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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 03-14-14
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 03-14-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 03/13/2014 10:23:15 PM PDT by Salvation

March 14, 2014

Friday of the First Week of Lent

 

 

Reading 1 Ez 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced.
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
says the Lord GOD.
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
that he may live?

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,
the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
because he has broken faith and committed sin;
because of this, he shall die.
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!”
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8

R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
Let Israel wait for the LORD.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Gospel Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you,
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”



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

1 posted on 03/13/2014 10:23:15 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ Ping

Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Lenten Mass Ping List.


2 posted on 03/13/2014 10:29:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Ezekiel 18:21-28

The Good Effects of Conversion


[21] But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed
and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live;
he shall not die. [22] None of the transgressions which he has committed shall
be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall
live. [23] Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the LORD God,
and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? [24] But when a righ-
teous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does
the same abominable things that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of
the righteous deeds which he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery
of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, he shall die.

[25] “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel:
Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? [26] When a righteous
man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it;
for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die. [27] Again, when a wicked
man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful
and right, he shall save his life. [28] Because he considered and turned away
from all the transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live, he
shall not die.”

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

18:21-32. These verses reply to a question that may arise from the doctrine of per-
sonal retribution: If the sinner must live with the consequences of his sins, what is
the purpose of repentance? Ezekiel takes the question very much to heart, and
his reply includes one of the most beautiful summaries of divine mercy: “Have I
any pleasure in the death of the wicked..., and not rather that he should turn from
his way and live?’ (v. 23; cf. 33:11). It is true that the explanation of divine justice
and punishment develops over a long period until the New Testament is reached;
even so, from the very beginning of divine Revelation, there is never any doubt but
that God is always ready to forgive. Over the centuries, Christian spirituality has
written beautiful pages filled to overflowing with heartfelt trust in God’s mercy. As
an example, we will quote a prayer by a Christian writer of the Armenian Church:
“You are the Lord of Mercy. Have mercy on me, a sinner, who beseeches you
with sighs and tears. [...] O kind and merciful Lord! You are patient with sinners,
for you have said: “if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has com-
mitted none of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered
against him” (Ezek 18:21-22). Look, see how I have come before you and fallen
at your feet: your guilty servant pleads for your mercy. Do not recall my sins, nor
spurn me because of my wickedness [...] You are the Lord of goodness and mer-
cy; you forgive all sin” (John Mandakuni, “Oratio”, 2-3).

Of course, God’s forgiveness is closely interwoven with personal conversion.
Therefore, it is not surprising to find these verses of Ezekiel being quoted in con-
nection with the need for the sacrament of penance: “at all times, the practice of
penance in order to obtain grace and attain righteousness was necessary for all
those who fell into mortal sin, even those who sought to be washed clean by the
waters of baptism, so that, when sinfulness had been purged and set to rights,
they would detest any offense against God through their hatred of sin and the
sorrow of their souls. Thus says the Prophet: ‘Repent and turn from all your trans-
gressions, lest iniquity be your ruin’ (Ezek 18:30)” (Council of Trent, Session 14,
1). There is also a need for genuine contrition: “Contrition, which is the most im-
portant element of penance, is a sorrow of the soul, a hatred of all the sins that
have been committed, and a desire not to sin again in the future. This sense of
contrition has always been a fundamental condition of forgiveness; the man who
falls into sin after his baptism can only receive pardon if he is contrite, trusts in
the mercy of God, and fulfills all the other conditions that are binding in this sac-
rament. This Council declares that contrition encompasses not only the end of
sin and the beginning of new life, but the reparation of the old, sinful life, as it
was written: ‘Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have commit-
ted against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!’ (Ezek 18:31)”
(Council of Trent Session 14, 4).

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

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


3 posted on 03/13/2014 10:31:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 5:20-26

Jesus and His Teaching, the Fulfillment of the Law (Continuation)


(Jesus said to His disciples,) [20] “For I tell you, unless your righteousness ex-
ceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of
Heaven.

[21] “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and
whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ [22] But I say to you that every one
who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his bro-
ther shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to
the hell of fire. [23] So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remem-
ber that your brother has something against you, [24] leave your gift there before
the altar and go; first to be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer
your gift. [25] Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with
him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the
guard, and you be put in prison; [26] truly, I say to you, you will never get out till
you have paid the last penny.

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

20. “Righteousness”: see the note on Matthew 5:6 (see below). This verse clari-
fies the meaning of the preceding verses. The scribes and Pharisees had distor-
ted the spirit of the Law, putting the whole emphasis on its external, ritual obser-
vance. For them exact and hyper-detailed but external fulfillment of the precepts
of the Law was a guarantee of a person’s salvation: “If I fulfill this I am righteous,
I am holy and God is duty bound to save me.” For someone with this approach
to sanctification it is really not God who saves: man saves himself through exter-
nal works of the Law. That this approach is quite mistaken is obvious from what
Christ says here; in effect what He is saying is: to enter the Kingdom of God the
notion of righteousness or salvation developed by the scribes and Pharisees
must be rejected. In other words, justification or sanctification is a grace from
God; man’s role is one of cooperating with that grace by being faithful to it. Else-
where Jesus gives the same teaching in an even clearer way (cf. Luke 18:9-14,
the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector). It was also the origin of one
of St. Paul’s great battles with the “Judaizers” (see Galatians 3 and Romans
2-5).

21. Verses 21-26 gives us a concrete example of the way that Jesus Christ
brought the Law of Moses to its fulfillment, by explaining the deeper meaning
of the commandments of that Law.

22. By speaking in the first person (”but I say to you”) Jesus shows that His au-
thority is above that of Moses and the prophets; that is to say, He has divine au-
thority. No mere man could claim such authority.

“Insults”: practically all translations of this passage transcribe the original Ara-
maic word, “raca” (cf. RSV note below). It is not an easy word to translate. It
means “foolish, stupid, crazy”. The Jews used it to indicate utter contempt; of-
ten, instead of verbal abuse they would show their feelings by spitting on the
ground.

“Fool” translates an ever stronger term of abuse than “raca” — implying that a
person has lost all moral and religious sense, to the point of apostasy. In this
passage our Lord points to three faults which we commit against charity, moving
from internal irritation to showing total contempt. St. Augustine comments that
three degrees of faults and punishments are to be noted. The first is the fault of
feeling angry; to this corresponds the punishment of “judgment”. The second is
that of passing an insulting remark, which merits the punishment of “the council”.
The third arises when anger quite blinds us: this is punished by “the hell of fire”
(cf. “De Serm. Dom. in Monte”, II, 9).

“The hell of fire”: literally, “Gehenna of fire”, meaning, in the Jewish language of
the time, eternal punishment.

This shows the gravity of external sins against charity—gossip, backbiting, ca-
lumny, etc. However, we should remember that these sins stem from the heart;
our Lord focuses our attention, first, on internal sins—resentment, hatred, etc. —
to make us realize that that is where the root lies and that it is important to nip
anger in the bud.

23-24. Here our Lord deals with certain Jewish practices of His time, and in doing
so gives us perennial moral teaching of the highest order. Christians, of course,
do not follow these Jewish ritual practices; to keep our Lord’s commandment we
have ways and means given us by Christ Himself. Specifically, in the New and
definitive Covenant founded by Christ, being reconciled involves going to the Sac-
rament of Penance. In this Sacrament the faithful “obtain pardon from God’s mer-
cy for the offense committed against Him, and are, at the same time, reconciled
with the Church which they have wounded by their sins” (”Lumen Gentium”, 11).

