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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings August 11, 2011 American Bible ^ | August 11, 2011 | New American Bible

Posted on 08/11/2011 4:04:58 AM PDT by sayuncledave

August 11, 2011
Memorial of Saint Claire, virgin Lectionary:416
Reading 1

Jos 3:7-10a, 11, 13-17
The LORD said to Joshua,
"Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel,
that they may know I am with you, as I was with Moses.
Now command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant
to come to a halt in the Jordan
when you reach the edge of the waters."

So Joshua said to the children of Israel,
"Come here and listen to the words of the LORD, your God.
This is how you will know that there is a living God in your midst,
who at your approach will dispossess the Canaanites.
The ark of the covenant of the LORD of the whole earth
will precede you into the Jordan.
When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the ark of the LORD,
the Lord of the whole earth,
touch the water of the Jordan, it will cease to flow;
for the water flowing down from upstream will halt in a solid bank."

The people struck their tents to cross the Jordan,
with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant ahead of them.
No sooner had these priestly bearers of the ark
waded into the waters at the edge of the Jordan,
which overflows all its banks
during the entire season of the harvest,
than the waters flowing from upstream halted,
backing up in a solid mass for a very great distance indeed,
from Adam, a city in the direction of Zarethan;
while those flowing downstream toward the Salt Sea of the Arabah
disappeared entirely.
Thus the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
While all Israel crossed over on dry ground,
the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD
remained motionless on dry ground in the bed of the Jordan
until the whole nation had completed the passage.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 114:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R. Alleluia!
When Israel came forth from Egypt,
the house of Jacob from a people of alien tongue,
Judah became his sanctuary,
Israel his domain.
The sea beheld and fled;
Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like the lambs of the flock.
R. Alleluia!
Why is it, O sea, that you flee?
O Jordan, that you turn back?
You mountains, that you skip like rams?
You hills, like the lambs of the flock?
R. Alleluia!

Mt 18:21-19:1
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.'
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
'Pay back what you owe.'
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed,
and went to their master and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?'
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart."

When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee
and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer
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To: All

August 2011

Pope Benedict XVI's Intentions

General Intention: That the World Youth Day taking place in Madrid may encourage all the young people of the world to root and found their lives in Christ.

Missionary Intention: That Christians of the West, docile to the action of the Holy Spirit, may re-encounter the freshness and enthusiasm of their faith.

21 posted on 08/11/2011 9:16:50 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: St. Philomena

Feast Day: August 11
Major Shrine: Church of Our Lady of Grace in Mugnano del Cardinale
Patron of: Children, youth, babies, infants, lost causes, sterility, virgins, Children of Mary, The Universal Living Rosary Association

22 posted on 08/11/2011 9:22:41 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Clare of Assisi
Feast Day: August 11

July 16, 1194, Assisi, Italy

Died: August 11, 1253, Assisi, Italy
Canonized: September 26, 1255, Rome by Pope Alexander IV
Major Shrine: Basilica of Saint Clare, Assisi
Patron of: clairvoyance, eye disease, goldsmiths, laundry, embrodiers, gilders, good weather, needleworkers, telephones, telegraphs, television

23 posted on 08/11/2011 9:24:10 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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24 posted on 08/11/2011 9:29:08 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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On Clare of Assisi
On Martyrdom [St. Clare of Assisi]
St. Francis of Assisi (and) St. Clare of Assisi [Catholic Caucus]
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] For All the Saints: Clare of Assisi
Permission has been granted... [Poor Clares in San Antonio] (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Clare's Advice Defended Assisi Against An Attack By the Mohammedans (My Title)
Boomer Contemplating Faith: touching story as only an encounter with Poor Clares could inspire
St Clare of Assisi (1193-1253)
Saint Clare of Assisi
25 posted on 08/11/2011 9:29:56 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Clare

St. Clare image courtesy
Feast Day: August 11
Born: 1193 :: Died: 1253

St. Clare was born in a little town called Assisi, in Italy. She was a beautiful girl who lived at the time of St. Francis of Assisi.

Before she was born, when her mother was praying one day for the baby that was soon to be born, she heard a voice saying "Woman, do not worry, you shall have a daughter and by her life, she will bring God's light to the world."

Clare had so much pity for the poor, that quite often she would secretly give her food to them and go hungry herself.

She spent time praying faithfully to Jesus everyday. If she did anything wrong when she was with her friends she would immediately do penance so that Jesus would be happy with her again.

When Clare was eighteen, she heard St. Francis preach. Her heart burned with a great desire to imitate him. She also wanted to live a poor, humble life for Jesus.

So one evening, she ran away from home and went to the church where St. Francis and his Friars (disciples) lived. In a little chapel outside Assisi, she gave herself to God.

St. Francis cut off her beautiful hair and offered her a rough brown habit (long dress that nuns normally wear) and left her in the abbey to stay with the Benedictine nuns.

Her friends hated this work she was doing for God and her parents tried in every way to make her return home, but Clare would not. Soon her fifteen-year-old sister Agnes also joined her. Other young women wanted to be brides of Jesus, too. Before long there was a small religious community.

Under the guidance of St. Francis, Clare started an order of nuns called the "Poor Clares." St. Clare and her nuns wore no shoes. They never ate meat. They lived in a poor house and kept silent most of the time. Yet they were very happy because they felt that Jesus was close to them.

Once an army of cruel soldiers came to attack Assisi. They planned to raid the convent first. Although very sick, St. Clare asked to be carried to the window. She had the Blessed Sacrament placed right where the soldiers could see it.

Then she knelt and begged God to save the nuns. "O Lord, protect these sisters whom I cannot protect now," she prayed. And a voice within her seemed to say: "I will keep them always in my care." Suddenly, a great fear came over the attackers and they ran away as fast as they could.

St. Clare was sick for twenty-nine years before she died on August 11, 1253. But she was always joyful because she was serving the Lord.

Some people worried that the nuns were suffering because they were so poor. "They say that we are too poor, but how can a heart which holds the infinite God be poor?"

26 posted on 08/11/2011 9:33:27 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint Clare, Virgin

Saint Clare, Virgin
August 11th

Giuseppe Cesari,
St Clare with the Scene of the Siege of Assisi
Oil on panel, 37 x 45 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

In 1234, the army of Frederick II was devastating the valley of Spoleto, the soldiers, preparatory to an assault upon Assisi, scaled the walls of San Damiano by night, spreading terror among the community. Clare, calmly rising from her sick bed, and taking the ciborium from the little chapel adjoining her cell, proceeded to face the invaders at an open window against which they had already placed a ladder. It is related that, as she raised the Blessed Sacrament on high, the soldiers who were about to enter the monastery fell backward as if dazzled, and the others who were ready to follow them took flight. It is with reference to this incident that St. Clare is generally represented in art bearing a ciborium.

(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition )

Co-foundress of the Order of Poor Ladies, or Clares, and first Abbess of San Damiano; born at Assisi, July 16, 1194; died there August 11, 1253.

