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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 05-25-14, Sixth Sunday of Easter
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 05-25-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 05/24/2014 7:55:17 PM PDT by Salvation

May 25, 2014

Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

 

Reading 1 Acts 8:5-8, 14-17

Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem
heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God,
they sent them Peter and John,
who went down and prayed for them,
that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
for it had not yet fallen upon any of them;
they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid hands on them
and they received the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20

R/ (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R/ Alleluia.

reading 2 1 Pt 3:15-18

Beloved:
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.

Gospel Jn 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”



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

1 posted on 05/24/2014 7:55:17 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 05/24/2014 8:05:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17

Philip’s Preaching in Samaria


[5] Philip went down to a city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ. [6]
And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to what was said by Philip, when
they heard him and saw the signs which he did. [7] For unclean spirits came out
of many who were possessed, crying with a loud voice; and many who were para-
lyzed or lame were healed. [8] So there was much joy in that city.

Peter and John in Samaria


[14] Now when the Apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the
Word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, [15] who came down and prayed
for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; [16] for it had not yet fallen on any
of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. [17] Then
they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

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

5. This is not Philip the Apostle (1:13) but one of the seven deacons appointed
to look after Christians in need (6:5). The Gospel is proclaimed to the Samaritans
— who also were awaiting the Messiah. This means that it now spreads beyond
the borders of Judea once and for all, and our Lord’s promise (Acts 1:8) is fulfilled:
“You shall by My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria.”

The despised Samaritans became the first to benefit from the Gospel’s determi-
nation to spread all over the world. We can sense St. Luke’s pleasure in reporting
its proclamation to the Samaritans; earlier he had already showed them in a favo-
rable light: he is the only Evangelist to recount the parable of the Good Samaritan
(cf. Luke 10:30-37) and to mention that the leper who came back to thank Jesus
after being cured was a Samaritan (cf. Luke 17:16). On the Samaritans in general,
see the note on John 4:20.

14-17. Here we see the Apostles exercising through Peter and John the authority
they have over the entire Church. The two Apostles proceed to confirm the dis-
ciples recently baptized by Philip: we may presume that in addition to laying their
hands on them to communicate the Holy Spirit, the Apostles made sure that they
had a correct grasp of the central points of the Gospel message. At this time the
Apostles constituted the spiritual center of the Church and took an active interest
in ensuring that the new communities were conscious of the links — doctrinal and
affective — that united them to the mother community in Jerusalem.

This passage bears witness to the existence of Baptism and the gift of the Holy
Spirit (or Confirmation) as two distinct sacramental rites. The most important ef-
fects Christian Baptism has are the infusion of initial grace and the remission of
Original Sin and any personal sin; it is the first sacrament a person receives,
which is why it is called the “door of the Church”.

There is a close connection between Baptism and Confirmation, so much so that
in the early centuries of Christianity, Confirmation was administered immediately
after Baptism. There is a clear distinction between these two sacraments of
Christian initiation, which helps us understand the different effects they have. A
useful comparison is the difference, in natural life, between conception and later
growth (cf. “St. Pius V Catechism”, II, 3, 5). “As nature intends that all her chil-
dren should grow and attain full maturity [...], so the Catholic Church, the com-
mon mother of all, earnestly wishes that, in those whom she has regenerated
by Baptism, the perfection of Christian manhood be completed” (”ibid.”, II, 3, 7).

“The nature of the Sacrament of Confirmation,” John Paul II explains, “grows out
of this endowment of strength which the Holy Spirit communicates to each bap-
tized person, to make him or her—as the well-known language of the Catechism
puts it—a perfect Christian and soldier of Christ, ready to witness boldly to His
resurrection and its redemptive power: ‘You shall be My witnesses’ (Acts 1:8)”

(”Homily”, 25 May 1980). “All Christians, incorporated into Christ and His Church
by Baptism, are consecrated to God. They are called to profess the faith which
they have received. By the Sacrament of Confirmation they are further endowed
by the Holy Spirit with special strength to be witnesses of Christ and sharers in
His mission of salvation” (”Homily in Limerick”, 1 October 1979). “This is a sa-
crament which in a special way associates us with the mission of the Apostles,
in that it inserts each baptized person into the apostolate of the Church” (”Homi-
ly in Cracow”, 10 June 1979). In the Sacrament of Confirmation divine grace anti-
cipates the aggressive and demoralizing temptations a young Christian man or
woman is likely to experience, and reminds them of the fact that they have a vo-
cation to holiness; it makes them feel more identified with the Church, their Mo-
ther, and helps them live in accordance with their Catholic beliefs and convic-
tions. From their formative years Christ makes them defenders of the faith.

*********************************************************************************************
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 05/24/2014 8:08:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: All

From: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17

Philip’s Preaching in Samaria


[5] Philip went down to a city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ. [6]
And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to what was said by Philip, when
they heard him and saw the signs which he did. [7] For unclean spirits came out
of many who were possessed, crying with a loud voice; and many who were para-
lyzed or lame were healed. [8] So there was much joy in that city.

Peter and John in Samaria


[14] Now when the Apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the
Word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, [15] who came down and prayed
for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; [16] for it had not yet fallen on any
of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. [17] Then
they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

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

5. This is not Philip the Apostle (1:13) but one of the seven deacons appointed
to look after Christians in need (6:5). The Gospel is proclaimed to the Samaritans
— who also were awaiting the Messiah. This means that it now spreads beyond
the borders of Judea once and for all, and our Lord’s promise (Acts 1:8) is fulfilled:
“You shall by My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria.”

The despised Samaritans became the first to benefit from the Gospel’s determi-
nation to spread all over the world. We can sense St. Luke’s pleasure in reporting
its proclamation to the Samaritans; earlier he had already showed them in a favo-
rable light: he is the only Evangelist to recount the parable of the Good Samaritan
(cf. Luke 10:30-37) and to mention that the leper who came back to thank Jesus
after being cured was a Samaritan (cf. Luke 17:16). On the Samaritans in general,
see the note on John 4:20.

14-17. Here we see the Apostles exercising through Peter and John the authority
they have over the entire Church. The two Apostles proceed to confirm the dis-
ciples recently baptized by Philip: we may presume that in addition to laying their
hands on them to communicate the Holy Spirit, the Apostles made sure that they
had a correct grasp of the central points of the Gospel message. At this time the
Apostles constituted the spiritual center of the Church and took an active interest
in ensuring that the new communities were conscious of the links — doctrinal and
affective — that united them to the mother community in Jerusalem.

This passage bears witness to the existence of Baptism and the gift of the Holy
Spirit (or Confirmation) as two distinct sacramental rites. The most important ef-
fects Christian Baptism has are the infusion of initial grace and the remission of
Original Sin and any personal sin; it is the first sacrament a person receives,
which is why it is called the “door of the Church”.

There is a close connection between Baptism and Confirmation, so much so that
in the early centuries of Christianity, Confirmation was administered immediately
after Baptism. There is a clear distinction between these two sacraments of
Christian initiation, which helps us understand the different effects they have. A
useful comparison is the difference, in natural life, between conception and later
growth (cf. “St. Pius V Catechism”, II, 3, 5). “As nature intends that all her chil-
dren should grow and attain full maturity [...], so the Catholic Church, the com-
mon mother of all, earnestly wishes that, in those whom she has regenerated
by Baptism, the perfection of Christian manhood be completed” (”ibid.”, II, 3, 7).

“The nature of the Sacrament of Confirmation,” John Paul II explains, “grows out
of this endowment of strength which the Holy Spirit communicates to each bap-
tized person, to make him or her—as the well-known language of the Catechism
puts it—a perfect Christian and soldier of Christ, ready to witness boldly to His
resurrection and its redemptive power: ‘You shall be My witnesses’ (Acts 1:8)”

(”Homily”, 25 May 1980). “All Christians, incorporated into Christ and His Church
by Baptism, are consecrated to God. They are called to profess the faith which
they have received. By the Sacrament of Confirmation they are further endowed
by the Holy Spirit with special strength to be witnesses of Christ and sharers in
His mission of salvation” (”Homily in Limerick”, 1 October 1979). “This is a sa-
crament which in a special way associates us with the mission of the Apostles,
in that it inserts each baptized person into the apostolate of the Church” (”Homi-
ly in Cracow”, 10 June 1979). In the Sacrament of Confirmation divine grace anti-
cipates the aggressive and demoralizing temptations a young Christian man or
woman is likely to experience, and reminds them of the fact that they have a vo-
cation to holiness; it makes them feel more identified with the Church, their Mo-
ther, and helps them live in accordance with their Catholic beliefs and convic-
tions. From their formative years Christ makes them defenders of the faith.

*********************************************************************************************
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 05/24/2014 8:09:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 14:15-21

The Promise of the Holy Spirit


Jesus said to His disciples: [15] “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
[16] And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Counsellor, to be with
you for ever, [17] even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because
it neither sees Him nor knows Him; you know Him, for He dwells with you, and will
be in you.

[18] “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. [19] Yet a little while, and
the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live
also. [20] In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in
you. [21] He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me;
and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and manifest
Myself to him.”

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

15. Genuine love must express itself in deeds. “This indeed is love: obeying and
believing in the loved one” (St. John Chrysostom, “Hom. on St. John”, 74). There-
fore, Jesus wants us to understand that love of God, if it is to be authentic, must
be reflected in a life of generous and faithful self-giving obedient to the Will of God:
he who accepts God’s commandments and obeys them, he it is who loves Him (cf.
John 14:21). St. John himself exhorts us in another passage not to “love in word
or speech but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18), and he teaches us that “this is
the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3).

16-17. On a number of occasions the Lord promises the Apostles that He will send
them the Holy Spirit (cf. 14:26; 15:36; 16:7-14; Matthew 10:20). Here He tells them
that one result of His mediation with the Father will be the coming of the Paraclete.
The Holy Spirit in fact does come down on the disciples after our Lord’s ascension
(cf. Acts 2:1-13), sent by the Father and by the Son. In promising here that through
Him the father will send them the Holy Spirit, Jesus is revealing the mystery of the
Blessed Trinity.

“Consoler”: the Greek word sometimes anglicized as “paraclete” means etymologi-
cally “called to be beside one” to accompany, to console, protect, defend. Hence
the word is translated as Consoler, Advocate, etc. Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit
as “another Consoler”, because He will be given them in Christ’s place as Advo-
cate or Defender to help them, since Jesus is going to ascend to Heaven. In 1
John 2:1 Jesus Christ is described as a Paraclete: “We have an advocate with the
Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous”. Jesus Christ, then, also is our Advocate and
Mediator in Heaven where He is with the Father (cf. Hebrews 7:25). It is now the
role of the Holy Spirit to guide, protect and vivify the Church, “for there are, as we
know, two factors which Christ has promised and arranged in different ways to
continue His mission [...]: the apostolate and the Spirit. The apostolate is the ex-
ternal and objective factor, it forms the material body, so to speak, of the Church
and is the source of her visible and social structures. The Holy Spirit acts inter-
nally within each person, as well as on the whole community, animating, vivifying,
sanctifying” (Paul VI, “Opening Address at the Third Session of Vatican II”, 14
September 1964).

The Holy Spirit is our Consoler as we make our way in this world amid difficulties
and the temptation to feel depressed. “In spite of our great limitations, we can look
up to Heaven with confidence and joy: God loves us and frees us from our sins.
The presence and the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church are a foretaste of
eternal happiness, of the joy and peace for which we are destined by God” (St.
J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 128).

18-20. At various points in the Supper we can see the Apostles growing sad when
the Lord bid them farewell (cf. John 15:16; 16:22). Jesus speaks to them with
great tenderness, calling them “little children” (John 13:33) and “friends” (John 15:
15), and He promises that He will not leave them alone, for He will send the Holy
Spirit, and He Himself will return to be with them again. And in fact He will see
them again after the Resurrection when He appears to them over a period of forty
days to tell them about the Kingdom of God (cf. Acts 1:3). When He ascends into
Heaven they will see Him no longer; yet Jesus still continues to be in the midst of
His disciples as He promised He would (cf. Matthew 28:20), and we will see Him
face to face in Heaven. “Then it shall be that we will be able to see that which we
believe. For even now He is with us, and we in Him [...]; but now we know by be-
lieving, whereas then we shall know by beholding.

*********************************************************************************************
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.


5 posted on 05/24/2014 8:11:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

If the Ascension of the Lord is going to be celebrated next Sunday, the alternative Second Reading and Gospel shown here (which would otherwise have been read on that Sunday) may be used today.