In the New Testament, the greatest of all offerings is the Eucharist. Although one
has a duty to go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, an essential
condition before receiving Holy Communion is that one be in the state of grace.

It is not our Lord’s intention here to give love of neighbor priority over love of God.
There is an order of charity: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul and with all your strength. This is the great and first command-
ment” (Matthew 22:37-38). Love of one’s neighbor, which is the second command-
ment in order of importance (cf. Matthew 22:39), derives its meaning from the first.
Brotherhood without parenthood is inconceivable. An offense against charity is,
above all, an offense against God.

[The note on Matthew 5:6 states:

6. The notion of righteousness (or justice) in Holy Scripture is an essentially reli-
gious one (cf. notes on Matthew 1:19 and 3:15; Romans 1:17; 1:18-32; 3:21-22
and 24). A righteous person is one who sincerely strives to do the Will of God,
which is discovered in the commandments, in one’s duties of state in life and
through one’s life of prayer. Thus, righteousness, in the language of the Bible, is
the same as what nowadays is usually called “holiness” (1 John 2:29; 3:7-10;
Revelation 22:11; Genesis 15:6; Deuteronomy 9:4).]

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

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


4 posted on 03/13/2014 10:31:50 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

Ezekiel 18:21-28 ©

Thus says the Lord:

  ‘If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised. What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?

  ‘But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die. But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust.” Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.’


Psalm

Psalm 129:1-8 ©

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,

  Lord, hear my voice!

O let your ears be attentive

  to the voice of my pleading.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,

  Lord, who would survive?

But with you is found forgiveness:

  for this we revere you.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?

My soul is waiting for the Lord.

  I count on his word.

My soul is longing for the Lord

  more than watchman for daybreak.

(Let the watchman count on daybreak

  and Israel on the Lord.)

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?

Because with the Lord there is mercy

  and fullness of redemption,

Israel indeed he will redeem

  from all its iniquity.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Amos5:14

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Seek good and not evil so that you may live,

and that the Lord God of hosts may really be with you.

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Or

Ezk18:31

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Shake off all your sins – it is the Lord who speaks –

and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!


Gospel

Matthew 5:20-26 ©

Jesus said to his disciples, If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

  ‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’


5 posted on 03/13/2014 10:34:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
40 Days for Life -- March 3 through April 13 -- Pray to End Abortion
6 posted on 03/13/2014 10:38:42 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 03/13/2014 10:48:36 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 03/13/2014 10:49:12 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 03/13/2014 11:11:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

the 1961 Missal. It says to use the Sorrowful Mysteries from Ash Wednesday to Easter.


10 posted on 03/13/2014 11:12:00 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]

11 posted on 03/13/2014 11:12:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

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

12 posted on 03/13/2014 11:13:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

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


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


13 posted on 03/13/2014 11:14:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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March Devotion: Saint Joseph

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 
Prayer to St. Joseph

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Novena to Saint Joseph

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

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

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

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

St. Joseph Novena

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

(Here name your petition).

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

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)


14 posted on 03/13/2014 11:14:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pope's Intentions

March 2014

Universal: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.

For Evangelization: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.

15 posted on 03/13/2014 11:15:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Friday of the First week of Lent

Commentary of the day
Saint Caesarius of Arles (470-543), monk and Bishop
Sermons to the people, no.25 ; SC 243

"Go first and be reconciled with your brother"

In heaven there is a mercy that we attain by mercy here on earth... And there are two kinds of almsgiving: one good, the other better. The first consists in offering a morsel of bread to the poor; the other in at once forgiving the brother who has sinned against you. With our Lord's help let us hasten to put into practice these two kinds of almsgiving that we may be fit to receive eternal pardon and the true mercy that is Christ's. For he himself has said: “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you will not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions” (Mt 6,14-15). And elsewhere the Holy Spirit cries aloud: “Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the Lord? Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows yet seek God's pardon for his own sins?” (Sir 28,3-4)...

Let us make haste as much as we can and for as long as we live to acquire these two kinds of alms and distribute them to others. Then, on the day of judgment, we shall be able to say with full assurance: “Give, Lord, because we have given.”


16 posted on 03/13/2014 11:17:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Friday, March 14, 2014
Lenten Weekday
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130:1-8
Matthew 5:20-26

The most powerful weapon to conquer the Devil is humility. For as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it.

-- St Vincent de Paul


17 posted on 03/13/2014 11:19:00 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.

18 posted on 03/13/2014 11:20:38 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.

Amen. 


19 posted on 03/13/2014 11:21:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: St. Matilda

Feast Day: March 14

Born: 895 at Engern, Westphalia, Germany

Died: 14 March 968 at Quedlinburg, Germany

Patron of: death of children, disappointing children, falsely accused people, large families, people ridiculed for their piety, queens, second marriages, widows

20 posted on 03/14/2014 7:59:06 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Matilda

Feast Day: March 14
Born: 895 :: Died: 968


St. Matilda was the daughter of Count Dietrich of Westphalia, Germany and Reinhild of Denmark. When Matilda was still quite young, her parents arranged her marriage to a nobleman named Henry. Soon after their marriage, Henry became king of Germany.

As queen, Matilda lived a simple life with times for daily prayer. Everyone who saw her realized how good and kind she was. She was more like a mother than a queen. Matilda loved to visit and comfort the sick. She taught the ignorant, helped prisoners and did not let herself be spoiled by her position, but tried to reach out to people in need.

King Henry realized that his wife was a very special person. He often told her that he was a better person and a better king because she was his wife. Even though their marriage had been arranged, Henry and Matilda loved each other very much.

Matilda was free to use the treasures of the kingdom for her charities and Henry never asked her how she planned to use it. In fact, he became more aware of the needs of people. He realized that as king he had the power to lessen their suffering. They were happily married for twenty-three years.

Then King Henry died quite suddenly in 936. The queen was very sad and felt his loss very much. She made up her mind to live for God alone. So she called the priest to celebrate Mass for King Henry's soul. Then she gave the priest all the jewels she was wearing to show that she meant to give up the things of the world from then on.

Although she was a saint, Matilda made one big mistake. She favored her son, Henry, more than her son, Otto, in the struggle to be king but she was later very sorry for having done this. She made up for it by accepting without complaint the sufferings that came her way.

She spent the rest of her years, and practicing charity and penance. St. Matilda died peacefully in 968 and was buried beside her husband.

Reflection: Growing close to God does not mean not making mistakes. Like St. Matilda, we can be sorry for our mistakes and trust in God's mercy and great care for us.


21 posted on 03/14/2014 8:29:08 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Day 96 - How is the Church the "Temple of the Holy Spirit?"

 

What does it mean to say that the Church is the "Temple of the Holy Spirit"?

The Church is the place in the world where the Holy Spirit is completely present.

The people of Israel worshipped God in the Temple of Jerusalem. This temple no longer exists. It has been replaced by the Church, which is not limited to a particular place. "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Mt 18:20). What makes her alive is the Spirit of Christ: He lives in the Word of Sacred Scripture and is present in the sacred signs of the sacraments. He loves in the hearts of believers and speaks in their prayers. He leads them and bestows charisms on the simple gifts as well as extraordinary ones. Anyone who enters into a relationship with the Holy Spirit can experience true miracles even today. (YOUCAT question 128)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (797-801) and other references here.