As a child she was most devoted to prayer and to practices of mortification, and as she passed into girlhood her distaste for the world and her yearning for a more spiritual life increased. She was eighteen years of age when St. Francis came to preach the Lenten course in the church of San Giorgio at Assisi. Inspired by his words, she sought him out secretly and begged him to help her that she too might live "after the manner of the holy Gospel". St. Francis, who at once recognized in Clare one of those chosen souls destined by God for great things, and who also, doubtless, foresaw that many would follow her example, promised to assist her. On Palm Sunday night Clare secretly left her father's house, by St. Francis's advice and, accompanied by her aunt Bianca and another companion, proceeded to the humble chapel of the Porziuncula, where St. Francis and his disciples met her with lights in their hands. Clare then laid aside her rich dress, and St. Francis, having cut off her hair, clothed her in a rough tunic and a thick veil, and in this way the young heroine vowed herself to the service of Jesus Christ. This was March 20, 1212.

Clare was joined by her younger sister Agnes, whom she was instrumental in delivering from the persecution of their infuriated relatives. St. Francis rebuilt the poor chapel of San Damiano and established it as a place for the first community of the Order of Poor Ladies, or of Poor Clares, as this second order of St. Francis came to be called.

St. Clare and her companions had no written rule to follow beyond a very short formula vitae given them by St. Francis, and which may be found among his works. Some years later, apparently in 1219, during St. Francis's absence in the East, Cardinal Ugolino, then protector of the order, afterwards Gregory IX, drew up a written rule for the Clares at Monticelli, taking as a basis the Rule of St. Benedict, retaining the fundamental points of the latter and adding some special constitutions. This new rule, which, in effect if not in intention, took away from the Clares the Franciscan character of absolute poverty so dear to the heart of St. Francis and made them for all practical purposes a congregation of Benedictines, was approved by Honorius III (Bull, "Sacrosancta", December 9, 1219). When Clare found that the new rule, though strict enough in other respects, allowed the holding of property in common, she courageously and successfully resisted the innovations of Ugolino as being entirely opposed to the intentions of St. Francis. The latter had forbidden the Poor Ladies, just as he had forbidden his friars to possess any worldly goods even in common. Owning nothing, they were to depend entirety upon what the Friars Minor could beg for them. This complete renunciation of all property was however regarded by Ugolino as unpractical for cloistered women. When, therefore, in 1228, he came to Assisi for the canonization of St. Francis (having meanwhile ascended the pontifical throne as Gregory IX), he visited St. Clare at San Damiano and pressed her to so far deviate from the practice of poverty which had up to this time obtained at San Damiano, as to accept some provision for the unforeseen wants of the community. But Clare firmly refused. Gregory, thinking that her refusal might be due to fear of violating the vow of strict poverty she had taken, offered to absolve her from it. "Holy Father, I crave for absolution from my sins", replied Clare, "but I desire not to be absolved from the obligation of following Jesus Christ".

The heroic unworldliness of Clare filled the pope with admiration, as his letters to her, still extant, bear eloquent witness, and he so far gave way to her views as to grant her on September 17, 1228, the celebrated Privilegium Paupertatis which some regard in the light of a corrective of the Rule of 1219. The original autograph copy of this unique "privilege"-- the first one of its kind ever sought for, or ever issued by the Holy See -- is preserved in the archive at Santa Chiara in Assisi. The text is as follows: "Gregory Bishop Servant of the Servants of God. To our beloved daughters in Christ Clare and the other handmaids of Christ dwelling together at the Church of San Damiano in the Diocese of Assisi. Health and Apostolic benediction. It is evident that the desire of consecrating yourselves to God alone has led you to abandon every wish for temporal things. Wherefore, after having sold all your goods and having distributed them among the poor, you propose to have absolutely no possessions, in order to follow in all things the example of Him Who became poor and Who is the way, the truth, and the life. Neither does the want of necessary things deter you from such a proposal, for the left arm of your Celestial Spouse is beneath your head to sustain the infirmity of your body, which, according to the order of charity, you have subjected to the law of the spirit. Finally, He who feeds the birds of the air and who gives the lilies of the field their raiment and their nourishment, will not leave you in want of clothing or of food until He shall come Himself to minister to you in eternity when, namely, the right hand of His consolations shall embrace you in the plenitude of the Beatific Vision. Since, therefore, you have asked for it, we confirm by Apostolic favor your resolution of the loftiest poverty and by the authority of these present letters grant that you may not be constrained by anyone to receive possessions. To no one, therefore, be it allowed to infringe upon this page of our concession or to oppose it with rash temerity. But if anyone shall presume to attempt this, be it known to him that he shall incur the wrath of Almighty God and his Blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul. Given at Perugia on the fifteenth of the Kalends of October in the second year of our Pontificate."

That St. Clare may have solicited a "privilege" similar to the foregoing at an earlier date and obtained it vivâ voce, is not improbable. Certain it is that after the death of Gregory IX Clare had once more to contend for the principle of absolute poverty prescribed by St. Francis, for Innocent IV would fain have given the Clares a new and mitigated rule, and the firmness with which she held to her way won over the pope. Finally, two days before her death, Innocent, no doubt at the reiterated request of the dying abbess, solemnly confirmed the definitive Rule of the Clares (Bull, "Solet Annuere", August 9, 1253), and thus secured to them the precious treasure of poverty which Clare, in imitation of St. Francis, had taken for her portion from the beginning of her conversion. The author of this latter rule, which is largely an adaptation mutatis mutandis, of the rule which St. Francis composed for the Friars Minor in 1223, seems to have been Cardinal Rainaldo, Bishop of Ostia, and protector of the order, afterwards Alexander IV, though it is most likely that St. Clare herself had a hand in its compilation. Be this as it may, it can no longer be maintained that St. Francis was in any sense the author of this formal Rule of the Clares; he only gave to St. Clare and her companions at the outset of their religious life the brief formula vivendi already mentioned.

St. Clare, who in 1215 had, much against her will been made superior at San Damiano by St. Francis, continued to rule there as abbess until her death, in 1253, nearly forty years later.

We know that she became a living copy of the poverty, the humility, and the mortification of St. Francis; that she had a special devotion to the Holy Eucharist, and that in order to increase her love for Christ crucified she learned by heart the Office of the Passion composed by St. Francis, and that during the time that remained to her after her devotional exercises she engaged in manual labor.

After St. Francis's death the procession which accompanied his remains from the Porziuncula to the town stopped on the way at San Damiano in order that Clare and her daughters might venerate the pierced hands and feet of him who had formed them to the love of Christ crucified -- a pathetic scene which Giotto has commemorated in one of his loveliest frescoes.

On August 11, 1253, the holy foundress of the Poor Ladies passed peacefully away amid scenes which her contemporary biographer has recorded with touching simplicity. The pope, with his court, came to San Damiano for the saint's funeral, which partook rather of the nature of a triumphal procession.

