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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 04-29-14, M, St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin & Doctor/Church
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 04-29-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 04/28/2014 8:45:28 PM PDT by Salvation

April 29, 2014

Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

 

 

Reading 1 Acts 4:32-37

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the Apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the Apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas
(which is translated “son of encouragement”),
a Levite, a Cypriot by birth,
sold a piece of property that he owned,
then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5

R. (1a) The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Jn 3:7b-15

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“‘You must be born from above.’
The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;
so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to him,
‘How can this happen?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen,
but you people do not accept our testimony.
If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”



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

1 posted on 04/28/2014 8:45:29 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping

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


2 posted on 04/28/2014 9:08:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Acts 4:32-37

The Way of Life of the Early Christians


[32] Now the company of those who believed were one heart and soul, and no
one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had
everything in common. [33] And with great power the Apostles gave their testi-
mony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
[34] There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were posses-
sors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold
[35] and laid it at the Apostles’ feet; and distribution was made to each as any
had need. [36] Thus Joseph who was surnamed by the Apostles Barnabas
(which means, son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, [37] sold a
field which belonged to him, and brought the money and laid it at the Apostles’
feet.

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

32-37. Here we are given a second summary of the life of the first Christian com-
munity — which, presided over by Peter and the other Apostles, was the Church,
the entire Church of Jesus Christ. The Church of God on earth was only begin-
ning, all contained within the Jerusalem foundation. Now every Christian commu-
nity — no matter how small it be — which is in communion of faith and obedience
with the Church of Rome is the Church.

“The Church of Christ”, Vatican II teaches, “is really present in all legitimately
organized local groups of the faithful, which, in so far as they are united to their
pastors, are also quite appropriately called churches in the New Testament. [...]
In them the faithful are gathered together through the preaching of the Gospel of
Christ, and the mystery of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated. [...] In each altar
community, under the sacred ministry of the bishop, a manifest symbol is to be
seen of that charity and ‘unity of the Mystical Body, without which there can be
no salvation’ (”Summa Theologiae”, III, q. 73, a. 3). In these communities, though
they may often be small and poor, or existing in the diaspora, Christ is present
through whose power and influence the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church
is constituted” (”Lumen Gentium”, 26).

32. The text stresses the importance of “being one”: solidarity, unity, is a virtue
of good Christians and one of the marks of the Church: “The Apostles bore wit-
ness to the Resurrection not only by word by also by their virtues” (Chrysostom,
“Hom. on Acts”, 11). The disciples obviously were joyful and self-sacrificing.
This disposition, which results from charity, strives to promote forgiveness and
harmony among the brethren, all sons and daughters of the same Father. The
Church realizes that this harmony is often threatened by rancor, envy, misun-
derstanding and self-assertion. By asking, in prayers and hymns like “Ubi Cari-
tas”, for evil disputes and conflicts to cease, “so that Christ our God may dwell
among us”, it is drawing its inspiration from the example of unity and charity left
it by the first Christian community in Jerusalem.

Harmony and mutual understanding among the disciples both reflect the internal
and external unity of the Church itself and helps its practical implementation.

There is only one Church of Jesus Christ because it has only “one Lord, one bap-
tism” (Ephesians 4:5), and only one visible head — the Pope — who represents
Christ on earth. The model and ultimate source of this unity is the Trinity of divine
persons, that is, “the unity of one God, the Father and the son in the Holy Spirit”
(Vatican II, “Unitatis Redintegratio”, 2). This characteristic work of the Church is
visibly expressed: in confession of one and the same faith, in one system of go-
vernment, in the celebration of the same form of divine worship, and in fraternal
concord among all God’s family (cf. “ibid.”).

The Church derives its life from the Holy Spirit; a main factor in nourishing this
life and thereby reinforcing the Church’s unity is the Blessed Eucharist: it acts
in a mysterious but real way, incessantly, to build up the Mystical Body of the
Lord.

God desires all Christians separated from the Church (they have Baptism, and
the Gospel truths in varying degrees) to find their way back to the flock of Christ
— which they can do by spiritual renewal, and prayer, dialogue and study.

34-35. St. Luke comes back again to the subject of renunciation of possessions,
repeating what he says in 2:44 and going on to give two different kinds of exam-
ple — that of Barnabas (4:36f) and that of Ananias and Sapphira (5:1f).

The disciples’ detachment from material things does not only mean that they
have a caring attitude to those in need. It also shows their simplicity of heart,
their desire to pass unnoticed and the full confidence they place in the Twelve.
“They gave up their possessions and in doing so demonstrated their respect for
the Apostles. For they did not presume to give it into their hands, that is, they
did not present it ostentatiously, but left it at their feet and made the Apostles
its owners and dispensers” (Chrysostom, “Hom. on Acts”, 11).

The text suggests that the Christians in Jerusalem had an organized system for
the relief of the poor in the community. Judaism had social welfare institutions
and probably the early Church used one of these as a model. However, the Chris-
tian system of helping each according to his need would have had characteris-
tics of its own, deriving from the charity from which it sprang and as a result of
gradual differentiation from the Jewish way of doing things.

36-37. Barnabas is mentioned because of his generosity and also in view of his
important future role in the spreading of the Gospel. It will be he who introduces
the new convert Saul to the Apostles (9:27). Later, the Apostles will send him
to Antioch when the Christian church begins to develop there (11:22). He will be
Paul’s companion on his first journey (13:2) and will go up to Jerusalem with him
in connection with the controversy about circumcising Gentile converts (15:2).

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

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


3 posted on 04/28/2014 9:08:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 3:7b-15

The Visit of Nicodemus (Continuation)


(Jesus said to Nicodemus,) [7] ‘You must be born anew.’ [8] The wind blows
where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it
comes and whether it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.” [9]
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can this be?” [10] Jesus answered him, “Are you
a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? [11] Truly, truly, I say to
you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you
do not receive our testimony. [12] If I have told you earthly things and you do not
believe, how can you believe if I tell you Heavenly things? [13] No one has ascen-
ded into Heaven but He who descended from Heaven, the Son of Man. [14] And
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lif-
ted up, [15] that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.”

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

3-8. Nicodemus’ first question shows that he still has doubts about Jesus (is He
a prophet, is He the Messiah?); and our Lord replies to him in a completely unex-
pected way: Nicodemus presumed He would say something about His mission
and, instead, He reveals to him an astonishing truth: one must be born again, in
a spiritual birth, by water and the Spirit; a whole new world opens up before Nico-
demus.

Our Lord’s words also paint a limitless horizon for the spiritual advancement of
any Christian who willingly lets himself or herself be led by divine grace and the
gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are infused at Baptism and enhanced by the Sac-
raments. As well as opening his soul to God, the Christian also needs to keep
at bay his selfish appetites and the inclinations of pride, if he is to understand
what God is teaching him in his soul: “Therefore must the soul be stripped of all
things created, and of its own actions and abilities — namely, of its understanding,
perception and feelings — so that, when all that is unlike God and unconformed
to Him is cast out, the soul may receive the likeness of God; and nothing will
then remain in it that is not the will of God and it will thus be transformed in God.
Wherefore, although it is true that, as we have said, God is ever in the soul, gi-
ving it, and through His presence conserving within it, its natural being, yet He
does not always communicate supernatural being to it. For this is communica-
ted only by love and grace, which not all souls possess; and all those that pos-
ses it have it not in the same degree; for some have attained more degrees of
love and others fewer. Wherefore God communicates Himself most to that soul
that has progressed farthest in love; namely, that has its will in closest confor-
mity with the will of God. And the soul that has attained complete conformity
and likeness of will is totally united and transformed in God supernaturally” (St.
John of the Cross, “Ascent of Mount Carmel”, book II, chap. 5).

Jesus speaks very forcefully about man’s new condition: it is no longer a ques-
tion of being born of the flesh, of the line of Abraham (cf. Jn 1:13), but of being
reborn through the action of the Holy Spirit, by means of water. This is our Lord’s
first reference to Christian Baptism, confirming John the Baptist’s prophecy (cf.
Mt 3:11; Jn 1:33) that He had come to institute a baptism with the Holy Spirit.

“Nicodemus had not yet savored this Spirit and this life. [...]. He knew but one
birth, which is from Adam and Eve; that which is from God and the Church, he
did not know; he knew only the paternity which engenders to death; he did not
yet know the paternity which engenders to life. [...]. Whereas there are two
births, he knew only of one. One is of earth, the other is of Heaven; one is of
the flesh, the other of the Spirit; one of mortality, the other of eternity; one of
male and female, the other of God and the Church. But the two are each unique;
neither one nor the other can be repeated” (St. Augustine, “In Ioann. Evang.”,
11, 6).

Our Lord speaks of the wonderful effects the Holy Spirit produces in the soul of
the baptized. Just as with the wind — when it blows we realize its presence, we
hear it whistling, but we do not know where it came from, or where it will end up
— so with the Holy Spirit, the Divine “Breath” (”pneuma”) given us in Baptism:
we do not know how He comes to penetrate our heart but He makes His pre-
sence felt by the change in the conduct of whoever receives Him.

10-12. Even though Nicodemus finds them puzzling, Jesus confirms that His
words still stand, and He explains that He speaks about the things of Heaven
because that is where He comes from, and to make Himself understood He
uses earthly comparisons and images. Even so, this language will fail to con-
vince those who adopt an attitude of disbelief.

St. John Chrysostom comments: “It was with reason that He said not: ‘You do
not understand,’ but: ‘You do not believe.’ When a person baulks and does not
readily accept things which it is possible for the mind to receive, he may with
reason be accused of stupidity; when he does not accept things which it is not
possible to grasp by reason but only by faith, the charge is no longer that of stu-
pidity, but of incredulity” (”Hom. on St. John”, 27, 1).

13. This is a formal declaration of the divinity of Jesus. No one has gone up into
Heaven and, therefore, no one can have perfect knowledge of God’s secrets, ex-
cept God Himself who became man and came down from Heaven — Jesus, the
second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of Man foretold in the Old Testa-
ment (cf. Dan 7:13), to whom has been given eternal Lordship over all peoples.

The Word does not stop being God on becoming man: even when He is on earth
as man, He is in Heaven as God. It is only after the Resurrection and the Ascen-
sion that Christ is in Heaven as man also.

14-15. The bronze serpent which Moses set up on a pole was established by
God to cure those who had been bitten by the poisonous serpents in the desert
(cf. Numbers 21:8-9). Jesus compares this with His crucifixion, to show the va-
lue of His being raised up on the cross: those who look on Him with faith can
obtain salvation. We could say that the good thief was the first to experience
the saving power of Christ on the cross: he saw the crucified Jesus, the King
of Israel, the Messiah, and was immediately promised that he would be in Pa-
radise that very day (cf. Luke 23:39-43).

The Son of God took on our human nature to make known the hidden mystery
of God’s own life (cf. Mark 4:11; John 1:18; 3:1-13; Ephesians 3:9) and to free
from sin and death those who look at Him with faith and love and who accept
the cross of every day.

The faith of which our Lord speaks is not just intellectual acceptance of the
truths He has taught: it involves recognizing Him as Son of God (cf. 1 John 5:1),
sharing His very life (cf. John 1:12) and surrendering ourselves out of love and
therefore becoming like Him (cf. John 10:27; 1 John 3:2). But this faith is a gift
of God (cf. John 3:3, 5-8), and we should ask Him to strengthen it and increase
it as the Apostles did: Lord “increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). While faith is a su-
pernatural, free gift, it is also a virtue, a good habit, which a person can practise
and thereby develop: so the Christian, who already has the divine gift of faith,
needs with the help of grace to make explicit acts of faith in order to make this
virtue grow.

*********************************************************************************************
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 04/28/2014 9:09:29 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

Acts 4:32-37 ©

The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed for his own use anything that he had, as everything they owned was held in common.

  The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and they were all given great respect.

  None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from them, to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any members who might be in need.

  There was a Levite of Cypriot origin called Joseph whom the apostles surnamed Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’). He owned a piece of land and he sold it and brought the money, and presented it to the apostles.


Psalm

Psalm 92:1-2,5 ©

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.

or

Alleluia!

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed;

  the Lord has robed himself with might,

  he has girded himself with power.

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.

or

Alleluia!

The world you made firm, not to be moved;

  your throne has stood firm from of old.

  From all eternity, O Lord, you are.

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.

or

Alleluia!

Truly your decrees are to be trusted.

  Holiness is fitting to your house,

  O Lord, until the end of time.

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.

or

Alleluia!


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Rv1:5

Alleluia, alleluia!

You, O Christ, are the faithful witness,

the First-born from the dead,

you have loved us and have washed away our sins with your blood.

Alleluia!

Or

Jn3:15

Alleluia, alleluia!

The Son of Man must be lifted up

so that everyone who believes in him

may have eternal life.

Alleluia!


Gospel

John 3:7-15 ©

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘Do not be surprised when I say:

You must be born from above.

The wind blows wherever it pleases;

you hear its sound,

but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.

That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’

‘How can that be possible?’ asked Nicodemus. ‘You, a teacher in Israel, and you do not know these things!’ replied Jesus.

‘I tell you most solemnly,

we speak only about what we know

and witness only to what we have seen

and yet you people reject our evidence.

If you do not believe me when I speak about things in this world,

how are you going to believe me when I speak to you about heavenly things?

No one has gone up to heaven

except the one who came down from heaven,

the Son of Man who is in heaven;

and the Son of Man must be lifted up

as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,

so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.’


5 posted on 04/28/2014 9:15:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

He is Risen! Truly Risen!

A blessed Eastertide to all!

 

6 posted on 04/28/2014 9:20:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Why Was the Resurrection Such a Hidden Event?
Mary Magdalene’s Journey out of Fear to Easter Faith
He is Risen!
Jesus is Real to Me – A Meditation on the Easter Gospel
The Earth’s Most Serious Wound
Regina Caeli: Ask Jesus what he wants from you (Catholic Caucus)
If Christ Has Not Been Raised (you don't want to miss this one!)
The Few Witnesses to the Resurrection
Iraq: Christians celebrate Easter behind high blast walls and tight security cordons
8 things you need to know about Easter
Pope: Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter, 2013 [Full text]
Pope Francis Leads First Easter Celebrations
Resurrection of the Body (Ecumenical)
April 11 Audience: On Easter's Spiritual Joy
When did the Resurrection become truly the Faith, and the official teaching of the Church?
What are they thinking? (The Easter and Christmas only Church-goers, that is!)