22 posted on 03/14/2014 5:15:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Part 1: The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)

Section 2: The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)

Chapter 3: I Believe in the Holy Spirit (683 - 1065)

Article 9: "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church" (748 - 975)

Paragraph 2: The Church — People of God, Body of Christ, Temple of the Holy Spirit (781 - 810)

III. THE CHURCH IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

586
813
(all)

797

"What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church."243 "To this Spirit of Christ, as an invisible principle, is to be ascribed the fact that all the parts of the body are joined one with the other and with their exalted head; for the whole Spirit of Christ is in the head, the whole Spirit is in the body, and the whole Spirit is in each of the members."244 The Holy Spirit makes the Church "the temple of the living God":245 Indeed, it is to the Church herself that the "Gift of God" has been entrusted. ... In it is in her that communion with Christ has been deposited, that is to say: the Holy Spirit, the pledge of incorruptibility, the strengthening of our faith and the ladder of our ascent to God. ... For where the Church is, there also is God's Spirit; where God's Spirit is, there is the Church and every grace.246

243.

St. Augustine, Sermo 267,4:PL 38,1231D.

244.

Pius XII, encyclical, Mystici Corporis:DS 3808.

245.

2 Cor 6:16; cf. 1 Cor 3:16-17; Eph 2:21.

246.

St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3,24,1:PG 7/1,966.

737
791
(all)

798

The Holy Spirit is "the principle of every vital and truly saving action in each part of the Body."247 He works in many ways to build up the whole Body in charity:248 by God's Word "which is able to build you up";249 by Baptism, through which he forms Christ's Body;250 by the sacraments, which give growth and healing to Christ's members; by "the grace of the apostles, which holds first place among his gifts";251 by the virtues, which make us act according to what is good; finally, by the many special graces (called "charisms"), by which he makes the faithful "fit and ready to undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church."252

247.

Pius XII, encyclical, Mystici Corporis:DS 3808.

248.

Cf. Eph 4:16.

249.

Acts 20:32.

250.

Cf. 1 Cor 12:13.

251.

LG 7 § 2.

252.

LG 12 § 2; cf. AA 3.

Charisms

2003
951
(all)

799

Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world.

1

 

800

Charisms are to be accepted with gratitude by the person who receives them and by all members of the Church as well. They are a wonderfully rich grace for the apostolic vitality and for the holiness of the entire Body of Christ, provided they really are genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit and are used in full conformity with authentic promptings of this same Spirit, that is, in keeping with charity, the true measure of all charisms.253

253.

Cf. 1 Cor 13.

1905
894
(all)

801

It is in this sense that discernment of charisms is always necessary. No charism is exempt from being referred and submitted to the Church's shepherds. "Their office [is] not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good,"254 so that all the diverse and complementary charisms work together "for the common good."255

254.

LG 12; cf. 30; 1 Thes 5:12,19-21; John Paul II, Christifideles Laici,24.

255.

1 Cor 12:7.


23 posted on 03/14/2014 5:19:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Friday, March 14

Liturgical Color: Violet

Today the Church honors St. Matilda,
religious. As Queen Mother in 10th
century Germany, she gave much to the
poor. This angered her son, King Otto,
who falsely accused her of financial
mismanagement. She is the patron of
the falsely accused.

24 posted on 03/14/2014 5:27:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:March 14, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Grant that your faithful, O Lord, we pray, may be so conformed to the paschal observances, and the bodily discipline now solemnly begun may bear fruit in the souls of all. 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.

RECIPES

o    Yellow Split Pea Soup

ACTIVITIES

o    La Falla de San Chusep—Saint Joseph's Day in Valencia

o    Why Fasting and Abstinence?

PRAYERS

o    Prayer for the First Week of Lent

o    Novena to St. Joseph

o    Lent Table Blessing 1

o    Novena to St. Joseph II

o    Traditional Novena Prayer to St. Joseph

·         Lent: March 14th

·         Friday of the First Week of Lent

Old Calendar: St. Matilda (Hist)

Historically today is the feast of St. Matilda, Queen of Germany and wife of King Henry. She was well known throughout the realm for her generosity, she taught the ignorant, comforted the sick, and visited prisoners. Betrayed by Otto after Henry’s death when he falsely accused her of financial mismanagement.

Today is an Ember Day in the Tridentine Rite. There are two principal objects for the Ember Days of this period of the year: the first is to offer to God the season of Spring, and, by fasting and prayer, to draw down His blessing upon it; the second is to ask Him to enrich with His choicest graces the priests and sacred ministers who are to receive their Ordination on Saturday.

Stational Church


The Value of Fasting
Is fasting really worthwhile? Whenever I consider the value of a religious practice, I always look into the earthly life of our Savior. He is our model. He dwelt with us in order to teach us how to form our lives inwardly and outwardly. Christ Himself fasted often and accorded it high praise in His teaching. Recall how He fasted forty days before entering upon His work of teaching. At the beginning of Lent the Church wishes to stamp this fact deep in our hearts: our fasting must be in union with and in imitation of Christ's.

I call to mind the mystery-laden, pregnant words spoken by our Savior when the disciples, unable to cure a possessed boy, asked, "Why could we not cast him out?," and Jesus answered, "This kind can be driven out in no way except by prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29). This reply has always made the deepest impression on me. Prayer and fasting are extraordinary means (we may call them violent means) when other simpler ways are of no avail against the powers of hell.

Now another saying of Jesus comes to mind. When John's disciples began to reproach Him, "Why do Your disciples not fast?," He replied: "Can you make the wedding guests fast as long as the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; in those days they will fast" (Luke 5:35). There is a hidden depth of meaning in these words. The coming of Christ among men was a wedding feast. Fasting had no place. But it is most proper to fast when the divine Bridegroom is taken away. Fasting on Fridays and during Holy Week, then, is in accord with Christ's own wishes.

I should like to cite one further passage from the Gospel, one which casts light on fasting from another direction. Once our Savior compared Himself with the Baptist in these words, "John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, `He has a devil!' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Behold a glutton and a wine drinker.'" John was a man devoted to penance, an ascetic, who fasted throughout his life. Not so Christ. His way of living was not based exclusively upon self-denial and mortification, but upon an ordered enjoyment of life. So we learn from the Savior that fasting should be the exception, not the rule, in Christian morality.

To complete the lesson let us consider for a moment the passage in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus speaks of the three important pious exercises of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. He highly recommends all three, but warns against practicing these virtues in a pharisaical manner.

The main points in Jesus' doctrine on fasting, then, are:

1.         Fasting is an extremely important means of resisting the inroads of hell (hence Lent).

2.         Fasting should be practiced as a memorial of Christ's death (Friday, Holy Week).

3.         Fast days occur by way of exception in Christian life, they are not the normal practice.

4.         Fasting holds a place alongside prayer and almsgiving as a pious exercise.

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


St. Matilda

This princess was daughter of Theodoric, a powerful Saxon count. Her parents placed her very young in the monastery of Erford, of which her grandmother Maud was then abbess. Our Saint remained in that house, an accomplished model of all virtues, till her parents married her to Henry, son of Otho, Duke of Saxony, in 913, who was afterwards chosen king of Germany. He was s pious and victorious prince, and very tender of his subjects.