First reading

Acts 8:5-8,14-17 ©

Philip went to a Samaritan town and proclaimed the Christ to them. The people united in welcoming the message Philip preached, either because they had heard of the miracles he worked or because they saw them for themselves. There were, for example, unclean spirits that came shrieking out of many who were possessed, and several paralytics and cripples were cured. As a result there was great rejoicing in that town.

  When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, and they went down there, and prayed for the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit, for as yet he had not come down on any of them: they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.


Psalm

Psalm 65:1-7,16,20 ©

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

or

Alleluia!

Cry out with joy to God all the earth,

  O sing to the glory of his name.

O render him glorious praise.

  Say to God: ‘How tremendous your deeds!

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

or

Alleluia!

‘Before you all the earth shall bow;

  shall sing to you, sing to your name!’

Come and see the works of God,

  tremendous his deeds among men.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

or

Alleluia!

He turned the sea into dry land,

  they passed through the river dry-shod.

Let our joy then be in him;

  he rules for ever by his might.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

or

Alleluia!

Come and hear, all who fear God.

  I will tell what he did for my soul:

Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer

  nor withhold his love from me.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

or

Alleluia!

EITHER:

Second reading

1 Peter 3:15-18 ©

Reverence the Lord Christ in your hearts, and always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have. But give it with courtesy and respect and with a clear conscience, so that those who slander you when you are living a good life in Christ may be proved wrong in the accusations that they bring. And if it is the will of God that you should suffer, it is better to suffer for doing right than for doing wrong.

  Why, Christ himself, innocent though he was, had died once for sins, died for the guilty, to lead us to God. In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life.

OR:

Second reading

1 Peter 4:13-16 ©

If you can have some share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, because you will enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed. It is a blessing for you when they insult you for bearing the name of Christ, because it means that you have the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God resting on you. None of you should ever deserve to suffer for being a murderer, a thief, a criminal or an informer; but if anyone of you should suffer for being a Christian, then he is not to be ashamed of it; he should thank God that he has been called one.

EITHER:

Gospel Acclamation

Jn14:23

Alleluia, alleluia!

Jesus said: ‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word,

and my Father will love him,

and we shall come to him.’

Alleluia!

Gospel

John 14:15-21 ©

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.

I shall ask the Father,

and he will give you another Advocate

to be with you for ever,

that Spirit of truth

whom the world can never receive

since it neither sees nor knows him;

but you know him,

because he is with you, he is in you.

I will not leave you orphans;

I will come back to you.

In a short time the world will no longer see me;

but you will see me,

because I live and you will live.

On that day you will understand that I am in my Father

and you in me and I in you.

Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them

will be one who loves me;

and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father,

and I shall love him and show myself to him.’

OR:

Gospel Acclamation

cf.Jn14:18

Alleluia, alleluia!

I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord;

I will come back to you,

and your hearts will be full of joy.

Alleluia!

Gospel

John 17:1-11 ©

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

‘Father, the hour has come:

glorify your Son

so that your Son may glorify you;

and, through the power over all mankind that you have given him,

let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him.

And eternal life is this:

to know you,

the only true God,

and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

I have glorified you on earth

and finished the work that you gave me to do.

Now, Father, it is time for you to glorify me

with that glory I had with you

before ever the world was.

I have made your name known

to the men you took from the world to give me.

They were yours and you gave them to me,

and they have kept your word.

Now at last they know

that all you have given me comes indeed from you;

for I have given them the teaching you gave to me,

and they have truly accepted this, that I came from you,

and have believed that it was you who sent me.

I pray for them;

I am not praying for the world

but for those you have given me,

because they belong to you:

all I have is yours

and all you have is mine,

and in them I am glorified.

I am not in the world any longer,

but they are in the world,

and I am coming to you.’


6 posted on 05/24/2014 8:15:56 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!

 

7 posted on 05/24/2014 8:33:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
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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

8 posted on 05/24/2014 8:35:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 05/24/2014 8:40:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 05/24/2014 8:41:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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

11 posted on 05/24/2014 8:41:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I 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 Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


12 posted on 05/24/2014 8:42:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

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

13 posted on 05/24/2014 8:43:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

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


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


14 posted on 05/24/2014 8:44:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Grace

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Toward the end of the eighteenth century a zealous Jesuit priest, Father Lalomia, started among the students of the Roman college of his Society the practice of dedicating May to Our Lady. The devotion, which others had promoted in a small way, soon spread to other Jesuit Colleges and to the entire Latin church and since that time it has been a regular feature of Catholic life.

INVOCATIONS

Thou who wast a virgin before thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin in thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin after thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.

My Mother, deliver me from mortal sin.
Hail Mary (three times).

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

Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou shalt stand before the face of the Lord, that thou speak favorable things in our behalf and that He may turn away His indignation from us.
Roman Missal

Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and obtain for me the grace to please Him always and in all things.

FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

May we be assisted, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, by the worshipful intercession of Thy glorious Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary; that we, who have been enriched by her perpetual blessings, may be delivered from all dangers, and through her loving kindness made to be of one heart and mind: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Roman Missal

THE SALVE REGINA

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, 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!
Roman Breviary

PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found
the way to restoration? Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and, receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, 0 blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.
Saint Augustine

PETITION TO MARY

Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins. I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Magnificat Prayer
My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior,
For he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me,
holy is his name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of his mercy; Even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever.
(Lk 1:46-55) 

TO MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS
Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy, hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight.

FOR THE GRACE OF LOVE
O Mary, my dear Mother, how much I love thee! And yet in reality how little! Thou dost teach me what I ought to know, for thou teachest me what Jesus is to me and what I ought to be for Jesus. Dearly beloved Mother, how close to God thou art, and how utterly filled with Him! In the measure that we know God, we remind ourselves of thee. Mother of God, obtain for me the grace of loving my Jesus; obtain for me the grace of loving thee!
Cardinal Merry del Val

TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY FOR MAY

O most august and blessed Virgin Mary! Holy Mother of God! glorious Queen of heaven and earth! powerful protectress of those who love thee, and unfailing advocate of all who invoke thee! look down, I beseech thee, from thy throne of glory on thy devoted child; accept the solemn offering I present thee of this month, specially dedicated to thee, and receive my ardent, humble desire, that by my love and fervor I could worthily honor thee, who, next to God, art deserving of all honor. Receive me, 0 Mother of Mercy, among thy best beloved children; extend to me thy maternal tenderness and solicitude; obtain for me a place in the Heart of Jesus, and a special share in the gifts of His grace. 0 deign, I beseech thee, to recognize my claims on thy protection, to watch over my spiritual and temporal interests, as well as those of all who are dear to me; to infuse into my soul the spirit of Christ, and to teach me thyself to become meek, humble, charitable, patient, and submissive to the will of God.

May my heart bum with the love of thy Divine Son, and of thee, His blessed Mother, not for a month alone, but for time and eternity; may I thirst for the promotion of His honor and thine, and contribute, as far as I can, to its extension. Receive me, 0 Mary, the refuge of sinners! Grant me a Mother's blessing and a Mother's care, now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

TO OUR LADY

Saint John Vianney, better known as the Cure of Ars, when asked how long he had loved Mary, said: "I loved her almost before I could know her." In this prayer he expresses that love.
O thou most holy virgin Mary, who dost evermore stand before the most holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to thy most beloved Son; pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favor me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overthrow the wicked enemy. When I can no longer say: "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands," do thou say it for me; when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, oh! pray for me earnestly; and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with thee: that, united with all the elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thee for all eternity. Amen.
Saint John Vianney

ACT OF REPARATION

O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous
tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever virgin, conceived without stain of sin, co-redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity, who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. 0 Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins. Amen.

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

Memorare of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sassoferrato - Jungfrun i bön.jpg

Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary!
That never was it known
That anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help or sought thy intercession
Was left unaided. 

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto Thee!
O Virgin of virgins, My Mother!

To Thee I come before Thee I stand,
Sinful and Sorrowful,
Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy,
Hear and answer me.


Amen

Who Is Our Lady of Laus? “My name is Mary” (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
What Happened to the Virgin Mary After Pentecost? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Saint Thomas Aquinas on the Hail Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Yes, Mary DOES Know
How Can Mary Hear Thousands Simultaneously?
Fr Paul Schenck: Immaculate Conception Tells us Who Mary Is and Who We Are (Catholic Caucus)
Mary,Our Lady of Quatlasupe,She who crushes the head of the serpent, is leading...(Catholic Caucus)
MARY, MOTHER OF EVANGELIZATION [Cath-Orth caucus]
On Mary, Model of Faith, Charity and Union with Christ [Weekly Audience]
Why Don’t You honor Mary?
Columbus and the Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]

Pope Francis: Mary’s faith unties the knot of sin
Pope consecrates world to immaculate heart of Mary
Mary, Mother of God
Mary 'can only bring us to God,' expert says as entrustment nears
Pope Francis: "Mary, look upon us" (Mass in Cagliari)
Devotion to the Most Holy Name of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pope Francis: contemplate the “suffering humanity” of Jesus and the sweetness of Mary
Mary's Nativity Draws Tens of Thousands to Indian Basilica
Veneration of Mary in Luke 11:27-28
Pope at Mass: Learning from Mary to keep the Word of God

Pope: Mary is always in a hurry to help us (first pastoral visit to a diocese in Rome)
Catholic Word of the Day: MARY'S SINLESSNESS, 04-01-13
Letter #47: To Mary (Pope Francis prays at (tomb of Pope St. Pius V) [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Word of the Day: MARY'S VIRGINITY, 02-26-13
Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part Two
Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part One
A Mother’s Love, The Blessed Virgin Mary Saying YES To God
Chesterton on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary [Ecumenical]
The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary
A Comparison is Instituted Between the Disobedient and Sinning Eve and the Virgin Mary..

Magnificat: The Hymn of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal... (Pt 2) (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal and Paternal Love (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
Discovering Mary [Excellent New Book For Converts]
Beginning Our Lady's Month [Catholic Caucus]
Give it all to Mary [Catholic Caucus]
JESUS LIVING IN MARY: HANDBOOK, SPIRITUALITY OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT, ROSARY [Ecumenical]
Mary, Tabernacle of the Lord By Archbishop Fulton Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
A Protestant Discovers Mary
Mary is our Mother and Queen of the New Davidic Kingdom (Scriptures Agree With Catholic Church)

Hail Mary
Holy Water Silhouette (Virgin Mary -video))
How could Mary be the Mother of God?
Mary, the Mother of God (a defense)
Calling Mary “Mother of God” Tells Us Who Jesus Is
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Mary, Our Cause of Rejoicing
Mary in Byzantine Doctrine and Devotion (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
Radio Replies First Volume - Devotion to Mary
The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Catholic Discovery of America(Catholic Caucus)

Mary is the star that guides us to holiness, says Holy Father during Angelus [Catholic Caucus]
The Efficacy and Power of One Hail Mary [Ecumenical]
When Did Belief in the Virgin Birth Begin?
Mary, Motherhood, and the Home BY Archbishop Fulton Sheen
On Mary, Mother of Priests
Benedict reflects on Mary and the priesthood [Catholic Caucus]
Radio Replies First Volume - Mary
Scholar says Baptists neglect lessons from Virgin Mary
Mary and the Sword Continued Part #2 by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Mary and the Sword by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen(Catholic Caucus)

Why Did Mary Offer a Sin Offering? [Ecumenical]
Mary and Intercessory Prayer
Mary: Holy Mother
Mary not just for Catholics anymore
Pope concludes Month of Mary in the Vatican Gardens
Consecration to Mary(Catholic Caucus)
Mary’s Marching Orders
Praying the Hail Mary Like Never Before [Ecumenical]
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas - THE HAIL MARY

Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity [Ecumenical]
Archbishop Sheen Today! -- Mary and the Moslems
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
"The Woman He Loved": Fulton Sheen and the Blessed Mother(Catholic Caucus)
September 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary and Militant Islam
Catholic Devotional: Feast of the Holy Name of Mary
A Homily on the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Caucus: Mary, The Power of Her Name [The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary]

15 posted on 05/24/2014 8:44:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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May 2014 Year

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace.

For Evangelization: That Mary, Star of Evangelization, may guide the Church in proclaiming Christ to all nations.


