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Catholic Caucus; Daily Mass Readings, 07-25-14, FEAST, St. James, Apostle
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 07-25-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 07/24/2014 8:59:46 PM PDT by Salvation

July 25, 2014

Feast of Saint James, Apostle

 

Reading 1 2 Cor 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 126:1bc-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6

R. (5) Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Gospel Mt 20:20-28

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her,
“What do you wish?”
She answered him,
“Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.”
Jesus said in reply,
“You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
They said to him, “We can.”
He replied,
“My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; mt20; ordinarytime; prayer; saints
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 07/24/2014 8:59:46 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping

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2 posted on 07/24/2014 9:02:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15

The Trials He Has Experienced


[7] But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent
power belongs to God and not to us. [8] We are afflicted in every way, but not
crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; [9] persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed; [10] always carrying in the body the death of
Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. [11] For
while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the
life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. [12] So death is at work in
us, but life in you.

He Is Sustained By Hope in Heaven


[13] Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and
so I spoke,” we too believe, and so we speak, [14] knowing that he who raised
the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his pre-
sence. [15] For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and
more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

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

7-12. In contrast to the greatness of the Gospel—the “treasure” entrusted to them
by God—St. Paul emphasizes the limitations of its ministers: they are “earthen
vessels” (v. 7). To illustrate this he describes the afflictions and persecution to
which he finds himself subjected and in which God’s grace always comes to his
aid.

In some way these sufferings of the Apostles and of all Christians reproduce in
their lives the sufferings of Christ in his passion and death. In his case his suf-
fering opened the way to his glorification after the Resurrection; similarly his ser-
vants, even in this life, are experiencing an anticipation of the life they will attain
in heaven; this helps them overcome every kind of affliction.

7. St. Paul again stresses that the effectiveness of all his apostolic activity
comes from God (cf., e.g., 1 Cor 1:26-31; 2 Cor 3:5); he it is who places his trea-
sures in poor earthenware vessels. The image the Apostle uses—which is remini-
scent of the clay which God used to make Adam (cf. Gen 2:7)—helps Christians
realize that through grace they bear in their souls a wonderful treasure, God him-
self; like earthen vessels they are very fragile and they need to be put together
again in the sacrament of Confession. As a gloss on these ideas St. Escriva
taught that Christians by bearing God in their souls are enabled to live at one
and the same time “in heaven and on earth, divinized: but knowing that we are
of the world and made of clay, with the frailty that is typical of clay — an earthen-
ware pot which our Lord has deigned to use in his service. And whenever it has
got broken, we have gone and riveted the bits together again, like the prodigal
son: ‘I have sinned against heaven and against you...’” (quoted in Bernal, “Mon-
signor Escriva de Balaguer”).

8-9. The Apostle’s words assure the Christian that he or she can always count
on God’s help: no matter what trials they have to undergo, victory can be attained
with the grace of God as happened in St. Paul’s case. “God is faithful, and he will
not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with temptation will also provide
you the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13). More-
over, St. Paul’s example reminds us that more or less severe suffering and tribu-
lation will be a normal thing in the lives of Christ’s followers; theirs will never be a
comfortable, trouble-free life. “If it is your ambition to win the esteem of men, if
your desire to be well-regarded and seek only a life of ease, you have gone as-
tray [...]. In the city of the saints, entrance is given and rest and eternal rule with
the King, only to those who have made their way along the rough, narrow way of
tribulation” (Pseudo-Macarius, “Homilies”, XII, 5).

10-11. As happened in St. Paul’s case, in their daily lives Christians must relive
the sufferings of Christ through self-denial and penance: this is part of following
Christ and imitating him. “The Christian vocation is one of sacrifice, penance,
expiation. We must make reparation for our sins—for the many times we turned
our face aside so as to avoid the gaze of God—and all the sins of mankind. We
must try to imitate Christ, ‘always carrying in the body the death of Christ’, his
abnegation, his suffering on the cross, ‘so that the life of Jesus may be manifes-
ted in our bodies’ (2 Cor 4:10). Our way is one of immolation and, in this denial,
we find “gaudium cum pace”, both joy and peace” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is
Passing By”, 9).

Self-denial, mortification, does not have to be something overt; it should be prac-
ticed in the ordinary circumstances of life—for example, by being punctual for ap-
pointments, carefully fulfilling one’s duties, treating everyone with as much chari-
ty as possible, accepting little setbacks in a good-humored way (cf. St. J. Escri-
va, “Friends of God”, 138).

10. “The death of Jesus”: more exactly, the “dying” of Christ: the Greek word re-
fers to the situation of someone who is dying.

12. In the Apostles, and also in other Christians, the paradox of Jesus’ life is ve-
rified: his death is the cause of life for all men. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into
the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24).
Afflictions and tribulations, physical and moral pain, daily self-denial and penance,
cause Christ’s disciple to die to himself and, if united to the sufferings of his Mas-
ter, they become a source of life for others through the communion of saints.

13-18. The Apostle explains where he gets the strength to bear all the tribula-
tions of life — from his hope in the resurrection and his expectation of being in
heaven with those to whom he is writing (v. 14). There is nothing selfish about this
desire for heaven: it helps us to stay true to the faith and it enables us to see all
the sufferings of this life as something transitory and slight (v. 17), a necessary
step to heaven and a way to obtain incomparably greater happiness. “If we wish
to enjoy the pleasures of eternity,” St. Alphonsus reminds us, “we must deprive
ourselves of the pleasures of time. ‘Whoever would save his life will lose it’ (Mt
16:25) [...]. If we wish to be saved, we must all be martyrs, either by the tyrant’s
sword or through our own mortification. Let us have this conviction — that every-
thing we suffer is nothing compared with the eternal glory that awaits us. ‘I consi-
der the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that
is to be revealed to us’ (Rom 8:18). These momentary afflictions will bring us e-
ternal happiness (cf. 2 Cor 4:17)” (”Treasury of Preaching Material”, II, 9).

13. The Apostle’s faith leads him to keep on preaching, despite all the difficulties
this may involve. There is nothing else he can do: he is convinced that his faith
is what can save the world and he cannot but strive to spread it. If he acted other-
wise it would mean his faith was asleep and he did not truly love others. “When
you find that something has done you good,” St. Gregory the Great explains,
“try to bring it to the attention of others. You should, therefore, desire others to
join you on the ways of the Lord. If you are going to the forum or the baths, and
you meet someone who is not doing anything, you invite him to go along with
you. Apply this earthly custom to the spiritual sphere, and as you make your
way to God, do not do so alone” (”In Evangelia Homiliae”, 6, 6).

14. What inspires St. Paul’s apostolic activity and enables him to bear all the dif-
ficulties it involves, is his firm belief in resurrection in glory, the basis and cause
of which is Christ’s resurrection. He also has the hope of sharing this happiness
in heaven, in the presence of God, with all the faithful for whose salvation he is
working on earth.

15. After reminding the Corinthians that all the sufferings he has been speaking
about he has borne for their sake (cf. 4:5), St. Paul tells them what motivates him
most—the greater glory of God, to whom the faithful should turn in deep gratitude
(cf. 1:11; 9:12). This should be man’s primary attitude to God—one of profound
adoration and thanksgiving for all his benefits, as we are daily reminded in the
Preface of the Mass.

“If life’s purpose were not to give glory to God, how contemptible, how hateful it
would be” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 783).

*********************************************************************************************
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 07/24/2014 9:03:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 20:20-28

The Mother of the Sons of Zebedee Makes Her Request


[20] Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to Him, with her sons,
and kneeling before Him she asked Him for something. [21] And He said to her,
“What do you want?” She said to Him, “Command that these two sons of mine
may sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, in Your Kingdom.” [22] But
Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink
the cup that I am to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.” [23] He said to
them, “You will drink My cup, but to sit at My right hand and at My left is not
Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
[24] And when the ten heard it they were indignant at the two brothers. [25] But
Jesus called them to Him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles
lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. [26] It shall
not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your ser-
vant, [27] and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; [28] even
as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a
ransom for many.”

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

20. The sons of Zebedee are James the Greater and John. Their mother, Salo-
me, thinking that the earthly reign of the Messiah is about to be established,
asks that her sons be given the two foremost positions in it. Christ reproaches
them for not grasping the true—spiritual—nature of the Kingdom of Heaven and
not realizing that government of the Church He is going to found implies service
and martyrdom. “If you are working for Christ and imagine that a position of re-
sponsibility is anything but a burden, what disillusionment awaits you!” (St. J.
Escriva, “The Way”, 950).

22. “Drinking the cup” means suffering persecution and martyrdom for following
Christ. “We are able”: the sons of Zebedee boldly reply that they can drink the
cup; their generous expression evokes what St. Paul will write years later: “I
can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).

23. “You will drink My cup”: James the Greater will die a martyr’s death in Jeru-
salem around the year 44 (cf. Acts 12:2); and John, after suffering imprisonment
and the lash in Jerusalem (cf. Acts 4:3; 5:40-41), will spend a long period of
exile on the island of Patmos (cf. Revelation 1:9).

From what our Lord says here we can take it that positions of authority in the
Church should not be the goal of ambition or the subject of human intrigue, but
the outcome of a divine calling. Intent on doing the will of His Heavenly Father,
Christ was not going to allocate positions of authority on the basis of human
considerations but, rather, in line with God’s plans.

