Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 02-07-14
Posted on 02/06/2014 7:29:18 PM PST by Salvation
February 7, 2014
Reading 1 Sir 47:2-11
Like the choice fat of the sacred offerings,
so was David in Israel.
He made sport of lions as though they were kids,
and of bears, like lambs of the flock.
As a youth he slew the giant
and wiped out the people’s disgrace,
When his hand let fly the slingstone
that crushed the pride of Goliath.
Since he called upon the Most High God,
who gave strength to his right arm
To defeat the skilled warrior
and raise up the might of his people,
Therefore the women sang his praises,
and ascribed to him tens of thousands
and praised him when they blessed the Lord.
When he assumed the royal crown, he battled
and subdued the enemy on every side.
He destroyed the hostile Philistines
and shattered their power till our own day.
With his every deed he offered thanks
to God Most High, in words of praise.
With his whole being he loved his Maker
and daily had his praises sung;
He set singers before the altar and by their voices
he made sweet melodies,
He added beauty to the feasts
and solemnized the seasons of each year
So that when the Holy Name was praised,
before daybreak the sanctuary would resound.
The LORD forgave him his sins
and exalted his strength forever;
He conferred on him the rights of royalty
and established his throne in Israel.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 18:31, 47 and 50, 51
R. (see 47b) Blessed be God my salvation!
God’s way is unerring,
the promise of the LORD is fire-tried;
he is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
R. Blessed be God my salvation!
The LORD live! And blessed be my Rock!
Extolled be God my savior.
Therefore will I proclaim you, O LORD, among the nations,
and I will sing praise to your name.
R. Blessed be God my salvation!
You who gave great victories to your king
and showed kindness to your anointed,
to David and his posterity forever.
R. Blessed be God my salvation!
Gospel Mk 6:14-29
King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread,
and people were saying,
“John the Baptist has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
Others were saying, “He is Elijah”;
still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.”
But when Herod learned of it, he said,
“It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.”
Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
Herodias had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers,
and the leading men of Galilee.
His own daughter came in and performed a dance
that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
Her mother replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once on a platter
the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner
with orders to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter
and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
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From: Sirach 47:2-11
Nathan and David (Continuation)
47:1-11. The eulogy of David recalls, above all, his love for God, which led him to
give thanks for his victories, acknowledging that it was the Lord who made it pos-
sible for him to achieve them (cf. vv. 6-8). One expression of that love was the
ends he went to to ensure the splendor of the liturgy (cf. vv. 9-10); in this he (as
Aaron before) anticipated the example that would later be set by the high priest
Simon. As a reward for the care he took over the liturgy, the Lord showed him
great kindness and took away his sins (v. 11).
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.
From: Mark 6:14-29
Opinions About Jesus
John the Baptist Beheaded
 And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said,
“The head of John the Baptizer.”  And she came in immediately with haste
to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John
the Baptizer on a platter.”  And the King was exceedingly sorry; but because
of his oath and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.  And im-
mediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head.
He went and beheaded him in the prison,  and brought his head on a platter,
and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.  When his disciples
heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
16-29. It is interesting that the extensive account of the death of John the Baptist
is inserted here in the Gospel narrative. The reason is St. John the Baptist’s spe-
cial relevance in the history of salvation: he is the Precursor, entrusted with the
task of preparing the way for the Messiah. Besides, John the Baptist had a great
reputation among the people: they believed him to be a prophet (Mark 11:32);
some even thought he was the Messiah (Luke 3:15; John 1:20); and they flocked
to him from many places (Mark 1:5). Jesus Himself said: “Among those born of
women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11).
Later, the Apostle St. John will speak of him in the Gospel: “There was a man
sent from God, whose name was John” (John 1:6); but the sacred text points out
that, despite this, he was not the light, but rather the witness to the light (John 1:
6-8). More correctly, he was the lamp carrying the light (John 5:35). We are told
here that he was a righteous man and preached to everyone what had to be
preached: he had a word for people at large, for publicans, for soldiers (Luke 3:10-
14); for Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 3:7-12); for King Herod himself (Mark
6:18-20). This humble, upright and austere man paid with his life for the witness
he bore to Jesus the Messiah (John 1:29 and 36-37).
26. Oaths and promises immoral in content should never be made, and, if made,
should never be kept. This is the teaching of the Church, which is summed up
in the “St. Pius X Catechism”, 383, in the following way: “Are we obliged to keep
oaths we have sworn to do unjust and unlawful things? Not only are we not ob-
liged: we sin by making such oaths, for they are prohibited by the Law of God or
of the Church.”
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.
Ecclesiasticus 47:2-13 ©
As the fat is set apart from the communion sacrifice,
so David was chosen out of all the sons of Israel.
He played with lions as though with kids,
and with bears as though with lambs of the flock.
While still a boy, did he not slay the giant,
and relieve the people of their shame,
by putting out a hand to sling a stone
which brought down the arrogance of Goliath?
For he called on the Lord Most High,
who gave strength to his right arm
to put a mighty warrior to death,
and lift up the horn of his people.
Hence they gave him credit for ten thousand,
and praised him while they blessed the Lord,
by offering him a crown of glory;
for he massacred enemies on every side,
he annihilated his foes the Philistines,
and crushed their horn to this very day.
In all his activities he gave thanks
to the Holy One, the Most High, in words of glory;
he put all his heart into his songs
out of love for his Maker.
He placed harps before the altar
to make the singing sweeter with their music;
he gave the feasts their splendour,
the festivals their solemn pomp,
causing the Lord’s holy name to be praised
and the sanctuary to resound from dawn.
The Lord took away his sins,
and exalted his horn for ever;
he gave him a royal covenant,
and a glorious throne in Israel.
Psalm 17:31,47,50-51 ©
Praised be the God who saves me.
The ways of God are perfect;
the word of the Lord, purest gold.
He indeed is the shield
of all who make him their refuge.
Praised be the God who saves me.
Long life to the Lord, my rock!
Praised be the God who saves me,
so I will praise you, Lord, among the nations:
I will sing a psalm to your name.
Praised be the God who saves me.
He has given great victories to his king
and shown his love for his anointed,
for David and his sons for ever.
Praised be the God who saves me.
Blessed are those who,
with a noble and generous heart,
take the word of God to themselves
and yield a harvest through their perseverance.
Mark 6:14-29 ©
King Herod had heard about Jesus, since by now his name was well-known. Some were saying, ‘John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’ Others said, ‘He is Elijah’; others again, ‘He is a prophet, like the prophets we used to have.’ But when Herod heard this he said, ‘It is John whose head I cut off; he has risen from the dead.’
Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’ As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him; but she was not able to, because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee. When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.’ And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist’ The girl hurried straight back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, here and now, on a dish.’ The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her. So the king at once sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head. The man went off and beheaded him in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
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.
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
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.
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
PLEASE JOIN US -
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of February has been primarily asociated with the Holy Family, probably due to the feast of Our Lord's presentation at the temple, celebrated on February 2. At the very outset of Christ's work on earth, God showed the world a family in which, as Pope Leo XIII teaches, "all men might behold a perfect model of domestic life, and of all virtue and holiness." The harmony, unity, and holiness which characterized this holy Family make it the model for all Christian families.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph most kind, Bless us now and in death's agony.
FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, ever to follow the example of Thy holy Family, that in the hour of our death Thy glorious Virgin Mother together with blessed Joseph may come to meet us and we may be worthily received by Thee into everlasting dwellings: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY FAMILY
O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou defend us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace, and concord in Christian love: in order that, by conforming ourselves to the divine pattern of Thy family, we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.
Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by thy kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.
O Saint Joseph, most holy guardian of Jesus and Mary, assist us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal necessities; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity.
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, three times.
IN HONOR OF THE HOLY FAMILY
O God, heavenly Father, it was part of Thine eternal decree that Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, should form a holy family with Mary, His blessed mother, and His foster father, Saint Joseph. In Nazareth home life was sanctified, and a perfect example was given to every Christian family. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may fully comprehend and faithfully imitate the virtues of the Holy Family so that we may be united with them one day in their heavenly glory. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
Holy Family Chaplet
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, be with me in my last hour.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul
in peace with you.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Amen.
Say 3 Our Father's, 3 Hail Mary's, and 3 Glory be's.
THE HOLY FAMILY
GOD our Heavenly Father, You call all peoples to be united as one family in worshipping You as the one and true God. You willed that Your Son become man, giving Him a virgin mother and a foster father to form the Holy Family of Nazareth.
WE pray: may the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, image and model of every human family unit walk in the spirit of Nazareth and grow in the understanding of its particular mission in society and the Church. May our families be living cells of love, faithfulness and unity, thus reflecting God's covenant with humanity and Christ's redeeming love for His Church.
JESUS, Mary and Joseph protect our families from all evil; keep us, who are away from home, one in love with our dear ones.
Imitating the Holy Family: Four Traits that Make It Possible
[Catholic Caucus] On the Holy Family [Angelus]
Biblical Teachings on Marriage and Family. A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Recovering Gods Plan for Marriage and Family: A Sermon on the Feast of the Holy Family
Why were you looking for me?" (On the Feast of The Holy Family)
U.S. Postal Service Issues Holy Family Forever Stamp
On Prayer in the Life of the Holy Family
The Holy Family - held together by Love through all their problems [Ecumenical]
Feast of the Holy Family: The Christian Family is a Domestic Church
Chesterton on "The Human Family and the Holy Family"
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
ADVICE TO PARENTS by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
The Holy Family
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Feast of the Holy Family
Feast of the Holy Family (Dom Guéranger OSB)
The Feast of the Holy Family
The Holy Family vs. The Holy Innocents: A Christmas season reflection [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican creche to place Holy Family in Joseph's carpentry workshop
The Redemption and Protection of the Family [Feast of the Holy Family]
Study Backs Tradition of Loreto House - Stones in Altar Match Those in Nazareth, It Says
Unraveling Jesus' mystery years in Egypt
Gaudis Church of the Holy Family to be ready for worship in 2008
Imitating the Holy Family; Four Traits that Make It Possible
Lots of Graphics: Post your favorite image of the St. Mary and Child, the Holy Family...
Universal: That the Church and society may respect the wisdom and experience of older people.
For Evangelization: That priests, religious, and lay people may work together with generosity for evangelization.
Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
Blessed John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Apostolic Exhortation « Ecclesia in Europa » §13 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
John the Baptist, witness of faith
I want to point out to everyone, so that it will never be forgotten, that great sign of hope represented by the many witnesses to the Christian faith who lived in the last century, in both East and West. They found suitable ways to proclaim the Gospel amid situations of hostility and persecution, often even making the supreme sacrifice by shedding their blood.
These witnesses, and particularly those who suffered martyrdom, are an eloquent and magnificent sign which we are called to contemplate and to imitate. They show us the vitality of the Church; they stand before us as a light for the Church and for humanity because they caused the light of Christ to shine in the darkness; to the extent that they came from different religious traditions, they also shine forth as a sign of hope for the journey of ecumenism, in the certainty that their blood is also a vital source of unity for the Church.
Even more radically, they tell us that martyrdom is the supreme incarnation of the Gospel of hope: In this way, martyrs proclaim the Gospel of hope and bear witnesses to it with their lives to the point of shedding their blood, because they are certain that they cannot live without Christ and are ready to die for him in the conviction that Jesus is the Lord and the Saviour of humanity and that, therefore, only in him does mankind find true fullness of life. According to the exhortation of the Apostle Peter, their example shown them ready “to give reason for the hope that is in them” (cf. 1 Pt 3,15).
Furthermore, martyrs celebrate the Gospel of hope because the offering of their lives is the greatest manifestation of the “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which constitutes true spiritual worship” (cf. Rom 12:1), and the source, soul and summit of every Christian celebration. Finally, martyrs serve the Gospel of hope, because they express in their martyrdom a love and service of humanity to a high degree insofar as they demonstrate that obedience to the law of the Gospel begets a moral and societal life which honours and promotes the dignity and freedom of every person.
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St. Colette of Corbie, Virgin (Memorial)
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The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Blessed Pius IX
from the Vatican website
Blessed Pope Pius IX was born in Senigallia, Italy, on 13 May 1792, the son of Gerolamo of the Counts Mastai Ferretti, and Caterina Solazzi, of the local nobility. He was baptized on the day of his birth with the name Giovanni Maria. Of delicate physical constitution but of very lively intelligence, his childhood was marked by little voluntary mortifications and an intense religious life.
In 1809 he moved to Rome for higher studies. A disease not well diagnosed, which some called epilepsy, forced him to interrupt his studies in 1812. He was accepted into the Pontifical Noble Guard in 1815, but because of his illness he was immediately discharged. It was at this time that St Vincent Pallotti predicted that he would become Pope and that the Virgin of Loreto would free him eventually from the disease.
After serving briefly in the Tata Giovanni Educational Institute, he participated as a catechist in 1816 in a memorable mission in Senigallia and, immediately thereafter, decided to enter the ecclesiastical state. He was ordained a priest in 1819. Conscious of his noble rank, he committed himself to avoiding a prelatial career in order to remain only at the service of the Church.