16 posted on 05/24/2014 8:45:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

th Sunday of Easter - Year A

Commentary of the day
Paul VI, Pope from 1963-1978
General Audience of 17/05/1972

"The world cannot accept it, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you"

“The Spirit blows where he wills,” said Jesus in his conversation with Nicodemus (Jn 3,8). Therefore, on a doctrinal and practical level, we are not able to draw up any exclusive norms concerning the Holy Spirit's interventions in people's lives. He can manifest himself under the most unrestricted and unexpected forms: “He plays on the surface of the earth” (Prv 8,31)... But for anyone who wants to seize the supernatural waves of the Holy Spirit there is one rule, one requirement that commonly stands out: the interior life. It is within the soul that the encounter with this inexpressible guest takes place: “of the soul the sweetest guest” as the marvellous liturgical hymn for Pentecost says. Man becomes a “temple of the Holy Spirit”, repeats Saint Paul (1Cor 3,16; 6,19).

People today, and christians too, very often, even those consecrated to God, tend to become more and more secular. But they cannot and must not ever forget this fundamental requirement of interior life if they want their lives to remain christian and animated by the Holy Spirit. Pentecost has been preceded by eight days of recollection and prayer. Interior silence is necessary in order to hear God's word, feel his presence, hear the call of God.

Our minds today are far too turned outwards...; we do not know how to meditate, how to pray. We do not know how to silence all the noise made inside us by outside interests, images, feelings. There is no peaceful, dedicated space in our hearts for the flame of Pentecost... The conclusion is obvious: we need to give the interior life its place in the ordering of our tumultuous lives; a place that is special, silent, pure. We need to recollect ourselves again that the lifegiving and sanctifying Spirit may dwell within us.


17 posted on 05/24/2014 8:47:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY JN 14: 15-21

Newness of life in Christ

Fr. Jack Peterson, YA

As we proceed through the magnificent season of Easter, there is a progression in the focus of the readings from recalling the various resurrection appearances of Jesus to His disciples to looking intently at the life of the early church and the absolutely critical role of the Holy Spirit in that church and in the lives of the first disciples of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit needs to receive more attention in our lives as Christians. Newness of life in Christ is the direct result of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In our Gospel today, Jesus states “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth …”

The Holy Spirit is the advocate who comes from the Father and the Son to dwell in our hearts. He delivers God’s boundless mercy and healing. He enables us to say in faith, “Jesus is Lord.” He leads us to all truth so that we can have confidence in our understanding of the deep truths of our faith along with the path that Jesus has marked out for His brothers and sisters. He infuses us with gifts that enable us to live and witness authentically to the great faith we profess. He sets our hearts on fire with burning love for the God who extended His arms on the cross to redeem every person ever conceived on this earth. He enters the depths of our being and makes a home for Himself there so that each of us becomes a living tabernacle, not unlike Mary, bringing Christ into every corner of the world.

The Acts of the Apostles speaks regularly about this awesome Advocate. In today’s reading from Chapter 8, we hear, “Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen on any of them.” The sending and reception of the Holy Spirit was a critical part of coming to the fullness of faith in Jesus Christ. Before Pentecost, there was confusion and fear. After Pentecost, there was clarity and boldness of faith in Jesus.

By the grace of the Holy Spirit, Christians are capable of discovering the enormous love that God has for them. This love enables them to be obedient to what Acts calls “the way,” the way of life modeled by Jesus and the new pattern for our own lives. Once again, Jesus taught his disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Love for Jesus leads to obedience. The Holy Spirit empowers us to come humbly before our Lord, truly sorry for our sins, open to His healing grace, confident in the power of His grace to transform our lives, and willing to follow the shepherd even when the path is hard, filled with scary passages, and exhausting. Genuine love for Christ leads to what St. Paul describes as the “obedience of faith.”

The promised advocate is also manifest in our efforts to serve our neighbor in the name of Christ. In fact, the Holy Spirit makes our ministry resemble the ministry of our Lord. Listen to St. Luke’s description of the life of St. Philip: “Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city.” Powerful preaching, miraculous healing and great joy marked the life of the first Christian communities.

As a church, we are progressing rapidly towards our celebration of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out in abundance upon God’s fledgling flock some 50 days following the Resurrection. Most of us, through baptism and confirmation, have already received this great Advocate in a very real way. Let’s pray for God’s grace to open our hearts and unleash the grace and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling therein and send us out into our broken and hurting world with tremendous zeal for building a culture of life and love in imitation of Jesus and the early Christians.

Fr. Peterson is assistant chaplain at Marymount University in Arlington and director of the Youth Apostles Institute in McLean.


18 posted on 05/24/2014 8:58:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

Year A  -  Sixth Sunday of Easter

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 14:15-21

15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.
17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18 "I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.
19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.
20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them." (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

My dear child, I am preparing a place for you in Heaven. Before you can be with me, you must follow my instructions:

Love me with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength.

Open your heart and let me fill you with my spirit of love, peace, joy and truth.
Allow me to be the king of your life.

Make humility the foundation of your temple; decorate your walls with virtues.
Praise me and thank me for all that I do for you.
Acknowledge me all the time.

See me in my creation, see me in everyone and rejoice. Accept me in others; remember my presence in them.

Come into my presence with reverence, bring an offering of thanksgiving, enter my courts with praise.

Remember your nothingness, acknowledge your sins and accept me as your Savior.
Delight in my presence, do my will joyfully.

Open your ears to my word; open your eyes to my greatness.
See through my spirit.

Open your mouth to praise me. Use your tongue to bless; bless me and bless your brothers.

Allow your hands to be my hands, your feet to be my feet, your mind to be my mind. Let your heart be my heart, my place of rest, my heaven.

Invite me often to be with you, welcome me without fear.

Open your physical and spiritual wounds to my healing.

Pray for the conversion of sinners. Pray for others.

Unite yourself to me and become an instrument of reparation for your sins and the sins of others.

Unite yourself strongly to my mystical body the church, to my heart: the holy Eucharist the blood and life of your soul, to my soul: the Holy Spirit.

Be generous as I am generous; imitate my holiness and my perfection.

Pray from the heart, pray to my mother and she will shine the light of our grace on you.
Make your life an act of praise and thanksgiving. Let me be your praise, your love and your adoration.

Be my docile instrument of peace, love, joy, mercy, and healing.
I am all yours... Be all mine...

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


19 posted on 05/24/2014 9:07:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

Living the Lessons of Love – Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter.

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

In the Gospel for today’s Mass, Jesus gives us three lessons on love, which are meant to prepare us for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They also go a long way towards describing the normal Christian life.

Too many Christians see the Christian Faith more as a set of rules to keep than as a love that transforms—if we accept it. Let’s take a look at the revolutionary life of love and grace that the Lord is offering us in three stages: the POWER of love, the PERSON of love, and the PROOF of love.

1. THE POWER OF LOVE – In the text Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments … Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.”

We must be very careful how we hear this. For it is possible to hear the Lord say, in effect, “If you love me, prove it by keeping my commandments.” And this is how many hear it. And thus the text and the Christian faith are reduced to a kind of moral maxim: do good, avoid evil, and thus prove you love God. Loving God, then, becomes a kind of human achievement.

But understanding this text from the standpoint of grace yields a different—and I would argue more proper—understanding. For loving God is not a human work, but rather the gift of God. So the text should be read to say, in effect, “If you love me, you will by this love I have given you, keep my commandments.” Thus, the keeping of the commandments is the fruit of the love, not the cause of it. Love comes first. And when love is received and experienced, we begin, by the power of that love, to keep the commandments. Love is the power by which we keep the commandments.

It is possible to keep the commandments to some extent out of fear and by the flesh. But obedience based on fear tends not to last and brings with it many resentments. Further, attempting to keep the commandments through our own power brings not only exhaustion and frustration, but also the prideful delusion that somehow we have placed God in our debt because we obey.

It is far better to keep the commandments by the grace of God’s love at work within us. Consider the following qualities of love:

A. Love is extravagant -  The flesh is minimalist and asks, “Do I really have to do this?” But love is extravagant and wants to do more than the minimum. Consider a young man who loves a young woman. It is unlikely that he would say, “Your birthday is coming soon and I must engage in the wearisome tradition of buying you a gift. So, what is the cheapest and quickest gift I can get you?” Of course he would not say this! Love does not ask questions like this. Love is extravagant; it goes beyond the minimal requirements and even lavishes gifts on the beloved, eagerly. Love has the power to overrule the selfishness of the flesh. No young man would say to his beloved, “What is the least amount of time I have to spend with you?” Love doesn’t talk or think like this. Love wants to spend time with the beloved. Love has the power to transform our desires from our own selfish ends, toward the beloved.

Now while these examples might seem obvious, it is apparently not so obvious to many Christians who say they love God but then ask such things as, “Do I have to go to church?”, “Do I have pray? And if so, how often, and for how long?”, “Do I have to go to confession? And if so, how frequently?”, “What’s the least amount I can put in the collection plate or give to the poor  to be in compliance?” Asking for guidelines may not be wrong, but too often the question amounts to a version of “What’s the least I can do? What’s the bare minimum?”

Love is extravagant and excited to do and to give, to please the beloved. Love is its own answer, its own power.

B. Love Expands - When we really love someone we also learn to love whom and what he or she loves.

During high school, I dated a girl who liked square dancing. At first I thought it was hokey. But since she liked it, I started to like it. Over time, I even came to enjoy it a great deal. Love expanded my horizons.

I have lived, served, and loved in the Black community for most of my priesthood. In those years, I have come to love and respect Gospel music and the spirituals. I have also come to respect and learn from the Black experience of spirituality, and have done extensive study on the history of the African-American experience. This is all because I love the people I serve. And when you love people, you begin to love and appreciate what they do. Love expands our horizons.

And what if we really begin to love God? The more His love takes root in us, the more we love the things and the people He loves. We begin to have God’s priorities. We start to love justice, mercy, chastity, and all the people He loves—even our enemies. Love expands our hearts.

The saints say, “If God wants it, I want it. If God doesn’t want it, I don’t want it.” Too many Christians say, “How come I can’t have it? It’s not so bad. Everyone else is doing it … ” But love does not speak this way.

And as God’s love grows in us, it has the power to change our hearts, our minds, our desires, and our vision. The more we love God, the more we love His commands and share the vision He offers for our lives. Love expands our hearts and minds.

C. Love excites - Imagine again a young man who loves a young woman. Now suppose she asks him to drive her to work one day because her car is in the shop. He does this gladly and sees it as an opportunity to be with her and to help her. He is excited to do so and is glad she asked. This is true even if he has to go miles out of his way. Love stirs us to fulfill the wishes and desires of the beloved.

In the first Letter of John we read, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Yes, love lightens every load. And as we grow in love for God, we are excited to please Him. We keep His commandments, not because we have to, but because we want to. And even if His commandments involve significant changes, we do it with the same kind of gladness that fills a young man driving miles out of his way to take his beloved to work. Love excites in us a desire to keep God’s law, to fulfill His wishes for us.

2. THE PERSON OF LOVE - The text says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you.”

In this text, Jesus tells us that the power to change us is not just an impersonal power, like “The Force” in Star Wars. Rather, what changes us is not a “what” but “who.” The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, living in us as in a temple, will change us and stir us to love. He who is Love will love God in us. Love is not our work; it is the work of God. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:10). God the Holy Spirit enables us to love God the Father and God the Son. And this love is the power in us that equips, empowers, and enables us to keep God’s law. He, the Holy Spirit, is the one who enables us to love extravagantly and in a way that expands and excites.

The Lord says that He, the Holy Spirit, remains in us. Are you aware of His presence? Too often our minds and hearts are dulled and distracted by the world and we are unaware of the power of love available to us. The Holy Spirit of Jesus and the Father is gentle and awaits the open doors we provide (cf Rev 3:20). As we open them, a power from His Person becomes more and more available to us, and we see our lives being transformed. We keep the commandments; we become more loving, confident, joyful, chaste, forgiving, merciful, and holy.  I am a witness! Are you? This leads us to the final point.

3. THE PROOF OF GOD’s LOVE – The text says, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.”

The key phrases here are, “You will live,” and “You will realize.” For the Lord says that he will not leave us as orphans, that he will come to us and remain with us.

How do you know that these are more than just slogans? Simply put, you and I know this because of the new life we are receiving, which causes us to realize that Jesus lives, is in the Father, and is in us.

To “know” in the Bible is more than intellectual knowing. To “know” in the Bible is to “have intimate and personal experience of the thing or person known.” I know Jesus is alive and in me through His Holy Spirit because I am experiencing my life changing. I am seeing sins put to death and graces coming alive! I am a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). This is what Jesus means when He says, “You will realize that I am in the Father and in you.” To “realize” means to experience something as real.

The proof of God’s love and its power to transform is me! It is my life. In the laboratory of my own life I have tested God’s word and His promises. And I can report to you that they are true! I have come to experience as real (i.e., “realized”) that Jesus lives, that through His Holy Spirit I have a power available to me to keep the commandments and to embrace the new life, the new creation they both describe and offer to me.