26. Vatican II puts a marked emphasis on this “service” which the Church offers
to the world and which Christians should show as proof of their Christian identity:
“In proclaiming the noble destiny of man and affirming an element of the divine
in him, this sacred Synod offers to cooperate unreservedly with mankind in fos-
tering a sense of brotherhood to correspond to this destiny of theirs. The Church
is not motivated by an earthly ambition but is interested in one thing only—to car-
ry on the work of Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for He came into
the world to bear witness to the truth, to save and not to judge, to serve and not
to be served” (”Gaudium Et Spes”, 3 cf. “Lumen Gentium”, 32: “Ad Gentes”, 12;
“Unitatis Redintegratio”, 7).

27-28. Jesus sets Himself as an example to be imitated by those who hold au-
thority in the Church. He who is God and Judge of all men (cf. Philippians 2:5-
11; John 5:22-27; Acts 10:42; Matthew 28:18) does not impose Himself on us:
He renders us loving service to the point of giving His life for us (cf. John 15:13);
that is His way of being the first. St. Peter understood Him right; he later exhor-
ted priests to tend the flock of God entrusted to them, not domineering over them
but being exemplary in their behavior (cf. 1 Peter 5:1-3); and St. Paul also was
clear on this “service”: though He was “free from all men”, He became the ser-
vant of all in order to win all (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:19 ff; 2 Corinthians 4:5).

Christ’s “service” of mankind aims at salvation. The phrase “to give His life as a
ransom for many” is in line with the terminology of liturgical sacrificial language.
These words were used prophetically in Chapter 53 of Isaiah.

Verse 28 also underlines the fact that Christ is a priest, who offers Himself as
priest and victim on the altar of the cross. The expression “as a ransom for ma-
ny” should not be interpreted as implying that God does not will the salvation of
all men. “Many”, here, is used to contrast with “one” rather than “all”: there is
only one Savior, and salvation is offered to all.

*********************************************************************************************
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 07/24/2014 9:04:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

2 Corinthians 4:7-15 ©

We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed; always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

  But as we have the same spirit of faith that is mentioned in scripture – I believed, and therefore I spoke – we too believe and therefore we too speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us. You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God.


Psalm

Psalm 125:1-6 ©

Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap.

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,

  it seemed like a dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter,

  on our lips there were songs.

Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap.

The heathens themselves said: ‘What marvels

  the Lord worked for them!’

What marvels the Lord worked for us!

  Indeed we were glad.

Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage

  as streams in dry land.

Those who are sowing in tears

  will sing when they reap.

Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap.

They go out, they go out, full of tears,

  carrying seed for the sowing:

they come back, they come back, full of song,

  carrying their sheaves.

Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap.


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Jn15:16

Alleluia, alleluia!

I chose you from the world

to go out and bear fruit,

fruit that will last,

says the Lord.

Alleluia!


Gospel

Matthew 20:20-28 ©

The mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said ‘you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’

  When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’


5 posted on 07/24/2014 9:12:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
6 posted on 07/24/2014 9:14:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 07/24/2014 9:15:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Nun: The Sign of Genocide (Please join Aug 1 Day of Solidarity and Prayer)
8 posted on 07/24/2014 9:15:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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

9 posted on 07/24/2014 9:17:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

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

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

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

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


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

10 posted on 07/24/2014 9:18:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ 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
+

11 posted on 07/24/2014 9:18:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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.


12 posted on 07/24/2014 9:19:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
 

 
July Devotion: The Precious Blood

July Devotion: The Precious Blood 
Like the Sacred Wounds of Jesus, His Precious Blood deserves special honor because of its close relation to the Sacred Passion. That honor was given to it from the beginning by the Apostles who praised its redeeming power. (Rom. 5:9 "we are justified by His blood"; Heb. 13:12 "and so Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His blood, suffered outside the gate"; 1 John 1:7 "and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.") 
The Church has always held devotion to the Precious Blood in high esteem. We continue to recognize and publicly acknowledge the profound indebtedness of the whole human race to Christ, Priest and Victim. 
Standing at the foot of the cross, we see Jesus' head, hands, feet, and side pouring out streams of precious blood. It is precious because it: 
•      Redeems us and atones for our sins. Through His precious blood we are reconciled to God, made one with Him. Death ceases to be death and heaven's gates are opened to us.  
•      Cleanses us from all sin.  
•      Preserves us and keeps us safe from the grasp of evil.  When the Father sees us washed in the Blood of the Lamb we are spared.  
•      Comforts us. It is the constant reminder that Jesus - true God and true man suffered and died to save us and to open heaven to us because He loves us.  
•      Sanctifies us.  The same blood that justifies by taking away sin, continues to work within us.  Its action gives us the grace to continue on the path toward the Kingdom of God.  It assists us in achieving our new nature, leading us onward in subduing sin and in following the commands of God.  
Jesus shed His precious blood seven times during His life on earth.  They events were: 
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the Circumcision  
•      Jesus shed His Blood whilst praying in the Garden of Olives  
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the scourging  
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the crowning with thorns  
•      Jesus shed His Blood while carrying His cross  
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the crucifixion  
•      Jesus shed His Blood and water when His side was pierced 
 
The Power of the Precious Blood 
"I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God." (St. Albert the Great)
 

At their recent meeting, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had continuous Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for "healing and peace."   They encouraged parishes and communities to have ongoing Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  In these dark months of woundedness, pain and violence we need to turn to the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, for healing, peace, and light.  
"What power we have in the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist!  He is there to protect us, to be our refuge and our redemption.  (In Exodus 12, God told Moses to have His chosen people mark their door posts with the blood of an unblemished lamb, during the first Passover. Those who did this were spared when the Angel of the death passed by). This is why Archbishop Sheen said that we must call down the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  For, he warned, when we stop calling down the Blood of the Lamb, we start calling down the blood of each other."  (From our book Bread of Life)      
"And the Lamb on the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water" (Rev 7:17). 
"In the tumultuous events of our time, it is important to look to the Eucharist: it must be at the heart of the life of priests and consecrated people; the light and strength of spouses in putting into practice their commitment to fidelity, chastity and the apostolate; the ideal in education and in training children, adolescents and young people; the comfort and support of those who are troubled, of the sick and all who are weeping in the Gethsemane of life."  (Pope John Paul II)  
Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! 
"The only time our Lord asked the Apostles for anything was the night when He went into His agony.  But as often in the history of the church since that time, evil was awake, but the disciples were asleep.  That is why there came out of His anguished and lonely Heart a sigh: 'Could you not watch one hour with Me?'" (Mt 26:40).  Not for an hour of activity did he plead, but for an hour of friendship (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).  
 
St. Maria Goretti,  Patroness of Youth & Children of Mary, Feast-July 6 St. Maria of Italy (1890-1902), couldn't wait to make her First Communion.  She wanted to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist so that she could become more beautiful and pure like Him; she wanted Him to live in her, close to her heart.  After she received Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the first time, she stayed in Church for a long time after Mass to talk to Him. Maria's family lived with and worked for a farmer. His son Alessandro kept trying to make Maria sin against purity.  One day, when everyone else was working, Alessandro grabbed Maria and tried to make her sin.  Maria kept crying out for him to stop, and each time she did, he stabbed her. Courageously,   Maria resisted him and was stabbed fourteen times. St. Maria died the next day.  
"Look at Maria Goretti....  Like her, be capable of defending your purity of heart and body.  Be committed to the struggle against evil and sin.  Always esteem and love, purity and virginity." (Pope John Paul II, 1990)      
 
A Prayer for Priests 
O my God, help those priests who are faithful to remain faithful; to those who are falling, stretch forth Your Divine Hand that they may grasp it as their support.  In the great ocean of Your mercy, lift those poor unfortunate ones who have fallen, that being engulfed therein they may receive the grace to return to Your Great Loving Heart.  Amen.  Precious Blood of Jesus, protect them!
 
The Eucharist is the fruit of our Lords Passion. Jesus gave up His Body on the cross so that He may give you His Body in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus poured out His very last drop of Blood on the cross so that He may fill you with His Divine Love each time that you receive Him in Holy Communion and visit Him in Eucharistic Adoration! 
"The Eucharist, in the Mass and outside of the Mass, is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and is therefore deserving of the worship that is given to the living God, and to Him alone" (Pope John Paul II, September 29, 1979, Phoenix Park, Ireland) 
"The bread and wine, fruit of human hands, transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, become a pledge of the 'new heaven and new earth,' announced by the Church in her daily mission." "In Christ, whom we adore present in the mystery of the Eucharist, the father uttered his final word with regard to humanity and human history." "To live the Eucharist, it is necessary, as well, to spend much time in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, something which I myself experience every day drawing from it strength, consolation and assistance."  "How could the Church fulfill her vocation without cultivating a constant relationship with the Eucharist, without nourishing herself with this food which sanctifies, without founding her missionary activity on this indispensable support?" "To evangelize the world there is need of apostles who are 'experts' in the celebration, adoration and contemplation of the Eucharist" (Pope John Paul II, World Mission Message 2004).
 
The Power of the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist  
 
"The Precious Blood belongs in an especial manner to men. Much more, therefore, does God invite them to come to its heavenly baths, and receive therein, not only the cleansing of their souls, but the power of a new and amazing life. Every doctrine in theology is a call to the Precious Blood.  Every ceremony in the Church tells of it . . . .  Every supernatural act is a growth of it. Everything that is holy on earth is either a leaf, bud, blossom or fruit of the Blood of Jesus. To its fountains God calls the sinner, that he may be lightened of his burdens. There is no remission of him in anything else.  Only there is his lost sonship to be found. The saints are no less called by God to these invigorating streams. It is out of the Precious Blood that men draw martyrdoms, vocations, celebacies, austerities, heroic charities, and all the magnificent graces of high sanctity.  The secret nourishment of prayer is from those fountains" (Father Faber, The Precious Blood).  
 

