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Catholic Caucus; Daily Mass Readings,09-17-13, OM,St. Robert Bellarmine,St. Hildegard,Doctors/Church ^ | 09-17-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 09/16/2013 7:21:32 PM PDT by Salvation

September 17, 2013


Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time


Reading 1 1 Tm 3:1-13

Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil’s punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil’s trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful,
not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Moreover, they should be tested first;
then, if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons.
Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers,
but temperate and faithful in everything.
Deacons may be married only once
and must manage their children and their households well.
Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing
and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm PS 101:1b-2ab, 2cd-3ab, 5, 6

R. (2) I will walk with blameless heart.
Of mercy and judgment I will sing;
to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will persevere in the way of integrity;
when will you come to me?
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
I will walk with blameless heart,
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
any base thing.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I destroy.
The man of haughty eyes and puffed up heart
I will not endure.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
My eyes are upon the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in the way of integrity
shall be in my service.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.

Gospel Lk 7:11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain,
and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city,
a man who had died was being carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.
A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,
“Do not weep.”
He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming,
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst,”
and “God has visited his people.”
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea
and in all the surrounding region.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer; saints
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1 posted on 09/16/2013 7:21:33 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
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please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 09/16/2013 7:33:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Timothy 3:1-13

Qualifications for Bishops

[1] The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a
noble task. [2] Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,
temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, [3] no drunkard, not
violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. [4] He must manage
his own household well, keeping children submissive and respectful in every way;
[5] for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he
care for God’s church? [6] He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed
up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil; [7] moreover he must
be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the

Qualifications for Deacons

[8] Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much
wine, not greedy for gain; [9] they must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear
conscience. [10] And let them also be tested first; then if they prove blameless
let them serve as deacons. [11] The women likewise must be serious, no slande-
rers, but temperate, faithful in all things. [12] Let deacons be the husband of one
wife, and let them manage their children and their households well; [13] for those
who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great
confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.


1. “The office of bishop”: as explained in the “Introduction to the Pastoral Epis-
tles”, above, when these epistles were written the titles and responsibilities of
the various church offices had not yet become fixed. The “bishop” (in Greek “epis-
copos” (overseer) was a priest who was in charge of some particular community.
As a minister of the Church, his role was one of teaching (cf. v. 2) and governance
(cf. v.5); his task was a demanding one and called for self-sacrifice, because any
office in a Christian community is essentially a form of service: “The holders of of-
fice, who are invested with a sacred power, are, in fact, dedicated to promoting
the interests of their brethren, so that all who belong to the people of God, and
are consequently endowed with true Christian dignity, may, through their free and
well-ordered efforts towards a common goal, attain to salvation” (Vatican II, “Lu-
men Gentium”, 18).

In spite of the regard in which those “bishops” were held by the faithful, there
seems to have been a shortage of candidates for the office. Hence St Paul’s
stressing that it is a “noble task”—to encourage a generous response by those
who feel the Lord’s call. From the very beginning, both pastors of the Church and
many other members of the faithful have striven to nurture the germs of vocation
which God places in people’s souls. “Beyond question, the society founded by
Christ will never lack priests. But we must all be vigilant and do our part, remem-
bering the word: ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few’ (Lk 10:2). We
must do all that we can to secure as many holy ministers of God as possible”
(Pius XII, “Menti Nostrae”, 36).

2-7. The quality and virtues required for a “bishop” are similar to those for “elders”
given in Titus 1:5-9. In the Pastoral Epistles “bishop” and “elder” (or priest) mean
almost the same thing. In listing qualifications St Paul is not giving a complete list;
he is simply saying that candidates for Church office should have qualities which
make them suited to the work and should be morally irreproachable.

The Church, in its legislation, has always tried to see that suitable people are cho-
sen as ministers. The Second Vatican Council lays it down that before the priest-
hood is conferred on anyone careful inquiry should be made “concerning his right
intention and freedom of choice, his spiritual, moral and intellectual fitness etc.”
(”Optatam Totius”, 6). In other words, a person needs qualifications in the form of
human qualities and ability if he is to live up to the demands of Church office.

“This need for the secular priest to develop human virtues stems from the nature
of his apostolic ministry which must be carried out in the everyday world and in
direct contact with people who tend to be stern judges of a priest and who watch
particularly his behavior as a man. There is nothing new about all this—but it does
seem useful now to emphasize it again. From St Paul to the most recent doctors
of the Church (take the teaching of St Francis de Sales, for example) one finds
this question dealt with. It is none other than that of the contact between nature
and supernature to achieve both the death of that man which must die under the
sign of the Cross, and the perfect development of all the nobility and virtue which
exists in man, and its direction towards the service of God” (A. del Portillo, “On
Priesthood”, p. 12).