The Resurrection Appearances Chronologically Arranged
Are There Discrepancies in the Resurrection Accounts? If so, Can They be Resolved?
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI - EASTER 2012
Saint Gregory the Great’s Sermon on the Mystery of the Resurrection
Pope Benedict XVI warns of moral 'darkness' as he celebrates Easter Mass
Easter Changes Everything
New Catholics a sign of Easter blessing for church (in Oregon)
On Easter Joy -- General Audience, Pope Benedict XVI
The Christ of the Folded Napkin
Reflection on Hope and New Life After the Easter Feasts (Thomas Rosica, CSB)
Easter Time [Eastertide or Easter Season]
Risen Christ opens for a us a completely new future says the Pope at Easter Mass
Man Who "Died" 5 Times Is Becoming Catholic (Thousands to Enter Church at Easter)
On the Resurrection-Pope Benedict XVI
Octave of Easter, Pope Benedict XVI
The Double Alleluia
Easter Sunday
Eastertide Overview
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Happy Easter: The Tomb is Empty! The Warrior of Love has conquered!

Homily Of His Holiness Benedict XVI (Holy Saturday Easter Vigil, Saint Peter's Basilica)
Pope to Baptize Prominent Muslim
Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
The Exultet
The Dark before Dawn
Easter and the Holy Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil
Easter Day and Easter Season
THE EASTER LITURGY [Easter Vigil] (Anglican and Catholic Rites)
Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil
Poles visit symbolic Christ's Graves on Holy Saturday
Easter Vigil tonight
HOMILIES PREACHED BY FATHER ALTIER FOR EASTER VIGIL FROM 2002-2005
2 Paschal Candles; Lights On at Vigil And More on Washing of the Feet
RCIA and Holy Saturday
The Time Of Easter or Eastertide -- Easter Seasosn
Easter Day and Easter Season
Easter Reflections -- 50 Days of the Easter Season
The Blessed Season of Easter - Fifty Days of Reflections

7 posted on 04/28/2014 9:23:50 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)
8 posted on 04/28/2014 9:25:22 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)
9 posted on 04/28/2014 9:25:56 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.

10 posted on 04/28/2014 9:26:47 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 04/28/2014 9:27:21 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 04/28/2014 9:27:55 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 04/28/2014 9:28:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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April Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The Church traditionally encouraged the month of April for increased devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. "The Church in the course of the centuries has introduced various forms of this Eucharistic worship which are ever increasing in beauty and helpfulness; as, for example, visits of devotion to the tabernacles, even every day; Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; solemn processions, especially at the time of Eucharistic Congresses, which pass through cities and villages; and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament publicly exposed . . . These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are re-echoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven, which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb 'Who was slain.'" --Pope Pius XII

ACT OF ADORATION
I adore Thee, 0 Jesus, true God and true Man, here present in the Holy Eucharist, humbly kneeling before Thee and united in spirit with all the faithful on earth and all the blessed in heaven. In deepest gratitude for so great a blessing, I love Thee, my Jesus, with my whole heart, for Thou art all perfect and all worthy of love.

Give me grace nevermore in any way to offend Thee, and grant that I, being refreshed by Thy Eucharistic presence here on earth, may be found worthy to come to the enjoyment with Mary of Thine eternal and everblessed presence in heaven. Amen.

FAITH IN THE EUCHARIST
O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art really and corporally present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I adore Thee here present from the very depths of my heart, and I worship Thy sacred presence with all possible humility. O my soul, what joy to have Jesus Christ always with us, and to be able to speak to Him, heart to heart, with all confidence. Grant, O Lord, that I, having adored Thy divine Majesty here on earth in this wonderful Sacrament, may be able to adore it eternally in Heaven. Amen.

FOR THE PEACE OF CHRIST
O most sacred, most loving heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still. Now as then Thou sayest, "With desire I have desired." I worship Thee, then, with all my best love and awe, with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will. O make my heart beat with Thy heart. Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness. So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it; but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace. --Cardinal Newman

ACT OF LOVE
I believe Thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament, O Jesus. I love Thee and desire Thee. Come into my heart. I embrace Thee, O never leave me. I beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus, may the burning and most sweet power of Thy love absorb my mind, that I may die through love of Thy love, who wast graciously pleased to die through love of my love. --St. Francis of Assisi

ACT OF REPARATION
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, well known in connection with devotion to the Sacred Herat of Jesus, led the way in making reparation to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the coldness and ingratitude of men. This prayer of hers can become our own as we attempt to make amends for our own and others' neglect of the great Sacrament of His love, the Eucharist.
O kind and merciful savior, from my heart I earnestly desire to return Thee love for love. My greatest sorrow is that Thou art not loved by men, and, in particular, that my own heart is so cold, so selfish, so ungrateful. Keenly aware of my own weakness and poverty, I trust that Thy own grace will enable me to offer Thee an act of pure love. And I wish to offer Thee this act of love in reparation for the coldness and neglect that are shown to Thee in the sacrament of Thy love by Thy creatures. O Jesus, my supreme good, I love Thee, not for the sake of the reward which Thou hast promised to those who love Thee, but purely for Thyself. I love Thee above all things that can be loved, above all pleasures, and above myself and all that is not Thee, promising in the presence of heaven and earth that I will live and die purely and simply in Thy holy love, and that if to love Thee thus I must endure persecution and suffering I am completely satisfied, and I will ever say with Saint Paul: Nothing "will be able to separate us from the love of God." 0 Jesus, supreme master of all hearts, I love Thee, I adore Thee, I praise Thee, I thank Thee, because I am now all Thine own. Rule over me, and transform my soul into the likeness of Thyself, so that it may bless and glorify Thee forever in the abode of the saints.
--Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

OFFERING
My Lord, I offer Thee myself in turn as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Thou hast died for me, and I in turn make myself over to Thee. I am not my own. Thou hast bought me; I will by my own act and deed complete the purchase. My wish is to be separated from everything of this world; to cleanse myself simply from sin; to put away from me even what is innocent, if used for its own sake, and not for Thine. I put away reputation and honor, and influence, and power, for my praise and strength shall be in Thee. Enable me to carry out what I profess. Amen. --Cardinal Newman

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

Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy,  Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy,  Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us,  Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

O Living Bread, Who from Heaven descended, have mercy on us.
Hidden God and Savior, have mercy on us.
Grain of the elect, have mercy on us.
Vine sprouting forth virgins, have mercy on us.
Wholesome Bread and delicacy of kings, have mercy on us.
Perpetual sacrifice, have mercy on us.
Clean oblation, have mercy on us.
Lamb without spot, have mercy on us.
Most pure feast, have mercy on us.
Food of Angels, have mercy on us.
Hidden manna, have mercy on us.
Memorial of God's wonders, have mercy on us.
Supersubstantial Bread, have mercy on us.
Word made flesh, dwelling in us, have mercy on us.
Holy Victim, have mercy on us.

O Cup of blessing, have mercy on us.
O Mystery of faith, have mercy on us.
O Most high and venerable Sacrament, have mercy on us.
O Most holy of all sacrifices, have mercy on us.
O True propitiatory Sacrifice for the living and the dead, have mercy on us.
O Heavenly antidote, by which we are preserved from sin, have mercy on us.
O stupendous miracle above all others, have mercy on us.
O most holy Commemoration of the Passison of Christ, have mercy on us.
O Gift transcending all abundance, have mercy on us.
O extraordinary memorial of Divine love, have mercy on us.
O affluence of Divine largess, have mercy on us.
O most holy and august mystery, have mercy on us.

Medicine of immortality, have mercy on us.
Awesome and life-giving Sacrament, have mercy on us.
Unbloody Sacrifice, have mercy on us.
Food and guest, have mercy on us.
Sweetest banquet at which the Angels serve, have mercy on us.
Bond of love, have mercy on us.
Offering and oblation, have mercy on us.
Spiritual sweetness tasted in its own foutain, have mercy on us.
Refreshment of holy souls, have mercy on us.
Viaticum of those dying in the Lord, have mercy on us.
Pledge of future glory, have mercy on us.

Be merciful, spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.

From the unworthy reception of Thy Body and Blood, deliver us, O Lord.
From passions of the flesh, deliver us, O Lord.
From the concupiscence of the eyes, deliver us, O Lord.
From pride, deliver us, O Lord.
From every occasion of sin, deliver us, O Lord.
Through that desire, with which Thou desiredst to eat the Passover with Thy disciples, deliver us, O Lord.
Through that profound humility with which Thou didst wash Thy disciples' feet, deliver us, O Lord.
Through that most ardent love, with which Thou instituted this Divine Sacrament,
deliver us, O Lord.
Through the most precious Blood, which Thou hast left for us upon the altar, deliver us, O Lord.
Through those Five Wounds of Thy most holy Body, which was given up for us, deliver us, O Lord.

Sinners we are, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously preserve and augment the faith, reverence, and devotion in us towards this admirable Sacrament, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously lead us through the true confession of we beseech Thee, hear us.
our sins to a frequent reception of the Eucharist, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously free us from every heresy, falsehood, and blindness of the heart, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously impart to us the Heavenly and precious fruits of this most Holy Sacrament, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously protect and strengthen us in our hour of death with this Heavenly Viaticum, we beseech Thee, hear us.

O Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear us.
 Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
Christ, hear us, Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.
Our Father . . .
Hail Mary . . .
 

V. Thou didst furnish them with Bread from Heaven, Alleluia.
R. Having in it every delight.

Let us pray.

O God, Who under a marvelous Sacrament has left us a memorial of Thy Passion; grant us; we beseech Thee; so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within us the fruit of Thy Redemption. Thou, Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
 

From the Manuale Sacerdotum, P. Josephus Schneider, S. J., 1867

The Real Presence: The Eucharist and Chastity [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Faith in the Life of a Priest [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Eucharistic Devotion and the Real Presence [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: The Holy Eucharist is the Whole Christ [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Eucharist as Presence-Sacrament [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Understanding the Eucharist, The Greatest Need in Church Today [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus'
The Real Presence: Living in the Presence of God [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

The Real Presence: The Eucharist as the Living Christ [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Christ in the Eucharist, Introduction to the Eucharist,[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Christ in the Eucharist, The Last Supper, [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Eucharist: Foundation of the Christian Family(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
A Beautiful Summary of Eucharistic theology in an antiphon by Aquinas
Christ in the Eucharist (Ecumenical)
Canon Law and Consecrating the Eucharist (Catholic Caucus)
COMMUNION THROUGH A FEEDING TUBE (And More on Confirmations)
The Eucharist -- John 6
Catholicism and Fundamentalism — The Eucharist
On the Giving and Receiving of Holy Communion: Some norms to recall [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Word of the Day: HOLY COMMUNION, 05-19-12
Following the Truth: Recognizing Jesus In The Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
The Fourth Cup
The Last Supper and the Forgiveness of Sins
Bread from Heaven: The Eucharist Sustains Us and Lifts Us Up [Catholic Caucus]
Essays for Lent: The Eucharist
Essays for Lent: The Mass
Excerpt from: The Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Divorced Catholics and the Eucharist
Following The Truth: So, You Just Received Jesus…Now What? (Catholic or Open)
The Coptic Orthodox doctrine of the Eucharistic sacrifice

Auxiliary Bishop Says Communion In the Hand is a Calvinist Novelty [Ecumenical]
How Something We Consider Solidly Traditional was Once Thought Progressive (Catholic)
Transubstantiation: Change We Can Believe In
Diocese limits Communion under both kinds, laments excessive extraordinary ministers
Phoenix Diocese to adopt new norms for Holy Communion [Catholic Caucus]
What Does GIRM 160 for the USA Really Say?
Lift the City - a Catholic Eucharistic flash mob (Catholic Caucus)
Justin Martyr: 1st apology: Sacraments, Eucharist {Catholic/Orthodox caucus}
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture [Catholic Caucus]
How the Mass is a sacrifice, and why so many deny this doctrine (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
[Ecumenical] Lent through Eastertide - Divine Mercy Diary Exerpts: Holy Communion and the Eucharist
Vatican consultant responds to Cardinal Mahoney ‘Christ gave Judas communion’ argument
New book connects the Eucharist with its Jewish roots
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST (sections 3 only) {Ecumenical Thread}
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST (sections 1&2 only) {Ecumenical Thread}
The Perfect Sacrifice: When Heaven Comes to Earth [Catholic Caucus]
The Real Presence [Church Fathers on the Holy Eucharist, cont'd ]
Is the Mass a Sacrifice? (Once and for all, Heb 9-10) {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}
Radio Replies Second Volume - Holy Communion
The Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}

Radio Replies Second Volume - The Sacrifice of the Mass
Radio Replies Second Volume - Holy Eucharist
How Do We Prepare Well for the Coming of the Lord
Thanksgiving, the Prophets and the Eucharist
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The Pope of a Eucharistic Springtime
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. As we Worship, So we Believe, So we Live
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] 5th Luminous Mystery: Institution of the Eucharist (Patristic Rosary)
Wounded in the house of them that loved Me
[CATHOLIC / ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Eucharist is Jesus' greatest gift to us, teaches Pope Benedict XVI
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] What makes Jesus present in the Eucharist: broadening one's view.
The Catholic Mass in 155 A.D.
Pope's Q--A at End of Priestly Year Pt 4 "We Celebrate,..Meditate..on Eucharist" [Catholic Caucus]
Sacrifice, Transubstantiation, and Real Presence (Pope Benedict XVI) [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Eucharist is the Heart of God
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS]'Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity': The Miracle and Gift of the Most Holy Eucharist
A Secular Eucharist
Paul and the Eucharist
Centered in the Eucharist
Centered in the Eucharist
Who Can Receive Communion? (Catholic Caucus)