I am a witness, are you?


20 posted on 05/24/2014 9:16:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Gospel Reflections

6th Sunday of Easter
Reading I: Acts 8:5-8,14-17 II: 1Peter 3:15-18


Gospel
John 14:15-21

15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever,
17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.
18 "I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also.
20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."


Interesting Details
One Main Point

Jesus promises to the believers of his continuing presence through a Counselor, the Spirit of Truth and the Holy Spirit (v.26 later). The world will not know this gift and will oppose to its existence. The reward is for those who love Jesus and keep his commandments of loving one another.


Reflections
  1. Have I ever felt the presence of Jesus living in me? How do I recognize and react to his presence?
  2. What are the forces that still keep me lying instead of always telling the truth?
  3. If I am an orphan, how do I feel? What do I need the most? What should I do?

21 posted on 05/24/2014 9:20:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayer ought to be humble, fervent, resigned, persevering, and accompanied with great reverence. One should consider that he stands in the presence of a God, and speaks with a Lord before whom the angels tremble from awe and fear. — Saint Mary Magdalen de Pazzi


22 posted on 05/24/2014 9:22:55 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.

23 posted on 05/24/2014 9:23:51 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.

 


24 posted on 05/24/2014 9:24:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Saint Bede the Venerable,
Priest & Doctor of the Church
Optional Memorial
May 25th

Saint Bede the Venerable was born in England, he entered the Benedictine monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul. His writings were so full of sound doctrine that he was called "Venerable" while still alive.. He wrote commentaries on Holy Scripture and treatises on theology and history. Known as the fahter of English history, he was the first to date events anno Domini, or A.D. He died at Jarrow, England.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003


The Venerable Bede — Joanna Bogle, Voices Eastertide 2009


Collect:
O God, who bring light to your Church
through the learning of the Priest Saint Bede,
mercifully grant that your servants
may always be enlightened by his wisdom and helped by his merits.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:10b-16
For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. "For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

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

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

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


Related Links on the Vatican Website:

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Saint Peter's Square, Wednesday, 18 February 2009, Bede, the Venerable

Mary proclaims the greatness of the Lord working in her: From a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable, priest (Lib. 1, 4: CCL 122, 25-26. 30)


25 posted on 05/25/2014 6:25:03 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Saints' Days are superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

On the Martyrdom of John the Baptist by Saint Bede the Venerable [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
On the Life of St. Bede
SAINT BEDE [THE VENERABLE] CONFESSOR, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH—735 A.D.

26 posted on 05/25/2014 6:26:34 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint Gregory VII, Pope, Religious

Saint Gregory VII, Pope, Religious
Optional Memorial
May 25th


unknown artist

Saint Gregory VII was a monk of Cluny (named Hildebrand before ascending to the papacy in 1073), he fought against the abuse of lay investiture, a major source of evils from which the Church was suffering. His energetic stance as Pope Gregory VII earned for him the enmity of the Emperor Henry IV. He was exiled to Salerno, where he died in 1085.

Principle Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

 

Collect:
Give to your Church, we pray, O Lord,
that spirit of fortitude and zeal for justice
which you made to shine forth in Pope Saint Gregory the Seventh,
so that, rejecting evil, she may be free
to carry out in charity whatever is right.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Acts 20:17-18a, 28-32, 36
From Miletus Paul sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. And when they came to him, he said to them:

"You yourselves know how I lived among you all the time. Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of His own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.
And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-19
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."


27 posted on 05/25/2014 6:37:25 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pope Saint Gregory VII
28 posted on 05/25/2014 6:38:19 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint Mary Magdalene de'Pazzi, virgin

Saint Mary Magdalene de'Pazzi, virgin
Optional Memorial
May 25th
 


from a prayer card

Our prayer must be humble, fervent, resigned, persevering, and deeply reverent, for we must reflect that we are in the presence of a God and speaking with a Lord before Whom the Angels tremble out of respect and fear.

                 St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi

Saint Mary Magdalen de'Pazzi was born in Florence and joined the Carmelites when she was nineteen. She practiced great mortification for the salvation of sinners; her constant exclamation was, "To suffer, not to die!" With apostolic zeal, she urged the renewal of the entire ecclesiastical community.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003


Collect:
O God, lover of virginity,
who adorned with heavenly gifts
the Virgin Saint Mary Magdalene de'Pazzi,
setting her on fire with your love,
grant, we pray, that we, who honor her today,
may imitate her example of purity and love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:25-35
Now concerning the unmarried, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. I think that in view of the present distress it is well for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a girl marries she does not sin. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. I mean, brethren, the appointed time has grown very short; from now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the form of this world is passing away.

I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

Gospel Reading: Mark 3:31-35
Jesus' mother and His brethren came; and standing outside they sent to Him and called Him. And a crowd was sitting about Him; and they said to Him, "Your mother and Your brethren are outside, asking for You." And He replied, "Who are My mother and My brethren?" And looking around on those who sat about Him, He said, "Here are My mother and My brethren! Whoever does the will of God is My brother, and sister, and mother."


LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF FLORENCE ON THE OCCASION OF THE FOURTH CENTENARY OF THE DEATH OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE DE’ PAZZI

To His Eminence
Cardinal Ennio Antonelli
Archbishop of Florence

On the occasion of the Fourth Centenary of the death of St Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, I am pleased to unite myself to the beloved Florentine Church who wishes to remember her illustrious daughter, particularly dear as a symbolic figure of a living love that recalls the essential mystical dimension of every Christian life.
While with affection I greet you, Your Eminence, and the entire diocesan community, I give thanks to God for the gift of this Saint, which every generation rediscovers as uniquely close by knowing how to communicate an ardent love for Christ and the Church.

Born in Florence on 2 April 1566 and baptized at the "beautiful St John" font with the name Caterina, St Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi showed a particular sensitivity to the supernatural from childhood and was attracted by intimate colloquy with God.
As was the custom for children of noble families, her education was entrusted to the Dames of Malta, in whose monastery she received her First Holy Communion on 25 March 1576, and just some days later she consigned herself to the Lord for ever with a promise of virginity.

Returning to her family, she deepened her prayer life with the help of the Jesuit Fathers, who used to come to the palace. She cleverly did not allow herself to be conditioned by the worldly demands of an environment that, although Christian, was not sufficient to satisfy her desire to become more similar to her crucified Spouse.

In this context she reached the decision to leave the world and enter the Carmel of St Mary of the Angels at Borgo San Frediano, where on 30 January 1583 she received the Carmelite habit and the name of Sr Mary Magdalene.

In March of 1584, she fell gravely ill and asked to be able to make her profession prior to the time, and on 27 May, Feast of the Trinity, she was carried into the choir on her pallet, where she pronounced before the Lord her vows of chastity, poverty and obedience for ever.

From this moment an intense mystical season began which was also the source of the Saint's great ecstatic fame. The Carmelites of St Mary of the Angels have five manuscripts in which are recorded the extraordinary experiences of their young Sister.

"The Forty Days" of the summer of 1584 are followed by "The Colloquies" of the first half of the following year. The apex of the mystical knowledge that God granted of himself to Sr Mary Magdalene is found in "Revelations and Intelligences", eight days of splendid ecstacies from the vigil of Pentecost to the Feastday of the Trinity in 1585. This was an intense experience that made her able at only 19 years of age to span the whole mystery of salvation, from the Incarnation of the Word in the womb of Mary to the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

Five long years of interior purification followed - Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi speaks of it in the book of "The Probation" - in which her Spouse, the Word, takes away the sentiment of grace and leaves her like Daniel in the lions' den, amid many trials and great temptations.

This is the context in which her ardent commitment to renew the Church takes place, after which, in the summer of 1586, splendours of light from on high came to show her the true state of the post-Tridentine era.

Like Catherine of Siena, she felt "forced" to write some letters of entreaty to the Pope, Curial Cardinals, her Archbishop and other ecclesial personages, for a decisive commitment to "The Renovation of the Church", as the title of the manuscript that contains them says. It consists of 12 letters dictated in ecstasy, perhaps never sent, but which remain as a testimony of her passion for the Sponsa Verbi.

With Pentecost of 1590 her difficult trial ended. She promised to dedicate herself with all her energy to the service of the community and in particular to the formation of novices. Sr Mary Magdalene had the gift to live communion with God in an ever more interior form, so as to become a reference point for the whole community who still today continue to consider her "mother".

The purified love that pulsated in her heart opened her to desire full conformity with Christ, her Spouse, even to sharing with him the "naked suffering" of the Cross. Her last three years of life were a true Calvary of suffering for her. Consumption began to clearly manifest itself: Sr Mary Magdalene was obliged to withdraw little by little from community life to immerse herself ever more in "naked suffering for love of God".

She was oppressed by atrocious physical and spiritual pain which lasted until her death on Friday, 25 May 1607. She passed away at 3 p.m., while an unusual joy pervaded the entire monastery.

Within 20 years of her death the Florentine Pontiff Urban VIII had already proclaimed her Blessed. Pope Clement IX inscribed her in the Roll of Saints on 28 April 1669.

Her body has remained incorrupt and is the destination of constant pilgrimages. The monastery where the Saint lived is today the seat of the Archiepiscopal Seminary of Florence, which venerates her as their Patron, and the cell where she died has become a chapel in whose silence one can still feel her presence.

St Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi continues to be an inspiring spiritual figure for the Carmelites Nuns of the Ancient Observance. They see in her the "Sister" who has travelled the entire way of transforming union with God and who finds in Mary the "star" of the way to perfection.

This great Saint has for everyone the gift of being a spiritual teacher, particularly for priests, to whom she always nourished a true passion.

I truly hope that the present jubilee celebrations commemorating her death will contribute to making this luminous figure ever better known, who manifests to all the dignity and beauty of the Christian vocation. As, while she was alive, grasping the bells she urged her Sisters with the cry: "Come and love Love!", may the great Mystic, from Florence, from her Seminary, from the Carmelite monasteries that draw their inspiration from her, still make her voice heard in all the Church, spreading to every human creature the proclamation to love God.

With this wish, I entrust you, Venerable Brother, and the Florentine Church to the heavenly protection of St Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi and heartily impart to all a special Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 29 April 2007

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

© Copyright 2007 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


29 posted on 05/25/2014 6:40:48 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Saint Mary Magdalene De Pazzi
30 posted on 05/25/2014 6:42:02 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Bede

Feast Day: May 25

Born: 672 at Wearmouth, England

Died: 25 May 735

Canonized: 1899 by Pope Leo XIII

Major Shrine: Durham Cathedral

Patron of: lectors, English writers and historians; Jarrow

31 posted on 05/25/2014 6:48:25 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Madeline Sophie Barat

Feast Day: May 25

Born: 12 December 1779, Joigny, France

Died: 25 May 1865, Paris, France

Canonized: 24 May 1925 by Pope Pius XI

32 posted on 05/25/2014 6:49:59 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi

Feast Day: May 25

Born: April 2, 1566, Florence, Italy

Died: May 25, 1607, Florence, Italy

Canonized: April 28, 1669, Rome by Pope Clement X

Patron of: Naples (co-patron)

33 posted on 05/25/2014 6:52:13 AM 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 14
15 If you love me, keep my commandments. Si diligitis me, mandata mea servate : εαν αγαπατε με τας εντολας τας εμας τηρησατε
16 And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. et ego rogabo Patrem, et alium Paraclitum dabit vobis, ut maneat vobiscum in æternum, και εγω ερωτησω τον πατερα και αλλον παρακλητον δωσει υμιν ινα μενη μεθ υμων εις τον αιωνα
17 The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you. Spiritum veritatis, quem mundus non potest accipere, quia non videt eum, nec scit eum : vos autem cognoscetis eum, quia apud vos manebit, et in vobis erit. το πνευμα της αληθειας ο ο κοσμος ου δυναται λαβειν οτι ου θεωρει αυτο ουδε γινωσκει αυτο υμεις δε γινωσκετε αυτο οτι παρ υμιν μενει και εν υμιν εσται
18 I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you. Non relinquam vos orphanos : veniam ad vos. ουκ αφησω υμας ορφανους ερχομαι προς υμας
19 Yet a little while: and the world seeth me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live. Adhuc modicum, et mundus me jam non videt. Vos autem videtis me : quia ego vivo, et vos vivetis. ετι μικρον και ο κοσμος με ουκετι θεωρει υμεις δε θεωρειτε με οτι εγω ζω και υμεις ζησεσθε
20 In that day you shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. In illo die vos cognoscetis quia ego sum in Patre meo, et vos in me, et ego in vobis. εν εκεινη τη ημερα γνωσεσθε υμεις οτι εγω εν τω πατρι μου και υμεις εν εμοι και εγω εν υμιν
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Qui habet mandata mea, et servat ea : ille est qui diligit me. Qui autem diligit me, diligetur a Patre meo : et ego diligam eum, et manifestabo ei meipsum. ο εχων τας εντολας μου και τηρων αυτας εκεινος εστιν ο αγαπων με ο δε αγαπων με αγαπηθησεται υπο του πατρος μου και εγω αγαπησω αυτον και εμφανισω αυτω εμαυτον

34 posted on 05/25/2014 9:15:51 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
15. If you love me, keep my commandments.
16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.