2. “The husband of one wife”: this is also a requirement of “elders” (cf. Tit 1:6)
and “deacons” (1 Tim 3:12); it does not mean that the person is under an obliga-
tion to marry, but he must not have married more than once. From the context it
clearly does not mean that candidates are forbidden to be polygamous (polyga-
my is forbidden to everyone); the condition that one be married only once ensures
that candidates will be very respectable, exemplary people; in the culture of the
time second marriages, except in special circumstances, were looked at as-
kance, among Gentiles as well as Jews.

In the apostolic age celibacy was not a requirement for those who presided over
the early Christian communities. However, it very soon became customary to re-
quire celibacy. “In Christian antiquity the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers testify
to the spread through the East and the West of the voluntary practice of celibacy
by sacred ministers because of its profound suitability for their total dedication to
the service of Christ and his Church. The Church of the West, from the beginning
of the fourth century, strengthened, spread, and approved this practice by means
of various provincial councils and through the Supreme Pontiffs” (Paul VI, “Sacer-
dotalis Caelibatus”, 35-36).

From then on all priests of the Latin rite were required to be celibate. Celibacy
is appropriate to the priesthood for many reasons: “By preserving virginity or celi-
bacy for the sake of the kingdom of heaven priests are consecrated in a new and
excellent way to Christ. They more readily cling to him with undivided heart and
dedicate themselves more freely in him and through him to the service of God
and of men. They are less encumbered in their service of his kingdom and of the
task of heavenly regeneration. In this way they become better fitted for a broader
acceptance of fatherhood in Christ” (Vatican II, “Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 16).

6. “He must not be a recent convert”: one of the functions of the “bishop” was to
preside over the community; therefore, it would be imprudent to expose the office-
holder to the danger of vanity and pride. As St Thomas says in his commentary,
it is not wise to appoint young people and recent converts to positions of honor
and responsibility, because they can easily begin to think that they are better
than the others and cannot be done without (cf. “Commentary on l Tim, ad loc.”).

“Fall into the condemnation of the devil” or “fall into the same condemnation as
the devil”: the original text is not very clear. It may mean that it is the devil who
is doing the condemning, in which case it would be the same as saying “fall into
the power of the devil” or “fall into enslavement by the devil”. At any rate it is fair-
ly clear that St Paul wants to warn about the danger of committing the same sin
as the fallen angel, that is, becoming proud and thereby earning damnation.

7. Another function of the “bishop” was to represent the Church to “outsiders”,
that is, non-Christians. All believers should give good example (cf. Mt 5:16; Col
4:5; 1 Pet 2:13; 3:1), but those who hold Church office have a special duty to
avoid giving scandal or providing grounds for gossip.

8-13. Deacons were ministers under bishops and priests. “The origin of the dia-
conate probably goes back to the “seven men of good repute” who were elected
to help the Apostles (cf. Acts 6:1-6 and note); we do know that those men had an
administrative role in aiding the poor and the sick (Acts 6:1); they also preached
(Acts 6:8-14; 8:6) and administered Baptism (Acts 8:26-40). Later on mention is
made of deacons alongside “bishops” in certain important communities (cf. Phil
1:1), which suggests that they were part of the Church hierarchy.

This letter shows them to be ministers subordinate to the “bishop”; in these
verses, which some commentators call “the deacons’ statute”, their specific fun-
ctions are not stated (they probably performed a wide range of tasks); however,
it does appear that, unlike the bishop, they did not represent the Church to out-
siders and they could be drawn from among recent converts

The requirements given here are very like those for the “bishop”: as ministers of
the Church they would naturally be required to live exemplary lives. The Second
Vatican Council is in line with this text when it says that deacons, “waiting upon
the mysteries of Christ and of the Church, should keep themselves free from
every vice, should please God and give a good example to all in everything” (”Lu-
men Gentium”, 41).

10. “Let them also be tested first”: it is up to bishops (then and now) to ensure
that holy orders are conferred on suitable candidates; probably even in St Paul’s
time candidates had to undergo a period of training, in the course of which their
suitability could be checked.

The Church always tries to see that only people who are really suitable are given
Church office, even if that means fewer people are ordained, for “God never so
abandons his Church that suitable ministers are not to be found sufficient for the
needs of the people; provided the worthy are promoted and the unworthy are set
aside” (”Summa Theologiae”, Supplement, q. 36, a. 4 ad 1).