Respect For Christ In The Eucharist – One Priest’s Perspective
From The Gospel To Life: The Disciples and the Eucharist
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: The Eucharist: The Lord's Supper
THE PRIEST IN THE COMMUNION RITES - Liturgy Prepares for Reception of the Eucharist
Novena with Saint Peter Julian Eymard for Prayer in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament [Prayer]
Boston Cardinal: Church Needs 'Clear' Injunction Denying Pro-Abortion Pols Communion
Benedict XVI calls priests to protect communion between God and man
Eucharist: Holy Sacrifice
Fr. Men: The Eucharist [Cath-Orth caucus]
Catholics in Costa Rica outraged by disrespect toward Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture
St Anthony and the Real Presence
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Two: Channels of Grace: The Eucharist
EWTN - October 29 - 8PM - Fr. Antoine and the Eucharist
All Should Offer Their Bodies and Blood at Mass (Father Cantalamessa) [Catholic Caucus]
The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium
Radio Replies First Volume - Holy Eucharist
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture
Catholic Caucus: The Spiritual Combat Ch 54. MANNER IN WHICH WE OUGHT TO RECEIVE...BLESSED SACRAMENT
Catholic Caucus: The Spiritual Combat: Ch 53. CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST

A Few Texts From Saint Cyril of Jerusalem on the Eucharist
Catholic Devotional: On Visiting Jesus Christ In the Blessed Sacrament
The Early Christians Believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
Focus on the Real Presence
A Chinese Girl-True Story That Inspired Bishop Fulton Sheen- Eucharist Adoration (Catholic Caucus)
Doubting Thomases(Eucharist); the Pitfalls of Folly(Catholic Caucus)
Rainbow sash-wearers prohibited from receiving [the Eucharist at Cathedral of St. Paul]
The significance of Holy Thursday (institution of the Eucharist and priesthood)
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament [Catholic Caucus]
The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas THE HOLY EUCHARIST
Holy Communion and Non-Catholics (with a Quiz!)
Beginning Catholic: The Eucharist: In the Presence of the Lord Himself [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Receiving the Lord in Holy Communion [Ecumenical]
Faithful Invited to Follow Pope, Adore Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
Christmas and the Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Eucharist kneeling request sparks controversy [Catholic Caucus]
Eucharist vs. the Word (which is more important in the Catholic Church)
Christ the Miracle Worker in the Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
Imitating Christ in the Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
The Eucharist - the Lord's Sacrifice, Banquet and Presence (OPEN)

Pope Calls Eucharist History's Greatest Revolution [OPEN]
A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 22: The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion)
A series of reflections from St. Peter Julian Eymard Blessed Sacrament(Catholic Caucus)
Eucharist, Holy Meal
Imitating Christ in the Eucharist
Christmas and the Eucharist
Prayer Before the Blessed Sacrament
This is My Body, This is My Blood
THE HOLY EUCHARIST IS THE WHOLE CHRIST
Gift Of Life, Gift Eternal: The Most Holy Eucharist and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Area worshipers march to celebrate Holy Eucharist
Grace of the Eucharist is secret to holy priests, says Pope
The Disposition of Priests [Valid Mass, Valid Holy Eucharist?]
The Body of Christ?
Holy Sacrifice, Living Sacrament
Knights of the Eucharist
The Banquet of Corpus Christi - "Why did Jesus give us His Body and Blood?"
The Eucharist: Eternity and Time Together
Restored Order of the Sacraments of Initiation? Confirmation and First Eucharist together? (Vanity)
Reflections of Cardinal Ratzinger on the Eucharist

THE HOLY EUCHARIST: NOURISHMENT TO FINISH OUR COURSE
The Eucharist in Scripture - Part 1 - Old Testament
LITANY OF REPARATION TO OUR LORD IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
POPE GRANTS PLENARY INDULGENCE FOR YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
New Plenary Indulgence to Mark Year of the Eucharist
Kneeling and Faith in the Eucharist
The Immaculate Conception and the Eucharist, a course in Christian culture in Tashkent
The Year of the Eucharist by Bishop Donald Wuerl
"While We're At It": What can we do to show that the Eucharist is a communal activity?
CATHOLICS AND BAPTISTS WITNESSED UNUSUAL IMAGES IN BLESSED SACRAMENT
The Discipline of the Eucharist Holy See Releases Redemptionis Sacramentum...
Vatican: Matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist (April 23, 2004)
Devotion to the Holy Eucharist Advances Devotion to Jesus' Person
New rules on the Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday
The Reverence due to the Holy Eucharist
The Holy Face of Jesus Christ as appeared on the Holy Eucharist
The Fourth Cup: The Sacrament of the Eucharist [Holy Thursday] [Passover]
Holy Father stresses Need of Devotion to Holy Eucharist outside of Mass: Pope Paul VI

14 posted on 04/28/2014 9:29:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
April 2014 Year A

Pope's Intention

Universal: That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.

For Evangelization: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.


15 posted on 04/28/2014 9:30:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Tuesday of the Second week of Easter

Commentary of the day
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] (1891-1942), Carmelite, martyr, co-patron of Europe
From a Pentecost Novena (copyright ICS publications, 1992)

"You do not know where it comes from or where it goes"

Who are you, sweet light, that fills me
And illumines the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother's hand,
And should you let go of me,
I would not know how to take another step.
You are the space
That embraces my being and buries it in yourself.
Away from you it sinks into the abyss
Of nothingness, from which you raised it to the light.
You, nearer to me than I to myself
And more interior than my most interior
And still impalpable and intangible
And beyond any name:
Holy Spirit-eternal love!

Are you not the sweet manna
That from the Son's heart
Overflows into my heart,
The food of angels and the blessed?
He who raised himself from death to life,
He has also awakened me to new life
From the sleep of death.
And he gives me new life from day to day,
And at some time his fullness is to stream through me,
Life of your life-indeed, you yourself:
Holy Spirit, eternal life!


16 posted on 04/28/2014 10:42:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Acts 4:32-37
Psalm 93:1-2, 5
John 3:7-15

If hope goes it alone, it ought to be called presumption.

-- St. Laurence Justinian


17 posted on 04/28/2014 10:48:59 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 04/28/2014 10:51:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regina Coeli

 

This prayer, which dates from the twelfth century, is substituted for the Angelus during Easter Season.

In Latin

In English

Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

 

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,

R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

 

Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.

R. Amen.

Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.

 

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.

R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

 

Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.


19 posted on 04/28/2014 10:53:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Acts 4:32-37 sounds like the perfect marxist society.

Challenging, eh?

20 posted on 04/29/2014 12:15:12 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Vanders9

They didn’t think that way then, just a loving community. The Jerusalem Bible does not use the word communal. I think we get thrown off by that.


21 posted on 04/29/2014 7:37:44 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Saint Catherine of Siena,
Virgin & Doctor of the Church
Memorial
April 29th


Saint Catherine of Siena (20th c.) - Vatican [Photo: Father Jerry Pokorsky]

Catherine Benincasa was born in Siena on Palm Sunday, March 5, 1347, the daughter of Giacomo Benincasa, a pious and prosperous dyer and his wife Lapa. It is said that when she was five years old, she was in the habit of saying the Hail Mary on each step of the staircase of the house. When Catherine was about six year old, she saw a vision of Christ and His Apostles while walking in the countryside with her brother. She was transfixed by the vision, in which the Lord, in the garb of a pope, blessed her. As one writer put it, "Such was the 'call' of Saint Catherine of Siena ... and the appearance of Christ, in the semblance of His Vicar [the pope], may fitly appear to symbolize the great mission of her later life to the Holy See". For the pope was not in Rome but in Avignon, France, the so-called "Babylonian Captivity" of the papacy, where for political reasons the papal court had moved -- and Catherine, years later, would attempt to persuade the pope to return to Rome, the See of Peter.

At the age of sixteen Catherine took the habit of the Dominican Tertiaries (or "third order", a lay affiliation with the Dominican Order). After three years of celestial visitations and familiar conversation with Christ, she underwent the mystical experience known as "spiritual espousal" (or "mystical marriage" to Christ).

Catherine then dedicated herself to the poor, the sick and the conversation of sinners. In the summer of 1370 she received visions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven and a Divine command to enter the public life of the world.

She began to dictate and dispatch letters to men and women in every condition of life, entered into correspondence with the princes and republics of Italy, was consulted by the papal legates about the affairs of the Church, and set herself to heal the wounds of her native land. She implored Pope Gregory XI to reform the notoriously corrupt clergy and the administration of the Papal States. Through her influence, the pope left Avignon and returned to Rome.

On the fourth Sunday of Lent in 1375 she received the stigmata, that is, the wounds of Christ.

In about 1378 Catherine composed her "Dialogue", said to have been dictated while she was in ecstasy, a book of meditations and reflections on the Creed and teachings of the Church, and on the sinfulness of man and the mercy of God.

Her last public work was to aid in the reconciliation of Pope Urban VI and the Roman Republic.

Catherine died April 29, 1380.

In 1970 Pope Paul VI proclaimed Saint Catherine of Siena a Doctor of the Church, a title given to certain ecclesiastical writers because of the benefit the whole Church has derived from their teaching and witness.


Collect:
O God, who set Saint Catherine of Siena on fire with divine love
in her contemplation of the Lord's Passion
and her service of your Church,
grant, through her intercession,
that your people,
participating in the mystery of Christ,
may ever exult in the revelation of his glory.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

Readings of the Day:
First Reading - 1 John 1:5-2:2
This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Gospel Reading - Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus declared, "I thank Thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was Thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."

[Scripture translations: Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition]


Litany of St. Catherine of Siena

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, our mother, pray for us.
St. Dominic, glorious Patriarch, pray for us.
St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us.
St. Catherine benevolent mother of the poor, pray for us.
St. Catherine, kind mother of the suffering, pray for us.
St. Catherine, merciful mother of the sick, pray for us.
St. Catherine, refuge of the sorrowful, pray for us.
St. Catherine, intercessor for sinners, pray for us.
St. Catherine, rose pf patience, pray for us.
St. Catherine, model of humility, pray for us.
St. Catherine, lily of chastity, pray for us.
St. Catherine, vessel of graces, pray for us.
St. Catherine, zealous promoter of the honor of God, pray for us.
St. Catherine, luster of holiness, pray for us.
St. Catherine, example of mildness, pray for us.
St. Catherine, glory of the Order of Preachers, pray for us.
St. Catherine, fruitful mother of spiritual children, pray for us.
St. Catherine, promoter of peace, pray for us.
St. Catherine, terror of the evil spirits, pray for us.
St. Catherine, follower of Jesus, pray for us.
St. Catherine, who didst give the blossoms of thy innocent youth to the service of thy Heavenly Spouse, pray for us.
St. Catherine, who didst lead an angelic life in human flesh, pray for us.
St. Catherine, who didst tear thy virginal flesh with scourges, pray for us.
St. Catherine, whom Jesus, Himself, did feed with His Body and Blood, pray for us.
St. Catherine, who didst exchange thy heart with the Heart of Jesus, pray for us.
St. Catherine, who was blest with His Holy Wounds, pray for us.
St. Catherine, who was taken to Heaven to the celestial nuptials, pray for us.
St. Catherine, who didst receive a hundredfold, reward for all thy labors and merits, 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.

Pray for us, O glorious Virgin, St. Catherine
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray: O God, who didst enable Blessed Catherine, graced with the special privilege of virginity, and patience, to overcome the assault of evil spirits, and to stand unshaken in the love of Thy Name, grant we beseech Thee, that after her example treading under foot the wickedness of the world, and overcoming the wiles of all enemies, we may safely pass onward to Thy glory.Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


BENEDICT XVI, GENERAL AUDIENCE, November 24, 2010

Saint Catherine of Siena

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our catechesis today deals with Saint Catherine of Siena, a Dominican tertiary, a woman of great holiness and a Doctor of the Church. Catherine’s spiritual teachings are centred on our union with Christ, the bridge between earth and heaven. Her own virginal entrustment to Christ the Bridegroom was reflected in her celebrated visions. Catherine’s life also shows us the importance of the spiritual maternity exercised by so many women in every age. From this great saint let us learn to grow in holiness, love for the Lord and fidelity to his body, the Church.


22 posted on 04/29/2014 7:44:51 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
St. Catherine of Siena: Even Demons Are Repulsed By Sins Against Nature

A remedy for Pride based on something Jesus told St. Catherine of Siena
A Word from the Lord and a Saint as to what Prayer Does
On St. Catherine of Siena
The Dialogue by St. Catherine of Siena (Online book)
St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Doctor of the Church 1380 (April 30)
St. Catherine of Siena: A Feisty Role for Sister Nancy Murray
9 Day Novena - St. Catherine of Siena - to protect Pope Benedict XVI
EWTN New Program - St. Catherine of Siena: Mystic and Reformer
Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin (d.1380)
Catholic Caucus - St. Catherine of Siena

23 posted on 04/29/2014 7:46:33 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Catherine of Siena

Feast Day: April 29

Born: 25 March 1347 at Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Died: 29 April 1380

Canonized: July 1461 by Pope Pius II

Patron of: against fire, bodily ills, Europe, firefighters, illness, Italy, miscarriages, nurses, people ridiculed for their piety, sexual temptation, sick people, sickness, television

24 posted on 04/29/2014 7:53:03 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Catherine of Siena

Feast Day: April 29
Born: 1347 ::Died: 1380

Catherine was born at Siena, Tuscany in Italy. Catherine was the youngest in a family of twenty-five children. When she was six years old Jesus appeared and blessed her. Her mother and father wanted her to be happily married. But, Catherine wished only to be a nun.

To make herself as unattractive as possible, she cut off her long, beautiful hair. Her parents were very upset and scolded her often. They also gave her the most difficult housework to do. But Catherine did not change her mind. Finally, her parents stopped bothering her and allowed her to become a nun.

St. Catherine was very honest and straightforward with Jesus and scolded him when he was not around to help her in her struggles and temptations. Jesus told her that because he was in her heart she was able to win her struggles by his grace.

One night when the people of Siena were out on the streets celebrating. The little baby Jesus and his mother Mary appeared to Catherine who was praying alone in her room. Mary took Catherine's hand and the infant Jesus put a ring on the saint's finger and she became his bride.

In those days the Church had many problems. There were fights going on all over Italy. Catherine wrote letters to kings and queens. She even went to beg rulers to make peace with the pope and to avoid wars.