CHRYS. Our Lord having said, Whatsoever you shall ask in My name, that I will do; that they might not think simply asking would be enough, He adds, If you love Me, keep My commandments. And then I will do what you ask, seems to be His meaning. Or the disciples having heard Him say, I go to the Father, and being troubled at the thought of it, He says, To love Me, is not to be troubled, but to keep My commandments: this is love, to obey and believe in Him who is loved.

And as they had been expressing a strong desire for His bodily presence, He assures them that His absence w ill be supplied to them in another way: And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter

AUG. Wherein He shows too that He Himself is the Comforter. Paraclete means advocate, and is applied to Christ: We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 Jn 2:1).

ALCUIN. Paraclete, i.e. Comforter. They had then one Comforter, who comforted and elevated them by the sweetness of His miracles, and His preaching.

DIDYMUS. But the Holy Ghost was another Comforter: differing not in nature, but in operation. For whereas our Savior in His office of Mediator, and of Messenger, and as High Priest, made supplication for our sins; the Holy Ghost is a Comforter in another sense, i.e. as consoling our griefs. But do not infer from the different operations of the Son and the Spirit, a difference of nature. For in other places we find the Holy Spirit performing the office of intercessor with the Father, as, The Spirit Himself intercedes for us. And the Savior, on the other hand, pours consolation into those hearts that need it: as in Maccabees, He strengthened those of the people that were brought low (1 Macc 14:15).

CHRYS. He says, I will ask the Father, to make them believe Him: which they could not have done, had He simply said, I will send

AUG Yet to show that His works are inseparable from His Father's, He says below, When I shall go, I will send Him to you.

CHRYS. But what had He more than the Apostles, if He could only ask the Father to give others the Spirit? The Apostles did this often even without praying.

ALCUIN. I will ask - He says, as being the inferior in respect of His humanity - My Father, with Whom I am equal and consubstantial in respect of My Divine nature.

CHRYS. That He may abide with you for ever. The Spirit does not depart even at death. He intimates too that the Holy Ghost will not suffer death, or go away, as He has done. But that the mention of the Comforter might not lead them to expect another incarnation, a Comforter to be seen with the eye, He adds, Even the Spirit of truth Whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him.

AUG. This is the Holy Ghost in the Trinity, Whom the Catholic faith professes to be consubstantial and coeternal with the Father and the Son.

CHRYS. The Spirit of truth He calls Him, because He unfolds the figures of the Old Testament. The world are the wicked, seeing is certain knowledge; sight being the most certain of the senses.

BEDE. Note too, that when He calls the Holy Spirit the Spirit of truth, He shows that the Holy Spirit is His Spirit: then when He says He is given by the Father, He declares Him to be the Spirit of the Father also. Thus the Holy Ghost proceeds both from the Father, and from the Son.

GREG. The Holy Spirit kindles in every one, in whom He dwells, the desire of things invisible. And since worldly minds love only things visible, this world receives Him not, because it rises not to the love of things invisible. In proportion as secular minds enlarge themselves by the spread of their desires, in that proportion they narrow themselves, with respect to admitting Christ.

AUG. Thus the world, i.e. the lovers of the world, cannot, He says, receive the Holy Spirit: that is to say, unrighteousness cannot be righteous. The world, i.e. the lovers of the world, cannot receive Him, because it sees Him not. The love of the world has not invisible eyes wherewith to see that which can only be seen invisibly. It follows: But you know Him, for He dwells with you. And that they might not think this I meant a visible dwelling, in the sense in which we use the phrase with respect to a guest, He adds, And shall be in you.

CHRYS. As if He said, He will not dwell with you as I have done, but will dwell in your souls.

AUG. To be in a place is prior to dwelling. Be in you, is the explanation of dwell with you: i.e. shows that the latter means not that He is seen, but that He is known. He must be in us, that the knowledge of Him may be in us. We see the Holy Ghost then in us, in our consciences.

GREG. But if the Holy Spirit abides in the disciples, how is it a special mark of the Mediator that He abides in Him. We shall better understand if we distinguish between the different gifts of the Spirit. In respect of those gifts without which we cannot attain to salvation, the Holy Spirit ever abides in all the Elect: but in respect of those which do not relate to our own salvation, but to the procuring that of others, He does not always abide in them. For He sometimes withdraws His miraculous gifts, that His grace may be possessed with humility. Christ has Him without measure and always.

CHRYS. This speech levels at a stroke, as it were, the opposite heresies. The word another, shows the distinct personality of the Spirit: the word Paraclete, His consubstantiality.

AUG. Comforter, the title of the Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Trinity, the Apostle applies to God: God that comforts those that are cast down, comforted us. The Holy Spirit therefore Who comforts those that are cast down, is God. Or if they still have this said by the Apostle of the Father or the Son, let them not any longer separate the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, in His peculiar office of comforting.

AUG. But when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Rom 5:5), how shall we love and keep the commandments of Christ, so as to receive the Spirit, when we are not able to love or to keep them, unless we have received the Spirit? Does love in us go first, i.e. do we so love Christ and keep His commandments as to deserve to receive the Holy Spirit, and to have the love of God the Father shod abroad in our hearts? This is a perverse opinion. For he who does not love the Father, does not love the Son, however he may think he does. It remains for us to understand, that he who loves has the Holy Spirit, and by having Him, attains to having more of Him, and by having more of Him, to loving more. The disciples had already the Spirit which our Lord promised; but they were to be given more of Him: they had Him secretly, they were to receive Him openly. The promise is made both to him who has the Spirit, and to him who has Him not; to the former, that he shall have Him; to the latter, that He shall have more of Him.

CHRYS. When He had cleansed His disciples by the sacrifice of His passion, and their sins were remitted, and they were sent forth to dangers and trials, it was necessary that they should receive the Holy Spirit abundantly. But they were made to wait some time for this gift, in order that they might feel the want of it, and so be the more grateful for it when it came.

18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19. Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more: but you see me; because I live, you shall live also.
20. At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
21. He that has my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

AUG. That no one might think, because our Lord was about to give the Holy Spirit, that He would therefore not be present Himself in Him, He adds, I will not leave you comfortless. The Greek word signifies "wards." Although then the Son of God has made us the adopted sons of the Father, yet here He Himself shows the affection of a Father towards us.

CHRYS. At the first He said, Where I go you shall come; but as this was a long time off, He promises them the Spirit in the interval. And as they knew not what that was, He promises them that they most desired, His own presence, I will come to you, but intimates at the same time that they are not to look for the same kind of presence over again:

Yet a little while, and the world sees Me no more: as if He said, I will come to you, but not to live with you every day as I did before. And, I will come to you alone, He says, thus preventing any inconsistency with what He had said to the Jews: Henceforth you shall not see Me.

AUG. For the world saw Him then with the carnal eye, manifest in the flesh, though it did not see the Word hidden under the flesh. But after the resurrection He was unwilling to show even His flesh, except to His own followers, whom He allowed to see and to handle it: Yet a little while, and the world sees Me no more; but you shall see Me.

But, inasmuch as the world, by which are meant all who are aliens from His kingdom, will see Him at the last judgment, it is better perhaps to understand Him here as pointing to that time, when He will be taken for ever from the eyes of the wicked, to be seen thenceforth by those who love Him. A little while, He says, for that which seems a long lime to men, is but a moment in the eyes of God.

Because 1 live, you shall live also.

THEOPHYL. As if He said, Though I shall die, I shall rise again. And you shall live also, i.e. when you see Me risen again, you will rejoice, and be as dead men brought to life again.

CHRYS. To me however he seems to refer not only to the present life, but to the future; as if He said, The death of the cross shall not separate you from Me for ever, but only hide Me from you for a moment.

AUG. But why does He speak of life as present to Him, future to them? Because His resurrection preceded, theirs was to follow. His resurrection was about so soon to take place, that He speaks of it as present; theirs being deferred till the end of the world, He does not say you live, but you shall live. Because He lives, therefore we shall live: As by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead (1 Cor 15:21).

It follows: In that day (the day of which He said, you shall live also) you shall know, i.e. whereas now you believe, then you shall see, that I am in the Father, and you in Me, and I in you. For when we shall have attained to that life in which death is swallowed up, then shall be finished that which is now begun by Him, that He should be in us, and we in Him.

CHRYS. Or, in that day, on which I shall rise again, you shall know. For His resurrection it was that established their faith. Then the powerful teaching of the Holy Spirit began. His saying, I am in the Father, expresses His humility; the next, And you in Me, and I in you, His humanity and God's assistance to Him. Scripture often uses the same words in different senses, as applied to God and to men.

HILARY. Or He means by this, that whereas He was in the Father by the nature of His divinity, and we in Him by means of His birth in the flesh; He on the other hand should be believed to be in us by the mystery of the Sacrament: as He Himself testified above: Whosoever eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, dwells in Me, and I in Him.

ALCUIN. By love, and the observance of His commandments, that will be perfected in us which He has begun, viz. that we should be in Him, and He in us. And that this blessedness may be understood to be promised to all, not to the Apostles only, He adds, He that has My commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves Me.

AUG. He that has them in , and keeps them in life; he that has them in words, and keeps them in works; he that has them by hearing, and keeps them by doing; he that has them by doing, and keeps them by persevering, he it is that loves Me. Love must be strewn by works, or it is a mere barren name.

THEOPHYL. As if He said, You think that by sorrowing, as you do, for my death you prove your affection; but I esteem the keeping of My commandments the evidence of love. And then He shows the privileged state of one who loves: And he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him.

AUG. I will love him, as if now He did not love him. What means this? He explains it in what follows: And will manifest Myself to him, i.e. I love him so far as to manifest Myself to him; so that, as the reward of his faith, he will have sight. Now He only loves us so that we believe; then He will love us so that we see. And whereas we love now by believing that which we shall see, then we shall love by seeing that which we have believed.

AUG. He promises to show Himself to them that love Him as God with the Father, not in that body which He bore upon earth, and which the wicked saw.

THEOPHYL. For, as after the resurrection He was to appear to them in a body more assimilated to His divinity, that they might not take Him then for a spirit, or a phantom, He tells them now beforehand not to have misgivings upon seeing Him, but to remember that He shows Himself to them as a reward for their keeping His commandments; and that therefore they are bound ever to keep them, that they may ever enjoy the sight of Him.

Catena Aurea John 14
35 posted on 05/25/2014 9:16:19 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Pentecost

1150-60
Champlevé enamel on copper gilt, 11,4 x 11,4 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

36 posted on 05/25/2014 9:17:13 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

Matthew Garrett, iconographer

2010

37 posted on 05/25/2014 9:17:39 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Pentecost

Duccio di Buoninsegna

1308-11
Tempera on wood, 37,5 x 42,5 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

38 posted on 05/25/2014 9:18:05 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Gregory VII

Feast Day: May 25
Born: (around) 1023 :: Died: 1085

Hildebrand was born at Soana, in Italy. His uncle was a monk in Rome so Hildebrand studied in the monastery. When he grew up, Hildebrand became a Benedictine monk in France. Soon, however, he was called back to Rome. There he was given very important positions under five popes until he himself was made pope.

For twenty-five years, he refused to become pope. But when Pope Alexander II died, the cardinals made up their minds to elect Hildebrand pope. With one voice they cried out: "Hildebrand is the elect of St. Peter!"

The saint wrote afterwards, "They carried me to the throne, and my protests did no good. Fear filled my heart and darkness was all around me." Hildebrand chose the name Gregory VII.

These were truly difficult times for the Catholic Church. Kings and emperors were meddling in Church matters. They named the men they wanted to be bishops, cardinals and even popes. Many of those chosen were bad examples to the people.

The first thing Pope St. Gregory did was to spend many days in prayer. He also asked others to pray for him. He knew that without prayer nothing can be done well for God.