11. The text says so little that it is difficult to work out who these women were.
Many authors, St Thomas among them, think that they were deacons’ wives be-
cause the reference to them interrupts the list of qualifications for deacons. Many
other commentators think that they were women who performed some function
or ministry in the early Church; this would explain why nothing is said about the
wife of the bishop (when the qualifications for bishops are given at the start of this
chapter) and it would also explain why the comportment of the deacons and of
these women is referred to using the same adverb—”likewise”, similarly — in v. 8
and v. 11. We do know (from a fourth-century document, “Apostolic Constitu-
tions”, 2, 26; 3, 15) that some women did help in the instruction of catechumens,
in their Baptism, in care of the sick, etc. In the Letter to the Romans, Phoebe is
described as a “deaconess” (cf. Rom 16:1) though she was not a sacred minis-
ter in the strict sense.

13. “Gain a good standing for themselves”: this may mean that being a deacon
could be a step towards the higher office of “bishop”; or it could mean that the
diaconate itself is a noble position, just as the office of “bishop” is “a noble task”
(v. 1). Perhaps St Paul uses this vague expression because it covers both these
things: it is an honorable ministry and also it can be a step to a higher position
in the service of the community.

“Great confidence”: the original text uses a word which, in classical Greek refers
to the right of free citizens to speak at public assemblies — with full freedom, con-
fident, afraid of no one, with self-assurance, etc. A good deacon should expound
the doctrine of the faith in the same kind of way: he should be well versed in it, he
should stress those aspects which are most apposite at the time, and he should
not be affected by what others may think of him.

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

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

3 posted on 09/16/2013 7:47:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 7:11-17

The Son of the Widow in Nain Restored to Life

[11] Soon afterwards He (Jesus) went to a city called Nain, and His disciples
and a great crowd went with Him. [12] As He drew near to the gate of the city,
behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother,
and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. [13] And
when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
[14] And He came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And He said,
“Young man, I say to you, arise.” [15] And the dead man sat up, and began to
speak. And He gave him to his mother. [16] Fear seized them all; and they glo-
rified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited
His people!” [17] And this report concerning Him spread through the whole of Ju-
dea and all the surrounding country.


11-17. “Jesus crosses paths again with a crowd of people. He could have
passed by or waited until they called Him. But He didn’t. He took the initiative,
because He was moved by a widow’s sorrow. She had just lost all she had, her

“The evangelist explains that Jesus was moved. Perhaps He even showed signs
of it, as when Lazarus died. Christ was not, and is not, insensitive to the suffe-
ring that stems from love. He is pained at seeing children separated from their
parents. He overcomes death so as to give life, to reunite those who love one
another. But at the same time, He requires that we first admit the pre-eminence
of divine love, which alone can inspire genuine Christian living.

“Christ knows He is surrounded by a crowd which will be awed by the miracle
and will tell the story all over the countryside. But He does not act artificially,
merely to create an effect. Quite simply He is touched by that woman’s suffering
and cannot but console her. So He goes up to her and says, `Do not weep.’ It is
like saying, `I don’t want to see you crying; I have come on earth to bring joy and
peace.’ And then comes the miracle, the sign of the power of Christ who is God.
But first came His compassion, an evident sign of the tenderness of the heart of
Christ the man” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 166).

15. This mother’s joy on being given back her son reminds us of the joy of our Mo-
ther the Church when her sinful children return to the life of grace. “The widowed
mother rejoiced at the raising of that young man,” St. Augustine comments. “Our
Mother the Church rejoices every day when people are raised again in spirit. The
young man had been dead physically; the latter, dead spiritually. The young man’s
death was mourned visibly; the death of the latter was invisible and unmourned.
He seeks them out Who knew them to be dead; only He can bring them back to
life” (”Sermon”, 98, 2).

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 09/16/2013 7:47:55 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

1 Timothy 3:1-13 ©

Here is a saying that you can rely on: To want to be a presiding elder is to want to do a noble work. That is why the president must have an impeccable character. He must not have been married more than once, and he must be temperate, discreet and courteous, hospitable and a good teacher; not a heavy drinker, nor hot-tempered, but kind and peaceable. He must not be a lover of money. He must be a man who manages his own family well and brings his children up to obey him and be well-behaved: how can any man who does not understand how to manage his own family have responsibility for the church of God? He should not be a new convert, in case pride might turn his head and then he might be condemned as the devil was condemned. It is also necessary that people outside the Church should speak well of him, so that he never gets a bad reputation and falls into the devil’s trap.