Catherine asked the pope to leave Avignon, France, and return to Rome to rule the Church as it was God's will. He listened to St. Catherine and did as she said.

Catherine never forgot that Jesus was in her heart. Through her, Jesus helped the sick people she nursed and comforted the prisoners she visited in jail.

This great saint died in Rome in 1380 when she was just thirty-three. She is the patroness of Italy, her country. Hundreds of years later St. Catherine was named a Doctor of the Church. She received this great honor because she served Jesus' Church boldly during her short lifetime.


25 posted on 04/29/2014 7:55:40 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Tuesday, April 29

Liturgical Color: White

Today the Church recalls St. Hugh of Cluny.
Although his father wanted him to be a
knight, he felt a calling to the priesthood. Over
his life he founded more than 1500
monasteries. St. Hugh died in 1109.

26 posted on 04/29/2014 3:50:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Day 141 - What is Confirmation?

 

What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is the sacrament that completes Baptism; in it the gift of the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon us. Anyone who freely decides to live a life as God's child and asks for God's Spirit under the signs of the imposition of hands and anointing with chrism receives the strength to witness to God's love and might in word and deed. He is now a full fledged, responsible member of the Catholic Church.

When a coach sends a soccer player onto the playing field, he puts his hand on his shoulder and gives him final instructions. We can understand Confirmation in a similar way. A hand is placed upon us. We step out onto the field of life. Through the Holy Spirit we know what we have to do and we have been given the power to do it. He has motivated us. His mission resounds in our ears. We sense his help. We will not betray his trust or disappoint him; we will win the game for him. We just have to want to do it and listen to him. (YOUCAT question 203)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (1285-1314) and other references here.


27 posted on 04/29/2014 4:01:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Part 2: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (1066 - 1690)

Section 2: The Seven Sacraments of the Church (1210 - 1690)

Chapter 1: The Sacraments of Christian Initiation (1212 - 1419)

Article 2: The Sacrament of Confirmation (1285 - 1321)

1

 

1285

Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.89 For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed."90

89.

Cf. Roman Ritual, Rite of Confirmation (OC), Introduction 1.

90.

LG 11; Cf. OC, Introduction 2.

I. CONFIRMATION IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION

1286

In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the hoped-for Messiah for his saving mission.91 The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism by John was the sign that this was he who was to come, the Messiah, the Son of God.92 He was conceived of the Holy Spirit; his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him "without measure."93

91.

Cf. Isa 11:2; 61:1; Lk 4:16-22.

92.

Cf. Mt 3:13-17; Jn 1:33-34.

93.

Jn 3:34.

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(all)

1287

This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah's, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people.94 On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit,95 a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost.96 Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim "the mighty works of God," and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age.97 Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn.98

94.

Cf. Ezek 36:25-27; Joel 3:1-2.

95.

Cf. Lk 12:12; Jn 3:5-8; 7:37-39; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8.

96.

Cf. Jn 20:22; Acts 2:1-14.

97.

Acts 2:11; Cf. 2:17-18.

98.

Cf. Acts 2:38.

699
(all)

1288

"From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ's will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism. For this reason in the Letter to the Hebrews the doctrine concerning Baptism and the laying on of hands is listed among the first elements of Christian instruction. The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church."99

99.

Paul VI, Divinae consortium naturae, 659; cf. Acts 8:15-17; 19:5-6; Heb 6:2.

1297
436
695
(all)

1289

Very early, the better to signify the gift of the Holy Spirit, an anointing with perfumed oil (chrism) was added to the laying on of hands. This anointing highlights the name "Christian," which means "anointed" and derives from that of Christ himself whom God "anointed with the Holy Spirit."100 This rite of anointing has continued ever since, in both East and West. For this reason the Eastern Churches call this sacrament Chrismation, anointing with chrism, or myron which means "chrism." In the West, the term Confirmation suggests that this sacrament both confirms and strengthens baptismal grace.

100.

Acts 10:38.

Two traditions: East and West

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(all)

1290

In the first centuries Confirmation generally comprised one single celebration with Baptism, forming with it a "double sacrament," according to the expression of St. Cyprian. Among other reasons, the multiplication of infant baptisms all through the year, the increase of rural parishes, and the growth of dioceses often prevented the bishop from being present at all baptismal celebrations. In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments. The East has kept them united, so that Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes. But he can do so only with the "myron" consecrated by a bishop.101

101.

Cf. CCEO, Can. 695 § 1; 696 § 1.

1242
(all)

1291

A custom of the Roman Church facilitated the development of the Western practice: a double anointing with sacred chrism after Baptism. The first anointing of the neophyte on coming out of the baptismal bath was performed by the priest; it was completed by a second anointing on the forehead of the newly baptized by the bishop.102 The first anointing with sacred chrism, by the priest, has remained attached to the baptismal rite; it signifies the participation of the one baptized in the prophetic, priestly, and kingly offices of Christ. If Baptism is conferred on an adult, there is only one post-baptismal anointing, that of Confirmation.

102.

Cf. St. Hippolytus, Trad. Ap. 21:SCh 11,80-95.

1244
(all)

1292

The practice of the Eastern Churches gives greater emphasis to the unity of Christian initiation. That of the Latin Church more clearly expresses the communion of the new Christian with the bishop as guarantor and servant of the unity, catholicity and apostolicity of his Church, and hence the connection with the apostolic origins of Christ's Church.

II. THE SIGNS AND THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION

695
(all)

1293

In treating the rite of Confirmation, it is fitting to consider the sign of anointing and what it signifies and imprints: a spiritual seal.

Anointing, in Biblical and other ancient symbolism, is rich in meaning: oil is a sign of abundance and joy;103 it cleanses (anointing before and after a bath) and limbers (the anointing of athletes and wrestlers); oil is a sign of healing, since it is soothing to bruises and wounds;104 and it makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength.

103.

Cf. Deut 11:14; Pss 23:5; 104:15.

104.

Cf. Isa 1:6; Lk 10:34.

1152
(all)

1294

Anointing with oil has all these meanings in the sacramental life. The pre-baptismal anointing with the oil of catechumens signifies cleansing and strengthening; the anointing of the sick expresses healing and comfort. The post-baptismal anointing with sacred chrism in Confirmation and ordination is the sign of consecration. By Confirmation Christians, that is, those who are anointed, share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit with which he is filled, so that their lives may give off "the aroma of Christ."105

105.

2 Cor 2:15.

698
(all)

1295

By this anointing the confirmand receives the "mark," the seal of the Holy Spirit. A seal is a symbol of a person, a sign of personal authority, or ownership of an object.106 Hence soldiers were marked with their leader's seal and slaves with their master's. A seal authenticates a juridical act or document and occasionally makes it secret.107

106.

Cf Gen 38:18; 41:42; Deut 32:34; CT 8:6.

107.

Cf. 1 Kings 21:8; Jer 32:10; Isa 29:11.

1121
(all)

1296

Christ himself declared that he was marked with his Father's seal.108 Christians are also marked with a seal: "It is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has commissioned us; he has put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee."109 This seal of the Holy Spirit marks our total belonging to Christ, our enrollment in his service for ever, as well as the promise of divine protection in the great eschatological trial.110

108.

Cf. Jn 6:27.

109.

2 Cor 1:21-22; cf. Eph 1:13; 4,30.

110.

Cf. Rev 7:2-3; 9:4; Ezek 9:4-6.

The celebration of Confirmation

1183
1241
(all)

1297

The consecration of the sacred chrism is an important action that precedes the celebration of Confirmation, but is in a certain way a part of it. It is the bishop who, in the course of the Chrism Mass of Holy Thursday, consecrates the sacred chrism for his whole diocese. In some Eastern Churches this consecration is even reserved to the patriarch: The liturgy of Antioch expresses the epiclesis for the consecration of the sacred chrism (myron) in this way: "[Father ... send your Holy Spirit] on us and on this oil which is before us and consecrate it, so that it may be for all who are anointed and marked with it holy myron, priestly myron, royal myron, anointing with gladness, clothing with light, a cloak of salvation, a spiritual gift, the sanctification of souls and bodies, imperishable happiness, the indelible seal, a buckler of faith, and a fearsome helmet against all the works of the adversary."

1298

When Confirmation is celebrated separately from Baptism, as is the case in the Roman Rite, the Liturgy of Confirmation begins with the renewal of baptismal promises and the profession of faith by the confirmands. This clearly shows that Confirmation follows Baptism.111 When adults are baptized, they immediately receive Confirmation and participate in the Eucharist.112

111.

Cf. SC 71.

112.

Cf. CIC, can. 866.

1831
(all)

1299

In the Roman Rite the bishop extends his hands over the whole group of the confirmands. Since the time of the apostles this gesture has signified the gift of the Spirit. The bishop invokes the outpouring of the Spirit in these words: All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by water and the Holy Spirit
you freed your sons and daughters from sin
and gave them new life.
Send your Holy Spirit upon them
to be their helper and guide.
Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of right judgment and courage,
the spirit of knowledge and reverence.
Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.113

113.

OC 25.

699
(all)

1300

The essential rite of the sacrament follows. In the Latin rite, "the sacrament of Confirmation is conferred through the anointing with chrism on the forehead, which is done by the laying on of the hand, and through the words: 'Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti' [Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit]."114 In the Eastern Churches of Byzantine rite, after a prayer of epiclesis, the more significant parts of the body are anointed with myron: forehead, eyes, nose, ears, lips, chest, back, hands, and feet. Each anointing is accompanied by the formula Σφραγις δωρεας Πνευματος ‘Αγιου (Signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti): "the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit."115

114.

Paul VI, apostolic constitution, Divinae consortium naturae, 663.

115.

Rituale per le Chiese orientali di rito bizantino in lingua greca, Pars Prima (Liberia Editrice Vaticana, 1954) 36.

1301

The sign of peace that concludes the rite of the sacrament signifies and demonstrates ecclesial communion with the bishop and with all the faithful.116

116.

Cf. St. Hippolytus, Trad. Ap. 21:SCh 11,80-95.

III. THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION

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(all)

1302

It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.

2044
(all)

1303

From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:

117.

Rom 8:15.

118.

Cf. LG 11.

119.

Cf. Council Of Florence (1439): DS 1319; LG 11; 12.

120.

St. Ambrose, De myst. 7,42:PL 16,402-403.

1121
(all)

1304

Like Baptism which it completes, Confirmation is given only once, for it too imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, the "character," which is the sign that Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of his Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness.121

121.

Cf. Council Of Trent (1547): DS 1609; Lk 24:48-49.

 

Part 2: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (1066 - 1690)

Section 2: The Seven Sacraments of the Church (1210 - 1690)

Chapter 1: The Sacraments of Christian Initiation (1212 - 1419)

Article 2: The Sacrament of Confirmation (1285 - 1321)

III. THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION

1268
(all)

1305

This "character" perfects the common priesthood of the faithful, received in Baptism, and "the confirmed person receives the power to profess faith in Christ publicly and as it were officially (quasi Ex officio)."122

122.

St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,72,5, ad 2.

IV. WHO CAN RECEIVE THIS SACRAMENT?

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(all)

1306

Every baptized person not yet confirmed can and should receive the sacrament of Confirmation.123 Since Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist form a unity, it follows that "the faithful are obliged to receive this sacrament at the appropriate time,"124 for without Confirmation and Eucharist, Baptism is certainly valid and efficacious, but Christian initiation remains incomplete.

123.

Cf. CIC, can. 889 § 1.

124.

CIC, can. 890.

1307

For centuries, Latin custom has indicated "the age of discretion" as the reference point for receiving Confirmation. But in danger of death children should be confirmed even if they have not yet attained the age of discretion.125

125.

Cf. CIC, cann. 891; 883, 3o.

1250
(all)

1308

Although Confirmation is sometimes called the "sacrament of Christian maturity," we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need "ratification" to become effective. St. Thomas reminds us of this: Age of body does not determine age of soul. Even in childhood man can attain spiritual maturity: as the book of Wisdom says: "For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years. "Many children, through the strength of the Holy Spirit they have received, have bravely fought for Christ even to the shedding of their blood.126

126.

St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,72,8, ad 2; Cf. Wis 4:8.

1309

Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit — his actions, his gifts, and his biddings — in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands.127

127.

Cf. OC Introduction 3.

2670
(all)

1310

To receive Confirmation one must be in a state of grace. One should receive the sacrament of Penance in order to be cleansed for the gift of the Holy Spirit. More intense prayer should prepare one to receive the strength and graces of the Holy Spirit with docility and readiness to act.128

128.

Cf. Acts 1:14.

1255
(all)

1311

Candidates for Confirmation, as for Baptism, fittingly seek the spiritual help of a sponsor. To emphasize the unity of the two sacraments, it is appropriate that this be one of the baptismal godparents.129

129.

Cf. OC Introduction 5; 6; CIC, Can. 893 §§ 1-2.

V. THE MINISTER OF CONFIRMATION

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(all)

1312

The original minister of Confirmation is the bishop.130

In the East, ordinarily the priest who baptizes also immediately confers Confirmation in one and the same celebration. But he does so with sacred chrism consecrated by the patriarch or the bishop, thus expressing the apostolic unity of the Church whose bonds are strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation. In the Latin Church, the same discipline applies to the Baptism of adults or to the reception into full communion with the Church of a person baptized in another Christian community that does not have valid Confirmation.131

130.

Cf. LG 26.

131.

Cf. CIC, Can. 883 § 2.

1285
1290
(all)

1313

In the Latin Rite, the ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop.132 If the need arises, the bishop may grant the faculty of administering Confirmation to priests,133 although it is fitting that he confer it himself, mindful that the celebration of Confirmation has been temporally separated from Baptism for this reason. Bishops are the successors of the apostles. They have received the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders. The administration of this sacrament by them demonstrates clearly that its effect is to unite those who receive it more closely to the Church, to her apostolic origins, and to her mission of bearing witness to Christ.

132.

Cf. CIC, Can. 882.

133.

Cf. CIC, Can. 884 § 2.

1307
(all)

1314

If a Christian is in danger of death, any priest can give him Confirmation.134 Indeed the Church desires that none of her children, even the youngest, should depart this world without having been perfected by the Holy Spirit with the gift of Christ's fullness.

134.