He celebrated his first Mass in the Church of St Anne of the Carpenters at the Tata Giovanni Institute, of which he was named rector, remaining there until 1823. He was immediately recognized as assiduous in prayer, in the ministry of the Word, in the celebration of the liturgy, in the confessional and above all in his daily ministry at the service of the humblest and neediest. He admirably united the active and the contemplative life: ready for pastoral needs, but always interiorly recollected, with strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion and fidelity to daily meditation and the examination of conscience.
In 1823 he left the institute to serve the Apostolic Nuncio in Chile, Mons. Giovanni Muzi. There he remained until 1825, when he was elected President of St Michael's Hospice, a grand but complex institution in need of effective reform. To it Mastai applied himself with more than gratifying results, but without ever neglecting his priestly duties. Two years later, at the age of 35, he was consecrated Archbishop of Spoleto. In 1831 the revolution which had begun in Parma and Modena spread to Spoleto. The Archbishop did not want the shedding of blood and repaired, as much as possible, the deleterious effects of the violence. When calm was restored, he obtained a pardon for all, even for those who did not merit it.
Another turbulent see awaited Mastai in Imola, where he was transferred in 1832. He remained an eloquent preacher, prompt in charity toward everyone, zealous for the supernatural as well as the material well-being of his Diocese, devoted to his clergy and seminarians, a promoter of education for the young, sensitive to the needs of the contemplative life, devoted to the Sacred Heart and to Our Lady, benevolent towards all but firm in his principles. In 1840 he received the Cardinal's hat at the age of 48.
Despite having shunned honours, on the evening of 16 June 1846 Mastai found himself burdened with the greatest of them: he was elected Pope and took the name Pius IX.
He had a difficult pontificate, but precisely because of that he was a great Pope, certainly one of the greatest. Thoroughly aware of being the "Vicar of Christ" and responsible for the rights of God and of the Church, he was clear, simple consistent. He combined firmness and understanding, fidelity and openness.
He began with an act of generosity and Christian sensitivity: amnesty for political crimes. His first Encyclical was a programmatic vision, but anticipated the "Syllabus": in it he condemned secret societies, freemasonry and communism. In 1847 he promulgated a decree granting extensive freedom of the press and instituted a civil guard, the municipal and communal council, the Council of State and the Council of Ministers. From then on his interventions as Father of all nations and temporal Prince continued unabated.
The question of Italian independence, which he sympathized with, did not set the Prince against the Pope, a fact that alienated the most intransigent liberals. The situation came to a head on 15 November when Pellegrino Rossi, the head of government, was killed and Pius IX had to take refuge in Gaeta.
After the proclamation of the Roman Republic (9 February 1849), he moved to Portici and later returned to Rome (12 April 1850). He reorganized the Council of State, established the Council for Finances, granted a new amnesty, re-established the Catholic hierarchy in England and in Holland.
In 1853 he condemned Gallican doctrines and founded the well-known "Seminario Pio". He established the Commission on Christian Archaeology, defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1854 and blessed the rebuilt St Paul's Basilica which had been destroyed by fire in 1823.
In 1856 he approved the plan for railways in the Papal States and on 24 April 1859 inaugurated the first section between Rome and Civitavecchia. In 1857 he visited the Papal States and was welcomed everywhere with rejoicing. He sent missionaries to the North Pole, India, Burma, China and Japan.
Meanwhile dark clouds gathered over him with the Italian "Risorgimento", the Piedmontese annexations that were dismantling the Papal States and the expropriation of the Legations. Suffering but undaunted, he continued to show his charity and concern for all. In 1862 he established a dicastery to deal with the concerns of Eastern-rite Catholics; in 1864 he published his Syllabus condemning modern errors; in 1867 he celebrated the 18th centenary of the martyrdom of Peter and Paul; in 1869 he received the homage of the entire world for the golden jubilee of his priestly ordination. Later that year he opened the First Vatican Ecumenical Council, the pearl of his pontificate, and closed it on 18 July 1870.
With the fall of Rome (20 September 1870) and of the temporal power, the saddened Pontiff considered himself a prisoner of the Vatican, resisting the "Laws of Guarantees", but approving the "Work of Congresses". He consecrated the Church to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, disciplined the participation of Catholics in political life with the Non expedit and restored the Catholic hierarchy of Scotland. Suffering from poor health, he gave his last address to the parish priests of Rome on 2 February 1878. On 7 February the longest pontificate in history ended with his holy death.
BEATIFICATION OF PIUS IX, JOHN XXIII, TOMMASO REGGIO, WILLIAM CHAMINADE AND COLUMBA MARMION
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 3 September 2000
1. In the context of the Jubilee Year, it is with deep joy that I have declared blessed two Popes, Pius IX and John XXIII, and three other servants of the Gospel in the ministry and the consecrated life: Archbishop Tommaso Reggio of Genoa, the diocesan priest William Joseph Chaminade and the Benedictine monk Columba Marmion.
Five different personalities, each with his own features and his own mission, all linked by a longing for holiness. It is precisely their holiness that we recognize today: holiness that is a profound and transforming relationship with God, built up and lived in the daily effort to fulfil his will. Holiness lives in history and no saint has escaped the limits and conditioning which are part of our human nature. In beatifying one of her sons, the Church does not celebrate the specific historical decisions he may have made, but rather points to him as someone to be imitated and venerated because of his virtues, in praise of the divine grace which shines resplendently in him.
I extend my respectful greetings to the official delegations of Italy, France, Ireland, Belgium, Turkey and Bulgaria which have come here for this solemn occasion. I also greet the relatives of the new blesseds, together with the Cardinals, Bishops, civil and religious dignitaries who have wished to take part in our celebration. Lastly, I greet you all, dear brothers and sisters who have come in large numbers to pay homage to the servants of God whom the Church today is enrolling among the blessed.
2. Listening to the words of the Gospel acclamation: "Lord, lead me on a straight road", our thoughts naturally turn to the human and religious life of Pope Pius IX, Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti. Amid the turbulent events of his time, he was an example of unconditional fidelity to the immutable deposit of revealed truths. Faithful to the duties of his ministry in every circumstance, he always knew how to give absolute primacy to God and to spiritual values. His lengthy pontificate was not at all easy and he had much to suffer in fulfilling his mission of service to the Gospel. He was much loved, but also hated and slandered.
However, it was precisely in these conflicts that the light of his virtues shone most brightly: these prolonged sufferings tempered his trust in divine Providence, whose sovereign lordship over human events he never doubted. This was the source of Pius IX's deep serenity, even amid the misunderstandings and attacks of so many hostile people. He liked to say to those close to him: "In human affairs we must be content to do the best we can and then abandon ourselves to Providence, which will heal our human faults and shortcomings".