The Clares desired to retain the body of their foundress among them at San Damiano, but the magistrates of Assisi interfered and took measures to secure for the town the venerated remains of her whose prayers, as they all believed, had on two occasions saved it from destruction. Clare's miracles too were talked of far and wide. It was not safe, the Assisians urged, to leave Clare's body in a lonely spot without the walls; it was only right, too, that Clare, "the chief rival of the Blessed Francis in the observance of Gospel perfection", should also have a church in Assisi built in her honor. Meanwhile, Clare's remains were placed in the chapel of San Giorgio, where St. Francis's preaching had first touched her young heart, and where his own body had likewise been interred pending the erection of the Basilica of San Francesco. Two years later, September 26, 1255, Clare was solemnly canonized by Alexander IV, and not long afterwards the building of the church of Santa Chiara, in honor of Assisi's second great saint, was begun under the direction of Filippo Campello, one of the foremost architects of the time. On October 3, 1260, Clare's remains were transferred from the chapel of San Giorgio and buried deep down in the earth, under the high altar in the new church, far out of sight and reach. After having remained hidden for six centuries -- like the remains of St. Francis -- and after much search had been made, Clare's tomb was found in 1850, to the great joy of the Assisians. On September 23 in that year the coffin was unearthed and opened, the flesh and clothing of the saint had been reduced to dust, but the skeleton was in a perfect state of preservation. Finally, on the September 29, 1872, the saint's bones were transferred, with much pomp, by Archbishop Pecci, afterwards Leo XIII, to the shrine, in the crypt at Santa Chiara, erected to receive them, and where they may now be seen.

(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition )

God of mercy,
You inspired St. Clare with the love of poverty.
By the help of her prayers
may we follow Christ in poverty of spirit
and come to the joyful vision of Your glory
in the kingdom of heaven.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading: Philippians 3:8-14
Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it My own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 19:27-29
Then Peter said in reply, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

St. Clare Turnovers -- Pasteis de Santa Clara

A recipe from a monastery in Coimbra, Portugal, this has been preserved for generations.

Pastry Ingredients
1/2 cup (100g) butter, chilled
1 3/4 cups (200g) flour
1 egg, slightly beaten

Filling Ingredients
1/2 cup (125g) sugar
1/2 cup (50g) almonds, ground
4 egg yolks

Rub butter into the flour and add a bit of very cold water until a pliable dough is obtained. Cover and refrigerate until filling is finished.

Melt the sugar in a little water and boil until thick. Add the ground almonds and yolks. Mix and simmer while stirring until very thick.

Roll out the dough to 1/8 - inch (3mm) thickness, cut into 3 - inch (8cm) diameter circles. Divide the filling among them, placing it in the middle of each circle. Wet the edges and fold over, forming a half - moon shape. Seal and brush with the beaten egg and bake on a greased cookie sheet at 400°F (200°C) until golden, about 20 minutes. When baked, dredge in sugar.

Makes about 24 turnovers.

from Cooking with the Saints,
Ignatius Press.

Saint Clare of Assisi: Our Guide in the Garden of Prayer

Prayer is like a secret garden, made up of silence and rest and inwardness. -- Jean Vanier

Pilgrims to San Damiano, the first monastery of the Poor Clares in Assisi, are shown a picturesque spot that tradition has christened "the garden of St. Clare." It is not difficult to imagine the Seraphic Mother working there, tending her flowers, praising God, perhaps even humming softly St. Francis' "Canticle of the Creatures."

There is another garden where St. Clare of Assisi can be found, - the garden of prayer. Here, too, she meets us as an accomplished gardener, a proficient guide who is willing to assist us in cultivating the soil in order to enjoy the flowers and savor the fruits of prayer.

Gathering the Heart - Day One

First of all, St. Clare teaches us the need for Recollection. This "gathering of the heart" is like a wall around the garden of prayer. When you pray, go into your room, shut the door and pray to your Father in secret. Wherever our sacred, secret place may be, it is there we discover that the heart needs both silence and a certain separation from the ordinary events of daily life in order to encounter THE Reality of life which is God. This vital work of the heart requires effort, aided by grace: Place your mind before the mirror of eternity, place your soul in the brightness of glory... (3rd Letter of St. Clare to St. Agnes of Prague)

The Master of Prayer - Day Two

The Lady Clare does not delay long in introducing us to the Master in the Gardens of Prayer - the Holy Spirit. Like St. Francis, she urges her friends and followers to study closely that which they ought above all to desire: to have the Spirit of the Lord and His holy way of working. (Rule of St. Clare, X) Why? Because if we pray to Him with a pure heart, we experience that He is the Artisan of the living tradition of prayer and that it is in the communion of the Holy Spirit that Christian prayer is prayer in the Church. (CATECHISM 2672)

Trusted Tools - Day 3

It is tempting to imagine that in the garden of prayer, the saints and mystics moved from ecstasy to ecstasy. Actually, they used the same sturdy Tools for Prayer available to us. They understood that even the simplest vocal prayer can lead to deep contemplative prayer. We know some of St. Clare's favorite vocal prayers: The Office of the Passion composed by St. Francis and a prayer to the Five Wounds of Christ. But her most favored vocal prayer was the Holy Name of JESUS, the prayer that is possible "at all times" because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus. (CATECHISM 2668)

With and In the Word - Day Four

Our Lord declared: The Seed is the Word.  Thus St. Clare invites us to fill our garden of prayer with the Good Seed of the Word of God. Her own prayer was deeply Scriptural. She immersed herself in the PSALMS, the masterwork of prayer in the Old Testament (CATECHISM 2595) and prayed with depth and devotion the OUR FATHER, the summary of the whole Gospel (Tertullian) Welcoming the Word in the good soil of a recollected heart, praying WITH the Word and IN the Word, St. Clare's garden of prayer flourished.

Ask...and Receive! - Day Five

Prayers of Petition are like the annuals in the garden of prayer. They are the "needs of the day" set before our heavenly Father. Jesus said, ASK and you will receive, St. Clare took Him at His word. She asked for bread for her community, healing for her sick Sisters, guidance in making decisions. But we also know that the horizons of the Lady Clare's prayer broadened into the wide vistas of Intercession. There was no concern, suffering, anguish or discouragement of others which did not find an echo in the heart of (this) prayerful woman. (Pope John Paul II) And she invites everyone who enters the garden of prayer to become a co-worker of God Himself and a support to the weak and wavering members of His glorious Body. (3rd Letter of St. Clare to St. Agnes of Prague)

To Give Him Thanks and Praise - Day Six

If prayers of petition and intercession are the annuals in our garden of prayer, then Praise and Thanksgiving are its perennials, The Seraphic Mother summarized the need for continual praise and thanksgiving when she told her Sisters: ALWAYS and in ALL THINGS, God must be praised! (Process of Canonization) So well did she live her own advice that she died with one last act of thankful praise on her lips: May You be blessed, O Lord, for having created me!

Weeds in the Garden - Day Seven

The CATECHISM states succinctly that prayer is a battle. (2725-2728) Any seasoned cultivator of prayer has battled the Weeds of distraction. St. Clare offers us the example of her own generous efforts to eliminate the spiritual weeds that kept her from a deep and loving communion with the Lord. Aware that the Evil One is always ready to place obstacles on our path to prayer, the Seraphic Mother counsels us to face the spiritual combat with courage and faith: Pray and watch at all times! Carry out the work you have so well begun, and fulfill in true humility the service of God you have undertaken (Letter to Ermentrude)

The Prayer of Love and Silence - Day Eight

In the shade of His tree I sat and His fruit was sweet to my taste. So sang the Bride in the Song of Songs. To every worker in the garden of prayer there come those "cool-of-the-evening" experiences, when the adoring Prayer of Love and Silence is the only response to God's hidden yet manifested presence. The Seraphic Mother had but one shining word to express the joy and wonder of these gifted times of prayer: Happy the soul to whom it is given to attain this life with Christ; to cleave with all one's heart to Him whose love inflames our love, whose contemplation is our refreshment.... (4th Letter of St. Clare to St. Agnes of Prague)

The Garden's Fountain - Day Nine

What was The Foundation that watered St. Clare's garden of prayer? It was the Eucharist, the source and summit of Christian worship, life and mission. In the Eucharistic Liturgy is found every form of prayer. Here we "gather up" the heart, recollecting our whole being under the prompting of the Holy Spirit. (CATECHISM 2711) Here we unite ourselves to Christ as He offers perfect praise and thanksgiving to the Father. Here the Good Seed of the Word is lavishly sown. The Eucharist is the food of faith which strengthens us for the spiritual combat. In the Eucharist, communion with God becomes a reality cherished in adoring silence. Is it any wonder that the Seraphic Mother did all she could to foster devotion to the Eucharistic mystery?