Cf. CIC, Can. 883 § 3.


28 posted on 04/29/2014 4:24:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:April 29, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who set Saint Catherine of Siena on fire with divine love in her contemplation of the Lord's Passion and her service or your Church, grant, through her intercession, that your people, participating in the mystery of Christ, may ever exult in the revelation of his glory. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Baked Ziti

o    Heart Cake (cut-up)

ACTIVITIES

o    St. Catherine of Siena on Loving Your Neighbor, the Poor, and God's Omnipresence

PRAYERS

o    Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven)

o    Litany of Dominican Saints and Blesseds

o    Novena to St. Catherine of Siena

LIBRARY

o    Be Strong and Creative in Your Love | Pope John Paul II

o    Do Not Accept Ideas Without a Future | Pope John Paul II

o    Three Co-Patronesses of Europe | Pope John Paul II

·         Easter: April 29th

·         Memorial of St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor

Old Calendar: St. Peter of Verona, martyr; St. Hugh of Cluny (Hist) ; Other Titles: St. Catharine of Siena

Catherine Benincasa, born in Siena at a date that remains uncertain, was favored with visions from the age of seven. Becoming a tertiary of the Dominican Order, she acquired great influence by her life of prayer and extraordinary mortifications as well as by the spread of her spiritual writings. Her continual appeals for civil peace and reform of the Church make her one of the leading figures of the fourteenth century. Worn out by her mortifications and negotiations she died in Rome on April 29, 1380.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, St. Catherine's feast is celebrated on April 30 and today is the feast of St. Peter of Verona. He was born about 1205 at Verona. His parents were Manichaeans, but he was converted and entered the Order of Preachers with the ambition not only of preaching the faith but of giving his life for it. He had his wish, for in the course of his apostolic work he was assassinated by the Manichaeans on the road from Como to Milan in 1252.

Historically today is the feast of St. Hugh of Cluny, a prince related to the sovereign house of the dukes of Burgundy. He was an adviser to nine popes.


St. Catherine of Siena

Catherine, the youngest of twenty-five children, was born in Siena on March 25, 1347. During her youth she had to contend with great difficulties on the part of her parents. They were planning marriage for their favorite daughter; but Catherine, who at the age of seven had already taken a vow of virginity, refused. To break her resistance, her beautiful golden brown tresses were shorn to the very skin and she was forced to do the most menial tasks. Undone by her patience, mother and father finally relented and their child entered the Third Order of St. Dominic.

Unbelievable were her austerities, her miracles, her ecstasies. The reputation of her sanctity soon spread abroad; thousands came to see her, to be converted by her. The priests associated with her, having received extraordinary faculties of absolution, were unable to accommodate the crowds of penitents. She was a helper and a consoler in every need. As time went on, her influence reached out to secular and ecclesiastical matters. She made peace between worldly princes. The heads of Church and State bowed to her words. She weaned Italy away from an anti-pope, and made cardinals and princes promise allegiance to the rightful pontiff. She journeyed to Avignon and persuaded Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome. Even though she barely reached the age of thirty-three her accomplishments place her among the great women of the Middle Ages. The virgin Catherine was espoused to Christ by a precious nuptial ring which, although visible only to her, always remained on her finger.

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

Patron: Against fire; bodily ills; Europe; fire prevention; firefighters; illness; Italy; miscarriages; nurses; nursing services; people ridiculed for their piety; sexual temptation; sick people; sickness; Siena, Italy; temptations.

Symbols: Cross; heart; lily; ring; stigmata.

Things to Do:


St. Peter of Verona

Peter entered the Dominican Order in 1221, the year when St. Dominic died. He was a zealous preacher, and as Inquisitor converted many heretics. While attending school at the age of seventeen, he was asked by his uncle, a heretic, what he was learning. Candidly the boy replied, "The Apostles' Creed." Neither threats nor honeyed words from father and uncle were able to shake the boy's steadfast faith. Years later, when death was near, he once more recited the Apostles' Creed that he prayed so courageously in his youth. The mortal stab soon fell, and he received the martyr's crown.

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

Patron: Inquisitors.

Symbol: Dominican with a large knife in or splitting his head; holding a knife; man with a knife in his head and a sword in his breast.

Things to Do:


St. Hugh of Cluny

St. Hugh was a prince related to the sovereign house of the dukes of Burgundy, and had his education under the tuition of his pious Mother, and under the care of Hugh, Bishop of Auxerre, his great-uncle. From his infancy he was exceedingly given to prayer and meditation, and his life was remarkably innocent and holy.

One day, hearing an account of the wonderful sanctity of the monks of Cluny, under St. Odilo, he was so moved that he set out that moment, and going thither, humbly begged the monastic habit. After a rigid novitiate, he made his profession in 1039, being sixteen years old.

His extraordinary virtue, especially his admirable humility, obedience, charity, sweetness, prudence, and zeal, gained him the respect of the whole community; and upon the death of St. Odilo, in 1049, though only twenty-five years old, he succeeded to the government of that great abbey, which he held sixty-two years.

He received to the religious profession Hugh, Duke of Burgundy, and died on the twenty-ninth of April, in 1109, aged eighty-five.

He was canonized twelve years after his death by Pope Calixtus II.

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


29 posted on 04/29/2014 4:38:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Doctors of the Catholic Church

Saint Catherine of Siena

Also known as

Memorial

Profile

Youngest of 24 children; her father was a wool-dyer. At the age of seven she had a vision in which Jesus appeared with Peter, Paul, and John; Jesus blessed her, and she consecrated herself to Him. Her parents began making arranged marriages for her when she turned 12, but she refused to co-operate, became a Dominican tertiary at age 15, and spent her time working with the poor and sick, attracting others to work with her. Received a vision in which she was in a mystical marriage with Christ, and the Infant Christ presented her with a wedding ring. Some of her visions drove her to become more involved in public life. Counselor to and correspondent with Pope Gregory XI and Pope Urban VI. Stigmatist in 1375. Lived in Avignon, France in 1376, and then in Rome, Italy from 1378 until her death. Friend of Blessed Raymond of Capua who was also her confessor. Proclaimed Doctor of the Church on 4 October 1970.

Born

Died

Canonized

Patronage

Representation

Images

Prayers

Writings

Additional Information


30 posted on 04/29/2014 5:21:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Acts 4:32-37

Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

There was no needy person among them. (Acts 4:34)

Isn’t it striking how the first Christians took care of one another? Moved by their love for the Lord and for each other, the wealthier members of their community—people like Barnabas—freely shared their resources with those who were less fortunate. They considered their bounty as a blessing from God, something that they should share with each other rather than hold onto for themselves (Acts 4:34-37).

Blessed Frederic Ozanam is a more contemporary example of someone who, like the early Christians, looked beyond himself to the needs of the people around him. When thousands died in a cholera epidemic in Paris in 1832, many more were left destitute. Ozanam, a young university student, was moved at the hopeless state of families who had lost the support of their breadwinners. Then he was stung by another student’s remark: “In former times Christianity worked wonders, but what is it doing for mankind now? And you, who pride yourself on your Catholicity, what are you doing for the poor?”

In response, Ozanam gathered a few friends and began to do whatever he could to relieve the suffering he saw in the slums of the city. Eventually, a new organization, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, grew from Ozanam’s work and spread. Through the society, volunteers serve millions of disadvantaged people around the globe. They provide home visits, job training, housing assistance, food pantries, and medicine for the elderly. They pray with people, care for their needs, and show the love of Christ in countless concrete ways.

Most of us don’t live in so close-knit a community as the first Christians, where everything was held in common. Nor would many of us be able, like Barnabas, to sell our property, donate it to our local parish, and still be able to care for ourselves and our families. But God still calls us to bear witness to Jesus through acts of generosity and loving service that are in line with our circumstances. So ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see the needs around you. Sharing even a little of your resources, even a little of your time and attention, can make a big difference!

“Lord, show me how I can share the blessings you have given me.”

Psalm 93:1-2, 5; John 3:7-15


31 posted on 04/29/2014 5:31:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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

Daily Marriage Tip for April 29, 2014:

“A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (Jn 10:11) In today’s world time is often our most precious commodity. It reflects your priorities. When you give time and attention to your beloved, it’s like laying down your life for the other. Save time for each other today.

32 posted on 04/29/2014 5:36:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
John
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 3
7 Wonder not, that I said to thee, you must be born again. Non mireris quia dixi tibi : oportet vos nasci denuo . μη θαυμασης οτι ειπον σοι δει υμας γεννηθηναι ανωθεν
8 The Spirit breatheth where he will; and thou hearest his voice, but thou knowest not whence he cometh, and whither he goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Spiritus ubi vult spirat, et vocem ejus audis, sed nescis unde veniat, aut quo vadat : sic est omnis qui natus est ex spiritu. το πνευμα οπου θελει πνει και την φωνην αυτου ακουεις αλλ ουκ οιδας ποθεν ερχεται και που υπαγει ουτως εστιν πας ο γεγεννημενος εκ του πνευματος
9 Nicodemus answered, and said to him: How can these things be done? Respondit Nicodemus, et dixit ei : Quomodo possunt hæc fieri ? απεκριθη νικοδημος και ειπεν αυτω πως δυναται ταυτα γενεσθαι
10 Jesus answered, and said to him: Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things? Respondit Jesus, et dixit ei : Tu es magister in Israël, et hæc ignoras ? απεκριθη ιησους και ειπεν αυτω συ ει ο διδασκαλος του ισραηλ και ταυτα ου γινωσκεις
11 Amen, amen I say to thee, that we speak what we know, and we testify what we have seen, and you receive not our testimony. amen, amen dico tibi, quia quod scimus loquimur, et quod vidimus testamur, et testimonium nostrum non accipitis. αμην αμην λεγω σοι οτι ο οιδαμεν λαλουμεν και ο εωρακαμεν μαρτυρουμεν και την μαρτυριαν ημων ου λαμβανετε
12 If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not; how will you believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things? Si terrena dixi vobis, et non creditis : quomodo, si dixero vobis cælestia, credetis ? ει τα επιγεια ειπον υμιν και ου πιστευετε πως εαν ειπω υμιν τα επουρανια πιστευσετε
13 And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven. Et nemo ascendit in cælum, nisi qui descendit de cælo, Filius hominis, qui est in cælo. και ουδεις αναβεβηκεν εις τον ουρανον ει μη ο εκ του ουρανου καταβας ο υιος του ανθρωπου ο ων εν τω ουρανω
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up: Et sicut Moyses exaltavit serpentem in deserto, ita exaltari oportet Filium hominis : και καθως μωσης υψωσεν τον οφιν εν τη ερημω ουτως υψωθηναι δει τον υιον του ανθρωπου
15 That whosoever believeth in him, may not perish; but may have life everlasting. ut omnis qui credit in ipsum, non pereat, sed habeat vitam æternam. ινα πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον μη αποληται αλλ εχη ζωην αιωνιον

33 posted on 04/29/2014 7:16:53 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
7. Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again.
8. The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell whence it comes, and whither it goes; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

CHRYS Do not look then for any material production, or think that the Spirit generates flesh; for even the Lord's flesh is generated not by the Spirit only, but also by the flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spiritual. The birth here spoken of takes place not according to our substance, but according to honor and grace. But the birth of the Son of God is otherwise; for else what would He have been more than all who are born again? And He would be proved too inferior to the Spirit, inasmuch as His birth would be by the grace of the Spirit. How does this differ from the Jewish doctrine? - But mark next the part of the Holy Spirit, in the divine work. For whereas above some are said to be born of God, here, we find, the Spirit generates them. - The wonder of Nicodemus being roused again by the words, He who is born of the Spirit is spirit, Christ meets him again with an instance from nature; Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again. The expression, Marvel not, shows that Nicodemus was surprised at His doctrine. He takes for this instance some thing, not of the grossness of other bodily things, but still removed from the incorporeal nature, the wind; The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell whence it comes, and whither it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. That is to say, if no one can restrain the wind from going where it will; much less can the laws of nature, whether the condition of our natural birth, or any other, restrain the action of the Spirit. That He speaks of the wind here is plain, from His saving, You hear the sound thereof, i.e. its noise when it strikes objects. He would not in talking to an unbeliever and ignorant person, so describe the action of the Spirit. He says, Blows where it lists; not meaning any power of choice in the wind, but only its natural movements, in their uncontrolled power. But can not tell whence it comes or whither it goes; i.e. If you can not explain the action of this wind which comes under the cognizance both of your feeling and hearing, why examine into the operation of the Divine Spirit? He adds, So is every one that is born of the Spirit.

AUG. But who of us does not see, for example, that the south wind blows from south to north, another wind from the east, another from the west? And how then do we not know whence the wind comes, and whither it goes?

BEDE. It is the Holy Spirit therefore, Who blows where He lists. It is in His own power to choose, whose heart to visit with in His enlightening grace. And you hear the sound thereof. When one filled with the Holy Spirit is present with you and speaks to you.

AUG. The Psalm sounds, the Gospel sounds, the Divine Word sounds; it is the sound of the Spirit. This means that the Holy Spirit is invisibly present in the Word and Sacrament, to accomplish our birth.

ALCUIN. Therefore, You know not whence it comes, or whither it goes; for, although the Spirit should possess a person in your presence at a particular time, it could not be seen how He entered into him, or how He went away again, because He is invisible.

HAYMO. Or, You can not tell whence it comes; i.e. you know not how He brings believers to the faith; or whither it goes, i.e. how He directs the faithful to their hope. And so is every one that is born of the Spirit; as if He said, The Holy Spirit is an invisible Spirit; and in like manner, every one who is born of the Spirit is born invisibly.

AUG. Or thus: If you are born of the Spirit, you will be such, that he, who is not yet born of the Spirit, will not know whence you come, or whither you go. For it follows, So is every one that is born of the Spirit.

THEOPHYL. This completely refutes Macedonius the impugner of the Spirit, who asserted that the Holy Ghost was a servant. The Holy Ghost, we find, works by His own power, where here He will, and what He will.

9. Nicodemus answered and said to him, How can these things be?
10. Jesus answered and said to him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?
11. Verily, verily, I say to you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and you receive not our witness.
12. If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things.