Afterward, he began to act to make the clergy better. He removed all the bad and dishonest men in important positions who were destroying the faith of the Church. He also did what he could to keep the rulers out of the affairs of the Church. This was very difficult because the rulers were all against the change.

One ruler, Emperor Henry IV of Germany, caused Pope Gregory great sufferings. This young man was sinful and greedy for gold. He would not stop trying to run the affairs of the Church. He even sent his men to capture the pope. But the people of Rome rescued the saint from prison.

Then Henry IV chose his own pope. Of course, the man he chose was not the real pope. But Henry tried to make people think he was. Then, once again, the emperor sent his armies to capture Pope Gregory and the pope was forced to leave Rome.

He was taken safely to Salerno where he died in 1085. His last words were, "I have loved justice and hated evil. That is why I am dying in exile. Pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand) is known for his fantastic courage. He stood up for the cause of Jesus and his Church.


39 posted on 05/25/2014 3:39:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Sunday, May 25

Liturgical Color: White

Pope St. Gregory VII died on this day in
1085. As a cardinal, he helped institute
papal elections by cardinals alone. As
pope, he took additional steps to reform
the Church and end government
intrusion into Church affairs.

40 posted on 05/25/2014 3:56:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Day 161 - What sins must be confessed?

What sins must be confessed?

Under normal circumstances, all serious sins that one remembers after making a thorough examination of conscience and that have not yet been confessed can be forgiven only in individual sacramental confession.

Of course there will be reluctance before making a confession. Overcoming it is the first step toward interior healing. Often it helps to think that even the Pope has to have the courage to confess his failings and weaknesses to another priest - and thereby to God. Only in life-or-death emergencies (for instance, during an airstrike in wartime or on other occasions when a group of people are in danger of death) can a priest administer "general absolution" to a group of people without the personal confession of sins beforehand. However, afterwards, one must confess serious sins in a personal confession at the first opportunity. (YOUCAT question 233)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (1457) and other references here.


41 posted on 05/25/2014 4:00:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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

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

Chapter 2: The Sacraments of Healing (1420 - 1532)

Article 4: The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (1422 - 1498)

VII. THE ACTS OF THE PENITENT

The confession of sins

1385
2042
(all)

1457

According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year."56 Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession.57 Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.58

56.

Cf. CIC, Can. 989; Council of Trent (1551): DS 1683; DS 1708.

57.

Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1647; 1661; CIC, can. 916; CCEO, can. 711.

58.

Cf. CIC, can. 914.


42 posted on 05/25/2014 4:01:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:May 25, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Grant, almighty God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion these days of joy, which we keep in honor of the risen Lord, and that what we relieve in remembrance we may always hold to in what we do. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Spinach-Stuffed Chicken

o    Garlic Mashed Potatoes

ACTIVITIES

o    Marian Hymn: Ave Maria Dear

PRAYERS

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Easter Season (2nd Plan)

o    Prayers for the Easter Season

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Easter (1st Plan)

·         Easter: May 25th

·         Sixth Sunday of Easter

Old Calendar: Fifth Sunday after Easter

Jesus said to his disciples: "If you love me you will keep my commandments. I shall ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you for ever, that Spirit of truth whom the world can never receive since it neither sees nor knows Him, but you know Him, because He is with you, He is in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come back to you."

The Optional Memorial of St. Bede the Venerable, priest and doctor; St. Gregory VII, pope; St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, virgin is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Acts of the Apostles 8:5-8, 14-17. In this reading Peter and John are sent from Jerusalem to Samaria to be ministers of the coming of the Spirit to the new converts in that town. These men had already been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the imposition of hands completes the initiation of these converts. — A Celebrants Guide to the New Sacramentary - A Cycle by Kevin W. Irwin

The second reading is from the first letter of Peter 3:15-18 and indicates that baptism initiates a person to imitation of the death and resurrection of Jesus and that the destiny of all believers is to live according to the realm of the Spirit. — A Celebrants Guide to the New Sacramentary - A Cycle by Kevin W. Irwin

The Gospel is from St. John 14:15-21. In this discourse at the Last Supper, which was His last will and testament, our divine Lord promised His Church, through the Apostles, that the Holy Spirit would be with it until the end of time. The Spirit of truth will be directing it and effectively aiding it to preserve the faith, the doctrine, and the morals which Christ taught His Apostles.

Looking back now over almost 2,000 years of the Church's history we can see how this promise has been fulfilled. There were heretics and schismatics who threatened the very continuance of the Church as God's faithful people on earth. There were crises and near catastrophes caused by the human weaknesses of its heads and its members, yet the Church survived and spread and continued to send saints to heaven because of the direct and active aid of the Holy Spirit.

During those two thousand years great empires have risen and fallen. They had large armies and vast wealth and earthly resources at their disposal, yet they disintegrated like all things human. The names of one-time mighty men who ruled over millions are now nothing more than a nuisance for children in their history classes. The large tracts of our globe which they ruled are now divided and known by other names. This was, is, and will be the lot of all merely human enterprises. Today's despots, where they rule with iron hand, will share the same fate.

In the midst of all these upheavals the Church of Christ has continued to flourish because it was directed and sustained by the Holy Spirit, who abides within it. How can we ever show enough gratitude to the three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity who planned so lovingly and so efficaciously for our safe journey to heaven? The Father sent His Son as man among us so that we men could become His brothers, and adopted sons of the Father. The Son suffered hardships, insults and misunderstandings during His temporary stay on earth, and ended like a crucified malefactor because of the sins of mankind. But He rose triumphantly from the dead and set up the Church as a society which would bring to men of all races, ages and colors the salvation and exaltation of mankind, which His life and death had won for us.

Knowing only too well the weaknesses and waywardness of human nature, He and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to remain with His Church as its infallible guide until the last man has entered heaven.

This is a very brief summary of what the Blessed Trinity has done, and is continuing to do for us, through the Church. We, the people of God, the chosen race of the New Testament are God's Church on earth. It is for you and me that the Holy Spirit is at work this very day. When He guides the steps of Peter's successor, the Pope, or the deliberations of the bishops, the heirs of the apostolic college, it is for us and for our salvation that He is acting. While we are faithful members of the Church, and of Christ's mystical body, while we remain live branches safely attached to the vine who is Christ, we have nothing to fear; we are on the sure road to heaven, to enjoy eternal happiness with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit whom we shall thank and glorify forever.

Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.


43 posted on 05/25/2014 4:34:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Doctors of the Catholic Church

Saint Bede the Venerable

Also known as

Memorial

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Born around the time England was finally completely Christianized. Raised from age seven in the abbey of Saints Peter and Paul at Wearmouth-Jarrow, and lived there the rest of his life. Benedictine monk. Spiritual student of the founder, Saint Benedict Biscop. Ordained in 702 by Saint John of Beverley. Teacher and author, he wrote about history, rhetoric, mathematics, music, astronomy, poetry, grammar, philosophy, hagiography, homiletics, and Bible commentary.

He was known as the most learned man of his day, and his writings started the idea of dating this era from the incarnation of Christ. The central theme of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica is of the Church using the power of its spiritual, doctrinal, and cultural unity to stamp out violence and barbarism. Our knowledge of England before the 8th century is mainly the result of Bede’s writing. He was declared a Doctor of the Church on 13 November 1899 by Pope Leo XIII.

Born

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Additional Information

Readings

He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbour. - Saint Bede the Venerable

On Tuesday before the feast of the Ascension, Bede’s breathing became labored and a slight swelling appeared in his legs. Nevertheless, he gave us instruction all day long and dictated cheerfully the whole time. It seemed to us, however, that he knew very well that his end was near, and so he spent the whole night giving thanks to God. At daybreak on Wednesday he told us to finish the writing we had begun. We worked until nine o’clock, when we went in procession with the relics as the custom of the day required. But one of our community, a boy named Wilbert, stayed with him and said to him, “Dear master, there is still one more chapter to finish in that book you were dictating. Do you think it would be too hard for you to answer any more questions?” Bede replied: “Not at all; it will be easy. Take up your pen and ink, and write quickly,” and he did so. At three o’clock, Bede said to me, “I have a few treasures in my private chest, some pepper, napkins, and a little incense. Run quickly and bring the priest of our monastery, and I will distribute among them these little presents that god has given me.” When the priests arrived he spoke to them and asked each one to offer Masses and prayers for him regularly. They gladly promised to do so. The priests were sad, however, and they all wept, especially because Bede had said that he thought they would not see his face much longer in this world. Yet they rejoiced when he said, “If it so please my Maker, it is time for me to return to him who created me and formed me out of nothing when I did not exist. I have lived a long time, and the righteous Judge has taken good care of me during my whole life. The time has come for my departure, and I long to die and be with Christ. My soul yearns to see Christ, my King, in all his glory.” He said many other things which profited us greatly, and so he passed the day joyfully till evening. When evening came, young Wilbert said to Bede, “Dear master, there is still one sentence that we have not written down.” Bede said, “Quick, write it down.” In a little while, Wilbert said, “There; now it is written down.” Bede said, “Good. You have spoken the truth; it is finished. Hold my head in your hands, for I really enjoy sitting opposite the holy place where I used to pray; I can call upon my Father as I sit there.” And so Bede, as he lay upon the floor of his cell, sang, “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.” And when he had named the Holy Spirit, he breathed his last breath. - from a letter on the death of Saint Bede written by the monk Cuthbert

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, any my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” With these words Mary first acknowledges the special gifts she has been given. Above all other saints, she alone could truly rejoice in Jesus, her savior, for she knew that he who was the source of eternal salvation would be born in time in her body, in one person both her own son and her Lord. “For the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” Mary attributes nothing to her own merits. She refers all her greatness to the gift of one whose essence is power and whose nature is greatness, for he fill with greatness and strength the small and the weak who believe in him. She did well to add: “and holy is his name,” to warn those who heard, and indeed all who would receive his words, that they must believe and call upon his name. For they too could share in everlasting holiness and true salvation according to the words of the prophet: “and it will come to pass, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” This is the name she spoke of earlier when she said “and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” - from a homily by Saint Bede


44 posted on 05/25/2014 6:04:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17

6th Sunday of Easter

They received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:17)

As soon as the apostles heard about God’s work in Samaria, they sent Peter and John to find out what was happening. When they arrived and met the people whom Philip had evangelized, they had no hesitation about praying with them. They freely gave away what they had freely received, and as a result, many more people were filled with the Spirit.

Since the Spirit is already living in us through Baptism, the idea of being “filled” with the Spirit may be a little confusing. Maybe an analogy can help. When a husband and wife are in love, they are “filled” with each other. They cherish each other; they care for each other. They want to be together as much as possible. In a sense, they are being filled with each other’s love over and over again.

Similarly, we can be filled with the Spirit every day by turning to him in prayer and asking him to show us his love. Then we will respond by being preoccupied with the Lord no matter what we are doing. With the Spirit in the forefront of our minds, we will find ourselves trying our best to please him. What’s more, we’ll find him comforting us, leading us, and helping us feel God’s love more deeply.

Think about how much of an effect a husband and wife have on each other. They look out for each other’s interests above their own. They tend to be more kind, considerate, patient, and generous. Their love spreads beyond themselves to their children and neighbors, even to strangers. They are transformed by married love. Just so, when we are filled with the Spirit, we are changed. We become more peaceful and less irritable. We are more forgiving, more prayerful, and more dedicated to the mission of the Church. We are less selfish, less demanding, and less judgmental.

Never stop asking the Spirit to fill you!

“Lord, I want to be filled with your Holy Spirit every day. Never take your Holy Spirit away from me!”

Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Acts 8:5-8,14-17; Psalm 66:1-7,16,20; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21)

1. In the first reading, we hear that the listeners “paid attention” when the word of God was proclaimed. How expectant or attentive are you when Scripture is read or when the homily is delivered at Mass? What steps can you take to be more open and attentive?

2. “Joy” appears in both the first reading (“There was great joy in that city.”) and the responsorial psalm (“Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.”). How do these readings describe the basis for this joy? What is the basis for your joy as you live out each day?

3. In the second reading, Peter encourages us to “always be ready” to share with others our faith. How ready are you? What are the obstacles that hold you back from sharing your faith with others? What would it take to overcome them?

4. What an incredible promise Jesus gives us in the Gospel reading: “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth” - that is, the Holy Spirit, God himself dwelling and remaining within each one of us from the time we were baptized! How much do you reverence God’s very presence within you through the indwelling Spirit?