Sustained by this deep conviction, he called the First Vatican Ecumenical Council, which clarified with magisterial authority certain questions disputed at the time, and confirmed the harmony of faith and reason. During his moments of trial Pius IX found support in Mary, to whom he was very devoted. In proclaiming the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, he reminded everyone that in the storms of human life the light of Christ shines brightly in the Blessed Virgin and is more powerful than sin and death.
3. "You are good and forgiving" (Entrance Antiphon). Today we contemplate in the glory of the Lord another Pontiff, John XXIII, the Pope who impressed the world with the friendliness of his manner which radiated the remarkable goodness of his soul. By divine design their beatification links these two Popes who lived in very different historical contexts but, beyond appearances, share many human and spiritual similarities. Pope John's deep veneration for Pius IX, to whose beatification he looked forward, is well known. During a spiritual retreat in 1959, he wrote in his diary: "I always think of Pius IX of holy and glorious memory, and by imitating him in his sacrifices, I would like to be worthy to celebrate his canonization" (Journal of a Soul, Ed. San Paolo, 2000, p. 560).
Everyone remembers the image of Pope John's smiling face and two outstretched arms embracing the whole world. How many people were won over by his simplicity of heart, combined with a broad experience of people and things! The breath of newness he brought certainly did not concern doctrine, but rather the way to explain it; his style of speaking and acting was new, as was his friendly approach to ordinary people and to the powerful of the world. It was in this spirit that he called the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, thereby turning a new page in the Church's history: Christians heard themselves called to proclaim the Gospel with renewed courage and greater attentiveness to the "signs" of the times. The Council was a truly prophetic insight of this elderly Pontiff who, even amid many difficulties, opened a season of hope for Christians and for humanity.
In the last moments of his earthly life, he entrusted his testament to the Church: "What counts the most in life is blessed Jesus Christ, his holy Church, his Gospel, truth and goodness". We too wish to receive this testament, as we glorify God for having given him to us as a Pastor.
4. "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only" (Jas 1: 22). These words of the Apostle James make us think of the life and apostolate of Tommaso Reggio, a priest and journalist who later became Bishop of Ventimiglia and finally Archbishop of Genoa. He was a man of faith and culture, and as a Pastor he knew how to be an attentive guide to the faithful in every circumstance. Sensitive to the many sufferings and the poverty of his people, he took responsibility for providing prompt help in all situations of need. Precisely with this in mind, he founded the religious family of the Sisters of St Martha, entrusting to them the task of assisting the Pastors of the Church especially in the areas of charity and education.
His message can be summed up in two words: truth and charity. Truth, first of all, which means attentive listening to God's word and courageous zeal in defending and spreading the teachings of the Gospel. Then charity, which spurs people to love God and, for love of him, to embrace everyone since they are brothers and sisters in Christ. If there was a preference in Tommaso Reggio's choices, it was for those who found themselves in hardship and suffering. This is why he is presented today as a model for Bishops, priest and lay people, as well as for those who belong to his spiritual family.
5. The beatification during the Jubilee Year of William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Marianists, reminds the faithful that it is their task to find ever new ways of bearing witness to the faith, especially in order to reach those who are far from the Church and who do not have the usual means of knowing Christ. William Joseph Chaminade invites each Christian to be rooted in his Baptism, which conforms him to the Lord Jesus and communicates the Holy Spirit to him.
Fr Chaminade's love for Christ, in keeping with the French school of spirituality, spurred him to pursue his tireless work by founding spiritual families in a troubled period of France's religious history. His filial attachment to Mary maintained his inner peace on all occasions, helping him to do Christ's will. His concern for human, moral and religious education calls the entire Church to renew her attention to young people, who need both teachers and witnesses in order to turn to the Lord and take their part in the Church's mission.
6. Today the Benedictine Order rejoices at the beatification of one of its most distinguished sons, Dom Columba Marmion, a monk and Abbot of Maredsous. Dom Marmion left us an authentic treasure of spiritual teaching for the Church of our time. In his writings he teaches a simple yet demanding way of holiness for all the faithful, whom God has destined in love to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ (cf. Eph 1: 5). Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and the source of all grace, is the centre of our spiritual life, our model of holiness.
Before entering the Benedictine Order, Columba Marmion spent some years in the pastoral care of souls as a priest of his native Archdiocese of Dublin. Throughout his life Bl. Columba was an outstanding spiritual director, having particular care for the interior life of priests and religious. To a young man preparing for ordination he once wrote: "The best of all preparations for the priesthood is to live each day with love, wherever obedience and Providence place us" (Letter, 27 December 1915). May a widespread rediscovery of the spiritual writings of Bl. Columba Marmion help priests, religious and laity to grow in union with Christ and bear faithful witness to him through ardent love of God and generous service of their brothers and sisters.
7. Let us confidently ask the new blesseds, Pius IX, John XXIII, Tommaso Reggio, William Joseph Chaminade and Columba Marmion, to help us live in ever greater conformity to the Spirit of Christ. May their love of God and neighbour illumine our steps at this dawn of the third millennium!
Ineffabilis Deus: The Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1854
Life and Turbulent Times of Pius IX
By Elizabeth Lev
ROME, FEB. 7, 2007 (Zenit.org).- It seems hard to believe that eight years have already passed since the 2000 Jubilee. For those in Rome the Holy Year remains memorable for many things, from the 25 million pilgrims to the ubiquitous presence of John Paul II exhorting people to sainthood in St. Peter's Square or manning the confessionals in the basilica.
This week however, we remember another event of the year 2000: the beatification of Pius IX. The 256th successor of Saint Peter was beatified in September 2000, and his feast day declared as February 7.
Giovani Maria Mastai Ferretti came from the Marche region of Italy. His election to the papal throne in 1846 was soon followed by the first signs of a turbulent age. His prime minister, Count Rossi, was assassinated and the Pope himself forced to flee Rome and take refuge in Gaeta in southern Italy.
The short-lived Republic of Rome disintegrated shortly after Pius IX left, and the Pope was able to return to his home on the Quirinal Hill in 1850. But the "Risorgimento," or the unification of Italy, was under way.
For 20 years Pius IX struggled to defend the territories of the Church while Camillo Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi, the brains and brawn of the Italian Nationalist movement, picked away at his lands; closing monasteries and selling sacred art as they went.
On September 20, 1870, they invaded Rome and Pius IX was once again forced to flee from the Quirinal, this time taking refuge in the Apostolic Palace attached to Saint Peter's Basilica. Victor Emmanuele II, the first King of Italy, occupied the Quirinal Palace, and Pius IX died eight years later imprisoned within the Vatican walls.