HAYMO. Nicodemus cannot take in the mysteries of the Divine Majesty, which our Lord reveals, and therefore asks how it is, not denying the fact, not meaning any censure, but wishing to be informed: Nicodemus answered and said to Him, How can these things be?

CHRYS. Forasmuch then as he still remains a Jew, and, after such clear evidence, persists in a low and carnal system, Christ addresses him henceforth with greater severity: Jesus answered and said to him, Are you a master in Israel, and know not these things?

AUG. What think we? that our Lord wished to insult this master in Israel? He wished him to be born of the Spirit: and no one is born of the Spirit except he is made humble; for this very humility it is, which makes us to be born of the Spirit. He however was inflated with his eminence as a master, and thought himself of importance because he was a doctor of the Jews. Our Lord then casts down his pride, in order that he may be born of the Spirit.

CHRYS. Nevertheless He does not charge the man with wickedness, but only with want of wisdom, and enlightenment. But some one will say, What connection has this birth, of which Christ speaks, with Jewish doctrines? Thus much. The first man that was made, the woman that was made out of his rib, the barren that bare, the miracles which were worked by means of water, I mean, Elijah's bringing up the iron from the river, the passage of the Red Sea, and Naaman the Syrian's purification in the Jordan, were all types and figures of the spiritual birth, and of the purification which was to take place thereby. Many passages in the Prophets too have a hidden reference to this birth: as that in the Psalms, Making you young and lusty as an eagle: and, Blessed is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven. And again, Isaac was a type of this birth. Referring to these passages, our Lord says, Are you a master in Israel, and know not these things? A second time however He condescends to his infirmity, and makes use of a common argument to render what He has said credible: Verily, verily, I say to you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen, and you receive not our testimony. Sight we consider the most certain of all the senses; so that when we say, we saw such a thing with our eyes, we seem to compel men to believe us. In like manner Christ, speaking after the manner of men, does not indeed say that he has seen actually, i.e. with the bodily eye, the mysteries He reveals; but it is clear that He means it of the most certain absolute knowledge. This then, viz. That we do know, he asserts of Himself alone.

HAYMO. Why, it is He asked, does He speak in the plural number, We speak that we do know? Because the speaker being the Only-Begotten Son of God, He would show that the Father was in the Son, and the Son in the Father, and the Holy Ghost from both, proceeding indivisibly.

ALCUIN. Or, the plural number may have this meaning; I, and they who are born again of the Spirit, alone understand what we speak; and having seen the Father in secret, this we testify openly to the world; and you, who are carnal and proud, receive not our testimony.

THEOPHYL. This is not said of Nicodemus, but of tile Jewish race, who to the very last persisted in unbelief.

CHRYS. They are words of gentleness, not of anger; a lesson to us, when we argue and cannot converse, not by sore and angry words, but by the absence of anger and clamor, (for clamor is the material of anger,) to prove the soundness of our views. Jesus in entering upon high doctrines, ever checks Himself in compassion to the weakness of His hearer: and does not dwell continuously on the most important truths, but turns to others more humble. Whence it follows: If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe if I tell you of heavenly things.

AUG. That is: If you do not believe that I can raise up a temple, which you have thrown down, how can you believe that men can be regenerated by the Holy Ghost?

CHRYS, Or thus: Be not surprised at His calling Baptism earthly. It is performed upon earth, and is compared with that stupendous birth, which is of the substance of the Father, an earthly birth being one of mere grace. And well has He said, not, You understand not, but, You believe not: for when the understanding cannot take in certain truths, we attribute it to natural deficiency or ignorance: but where that is not received which it belongs to faith only to receive, the fault is not deficiency, but unbelief. These truths, however, were revealed that posterity might believe and benefit by them, though the people of that age did not.

13. And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

AUG. After taking notice of this lack of knowledge in a person, who, on the strength of his magisterial station, set himself above others, and blaming the unbelief of such men, our Lord says, that if such as these do not believe, others will: No one has ascended into heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man who is in heaven. This may be rendered: The spiritual birth shall be of such sort, as that men from being earthly shall become heavenly: which will not be possible, except they are made members of Me; so that he who ascends, becomes one with Him who descended. Our Lord accounts His body, i.e. His Church, as Himself.

GREG. Forasmuch as we are made one with Him, to the place from which He came alone in Himself, thither He returns alone in us; and He who is ever in heaven, daily ascends to heaven.

AUG. Although He was made the Son of man upon earth, yet His Divinity with which, remaining in heaven, He descended to earth, He has declared not to disagree with the title of Son of man, as He has thought His flesh worthy the name of Son of God. For through the Unity of person, by which both substances are one Christ, He walked upon earth, being Son of God; and remained in heaven, being Son of man. And the belief of the greater, involves belief in the less. If then the Divine substance, which is so far more removed from us, and could for our sake take up the substance of man so as to unite them in one person; how much more easily may we believe, that the Saints united with the man Christ, become with Him one Christ, so that while it is true of all, that they ascend by grace, it is at the same time true, that He alone ascends to heaven, Who came down from heaven.

CHRYS. Or thus: Nicodemus having said, We know that You are a teacher sent from God; our Lord says, And no man has ascended, &c. in that He might not appear to be a teacher only like one of the Prophets.

THEOPHYL. But when you hear that the Son of man came down from heaven, think not that His flesh came down from heaven; for this is the doctrine of those heretics, who held that Christ took His Body from heaven, and only passed through the Virgin.

CHRYS. By the title Son of man here, He does not mean His flesh, but Himself altogether; the lesser part of His nature being put to express the whole. It is not uncommon with Him to name Himself wholly from His humanity, or wholly from His divinity.

BEDE; If a man of set purpose descend naked to the valley, and there providing himself with clothes and armor, ascend the mountain again, he who ascended may be said to be the same with him who descended.

HILARY; Or, His descending from heaven is the source of His origin as conceived by the Spirit: Mary gave not His body its origin, though the natural qualities of her sex contributed its birth and increase. That He is the Son of man is from the birth of the flesh which was conceived in the Virgin. That He is in heaven is form the power of His everlasting nature, which did not contract the power of the Word of God, which is infinite, within the sphere of a finite body. Our Lord remaining in the form of a servant, far from the whole circle, inner and outer, of heaven and the world, yet as Lord of heaven and the world, was not absent therefrom. So then He came down from heaven because He was the Son of man; and He was in heaven, because the Word, which was made flesh, had not ceased to be the Word.

AUG. But you wonder that He was at once here, and in heaven. Yet such power has He given to His disciples. Hear Paul, Our conversation is in heaven. If the man Paul walked upon earth, and had his conversation in heaven; shall not the God of heaven and earth be able to be in heaven and earth?

CHRYS. That too which seems very lofty is still unworthy of His vastness. For He is not in heaven only, but every where, and fills all things. But for the present He accommodates Himself to the weakness of His hearer, that by degrees He may convert him.

14. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15. That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

CHRYS. Having made mention of the gift of baptism, He proceeds to the source of it, i.e. the cross: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.

BEDE; He introduces the teacher of the Mosaic law, to the spiritual sense of that law; by a passage from the Old Testament history, which was intended to be a figure of His Passion, and of man's salvation.

AUG. Many dying in the wilderness from the attack of the serpents, Moses, by commandment of the Lord, lifted up a brazen serpent and those who looked upon it were immediately healed. The lifting up of the serpent is the death of Christ; the cause, by a certain mode of construction, being put for the effect. The serpent was the cause of death, inasmuch as he persuaded man into that sin, by which he merited death. Our Lord, however, did not transfer sin, i.e. the poison of the serpent, to his flesh, but death; in order that in the likeness of sinful flesh, there might be punishment without sin, by virtue of which sinful flesh might be delivered both from punishment and from sin.

THEOPHYL. See then the aptness of the figure. The figure of the serpent has the appearance of the beast, but not its poison: in the same way Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, being free from sin. By Christ's being lifted up, understand His being suspended on high, by which suspension He sanctified the air, even as He had sanctified the earth by walking upon it. Herein too is typified the glory of Christ: for the height of the cross was made His glory for in that He submitted to be judged, He judged the prince of this world; for Adam died justly, because he sinned; out Lord unjustly, because He did no sin. So He overcame him, who delivered Him over to death, and thus delivered Adam from death. And in this the devil found himself vanquished, that he could not upon the cross torment our Lord into hating His murderers: but only made Him love and pray for them the more. In this way the cross of Christ was made His lifting up, and glory.

CHRYS. Wherefore He does not say, The Son of man must be suspended, but lifted up, a more honorable term, but coming near the figure. He uses the figure to show that the old dispensation is akin to the new, and to show on His hearers' account that He suffered voluntarily; and that His death issued in life.

AUG. As then formerly he who looked to the serpent that was lifted up, was healed of its poison, and saved from death; so now he who is conformed to the likeness of Christ's death by faith and the grace of baptism, is delivered both from sin by justification, and from death by the resurrection: as He Himself said; That whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. What need then is there that the child should be conformed by baptism to the death of Christ, if he be not altogether tainted by the poisonous bite of the serpent?

CHRYS. Observe; He alludes to the Passion obscurely, in consideration to His hearer; but the fruit of the Passion He unfolds plainly; viz. that they who believe in the Crucified One should not perish. And if they who believe in the Crucified live, much more shall the Crucified One Himself.

AUG. But there is this difference between the figure and the reality, that the one recovered from temporal death, the other from eternal.

Catena Aurea John 3
34 posted on 04/29/2014 7:17:29 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Baptismal font

Reiner de Huy

1107-18
Cast bronze, height 60 cm, diameter 80 cm
Saint-Barthélemy, Liège

35 posted on 04/29/2014 7:17:54 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

The Joy that Flows from God’s Goodness

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 09:02

The treasured Wednesday catecheses of Pope Benedict XVI constitute a precious heritage for the Church in every place and time. One will want to return to them, again and again, as to a wellspring of refreshing water for the soul. Today, on the feast of the Holy Abbots of Cluny, I was drawn to re–read and meditate Pope Benedict’s presentation of Saint Odo of Cluny. The subtitles are my own and the text in boldface indicates my own emphases.

BENEDICT XVI
General Audience, Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Saint Odo of Cluny

What It Means to Be Christian

Dear Brothers and Sisters, After a long pause, I would like to resume the presentation of important writers of the Eastern and Western Church in the Middle Ages because in their life and writings we see as in a mirror what it means to be Christian. Today I present to you the luminous figure of St Odo, Abbot of Cluny. He fits into that period of medieval monasticism which saw the surprising success in Europe of the life and spirituality inspired by the Rule of St Benedict. In those centuries there was a wonderful increase in the number of cloisters that sprang up and branched out over the continent, spreading the Christian spirit and sensibility far and wide. St Odo takes us back in particular to Cluny, one of the most illustrious and famous monasteries in the Middle Ages that still today reveals to us, through its majestic ruins, the signs of a past rendered glorious by intense dedication to ascesis, study and, in a special way, to divine worship, endowed with decorum and beauty.

Tender Devotion to Our Lady

Odo was the second Abbot of Cluny. He was born in about 880, on the boundary between the Maine and the Touraine regions of France. Odo’s father consecrated him to the holy Bishop Martin of Tours, in whose beneficent shadow and memory he was to spend his entire life, which he ended close to St Martin’s tomb. His choice of religious consecration was preceded by the inner experience of a special moment of grace, of which he himself spoke to another monk, John the Italian, who later became his biographer. Odo was still an adolescent, about 16 years old, when one Christmas Eve he felt this prayer to the Virgin rise spontaneously to his lips: “My Lady, Mother of Mercy, who on this night gave birth to the Saviour, pray for me. May your glorious and unique experience of childbirth, O Most Devout Mother, be my refuge” (Vita sancti Odonis, 1, 9: PL 133, 747). The name “Mother of Mercy”, with which young Odo then invoked the Virgin, was to be the title by which he always subsequently liked to address Mary. He also called her “the one Hope of the world … thanks to whom the gates of Heaven were opened to us” (In veneratione S. Mariae Magdalenae: PL 133, 721).

Saint Benedict Shining Like a Lamp in the Darkness

At that time Odo chanced to come across the Rule of St Benedict and to comment on it, “bearing, while not yet a monk, the light yoke of monks” (ibid., I, 14, PL 133, 50). In one of his sermons Odo was to celebrate Benedict as the “lamp that shines in the dark period of life” (De sancto Benedicto abbate: PL 133, 725), and to describe him as “a teacher of spiritual discipline” (ibid., PL 133, 727). He was to point out with affection that Christian piety, “with the liveliest gentleness commemorates him” in the knowledge that God raised him “among the supreme and elect Fathers of Holy Church” (ibid., PL 133, 722).

Virtue of Patience

Fascinated by the Benedictine ideal, Odo left Tours and entered the Benedictine Abbey of Baume as a monk; he later moved to Cluny, of which in 927 he became abbot. From that centre of spiritual life he was able to exercise a vast influence over the monasteries on the continent. Various monasteries or coenobiums were able to benefit from his guidance and reform, including that of St Paul Outside-the-Walls. More than once Odo visited Rome and he even went as far as Subiaco, Monte Cassino and Salerno. He actually fell ill in Rome in the summer of 942. Feeling that he was nearing his end, he was determined, and made every effort, to return to St Martin in Tours, where he died, in the Octave of the Saint’s feast, on 18 November 942. His biographer, stressing the “virtue of patience” that Odo possessed, gives a long list of his other virtues that include contempt of the world, zeal for souls and the commitment to peace in the Churches. Abbot Odo’s great aspirations were: concord between kings and princes, the observance of the commandments, attention to the poor, the correction of youth and respect for the elderly (cf. Vita sancti Odonis, I, 17: PL 133, 49).

