Mectilde du Saint-Sacrement (1614-1698), foundress of the Benedictines of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament. I offer it again in preparation for tomorrow's feast of the Transitus of our Blessed Father Saint Benedict. It is a sublime piece of writing and, at the same time, certain passages are hard to understand without entering into the mind of Mectilde de Bar and into her vast spiritual culture, shaped principally by the liturgy and by the Rule of Saint Benedict. For this reason, I have taken the liberty of offering a few comments (given in italics) where I think some explanation may be necessary or helpful.

On the Spirit of Saint Benedict,
by Mother Mectilde de Bar

My sisters, I cannot help but admire ceaselessly the adorable Providence of a God who is infinitely wise and ineffable in His conduct, for having chosen religious of the great Patriarch Saint Benedict to make of them daughters of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and for having destined them not only to render Him continual homages, but also to be the guardians of this sacred deposit that He has entrusted to His Church.

Mother Mectilde ponders and admires God's choice of children of Saint Benedict to become in the Church perpetual adorers of the Most Blessed Sacrament and guardians of the adorable mystery of the Eucharist that proclaims the death of the Lord and makes present His Sacrifice from age to age, and this until the consummation of the world. "For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.." (1 Corinthians 11:26)

But I glimpse the reason of the mystery of this choice and of the election that God has made of the children of this great Patriarch, and for this I am not at all astonished; because, although there is something incomprehensible, hidden, and profound in the state [of life] that this glorious Patriarch brought to the earth, and that he inspired in his children, we see that it has so great a relation to the Divine Eucharist, that I cannot but say that it is the portion and heritage of the religious of Saint Benedict. I should rather be astonished that it took the passage of so many centuries before the children of this Blessed Father quickened themselves to enter into possession of this inestimable treasure that the infinite bounty of God held in reserve for them.

Why did God choose Benedictines to enter deeply into the adorable Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist and to become, in these latter centuries of the Church, souls entirely dedicated and configured to Christ in the Sacrament of His Love? Mother Mectilde, quoting Psalm 15, identifies the Most Holy Eucharist as the portion and heritage of the children of Saint Benedict. "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup." (Psalm 15:5) She attributes this divine election of the children of Saint Benedict to an affinity with the Most Holy Eucharist that pertains to their very state of life.

MorteSB.jpg

If you ask me . . . where I get that which I have just said, I dare assure you that it is a secret which was shown me in the death of our most illustrious Patriarch, who, wanting to witness to to the love he had for the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, could do it no better than by expiring in His Holy Presence, thereby rendering the last breaths of his heart to this adorable Host, and enclosing his sentiments in the sacred Ciborium, so as to produce in time children of His Order who would, until the end of the world, offer the adorable Host adoration, respect, and the bounden duties of continual love and reparation.

Mother Mectilde alludes to the death of Saint Benedict as recounted by Saint Gregory the Great in the Second Book of The Dialogues:

Six days before he died, he gave orders for his tomb to be opened. Almost immediately he was seized with a violent fever that rapidly wasted his remaining energy. Each day his condition grew worse until finally, on the sixth day, he had his disciples carry him into the chapel where he received the Body and Blood of our Lord to gain strength for his approaching end. Then, supporting his weakend body on the arms of his brethren, he stood with his hands raised to heaven and, as he prayed, breathed his last.

There is in this passage something at once subtle and profound. In writing of the death of Saint Benedict, Mother Mectilde evokes the death of the Crucified Jesus. Both Our Lord and His servant, Saint Benedict, die with uplifted arms. Both die in an exhalation of love that will bring forth fruit, fruit that will remain (cf. John 15:16). Is not the "inclined head" of Jesus, noted in John 19:30, the key to understanding the summit of the Twelve Steps of Humility in Chapter Seven of the Holy Rule? "That is to say that whether he is at the Work of God, in the oratory, in the monastery, in the garden, on the road, in the fields or anywhere else, and whether sitting, walking or standing, he should always have his head bowed . . . ." (RSB 7:65) Does this not signify the complete configuration of the monk to Jesus in the mystery of His death on the Cross?