Whilst by his arms he checked the insolence of the Hungarians and Danes, and enlarged his dominions by adding to them Bavaria, Maud gained domestic victories over her spiritual enemies more worthy of a Christian and far greater in the eyes of Heaven. She nourished the precious seeds of devotion and humility in her heart by assiduous prayer and meditation. It was her delight to visit, comfort, and exhort the sick and the afflicted; to serve and instruct the poor, and to afford her charitable succor to prisoners. Her husband, edified by her example, concurred with her in every pious undertaking which she projected.

After twenty-three years' marriage God was pleased to call the king to himself, in 936. Maud, during his sickness, went to the church to pour forth her soul in prayer for him at the foot of the altar. As soon as she understood, by the tears and cries of the people, that he had expired, she called for a priest that was fasting to offer the holy sacrifice for his soul.

She had three sons: Otho, afterwards emperor; Henry, Duke of Bavaria; and St. Brunn, Archbishop of Cologne. Otho was crowned king of Germany in 937, and emperor at Rome in 962, after his victories over the Bohemians and Lombards.

The two oldest sons conspired to strip Maud of her dowry, on the unjust pretence that she had squandered the revenues of the state on the poor. The unnatural princes at length repented of their injustice, and restored to her all that had been taken from her.

She then became more liberal in her alms than ever, and founded many churches, with five monasteries.

In her last sickness she made her confession to her grandson William, the Archbishop of Mentz, who yet died twelve days before her, on his road home. She again made a public confession before the priests and monks of the place, received a second time the last sacraments, and, lying on a sack-cloth, with ashes on her head, died on the 14th of March in 968.

Excerpted from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

Things to Do:

Today's station is at the Church of the Twelve Apostles. Traditionally, this is the place where the Romans choose their candidates for priesthood (Rite of Election). It was erected by Julius I (337-352) over the barracks of ancient Rome's firemen and entrusted since 1463 to the Conventual Franciscans. Originally dedicated to the Apostles St. James and St. Philip, it was rededicated to all the Apostles in the 16th century,


25 posted on 03/14/2014 5:57:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Ezekiel 18:21-28

1st Week of Lent

If a wicked man … does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life. (Ezekiel 18:27)

In 1976, two brothers, Daniel and Ozzie Silna, signed one of the most lucrative deals in sports history, although they didn’t know it at the time. The Silnas owned the Spirits of St. Louis, a team in the American Basketball Association. When executives from the ABA and NBA met to finalize a merger of the two leagues, they offered the brothers $3.3 million to dissolve their team. But the Silnas didn’t think that was enough. So they cut a deal for a share of all future NBA television revenues. Since those early days, NBA television revenues have exploded, and the Silnas are still collecting—to date, more than $250 million!

What a deal! But looking at today’s reading, we see that God offers an even more staggering deal. He promises that “if the wicked man turns … and does what is right and just, he shall surely live.

… None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him” (Ezekiel 18:21-22).

It’s true that sin is pleasant, but its pleasure lasts only for a short while. And then comes the fruit. Emptiness. Feeling estranged from God. Sometimes, watching a wrecking ball go through a relationship. In the end, sin is an awful deal.

But God’s way is different. When we turn from sin, making a shift in his direction, he forgives us and washes us clean. And because that’s not enough for God, he also wipes out all condemnation toward us (Romans 8:1). He then goes on to silence the accusing voice of the devil in our consciences (Zechariah 3:2). Then he pours his love and grace into our hearts so that we aren’t just relieved of guilt but can actually move forward in our lives (Romans 5:5). Over a lifetime of these directional shifts away from sin and toward God, we find that we are being transformed into the image of Jesus.

God’s offer stands for you today. Are there patterns in your life that don’t belong? You can run to the Lord, confident that instead of punishment or condemnation, you’ll receive mercy, forgiveness, grace, and life.

Now, that is an amazing deal!

“All praise and honor to you, Lord, for your promise of mercy! Thank you for saving me from sin!”

Psalm 130:1-8; Matthew 5:20-26


26 posted on 03/14/2014 6:05:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 5
20 For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Dico enim vobis, quia nisi abundaverit justitia vestra plus quam scribarum, et pharisæorum, non intrabitis in regnum cælorum. λεγω γαρ υμιν οτι εαν μη περισσευση η δικαιοσυνη υμων πλειον των γραμματεων και φαρισαιων ου μη εισελθητε εις την βασιλειαν των ουρανων
21 You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. Audistis quia dictum est antiquis : Non occides : qui autem occiderit, reus erit judicio. ηκουσατε οτι ερρεθη τοις αρχαιοις ου φονευσεις ος δ αν φονευση ενοχος εσται τη κρισει
22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Ego autem dico vobis : quia omnis qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit judicio. Qui autem dixerit fratri suo, raca : reus erit concilio. Qui autem dixerit, fatue : reus erit gehennæ ignis. εγω δε λεγω υμιν οτι πας ο οργιζομενος τω αδελφω αυτου εικη ενοχος εσται τη κρισει ος δ αν ειπη τω αδελφω αυτου ρακα ενοχος εσται τω συνεδριω ος δ αν ειπη μωρε ενοχος εσται εις την γεενναν του πυρος
23 If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee; Si ergo offers munus tuum ad altare, et ibi recordatus fueris quia frater tuus habet aliquid adversum te : εαν ουν προσφερης το δωρον σου επι το θυσιαστηριον και εκει μνησθης οτι ο αδελφος σου εχει τι κατα σου
24 Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. relinque ibi munus tuum ante altare, et vade prius reconciliari fratri tuo : et tunc veniens offeres munus tuum. αφες εκει το δωρον σου εμπροσθεν του θυσιαστηριου και υπαγε πρωτον διαλλαγηθι τω αδελφω σου και τοτε ελθων προσφερε το δωρον σου
25 Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Esto consentiens adversario tuo cito dum es in via cum eo : ne forte tradat te adversarius judici, et judex tradat te ministro : et in carcerem mittaris. ισθι ευνοων τω αντιδικω σου ταχυ εως οτου ει εν τη οδω μετ αυτου μηποτε σε παραδω ο αντιδικος τω κριτη και ο κριτης σε παραδω τω υπηρετη και εις φυλακην βληθηση
26 Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing. Amen dico tibi, non exies inde, donec reddas novissimum quadrantem. αμην λεγω σοι ου μη εξελθης εκειθεν εως αν αποδως τον εσχατον κοδραντην

27 posted on 03/14/2014 6:05:47 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
20. For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21. You have heard that it was said by them of old, You shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22. But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.

HILARY; Beautiful entrance He here makes to a teaching beyond the works of the Law, declaring to the Apostles that they should have no admission to the kingdom of heaven without a righteousness beyond that of Pharisees.

CHRYS. By righteousness is here meant universal virtue. But observe the superior power of grace, in that he requires of His disciples who were yet uninstructed to be better than those who were masters under the Old Testament. Thus He does not call the Scribes and Pharisees unrighteous, but speaks of their righteousness. And see how even herein he confirms the Old Testament that He compares it with the New, for the greater and the less are always of the same kind.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. The righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees are the commandments of Moses; but the commandments of Christ are the fulfillment of that Law. This then is His meaning; Whosoever in addition to the commandments of the Law shall not fulfill My commandments, shall not enter into to the kingdom of heaven. For those indeed save from the punishment due to transgressions of the Law, but do not bringing into the kingdom; but My commandments both deliver from punishment, and bring into the kingdom. But seeing that to break the least commandments and not to keep them are one and the same, why does He say above of him that breaks the commandments, that he shall be the least in the kingdom of heaven, and here of him who keeps them not, that he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven? See now to be these least into the kingdom is the same with not entering into the kingdom. For a man to be in the kingdom is not to reign with Christ, but only to be numbered among Christ's people; what he says then of him that breaks the commandments is, that he shall indeed be reckoned among Christians yet the least of them. But he who enters into the kingdom, becomes partaker of His kingdom with Christ. Therefore he who does not enter into the kingdom of heaven, shall not indeed have a part of Christ's glory, yet shall he be in the kingdom of heaven, that is, in the number of those over whom Christ reigns as King of heaven.