Solitude, Interiority, Openness to the Light of God

He loved the cell in which he dwelled, “removed from the eyes of all, eager to please God alone” (ibid., I, 14: PL 133, 49). However, he did not fail also to exercise, as a “superabundant source”, the ministry of the word and to set an example, “regretting the immense wretchedness of this world” (ibid., I, 17: PL 133, 51). In a single monk, his biographer comments, were combined the different virtues that exist, which are found to be few and far between in other monasteries: “Jesus, in his goodness, drawing on the various gardens of monks, in a small space created a paradise, in order to water the hearts of the faithful from its fountains” (ibid., I, 14: PL 133,49). In a passage from a sermon in honour of Mary of Magdala the Abbot of Cluny reveals to us how he conceived of monastic life: “Mary, who, seated at the Lord’s feet, listened attentively to his words, is the symbol of the sweetness of contemplative life; the more its savour is tasted, the more it induces the mind to be detached from visible things and the tumult of the world’s preoccupations” (In ven. S. Mariae Magd., PL 133, 717). Odo strengthened and developed this conception in his other writings. From them transpire his love for interiority, a vision of the world as a brittle, precarious reality from which to uproot oneself, a constant inclination to detachment from things felt to be sources of anxiety, an acute sensitivity to the presence of evil in the various types of people and a deep eschatological aspiration. This vision of the world may appear rather distant from our own; yet Odo’s conception of it, his perception of the fragility of the world, values an inner life that is open to the other, to the love of one’s neighbour, and in this very way transforms life and opens the world to God’s light.

The Eucharistic Piety of Odo of Cluny

The “devotion” to the Body and Blood of Christ which Odo in the face of a widespread neglect of them which he himself deeply deplored always cultivated with conviction deserves special mention. Odo was in fact firmly convinced of the Real Presence, under the Eucharistic species, of the Body and Blood of the Lord, by virtue of the conversion of the “substance” of the bread and the wine.  He wrote: “God, Creator of all things, took the bread saying that this was his Body and that he would offer it for the world, and he distributed the wine, calling it his Blood”; now, “it is a law of nature that the change should come about in accordance with the Creator’s command”, and thus “nature immediately changes its usual condition: the bread instantly becomes flesh, and the wine becomes blood”; at the Lord’s order, “the substance changes” (Odonis Abb. Cluniac. occupatio, ed. A. Swoboda, Leipzig 1900, p. 121). Unfortunately, our abbot notes, this “sacrosanct mystery of the Lord’s Body, in whom the whole salvation of the world consists”, (Collationes, XXVIII: PL 133, 572), is celebrated carelessly. “Priests”, he warns, “who approach the altar unworthily, stain the bread, that is, the Body of Christ” (ibid., PL 133, 572-573). Only those who are spiritually united to Christ may worthily participate in his Eucharistic Body: should the contrary be the case, to eat his Flesh and to drink his Blood would not be beneficial but rather a condemnation (cf. ibid., XXX, PL 133, 575). All this invites us to believe the truth of the Lord’s presence with new force and depth. The presence in our midst of the Creator, who gives himself into our hands and transforms us as he transforms the bread and the wine, thus transforms the world.

Divine Mercy

St Odo was a true spiritual guide both for the monks and for the faithful of his time. In the face of the “immensity of the vices widespread in society, the remedy he strongly advised was that of a radical change of life, based on humility, austerity, detachment from ephemeral things and adherence to those that are eternal (cf. Collationes, XXX, PL 133, 613). In spite of the realism of his diagnosis on the situation of his time, Odo does not indulge in pessimism: “We do not say this”, he explains, “in order to plunge those who wish to convert into despair. Divine mercy is always available; it awaits the hour of our conversion” (ibid., PL 133, 563). And he exclaims: “O ineffable bowels of divine piety! God pursues wrongs and yet protects sinners” (ibid., PL 133, 592). Sustained by this conviction, the Abbot of Cluny used to like to pause to contemplate the mercy of Christ, the Saviour whom he describes evocatively as “a lover of men”: “amator hominum Christus” (ibid., LIII: PL 133, 637). He observes “Jesus took upon himself the scourging that would have been our due in order to save the creature he formed and loves (cf. ibid., PL 133, 638).

Goodness, Merriment, and Joy

Here, a trait of the holy abbot appears that at first sight is almost hidden beneath the rigour of his austerity as a reformer: his deep, heartfelt kindness. He was austere, but above all he was good, a man of great goodness, a goodness that comes from contact with the divine goodness. Thus Odo, his peers tell us, spread around him his overflowing joy. His biographer testifies that he never heard “such mellifluous words” on human lips (ibid., I, 17: PL 133, 31). His biographer also records that he was in the habit of asking the children he met along the way to sing, and that he would then give them some small token, and he adds: “Abbot Odo’s words were full of joy … his merriment instilled in our hearts deep joy” (ibid., II, 5: PL 133, 63). In this way the energetic yet at the same time lovable medieval abbot, enthusiastic about reform, with incisive action nourished in his monks, as well as in the lay faithful of his time, the resolution to progress swiftly on the path of Christian perfection.

Let us hope that his goodness, the joy that comes from faith, together with austerity and opposition to the world’s vices, may also move our hearts, so that we too may find the source of the joy that flows from God’s goodness.


36 posted on 04/29/2014 9:04:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Ex abundantia enim cordis os loquitur

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 09:26

A fragment of the ambo of the great church of Cluny

 

Today’s feast of the Holy Abbots of Cluny compelled me to return to Pope Benedict’s exposition of the contribution of Cluny to the life of the Church, a contribution that remains alive and relevant today. For Benedictine monks, in a very special way, the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI was a season rich in graces. Pope Benedict XVI’s uniquely Benedictine sensibility informed and coloured his teachings. His very demeanour of  humility, gentleness, and moderation corresponded to the description of the abbot that Saint Benedict sets forth in the Holy Rule. It is no surprise then that when Pope Benedict spoke of Benedictine subjects, he became wonderfully eloquent and enthusiastic. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). The subtitles are my own and the text in boldface indicates my own emphases.

BENEDICT XVI
General Audience, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Cluniac Reform

1,200 Monasteries

Dear Brothers and Sisters, this morning I would like to speak to you about a monastic movement that was very important in the Middle Ages and which I have already mentioned in previous Catecheses. It is the Order of Cluny which at the beginning of the 12th century, at the height of its expansion, had almost 1,200 monasteries: a truly impressive figure! A monastery was founded at Cluny in 910, precisely 1,100 years ago, and subsequent to the donation of William the Pious, Duke of Aquitaine, was placed under the guidance of Abbot Berno. At that time Western monasticism, which had flourished several centuries earlier with St Benedict, was experiencing a severe decline for various reasons: unstable political and social conditions due to the continuous invasions and sacking by peoples who were not integrated into the fabric of Europe, widespread poverty and, especially, the dependence of abbeys on the local nobles who controlled all that belonged to the territories under their jurisdiction. In this context, Cluny was the heart and soul of a profound renewal of monastic life that led it back to its original inspiration.

Central Role of the Liturgy in Christian Life

At Cluny the Rule of St Benedict was restored with several adaptations which had already been introduced by other reformers. The main objective was to guarantee the central role that the Liturgy must have in Christian life. The Cluniac monks devoted themselves with love and great care to the celebration of the Liturgical Hours, to the singing of the Psalms, to processions as devout as they were solemn, and above all, to the celebration of Holy Mass. They promoted sacred music, they wanted architecture and art to contribute to the beauty and solemnity of the rites; they enriched the liturgical calendar with special celebrations such as, for example, at the beginning of November, the Commemoration of All Souls, which we too have just celebrated; and they intensified the devotion to the Virgin Mary.

A Venerable Sanctuary of Prayer

Great importance was given to the Liturgy because the monks of Cluny were convinced that it was participation in the liturgy of Heaven. And the monks felt responsible for interceding at the altar of God for the living and the dead, given large numbers of the faithful were insistently asking them to be remembered in prayer. Moreover, it was with this same aim that William the Pious had desired the foundation of the Abbey of Cluny. In the ancient document that testifies to the foundation we read: “With this gift I establish that a monastery of regulars be built at Cluny in honour of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, where monks who live according to the Rule of St Benedict shall gather… so that a venerable sanctuary of prayer with vows and supplications may be visited there, and the heavenly life be sought after and yearned for with every desire and with deep ardour, and that assiduous prayers, invocations and supplications be addressed to the Lord”. To preserve and foster this atmosphere of prayer, the Cluniac Rule emphasized the importance of silence, to which discipline the monks willingly submitted, convinced that the purity of the virtues to which they aspired demanded deep and constant recollection. It is not surprising that before long the Monastery of Cluny gained a reputation for holiness and that many other monastic communities decided to follow its discipline. Numerous princes and Popes asked the abbots of Cluny to extend their reform so that in a short time a dense network of monasteries developed that were linked to Cluny, either by true and proper juridical bonds or by a sort of charismatic affiliation. Thus a spiritual Europe gradually took shape in the various regions of France and in Italy, Spain, Germany and Hungary.

A Succession of Saintly Abbots

Cluny’s success was assured primarily not only by the lofty spirituality cultivated there but also by several other conditions that ensured its development. In comparison with what had happened until then, the Monastery of Cluny and the communities dependent upon it were recognized as exempt from the jurisdiction of the local Bishops and were directly subject to that of the Roman Pontiff. This meant that Cluny had a special bond with the See of Peter and, precisely because of the protection and encouragement of the Pontiffs the ideals of purity and fidelity proposed by the Cluniac Reform spread rapidly. Furthermore, the abbots were elected without any interference from the civil authorities, unlike what happened in other places. Truly worthy people succeeded one another at the helm of Cluny and of the numerous monastic communities dependent upon it: Abbot Odo of Cluny, of whom I spoke in a Catechesis two months ago, and other great figures such as Eymard, Majolus, Odilo and especially Hugh the Great, who served for long periods, thereby assuring stability and the spread of the reform embarked upon. As well as Odo, Majolus, Odilo and Hugh are venerated as Saints.

Spiritual Renewal for the Whole Church

Not only did the Cluniac Reform have positive effects in the purification and reawakening of monastic life but also in the life of the universal Church. In fact, the aspiration to evangelical perfection was an incentive to fight two great abuses that afflicted the Church in that period: simony, that is the acquisition of pastoral offices for money, and immorality among the secular clergy. The abbots of Cluny with their spiritual authority, the Cluniac monks who became Bishops and some of them even Popes, took the lead in this impressive action of spiritual renewal. And it yielded abundant fruit: celibacy was once again esteemed and practised by priests and more transparent procedures were introduced in the designation of ecclesiastical offices.

Charity for the Poor

Also significant were the benefits that monasteries inspired by the Cluniac Reform contributed to society. At a time when Church institutions alone provided for the poor, charity was practised with dedication. In all the houses, the almoner was bound to offer hospitality to needy wayfarers and pilgrims, travelling priests and religious and especially the poor, who came asking for food and a roof over their heads for a few days. Equally important were two other institutions promoted by Cluny that were characteristic of medieval civilization: the “Truce of God” and the “Peace of God”. In an epoch heavily marked by violence and the spirit of revenge, with the “Truces of God” long periods of non-belligerence were guaranteed, especially on the occasion of specific religious feasts and certain days of the week. With “the Peace of God”, on pain of a canonical reprimand, respect was requested for defenceless people and for sacred places.

Peace and Justice

In this way, in the conscience of the peoples of Europe during that long process of gestation, which was to lead to their ever clearer recognition two fundamental elements for the construction of society matured, namely, the value of the human person and the primary good of peace. Furthermore, as happened for other monastic foundations, the Cluniac monasteries had likewise at their disposal extensive properties which, diligently put to good use, helped to develop the economy. Alongside the manual work there was no lack of the typical cultural activities of medieval monasticism such as schools for children, the foundation of libraries and scriptoria for the transcription of books.

Aspiration to the Things of God

In this way, 1,000 years ago when the development of the European identity had gathered momentum, the experience of Cluny, which had spread across vast regions of the European continent, made its important and precious contribution. It recalled the primacy of spiritual benefits; it kept alive the aspiration to the things of God; it inspired and encouraged initiatives and institutions for the promotion of human values; it taught a spirit of peace. Dear brothers and sisters let us pray that all those who have at heart an authentic humanism and the future of Europe may be able to rediscover, appreciate and defend the rich cultural and religious heritage of these centuries.


37 posted on 04/29/2014 9:06:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Born of the Spirit
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church

John 3:7b-15

Jesus said to Nicodemus: “‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to him, “How can this happen?” Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you know my needs better than I do. I turn to your Spirit to teach me what to ask for in this prayer. I want to fulfill your holy will over my life. I love you, Lord, and I place all my hope in you.

Petition: Lord, increase my faith!

1. You Are the Teacher of Israel: Nicodemus was one of the leading teachers, yet here he tries to make a quiet request for information from Jesus. As a religious teacher he was well versed in the rules and regulations, but there was still a gap in his knowledge. He didn’t know about the Holy Spirit and the new existence that we receive by being born of “water and the spirit.” In a way, he can’t be blamed, since Jesus had not yet revealed it, but it just goes to show us how fundamental spiritual knowledge is in order to be a credible spiritual leader. As committed Catholics, we need to lead others to deeper faith. But will we do so to the degree that we know the faith and are living it in our hearts?

2. Being Born of the Spirit: Are we practical materialists? At times we become so enmeshed in the reality of daily life that we don’t give the slightest thought to the spiritual world, which is infinitely greater than the material one that consumes all our attention. Through our baptism, we are marked out for heavenly things. We bear on our soul the indelible mark that proclaims to the universe that we are children of God. Every time we take a spiritual breath, and glance heavenwards, we renew that birth in the Spirit through which the Lord claimed us as his own. Let us never spend more than a minute as practical materialists!

3. Giving Testimony: Jesus speaks here about giving testimony. He wants us to be his witnesses as well. He wants us to continue to proclaim to the world the reality of the “heavenly things” that he revealed. Possibly the greatest testimony we can give is the happiness and charity of our lives. Joyful, charitable Catholics carry in their very demeanor the sign that their faith is authentic. Before you get angry, upset, or critical, ask yourself, “Is this the testimony of a life filled with the Holy Spirit?”

Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit in my life. At times, I don’t always live in accord with the great blessing you have given me, but I know that your patience and mercy always give me another chance. Help me to love others and give them a glimpse of heaven through my charity.

Resolution: In my conversation today, I will try to say something that will plant a spiritual seed in others.