Enlightened by a particular grace, Mother Mectilde intuits a secret: it is that Saint Benedict, in his last breath, exhaled a new development in life according to his Rule for Monasteries: an expression of Benedictine life that would surround the august Sacrament of the Altar with adorers, vowed to repair by love the offenses, outrages, coldness, irreverence, and indifference suffered by Love living in the Most Holy Eucharist. "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not." (John 1:10-11)

Transitus San Benedetto.jpg

Whereas some adore Jesus Christ in the various states of His holy life, the religious of Saint Benedict bear the title of those who are dead: this is what the blessed Monsieur de Condren, general of the Oratory, says. And so, cannot I say that their state and condition of being dead honours, by reference and relation, Jesus dead in the Eucharist? The Fathers teach us that He is there as one in the state of death. A child of Saint Benedict, living a life that is death, has he not a bond and a reference to Jesus in the Host?

Here Mother Mectilde alludes, I think, to the impressive rites of Monastic Profession and Consecration with the prostration of the newly professed during the Holy Mysteries, and the use of the black funeral pall; she alludes also to Monsieur de Condren's characterization of the Benedictine grace as being one of death in the Pauline sense of the term. "Therefore, if you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God: Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth. For you are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ shall appear, who is your life, then you also shall appear with him in glory." (Col 3:1-4)

In what sense exactly does Mother Mectilde speak here of Jesus being "dead in the Eucharist"? And in what way is the Benedictine, like Jesus in the Host, in a state of death? The death to which Mother Mectilde refers is that of the Christus Passus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the adorable Sacrament of the Altar. In the Most Holy Eucharist, sacrament and sacrifice, Jesus Christ is present in the very act of His self-offering to the Father. The moment of death recorded by Saint John -- "Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost." (John 19:30) -- remains eternally present to the Father in the sanctuary of heaven, even as it is present sacramentally in the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist. Jesus is on the altar, in the soul of the communicant, and in the tabernacle as He is heaven: the Hostia perpetua. The Benedictine enters into the death/victimhood of Jesus by allowing Him to renew at every moment in the sanctuary of his soul the grace of His Head bowed in death that signifies complete abandonment to the Father. For Mother Mectilde this goes to the very heart of the Benedictine vocation: obedience (RSB 5), silence (RSB 6), humility, and the love of God, which being made perfect, casts out fear (RSB 7).

If it were permitted me to relate in detail the spirit and dispositions that a Benedictine ought to have, you would see that by the faithful practice of the Holy Rule, she would be altogether like a Host, and would enter into wonderful relations with Jesus in the adorable Eucharist.

"Altogether like a Host" -- Mother Mectilde compares the Benedictine to the Eucharistic Host at two levels. The first level pertains to the qualities of the host and the Benedictine virtues: the Host is hidden in the tabernacle; the Host is silent; the Host has no movement in and of itself; the Host is abandoned to the will of another. The Host is, to all appearances, powerless, fragile, and perishable. The hiddenness of the Host veils the glory of the Godhead. The silence of the Host befits the ineffability of the Word. The apparent inertia of the Host conceals the love that moves the stars (Dante's "amor che muove le stelle"). The abandonment of the Host into the hands of the one who picks it up -- be he saint or sinner -- reveals the vulnerability of the Word made flesh, obedient unto death. It is in owning his powerlessness, his fragility, and his perishable flesh, that the monk experience the power, the strength, and the imperishable life of the risen Christ.

The second level of comparison the Host pertains the victimhood of Jesus. The monk offers himself, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to immolation on the altar in the Holy Sacrifice. There, Christ the Priest offers him, together with Himself, to the Father: a single victim (the very meaning of the word Host) of adoration, thanksgiving, reparation, and supplication. In the altar, the Host, the Chalice, and the Cross, the monk reads the terms of his own consecrated life.

But, leaving aside a multitude of proofs that would confirm you in the truth that I am proposing to you, judge, my sisters, if it was not by a choice all divine that we, Religious of Saint Benedict, have become daughters of the Sacrament? And do we not owe this grace to the great Saint Benedict, who merited it for us by his precious death, as we have said? Was not his death the pledge of the love which he bore towards this sacred Mystery, to which he seemed to promise that, in the latter centuries, his Order would produce in the Church victims immolated to this august Sacrament, who would not only adore by day and by night, but who would be, insofar as possible, the reparators of His glory profaned by the wicked in the Sacrament of Love?

For Mother Mectilde de Bar, it is fitting that, of all the Orders that adorn the Church with their varied charisms, that of adoration and reparation belongs pre-eminently to the children of Saint Benedict. Mother Mectilde sees in Saint Benedict's wholly Eucharistic death -- which, according to tradition, took place on Maundy Thursday -- an unmistakable sign of that his Order was destined, by divine election, to generate adorers and reparators of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and this until the end of time.