Pius IX holds the record as the longest reigning Pope, having sat on the throne of Saint Peter for 32 years. (In fact, many superstitious Romans claimed the fall of the Papal States was due to Pius' outliving his tenure of 25 years -- the time Peter himself had been Bishop of Rome.)
Pius IX's great contributions to the universal Church are well known: He declared the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 and published the "Syllabus Errorum," a list of 80 censured propositions; this document foresaw the future trials the Church would suffer.
He also called the important First Vatican Council in 1869-70, which formulated the doctrine of papal infallibility on questions of faith and morals in the Church. It also spoke of man's ability to know God through the use of reason, a very apt teaching for today's world.
But here in Rome, Pius IX's international persona and historical protaganism are almost eclipsed by the ubiquitous evidence of his indefatigable service as Bishop of Rome.
During his long reign, train tracks were laid to connect the Eternal City with the rest of Italy. For the first time Romans walked at night through gas-lit streets and the Jewish Ghetto was abolished. Laymen were invited to join the papal government and countless new jobs were created to restore the flagging Roman economy.
Very few churches in Rome do not bear a plaque commemorating a restoration financed by Pope Pius IX, who sought to revive the great historical sanctuaries of the Eternal City, which languished after years of neglect.
His generosity continued despite the growing hostility of the Roman followers of Cavour, who had already chased him out of the city once. They applauded Pius IX's retreat into the Vatican walls, and ultimately disrupted his funeral procession by attempting to throw his body into the Tiber.
Every February 7, a large number of devotees of "Pio Nono" gather in the Basilica of Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls for Mass. Surprising, perhaps, is the presence of so many young people gathered in the crypt, side by side with aged Roman aristocrats, descendants of Pius IX's court.
Pius IX chose to be buried in the resting place of Rome's beloved martyr Saint Lawrence, joining his saintly predecessors, Popes Sixtus III and Zosimus. Pius IX had ordered extensive renovations to the church, removing the baroque adornments and returning the church to its Paleo-Christian splendor.
His tomb is a masterpiece of 19th-century mosaic art. Images of saints shimmer like sentinels against the gold background in the darkened chamber, and dozens of emblems of dioceses and orders who commissioned this homage to the Pope bear witness to the great love that Pius IX garnered throughout the world.
Together they pay homage to this great saint, so often maligned by modern historians, another example of the adage that "history is written by the victors." One wonders, however, who is the victor here? Victor Emmanuel II gained 76 years of monarchy, and hostile authors have earned a dime or two off biographical distortions.
But Pius IX, after navigating the Barque of Peter through some of its toughest storms, found a safe harbor for all eternity.
Reprint here with permission of Elizabeth Lev.
© Zenit.org 2008
LAND OF MARY IMMACULATE [Ecumenical]
Pope Pius IX and the Confederacy
In U.S. Masses, pope to carry pastoral staff of Blessed Pope Pius IX
Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
One Hundred and Sixty-one Years Ago... (The Election of Blessed Pope Pius IX) (Catholic Caucus)/FONT>
Happy Birthday Pope Pius IX!!!
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)
Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
Prayer to Release the Souls of Purgatory
Feast Day: February 7 or March 6
Born: 13 January 1381, at Corbie in Picardy, France
Died: 6 March 1447, Ghent
Canonized: 24 May 1807
Blessed Giles Mary
Feast Day: February 07
Born:1729 :: Died:1812
Francis Pontillo was born near Taranto, Italy, to a pious family and raised in the village there. As a child he learned rope-making and was good at his trade.
When he was twenty-five, Francis became aware of a call from the Lord to give his life to God. He wanted very much to become a priest but because he did not have enough education to become one, he entered the Friars of St. Peter Alcantara in Naples as a lay brother.
His complete name as a religious was Brother Giles Mary-of-St.-Joseph. The two virtues that guided his whole religious life were simplicity and humility.
Brother Giles Mary approached each day with an attitude of wanting to serve God. He was grateful for his calling and it showed. Brother Giles walked up and down the halls of the monastery's seminary, as he was the porter and gate-keeper. He opened the door promptly and with a smile every time a visitor pulled the rope that rang the bell.
He took gentle care of the poor, the homeless, the ill who came to that door. He had a special ministry to the sick. He worked with lepers, traveling outside the city to help those who had to live alone because of their disease.
He was given the duty of distributing the food and money that his community could spare. Brother Giles Mary loved to do that. No matter how much he gave to needy people, so much remained for others.
He knew it was St. Joseph who did this. After all, St. Joseph had once taken such good care of Jesus and Mary. Brother Giles Mary spread devotion to St. Joseph throughout his whole religious life.
After a life of faithfulness to God and his chosen vocation, Brother Giles Mary-of-St.-Joseph died peacefully while he was praying on February 7, 1812.
Why can we grasp Jesus only as a "mystery"?
Jesus extends into God; therefore we cannot understand him if we exclude the invisible divine reality.
The visible side of Jesus points to the invisible. We see in the life of Jesus numerous realities that are powerfully present but that we can understand only as a mystery. Examples of such mysteries are the divine Sonship, the Incarnation, the Passion, and the Resurrection of Christ.
Did Jesus have a soul, a mind, and a body just as we do?
Yes. Jesus "worked with human hands, he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved" (Second Vatican Council, GS 22, 2).
The humanity of Jesus is complete and includes also the fact that Jesus possessed a soul and developed psychologically and spiritually. In this soul dwelled his human identity and his special self-consciousness. Jesus knew about his unity with his heavenly Father in the Holy Spirit, by whom he allowed himself to be guided in every situation of his life. (YOUCAT questions 78-79)
Dig Deeper: CCC section (470-484) and other references here.
Part 1: The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)
Section 2: The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)
Chapter 2: I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God (422 - 682)
Article 3: "He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary" (456 - 570)
Paragraph 1: The Son of God Became Man (456 - 483)
IV. HOW IS THE SON OF GOD MAN? ⇡
Because "human nature was assumed, not absorbed",97 in the mysterious union of the Incarnation, the Church was led over the course of centuries to confess the full reality of Christ's human soul, with its operations of intellect and will, and of his human body. In parallel fashion, she had to recall on each occasion that Christ's human nature belongs, as his own, to the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it. Everything that Christ is and does in this nature derives from "one of the Trinity". The Son of God therefore communicates to his humanity his own personal mode of existence in the Trinity. In his soul as in his body, Christ thus expresses humanly the divine ways of the Trinity:98 The Son of God... worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin.99
GS 22 § 2.