The Most Precious Blood of Jesus
July is traditionally associated with the Precious Blood of Our Lord. It may be customary to celebrate the votive Mass of the Precious Blood on July 1.

The extraordinary importance of the saving Blood of Christ has ensured a central place for its memorial in the celebration of this cultic mystery: at the centre of the Eucharistic assembly, in which the Church raises up to God in thanksgiving "the cup of blessing" (1 Cor 10, 16; cf Ps 115-116, 13) and offers it to the faithful as a "real communion with the Blood of Christ" (1 Cor 10, 16); and throughout the Liturgical Year. The Church celebrates the saving Blood of Christ not only on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, but also on many other occasions, such that the cultic remembrance of the Blood of our redemption (cf 1 Pt 1, 18) pervades the entire Liturgical Year. Hence, at Vespers during Christmastide, the Church, addressing Christ, sings: "Nos quoque, qui sancto tuo redempti sumus sanguine, ob diem natalis tui hymnum novum concinimus." In the Paschal Triduum, the redemptive significance and efficacy of the Blood of Christ is continuously recalled in adoration. During the adoration of the Cross on Good Friday the Church sings the hymn: "Mite corpus perforatur, sanguis unde profluit; terra, pontus, astra, mundus quo lavanturflumine", and again on Easter Sunday, "Cuius corpus sanctissimum in ara crucis torridum, sed et cruorem roesum gustando, Deo vivimus (194).

Catholic Word of the Day: LITANY OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD, 09-25-12
ST. GASPAR: Founder of the Society of the Precious Blood
Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (London, 9/18)

Devotion to the Drops of Blood Lost by our Lord Jesus Christ on His Way to Calvary (Prayer/Devotion)
Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood
Catholic Word of the Day: PRECIOUS BLOOD, 12-03-11
The Traditional Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Catholic Caucus)
Devotion to the Precious Blood
DOCTRINE OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And More on the Precious Blood
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
NOTHING IS MORE POTENT AGAINST EVIL THAN PLEADING THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus


"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you"  (Jn 6:53).  

13 posted on 07/24/2014 9:23:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
July 2014

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.

For Evangelization: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.

14 posted on 07/24/2014 9:25:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Saint James, apostle - Feast

Commentary of the day
Saint Basil (c.330-379), monk and Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Doctor of the Church
Homily on Psalm 115[116B], §4

" Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?"

« What shall I repay the Lord ? » (Ps 115[116B],12). Not holocausts or sacrifices or the observances of the legal cult, but my whole life itself. And this is why, says the psalmist, “The cup of salvation I will take up” (v.13). The labor he underwent in the struggles of his filial devotion to God and the constancy with which he resisted sin even to death : this is what the psalmist calls his cup.

It was concerning this cup that our Lord himself expressed himself in the Gospels : “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (Mt 26,39). And again, to his disciples: “Can you drink the cup that I shall drink?” He intended to speak of that death he desired to suffer for the salvation of the world. Therefore, he says: “The cup of salvation I will take up”, namely, my whole being is reaching out, parched, towards the consummation of martyrdom, even to the point of holding the torments endured in the struggles of filial love as rest, and not as suffering for soul and body. I too, he says, will offer myself to the Lord as a sacrifice and oblation… And I am ready to pay these vows before all the people, for “My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all his people!” (v.14).


15 posted on 07/24/2014 9:31:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The sons of Zebedee press Christ: Promise that one may sit at your right side and the other at your left. What does he do? He wants to show them that it is not a spiritual gift for which they are asking, and that if they knew what their request involved, they would never dare make it. So he says: You do not know what you are asking, that is, what a great and splendid thing it is and how much beyond the reach even of the heavenly powers. Then he continues: Can you drink the cup which I must drink and be baptised with the baptism which I must undergo? He is saying: “You talk of sharing honours and rewards with me, but I must talk of struggle and toil. Now is not the time for rewards or the time for my glory to be revealed. Earthly life is the time for bloodshed, war and danger”. Consider how by his manner of questioning he exhorts and draws them. He does not say: “Can you face being slaughtered? Can you shed your blood?” How does he put his question? Can you drink the cup? Then he makes it attractive by adding: which I must drink, so that the prospect of sharing it with him may make them more eager. He also calls his suffering a baptism, to show that it will effect a great cleansing of the entire world. The disciples answer him: We can! Fervour makes them answer promptly, though they really do not know what they are saying but still think they will receive what they ask for. How does Christ reply? You will indeed drink my cup and be baptized with my baptism. He is really prophesying a great blessing for them, since he is telling them: “You will be found worthy of martyrdom; you will suffer what I suffer and end your life with a violent death, thus sharing all with me. But seats at my right and left are not mine to give; they belong to those for whom the Father has prepared them.” Thus, after lifting their minds to higher goals and preparing them to meet and overcome all that will make them desolate, he sets them straight on their request. Then the other ten became angry at the two brothers. See how imperfect they all are: the two who tried to get ahead of the other ten, and the ten who were jealous of the two! But, as I said before, show them to me at a later date in their lives, and you will see that all these impulses and feelings have disappeared. Read how John, the very man who here asks for the first place, will always yield to Peter when it comes to preaching and performing miracles in the Acts of the Apostles. James, for his part, was not to live very much longer; for from the beginning he was inspired by great fervour and, setting aside all purely human goals, rose to such splendid heights that he straightway suffered martyrdom.

-- Saint John Chrysostom from a homily on the Gospel of Matthew

16 posted on 07/24/2014 9:34:56 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.

17 posted on 07/24/2014 9:37:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

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

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

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

Hail Mary . . . 

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

Hail Mary . . . 


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

Let us pray: 

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

Amen. 


18 posted on 07/24/2014 9:38:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint James the Greater, Apostle

Saint James the Greater, Apostle
Feast Day
July 25th

http://wf-f.org/WFFResource/StJamesGreater.jpg

Apostle Saint James the Greater
Domenikos Theotocopoulos ("El Greco")
1606
Museo del Greco, Toledo

Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
who consecrated the first fruits of your Apostles
by the blood of Saint James,
grant, we pray,
that your Church may be strengthened by his confession of faith
and constantly sustained by his protection.
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: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-15
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, "I believed, and so I spoke," we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 20:20-28
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."

And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

***

Family Activity - from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz, originally published by Harper & Row in 1995, now available in paperback from Ignatius Press.

Saint James is known to have died around A.D. 42, by he sword, at the command of Herod Agrippa. According to legend, he first spent seven years in Spain, traveling throughout the land and preaching Christianity. After he was put to death, his followers are said to have brought his body back to Spain for burial. In the ninth century, a star miraculously revealed what was claimed to be his tomb. A great shrine was build at Compostela ("Star of the Sea"), and by the eleventh century great flocks of pilgrims were visiting it. From then on, only Jerusalem and Rome attracted more pilgrims than "Santiago" (Iago is Spanish for James).

The festival in his honor in Compostela is a week-long affair, celebrated with dramatic liturgy and with beautiful local costumes, Galician bagpipe music, dancing, and of course wonderful, special food.

One of the traditional dishes is a scallop-filled empanada, or little pie. Nothing could be more appropriate, for the scallop shell has been, for hundreds of years, the symbol of Santiago. This shell was worn as an emblem by all pilgrims to the shrine at Compostella. (In French, scallops are called "St. James cockles": coquilles St. Jacques.)

Let's put these tasty little creatures back on their symbolic shells. This dish is lovely with rice and a green vegetable, and a good white wine.

Scallops on the "pilgrim" shell

1 teaspoon each: Finely chopped chervil, chives, parsley, tarragon
1 cup white wine
2 pounds of scallops
Flour for dredging
Salt
White pepper
3 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon olive oil or peanut oil
A little lemon (optional)
6 large (4-5 inch) scallop shells
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
For garnish: Chopped parsley and lemon wedges

A few minutes (better yet, an hour) before beginning to cook, put the herbs to steep in the wine.

Rinse the scallops, and dry them. If using large sea scallops, cut them into halves or quarters. Coat them with flour that has been seasoned with salt and white pepper. Shake off excess flour before cooking.

Heat 3 tablespoons of butter and the oil in a large frying pan. When the butter and oil are bubbling, add the scallops to the pan. It is important that the scallops not be crowded, and that the pan be hot. (You may need to cook the scallops in several batches.) Sauté the scallops, adding butter and oil as necessary, until they are nicely browned on all sides. Remove to a warm dish.

Pour the herb-steeped wine into the frying pan, boiling the liquid down slightly, and stirring in all the delicious little bits left in the pan.

Stir the wine into the scallops. Taste for seasoning.

Optional: squeeze in a little lemon juice.

Fill the scallop shells with the mixture. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and moisten the tops with a little melted butter. Run briefly under a preheated broiler to brown the crumbs.

Garnish with chopped parsley, and lemon wedges.

Yield: 6 servings


19 posted on 07/25/2014 7:04:57 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: St. James the Greater

Feast Day: July 25

Born: 1st century

Died: 44, Judea

Major Shrine: Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain)

Patron of: Veterinarians, equestrians, furriers, tanners, pharmacists

20 posted on 07/25/2014 7:13:20 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Information: St. Christopher

Feast Day: July 26

Born: Canaan

Died: 251, Asia Minor

Patron of: bachelors, transportation (drivers, sailors, etc.), travelling (especially for long journeys), storms, epilepsy, gardeners, holy death, toothache

21 posted on 07/25/2014 7:14:42 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Olympias

Feast Day: July 25

Born: 368 Constantinople

Died: 25 July 408 at Nicomedia

22 posted on 07/25/2014 7:24:13 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. James the Greater

St. James the Greater

Feast Day: July 25
Born: (around the time of Jesus) :: Died: (around 44 AD)

James was the son of Zebedee and Salome and the brother of St. John the Apostle. Fishermen like their father, James and John were on their father's boat mending his nets when the Lord passed by. Jesus called James and John, and asked them to follow him. He told them, as his disciples they would become fishers of men. They would help him to spread the Good News about God’s kingdom. Zebedee watched as his two sons left the boat to follow Jesus.