Do you not see, my daughters, that Saint Benedict dies standing up, so that we might understand that he exhales, with the effort of love, the sacred Institute that we profess? He conceives it in the Eucharist to be produced more than twelve hundred years later!

Saint Benedict dies standing up. He dies before the altar. His last breath is an exhalation of fruitful love given in exchange for the Holy Viaticum given him for the final journey. He receives the Bread of Life from the Father and from the Church, and surrenders the breath of life into the hands of the Father that it might become, in future generations, the principle of a wholly Eucharistic life among his sons and daughters.

Oh, my sisters, how divine is our Institute? For how many centuries was it hidden and buried with Jesus in the Host? For how long was it in the sacred entrails of a God-made-sacrament? He was sanctifying . . . both the Institute and the souls that He wished to call to it. Oh, what admirable things do I see and what consolation they give me!
No, no, my sisters, this was not at all the plan of human spirit, it was not a human creature that ordered, instituted, and chose this: it is Jesus in the Host, who received it from the heart of Saint Benedict; and I can say, my sisters, that it was taken from no other place than the Tabernacle wherein this great saint deposited it at the last instant of his life.

Mother Mectilde has no time for those who would object that Eucharistic adoration is nothing more than a baroque addition to the sobriety of classical Benedictine piety. She sees a quickening of Eucharistic devotion among the children of Saint Benedict as a treasure held in trust until, after the passage of many centuries, it emerged from its obscurity, like a Host brought forth from the tabernacle, to warm and vivify a Benedictine Order grown old and sterile, cold and dry.

Oh, what a marvel that God should have entrusted this work to the most unworthy, not of Saint Benedict's children, but to one born out of time! To a soul who had neither the spirit nor the grace to do it! To a poor creature who had nothing remarkable except that she was of all creatures on earth the most criminal, and the one who had most profaned this august Mystery! God chose this sinner to serve as the most common and abject of instruments for so excellent a task, and to confound thereby the human spirit that loses itself when it sees accomplishments of this sort! This was done by a God. Nothing can be said except that one must prostrate oneself very low, and fear that, after having made use of this wicked instrument, He should cast it without recourse into hell.

Mother Mectilde is conscious that her status as a properly professed Benedictine was called into question by certain hair-splitting canonists of her own time. She was, after all a member of the Order of the Annonciade before making profession as a Benedictine at the monastery of Rambervillers on 2 July, 1639. Even as a Benedictine, her life was characterized more by uncertainty and wandering from place to place, than by the security and stability enjoyed by Benedictines of a more classic stamp. "Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Mother Mectilde admits to being, like Saint Paul the Apostle, a child born out of time. She is, nonetheless, a true daughter of Saint Benedict, entrusted with a holy mission that transcended by far her natural capacities. She confesses to being the most common and abject of instruments, but cannot deny that she was the object of a divine election. Admitting this, she prostrates herself before the Divine Majesty and, following the counsel of her father Saint Benedict, fears hell.

pocztki.jpg

The Mectildian--Benedictine charism is, I would suggest, even more necessary today than in seventeenth century France when it rose up like a torch lifted high to illumine the Eucharistic Face of Christ.


30 posted on 03/20/2013 8:29:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

The Truth Will Set You Free
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

John 8:31-42

Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ´You will become free´?" Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free. I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you. I tell you what I have seen in the Father´s presence; then do what you have heard from the Father." They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham´s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father!" So they said to him, "We were not born of fornication. We have one Father, God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are life and truth and goodness. You are also peace and mercy. How grateful I am to have this moment to turn to you. Without you I can do nothing good. In fact, when I do good, it is you working through me, despite my failings. Thank you, Lord. Here I am ready to love you more.

Petition: Grant me the grace, Lord, to remain in your word and to be set free by your truth.

1. A Vibrant Faith: Faith isn’t real until it touches our attitudes and, above all, our concrete choices. To “remain” in the word of Christ means to conform our lives with his life and his virtues, especially the virtue of charity, which is the very essence of Christian doctrine and morality. To “remain” in his word is, as some would say, “to walk the walk.” In another passage we are told that it is not those who say “Lord, Lord…” who will enter the Kingdom, but only those who actually do the Father’s will in their lives. Remaining in his word is the stuff of sanctity – it’s also the stuff of daily perseverance and of knowing how to get up, dust ourselves off, and begin again each time we falter or fall along the way. How well do I “remain” in Christ’s word? Could an impartial observer see from my attitudes and actions that I follow Christ?