5. The meditation ends with these words: “when we are filled with the Spirit, we are changed. We become more peaceful and less irritable. We are more forgiving, more prayerful, and more dedicated to the mission of the Church. We are less selfish, less demanding, and less judgmental.Never stop asking the Spirit to fill you!” What might you do to turn to the Lord more frequently during the day to ask him to fill you afresh with his Holy Spirit? What difference do you think this will make on how you live out your Christian life? Why?

6. Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for a fresh infilling of his Holy Spirit. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


45 posted on 05/25/2014 6:12:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

PRAISE GOD FOR GIVING US THE HOLY SPIRIT

25 May

PRAISE GOD FOR GIVING US THE HOLY SPIRIT

(A biblical reflection on THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – May 25, 2014)

First Reading: Acts 8:5-8,14-17; Psalms: Psalm 66:1-7,16,20; Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:15-18; Gospel Reading: John 14:15-21

LAST SUPPER - 09

Born human, we have within us capacities to love, learn, choose, work and so on. But we need the help of parents, teachers and friends to activate and develop these capacities so that we can reach our full human potential.

That is why we need the Holy Spirit and why Jesus promised to send Him to us: “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Paraclete – to be with you always; to remain with you and be within you.”

According to Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, the word paraclete means one who is called to our side as a helper. For example, a helper was often a legal counsellor in a court of law. In another sense, the Holy Spirit is a special kind of helper who is always with us to help us activate and develop our inner capacities.

Moreover, the Holy Spirit is given not only to be with us at our side, but also to dwell within us. His seven gifts are not some magical cloak we put on our outside, but a new source of life and power that operates from within the very depths of our being.

ROH KUDUS MELAYANG-LAYANG - 2

What are some of the ways in which the Holy Spirit helps us?

First, we become CONQUERORS. With the Holy Spirit working within our hearts there is no obstacle we cannot overcome in order to grow and expand – whether that obstacle is fear or laziness, drugs or alcohol, a physical handicap or an emotional disorder.

Second, we become more CREATIVE. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit we discover more beauty and harmony in the universe and are able to express our vision in new works of music, art, literature and science.

Third, we become more COMPASSIONATE. Whenever we encounter hunger, sickness or unemployment, the Holy Spirit prompts us to do something personal to alleviate these pains experienced by other people.

Fourth, we see things with greater CLARITY. The Holy Spirit dwelling within us opens our eyes to see things from God’s point of view – the shortness of time and the length of eternity; the wisdom of discipline and the foolishness of selfish indulgence; the value of prayer and the waste of worry.

Let us praise God for giving us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us as a helper. We many never win things like Academy Awards, but with His help we will reach a peak in personal growth and enrich the lives of people around us. We may never be given gold medals at Olympics or honorary degrees at graduations, but we will become more Christ-like as the Holy Spirit transforms us from within.

Adapted from Albert Cylwicki CSB, HIS WORD RESOUNDS, Makati, Philippines: St. paul Publications, 1991, pages 36-37.


46 posted on 05/25/2014 6:21:03 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 May 25, 2014:

“Always be ready to give…a reason for your hope.” (1 Pt 3:15) And always be ready to speak of your love! Speaking kindly of one’s spouse strengthens the marriage bond. Look for opportunities to build each other up, both alone and in public.

47 posted on 05/25/2014 6:24:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

 

Sixth Sunday of Easter - Cycle A

May 25, 2014

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Acts 8:5-8,14-17

Psalm: 66:1-7,16,20

Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:15-18 

Gospel Reading: John 14:15-21

 

QUESTIONS:

 

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 243, 687, 692, 729, 788, 2466, 2615, 2671

 

Those who are led by the Holy Spirit have true ideas; that is why so many ignorant people are wiser than the learned. The Holy Spirit is light and strength. --St. John Vianney

48 posted on 05/25/2014 6:34:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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How Do I Know If I Love God?

Pastor’s Column

6th Sunday of Easter

May 25, 2014

(Scripture verses from John 14:15-21) If you love me, you will keep my commandments

Here Christ gives us an objective barometer as to how we might know if we really love him. If I tell someone I love them, but never do anything they ask, but think only about what I want to do, do I really love them? So, in fact, if we really want to love Christ more, we study the commandments so that we can get better at knowing and keeping them.

Far from being demanding, Jesus makes obedience to his word voluntary. But the consequences of not loving him are grave indeed. If we truly choose a life of self-centeredness, this is, in fact, a kind of hell.

Because I live you will live

Jesus alone has life within himself. He is free to grant eternal life to anyone he wishes. He may not be visible to our eyes, but he gave us his Holy Spirit to guide us while he is away; and even if we die, we have no fear because we live and are loved by the author of life himself.

I will come back to you

Jesus is going away from the disciples. Doesn't this verse imply that Jesus is also going to go away from us for a while, too? Well, he did promise to be with us in hidden ways, but he is also leaving us in the midst of the world so that we can finish our lives, our exam, as all those who have gone before us have done. He also promised a certain kind of help for us while he is away and that help is precisely the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me In this consists our test in life. How have I loved others? We hear it over and over but this is the key that unlocks most of the doors of life. Jesus in effect says to us, "While I go away, you are going to be tested. That is why I am leaving, so that you can receive the Holy Spirit and experience spiritual growth, and then I will come back and reward you.” These lessons are very valuable to us because they teach us how to guide the individual actions of our lives.

And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father. And I will love him and reveal myself to him. If I love God, he will reciprocate my love. I will be loved in return. This is the process by how we get to know God, that somehow, everything he does is motivated by love... not human love, but divine love. Keeping his commandments is the Rule of Life for every Christian!                                                 Father Gary


49 posted on 05/25/2014 6:45:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Sacred Page

The Sending of the Spirit, "Another Advocate": Readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

We are about the celebrate the last Sunday before the Feast of Pentecost. The lectionary readings for this Sunday, therefore, are meant to lead us to reflect on different aspects of the Spirit's work.

This Sunday's readings are also important for understanding Catholic sacramental theology, in particular, the sacrament of confirmation. Indeed, confirmation (or chrismation) is closely linked to Pentecost. Quoting Pope Paul VI, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that, confirmation "in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church" (no. 1288; citing Paul VI, Divinae consortium naturae, 659).

I would suggest, then, that the readings this Sunday help us prepare for Pentecost Sunday by, in part, drawing upon passages that in Catholic tradition are closely related to the sacrament of confirmation. In this, as we approach the feast celebrating the outpouring of the Spirit upon the disciples, we are reminded that we share in that Pentecost experience in the sacramental life of the Church.

With that as background, let us briefly explore these readings.

FIRST READING: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17

Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city. 

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem
heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God,
they sent them Peter and John,
who went down and prayed for them,
that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
for it had not yet fallen upon any of them;
they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid hands on them
and they received the Holy Spirit.

The Relationship of the Samaritans to the Jews. At the beginning of the reading we read that Philip, one of the seven deacons appointed in Acts 6:5 (not the apostle), "proclaimed the Christ" to the people of Samaria. Much could be said about this from a salvation history perspective. Specifically, it is important to know that backstory of the Samaritans to appreciate the significance of this story. Let us consider that briefly.

Under kings David and Solomon, all of the tribes of Israel were united. This period represented, in many ways, the golden age of the Old Testament. Through the Davidic kingdom God reigned over Israel as well as the nations. The Chronicler thus describes the kingdom of David in terms of, "the kingdom of the Lord in the hands of the sons of David" (2 Chr 13:8).

After Solomon's death, however, the northern tribes revolted against the kingdom of David. They turned away from the Lord and began to worship golden calves. A rebel kingdom was set up by the northern tribes. Its first king was Jeroboam, a descendant of the tribe of Ephraim. The capital of the northern kingdom was eventually established in Samaria.

Samaria thus became associated with the northern tribes' rebellion against the Davidic kingdom.

As is well known, in Jesus' day, the Samaritans were despised by Jews. However, it wasn't simply their rejection of the Davidic king that caused this. In fact, things got quite complicated for the Samaritans.

First, in the eighth century B.C. the Assyrians carried off many of the northern tribes into exile. According to 2 Kings 17:18-41, not only did the Assyrians send many northern Israelites into exile, they also repopulated the cities of Samaria with captives from other nations who brought with them the worship of their own pagan gods. In Jesus' day, therefore, the Samaritans were seen as corrupted. [1]



Nonetheless, the Samaritans were still apparently seen as part of the people of Israel by Jews in the Second Temple Period. 2 Maccabees seems to describe the Jews and Samaritans as belonging to one "people" (2 Macc. 5:22-23). What really scandalized the Jews, then, was not the Samaritans' questionable genealogy, it was something else.

Specifically, the Samaritans were problematic above all else because they rejected the Jerusalem temple. They identified Mt. Gerizim--not Mt. Zion--as the place of correct worship. In fact, Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well discuss this disagreement in John 4. This--the question of right worship--was the central dividing issue among the Jews and the Samaritans. Nothing was more important than the question of what constituted proper liturgical worship.

Josephus tells us that some Samaritans even attempted to defile the Jerusalem temple in the time of Coponius (A.D. 6-9), sneaking into the temple courts and placing human bones in the sanctuary (A.J. 19.29-30). In short, the Jews seem to have despised the Samaritans because the Samaritans were hostile to the temple in Jerusalem.

In fact, one ancient rabbinic text makes it clear that though the question of worship was at the heart of the dispute, the rabbis did believe they could one day be restored to the people of God:

"When shall we receive the Samaritans back? When they renounce Mount Gerizim and acknowledge Jerusalem and the resurrection of the dead. When this happens, he that robs a Samaritan shall be as one who robs an Israelite." (Massekhet Kutim 2:8).[2]

Notably, this text also suggests that the Samaritans also rejected the hope for the resurrection of the dead. The element worth pointing out here though this this: there was a hope for a reunification with the Samaritans among the rabbis.

This is not surprising. Indeed, many of the prophets looked forward to the day God would reunite the northern and southern tribes of Israel. For example, speaking specifically of Samaria, Isaiah declares:

Again you shall plant vineyards
upon the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant,
and shall enjoy the fruit. 6 For there shall be a day when watchmen will call
in the hill country of Ephraim:
‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
to the Lord our God.’” 7 For thus says the Lord:
“Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
‘The Lord has saved his people,
the remnant of Israel.’ (Jer 31:5-7)

The Promise of the inclusion of the Samaritans. How does all of the above relate to the reading from Acts?

The book of Acts presents Jesus as the Messiah, the one through whom the twelve tribes would be restored (cf. Luke 22:29-30). Along these lines, in the first chapter of the book, Jesus describes how the apostles will be his witnesses "in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth". In sum, Jesus explains that the messianic age will accomplish the restoration of the twelve tribes of Israel, just as the prophets had announced. Not only will the Jews receive the Gospel--i.e., those in Jerusalem and Judea (="Judeans" or "Jews")--but so will all of the twelve tribes. In particular, Jesus explains that Samaria will be included.

Philip's trip to Samaria is presented as fulfilling this promise.

Christ, the Spirit, and the Samaritans. That Philip preached "Christ" to the Samaritans is also significant given the lectionary readings'  focus on the role of the Spirit.

"Christ" literally means "anointed one". The term came to be understood in terms of the "Anointed One", i.e., the Messiah. In the Old Testament, however, the term had a broader meaning.

Kings and priests were anointed ones--they were anointed with oil. This act was linked with the coming of the Spirit upon the anointed. This is probably most clearly seen in the anointing of David. In 1 Samuel 16 we read: "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed [David] in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. (1 Sam 16:13)."

Why is Jesus "the Christ"? He is the "Anointed One", i.e., he is the one who comes in the Spirit. 

 

It is no surprise then that the Gospels especially link the initiation of Jesus' messianic ministry with his baptism. There the Spirit visibly descends upon him. In fact, in Luke Jesus' baptism is followed with an account of Jesus reading Isaiah 61, which states, "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me" (Isa. 61:1; cf. Luke 4:16-18).

Philip preaches that "the Christ", the Messiah, has come. The one who comes in the Spirit has arrived.

Furthermore, we might note that, in a certain sense, the messiah has come in Philip. Philip performs the same kinds of miracles and exorcism Luke describes Jesus performing. Christ is still active in the world only know he acts not through his personal body but through the ministry of the Church, his mystical body. For more on that, go here.

The Sacrament of Confirmation. Notably, then, in Acts 8 the Samaritans receive the "word of the God" and are baptized. However, interestingly, though they are baptized, they do not receive the outpouring of the Spirit. For them to receive that, the apostles Peter and John must go up to Samaria and lay their hands on the believers.