AUG. Otherwise, unless your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, that is, exceed that of those who break what themselves teach, as it is elsewhere said of them, they say, and do not; just as if he had said, Unless your righteousness exceed in this way that you do what you teach, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. We must therefore understand something other than usual by the kingdom of heaven here, in which are to be both he who breaks what he teaches, and he who does it, but the one least, the other great; this kingdom of heaven is the present Church. In another sense is the kingdom of heaven spoken of that place where none enters but he who does what he teaches, and this is the Church as it shall be hereafter. ID. This expression, the kingdom of heaven, so often used by our Lord, I know not whether anyone would find in the books of the Old Testament. It belongs properly to the New Testament revelation, kept for His mouth whom the Old Testament figured as a King that should come to reign over His servants. This end, to which its precepts were to be referred, was hidden in the Old Testament, though even that had its saints who looked forward to the revelation that should be made.

GLOSS. Or, we may explain by referring to the way in which the Scribes and Pharisees understood the Law, not to the actual contents of the Law.

AUG. For almost all the precepts which the Lord gave, saying, But I say to you, are found in those ancient books. But because they knew not of any murder, besides the destruction of the body, the Lord shows them that every evil thought to the hurt of a brother is to be held for a kind of murder.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. Christ willing to show that he is the same God who spoke of old in the Law, and who now gives commandments in grace, now puts first of all his commandments, that one which was the first in the Law, first, at least, of all those that forbade injury to our neighbor

AUG. We do not, because we have heard that, You shall not kill, deem it therefore unlawful to pluck a twig, according to the error of the Manichees, nor consider it to extend to irrational brutes; by the most righteous ordinance of the Creator their life and death is subservient to our needs. There remains, therefore, only man of whom we can understand it, and that not any other man, nor you only; for he who kills himself does nothing else but kill a man. Yet have not they in any way done contrary to this commandment who have waged wars under God's authority, or they who charged with the administration of civil power have by most just and reasonable orders inflicted death upon criminals. Also Abraham was not charged with cruelty, but even received the praise of piety, for that he was willing to obey God in slaying his son. Those are to be excepted from this command whom God commands to be put to death, either by general law given, or by particular admonition at any special time. For he is not the slayer who ministers to the command, like a hilt to one smiting with a sword, nor is Samson otherwise to be acquitted for destroying himself along with his enemies, than because he was so instructed privily of the Holy Spirit, who through him wrought the miracles.

CHRYS. This, it was said by then; of old time, shows that it was long ago that they had received this precept. He says this that he might rouse His sluggish hearers to proceed to more sublime precepts, as a teacher might say to an indolent boy, Know you not how long time you have spent already in merely learning to spell? In that, I say to you, mark the authority of the legislator, none of the old Prophets spoke thus; but rather, Thus said the Lord. They as servants repeated the commands of their Lord; He as a Son declared the will of His Father, which was also His own. They preached to their fellow servants; He as master ordained a law for his slaves.

AUG. There are two different opinions among philosophers concerning the passions of the mind: the Stoics do not allow that any passion is incident to the wise man; the Peripatetics affirm that they are incident to the wise man but in a moderate degree and subject to reason; as, for example, when mercy is shown in such a manner that justice is preserved. But in the Christian rule we do not inquire whether the mind is first affected with anger or with sorrow, but whence.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. He who is angry without cause shall be judged; but he who is angry with cause shall not be judged. For if there were no anger, neither teaching would profit, nor judgments hold, nor crimes be controlled. So that he who on just cause is not angry, is in sin; for an unreasonable patience sows vices, breeds carelessness, and invites the good as well as the bad to do evil.

JEROME; Some people add here the words, without cause; but by the true reading the precept is made unconditional, and anger altogether forbidden. For when we are told to pray for them that persecute us, all occasion of anger is taken away. The words without cause then must be erased, for the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. Yet that anger which arises from just cause is indeed not anger, but a sentence of judgment. For anger properly means a feeling of passion; but he whose anger arises from just cause does not suffer any passion, and is rightly said to sentence, not to be angry with.

AUG. This also we affirm should be taken into consideration, what is being angry with a brother; for he is not angry with a brother who is angry at his offense. He then it is who is angry without cause, who is angry with his brother, and not with the offense. ID. But to be angry with a brother to the end that he may be corrected, there is no man of sound mind who forbids. Such sort of motions as come of love of good and of holy charity, are not to be called vices when they follow right reason.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. But I think that Christ does not speak of anger of the flesh, but anger of the heart; for the flesh cannot be so disciplined as not to feel the passion. When then a man is angry but refrains from doing what his anger prompts him, his flesh is angry, but his heart is free from anger.

AUG. And there is this same distinction between the first case here put by the Savior and the second: in the first case there is one thing, the passion; in the second two, anger and speech following thereupon, He who says to his brother, Raca, is in danger of the council. Some seek the interpretation of this word in the Greek, and think that Raca means ragged, from the Greek paxos, a rag. But more probably it is not a word of any meaning, but a mere sound expressing the passion of the mind, which grammarians call an interjection, such as the cry of pain, 'heu.'

CHRYS. Or, Racha is a word signifying contempt and worthlessness. For where we in speaking to servants or children say, Go thou, or, Tell you him, in Syriac they would say Racha for 'thou.' For the Lord descends to the smallest trifles even of our behavior, and bids us treat one another with mutual respect.

JEROME; Or, Racha is a Hebrew word signifying, 'empty,' 'vain'; as we might say in the common phrase of reproach, 'empty-pate.' Observe that he says brother; for who is our brother, but he who has the same Father as ourselves?

PSEUDO- CHRYS. And it were an unworthy reproach to him who has in him the Holy Spirit to call him 'empty.'

AUG. In the third case are three things: anger, the voice expressive of anger, and a word of reproach, You fool. Thus here are three different degrees of sin; in the first when one is angry, but keeps the passion in his heart without giving any sign of it. If again he suffers any sound expressive of the passion to escape him, it is more than had he silently suppressed the rising anger; and if he speaks a word which conveys a direct reproach, it is a yet greater sin.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. But as none is empty who has the Holy Spirit, so none is a fool who has the knowledge of Christ; and if Racha signifies 'empty,' it is one and the same thing, as far as the meaning of the, word goes, to say Racha, or 'thou fool.' But there is a difference in the meaning of the speaker; for Racha was a word in common use among the Jews, not expressing wrath or hate, but rather in a light careless way expressing confident familiarity, not anger. But you will perhaps say, if Racha is not an expression of wrath, how is it then a sin? Because it is said for contention, not for edification; and if we ought not to speak even good words but for the sake of edification, how much more not such as are in themselves bad?

AUG .Here we have three arraignments: the judgment, the council, and hell-fire, being different stages ascending from the lesser to the greater. For in the judgment there is yet opportunity for defense; to the council belongs the respite of the sentence, what time the judges confer among themselves what sentence ought to be inflicted; in the third, hell-fire, condemnation is certain, and the punishment fixed. Hence is seen what a difference is between the righteousness of the Pharisees and Christ; in the first, murder subjects at man to judgment; in the second, anger alone, which is the least of the three degrees of sin.