With St. Peter and St. John, James was a special companion of Jesus. Along with them James was allowed to see what the other apostles did not see. Together they watched as Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus to life. They went up the mountain with Jesus and saw him shining like the sun, with his robes white as snow. Then they heard God’s voice telling them this was his beloved son. This event is called Jesus' Transfiguration.

On Holy Thursday, the night before he died, Jesus led the apostles into the garden of Gethsemane. Matthew's Gospel tells us he invited Peter, James and John to go with him to a quiet area to pray. They watched as the Jesus’ face became sad with grief. Then in his great sorrow, his brow began to sweat drops of blood. It was heartbreaking to watch.

But the apostles were very tired and they fell asleep. When the enemies of Jesus finally came to take him away, St. James ran in fear. He was nowhere around when Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday. But on Easter Sunday evening in the upper room Jesus appeared to his apostles again. The resurrected Jesus came through the locked door and said, "Peace be to you."

St. James and the other apostles found that deep peace after the Holy Spirit's came upon them on Pentecost. St. James began his ministry as an in a very strong way. He asked Jesus for a seat of honor in his kingdom. He demanded that Jesus send fire down on the villages that did not receive the Lord. But he also had great faith in Jesus.

Eventually, James learned to become more humble and gentle. He traveled to Samaria, Judea and Spain preaching the Good News of salvation. He was given the honor of being the first apostle to die for Jesus. Chapter 12 of the Acts of the Apostles tells us that King Herod Agrippa had St. James put to death by the sword. As a martyr James gave the greatest witness of all.

Reflection: Despite St. James' weaknesses, Jesus loved him. Today we can pray for the grace to deeply recognize the love of Jesus.


23 posted on 07/25/2014 7:27:34 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Wednesday, July 25

Liturgical Color: Red

Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical
Humane Vitae on this day in 1968.
Although he was severely criticized for
the Church's stance against
contraception and abortion, his grim
predictions of their effects have sadly
proven true.

24 posted on 07/25/2014 5:13:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Day 224 - What does "You shall not have strange Gods before me" mean? // Is esotericism compatible with the Christian faith?

"You shall not have strange Gods before me." What does that mean?

This commandment forbids us: to adore other gods and pagan deities or to worship an earthly idol or to devote oneself entirely to some earthly good (money, influence, success, beauty, youth, and so on) to be superstitious, which means to adhere to esoteric, magic, or occult or New Age practices or to get involved with fortune telling or spiritualism, instead of believing in God's power, providence, and blessings to provoke God by word or deed to commit a sacrilege to acquire spiritual power through corruption and to desecrate what is holy through trafficking (simony).


Is esotericism as found, for example in New Age beliefs, compatible with the Christian faith?

No. Esotericism ignores the reality of God. God is a personal Being; he is love and the origin of life, not some cold cosmic energy. Man was willed and created by God, but man himself is not divine; rather, he is a creature that is wounded by sin, threatened by death, and in need of redemption. Whereas most proponents of esotericism assume that man can redeem himself, Christians believe that only Jesus Christ and God's grace redeem them. Nor are nature and the cosmos God (pantheism). Rather, the Creator, even though he loves us immensely, is infinitely greater and unlike anything he has created.

Many people today practice yoga for health reasons, enroll in a meditation course so as to become more calm and collected, or attend dance workshops so as to experience their bodies in a new way. These techniques are not always harmless. Often they are vehicles for doctrines that are foreign to Christianity. No reasonable person should hold an irrational world view, in which people can tap magical powers or harness mysterious spirits and the "initiated" have a secret knowledge that is withheld from the "ignorant". In ancient Israel, the surrounding peoples' beliefs in gods and spirits were exposed as false. God alone is Lord; there is no god besides him. Nor is there any (magical) technique by which one can capture or charm "the divine", force one's wishes on the universe, or redeem oneself. Much about these esoteric beliefs and practices is superstition or occultism. (YOUCAT questions 355-356)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (2110-2128) and other references here.


25 posted on 07/25/2014 5:25:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Part 3: Life in Christ (1691 - 2557)

Section 2: The Ten Commandments (2052 - 2557)

Chapter 1: You Shall Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart, and with All Your Soul, and with All Your Mind (2083 - 2195)

Article 1: The First Commandment (2084 - 2141)

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.3

It is written: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."4

III. "YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME"

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The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion.

3.

Ex 20:2-5; cf. Deut 5:6-9.

4.

Mt 4:10.

Superstition

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Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.41

41.

Cf. Mt 23:16-22.

Idolatry

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The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."42 God, however, is the "living God"43 who gives life and intervenes in history.

42.

Ps 115:4-5, 8; cf. Isa 44:9-20; Jer 10:1-16; Dan 14:1-30; Bar 6; Wis 13:1-15:19.

43.

Josh 3:10; Ps 42:3; etc.

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Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon."44 Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast"45 refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.46

44.

Mt 6:24.

45.

Cf. Rev 13-14.

46.

Cf. Gal 5:20; Eph 5:5.

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Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God."47

47.

Origen, Contra Celsum 2,40:PG 11,861.

Divination and magic

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God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

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All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

48.

Cf. Deut 18:10; Jer 29:8.

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All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others — even if this were for the sake of restoring their health — are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.

Irreligion

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God's first commandment condemns the main sins of irreligion: tempting God, in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony.

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Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test by word or deed. Thus Satan tried to induce Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple and, by this gesture, force God to act.49 Jesus opposed Satan with the word of God: "You shall not put the LORD your God to the test."50 The challenge contained in such tempting of God wounds the respect and trust we owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power.51

49.

Cf. Lk 4:9.

50.

Deut 6:16.

51.

Cf. 1 Cor 10:9; Ex 17:2-7; Ps 95:9.

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Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.52

52.

Cf. CIC, cann. 1367; 1376.

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Simony is defined as the buying or selling of spiritual things.53 To Simon the magician, who wanted to buy the spiritual power he saw at work in the apostles, St. Peter responded: "Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God's gift with money!"54 Peter thus held to the words of Jesus: "You received without pay, give without pay."55 It is impossible to appropriate to oneself spiritual goods and behave toward them as their owner or master, for they have their source in God. One can receive them only from him, without payment.

53.

Cf. Acts 8:9-24.

54.

Acts 8:20.

55.

Mt 10:8; cf. already Isa 55:1.

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The minister should ask nothing for the administration of the sacraments beyond the offerings defined by the competent authority, always being careful that the needy are not deprived of the help of the sacraments because of their poverty."56 The competent authority determines these "offerings" in accordance with the principle that the Christian people ought to contribute to the support of the Church's ministers. "The laborer deserves his food."57

56.

CIC, can. 848.

57.

Mt 10:10; cf. Lk 10:7; 2 Cor 9:5-18; 1 Tim 5:17-18.

Atheism

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"Many ... of our contemporaries either do not at all perceive, or explicitly reject, this intimate and vital bond of man to God. Atheism must therefore be regarded as one of the most serious problems of our time."58

58.

GS 19 § 1.

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The name "atheism" covers many very different phenomena. One common form is the practical materialism which restricts its needs and aspirations to space and time. Atheistic humanism falsely considers man to be "an end to himself, and the sole maker, with supreme control, of his own history."59 Another form of contemporary atheism looks for the liberation of man through economic and social liberation. "It holds that religion, of its very nature, thwarts such emancipation by raising man's hopes in a future life, thus both deceiving him and discouraging him from working for a better form of life on earth."60

59.

GS 20 § 2.

60.

GS 20 § 2.

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Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion.61 The imputability of this offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances. "Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion."62

61.

Cf. Rom 1:18.

62.

GS 19 § 3.

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Atheism is often based on a false conception of human autonomy, exaggerated to the point of refusing any dependence on God.63 Yet, "to acknowledge God is in no way to oppose the dignity of man, since such dignity is grounded and brought to perfection in God. ... "64 "For the Church knows full well that her message is in harmony with the most secret desires of the human heart."65

63.

Cf. GS 20 § 1.

64.

GS 21 § 3.

65.

GS 21 § 7.

Agnosticism

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Agnosticism assumes a number of forms. In certain cases the agnostic refrains from denying God; instead he postulates the existence of a transcendent being which is incapable of revealing itself, and about which nothing can be said. In other cases, the agnostic makes no judgment about God's existence, declaring it impossible to prove, or even to affirm or deny.

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Agnosticism can sometimes include a certain search for God, but it can equally express indifferentism, a flight from the ultimate question of existence, and a sluggish moral conscience. Agnosticism is all too often equivalent to practical atheism.