  In the same way, deacons must be respectable men whose word can be trusted, moderate in the amount of wine they drink and with no squalid greed for money. They must be conscientious believers in the mystery of the faith. They are to be examined first, and only admitted to serve as deacons if there is nothing against them. In the same way, the women must be respectable, not gossips but sober and quite reliable. Deacons must not have been married more than once, and must be men who manage their children and families well. Those of them who carry out their duties well as deacons will earn a high standing for themselves and be rewarded with great assurance in their work for the faith in Christ Jesus.


Psalm 100:1-3,5,6 ©

I will walk with blameless heart.

My song is of mercy and justice;

  I sing to you, O Lord.

I will walk in the way of perfection.

  O when, Lord, will you come?

I will walk with blameless heart.

I will walk with blameless heart

  within my house;

I will not set before my eyes

  whatever is base.

I will walk with blameless heart.

The man who slanders his neighbour in secret

  I will bring to silence.

The man of proud looks and haughty heart

  I will never endure.

I will walk with blameless heart.

I look to the faithful in the land

  that they may dwell with me.

He who walks in the way of perfection

  shall be my friend.

I will walk with blameless heart.

Gospel Acclamation


Alleluia, alleluia!

Our Saviour Jesus Christ abolished death

and he has proclaimed life through the Good News.




Alleluia, alleluia!

A great prophet has appeared among us;

God has visited his people.



Luke 7:11-17 ©

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

5 posted on 09/16/2013 7:53:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Pray with Pope Benedict

The Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei)[Catholic Caucus]

Year of Faith: Does God Command Evil Actions in the Bible? Part II (Part I linked
Francis "Lights" Up – Pope's First Encyclical Due Friday
Pope: Homily at Mass for Evangelium Vitae Day [full text]
Adoration with Pope energizing Catholics worldwide
Parishes Worldwide Prepare for Eucharistic Adoration Hour (June 2 at 11 am ET)
Pope [Francis] at Pentecost: Newness, harmony and mission
Audience: Do not be ‘part-time’ Christians
Pope Francis: Regina caeli
Pope to welcome 70,000 youths, confirm 44 (this Sunday) [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Francis’ General Audience focused on women. Feminists aren’t going to be happy

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's "Letter On the Year of Faith" (Crossing Threshold of Faith)
Pope Francis – the real deal – has Audience with Cardinals
Benedict XVI's Final General Audience
On Ash Wednesday
On God As Creator of Heaven and Earth
On Abraham's Faith
On Christ As Mediator Between God and Man
On the Incarnation
On God the Almighty Father
Year of Faith: Indulgences and Places of Pilgrimage [Ecumenical]
On the Identity of Jesus

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

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

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

6 posted on 09/16/2013 8:00:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 09/16/2013 8:01:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 09/16/2013 8:01:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Jesus, High Priest

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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

9 posted on 09/16/2013 8:02:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

2.  The Apostles Creed:  II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

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

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

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

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

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

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

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

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

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross


The Mysteries of the Rosary

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

The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

10 posted on 09/16/2013 8:03:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

11 posted on 09/16/2013 8:05:06 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"



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

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

12 posted on 09/16/2013 8:05:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Our Blessed Lady's Sorrows

Sea of Sorrow

Oh! on what a sea of sorrow
Was the Virgin-Mother cast,
When her eyes with tears o'erflowing
Gazed upon her Son aghast,
From the bloodstained gibbet taken,
Dying in her arms at last.

In her bitter desolation,
His sweet mouth, His bosom too,
Then His riven side beloved,
Then each hand, both wounded through,
Then His feet, with blood encrimsoned,
Her maternal tears bedew.

She, a hundred times and over,
Strains Him closely to her breast
Heart to Heart, arms arms enfolding,
Are His wounds on her impressed:
Thus, in sorrow's very kisses,
Melts her anguished soul to rest.

Oh, dear Mother! we beseech thee,
By the tears thine eyes have shed,
By the cruel death of Jesus
And His wounds' right royal red,
Make our hearts o'erflow with sorrow
From thy heart's deep fountainhead.

To the Father, Son, and Spirit,
Now we bend on equal knee:
Glory, sempiternal glory,
To the Most High Trinity;
Yea! perpetual praise and honor
Now and through all ages be.