Cf. Jn 14:9-10.
GS 22 § 2.
Christ's soul and his human knowledge ⇡
Apollinarius of Laodicaea asserted that in Christ the divine Word had replaced the soul or spirit. Against this error the Church confessed that the eternal Son also assumed a rational, human soul.100
Cf. Damasus 1: DS 149.
This human soul that the Son of God assumed is endowed with a true human knowledge. As such, this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited: it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time. This is why the Son of God could, when he became man, "increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man",101 and would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience.102 This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself, taking "the form of a slave".103
But at the same time, this truly human knowledge of God's Son expressed the divine life of his person.104 "The human nature of God's Son, not by itself but by its union with the Word, knew and showed forth in itself everything that pertains to God."105 Such is first of all the case with the intimate and immediate knowledge that the Son of God made man has of his Father.106 The Son in his human knowledge also showed the divine penetration he had into the secret thoughts of human hearts.107
Cf. St. Gregory the Great, "Sicut aqua" ad Eulogium, Epist. Lib. 10, 39 PL 77, 1097A ff.; DS 475.
St. Maximus the Confessor, Qu. et dub. 66: PG 90, 840A.
By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate, Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal.108 What he admitted to not knowing in this area, he elsewhere declared himself not sent to reveal.109
Cf. Mk 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34; 14:18-20, 26-30.
Christ's human will ⇡
Similarly, at the sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III in 681, the Church confessed that Christ possesses two wills and two natural operations, divine and human. They are not opposed to each other, but cooperate in such a way that the Word made flesh willed humanly in obedience to his Father all that he had decided divinely with the Father and the Holy Spirit for our salvation.110 Christ's human will "does not resist or oppose but rather submits to his divine and almighty will."111
Cf. Council of Constantinople III (681): DS 556-559.
Council of Constantinople III: DS 556.
Christ's true body ⇡
Since the Word became flesh in assuming a true humanity, Christ's body was finite.112 Therefore the human face of Jesus can be portrayed; at the seventh ecumenical council (Nicaea II in 787) the Church recognized its representation in holy images to be legitimate.113
Cf. Council of the Lateran (649): DS 504.
Cf. Gal 3:1; cf. Council of Nicaea II (787): DS 600-603.
At the same time the Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus "we see our God made visible and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see."114 The individual characteristics of Christ's body express the divine person of God's Son. He has made the features of his human body his own, to the point that they can be venerated when portrayed in a holy image, for the believer "who venerates the icon is venerating in it the person of the one depicted".115
Roman Missal, Preface of Christmas I.
Council of Nicaea II: DS 601.
The heart of the Incarnate Word ⇡
Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us: "The Son of God... loved me and gave himself for me."116 He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation,117 "is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that... love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings" without exception.118
Cf. Jn 19:34.
Pius XII, encyclical, Haurietis aquas (1956): DS 3924; cf. DS 3812.
IN BRIEF ⇡
At the time appointed by God, the only Son of the Father, the eternal Word, that is, the Word and substantial Image of the Father, became incarnate; without losing his divine nature he has assumed human nature.
Jesus Christ is true God and true man, in the unity of his divine person; for this reason he is the one and only mediator between God and men.
Jesus Christ possesses two natures, one divine and the other human, not confused, but united in the one person of God's Son.
Christ, being true God and true man, has a human intellect and will, perfectly attuned and subject to his divine intellect and divine will, which he has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
The Incarnation is therefore the mystery of the wonderful union of the divine and human natures in the one person of the Word.
Paragraph 2: "Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary" (484 - 511)
I. CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT... ⇡
The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates "the fullness of time",119 the time of the fulfillment of God's promises and preparations. Mary was invited to conceive him in whom the "whole fullness of deity" would dwell "bodily".120 The divine response to her question, "How can this be, since I know not man?", was given by the power of the Spirit: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you."121
Lk 1:34-35 (Gk.).
Friday, February 7
Liturgical Color: Green
Today is the Memorial of St. Colette of
Corbie, virgin. She became an orphan at
13 and joined the Poor Clares,
eventually founding 17 new cloisters.
Known as a gifted mystic, St. Colette
foretold her own death in 1447.
Daily Readings for:February 07, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: Grant us, Lord our God, that we may honor you with all our mind, and love everyone in truth of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
· Ordinary Time: February 7th
· Friday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time
Old Calendar: St. Romuald, abbot
According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Romuald, abbot, the anniversary of the translation of his relics in 1481. His feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on June 19, the day he died in 1027.
The Supreme Lover
The Goodness of God means that God gives us what we need for our perfection, not what we want for our pleasure and sometimes for our destruction. As a sculptor, He sometimes applies the chisel to the marble of our imperfect selves and knocks off huge chunks of selfishness that His image may better stand revealed. Like a musician, whenever He finds the strings too loose on the violin of our personality, He tightens them even though it hurts, that we may better reveal our hidden harmonies.
As the Supreme Lover of our soul, He does care how we act and think and speak. What father does not want to be proud of his son? If the father speaks with authority now and then to his son, it is not because he is a dictator, but because he wants him to be a worthy son. Not even progressive parents, who deny discipline and restraint, are indifferent to the progress of their children. So long as there is love, there is necessarily a desire for the perfecting of the beloved.
That is precisely the way God's goodness manifests itself to us. God really loves us and, because He loves us, He is not disinterested. He no more wants you to be unhappy than your own parents want you to be unhappy. God made you not for His happiness, but for yours, and to ask God to be satisfied with most of us as we really are, is to ask that God cease to love.
— Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
4th Week in Ordinary Time
The Lord forgave him his sins and exalted his strength forever. (Sirach 47:11)
What a shining portrait Ben Sira, the author of Sirach, paints for us of King David! “As a youth he slew the giant and wiped out the people’s disgrace… . When he assumed the royal crown, he battled and subdued the enemy on every side… . With his whole being he loved his Maker and daily had his praises sung” (Sirach 47:4, 6, 8). This is a bright picture of a great warrior, a mighty king, a renowned musician, and a great lover of God.
But what about David’s adultery with Bathsheba? His conspiring to have Uriah abandoned and killed in battle? Wouldn’t this suggest a darker portrait, stained with sin? It seems as if there are two faces to David.
David was a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). But there’s no denying that his sins had a terrible impact on himself, his family, and all of Israel. But Ben Sira, a masterful portrait artist, knew what he was doing when he chose to highlight David’s love for God over his grievous sins. For when David stumbled and fell, he turned back to God, and “the Lord forgave him his sins” (Sirach 47:11). God kept his covenant with David, and ultimately, his Son, Jesus—a descendant of King David—brought redemption and healing to fallen humankind.