RABAN. The Savior here names the torments of hell, Gehenna, a name thought to be derived from a valley consecrated to idols near Jerusalem, and filled of old with dead bodies, and defiled by Josiah, as we read in the Book of Kings.

CHRYS. This is the first mention of hell, though the kingdom of Heaven had been mentioned some time before, which shows that the gifts of the one comes of His love, the condemnation of the other of our sloth. Many thinking this a punishment too severe for a mere word, say that this was said figuratively. But I fear that if we thus cheat ourselves with words here, we shall suffer punishment in deed there. Think not then this too heavy a punishment, when so many sufferings and sins have their beginning in a word; a little word has often begotten a murder, and overturned whole cities. And yet it is not to be thought a little word that denies a brother reason and understanding by which we are men, and differ from the brutes.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. In danger of the council; that is (according to the interpretation given by the Apostles in their Constitutions), in danger of being one of that Council which condemned Christ.

HILARY; Or, he who reproaches with emptiness one full of the Holy Spirit, will be arraigned in the assembly of the Saints, and by their sentence will be punished for an affront against that Holy Spirit Himself.

AUG. Should any ask what greater punishment is reserved for murder, if evil-speaking is visited with hell-fire? This obliges us to understand, that there are degrees in hell.

CHRYS. Or, the judgment and the council denote punishment in this word: hell fire future punishment. He denounces punishment against anger, yet does not mention any special punishment , showing therein that it is not possible that a man should be altogether free from the passion. The Council here means the Jewish senate, for He would not seem to be always superseding all their established institutions, and introducing foreign.

AUG. In all these three sentences there are some words understood. In the first indeed, as many copies read without cause, there is nothing to be supplied. In the second, He who says to his brother, Racha, we must supply the words, without cause, and again, in He who says, You fool, two things are understood: to his brother, and, without cause. And this forms the defense of the Apostle, when he calls the Galatians fools, though he considers them his brethren; for he did it not without cause.

23. Therefore if you bring any gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you,
24. Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

AUG. If it be not lawful to be angry with a brother, or to say to him Racha, or You Fool, much less is it lawful to keep in the memory anything which might convert anger into hate.

JEROME; It is not, if you have anything against your brother, but, If your brother has anything against you, that the necessity of reconciliation may be more imperative.

AUG. And he has somewhat against us when we have wronged him; and we have somewhat against him when he has wronged us, in which case there were no need to go to be reconciled to him, seeing we had only to forgive him, as we desire the Lord to forgive us.

PSEUDO-CHRYS But if it is he that has done you the wrong, and yet you be the first to seek reconciliation, you shall have a great reward.

CHRYS. If love alone is not enough to induce us to be reconciled to our neighbor, the desire that our work should not remain imperfect, and especially in the holy place, should induce us.

GREG. Lo, He is not willing to accept sacrifice at the hands of those who are at variance. Hence then consider how great an evil is strife, which throws away what should be the means of remission of sin.

PSEUDO-CHRYS See the mercy of God, that He thinks rather of man's benefit than of His own honor; He loves concord in the faithful more than offerings at His altar; for so long as there are dissensions among the faithful, their gift is not looked upon, their prayer is not heard. For no one can be a true friend at the same time to two who are enemies to each other. In like manner, we do not keep our fealty to God, if we do not love His friends and hate His enemies. But such as was the offense, such should also be the reconciliation. If you have offended in thought, be reconciled in thought; if in words, be reconciled in words; if in deeds, in deeds be reconciled. For so it is in every sin, in whatsoever kind it was committed, in that kind is the penance done.

HILARY; He bids us when peace with our fellow men is restored, then to return to peace with God, passing from the love of men to the love of God; then go and offer your gift.

AUG. If this direction be taken literally, it might lead some to suppose that this ought indeed to be so done if our brother is present, for that no long time can be meant when we are bid to leave our offering there before the altar. For if he be absent, or possibly beyond sea, it is absurd to suppose that the offering must be left before the altar, to be offered after we have gone over land and sea to seek him. Wherefore we must embrace an inward, spiritual sense of the whole, if we would understand it without involving any absurdity. The gift which we offer to God, whether learning, or speech, or whatever it be, cannot be accepted of God unless it be supported by faith. If then we have in anything harmed a brother, we must go and be reconciled with him, not with the bodily feet, but in thoughts of the heart, when in humble contrition you may cast yourself at your brother's feet in sight of Him whose offering you are about to offer. For thus in the same manner as though He were present, you may with unfeigned heart seek His Forgiveness; and returning thence, that is, bringing back again your thoughts to what you had first begun to do, may make your offering.

25. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.
26. Verily I say to you, you shall by no means come out thence, till you have paid the uttermost farthing.

HILARY; The Lord suffers us at no time to be wanting in peaceableness of temper, and therefore bids us be reconciled to our adversary quickly, while on the road of life, lest we be cast into the season of death before peace be joined between us.

JEROME; The word here in our Latin books is 'consentiens,' in Greek, which means, 'kind,' 'benevolent.'

AUG. Let us see who this adversary is to whom we are bid to be benevolent. It may then be either the Devil or man or the flesh or God or His commandments. But I do not see how we can be bid be benevolent or agreeing with the Devil; for where there is good will, there is friendship, and no one will say that friendship should be made with the Devil, or that it is well to agree with him, having once proclaimed war against him when we renounced him; nor ought we to consent with him, with whom had we never consented, we had never come into such circumstances.

JEROME; Some, from that verse of Peter, Your adversary the Devil, &c. (1 Peter 5:8) will have the Savior's command to be, that we should be merciful to the Devil, not causing him to endure punishment for our sakes. For as he puts in our way the incentives to vice, if we yield to his suggestions, he will be tormented for our sakes. Some follow a more forced interpretation, that in baptism we have each of us made a compact with the Devil by renouncing him. If we observe this compact, then we are agreeing with our adversary, and shall not be cast into prison.

AUG. I do not see again how it can be understood of man. For how can man be said to deliver us to the Judge, when we know only Christ as the Judge, before whose tribunal all must be sisted. How then can he deliver to the Judge, who has himself to appear before Him? Moreover if any has sinned against any by killing him, he has no opportunity of agreeing with him in the way, that is in this life; and yet that hinders not but that he may be rescued from judgment by repentance Much less do I see how we can be bid be agreeing with the flesh; for they are sinners rather who agree with it; but they who it into subjection, do not agree with it, but compel it to agree with them.

JEROME. And how can the body be cast into prison if it agree not with the spirit, seeing soul and body must go together, and that the flesh can do nothing but what the soul shall command?

AUG. Perhaps then it is God with whom we are here enjoined to agree. He may be said too be our adversary, because we have departed from Him by sin, and He resists the proud. Whosoever then shall not have been reconciled in this life with God through the death of His Son, shall be by Him delivered to the Judge, that is, the Son, to whom He has committed all judgment. And man may be said to be in the way with God, because He is everywhere. But if we like not to say that the wicked are with God, who is everywhere present, as we do not say that the blind are with that light which is everywhere around them, there only remains the law of God which we can understand by our adversary. For this law is an adversary to such as love to sin, and is given us for this life that it may be with us in the way. To this we ought to agree quickly, by reaching, hearing, and bestowing on it the summit of authority, and that when we understand it, we hate it not because it opposes our sins, but rather love it because it corrects them; and when it is obscure, pray that we may understand it.