Novena Prayer To Our Sorrowful Mother

Most Blessed and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, who didst stand generously beneath the cross, beholding the agony of thy dying Son; by the sword of sorrow which then pierced thy soul, by the sufferings of thy sorrowful life, by the unutterable joy which now more than repays thee for them; look down with a mother's pity and tenderness, as I kneel before thee to compassionate thy sorrows, and to lay my petition with childlike confidence in thy wounded heart. I beg of thee, O my Mother, to plead continually for me with thy Son, since He can refuse thee nothing, and through the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death, together with thy own sufferings at the foot of the cross, so to touch His Sacred Heart, that I may obtain my request,
For to whom shall I fly in my wants and miseries, if not to thee, O Mother of mercy, who, having so deeply drunk the chalice of thy Son, canst most pity us poor exiles, still doomed to sigh in this vale of tears? Offer to Jesus but one drop of His Precious Blood, but one pang of His adorable Heart; remind Him that thou art our life, our sweetness, and our hope, and thou wilt obtain what I ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hail Mary
Virgin Most Sorrowful, pray for us
(Seven times each)

Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy Heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please Our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that: every thought of my mind and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy Divine Son, Jesus; keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in Heaven and sing thy glories.

Most holy Virgin and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy Divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never ending joy at His triumph, obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the Sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Litany of the Seven Sorrows

For private use only.

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 Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, etc.
Mother crucified,
Mother sorrowful,
Mother tearful,
Mother afflicted,
Mother forsaken,
Mother desolate,
Mother bereft of thy Child,
Mother transfixed with the sword,
Mother consumed with grief,
Mother filled with anguish,
Mother crucified in heart,
Mother most sad,
Fountain of tears,
Abyss of suffering,
Mirror of patience,
Rock of constancy,
Anchor of confidence,
Refuge of the forsaken,
Shield of the oppressed,
Subduer of the unbelieving,
Comfort of the afflicted,
Medicine of the sick,
Strength of the weak,
Harbor of the wrecked,
Allayer of tempests,
Resource of mourners,
Terror of the treacherous,
Treasure of the faithful,
Eye of the Prophets,
Staff of the Apostles,
Crown of Martyrs,
Light of confessors,
Pearl of virgins,
Consolation of widows,
Joy of all Saints,

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.

Look down upon us, deliver us, and save us from all trouble,
in the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let Us Pray.
Imprint, O Lady, thy wounds upon my heart, that I may read therein sorrow and love
--- sorrow to endure every sorrow for thee, love to despise every love for thee. Amen.

Conclude with the Apostles Creed, Hail Holy Queen, and three Hail Marys,
in honor of the Most Holy Heart of Mary.

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

Stabat mater dolorosa
iuxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!

Quae maerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas inclyti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.

Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

Iuxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.

Prayer To Our Lady of Sorrows, by St. Bridget

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculate Mother of God, who didst endure a martyrdom of love and grief beholding the sufferings and sorrows of Jesus! Thou didst cooperate in the benefit of my redemption by thine innumerable afflictions and by offering to the Eternal Father His only begotten Son as a holocaust and victim of propitiation for my sins. I thank thee for the unspeakable love which led thee to deprive thyself of the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, true God and true Man, to save me, a sinner. Oh, make use of the unfailing intercession of thy sorrows with the Father and the Son, that I may steadfastly amend my life and never again crucify my loving Redeemer by new sins, and that, persevering till death in His grace. I may obtain eternal life through the merits of His Cross and Passion. Amen.

Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori's Prayer To The Mother Of Sorrows

O, my Blessed Mother, it is not one sword only with which I have pierced thy heart, but I have done so with as many as are the sins which I have committed. O, Lady, it is not to thee, who art innocent, that sufferings are due, but to me, who am guilty of so many crimes. But since thou hast been pleased to suffer so much for me, by thy merits, obtain me great sorrow for my sins, and patience under the trials of this life, which will always be light in comparison with my demerits; for I have often deserved Hell.


Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows (Dolours) and 7 Joys of Our Lady
The Seven Dolors (Sorrows) of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Devotional]
Apparition in Africa: Our Lady of Sorrows [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus Devotional]
Feast of Our Lady/Mother of Sorrows
Homilies on Our Lady of Sorrows
Starkenburg:Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine
Our Mother of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows - Sep 15

13 posted on 09/16/2013 8:06:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
September 2013

Pope's Intentions

Value of Silence. That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.

Persecuted Christians. That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ's love.

14 posted on 09/16/2013 8:08:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Commentary of the day
Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 98

"Young man, I tell you, arise!"

In the Gospels we find three dead people who are visibly restored to life but thousands who are invisibly so... The synagogue official's daughter (Mk 5,22f.), the widow of Naim's son, and Lazarus (Jn 11)... are symbols of three kinds of sinner that Christ still raises today. The young girl was still in her father's house...; the widow of Naim's son was no longer in his mother's house but not, as yet, in the tomb...; Lazarus had been buried...