Our lives may not hold the sort of radical contrast of light and shadow that David’s did, but we all have our bright and dark “faces.” The good news is that God has made provision for our waywardness. He has given us the great gift of repentance.
We often think of repentance or going to Confession as a great burden, or at least an embarrassing inconvenience. But David’s story tells us that it is nothing less than a path back to the Lord and a protection against crippling guilt. Just as God showed mercy to David, he is eager to forgive you. He wants nothing more than to bring you back to his heart. He wants nothing more than to shower you with his mercy! Just as he did for David, he wants not only to forgive you but to strengthen you more and more.
“Lord Jesus, thank you for forgiving me and welcoming me back!”
Psalm 18:31, 47, 50-51; Mark 6:14-29
Daily Marriage Tip for February 7, 2014:
What is your ethnic heritage? Is it similar or different from that of your spouse? February is Black History Month. No matter what your race, its interesting to learn about your ethnic heritage. Are there any ethnic traits that you carry into your relationship?
Ask her intercession now!
Friday, 07 February 2014 14:46
I received this morning the most touching request to pray for little Gavin Glynn, who has been fighting cancer for the last 2.5 years. Gavin will be 4 years old in May. My first thought was to interest Mother Yvonne–Aimée in Gavin, and to seek her intercession for his healing. Mother Yvonne–Aimée loved children. Surely, from her place in heaven where she remains a hospitaller full of compassion, she will present Gavin’s suffering to the King of Love.
Prayer to Mother Yvonne–Aimée de Jésus
Yvonne–Aimée, while yet a child
you gave your heart to Jesus,
asking Him to make you a saint, a very great saint.
Jesus looked upon you with a most tender love,
and you loved him in return
with an extraordinary love.
You sought to please Jesus in all things,
even to the point of embracing His Cross
and entering into the bitterness of His Passion.
The King of Love made you the hospitaller of His mercy,
and gave you a mother’s heart, open to the sufferings of all.
He graced you with His own tenderness for souls,
and sent you often among the poor, among the sick,
and among souls in the grip of evil.
There is no human suffering to which you are not sensitive,
and no affliction of body, mind, or spirit
that does not send you swiftly to the King of Love
to appeal to Him on our behalf,
and to obtain from His Heart
graces of mercy and of healing
that surpass what we dare ask.
come close now to little Gavin Glynn in his suffering.
Take to heart what you see
and, by your intercession with Jesus, King of Love,
obtain for His glory and for the joy of the Church on earth,
the healing we now ask of His merciful goodness.
O Jesus, King of Love, I trust in Thy merciful goodness.
O Jesus, King of Love, I trust in Thy merciful goodness.
O Jesus, King of Love, I trust in Thy merciful goodness.
Grace’s Last Stand and Ultimate Victory
Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
King Herod heard about it, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him." Others were saying, "He is Elijah"; still others, "He is a prophet like any of the prophets." But when Herod learned of it, he said, "It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up." Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother´s wife." Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias´s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you." He even swore (many things) to her, "I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom." She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the Baptist." The girl hurried back to the king´s presence and made her request, "I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist." The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you and all that you taught as it has been passed down to us through your Church. I hope in you, knowing that you will never send me out of your presence. Only by sin could I cut myself away from your loving hands. Although I am weak, I trust that you will keep me close. Lord, I love you and long for my love for you to grow, for you deserve so much better than my measly offering. Yet I know, too, that you are pleased with my desire for you.
Petition: Grant me, O Lord, an honest and sincere heart.
1. “It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.” The verdict of conscience always makes itself known. Herod’s guilt regarding John the Baptist’s murder is projected into the present as a haunting memory. Those who have radically rejected God, though they might possess great power or wealth, great intelligence or ability, are ultimately the most insecure people on earth. When true goodness appears in their life, it presents itself as a threat. It condemns them and alienates them from themselves. All this is but a reflection of their state of soul before God. Such is the power of man’s conscience: it imposes its painful sentence long before the person ever reaches the ultimate tribunal of justice. Like Christ, we can only remain silent before the Herods of the world, praying that they break their resistance to grace.
2. “He was very much perplexed yet he liked to listen to him…” “Fear the grace of God that passes never to return.” In the lives of all persons, even the wicked, enough goodness is given them to be saved, enough such that God can offer them the truth of salvation within the scope of their freedom. Such graces last for only a time, not forever. These moments cannot be treated as moments that temporarily pacify our conscience, only to permit us to continue in our sin and resistance to living a holy life. Herod feared John, knew he was a holy man and felt the attraction of his words, but he did nothing to respond to it. You cannot play around with God and win. Herod loses and attacked what he knew he should love. This tragedy must teach us to be sincere and never imprison the voice of God in our soul, but to let it reign in our life. We must use our freedom to respond to God’s voice, breaking the chains of human respect or fear of sacrifice that bind us to darkness.
3. He Was Beheaded in Prison: The last honor Christ could offer a faithful apostle, who has stood firm in the truth against the twisted provocations of evil around him, is––in some sense––a “full” participation in his Paschal Mystery. What began as testimony by proclaiming conversion, John now concludes with testimony to the victorious hope the blessed possess in Christ. This is never clearer than in a martyr’s death as intimated in this passage from the Book of Wisdom:
Conversation with Christ: Let me experience, dear Jesus, the glory of your martyrs through many small acts of fidelity—to my conscience, to my mission and to the service to souls. Heroic and filled with hope, may I accept a sentence of love and not fear any path you set before me today. May I be like one who has died and yet lives the blossom of a holy life that will never end.
Resolution: I will work to be sincere in all I do, and use the sacrament of confession as a place of constant conversion and openness to God’s will.
There are instances in our life that we blind ourselves to the truth to avoid doing what is right. We give ourselves reasons and excuses to turn away from the truth. Sometimes not even because the truth is painful but because it might hinder us in our search for fame and fortune, or entail us to deprive ourselves of pleasure and fun, or force us to move out of our comfort zone. Look back and remember a time in your life when you turned you back on truth and took the easy road. How did that affect your life?
When we find it hard to face truth, we must remember Jesus’ words “I am the way, the truth, and the life” Meditate on these words and be assured that God will give us the strength and the courage to face our truths with grace.