2. A True Disciple Lives the Truth: Christ seems to imply that there are true and false disciples. There is only one way to tell the difference between the two: whether one actually embraces his word not only as an ideal, but also as a rule of life. Today a plethora of voices, even within the Christian community, would have us follow a purely “therapeutic” Christianity – a form of Christianity in which we can supposedly believe in Christ while adopting behaviors or attitudes which are totally opposed to his “way” of discipleship as taught authoritatively by the Church. The temptation to separate faith and practice is never far from us. How much have these false voices impacted my own understanding of what it means to follow Christ as a member of his body, the Church?

3. Authentic Freedom: The freedom promised by Christ to those who remain in his word is much deeper than the freedom offered by the world. Christ’s freedom is not simply a political freedom. Neither is it the ability to choose whatever I want, when I want, and how I want. The freedom of Christ’s disciple is spiritual, moral, and interior; it is the freedom for which every person longs in the depths of his heart. And only Christ gives this kind of freedom.

Conversation with Christ: >Thank you, Lord, for the freedom you have given me! With it I could seek happiness in broken vessels of clay, forgetting you, the fountain of living waters. You could have made me not free.... But thus you have created me, and I want to be free. I want to know how to be free. I want to demonstrate that I am free, with the most sovereign act of my freedom: Lord, since I am free, I give my freedom, my will, to you, so that your will may be done.

Resolution:I will exercise my freedom responsibly, as Christ would have me do.


31 posted on 03/20/2013 8:34:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Make Christ Home

by Food For Thought on March 20, 2013 ·

Every day we are bombarded with words from the radio, the television and the newspapers. What we hear can also shape our minds and even our future.

But Christ invites us to make his Word our home. He also says that everything passes away but the Word of God remains because it is eternal. It is God Himself. Human history raised up many truths and philosophies. Dynasties and empires rose and fell. The world is constantly changing and evolving. To know the truth, we need discernment. We need a spiritual anchor that can withstand the test of time. The word of God “instructs, refutes falsehood, corrects errors, gives encouragement.” (2 Tm 4:2) It also goes beyond the limits of time. But it should not only be listened to but put into practice as well so that we can gather fruits of faith, hope and charity.


32 posted on 03/20/2013 8:47:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Wednesday, March 20, 2013 >>
 
Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
View Readings
Daniel 3:52-56 John 8:31-42
 

I MISUNDERSTAND PERFECTLY

 
"We are no illegitimate breed!" —John 8:41
 

In John's gospel, the technique of relating a misunderstanding is often used to lead to a point of decision. For example, a group of Jews misunderstood Jesus' words and decided to reject Him (Jn 8:59). On other occasions, people misunderstood Jesus, yet decided to accept Him (see e.g. Jn 4:11ff).

Many misunderstandings occur simply because Catholics don't know their faith. God has blessed us abundantly with the clear teaching of the Church in her Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Praise God for the Church! If we don't take the time to know the teachings and expectations of living our faith, we have no excuse for misunderstanding God in those areas (see Catechism, 1791).

Are you misunderstanding the Lord about something not spelled out clearly in the Bible or the Catechism? It may be you can't understand in which direction God is leading you — to move, marry, accept a religious vocation, change jobs, or join a small Christian community, etc. As He did in John's Gospel, Jesus may be allowing this time of misunderstanding so He can work in you a far greater good than simply trying to lead you to make the right choice. He may be using your misunderstanding to give you the opportunity to accept Him as Lord of every aspect of your life.

Getting it right is important. Getting right with God is even more important. Misunderstand perfectly. Decide to accept Jesus and allow Him to lead you through the cross of misunderstanding into His perfect will for you, however long it takes.

 
Prayer: Lord, help me to rely not on my own understanding (Prv 3:5), but on Your ability to lead me (Ps 23:2).
Promise: "If the Son frees you, you will really be free." —Jn 8:36
Praise: Patricia now prays several times a day when not so long ago she had only prayed on Sundays.

33 posted on 03/20/2013 8:51:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 

34 posted on 03/20/2013 8:53:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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