Even more, Clare's whole life became a Eucharist (Pope John Paul II), spent near this Fountain of living water. To all who enter the garden of prayer, she issues the same invitation: Come to the water! Learn here that if we thirst for God, it is because He has first thirsted for us. The garden of prayer is the garden of God where prayer is a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God (CATECHISM 2561)

The Poor Clare Nuns
Belleville, Illinois

Benedict XVI, General Audience: Saint Clare of Assisi, September 15, 2010

Saint Clare of Assisi
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our catechesis today deals with Saint Clare of Assisi, the great mystic, friend of Saint Francis and foundress of the Poor Clare Nuns. Born to a family of means, Clare chose to embrace a life of radical poverty, chastity and trust in God’s providence; received by Francis, she consecrated herself completely to Christ and, together with her companions, embraced the common life in the Church of San Damiano in Assisi. The spiritual friendship between Clare and Francis reminds us of how the great saints have found in such friendships a powerful impetus to greater love of Christ and renewed strength in the pursuit of the way of perfection. Clare’s Rule, the first written by a woman, sought to preserve and foster the Franciscan charism in the growing number of women’s communities which followed the example of Francis and her own. Her spirituality, nourished by the Eucharist, was based on the loving contemplation of Christ as the source and perfection of every virtue. Saint Clare shows us the value of consecrated virginity as an image of the Church’s love for her divine Spouse, and the decisive role played by courageous and faith-filled women to the Church’s renewal in every age.

The Poor Clares Colettine: An Explanation -- A father describes his daughter's vocation -- PENTECOST 2003 ISSUE

27 posted on 08/11/2011 9:42:22 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Blessed John Henry Newman

Blessed John Henry Newman

Photo of John Henry Newman 1887

Cor ad cor loquitur (Heart speaks to heart)

John Henry Cardinal Newman (February 21, 1801- Augst 11,1890) was an Anglican clergyman and a leader of the Tractarian or Oxford Movement to reform and "re-catholicize" the Church of England before he entered the Catholic Church in 1845.

He was ordained to the Catholic priesthood May 30, 1847, at the time he established the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in England.

His many published works -- notably his spiritual autobiography, Apologia pro Vita Sua (1864), The Idea of the University (1852), and The Grammar of Assent (1870) -- have inspired Catholics for more than a century with their deep insights and eloquent style. His famous hymn "Lead Kindly Light" is one of the treasures of English-language hymnody. His poem The Dream of Gerontius (1865) is the source of another of his inspiring hymns, “Praise to the Holiest in the Height”. Both before and after he entered the Catholic Church, Newman’s gift of preaching and oratory were as widely admired as his many published writings.

Father Newman was named Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. He died at the Oratory in Birmingham on August 11, 1890. He was declared “venerable” by Pope John Paul II in 1991, and his beatification was formally proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI on September 19, 2010, during the official papal visit to the United Kingdom.

His feast day is October 9, the date of his being received into the Catholic Church in 1845.



Cofton Park of Rednal - Birmingham
Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This day that has brought us together here in Birmingham is a most auspicious one. In the first place, it is the Lord’s day, Sunday, the day when our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and changed the course of human history for ever, offering new life and hope to all who live in darkness and in the shadow of death. That is why Christians all over the world come together on this day to give praise and thanks to God for the great marvels he has worked for us. This particular Sunday also marks a significant moment in the life of the British nation, as it is the day chosen to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain. For me as one who lived and suffered through the dark days of the Nazi regime in Germany, it is deeply moving to be here with you on this occasion, and to recall how many of your fellow citizens sacrificed their lives, courageously resisting the forces of that evil ideology. My thoughts go in particular to nearby Coventry, which suffered such heavy bombardment and massive loss of life in November 1940. Seventy years later, we recall with shame and horror the dreadful toll of death and destruction that war brings in its wake, and we renew our resolve to work for peace and reconciliation wherever the threat of conflict looms. Yet there is another, more joyful reason why this is an auspicious day for Great Britain, for the Midlands, for Birmingham. It is the day that sees Cardinal John Henry Newman formally raised to the altars and declared Blessed.

I thank Archbishop Bernard Longley for his gracious welcome at the start of Mass this morning. I pay tribute to all who have worked so hard over many years to promote the cause of Cardinal Newman, including the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory and the members of the Spiritual Family Das Werk. And I greet everyone here from Great Britain, Ireland, and further afield; I thank you for your presence at this celebration, in which we give glory and praise to God for the heroic virtue of a saintly Englishman.

England has a long tradition of martyr saints, whose courageous witness has sustained and inspired the Catholic community here for centuries. Yet it is right and fitting that we should recognize today the holiness of a confessor, a son of this nation who, while not called to shed his blood for the Lord, nevertheless bore eloquent witness to him in the course of a long life devoted to the priestly ministry, and especially to preaching, teaching, and writing. He is worthy to take his place in a long line of saints and scholars from these islands, Saint Bede, Saint Hilda, Saint Aelred, Blessed Duns Scotus, to name but a few. In Blessed John Henry, that tradition of gentle scholarship, deep human wisdom and profound love for the Lord has borne rich fruit, as a sign of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit deep within the heart of God’s people, bringing forth abundant gifts of holiness.

Cardinal Newman’s motto, Cor ad cor loquitur, or “Heart speaks unto heart”, gives us an insight into his understanding of the Christian life as a call to holiness, experienced as the profound desire of the human heart to enter into intimate communion with the Heart of God. He reminds us that faithfulness to prayer gradually transforms us into the divine likeness. As he wrote in one of his many fine sermons, “a habit of prayer, the practice of turning to God and the unseen world in every season, in every place, in every emergency – prayer, I say, has what may be called a natural effect in spiritualizing and elevating the soul. A man is no longer what he was before; gradually … he has imbibed a new set of ideas, and become imbued with fresh principles” (Parochial and Plain Sermons, iv, 230-231). Today’s Gospel tells us that no one can be the servant of two masters (cf. Lk 16:13), and Blessed John Henry’s teaching on prayer explains how the faithful Christian is definitively taken into the service of the one true Master, who alone has a claim to our unconditional devotion (cf. Mt 23:10). Newman helps us to understand what this means for our daily lives: he tells us that our divine Master has assigned a specific task to each one of us, a “definite service”, committed uniquely to every single person: “I have my mission”, he wrote, “I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do his work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place … if I do but keep his commandments and serve him in my calling” (Meditations and Devotions, 301-2).