26 posted on 07/25/2014 5:29:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

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

Collect: Almighty ever-living God, who consecrated the first fruits of your Apostles by the blood of Saint James, grant, we pray, that your Church may be strengthened by his confession of faith and constantly sustained by his protection. 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    Apostle Cookies

o    Coquilles Saint-Jacques

o    Coquilles St. Jacques

o    Coupe St. Jacques

o    Green String Beans Saint Jacques

o    Madeleines

o    Sea Scallop Supper

o    Steak and Kidney Pie

ACTIVITIES

o    Family and Friends of Jesus Scrapbook Album

o    Feast of St. Christopher

o    Fourteen Holy Helpers

PRAYERS

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing of Pilgrims

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing of Travelers

o    Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers

o    Novena to St. Anne

o    Motorist's Prayer to St. Christopher

LIBRARY

o    James, the Greater | Pope Benedict XVI

·         Ordinary Time: July 25th

·         Feast of St. James, apostle

Old Calendar: St. James, apostle; St. Christopher

St. James, known as the Greater, in order to distinguish him from the other Apostle St. James, our Lord's cousin, was St. John's brother. With Peter and John he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration, as later he was also of the agony in the garden. He was beheaded in Jerusalem in 42 or 43 on the orders of Herod Agrippa. Since the ninth century Spain has claimed the honour of possessing his relics, though it must be said that actual proof is far less in evidence than the devotion of the faithful. The pilgrimage to St. James of Compostella in the Middle Ages attracted immense crowds; after the pilgrimage to Rome or the Holy Land, it was the most famous and the most frequented pilgrimage in Christendom. The pilgrim paths to Compostella form a network over Europe; they are dotted with pilgrims' hospices and chapels, some of which still exist. St. James is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass.

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is also the feast of St. Christopher who suffered martyrdom in Asia Minor about the year 250. The devotion of our fathers, taking its due from his name (Christopher means bearer of Christ), caused them to place colossal statues of the saint bearing the infant Christ on his shoulders at the entrance to cathedrals. Thus arose the legend of the giant who carried the child Jesus over a river... and the devotion to St. Christopher as the patron of motorists and all forms of transport. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.


St. James

In Spain, he is called El Senor Santiago, the patron saint of horsemen and soldiers, and his great shrine at Santiago de Compostela in that country has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. He is one of those that Jesus called Boanerges, "son of thunder," the brother of John the Evangelist and the son of Zebedee the fisherman from Galilee.

St. James the Greater and his brother John were apparently partners with those other two brothers, Peter and Andrew, and lived in Bethsaida, on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. How and where James first met Jesus, we do not know; but there is an old legend that makes Salome, his mother, a sister of Mary, and if this were the case, he would have known Jesus from childhood.

Along with Peter and his brother John, James was part of the inner circle of Jesus, who witnessed the Transfiguration, were witnesses to certain of His miracles, like the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and accompanied Him to the Garden of Gethsemani. Like his brother, he was active in the work of evangelization after the death of Jesus, and one legend, very unlikely, even has him going to Spain after Jesus' resurrection.

His prominence and his presence in Jerusalem must have been well known, for scarcely a dozen years after the Resurrection, he became involved in the political maneuverings of the day and was arrested and executed by King Herod Agrippa. This was followed by the arrest of Peter also, so his death must have been part of a purge of Christian leaders by Agrippa, who saw the new Christian movement as a threat to Judaism.

Jesus had foretold this kind of fate when He prophesied that James and his brother John would "drink of the same chalice" of suffering as Himself. The two brothers had asked to be seated at the right of Jesus and at His left in His kingdom, and Jesus told them that they would be with Him in a far different way than they expected.

James's death is the only biblical record we have of the death of one of the Apostles, and he was the first of that chosen band to give his life for his Master.

Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

Patron: Against arthritis; against rheumatism; Antigua, Guatemala; apothecaries; blacksmiths; Chile; Compostela, Spain; druggists; equestrians; furriers; Galicia, Spain; Guatemala; horsemen; knights; laborers; Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Nicaragua; pharmacists; pilgrims; Pistoia, Italy; rheumatoid sufferers; riders; soldiers; Spain; Spanish conquistadors; tanners; veterinarians.

Symbols: Cockle shell; dark-bearded man holding a book; dark-bearded man holding a scroll; dark-bearded man holding a sword; dark-bearded man with a floppy pilgrim's hat, long staff, water bottle, and scallop shell; elderly, bearded man wearing a hat with a scallop shell; key; man with shells around him; mounted on horseback, trampling a Moor; pilgrim with wallet and staff; pilgrim's hat; pilgrim's staff; scallop shell; sword.

Things to Do:


St. Christopher

St. Christopher, one of the "Fourteen Sainted Helpers," has been highly venerated since ancient times in both the Eastern and Western Churches. The older martyrologies say that he suffered death for Christ; in more recent centuries piety has woven garlands of legend about his name. Christopher has become a giant who wished to enter the service of the most powerful of lords. He first thought that the emperor qualified; later he selected the devil, and finally he discovered Christ to be the most powerful Sovereign over all the world. From then on he served Him with greatest fidelity.

Because Christopher was of giant stature, he practiced charity by carrying pilgrims across a certain river. Once a child asked to be taken across. He complied as usual. While carrying the child on his shoulders through the river, it became heavier and heavier, and finally he could hardly support it. Then the revelation was made: "You are carrying the Lord of the world!" It was Christ (Christopher means "Christ-carrier").

The legend has the nature of a symbol. Bishop Vida gives the following exposition: "Because you, O Christopher, always carried Christ in your heart, the artists place Christ on your shoulders. Because you suffered much, they paint you standing deep in the waters. And because you could not accomplish this without being large of stature, they have made you a giant, bigger than great temples; therefore do you live under the open heavens during the greatest cold. And since you conquered all that is difficult, they have given you a blossoming palm as traveling staff."

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

Patron: Archers; automobile drivers; automobilists; bachelors; boatmen; bus drivers;, cab drivers; floods; fruit dealers; fullers; hailstorms; holy death; lorry drivers; mariners; market carriers; motorists; porters; Rab, Croatia; sailors; storms; sudden death; taxi drivers; toothache; transportation; transportation workers; travellers; truck drivers; truckers; watermen.

Symbols: Giant; torrent; tree; man with Christ on his shoulders.

Things to Do:


27 posted on 07/25/2014 5:37:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] The Feast of the Fourteen Holy Helpers
Catholic Bamberg: Vierzehnheiligen (Shrine of the Fourteen Holy Helpers in Germany)
Fourteen Holy Helpers
28 posted on 07/25/2014 5:38:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
St. Christopher the 'Christ Bearer' (is still a Saint!) [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Word of the Day: ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL, 04-12-11

29 posted on 07/25/2014 5:39:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 20
20 Then came to him the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, adoring and asking something of him. Tunc accessit ad eum mater filiorum Zebedæi cum filiis suis, adorans et petens aliquid ab eo. τοτε προσηλθεν αυτω η μητηρ των υιων ζεβεδαιου μετα των υιων αυτης προσκυνουσα και αιτουσα τι παρ αυτου
21 Who said to her: What wilt thou? She saith to him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom. Qui dixit ei : Quid vis ? Ait illi : Dic ut sedeant hi duo filii mei, unus ad dexteram tuam, et unus ad sinistram in regno tuo. ο δε ειπεν αυτη τι θελεις λεγει αυτω ειπε ινα καθισωσιν ουτοι οι δυο υιοι μου εις εκ δεξιων σου και εις εξ ευωνυμων σου εν τη βασιλεια σου
22 And Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink? They say to him: We can. Respondens autem Jesus, dixit : Nescitis quid petatis. Potestis bibere calicem, quem ego bibiturus sum ? Dicunt ei : Possumus. αποκριθεις δε ο ιησους ειπεν ουκ οιδατε τι αιτεισθε δυνασθε πιειν το ποτηριον ο εγω μελλω πινειν η το βαπτισμα ο εγω βαπτιζομαι βαπτισθηναι λεγουσιν αυτω δυναμεθα
23 He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink; but to sit on my right or left hand, is not mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared by my Father. Ait illis : Calicem quidem meum bibetis : sedere autem ad dexteram meam vel sinistram non est meum dare vobis, sed quibus paratum est a Patre meo. και λεγει αυτοις το μεν ποτηριον μου πιεσθε και το βαπτισμα ο εγω βαπτιζομαι βαπτισθησεσθε το δε καθισαι εκ δεξιων μου και εξ ευωνυμων μου ουκ εστιν εμον δουναι αλλ οις ητοιμασται υπο του πατρος μου
24 And the ten hearing it, were moved with indignation against the two brethren. Et audientes decem, indignati sunt de duobus fratribus. και ακουσαντες οι δεκα ηγανακτησαν περι των δυο αδελφων
25 But Jesus called them to him, and said: You know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that are the greater, exercise power upon them. Jesus autem vocavit eos ad se, et ait : Scitis quia principes gentium dominantur eorum : et qui majores sunt, potestatem exercent in eos. ο δε ιησους προσκαλεσαμενος αυτους ειπεν οιδατε οτι οι αρχοντες των εθνων κατακυριευουσιν αυτων και οι μεγαλοι κατεξουσιαζουσιν αυτων
26 It shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister: Non ita erit inter vos : sed quicumque voluerit inter vos major fieri, sit vester minister : ουχ ουτως δε εσται εν υμιν αλλ ος εαν θελη εν υμιν μεγας γενεσθαι εσται υμων διακονος
27 And he that will be first among you, shall be your servant. et qui voluerit inter vos primus esse, erit vester servus. και ος εαν θελη εν υμιν ειναι πρωτος εστω υμων δουλος
28 Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for many. Sicut Filius hominis non venit ministrari, sed ministrare, et dare animam suam redemptionem pro multis. ωσπερ ο υιος του ανθρωπου ουκ ηλθεν διακονηθηναι αλλα διακονησαι και δουναι την ψυχην αυτου λυτρον αντι πολλων