38 posted on 04/29/2014 9:10:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Homily of the Day

Christ’s conversation with Nicodemus is a discourse on baptism, which means, to be born from above. One who is born from above allows the Spirit to lead his life; everything he does is based solely on the will of God. Even if we are all baptized, most of us cannot say that we are born from above because usually, we would rather do our own will, anything that makes us happy, fills us, and gratifies us.  We are all basically egoistic. This is why we truly need to be born of the Spirit. How are we born of the Spirit? By believing that the Son of Man was lifted up, we become people born of the Spirit, which is not a simple matter. Jesus was lifted up when he died on the cross and also when he was resurrected. To believe in this truth is to acknowledge Christ as the Lord. However, often, we raise up other gods in our lives like ourselves, money, success, affection, etc. We worship these idols instead of Christ, preferring our projects in life. This gospel is an invitation for us to allow Jesus Christ to overthrow the devil in our lives who keeps us slave of our concupiscence, of our egoism, and truly believe only in Him as our Lord.


39 posted on 04/29/2014 9:11:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body
40 posted on 04/29/2014 9:12:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 3

<< Tuesday, April 29, 2014 >> St. Catherine of Siena
 
Acts 4:32-37
View Readings
Psalm 93:1-2, 5 John 3:7-15
Similar Reflections
 

CULTURE WARS

 
"The community of believers were of one heart and one mind. None of them ever claimed anything as his own; rather, everything was held in common." —Acts 4:32
 

Jesus is praying that we would be one as He and the Father are one, so that the world will believe the Father has sent Him (Jn 17:21). To witness with power for the risen Christ, the community of believers must be "of one heart and one mind" (Acts 4:32-33). This unity must not be superficial but deep and concrete like the first Christian communities, who voluntarily shared all things in common (Acts 4:32; 2:44). For example, Barnabas sold his farm and gave the money from the sale to the Church (Acts 4:37). The love and unity in the Church's early communities was so deep that they laid down their lives for each other (1 Jn 3:16).

The secular humanistic culture we live in values independence and individualism rather than Christian community. Therefore, the communal life of the early Church may seem foreign to us. We can continue to be "blinded by the god of the present age" (2 Cor 4:4), or we can repent, believe in God's Word, and live a new life. Pope John Paul II has taught: "In a word, we can say that the cultural change which we are calling for demands from everyone the courage to adopt a new lifestyle" (The Gospel of Life, 98). Change your lifestyle. Live in Christian community. Witness with power for the risen Christ.

 
Prayer: Father, I will do anything and live any way to lead people to accept risen life in Jesus.
Promise: "The wind blows where it will. You hear the sound it makes but you do not know where it comes from, or where it goes. So it is with everyone begotten of the Spirit." —Jn 3:8
Praise: St. Catherine's mother and father allowed the Lord to bless them with a large family. Their twenty-fourth child, Catherine, became a Doctor of the Church.

41 posted on 04/29/2014 9:13:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Something for everyone to think about!

 

 

"A country which kills its own children has no future."

-Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

 


42 posted on 04/29/2014 9:14:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

They didn’t - but what is described is a communist ideal. I just find it quite challenging.


43 posted on 04/30/2014 12:15:08 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Saint Catherine and the Church

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 08:42

A Church Ever Youthful

Looking at Saint Catherine of Siena we see a woman fully alive, a woman who, in spite of intense and prolonged sufferings, prodded, poked, and prayed the world-weary, decadent clergy of her own day into the perennial youthfulness that ever manifests the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Catherine cried out the renewing power of the Blood of Christ with every fiber of her being. The vitality and energy of the Church, the Body of Christ, were for her, evidence of the Blood of Christ that circulates eucharistically in all her veins.

Her Sweet Christ on Earth

For Catherine, the Pope was “her sweet Christ on earth.” In The Dialogue, she hears the Eternal Father saying to her: “Consider the gentle Gregory, Sylvester, and the other successors of the chief pontiff Peter, to whom my Truth gave the keys of the heavenly kingdom when he said: ‘Peter, I am giving you the keys of the heavenly kingdom; whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.’”

The Mystic Wine Cellar

Catherine’s insight into the mystery of the teaching Church and her glad reception of that teaching led her to see the Successor of Peter as the “keeper of the keys to the Blood,” the Precious Blood of Christ. For Saint Catherine, the Church is a mystic wine-cellar to which the Pope holds the key. Those who follow Peter into the mystic wine-cellar, those who are eager for the Church’s teaching, those who drink deeply of the Blood of Christ, allowing its fire to enliven and rejuvenate them, are able to say with Saint Catherine: “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love” (Ct 2:4).


44 posted on 04/30/2014 8:20:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Catherine in My Life

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 08:45

Images

Today’s feast of Saint Catherine brought to mind how she has moved about in my life at various times. Having grown up in a city graced with a magnificent Dominican church, I knew of Saint Catherine from having seen her in a stained glass window. As a little boy I was profoundly affected by pictures, especially “holy pictures.” Images engraved themselves in my memory. I remember having seen Saint Catherine crowned with thorns, and clutching the cross. In my “Lives of the Saints for Children” there was a romantic picture of Christ the King of Glory appearing in the sky over a young Catherine’s head. If I recall rightly, her little brother was with her.

The Fire of Love

I must have read about Saint Catherine in my Missal or in The Church’s Year of Grace by Pius Parsch, one of my favourite books from about age ten on. Years passed. I entered the monastery. One day I began reading the autobiographical notes of Cardinal Charles Journet. He described his own encounter with Catherine. He related how she erupted into his life as a seminarian, irrigating the dessicated theology of the “manuals” then in use, with a river of fire and of blood. Seminarians at the time were not allowed to read the mystics. They were deemed distractions from “serious theology.” The young Abbé Journet read Saint Catherine of Siena in secret. She saved him from the banalization of the Mystery and invited him to surrender not only his mind to the light of God, but also his heart to the Fire of Love.

In the Train to Lourdes

Several years later I was in a train going from Paris to Lourdes. Across from me in my compartment was an elderly Dominican Father engrossed in reading and in telling his beads. I had just finished saying part of the Office, when the Dominican smiled and offered me a “holy picture” from his own breviary. It depicted Saint Catherine of Siena reciting the breviary with Our Lord as they walked side by side. The elderly Dominican turned out to be Père Henri-Marie Manteau-Bonamy, the famous Mariologist.

Praying With Christ

There again, the image from Père Manteau-Bonamy’s breviary affected me deeply. I don’t know what has become of it. Someday perhaps I shall find it between the pages of a book. The truth it portrayed still challenges and comforts me. When I am obliged to pray the Divine Office alone and outside of choir, I softly sing my verse and then read the following one silently, allowing Our Lord to sing it. Thus do we form a single choir, a single body praising the Father together in the Holy Spirit. I never pray the Office alone. Christ is always present, singing His part, sustaining my weakness, and making my poor prayer all His. Had Père Manteau-Bonamy never given me that “holy picture” of Saint Catherine reciting the breviary with Our Lord, I would not, I think, be praying in quite the same way all these years later.


45 posted on 04/30/2014 8:22:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

The Body of the Priest and the Body of Christ

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 08:50

In the following passage from The Dialogue of Saint Catherine of Siena with the Eternal Father, God the Father addresses the clergy wallowing in sin. He contrasts the body of the priest with the Body of Christ. Notice how the text echoes the Reproaches (Improperia) of the Good Friday liturgy. “I did this for you . . . and you have done this in return.” The focus on the wounds of Jesus and on His Precious Blood are characteristic of Saint Catherine.

The Flesh of the Priest, Anointed and Consecrated

O despicable, wretched man, not man but beast! That you should give your flesh, anointed and consecrated to Me, to prostitutes and worse! By the wounded Body of My only-begotten Son on the wood of the most holy cross, your flesh and that of the whole human race was healed of the wound Adam dealt it by his sin. O wretch! He honored you and you disgrace Him! He healed your wounds with His Blood, and more, He made you His minister, and you persecute Him with your lustful dishonorable sins! The Good Shepherd washed the little sheep clean in His Blood. But you defile those who are pure. You use your power to hurl them into the dung heap. You who ought to be a mirror of honor are a mirror of dishonor. You have yielded all your members to the works of wickedness, doing the opposite of what My Truth did for you.

The Eyes of the Priest

I allowed them to blindfold His eyes to enlighten you, and you with your lustful eyes shoot poisoned arrows into your own soul and the hearts of those you look on so miserably.

The Tongue of the Priest

I let them give Him vinegar and gall to drink, and you like a perverse beast find your pleasure in delicate foods, making a god of your belly. On your tongue are dishonorable empty words. It is your duty with that tongue to admonish your neighbors, to proclaim My word, and to say the Office with your heart as well as your tongue. But I smell nothing but filth coming from your tongue as you swear and perjure yourself as you were a swindling hoodlum, blaspheming me right and left.

The Hands of the Priest

I let them bind My Sons hands to free you and the whole of mankind from the bondage of sin, and anointed and consecrated your hands for the ministry of the Most Holy Sacrament, and you use your hands for wretched obscene touching. All the actions you express through your hands are corrupt and directed to the devil’s service. O wretch! And I appointed you to such dignity so that you might serve Me alone–you and every other rational creature.

The following section is especially beautiful. The Father presents the Body of His Son as stairway leading to Himself. He speaks of the open Side of Jesus through which one sees His inmost Heart. The Heart of Jesus is a hostelry open to those who seek to taste the Father’s unspeakable love.

The Feet of the Priest

I willed that my Son’s feet should be nailed, and made His Body a stairway for you. I let them open His Side so that you might see His inmost Heart. I set Him like an open hostelry where you could see and taste My unspeakable love for you when you found and saw My divinity united with your humanity. There you see that I have made the Blood– of which you are a steward for Me–to be a bath to wash away your sins. And you have made of your heart a temple for the devil! And your will, of which your feet are a symbol, you use to offer me nothing but filth and abuse. The feet of your will carry you nowhere except to the devil’s haunts. So with your whole body you persecute My Son’s Body by doing the opposite of what He did and what you and everyone else are bound and obligated to do.


46 posted on 04/30/2014 8:24:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Priests: Ministers of the Sun

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 08:54

On this feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, here is a particularly poignant passage from The Dialogue. The image is Giovanni da Paola’s Saint Catherine of Siena Receiving Holy Communion from the Hand of Christ. Saint Catherine receives Holy Communion with her arms crossed over her breast, just as Eastern Christians do today. In the classic iconography of the Annunciation, this is the gesture of the Virgin Mary giving her assent to the Archangel Gabriel and receiving the Word in her womb. In the panel on the right a priest stands at the altar offering Holy Mass. Note the little Friar Preacher kneeling on the altar step.

Ministers of the Sun

I have shown you, dearest daughter, a sample of the excellence of good priests (for what I have shown you is only a sample of what that excellence really is), and I have told you of the dignity in which I have placed them, having elected them for My ministers, on account of which dignity and authority I do not wish them to be punished by the hand of seculars on account of any personal defect, for those who punish them offend Me miserably. But I wish seculars to hold them in due reverence, not for their own sakes, as I have said, but for Mine, by reason of the authority which I have given them. Wherefore this reverence should never diminish in the case of priests whose virtue grows weak, any more than in the case of those virtuous ones of whose goodness I have spoken to you; for all alike have been appointed ministers of the Sun–that is of the Body and Blood of My Son, and of the other Sacraments.

Priests in A Condition of Light

This dignity belongs to good and bad alike–all have the Sun to administer, as has been said, and perfect priests are themselves in a condition of light, that is to say, they illuminate and warm their neighbors through their love. And with this heat they cause virtues to spring up and bear fruit in the souls of their subjects. I have appointed them to be in very truth your guardian angels to protect you; to inspire your hearts with good thoughts by their holy prayers, and to teach you My doctrine reflected in the mirror of their life, and to serve you by administering to you the holy Sacraments, thus serving you, watching over you, and inspiring you with good and holy thoughts as does an angel.

They Are My Christs

See, then, that besides the dignity to which I have appointed them, how worthy they are of being loved; when they also possess the adornment of virtue, as did those of whom I spoke to you, which are all bound and obliged to possess, and in what great reverence you should hold them, for they are My beloved children and shine each as a sun in the mystical body of the holy Church by their virtues, for every virtuous man is worthy of love, and these all the more by reason of the ministry which I have placed in their hands. You should love them therefore by reason of the virtue and dignity of the Sacrament, and by reason of that very virtue and dignity you should hate the defects of those who live miserably in sin, but not on that account appoint yourselves their judges, which I forbid, because they are My Christs, and you ought to love and reverence the authority which I have given them.

Badly Ordered Priests

You know well that if a filthy and badly dressed person brought you a great treasure from which you obtained life, you would not hate the bearer, however ragged and filthy he might be, through love of the treasure and of the lord who sent it to you. His state would indeed displease you, and you would be anxious through love of his master that he should be cleansed from his foulness and properly clothed. This, then, is your duty according to the demands of charity, and thus I wish you to act with regard to such badly ordered priests, who themselves filthy and clothed in garments ragged with vice through their separation from My love, bring you great Treasures–that is to say, the Sacraments of the holy Church–from which you obtain the life of grace, receiving Them worthily (in spite of the great defects there may be in them) through love of Me, the Eternal God, who send them to you, and through love of that life of grace which you receive from the great treasure, by which they administer to you the whole of God and the whole of Man, that is to say, the Body and Blood of My Son united to My Divine nature.

Pray for Them and Not Judge Them

Their sins indeed should displease you, and you should hate them, and strive with love and holy prayer to re-clothe them, washing away their foulness with your tears–that is to say, that you should offer them before Me with tears and great desire, that I may re-clothe them in My goodness, with the garment of charity. Know well that I wish to do them grace, if only they will dispose themselves to receive it, and you to pray for it; for it is not according to My will that they should administer to you the Sun being themselves in darkness, not that they should be stripped of the garment of virtue, foully living in dishonor; on the contrary I have given them to you, and appointed them to be earthly angels and suns, as I have said. It not being My will that they should be in this state, you should pray for them, and not judge them, leaving their judgment to Me.

If They Do Not Accept the Breadth of My Mercy

And I, moved by your prayers, will do them mercy if they will only receive it, but if they do not correct their life, their dignity will be the cause of their ruin. For if they do not accept the breadth of My mercy, I, the Supreme Judge, shall terribly condemn them at their last extremity, and they will be sent to the eternal fire.


47 posted on 04/30/2014 8:26:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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