The definite service to which Blessed John Henry was called involved applying his keen intellect and his prolific pen to many of the most pressing “subjects of the day”. His insights into the relationship between faith and reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society, and into the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world. I would like to pay particular tribute to his vision for education, which has done so much to shape the ethos that is the driving force behind Catholic schools and colleges today. Firmly opposed to any reductive or utilitarian approach, he sought to achieve an educational environment in which intellectual training, moral discipline and religious commitment would come together. The project to found a Catholic University in Ireland provided him with an opportunity to develop his ideas on the subject, and the collection of discourses that he published as The Idea of a University holds up an ideal from which all those engaged in academic formation can continue to learn. And indeed, what better goal could teachers of religion set themselves than Blessed John Henry’s famous appeal for an intelligent, well-instructed laity: “I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it” (The Present Position of Catholics in England, ix, 390). On this day when the author of those words is raised to the altars, I pray that, through his intercession and example, all who are engaged in the task of teaching and catechesis will be inspired to greater effort by the vision he so clearly sets before us.

While it is John Henry Newman’s intellectual legacy that has understandably received most attention in the vast literature devoted to his life and work, I prefer on this occasion to conclude with a brief reflection on his life as a priest, a pastor of souls. The warmth and humanity underlying his appreciation of the pastoral ministry is beautifully expressed in another of his famous sermons: “Had Angels been your priests, my brethren, they could not have condoled with you, sympathized with you, have had compassion on you, felt tenderly for you, and made allowances for you, as we can; they could not have been your patterns and guides, and have led you on from your old selves into a new life, as they can who come from the midst of you” (“Men, not Angels: the Priests of the Gospel”, Discourses to Mixed Congregations, 3). He lived out that profoundly human vision of priestly ministry in his devoted care for the people of Birmingham during the years that he spent at the Oratory he founded, visiting the sick and the poor, comforting the bereaved, caring for those in prison. No wonder that on his death so many thousands of people lined the local streets as his body was taken to its place of burial not half a mile from here. One hundred and twenty years later, great crowds have assembled once again to rejoice in the Church’s solemn recognition of the outstanding holiness of this much-loved father of souls. What better way to express the joy of this moment than by turning to our heavenly Father in heartfelt thanksgiving, praying in the words that Blessed John Henry Newman placed on the lips of the choirs of angels in heaven:

Praise to the Holiest in the height
And in the depth be praise;
In all his words most wonderful,
Most sure in all his ways!
(The Dream of Gerontius).

© Copyright 2010 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

John Henry Newman's Maryvale - by Joanne Bogle

Help, Lord, the souls that thou has made -- Blessed John Henry Newman (hymn)

Pope Benedict XVI's Visit to Britain Is Making History- Beatification of Cardinal Newman a highlight of the events -- by Mary Ellen Bork

John Henry Newman's Hymns

John Henry Newman and Music by Susan Treacy, on the Adoremus website

Cardinal Newman On the Mass, on the Adoremus website

Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Journey to the United Kingdom on the occasion of the Beatification of Card. John Henry Newman, (16-19 September 2010) on the Vatican Website

28 posted on 08/11/2011 9:44:40 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Newman about Mary, Mother of God [Catholic Caucus]
[Blessed] John Henry Newman and Music
Newman’s Faith
Cardinal Newman: Doctor of the Church? [Catholic Caucus]
Happiness in the Church of Rome
Said, as it is among us. [Blessed John Henry Newman]

The `father' of the Catholic -- Blessed John Henry Newman
Three Lessons from Newman
Blessed Cardinal Newman and the Jews
Beatification of Cardinal Newman: Pope's homily [Full Text]
Beatification of John Henry Newman, Cofton Park, Birmingham Homily of the Holy Father
The Birmingham Oratory [founded by John Henry Cardinal Newman]
Cardinal Newman and Oscott College
Newman spoke this evening in Hyde Park
Catholic officials to investigate claims of second Newman miracle
Cardinal Newman: The Victorian Celebrity Intellectual Who Brought Benedict to Britain

Beyond the Beatification of Cardinal Newman
Newman and the Miraculous Medal
Liberal Jesuits Found Newman Institute in Uppsala, Sweden
Commemorative Stamps Celebrate Pope's UK Visit And Newman Beatification [Catholic Caucus]
Why John Henry Newman converted to Catholicism
[CATHOLIC/ANGLICAN CAUCUS] Sun newspaper falsely alleges Cardinal Newman was a homosexual
Sorry, Professor Milbank, Newman was no ecumenist [Cardinal John Henry Newman]
Newman calls us to leave behind stale arguments
Newman & Preaching in the Byzantine Tradition
Pope's beatification of Cardinal Newman 'to take place at disused Longbridge plant'

Fighting For The Real Cardinal Newman
Saint Philip Neri: A Humble Priest {Sermon Excerpt from Ven. John Henry Newman [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Benedict "sanitising Newman"?
Newman's Biographer on His Subject's Orthodoxy and Sexuality
Why Cardinal Newman is No Saint
Pope to visit Queen, beatify Cardinal Newman during England visit
(Cardinal) Newman on Rites and Ceremonies
Deacon Cured Through Intervention of Cardinal Newman Preaches at Westminster Cathedral
John Henry Newman on "What Is a Gentleman?"
With His Daring Scheme for Anglicans, Benedict XVI Fulfills the Hopes of Cardinal Newman

Deacon discusses miracle healings in beatification cause of John Henry Newman [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Benedict Clears Way For Cardinal John Newman To Become First English Saint In 40 Years
Pope Benedict clears way for Cardinal John Newman to become first English saint in 40 years
Newman Beatification Expected
Biographer challenges Newman revisionists
Cardinal John Newman poised for beatification after ruling
Mystery of cardinal's missing bones Cardinal John Henry Newman Faithfully Celibate
No body (found) in exhumed (Cardinal John Henry) Newman's grave
Cardinal Newman Exhumation Fails to Produce Body
Mainstream Media Slammed for Libelling John Henry Newman as Homosexual

Catholic Officials Seek Permission to Exhume Cardinal Newman's Body
John Henry Cardinal Newman to be beatified
Happy Birthday Cardinal Newman, part 2
Happy Birthday Cardinal Newman, part 1
Newman on Conversion
Cardinal Newman 'to become saint very soon'
Cardinal Newman: sainted after US 'miracle'
Searching For Authority (A Methodist minister, Christopher Dixon finds himself surprised by Truth!) - from Cardinal Newman's writings
The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin: the Second Eve [Newman Reader]
Beatification soon for Cardinal Newman?

29 posted on 08/11/2011 9:45:43 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Thursday, August 11, 2011
St. Clare of Assisi, Virgin, Foundress of II Order (Feast)
First Reading:
Hosea 2:16, 17, 21-22 or 2 Corinthians 4:6-10, 16-18
Psalm 45:11-12, 14-16
John 15:4-10

Even though I had committed but one little sin, I should have ample reason to repent of it all my life.

-- St Francis of Assisi

30 posted on 08/11/2011 9:48:54 AM 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.


31 posted on 08/11/2011 9:49:44 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All; sayuncledave

thanks again- for great posts-I read then watch EWTN Mass-Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!!

32 posted on 08/11/2011 1:51:53 PM PDT by johngrace (1 John 4)
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To: Salvation

I copied this from one of your links. It is a most appropriate prayer for this time and age...


Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, in this tragic hour of the world’s history, we entrust and consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart, our only refuge, our hope, our salvation. Have pity on this world, torn by the most terrible conflicts, burning with the fires of hate, victim of its own sins. May your Heart be moved at the sight of so much ruin, pain and sorrow.