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|14.||And king Herod heard, (for his name was made manifest,) and he said: John the Baptist is risen again from the dead, and therefore mighty works shew forth themselves in him.||Et audivit rex Herodes (manifestum enim factum est nomen ejus), et dicebat : Quia Joannes Baptista resurrexit a mortuis : et propterea virtutes operantur in illo.||και ηκουσεν ο βασιλευς ηρωδης φανερον γαρ εγενετο το ονομα αυτου και ελεγεν οτι ιωαννης ο βαπτιζων εκ νεκρων ηγερθη και δια τουτο ενεργουσιν αι δυναμεις εν αυτω|
|15.||And others said: It is Elias. But others said: It is a prophet, as one of the prophets.||Alii autem dicebant : Quia Elias est ; alii vero dicebant : Quia propheta est, quasi unus ex prophetis.||αλλοι ελεγον οτι ηλιας εστιν αλλοι δε ελεγον οτι προφητης εστιν ως εις των προφητων|
|16.||Which Herod hearing, said: John whom I beheaded, he is risen again from the dead.||Quo audito Herodes ait : Quem ego decollavi Joannem, hic a mortuis resurrexit.||ακουσας δε [ο] ηρωδης ειπεν οτι ον εγω απεκεφαλισα ιωαννην ουτος εστιν αυτος ηγερθη εκ νεκρων|
|17.||For Herod himself had sent and apprehended John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias the wife of Philip his brother, because he had married her.||Ipse enim Herodes misit, ac tenuit Joannem, et vinxit eum in carcere propter Herodiadem uxorem Philippi fratris sui, quia duxerat eam.||αυτος γαρ ο ηρωδης αποστειλας εκρατησεν τον ιωαννην και εδησεν αυτον εν φυλακη δια ηρωδιαδα την γυναικα φιλιππου του αδελφου αυτου οτι αυτην εγαμησεν|
|18.||For John said to Herod: It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.||Dicebat enim Joannes Herodi : Non licet tibi habere uxorem fratris tui.||ελεγεν γαρ ο ιωαννης τω ηρωδη οτι ουκ εξεστιν σοι εχειν την γυναικα του αδελφου σου|
|19.||Now Herodias laid snares for him: and was desirous to put him to death, and could not.||Herodias autem insidiabatur illi : et volebat occidere eum, nec poterat.||η δε ηρωδιας ενειχεν αυτω και ηθελεν αυτον αποκτειναι και ουκ ηδυνατο|
|20.||For Herod feared John, knowing him to be a just and holy man: and kept him, and when he heard him, did many things: and he heard him willingly.||Herodes enim metuebat Joannem, sciens eum virum justum et sanctum : et custodiebat eum, et audito eo multa faciebat, et libenter eum audiebat.||ο γαρ ηρωδης εφοβειτο τον ιωαννην ειδως αυτον ανδρα δικαιον και αγιον και συνετηρει αυτον και ακουσας αυτου πολλα εποιει και ηδεως αυτου ηκουεν|
|21.||And when a convenient day was come, Herod made a supper for his birthday, for the princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee.||Et cum dies opportunus accidisset, Herodes natalis sui cnam fecit principibus, et tribunis, et primis Galilææ :||και γενομενης ημερας ευκαιρου οτε ηρωδης τοις γενεσιοις αυτου δειπνον εποιει τοις μεγιστασιν αυτου και τοις χιλιαρχοις και τοις πρωτοις της γαλιλαιας|
|22.||And when the daughter of the same Herodias had come in, and had danced, and pleased Herod, and them that were at table with him, the king said to the damsel: Ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee.||cumque introisset filia ipsius Herodiadis, et saltasset, et placuisset Herodi, simulque recumbentibus, rex ait puellæ : Pete a me quod vis, et dabo tibi :||και εισελθουσης της θυγατρος αυτης της ηρωδιαδος και ορχησαμενης και αρεσασης τω ηρωδη και τοις συνανακειμενοις ειπεν ο βασιλευς τω κορασιω αιτησον με ο εαν θελης και δωσω σοι|
|23.||And he swore to her: Whatsoever thou shalt ask I will give thee, though it be the half of my kingdom.||et juravit illi : Quia quidquid petieris dabo tibi, licet dimidium regni mei.||και ωμοσεν αυτη οτι ο εαν με αιτησης δωσω σοι εως ημισους της βασιλειας μου|
|24.||Who when she was gone out, said to her mother, What shall I ask? But she said: The head of John the Baptist.||Quæ cum exisset, dixit matri suæ : Quid petam ? At illa dixit : Caput Joannis Baptistæ.||η δε εξελθουσα ειπεν τη μητρι αυτης τι αιτησομαι η δε ειπεν την κεφαλην ιωαννου του βαπτιστου|
|25.||And when she was come in immediately with haste to the king, she asked, saying: I will that forthwith thou give me in a dish, the head of John the Baptist.||Cumque introisset statim cum festinatione ad regem, petivit dicens : Volo ut protinus des mihi in disco caput Joannis Baptistæ.||και εισελθουσα ευθεως μετα σπουδης προς τον βασιλεα ητησατο λεγουσα θελω ινα μοι δως εξαυτης επι πινακι την κεφαλην ιωαννου του βαπτιστου|
|26.||And the king was struck sad. Yet because of his oath, and because of them that were with him at table, he would not displease her:||Et contristatus est rex : propter jusjurandum, et propter simul discumbentes, noluit eam contristare :||και περιλυπος γενομενος ο βασιλευς δια τους ορκους και τους συνανακειμενους ουκ ηθελησεν αυτην αθετησαι|
|27.||But sending an executioner, he commanded that his head should be brought in a dish.||sed misso speculatore præcepit afferri caput ejus in disco. Et decollavit eum in carcere,||και ευθεως αποστειλας ο βασιλευς σπεκουλατορα επεταξεν ενεχθηναι την κεφαλην αυτου|
|28.||And he beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a dish: and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother.||et attulit caput ejus in disco : et dedit illud puellæ, et puella dedit matri suæ.||ο δε απελθων απεκεφαλισεν αυτον εν τη φυλακη και ηνεγκεν την κεφαλην αυτου επι πινακι και εδωκεν αυτην τω κορασιω και το κορασιον εδωκεν αυτην τη μητρι αυτης|
|29.||Which his disciples hearing came, and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.||Quo audito, discipuli ejus venerunt, et tulerunt corpus ejus : et posuerunt illud in monumento.||και ακουσαντες οι μαθηται αυτου ηλθον και ηραν το πτωμα αυτου και εθηκαν αυτο εν μνημειω|
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The best, the surest , and the most effective way of establishing everlasting peace on the face of the earth is through the great power of perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament." -- Pope John Paul II
The Pope has a great spiritual sense of worship and [importance of] reaching out to every human being, says Msgr. Fazio. In Buenos Aires in recent years, he has spontaneously promoted the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in parishes, and it is bearing spiritual fruit. Furthermore, Msgr. Fazio is sure the Pope will pay particular attention to Eucharistic adoration and the preaching of the word.
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