30 posted on 07/25/2014 5:45:08 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
[Saint] James the Greater by Pope Benedict XVI
[Saint] JAMES THE APOSTLE, JACOBUS DE VORAGINE, Feast: July 25
James the Greater
The Protoevangelium of James
Saint James the Greater
31 posted on 07/25/2014 5:45:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: annalex
20. Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
21. And he said to her, What is your will? She said to him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on your right hand, and the other on the left, in your kingdom.
22. But Jesus answered and said, you know not what you ask. Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say to him, We are able.
23. And he said to them, you shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized With the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

JEROME; The Lord having concluded by saying, And shall rise again the third day; the woman thought that after His resurrection He should forthwith reign, and with womanish eagerness grasps at what is present, forgetful of the future.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; This mother of the sons of Zebedee is Salome, as her name is given by another Evangelist, herself truly peaceful, and the mother of sons of peace. From this place we learn the eminent merit of this woman; not only had her sons left their father, but she had left her husband, and had followed Christ; for He could live without her, but she could not be saved without Christ. Except any will say that between the time of the Apostle's calling, and the suffering of Christ, Zebedee was dead, and that thus her sex helpless, her age advanced, she was following Christ's steps; for faith never grows old, and religion feels never weary. Her maternal affection made her bold to ask, whence it is said, She worshipped Him, and desired a certain thing of Him; i.e. she did Him reverence, requesting that what she should ask, should be granted her. It follows, He said to her, What would you? He asks not because He knows not, but that by its very statement, the unreasonableness of her petition might be shown; She said to him, Grant that these my two sons may sit.

AUG; What Matthew has here represented as being said by the mother, Mark relates that the two sons of Zebedee spoke themselves, when she had presented their wish before the Lord; so that from Mark's brief notice it should rather seem, that they, and not she, had said that which was said.

CHRYS; They saw the disciples honored before others, and had heard that you shall sit upon twelve thrones, whereupon they sought to have the primacy of that seat. And that others were in greater honor with Christ they knew, and they feared that Peter was preferred before them; wherefore (as is mentioned by another Evangelist) because they were now near to Jerusalem, they thought that the kingdom of God was at the door, that is, was something to be perceived by sense. Whence it is clear that they sought nothing spiritual, and had no conception of a kingdom above.

ORIGEN; For if in an earthly kingdom they are thought to be in honor who sit with the king, no wonder if a woman with womanish simplicity or want of experience conceived that she might ask such things, and that the brethren themselves being not perfect, and having no more lofty thoughts concerning Christ's kingdom, conceived such things concerning those who shall sit with Jesus.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; Or otherwise. We affirm not that this woman's request was a lawful one; but this we affirm, that it was not earthly things, but heavenly things that she asked for her sons. For she felt not as ordinary mothers, whose affection is to the bodies of their children, while they neglect their minds; they desire that they should prosper in this world, not caring what they shall suffer in the next, thereby showing themselves to be mothers of their bodies only, but not of their souls. And I imagine that these brethren, having heard the Lord prophesying of His passion and resurrection, began to say among themselves, seeing they believed; Behold, the King of heaven is going down to the realms of Tartarus, that He may destroy the king of death. But when the victory shall be completed, what remains but that the glory of the kingdom shall follow?

ORIGEN; For when sin is destroyed, which reigned in men's mortal bodies, with the entire dynasty of malignant powers, Christ shall receive exaltation of His kingdom among men; that is, His sitting on the throne of His glory. That God disposes all things both on His right hand and on His left, this is that there shall be then no more evil in His presence. They that are the more excellent among such as draw near to Christ, are they on His right hand; they that are inferior, are they on His left hand. Or by Christ's right hand look if you may understand the invisible creation; by His left hand the visible and bodily. For of those who are brought nigh to Christ, some obtain a place on His right hand, as the intelligent, some on His left hand, as the sentient creation.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; He that gave Himself to man, how shall He not give them the fellowship of His kingdom? The supineness of the petitioner is in fault, where the graciousness of the giver is undoubted. But if we ourselves ask our master, perchance we wound the hearts of the rest of our brethren, who though they can no longer be overcome by the flesh, seeing they are now spiritual, may yet be wounded as carnal. Let us therefore put forward our mother, that she may make her petition for us in her own person. For though she be to be blamed therein, yet she will readily obtain forgiveness, her sex pleading for her. For the Lord Himself, who has filled the souls of mothers with affection to their offspring, will more readily listen to their desires. Then the Lord, who knows secrets, makes answer not to the words of the mother's petition, but to the design of the sons who suggested it. Their wish was commendable, but their request inconsiderate; therefore, though it was not right that it should be granted to them, yet the simplicity of their petition did not deserve a harsh rebuke, forasmuch as it proceeded of love of the Lord. Wherefore it is their ignorance that the Lord finds fault with; Jesus answered and said to them, you know not what you ask.

JEROME; And no wonder, if she is convicted of inexperience, seeing it is said of Peter, Not knowing what he said.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; For often the Lord suffers His disciples either to do or to think somewhat amiss, that from their error He may take occasion to set forth a rule of piety; knowing that their fault harms not when the Master is present, while His doctrine edifies them not for the present only, but for the future.

CHRYS; This He says to show either that they sought nothing spiritual, or that had they known for what they asked, they would not have asked that which was so far beyond their faculties.

HILARY; They know not what they ask, because there was no doubt of the future glory of the Apostles; His former discourse had assured them that they should judge the world.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; Or, you know not what you ask: as much as to say, I have called you to My right hand away from My left, and now you willfully desire to be on My left. Hence perhaps they did this through the mother. For the devil betook him to his well-known tool the woman, that as he made prey of Adam by his wife, so he should sever these by their mother. But now that the salvation of all had proceeded from a woman, destruction could no longer enter in among the saints by a woman. Or He says, you know not what you ask, seeing we ought not only to consider the glory to which we may attain, but how we may escape the ruin of sin. For so in secular war, he who is ever thinking of the plunder, hardly wins the fight; they should have asked, Give us the aid of your grace, that we may overcome all evil.

RABAN; They knew not what they asked, for they were asking of the Lord a seat in glory, which they had not yet merited. The honorable eminence liked them well, but they had first to practice the laborious path thereto; Can you drink of the cup that I shall drink of?

JEROME; By the cup in the divine Scriptures we understand suffering as in the Psalm, I will take the cup of salvation; and straightway He proceeds to show what is the cup, Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; The Lord knew that they were able to follow His passion, but He puts the question to them that we may all hear, that no man can reign with Christ, unless he is conformed to Christ in His passion; for that which is precious is only to be purchased at a costly price. The Lord's passion we may call not only the persecution of the Gentiles, but all the hardships we go through in struggling against our sins.

CHRYS; He says therefore, Can you drink it? as much as to say, You ask me of honors and crowns, but I speak to you of labor and travail, for this is no time for rewards. He draws their attention by the manner of His question, for He says not, Are you able to shed your blood? but, Are you able to drink of the cup? then He adds, which I shall drink of?

REMIG; That by such partaking they may burn with the more zeal towards Him. But they, already sharing the readiness and constancy of martyrdom, promise that they would drink of it; whence it follows, They say to him, We are able.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; Or, they say this not so much out of reliance on their own fortitude, as out of ignorance, for to the inexperienced the trial of suffering and death appears slight.

CHRYS; Or they offer this in the eagerness of their desire, expecting that for their thus speaking they should have what they desired. But He foretell great blessings for them, to wit, that they should be made worthy of martyrdom. He said to them, you shall indeed drink of my cup.

ORIGEN; Christ does not say, you are able to drink of My cup, but looking to their future perfection He said, you shall indeed drink of my cup.

JEROME; It is made a question how the sons of Zebedee, James, and John, did drink the cup of martyrdom, seeing Scripture relates that: James only was beheaded by Herod, while John ended his life by a peaceful death. But when we read in ecclesiastical history that John himself was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil with intent to martyr him, and that he was banished to the isle of Patmos, we shall see that he lacked not the will for martyrdom, and that John had drunk the cup of confession, the which also the Three Children in the fiery furnace did drink of, although the persecutor did not shed their blood.

HILARY; The Lord therefore commends their faith, in that He says that they are able to suffer martyrdom together with Him; but, To sit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give, but for whom it is prepared of my Father. Though indeed, as far as we can judge, that honor is so set apart for others, as that the Apostles shall not be strangers to it, who shall sit on the throne of the Twelve Patriarchs to judge Israel; also, as may be collected out of the Gospels themselves, Moses and Elias shall sit with them in the kingdom of heaven, seeing that it was in their company that He appeared on the mount in His apparel of splendor.

JEROME; But to me this seems not so. Rather the names of them that shall sit in the kingdom of heaven are not named, lest that, if some few were named, the rest should think themselves shut out; for the kingdom of heaven is not of him that gives it, but of him that receives it. Not that there is respect of persons with God, but whosoever shall show himself such as to be worthy of the kingdom of heaven, she'll receive it, for it is prepared not for condition, but for conduct. Therefore if you shall be found to be such as to be fit for that kingdom of heaven which My Father has made ready for the conquerors, you she'll receive the same. He said not, you shall not sit there, that He might not discourage the two brethren; while He said not, you shall sit there, that He might not stir the others to envy.