We consecrate to your maternal heart our persons, our families, our country—the whole of humanity. Protect and save us!

O Heart of Mary, source of true love, fill our selfish hearts with divine charity and with that true brotherly love without which there can never be peace. Grant that men and nations may understand and fulfill the precept of your Divine Son, LOVE ONE ANOTHER, in order that true peace may be firmly established in the Justice and Truth of Christ.

33 posted on 08/11/2011 4:40:41 PM PDT by diamond6 (Check out: and learn about the faith.)
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To: sayuncledave
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 18
21 Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Tunc accedens Petrus ad eum, dixit : Domine, quoties peccabit in me frater meus, et dimittam ei ? usque septies ? τοτε προσελθων αυτω ο πετρος ειπεν κυριε ποσακις αμαρτησει εις εμε ο αδελφος μου και αφησω αυτω εως επτακις
22 Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times. Dicit illi Jesus : Non dico tibi usque septies : sed usque septuagies septies. λεγει αυτω ο ιησους ου λεγω σοι εως επτακις αλλ εως εβδομηκοντακις επτα
23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. Ideo assimilatum est regnum cælorum homini regi, qui voluit rationem ponere cum servis suis. δια τουτο ωμοιωθη η βασιλεια των ουρανων ανθρωπω βασιλει ος ηθελησεν συναραι λογον μετα των δουλων αυτου
24 And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents. Et cum cœpisset rationem ponere, oblatus est ei unus, qui debebat ei decem millia talenta. αρξαμενου δε αυτου συναιρειν προσηνεχθη αυτω εις οφειλετης μυριων ταλαντων
25 And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. Cum autem non haberet unde redderet, jussit eum dominus ejus venundari, et uxorem ejus, et filios, et omnia quæ habebat, et reddi. μη εχοντος δε αυτου αποδουναι εκελευσεν αυτον ο κυριος αυτου πραθηναι και την γυναικα αυτου και τα τεκνα και παντα οσα ειχεν και αποδοθηναι
26 But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Procidens autem servus ille, orabat eum, dicens : Patientiam habe in me, et omnia reddam tibi. πεσων ουν ο δουλος προσεκυνει αυτω λεγων κυριε μακροθυμησον επ εμοι και παντα σοι αποδωσω
27 And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt. Misertus autem dominus servi illius, dimisit eum, et debitum dimisit ei. σπλαγχνισθεις δε ο κυριος του δουλου εκεινου απελυσεν αυτον και το δανειον αφηκεν αυτω
28 But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest. Egressus autem servus ille invenit unum de conservis suis, qui debebat ei centum denarios : et tenens suffocavit eum, dicens : Redde quod debes. εξελθων δε ο δουλος εκεινος ευρεν ενα των συνδουλων αυτου ος ωφειλεν αυτω εκατον δηναρια και κρατησας αυτον επνιγεν λεγων αποδος μοι ει τι οφειλεις
29 And his fellow servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Et procidens conservus ejus, rogabat eum, dicens : Patientiam habe in me, et omnia reddam tibi. πεσων ουν ο συνδουλος αυτου εις τους ποδας αυτου παρεκαλει αυτον λεγων μακροθυμησον επ εμοι και αποδωσω σοι
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt. Ille autem noluit : sed abiit, et misit eum in carcerem donec redderet debitum. ο δε ουκ ηθελεν αλλα απελθων εβαλεν αυτον εις φυλακην εως ου αποδω το οφειλομενον
31 Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done. Videntes autem conservi ejus quæ fiebant, contristati sunt valde : et venerunt, et narraverunt domino suo omnia quæ facta fuerant. ιδοντες δε οι συνδουλοι αυτου τα γενομενα ελυπηθησαν σφοδρα και ελθοντες διεσαφησαν τω κυριω εαυτων παντα τα γενομενα
32 Then his lord called him; and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: Tunc vocavit illum dominus suus : et ait illi : Serve nequam, omne debitum dimisi tibi quoniam rogasti me : τοτε προσκαλεσαμενος αυτον ο κυριος αυτου λεγει αυτω δουλε πονηρε πασαν την οφειλην εκεινην αφηκα σοι επει παρεκαλεσας με
33 Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee? nonne ergo oportuit et te misereri conservi tui, sicut et ego tui misertus sum ? ουκ εδει και σε ελεησαι τον συνδουλον σου ως και εγω σε ηλεησα
34 And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. Et iratus dominus ejus tradidit eum tortoribus, quoadusque redderet universum debitum. και οργισθεις ο κυριος αυτου παρεδωκεν αυτον τοις βασανισταις εως ου αποδω παν το οφειλομενον αυτω
35 So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts. Sic et Pater meus cælestis faciet vobis, si non remiseritis unusquisque fratri suo de cordibus vestris. ουτως και ο πατηρ μου ο επουρανιος ποιησει υμιν εαν μη αφητε εκαστος τω αδελφω αυτου απο των καρδιων υμων τα παραπτωματα αυτων
  Matthew 19
1 AND it came to pass when Jesus had ended these words, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea, beyond Jordan. Et factum est, cum consumasset Jesus sermones istos, migravit a Galilæa, et venit in fines Judææ trans Jordanem, και εγενετο οτε ετελεσεν ο ιησους τους λογους τουτους μετηρεν απο της γαλιλαιας και ηλθεν εις τα ορια της ιουδαιας περαν του ιορδανου

34 posted on 08/11/2011 5:56:39 PM PDT by annalex (
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To: annalex
21. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22. Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

JEROME; The Lord had said above, See that you despise not one of these little ones, and had added, If your brother sin against you, &c. making also a promise, If two of you, &c. by which the Apostle Peter was led to ask, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? And to his question he adds an opinion, Until seven times?

CHRYS; Peter thought that he had made a large allowance; but what answers Christ the Lover of men? it follows, Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times, but, Until seventy times seven.

AUG; I am bold to say, that if he shall sin seventy-eight times, you should forgive him; yea, and if a hundred; and how often so if ever he sin against you, forgive him. For if Christ found a thousand sins, yet forgave them all, do not you withdraw your forgiveness. For the Apostle says, Forgiving one another, if any man have quarrel against any, even as God in Christ forgave you.

CHRYS; When He says, Until seventy times seven, He does not limit a definite number within which forgiveness must be kept; but He signifies thereby something endless and ever enduring.

AUG; Yet not without reason did the Lord say, Seventy times seven; for the Law is set forth in ten precepts; and the Law is signified by the number ten, sin by eleven, because it is passing the denary line. Seven is used to be put for a whole, because time goes round in seven days. Take eleven seven times, and you have seventy. He would therefore have all trespasses forgiven, for this is what He signifies by the number seventy-seven.

ORIGEN; Or, because the number six seems to denote toil and labor, and the number seven repose, He says that forgiveness should be given to all brethren who live in this world, and sin in the things of this world. But if any commit transgressions beyond these things, he shall then have no further forgiveness.

JEROME; Or understand it of four hundred and ninety times, that He bids us forgive our brother so oft.

RABAN; It is one thing to give pardon to a brother when he seeks it, that he may live with us in social charity, as Joseph to his brethren; and another to a hostile foe, that we may wish him good, and if we can do him good, as David mourning for Saul.

23. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought to him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.
27. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that you owe.
29. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.
30. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told to their lord all that was done.
32. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said to him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me:
33. Should not you also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you?
34. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him.
35. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also to you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

CHRYS; That none should think that the Lord had enjoined something great and burdensome in saying that we must forgive till seventy times seven, He adds a parable.

JEROME; For it is customary with the Syrians, especially they of Palestine, to add a parable to what they speak, that what their hearers might not retain simply, and in itself, the instance and similitude may be the means of retaining.

ORIGEN; The Son of God, as He is wisdom, righteousness, and truth, so is He a kingdom; not indeed any of those which are beneath, but all those which are above, reigning over those in whose senses reigns justice and the other virtues; these are made of heaven because they bear the image of the heavenly. This kingdom of heaven then, i.e. the Son of God, when He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, was then like to a king, in uniting man to himself.

REMIG; Or, by the kingdom of heaven is reasonably understood the holy Church, in which the Lord works what He speaks of in this parable. By the man is sometimes represented the Father, as in that, The kingdom of heaven is like to a king who made a marriage for his son; and sometimes the Son; but here we may take it for both, the Father and the Son, who are one God. God is called a King, inasmuch as He created and governs all things.

ORIGEN; The servants, in these parables, are only they who are employed in dispensing the word, and to whom this business is committed.

REMIG; Or, by the servants of this King are signified all mankind whom He has created for His own praise, and to whom He gave the law of nature; He takes account with them, when He would look into each man's manners, life, and deeds, that He may render to each according to that He has done; as it follows, And when He had begun to reckon, one was brought to Him which owed Him ten thousand talents.

ORIGEN; The King takes account of our whole life then, when we must all be presented before the judgment-seat of Christ We mean not this so as that any should think that the business itself must needs require a long time. For God, when He will scrutinize the minds of all, will by some indescribable power cause every thing that every man has done to pass speedily before the mind of each. He says, And when he began to take account, because the beginning of the judgment is that it begin from the house of God. At His beginning to take account there is brought to Him one who owes Him many talents; one, that is, who had wrought great evils; one on whom much had been enjoined' and had yet et brought no gain; who perhaps had destroyed as many men as he owed talents; one who was therefore become a debtor of many talents, because he had followed the woman sitting upon a talent of lead, whose name is Iniquity.

JEROME; I know that some interpret the man who he owed the ten thousand talents to be the devil, and by his wife and children who were to be sold when he persevered in his wickedness, understand foolishness, and hurtful thoughts. For as wisdom is called the wife of the righteous man, so the wife of the unrighteous and the sinner is called foolishness. But how the Lord remits to the devil ten thousand talents, and how he would not remit ten denarii to us his fellow-servants, of this is there its no ecclesiastical interpretation, nor is it to be admitted by thoughtful men.

AUG; Therefore let us say, that because the Law is set forth in ten precepts, the ten thousand talents which he owed denote all sins which can be done under the Law.

REMIG; Man who sinned of his own will and choice, has no power to rise again by his own endeavor, and has not wherewith to pay, because he finds nothing in himself by which he may loose himself from his sins; whence it follows, And when he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The fool's wife is folly, and the pleasure or lust of the flesh.

AUG; This signifies that the transgressor of the decalogue deserves punishment for his rusts and evil deeds; and that is his price; for the price for which they sell is the punishment of him that is damned.

CHRYS; This command issued not of cruelty, but of unspeakable tenderness. For he seeks by these terrors to bring him to plead that he be not sold, which fell out, as he shows when he adds, The servant therefore fell down and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.

REMIG; That he says, falling down, shows how the sinner humbled himself, and offered amends. Have patience with me, expresses the sinner's prayer, begging respite, and space to correct his error. Abundant is the bounty of God, and His clemency to sinners converted, seeing He is ever ready to forgive sins by baptism or penitence, as it follows, But the lord of that servant had mercy upon him, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

CHRYS; See the exuberance of heavenly love! The servant asked only a brief respite, but he gives him more than he had asked, a full remittance and canceling of the w hole debt. He was minded to have forgiven him from the very first, but he would not have it to be of his own mere motion, but also of the other's suit, that he might not depart without a gift. But he did not remit the debt till he had taken account, because he would have him know how great debts he set him free of, that by this he should at the least be made more merciful to his fellow servants. And indeed as far as what has gone he was worthy to be accepted; for he made confession, and promised that he would pay the debt, and fell down and begged, and confessed the greatness of his debt. But his after deeds were unworthy of the former, for it follows, But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants which owed him a hundred denarii.

AUG; That He says he owed him a hundred denarii is taken from the same number, ten, the number of the Law. For a hundred times a hundred are ten thousand, and ten times ten are a hundred; and those ten thousand talents and these hundred denarii are still keeping to the number of the Law; in both of them you find sins. Both are debtors, both are suitors for remission; so every man is himself a debtor to God, and has his brother his debtor.

CHRYS; But there is as great difference between sins committed against men, and sins committed against God, as between ten thousand talents and a hundred denarii; yes rather there is still greater difference. This appears from the difference of the persons, and from the fewness of the offenders. For when we are seen of man we withhold and are loath to sin, but we cease not daily though God see us, but act and speak all things fearlessly. Not by this only are our sins against God shown to be more heinous, but also by reason of the benefits which we have received from Him; He gave us being, and has done all things in our behalf, has breathed into us a rational soul, has sent His Son, has opened heaven to us, and made us His sons. If then we should every day die for Him, could we make Him any worthy return? By no means; it should rather redound again to our advantage. But, on the contrary, w e offend against His laws.

REMIG; So by him who owed ten thousand talents are represented those that commit the greater crimes; by the debtor of a hundred denarii those who commit the lesser.

JEROME; That this may be made plainer, let us speak it in instances. If any one of you shall have committed an adultery, a homicide, or a sacrilege, these greater sins of ten thousand talents shall be remitted when you beg for it, if you also shall remit lesser offenses to those that trespass against you.

AUG; But this unworthy, unjust servants would not render that which had been rendered to him, for it follows, And he laid hands on him, and held him by the throat, saying, Pay me that you owe.

REMIG; That is, he pressed him hardly, that he might exact vengeance from him.

ORIGEN; He therefore, as I suppose, took him by the throat, because he had come forth from the king; for he would not have so handled his fellow servant, if he had not gone forth from the king.

CHRYS; By saying, as he went out, He shows that it was not after long time, but immediately; while the favor he had received still sounded in his ears, he abused to wickedness the liberty his lord had accorded him. What the other did is added; And his fellow-servant fell down, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.

ORIGEN; Observe the exactness of Scripture; the servant who owed many talents fell down, and worshipped the king; he who owed the hundred denarii falling down, did not worship, but besought his fellow servant, saying, Have patience. But the ungrateful servant did not even respect the very words which had saved himself, for it follows, but he would not.

AUG; That is, he nourished such thoughts towards him that he sought his punishment. But he went his way.

REMIG; That is, his wrath was the rather inflamed, to exact vengeance of him; And he cast him into prison, until he should pay the debt; that is, he seized his brother, and exacted vengeance of him.

CHRYS; Observe the Lord's tenderness, and the servant's cruelty; the one for ten thousand talents, the other for ten denarii; the one a suitor to his fellow, the other to his lord; the one obtained entire remission,, the other sought only respite, but he got it not They who owed nothing, grieved with him; his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very sorry.