And so, there are some people whose sins remain in their hearts but who have not put them into practice... They have consented to sin and death is within their souls but it has not yet been carried outside. Now it often happens... that people experience this in themselves: after hearing the word of God, our Lord seems to say to them: “Arise!” They accuse themselves of the consent they gave to evil and draw breath to live in salvation and uprightness... Others, having given their consent, go so far as deed. They carry out the dead thing hidden in the concealment of their dwelling and expose it before everyone. Are we to despair of them? Didn't our Savior say to that young man: “I tell you, arise!”? Didn't he give him back to his mother? This is how it is with someone who has behaved like that: if he is touched and moved by the word of truth he rises again at Christ's word, he comes back to life. He was able to go a step further along the way of sin but he could not die for ever.

As for those who are so bound fast in evil habits as to their removing even the sight of the evil things they do, they undertake to defend their evil deeds, they are angered if one rebukes them... Such as these, crushed under the weight of a habit of sinning, are as though buried in the tomb... That stone placed over the sepulcher is the tyrannical force of the habit that crushes the soul and doesn't allow it either to get up or to breathe...

Listen, then, dearest brethren, and behave in such a way that those who live, live, and those who are dead revive... Let all those dead people repent... Let those who live preserve that life of theirs and let those who are dead be quick to come back to life again.

15 posted on 09/16/2013 8:23:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

16 posted on 09/16/2013 8:26:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Angelus 

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

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

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

Hail Mary . . . 

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

Hail Mary . . . 

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

Let us pray: 

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


17 posted on 09/16/2013 8:26:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop & Doctor of the Church

St. Robert Bellarmine,
Bishop & Doctor of the Church
Optional Memorial
September 17th

O God, who adorned the Bishop Saint Robert Bellarmine
with wonderful learning and virtue
to vindicate the faith of your Church,
grant, through his intercession,
that in the integrity of that same faith
your people may always find joy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading:Wisdom 7:7-10, 15-16
Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.

I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.

Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.

I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light,
because her radiance never ceases.

May God grant that I speak with judgment and have thought worthy of what I have received, for he is the guide even of wisdom and the corrector of the wise.

For both we and our words are in his hand, as are all understanding and skill in crafts.

Gospel: Matthew 7:21-29
"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'

"Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

Paul VI Audience Hall

Saint Robert Bellarmine

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our catechesis today deals with Saint Robert Bellarmine, the great Jesuit theologian and Doctor of the Church. In the period following the Council of Trent, Saint Robert taught theology, first at Louvain and then in the Roman College. His most famous work, the Controversiae, sought to address the issues raised by Protestant theology from a serene historical and theological perspective, while his most popular work remained his brief catechism of Christian doctrine. He also served as spiritual father to the Jesuit students of the Roman College, including Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. Saint Robert was created Cardinal by Pope Clement VIII, and made Archbishop of Capua, where he spent three years in preaching and pastoral activity before being recalled to Rome and the service of the Holy See. In his later years, he composed a number of works of spirituality which reflect his deep Ignatian formation, with its stress on meditation on the mysteries of Christ and the loving imitation of the Lord. May the example of Saint Robert Bellarmine inspire us to integrate our work and our pursuit of Christian holiness, to grow in closeness to God through prayer, and to contribute to the Church’s renewal through our own inner conversion to the Lord and the truth of his word.

© Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

18 posted on 09/17/2013 7:07:19 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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On St. Robert Bellarmine
Robert Bellarmine, A Valid Authority For Ecclesiology
The 15 Marks of The Church [St. Robert Bellarmine]
Mary: Mediatrix in the Theology of Bellarmine
Saint Robert Bellarmine [Patron of Catechists]
19 posted on 09/17/2013 7:08:39 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church

Saint Hildegard of Bingen
Doctor of the Church
September 17th

Illumination from the Liber Scivias showing Hildegard receiving a vision, inscribing what she sees on a wax tablet, and dictating to her scribe and secretary

O God, by whose grace thy servant Hildegard, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever. AMEN+


Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

 Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI on October 7, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI devoted two of his Wednesday audiences on Saint Hildegard in September 2012, which give her personal history and her unique accomplishments that have especial significance in our time.  The pope’s two-part commentary on Saint Hildegard follows.

 Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo
Wednesday, 1st September 2010

Saint Hildegard of Bingen

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In 1988, on the occasion of the Marian Year, Venerable John Paul II wrote an Apostolic Letter entitled Mulieris Dignitatem on the precious role that women have played and play in the life of the Church. "The Church", one reads in it, "gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine "genius' which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms that the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness" (n. 31).

Various female figures stand out for the holiness of their lives and the wealth of their teaching even in those centuries of history that we usually call the Middle Ages. Today I would like to begin to present one of them to you: Saint Hildegard of Bingen, who lived in Germany in the 12th century. She was born in 1098, probably at Bermersheim, Rhineland, not far from Alzey, and died in 1179 at the age of 81, in spite of having always been in poor health.