CHRYS; Or otherwise. That seat seems to be unapproachable to all, not only men, but Angels also; for so Paul assigns it peculiarly to the Only-Begotten, saying, To which of the Angels said he at any time, Sit you on my right hand? The Lord therefore makes answer, not as though in verity there were any that should sit there, but as condescending to the apprehensions of the petitioners. They asked but this one grant, to be before others near Him; but the Lord answers, you shall die for My sake, yet is not that sufficient to make you obtain the first rank. For if there shall come another with martyrdom, and having virtue greater than yours, I will not, because I love you, put him out, and give you precedence. But that they should not suppose that he lacked power, He said not absolutely, It is not Mine to give, but, It is not mine to give to you, but to those for whom it is prepared; that is, to those who are made illustrious by their deeds.

REMIG; Or otherwise; It is not mine to give to you, that is, to proud men such as you are, but to the lowly in heart, for whom it is prepared of my Father.

AUG; Or otherwise; The Lord makes answer to His disciples in His character of servant; though whatever is prepared by the Father is also prepared by the Son, for He and the Father are one.

24. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
25. But Jesus called them to him, and said, you know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

CHRYS; So long as the judgment of Christ upon this request was in suspense, the other disciples were not indignant; but when they heard Him rebuke them, they were sorrowful; whence it is said, And when the ten heard it, they had indignation against the two brethren.

JEROME; They do not lay it upon the forwardness of the mother who spoke the request, but upon her sons, who, not knowing their measure, burned with so immoderate desires.

CHRYS; For when the Lord rebuked them, then they perceived that this request was from the disciples. For though they were grieved in their hearts when they saw them so especially honored in the transfiguration, they yet dared not so express themselves, out of respect to their teacher.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; But as the two had asked carnally, so now the ten are grieved carnally. For as to seek to be above all is blame-worthy, so to have another above us is mortifying to our vanity.

JEROME; But the meek and lowly Master neither charges the two with ambition, nor rebukes the ten for their spleen and jealousy; but, Jesus called them to him.

CHRYS; By thus calling them to Him, and speaking to them face to face, he soothes them in their discomposure; for the two had been speaking with the Lord apart by themselves. But not now as before does He it by bringing forward a child, but He proves it to them by reasoning from contraries; you know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them.

ORIGEN; That is, not content merely to rule over their subjects, they are severe and oppressive. But among you who are Mine these things shall not be so; for as all carnal things are done by compulsion, but spiritual things by free-will, so those rulers who are spiritual ought to rest their power in the love of their subjects, not in their fears.

CHRYS; He shows here that it is of the Gentiles to desire preeminence; and by this comparison of the Gentiles He calms their troubled souls.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; Indeed, to desire a good work is good, for it is within our will, and ours is the reward; but to desire a primacy of honor is vanity. For when we attain this we are judged of God, because we know not whether in our precedence of honor we deserve the reward of righteousness. For not even an Apostle will have praise with God, because he is an Apostle, but if he has well fulfilled the duties of his Apostleship; nor was an Apostle placed in honor as an Apostle, for any previous merit of his; but was judged meet for that ministry, on account of the disposition of his mind. For high place courts him who flies from it, and shuns him who courts it. A better life then, and not a more worthy degree, should be our object.

The Lord therefore, willing to check the ambition of the two sons of Zebedee, and the indignation of the others, points out this distinction between the chief men of the world, and those of the Church, showing that the primacy in Christ is neither to be sought by him who has it not, nor envied by him who teas it. For men become masters in this world that they may exercise domination over their inferiors, and reduce them to slavery, and rob them, and employ them even to death for their own profit and glory. But men become governors in the Church, that they may serve those who are under them, and minister to them whatever they have received of Christ, that they may postpone their own convenience, and mind that of others, and not refuse even to die for the sake of those beneath them.

To seek therefore a command in the Church is neither righteous, nor profitable. No prudent man will voluntarily subject himself to slavery, nor to stand in such peril wherein he will have to render account for the whole Church; unless it be one perchance who fears not God's judgment, who abuses His ecclesiastical primacy to a secular end, so that He converts it into a secular primacy.

JEROME; Lastly, He sets before them His own example, that so should they little weigh His words, His deeds might shame them, whence He adds, As also the Son of Man comes not to be ministered to, but to minister.

ORIGEN; For though the Angels and Martha ministered to Him, yet did He not come to be ministered to, but to minister; yes, His ministry extended so far, that He fulfilled even in what follows, And to give his life a ransom for many, they, that is, who believed on Him; and gave it, i.e. to death. But since He was alone free among the dead, and mightier than the power of death, He has set free from death all who were willing to follow Him. The heads of the Church ought therefore to imitate Christ in being affable, adapting Himself to women, laying His hands on children, and washing His disciples' feet, that they also should do the same to their brethren. But we are such, that we seem to go beyond the pride even of the great ones of this world; as to the command of Christ, either not understanding it, or setting it at nothing. Like princes we seek hosts to go before us, we make ourselves awful and difficult of access, especially to the poor, neither approaching them, nor suffering them to approach us.

CHRYS; How much may you humble yourself, you cannot descend so far as did your Lord.

Catena Aurea Matthew 20
32 posted on 07/25/2014 5:45:36 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Polyptych of Valle Romita

Gentile da Fabriano

c. 1400
Tempera on panel
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

Central panel (157 x 180 cm): Coronation of the Virgin; side panels (117 x 40 cm each): St Jerome, St Francis, St Dominic, Mary Magdalene; upper panels, whose sequence has not been definitively reconstructed (49 x 38 cm each): St John the Baptist in the Desert, The Execution of St Peter Martyr, St Thomas Aquinas, St Francis Receiving the Stigmata.

...

In the central panel the Virgin is shown being crowned by Christ, in the presence of God the Father and the Holy Ghost.

...

Source

33 posted on 07/25/2014 5:46:20 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15

Saint James, Apostle

… that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Pirates stored their treasure in chests bound with chains and heavy padlocks. Banks and casinos store cash in high-security vaults. But God? He has placed his treasure in “earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:7). In us! He doesn’t need chains and locks, laser beams or retina scans, to protect it. He’s God! Whatever we lack in security, whatever weaknesses we bring to the life he has called us to, his power is more than enough to carry us through!

James was an ordinary fisherman. Strong, passionate, and simply educated—how could he ever take on the responsibilities that Jesus wanted to give him? But he did. This common fisherman became the second head of the Jerusalem church. The same James who wanted to call fire down on the Samaritans who had snubbed Jesus became a chief advocate for opening the Church to Gentiles. Scheming James, who connived with his brother John to seek a special seat in Jesus’ kingdom, was the one trusted disciple St. Paul visited on his final trip to Jerusalem.

James wasn’t, at first, most likely to become head of the Church, most willing to include outsiders, or most eager to see others succeed in their ministry. He had no formal training in administration for what God had called him to. (So few of us do!) But God doesn’t depend on what you can do for him. His life and power will work in and through you as you yield to him. Just acknowledge that you need him and are willing to walk with him.

God always begins where your human ability ends. If you think he has called you to reach out to someone you find it difficult to be in the same room with, tell him. He’ll supply the patience and the wisdom you need. If you need to go on loving and serving your family when you’re bone tired, ask him for the strength. And if you’re too scared to do anything at all, tell him. He will help you. Take a step, and watch him take it with you. He’s all-sufficient; give him the chance to show you!

“Lord, I open my heart to you today. I am determined to walk with you. I trust your power to see me through!”

Psalm 126:1-6; Matthew 20:20-28


34 posted on 07/25/2014 5:47:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

JAMES, THE SON OF ZEBEDEE [MATTHEW 20:20-28]

james-son-of-zebedee

JESUS told the apostles what kind of leaders He wanted them to be. Like Him, they were to be servants of others, even to the point of giving their lives (Matthew 20:26-28). James was one who responded to Jesus’ call as he decided to set aside his ambitions for earthly glory (Matthew 20:20-21). Like other leaders of the early Church, he learned to die to his own desires and live for the sake of his sisters and brothers, so that “grace” might extend “to more and more people” (2 Corinthians 4:15).

James did indeed “drink the cup” of suffering that Jesus offered him. As a leader of the infant Church in Jerusalem, he faced daily the call to die to his own ideas and desires so that he could minister according to the power of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, James drank the cup fully, being martyred by Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-2).

As Jesus’ disciples today, we too are called to give our lives so that others may know the grace and power of the Holy Spirit within them. Of course, we cannot save people as Jesus did. He is the only one who could give His life as our ransom from sin and death. Nevertheless, whenever we let the cry of the poor pierce our hearts and move us to action, we are giving our lives for the sake of God’s people. Whenever we let the Holy Spirit’s call to holiness and purity move us to repentance, we are giving our lives for the sake of the Church and its witness to Jesus.

The call to lay down our lives for the Lord is so high a calling that we can do it only through the power of the Holy Spirit. Like James and Paul, we are called to put to death our old nature each day and to let the life of Christ shine through us (2 Corinthians 4:11). Every time we allow the demands of the life in the Spirit to penetrate our hearts, we will bear more fruit for the Kingdom of God – not because of our goodness, but because of the life of Christ in us.

35 posted on 07/25/2014 5:52:05 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 July 25, 2014:

“My husband, Frank, and I have learned that our sexual union should be focused on giving rather than getting. NFP provided the environment to live this out.” – Jennifer, from Signs of Grace.

36 posted on 07/25/2014 5:56:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

The Knowledge of the Glory of God

Friday, 25 July 2014 08:17

Treasure in Earthen Vessels

“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor 4:7). Another translation puts it this way: “We have a treasure, then, in our keeping, but its shell is of perishable earthenware; it must be God, and not anything in ourselves, that gives it its sovereign power.” The contrast is striking: treasure held in earthen vessels. But what is the treasure? In verse 6, Saint Paul says, “It is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the Face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). The treasure, then, is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God shining in the Face of Christ.