JEROME; But from the context the sense is manifest; the Lord is exhorting us to peace and concord with our neighbor; as it was said above, Go, be reconciled to your brother.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.The Lord is urgent with us to hasten to make friends with our enemies while we are yet in this life, knowing how dangerous for us that one of our enemies should die before peace is made with us. For if death bring us while yet at enmity to the Judge, he will deliver us to Christ, proving us guilty by His judgment. Our adversary also delivers us to the Judge, when he is the first to seek reconciliation; for he who first submits to his enemy, brings him in guilty before God.

HILARY; Or, the adversary delivers you to the Judge, when the abiding of your wrath towards him convicts you.

AUG. By the Judge I understand Christ, for the Father has committed all judgment to the Son; and by the officer or minister, an Angel, for, Angels came and ministered to Him; and we believe that He will come with His Angels to judge.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. The officer, that is, the ministering Angel of punishment, and he shall cast you into the prison of hell.

AUG. By the prison I understand the punishment of the darkness. And that none should despise that punishment, He adds, Verily I say to you, you shall not come out thence till you have paid the very last farthing.

JEROME; A farthing is a coin containing two mites. What He says then is, 'You shall not go forth thence till you have paid for the smallest sins.'

AUG. Or it is an expression to denote that there is nothing that shall go unpunished; as we say 'To the dregs,' when we are speaking of anything so emptied that nothing is left in it. Or by the last farthing may be denoted earthly sins. For the fourth and last element of this world is earth. Paid, that is in eternal punishment; and until used in the same sense as in that, Sit on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool; for He does not cease to reign when His enemies are put under His feet. So here, until you have paid, is as much as to say, you shall never come out thence, for that he is always paying the very last farthing while he is enduring the everlasting punishment of earthly sins.

PSEUDO-CHRYS Or, if you will make your peace yet in this world, you may receive pardon of even the heaviest offenses; but if once damned and cast into the prison of hell, punishment will be exacted of you not for grievous sins only, but for each idle word, which may be denoted by the very last farthing.

HILARY; For because charity covers a multitude of sins, we shall therefore pay the last farthing of punishment, unless by the expense of charity we redeem the fault of our sin.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.Or, the prison is worldly misfortune which God often sends upon sinners.

CHRYS. Or, He here speaks of the judges of this world, of the way which leads to this judgment, and of human prisons; thus not only employing future but present inducements, as those things which are before the eyes affect us most, as St. Paul also declares, If you do evil, fear the power, for He bears not the sword in vain.

Catena Aurea Matthew 5
28 posted on 03/14/2014 6:06:24 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex



29 posted on 03/14/2014 6:06:52 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All

Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for March 14, 2014:

What’s your favorite prayer or scripture? Do you know what your spouse’s is? Why not say it together tonight?

30 posted on 03/14/2014 6:10:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Holiness and Personal Integrity
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Friday of the First Week of Lent

 

Matthew 5:20-26

"I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ´You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.´ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ´Raqa,´ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ´You fool,´ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for this time I can now spend with you. You constantly fill my life with so many blessings. How ungrateful I am at times! I wish to collaborate more perfectly in establishing your Kingdom on earth. I love you Lord, and with the help of your grace I will strive to become someone to whom any soul can come in order to discover your truth, your life, your love. Take my life, take this day and make it yours. Amen.

Petition: Father, help me to shun hypocrisy and seek true holiness.

1. Beware of Subjective Impressions: How much righteousness would it take to surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees? Not much, we suspect. Theirs was holiness in appearance only, which is to say no holiness. And what would one discover on the “inside” of such a soul? Plenty of self-deception; plenty of self-indulgent complacency in a subjective impression of holiness; a repugnant holier-than-thou demeanor. It’s easy enough for us to read the Gospel and wrinkle our noses at those bad ol’ Pharisees. In fact, it’s about as easy as telling ourselves that we could never come under the spell of our own subjective impression of holiness. That is why we must always be ready to examine ourselves, before Christ and with an acute awareness of our misery and limitations. Do I live my life engaged in a genuine pursuit of holiness or in a genuine pursuit of my own vanity and self-glorification?

2. Holiness is Incompatible with Pride: Pride and personal holiness mix about as well as oil and water. Where our ego is, little if any room is left for God. What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ but to be someone who fills himself totally with God in order to bring him within the reach of everyone. But what union, grace or friendship with God can there be in a proud soul? What fervor, what degree of holiness? There is no possible compromise between God and a proud soul – either the soul would have to let go of itself, or God would have to stop being God.

3. Holiness and Integrity: At the heart of genuine holiness is the virtue of integrity, a virtue rich in nuances and meaning. Integrity means being a person with only one face, a person who is the same on the inside and on the outside: “what you see is what you get”. Indeed, integrity is foundational for holiness, because it constitutes the very essence of personal honesty and sincerity, which are fundamental for the moral life and the seedbeds for a host of other virtues. In our pursuit of holiness, we should never tolerate duplicity of any kind in our behavior. We should avoid like the plague the least hint of ambivalence in our motivations, or incongruity between our thoughts, judgments, choices and actions. There can be no holiness without integrity. In fact, there can be no genuine human happiness unless it lies on the bedrock virtue of integrity.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I want you to be the meaning and center of my entire life. Let me disappear and you appear more and more in my life so that, with a holiness that is genuine, humble and true, I will always be an instrument for the salvation of all people. Amen.

Resolution: I will take a hard look at my life to identify the areas where duplicity manifests itself and take a concrete step toward living with more integrity.


31 posted on 03/14/2014 8:17:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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One Bread One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 2

<< Friday, March 14, 2014 >>
 
Ezekiel 18:21-28
View Readings
Psalm 130:1-8 Matthew 5:20-26
Similar Reflections
 

WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY?

 
"Is it My way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?" —Ezekiel 18:25
 

Some Christians assume that Christianity is like taking a course in school. There are several tests in this course, and they think their final grade is the average of all their tests. However, the Lord doesn't average our lives. If we are not faithful to the Lord till death, all our "good scores" count for nothing (see Ez 18:24). Many say: "The Lord's way is not fair" (Ez 18:25), but that's because they haven't accepted Christianity as a living relationship with Christ.

Some people even think that God grades on a curve, that if they're less sinful than the average person, that will be acceptable to God. Yet Jesus also ruined that theory when He taught: "I tell you, unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees you shall not enter the kingdom of God" (Mt 5:20). Because the Pharisees were considered to be very holy people, Jesus was saying that we will not enter God's kingdom unless our holiness surpasses those far above average. In effect, the Lord is calling us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48).

Thus, we can never "make the grade" in Christianity. Living for Christ is humanly impossible and can only be lived through Him, with Him, and in Him. So let's quit playing games with God. He gave His life for us; let's give our lives totally to Him.

 
Prayer: Father, "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal 2:19-20). This Lent, may I accept the grace to be faithful forever.
Promise: "If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift." —Mt 5:23-24
Praise: Al's Catholic wife died suddenly. Al realized his mortality and became a Catholic. He now receives Jesus daily at Mass.

32 posted on 03/14/2014 8:26:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Vis sanus fieri? — Dost thou want to be made whole?