Hildegard belonged to a large noble family and her parents dedicated her to God from birth for his service. At the age of eight she was offered for the religious state (in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, chapter 59), and, to ensure that she received an appropriate human and Christian formation, she was entrusted to the care of the consecrated widow Uda of Gölklheim and then to Jutta of Spanheim who had taken the veil at the Benedictine Monastery of St Disibodenberg. A small cloistered women's monastery was developing there that followed the Rule of St Benedict. Hildegard was clothed by Bishop Otto of Bamberg and in 1136, upon the death of Mother Jutta who had become the community magistra (Prioress), the sisters chose Hildegard to succeed her. She fulfilled this office making the most of her gifts as a woman of culture and of lofty spirituality, capable of dealing competently with the organizational aspects of cloistered life.

A few years later, partly because of the increasing number of young women who were knocking at the monastery door, Hildegard broke away from the dominating male monastery of St Disibodenburg with her community, taking it to Bingen, calling it after Saint Rupert and here she spent the rest of her days. Her manner of exercising the ministry of authority is an example for every religious community: she inspired holy emulation in the practice of good to such an extent that, as time was to tell, both the mother and her daughters competed in mutual esteem and in serving each other.

During the years when she was superior of the Monastery of Saint Disibodenberg, Hildegard began to dictate the mystical visions that she had been receiving for some time to the monk Volmar, her spiritual director, and to Richardis di Strade, her secretary, a sister of whom she was very fond. As always happens in the life of true mystics, Hildegard too wanted to put herself under the authority of wise people to discern the origin of her visions, fearing that they were the product of illusions and did not come from God. She thus turned to a person who was most highly esteemed in the Church in those times: St Bernard of Clairvaux, of whom I have already spoken in several Catecheses. He calmed and encouraged Hildegard.

However, in 1147 she received a further, very important approval. Pope Eugene III, who was presiding at a Synod in Trier, read a text dictated by Hildegard presented to him by Archbishop Henry of Mainz. The Pope authorized the mystic to write down her visions and to speak in public. From that moment Hildegard's spiritual prestige continued to grow so that her contemporaries called her the "Teutonic prophetess". This, dear friends, is the seal of an authentic experience of the Holy Spirit, the source of every charism: the person endowed with supernatural gifts never boasts of them, never flaunts them and, above all, shows complete obedience to the ecclesial authority. Every gift bestowed by the Holy Spirit, is in fact intended for the edification of the Church and the Church, through her Pastors, recognizes its authenticity.

I shall speak again next Wednesday about this great woman, this "prophetess" who also speaks with great timeliness to us today, with her courageous ability to discern the signs of the times, her love for creation, her medicine, her poetry, her music, which today has been reconstructed, her love for Christ and for his Church which was suffering in that period too, wounded also in that time by the sins of both priests and lay people, and far better loved as the Body of Christ. Thus St Hildegard speaks to us; we shall speak of her again next Wednesday. Thank you for your attention.


Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Saint Hildegard of Bingen (Part 2)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today I would like to take up and continue my Reflection on Saint Hildegard of Bingen, an important female figure of the Middle Ages who was distinguished for her spiritual wisdom and the holiness of her life. Hildegard's mystical visions resemble those of the Old Testament prophets: expressing herself in the cultural and religious categories of her time, she interpreted the Sacred Scriptures in the light of God, applying them to the various circumstances of life. Thus all those who heard her felt the need to live a consistent and committed Christian lifestyle.

In a letter to St Bernard the mystic from the Rhineland confesses: "The vision fascinates my whole being: I do not see with the eyes of the body but it appears to me in the spirit of the mysteries.... I recognize the deep meaning of what is expounded on in the Psalter, in the Gospels and in other books, which have been shown to me in the vision. This vision burns like a flame in my breast and in my soul and teaches me to understand the text profoundly" (Epistolarium pars prima I-XC: CCCM 91).

Hildegard's mystical visions have a rich theological content. They refer to the principal events of salvation history, and use a language for the most part poetic and symbolic. For example, in her best known work entitled Scivias, that is, "You know the ways" she sums up in 35 visions the events of the history of salvation from the creation of the world to the end of time. With the characteristic traits of feminine sensitivity, Hildegard develops at the very heart of her work the theme of the mysterious marriage between God and humanity that is brought about in the Incarnation. On the tree of the Cross take place the nuptials of the Son of God with the Church, his Bride, filled with grace and the ability to give new children to God, in the love of the Holy Spirit (cf. Visio tertia: PL 197, 453c).