An Eye-Witness of the Transfiguration

When one considers that James was an eye-witness of the Transfiguration, the deeper meaning of today’s First Reading comes into focus. While James looked on, together with Peter and with his brother John, Jesus “was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light” (Mt 17:2). The splendour of Jesus’ Face burned itself indelibly into the heart of James. Contemplating the Face of the transfigured Jesus, James was filled with “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Cor 4:6). This is the treasure that Saint James carried in a shell of fragile earthenware: his own human weakness.

Gethsemani

The Transfiguration reveals the treasure; the agony in the garden of Gethsemani reveals to us the fragility of the earthen vessels. To Peter, James, and John, Jesus said, “Remain here and watch with me” (Mt 26:38), but after His prayer to the Father, he found them sleeping. Again, a second time, He asked these, his intimate companions, to watch and pray, warning them of the weakness of the flesh, and again He came and “found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy” (Mt 26:43). And so it happened a third time but, by then, the hour of Jesus’ betrayal was already at hand (Mt 26:45). The radiant memory of Jesus transfigured, “the knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Cor 4:6), was held in earthen vessels: in the hearts of men who could not watch even one hour with their Master in his agony.

Discouraged and Weary

Tradition recounts that after Pentecost Saint James went to preach the Gospel in far off Spain. There his work met with little response. In fact, the Apostle found hostility and active resistance to his preaching. James grew discouraged and, in his weariness, began to question his mission. In this, there is not a priest alive who, at certain moments, cannot identify with Saint James.

Our Lady of the Pillar

The Apostle was painfully aware of his own weakness; he knew himself to be an earthen vessel and, for a time, the bright memory of the Transfiguration seemed to have been eclipsed in his heart. It was at that moment that the Mother of Jesus — still alive at the time and living with his brother, Saint John — appeared to Saint James to comfort him in his mission. He saw the Blessed Virgin Mary atop a pillar. This tradition is at the origin of the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, a place of pilgrimage even to the present day.

Prayer for Priests

Today’s feast invites us to pray for all priests who, in their mission, encounter indifference, resistance, criticism, hostility, and even persecution. So many priests suffer dejection. Some are called to share in the loneliness of Jesus in Gethsemani; their particular vocation is to repeat the words of their Master, brokenhearted in His solitude: “Insults have broken my heart so that I am in despair. I looked for pity but there was none; and for comforters but I found none” (Ps 68:20).

Mary, Comforter of Priests

All priests are in need of the encouraging presence of the Mother of God. She appeared to Saint James on a pillar of stone to give him something to lean on in his weakness and dejection. Strengthened by the Blessed Virgin, Saint James pursued his preaching in Spain, and then returned to Jerusalem to face his final sufferings.

The Science of the Cross: Mary and the Eucharist

Jesus said to the sons of Zebedee, “My chalice indeed you shall drink” (Mt 20: 23). For Saint James, the highest degree of the knowledge of the glory of God was found in Jerusalem: in drinking of the chalice of suffering and of a violent death. Suffering — what Saint Teresa-Benedicta of the Cross calls “the science of the Cross”– fills the soul with a dark brightness that, for all its obscurity, is nonetheless “knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Cor 4:6). It is nonetheless foolhardy and presumptuous to seek “the science of the Cross” without two things: consecration of oneself to the all-holy Mother of God, and the sustenance of the Most Holy Eucharist.

Never at a Loss

Saint Paul describes the disciple’s participation in the Cross. “We are being hampered everywhere, yet still have room to breathe, are hard put to it, but never at a loss; persecution does not leave us unbefriended, nor crushing blows destroy us; we carry about continually in our bodies the dying state of Jesus, so that the living power of Jesus may be manifested in our bodies too” (2 Cor 4:8-11).

The Chalice of the Knowledge of the Glory of God

The Precious Blood of Christ, that flows eucharistically through the Church, is the communication to each one of us of the life of “the Son of Man who came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28). The knowledge of the glory of God is found in the face of the transfigured Christ; it is just as truly found in the chalice of the Blood that soaked the earth in Gethsemani and flowed on Calvary. And we, like Saint James, comforted by the Mother of Jesus, carry that treasure in earthen vessels.


37 posted on 07/25/2014 6:21:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Called to Be Servants
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
July 25, 2014, Feast of Saint James, Apostle

Matthew 20: 20-28

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?´´ They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, in spite of my many failures, I know you continue to call me. Your Spirit continues to guide me. I trust in you, love you and praise you for all your gifts to me. Amen.

Petition: Lord Jesus, grant me a renewed sensitivity to the deepest needs of others.

1. Called to Serve: In an era of Catholicism in which catch-phrases such as “called to serve” have been overused to the point of becoming clichés, we risk forgetting how central service is to the Christian life. The minutes of our lives are consumed in an incessant cascade of apparently important and urgent things to do. Doesn’t it happen, however, that in the midst of all this we actually miss any number of opportunities to serve? Called to serve, yes, but we miss the call! And our service gets sidelined. If service to my brothers and sisters is not an ordinary element of my daily life as a Christian, I can be sure that I have succumbed to self-deception or taken a critically wrong turn somewhere.

2. A Continuation of Christ: We are called to give ourselves unreservedly to others as a continuation of Christ. “A continuation of Christ”: now, wouldn’t that make a wonderful epitaph?! For truly, if our Christian service is not a prolongation, an extension of Jesus’ love, if we are not giving him to others, if those whom we serve are not discovering him in us, then our service is simply not service. It might be philanthropy, it might be empathy, but it falls short of genuine Christian service if those whom we serve do not discover Christ in us. Like John the Baptist, we must become less so that Jesus can become more in us, so that our brothers and sisters are not cheated out of encountering that Christ whom they secretly long to discover in each of us.

3. What Service Means: Here it will be helpful simply to examine ourselves on some of the essentials of Christian service. Is my daily life characterized by a concern for the genuine good of others and by a readiness to do all the good I can for my brothers and sisters? Do I actually engage in daily acts of service, whether big or small? Do I examine myself frequently on the sin of omission? Do I strive, in carrying on the ordinary service required by my state in life, to do so with extraordinary deliberateness and full, conscious self-giving?

Conversation with Christ: Father, you call me to serve, and I know that service also means suffering at times. If suffering is to be a part of your plan for me, give me the grace to collaborate with Christ your son in the salvation of souls by offering that suffering generously to you. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Resolution: Out of love for Christ, present in the least of my brothers and sisters, I will examine myself on what genuine Christian service means to me in practice, and what place it usually has in my daily life.


38 posted on 07/25/2014 6:24:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Homily of the Day

In teaching his disciples, our Lord never failed to use real life events to illustrate certain salient points of what he wanted to impart. Like all mothers, the mother of the two ambitious brothers – James the Great also known as the “son of thunder” and John the Evangelist, tried to intercede for her sons to advance their careers. Jesus took this opportunity to teach his disciples the great paradox of life. This time it was about service. He said that the Lord must also be a servant. He demonstrated this to his disciples when he washed their feet during that last Passover meal the night before he died. Ultimately by his Passion, Death and Resurrection, he definitively showed us the only Way, Truth and Life. To be the least is to be great. To die is to live. To lose is to gain. This was what St. Paul wanted to pass on to his church in Corinth when he exhorted them to remember that even if trials come, the life of Jesus must still be manifested in them because they carry in their persons the death of Jesus.

For us who are beneficiaries of twenty centuries of our Church’s reflection on the teachings and life of our Lord Jesus, what are the things that prevent you and me from following him who came not to be served but to serve, and who gave His life to redeem us all?


39 posted on 07/25/2014 6:30:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 4

<< Friday, July 25, 2014 >> St. James
 
2 Corinthians 4:7-15
View Readings
Psalm 126:1-6 Matthew 20:20-28
Similar Reflections
 

THE HEAD OF THE CLASS

 
"We believe and so we speak, knowing that He Who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up along with Jesus." —2 Corinthians 4:13-14
 

James must have been one powerful apostle! When "King Herod started to harass" the Church, his first move was to cut off James' head (Acts 12:1, 2). "This pleased certain of the Jews" (Acts 12:3). Only after James was killed did Herod turn his attention to arresting Peter (Acts 12:3). James, who was the first apostle to die for love of Jesus, was obviously one giant headache for Herod and the Jews. James had the courage and the faith to speak out in the name of Jesus, knowing that he would share in the resurrection of Jesus (2 Cor 4:13-14).

Earlier, James was a headache for the other apostles (Mt 20:24). He sought to be elevated above them. Jesus patiently explained to James and the others that the way to aspire to greatness is to humbly descend into service (Mt 20:26-27). James eventually took Jesus' admonition to heart. After Pentecost, James did not try to preserve his own life. He was constantly teaching the people about the good news of Jesus the Messiah (Acts 5:42), working signs and wonders among the people (Acts 5:12). With great faith, James gave his own life for love of God and His people (Mt 20:28). Like James, may our lives be so powerful in Jesus that we are a headache to those who oppose Jesus and His kingdom.

 
Prayer: Father, may I be fearless in the Holy Spirit as was St. James.
Promise: "This treasure we possess in earthen vessels to make it clear that its surpassing power comes from God and not from us." —2 Cor 4:7
Praise: St. James, "Son of Thunder," was the first apostle to give his life in martyrdom for Jesus.

40 posted on 07/25/2014 6:41:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic adoration, abortion would be ended.

--Mother Teresa of Calcutta

41 posted on 07/25/2014 6:51:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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