Friday, 14 March 2014 12:28

Introit

Rescue me out of my necessities O Lord:
see my humiliation and my struggle,
and put away all my sins.
V. To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul:
in Thee, O my God, do I put my trust, let me not be blush for shame. (Psalm 24:6, 3, 22; 1–2)

This Introit is related to the Gospel of the day. It is, in effect, the prayer of the paralytic lying helpless by the pool of Bethsaida, amidst a multitude of diseased folk, of the blind, the lame, and the disabled. His body is immobilised, but his prayer rises on the wings of confidence: “To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, do I put my trust, let me not be blush for shame.”

He cannot lift his body, but he lifts his soul. Jesus, moved by his prayer, looks upon him with pity and engages him in conversation: “Hast thou a mind, he asked, to recover thy strength?” This is the question that Jesus puts to each of us when He engages us in conversation, that is, in prayer.  The paralytic is healed, not by going down into the pool stirred by a passing Angel, but by immersion in the love of God encountered in Christ Jesus, the true Angel (i.e., messenger) sent by the Father.

Collect

Be Thou, O Lord, piteous to Thy people,
and as Thou makest them devoted to Thee,
mercifully warm them again with Thy kind assistance.

Piteous is an archaic word, but an expressive one. It denotes a merciful movement of the heart, a response of compassion, like that of Jesus upon seeing the plight of the paralytic disabled for thirty–eight years. The Collect confesses that it is God Himself who makes His people devoted to Him; devotion, then, is not our gift to God, but God’s gift to us. We ask God to warm us again (refove), implying that we have grown cold in our devotion to Him. This He does by His kind assistance, something illustrated in the Gospel’s account of the paralytic restored to wholeness: the cold limbs of the paralytic are warmed by the power of the love of God. Thus does the paralytic recover strength and freedom of movement.

From the Lesson (Ezekiel 18:20–28)

It may be the wicked man will repent of all his sinful deeds, and learn to keep my commandments, and live honestly and uprightly; if so, he shall live on; life, not death, for him. All his transgressions shall be forgotten, and his uprightness shall bring him life. What pleasure should I find in the death of a sinner, the Lord God says, when he might have turned back from his evil ways, and found life instead?

The central message of this long lesson from Ezekiel is that once a man, turns away from sin and begins to walk in obedience, all his transgressions are forgotten. God does not keep the records of one’s past sins on file. It is always possible to begin afresh; the past is swallowed up in the mercy of God. “Was there ever such a God, so ready to forgive sins, to overlook faults, among the scattered remnant of his chosen race? He will exact vengeance no more; he loves to pardon. He will relent, and have mercy on us, quashing our guilt, burying our sins away sea-deep” (Micah 7:18–19).

 Gradual

Rescue a servant of thine that puts his trust in thee.
V. Give a hearing, then, Lord, to my prayer.

Again, the Gradual gives us the substance of the paralytic’s prayer. God not only commands us to pray; He gives us the very words of our prayer through the liturgy of the Church. “The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; when we do not know what prayer to offer, to pray as we ought, the Spirit himself intercedes for us, with groans beyond all utterance: and God, who can read our hearts, knows well what the Spirit’s intent is; for indeed it is according to the mind of God that he makes intercession for the saints” (Romans 8:26–27). There is great freedom in discovering that the liturgy of the Church is the articulation of “the Spirit himself interceding for us with groans beyond all utterance.” By entering into the liturgy, one enters into the mind and heart of God, praying the very prayers that God Himself wants to answer favourably.

This is one of the benefits of classic Benedictine piety: it is simply the piety of the Church and, as such, it is doctrinal rather than emotional; objective rather than subjective; both corporate and personal. It liberates the soul from the burden of having to produce thoughts, aspirations, affections, petitions, and resolutions.  It provides abundantly for all the soul’s needs by formulating the thoughts, aspirations, affections, petitions, and resolutions that are already in the mind of God, and that He waits to fulfill.

Tract

Treat us not as our sins deserve, exact not the penalty of our wrong-doing
Forget the long record of our sins, and hasten in mercy to our side;
never was need so sore as this.
V. O God, our Saviour, help us; deliver us, Lord, for the glory of thy name,
pardon our sins for the sake of thy own renown!

The long record of our sins corresponds, I think, to the thirty–eight years of suffering endured by the paralytic who lay beside the pool of Bethsaida. Every man has a long record of sin. God does not hold this long record against us. He shreds it and casts it behind His back forever. Once the records of our sinners have gone through the shredder of God’s mercy, they become completely illegible. The records of our sins cannot be reassembled in order to condemn us; all the shredded bits of our past life are blown away by the Holy Ghost, giving us the freedom to begin afresh. “And now thou hast saved the life that was in peril, thrusting away all my sins out of thy sight” (Isaiah 28:17).

Gospel (John 5:1–15)

After this came a Jewish feast, for which Jesus went up to Jerusalem. There is a pool in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate, called in Hebrew Bethsaida, with five porches, under which a multitude of diseased folk used to lie, the blind, the lame, the disabled, waiting for a disturbance of the water. From time to time, an angel of the Lord came down upon the pool, and the water was stirred up; and the first man who stepped into the pool after the stirring of the water, recovered from whatever infirmity it was that oppressed him. There was one man there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had waited a long time; Hast thou a mind, he asked, to recover thy strength? Sir, said the cripple, I have no one to let me down into the pool when the water is stirred; and while I am on my way, somebody else steps down before me. Jesus said to him, Rise up, take up thy bed, and walk. And all at once the man recovered his strength, and took up his bed, and walked. That day it was the sabbath: and the Jews said to the man who had been cured, It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, The man who gave me back my strength told me himself, Take up thy bed, and walk. So they asked him, Who is this man who told thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? The cripple who had been healed did not know who it was; Jesus had drawn aside from so crowded a place. But afterwards when Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, Behold, thou hast recovered thy strength; do not sin any more, for fear that worse should befall thee, the man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had restored his strength.

Offertory

Bless the Lord, my soul, remembering all he has done for thee;
He shall restore thy youth, even as the eagle’s. (Psalm 102:2,5)

Clearly, this is the chant of the paralytic restored to health. The thirty–eight years that he thought lost have been restored to him. Jesus gave him a new youth, a season of springtime, and the grace of a new beginning. He will walk henceforth in newness of life and in thanksgiving, remembering all that the Lord has done for him.

Communion

All my enemies will be abashed and terrified;
taken aback, all in a moment, and put to shame. (Psalm 6:11)

Again, in the Communion Antiphon, we hear the voice of the paralytic made whole. He is full of confidence and unafraid. Those who formerly despised him, looking upon him as a broken thing, are confounded at the sight of him restored to health.

Postcommunion

By the operation of this mystery, O Lord,
may our vices be purged away
and our just desires brought to fulfillment.

The Postcommunion tells us that the mystery of Holy Communion is God’s operation in the soul. We cannot, of ourselves, purge away the vices — the deeply ingrained habits of sin that have become part of our lives — but the Body and Blood of Christ can cleanse of every trace of habitual sin and restore to us the liberty to rise up, take up our sick bed (now rendered unnecessary), and walk in freedom. Christ, the Divine Physician, unlike human physicians, can work upon us from the inside. He, the Physician, makes Himself the remedy. The Body and Blood of Christ are operative within the soul of the communicant, purging away sin and bringing every just desire — that is, every desire inspired by the Holy Ghost — to fulfillment.


33 posted on 03/14/2014 8:29:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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“The right to life is the foundation of every other human right. If that right is not inviolate, then no right can be guaranteed.” Most Reverend Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia


34 posted on 03/14/2014 8:37:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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