From these brief references we already see that theology too can receive a special contribution from women because they are able to talk about God and the mysteries of faith using their own particular intelligence and sensitivity. I therefore encourage all those who carry out this service to do it with a profound ecclesial spirit, nourishing their own reflection with prayer and looking to the great riches, not yet fully explored, of the medieval mystic tradition, especially that represented by luminous models such as Hildegard of Bingen.

The Rhenish mystic is also the author of other writings, two of which are particularly important since, like Scivias, they record her mystical visions: they are the Liber vitae meritorum (Book of the merits of life) and the Liber divinorum operum (Book of the divine works), also called De operatione Dei. In the former she describes a unique and powerful vision of God who gives life to the cosmos with his power and his light. Hildegard stresses the deep relationship that exists between man and God and reminds us that the whole creation, of which man is the summit, receives life from the Trinity. The work is centered on the relationship between virtue and vice, which is why human beings must face the daily challenge of vice that distances them on their way towards God and of virtue that benefits them. The invitation is to distance themselves from evil in order to glorify God and, after a virtuous existence, enter the life that consists "wholly of joy".

In her second work that many consider her masterpiece she once again describes creation in its relationship with God and the centrality of the human being, expressing a strong Christo-centrism with a biblical-Patristic flavor. The Saint, who presents five visions inspired by the Prologue of the Gospel according to Saint John, cites the words of the Son to the Father: "The whole task that you wanted and entrusted to me I have carried out successfully, and so here I am in you and you in me and we are one" (Pars III, Visio X: PL 197, 1025a).

Finally, in other writings Hildegard manifests the versatility of interests and cultural vivacity of the female monasteries of the Middle Ages, in a manner contrary to the prejudices which still weighed on that period. Hildegard took an interest in medicine and in the natural sciences as well as in music, since she was endowed with artistic talent. Thus she composed hymns, antiphons and songs, gathered under the title: Symphonia Harmoniae Caelestium Revelationum (Symphony of the Harmony of Heavenly Revelations), that were performed joyously in her monasteries, spreading an atmosphere of tranquillity and that have also come down to us. For her, the entire creation is a symphony of the Holy Spirit who is in himself joy and jubilation.

The popularity that surrounded Hildegard impelled many people to seek her advice. It is for this reason that we have so many of her letters at our disposal. Many male and female monastic communities turned to her, as well as Bishops and Abbots. And many of her answers still apply for us. For instance, Hildegard wrote these words to a community of women religious: "The spiritual life must be tended with great dedication. At first the effort is burdensome because it demands the renunciation of caprices of the pleasures of the flesh and of other such things. But if she lets herself be enthralled by holiness a holy soul will find even contempt for the world sweet and lovable. All that is needed is to take care that the soul does not shrivel" (E. Gronau, Hildegard. Vita di una donna profetica alle origini dell'età moderna, Milan 1996, p. 402).

And when the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa caused a schism in the Church by supporting at least three anti-popes against Alexander III, the legitimate Pope, Hildegard did not hesitate, inspired by her visions, to remind him that even he, the Emperor, was subject to God's judgment. With fearlessness, a feature of every prophet, she wrote to the Emperor these words as spoken by God: "You will be sorry for this wicked conduct of the godless who despise me! Listen, O King, if you wish to live! Otherwise my sword will pierce you!" (ibid., p. 412).

With the spiritual authority with which she was endowed, in the last years of her life Hildegard set out on journeys, despite her advanced age and the uncomfortable conditions of travel, in order to speak to the people of God. They all listened willingly, even when she spoke severely: they considered her a messenger sent by God. She called above all the monastic communities and the clergy to a life in conformity with their vocation. In a special way Hildegard countered the movement of German cátari (Cathars). The cátari (means literally "pure") advocated a radical reform of the Church, especially to combat the abuses of the clergy. She harshly reprimanded them for seeking to subvert the very nature of the Church, reminding them that a true renewal of the ecclesial community is obtained with a sincere spirit of repentance and a demanding process of conversion, rather than with a change of structures.

This is a message that we should never forget. Let us always invoke the Holy Spirit, so that he may inspire in the Church holy and courageous women, like Saint Hildegard of Bingen, who, developing the gifts they have received from God, make their own special and valuable contribution to the spiritual development of our communities and of the Church in our time.


Related page: Hildegard of Bingen: Voice of Living Light -- Mysterious, talented, colorful, and enigmatic woman, saint, and mystic. And doctor? -- by Sandra Miesel

20 posted on 09/17/2013 7:16:43 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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