A similar story is also found later in Acts 19. There Paul, passing through Ephesus, finds believers who had been baptized but who had not yet received the Spirit. Paul confers the Spirit upon them through, once again, the laying on of hands (cf. Acts 19:1-7).

The stories in Acts 8 and 19 led to the understanding that there is a second sacrament of initiation after baptism--confirmation or chrismation. Although baptism and confirmation were celebrated together, Cyprian describes the way Christians received a "double sacrament", recognizing early on a distinction between what happens at baptism and what is involved with the laying on of hands--just as what happened in Samaria and in Ephesus.

Note too that this passage is also the reason confirmation is especially linked with apostolic authority, i.e., the bishop. While Philip (the deacon from Acts 6, not the apostle) proclaimed Christ and baptized, it is Peter and John who are dispatched to lay their hands on the Samaritan believers. Thus in our own day confirmation is linked in a special way with the bishop. In the west, the bishop--the successor to the apostles--is therefore the ordinary minister of the sacrament. In the east, the sacrament is conferred through the anointing of the myron blessed by the bishop.

What happened to the Samaritans, then, is a model for Christians. Like them, we are called to turn from sin and experience the grace of baptism. Yet, in addition to baptism, we are invited to receive the laying on of hands, through which we experience a special outpouring of the Spirit.

But wait... Don't we receive God's grace in baptism? What happens in the outpouring of the Spirit at confirmation that doesn't occur in baptism?

That's what the Second Reading helps explicate.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20

R/ (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.or:R/ Alleluia.Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R/ Alleluia.

“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R/ Alleluia.

He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R/ Alleluia.

Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R/ Alleluia.

The responsorial psalm is appropriate to the first reading. Through the ministry of the Church the Gospel spreads to Samaria, marking a major milestone in the spread of the Gospel. Christ had declared that his disciples would be his witnesses "in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth". The conversion of the Samaritans is a kind of down payment on the promise of universal blessing.

We might also mention how the psalm uses "new exodus" language, language typically associated with the restoration of Israel in the prophets. Indeed, it is through the preaching of Christ that the new exodus is accomplished as we have observed elsewhere (e.g., here).

SECOND READING: 1 Peter 3:15-18

Beloved:
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.
 

For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.

The Divinity of Christ. The reading from 1 Peter begins with a clear affirmation of the divinity of Christ. Scholars recognize that the line "sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts" is a re-working of the Greek translation of Isaiah 8:13 (LXX): "sanctify the Lord himself and he will be your fear".[3] Here the "Lord" is clearly identified as YHWH, the God of Israel. By applying this passage to Christ, 1 Peter underscores Jesus' divinity. 

 

Three aspects of the Christian response to Persecution. In context, this section of 1 Peter is speaking to Christians facing persecution. They are told to do three things.

 

First, Christians must sanctify Christ, i.e., worship him.

 

Second, Christians must be able to give an answer for their faith. This verse is often highlighted to urge Christians to learn apologetics, i.e., the art of defending the Christian faith. Indeed, Peter is calling upon Christians to be able to give a "reasoned" explanation of their faith.

Faith cannot simply be an emotional experience. Faith is not simply about the heart. It must also involve the head. 

 

What must be highlighted though is that it Peter goes on to explain that we must be able to explain our faith "with gentleness and reverence". Proclaiming the faith is not simply about winning arguments. An argumentative Christianity is not an authentic Christianity. First and foremost, Christians must be witnesses for Christ by being like Christ. A witness that is not "gentle" is not not Christ-like, for he himself said he was "gentle and lowly in heart" (Matt 11:29).

 

Third, Christians must "keep your conscience clear". We cannot witness to Christ effectively if we do not practice "good conduct in Christ". If we are hypocrites, we will be "put to shame" and the truth of the Gospel we have witnessed to will be called into question. 

 

Imitating Christ. A major theme in 1 Peter is the idea of discipleship as imitation of Christ. In the preceding chapter, we read: "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps" (1 Pet 3:21). 

 

For 1 Peter, Christ's suffering provides a model for the Christian. He suffered and we are called to suffer with him. For Peter's original audience this may have entailed the prospect of martyrdom. 

 

The word "martyr" is the Greek term for "witness". Indeed, inasmuch as all believers must witness to Christ, all believers are called to be "martyrs". Perhaps our witness will not require the spilling of our blood but it may involve the risk of being ostracized or some other more subtle form of persecution. Either way, believers must lay down their lives for Christ and for others as he laid his life for others. 

 

Strengthened by the Spirit. How will Christians be able to face persecution and the threat of death? The last line of the reading is suggestive: Christ was "put to death in the flesh" and "brought to life in the Spirit."

 

It is the Spirit who rescued Christ from death. If Christ's passion is meant to provide Christians with an example to follow, Christians also have the hope of deliverance in the same power that saved Jesus, namely, the Spirit. 

 

In the context of the lectionary readings, which focus on texts relating to the sacrament of confirmation, we might then suggest that it is especially in confirmation sacrament that Christians receive the power to be Christ's witnesses. Confirmation strengthens us to proclaim Christ even in the face of persecution. 

 

In short, confirmation enables us to be martyrs. 


Indeed, this fits well with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which explains that one of the effects of the sacrament is that

"it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross" (no. 1303).

GOSPEL: John 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

The Gospel reading is taken from the section of John's Gospel known as Christ's "farewell discourse". Here, prior to his passion, Christ speaks of his coming death, resurrection, and return to the Father. 

 

 

Keeping the commandments and the Power of the Spirit. Jesus' teaching, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" could be read indicating that the keeping of the commandments is the way one demonstrates true love for Christ; i.e., keeping the commandments is the way one gives evidence that he or she is really a disciple of Jesus.

 

However, in his commentary on the Gospel of John, Thomas Aquinas argues against this interpretation by pointing out that it is only by grace that we are able to love God and keep his commandments in the first place. He points out that Jesus goes on to say, "Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one that loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him. . ." 

 

Does this mean that God only loves those he sees keeping his commandments? Is God's love predicated upon whether or not we keep his commandments? That would seem to be problematic. In fact, it would seem to contradict Johannine theology! 1 John 4 relates: "In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins."

 

In short, we are only able to love because God first loved us, as St. Paul would say, "while we were yet sinners" (Rom. 5:8).


Thomas writes, ". . . one loves, and as a result of this, keeps the commandments" (Commentary on John, no. 1934).

 

God's love is what empowers us to love him. 

 

Thus, Jesus goes on to speak of the sending of the Spirit. In other words, Jesus explains, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" because if we love him it will then follow that we will keep his commandments. This reading makes sense in context. For after saying this, Jesus goes on to explain how he will send the Spirit so that we will not be "orphans" but have his assistance.

"Another" Paraclete. The Spirit is then described as the "Paraclete" (paraklétos). What does this word mean? Different options have been suggested. In the second century, Origen suggested it means "comforter" [3], an interpretation that was picked up by later writers, including Thomas Aquinas. In context, this meaning makes sense.

 

However, the best evidence suggests a different meaning is in view. It seems more likely that the term in John 14 should be understood in terms of a legal "advocate", i.e., a “counselor” or “attorney”. Indeed, John's Gospel uses a number of motifs associated with such a courtroom setting such as the concepts of "witnesses", "testimony", "truth", "judgment", etc. The language of "Paraclete" seems to cohere well with this conceptual matrix.

Here it is helpful to understand the Greco-Roman courtroom model that is probably in the background.[4] In such a setting there was no “public prosecutor”. At a trial there were only private accusers (katçgor, Rev 12:10) who served as witnesses against the accused. Witnesses for the accused served as "advocates". The advocate was the one who defends accused in a courtroom and intercedes for him. It is used in ancient literature synonymously with synçgoros, a term which is the opposite of katçgôr (“accuser”). 


Of course, Scripture uses this kind of legal terminology for the devil. "Satan" is, literally, the "accuser" (cf. Rev 12:10; Job; 1:6ff.; Gen. Rab. 38:7; 84:2; etc.). In Jewish tradition, various figures were associated with the role of "advocate", including Moses [5], Michael [6], God [7], the Logos [8], and the Holy Spirit [9].


The idea then would seem to be that the Spirit is the witness on the side of believers. In fact, this also coheres with what is said later on in John 16:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” (John 16:7–11)

Here the Holy Spirit is described as prosecuting the disciples’ persecutors (John 16:7–11).

Trinitarian Theology. Jesus' promise to send another Paraclete is noteworthy for it implies that Jesus himself is also a Paraclete. In fact, 1 John clearly states that Jesus is a Paraclete: "“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” (1 John 2:1). 

 

In his comprehensive two-volume commentary on the Gospel of John, Craig Keener has compiled an impressive list of the parallels between Christ and the Spirit in John.[10] 

 

 

Keener explains, “The discourses are clear that the Spirit, above all else, carries on Jesus’ mission and mediates his presence. . . ”[11] 


Moreover, by describing the Spirit as the Paraclete, the divinity of the Spirit is implied. Elsewhere in John's Gospel Jesus is said to be divine. Speaking of Jesus, John tells us that "the Word was God" (John 1:1) and that he is "one" with the Father (John 10:30). John 5 explains that Jesus taught that God was his Father and thereby made himself "equal with God" (John 5:18). If Jesus is a divine Paraclete and the Spirit is another Paraclete, he would also seem to be a divine person. 

 

Jesus' description of the Spirit as another Paraclete led the fathers and doctors of the Church to recognize Trinitarian theology in John. If the Spirit is a Paraclete like Jesus and Jesus is divine, the Spirit must also be divine. 

 

Aquinas on Jesus' comings and on the manifestation of God's love. Jesus explains that he will not leave the disciples "orphans" but that he will come to them. In his commentary, Aquinas highlights three "comings" of Jesus. First, Jesus is coming to the disciples after the resurrection. Second, Christ is coming back at the second coming. Finally, "his third coming is spiritual and invisible, that is, when he comes to his faithful by grace. . ." (Commentary on John, no. 1923). 

 

 

Finally, the reading returns to the imagery it began with: love. Above we cited Thomas' teaching that God's love is not given to us as a result of our keeping of the commandments; God loves us whether we keep his commandments or not. This is the teaching of 1 John. In light of that, how can we understand the last line of the Gospel reading: "And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,

and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” 

 

Thomas explains: 

Why does he say, I will love, using the future, since the Father and the Son love all things from eternity? We should answer that love, considered as being in the divine will, is eternal; but considered as manifested in the accomplishment of some work and effect, is temporal. So the meaning is: and I will love him, that is, I will show the effect of my love, because I will manifest myself to him: for I love in order to manifest myself. (Commentary on John, no. 1935)

Christ thus reveals himself to the believer through manifesting the effects of his power in the believer's life. By cooperating with God's grace we are empowered to love even more. 

 

All of this points to Pentecost. There the disciples receive the Spirit are empowered to love God without fear. Let us ask God for the same grace, namely, to love him boldly. 

 

Moreover, this Sunday, let us also reflect on the grace of the sacrament of confirmation, recognizing how it enables us to love as the apostles did, empowering us to be witnesses--martyrs. Let us ask the Father for the grace to further cooperate with his gifts so that we may grow in our love for him and for one another, recognizing that he has given us another Advocate who empowers us to do so. 

 


NOTES
[1] There are some difficulties with using the passage from 1 Kings 17 as background information for those identified as "Samaritans" in Jesus' day. The Hebrew text is not as definite in describing the "Samaritans" as the LXX. See R. J. Coggins, Samaritans and Jews: The Origins of Samaritanism Reconsidered (Atlanta: John Knox, 1975), 9-10; V. J. Samkutty, The Samaritan Mission in Acts (LNTS 328; London: T & T Clark, 2006), 58-59.

[2]. Text from Michael Higger, Seven Minor Treatises (New York: Bloch, 1930), 46; translation taken from Timothy Warlde, The Jerusalem Temple and Early Christian Identity (WUNT 2/291; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2010), 103.

[3]. See Anthony Casurella, The Johannine Paraclete in the Church Fathers: A Study in the History of Exegesis (Tübingen: Mohr, 1983), 3–4.

[4]. See Craig Keener, Gospel of John (2 vols.; Peabody: Hendricksen, 2003), 2:957.

[4] Deut. Rab. 3:11.

[5] Exod. Rab. 18:5; cf. T. Sol. 1:7; Deut. Rab. 11:10; etc.

[6] Job 16:19–21; m. ‘Abot 4:22.

[7] Philo, Heir, 205.

[8] Deut. Rab. 3:11.

[9] Adapted from Keener, Gospel of John, 2:965.

 

[10] Keener, Gospel of John, 2:965


50 posted on 05/25/2014 7:10:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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