AUG; By the fellow-servants is understood the Church, which binds one and looses another.

REMIG; Or perhaps they represent the Angels, or the preachers of the holy Church, or any of the faithful, who when they see a brother whose sins are forgiven refusing to forgive his fellow-servant, they are sorrowful over his perdition. And they came, and told their lord what was as done. They came not in body, but in spirit. To tell their Lord, is to show the woe and sorrow of the heart in their carriage. It follows, Then his lord called him. He called him by the sentence of death, and bade him pass out of this world, and said to him, you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me.

CHRYS; When he owed him ten thousand talents, he did not call him wicked, nor did he at all chide him, but had mercy on him; but now when he had been ungenerous to his fellow-servant, then he says to him, you wicked servant; and this is what is said, Ought you not to have had mercy upon your fellow-servant.

REMIG; And it is to be known, that we read no answer made by that servant to his lord; by which it is shown us, that in the day of judgment, and altogether after this life, all excusing of ourselves shall be cut off.

CHRYS; Because kindness had not mended him, it remains that he be corrected by punishment; whence it follows, And the lord of that servant was as angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay the whole debt. He said not merely, Delivered him, but was angry, this he had not said before; when his Lord commanded that he should be sold; for that was not in wrath, but in love, for his correction; now this is a sentence of penalty and punishment.

REMIG; For God is said then to be wroth, when he takes vengeance on sinners. Torturers are intended for the demons, who are always ready to take up lost souls, and torture them in the pangs of eternal punishment. Will any who is once sunk into everlasting condemnation ever come to find season of repentance, and a way to escape? Never; that until is put for infinity; and the meaning is, He shall be ever paying, and shall never quit the debt, but shall be ever under punishment.

CHRYS; By this is shown that his punishment shall be increasing and eternal, and that he shall never pay. And however irrevocable are the graces and callings of God, yet wickedness has that force, that it seems to break even this law.

AUG; For God says, Forgive, and you shall be forgiven; I have first forgiven, forgive you then after Me; for if you forgive not, I will call you back, and will require again all that I had remitted to you. For Christ neither deceives nor is deceived; and He adds here, This will my heavenly Father do to you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. It is better that you should cry out with your mouth, and forgive in your heart, than that you should speak smoothly, and be unrelenting in your heart. For the Lord adds, From your hearts, to the end that though, out of affection you put him to discipline, yet gentleness should not depart out of your heart. What is more beneficial than the knife of the surgeon? He is rough with the sore that the man may be healed; should he be tender with the sore, the man were lost.

JEROME; Also this, from your hearts, is added to take away all feigned reconciliations. Therefore the Lord's command to Peter under this similitude of the king and his servant who owed him ten thousand talents, and was forgiven by his lord upon his entreaty, is, that he also should forgive his fellow-servants their lesser trespasses.

ORIGEN; He seeks to instruct us, that we should be ready to show clemency to those who have done us harm, especially if they offer amends, and plead to have forgiveness.

RABAN; Allegorically; The servant here who owed the ten thousand talents, is the Jewish people bound to the Ten Commandments in the Law. These the Lord oft forgave their trespasses, when being in difficulties they besought His mercy; but when they were set free, they exacted the utmost with great severity from all their debtors; and of the gentile people which they hated, they required circumcision and the ceremonies of the Law; yes, the Prophets and Apostles they barbarously put to death. For all this the Lord gave them over into the hands of the Romans as to evil spirits, who should punish them with eternal tortures.

Catena Aurea Matthew 18

1. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan;

CHRYS; The Lord had before left Judea because of their jealousy, but now He keeps Himself more to it, because His passion was near at hand. Yet does He not go up to Judea itself, but into the borders of Judea; whence it is said, And it came to pass when Jesus had ended all these sayings, he departed from Galilee.

RABAN; Here then He begins to relate what He did, taught, or suffered in Judea. At first beyond Jordan eastward, afterwards on this side Jordan when He came to Jericho, Bethphage, and Jerusalem; whence it follows, And He came into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; As the righteous Lord of all, who loves these servants so as not to despise those.

RABAN; It should be known, that the whole territory of the Israelites was called Judea, to distinguish it from other nations. But its southern portion, inhabited by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, was called Judea proper, to distinguish it from other districts in the same province as Samaria, Galilee, Decapolis, and the rest. It follows, And great multitudes followed him.

Catena Aurea Matthew 19
35 posted on 08/11/2011 5:57:20 PM PDT by annalex (
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To: annalex

Royal Door

Unknown Cretan iconographer

Egg tempera on spruce, 116 x 59 cm
Ikonen-Museum, Recklinghausen

The double door was the central entrance of a templon (an iconostasis) and once led to the sanctuary (bema). What is striking is the shape of the door with its twice-curved ogee arch, a feature that is known neither from Byzantine nor Russian royal doors. During the Byzantine period, double doors with a round arch were customary. They replaced the curtains which had previously been used to cover the entrances to the templon.

The door is decorated with images painted on it over a gold background. The top left image shows the Archangel Michael in armour holding a raised sword, the top right image depicts Gabriel holding a staff and a sphaira (orb). Painted on the door's lower zone are the abbot Saint Zosimas and the ascetic hermit Mary of Egypt. They are represented at the moment when Zosimas administers communion to the former prostitute as a sign of forgiveness; she had atoned her sins as an anchorite in the desert for 47 years.


36 posted on 08/11/2011 5:58:27 PM PDT by annalex (
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To: All
Thursday, August 11
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of St. Clare of Assisi. She loved the Mass and an image of the Mass appeared each day on the wall by her bedside when she was too sick to attend. Because of this, she is the patron of television workers.

37 posted on 08/11/2011 6:47:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: August 11, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: God of mercy, you inspired Saint Clare with the love of poverty. By the help of her prayers may we follow Christ in poverty of spirit and come to the joyful vision of your glory in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ordinary Time: August 11th

  Memorial of St. Clare, virgin Old Calendar: Saints Tiburtius and Susanna; St. Philomena, virgin & martry (Hist)

St. Clare of Assisi was the first woman to practice the life of entire poverty as taught by St. Francis. Placed by him at the head of a few companions in the small convent of San Damiano, she governed her community for forty-two years thus founding at the gates of Assisi the Order of Poor Clares. Their Rule included austerities hitherto unknown in monasteries of women. They went barefoot, slept on the ground, kept perpetual abstinence and made poverty the basis of their lives. St. Clare died on August 11, 1253, and was canonized two years after her death.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of Sts. Tiburtius and Susanna. St. Tiburtius is a Roman martyr of unknown date who is buried on the Via Laviacana in the cemetery known nowadays as the catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus. St. Susanna, a Roman virgin, was also martyred at an unknown date. There are two churches in Rome which bear her name.

Historically today is the feast of St. Philomena, a young virgin and martyr of the fourth century.

St. Clare
The Breviary says of her: "Following the example of St. Francis, she distributed all her possessions among the poor. She fled from the noise of the world and betook herself to a country chapel, where St. Francis himself sheared off her hair and clothed her with a penitential garb (on March 18, 1212, at the age of eighteen). Then she resided at the Church of St. Damian, where the Lord provided for her a goodly number of companions. So she established a community of nuns and acted as their superior at the wish of St Francis. For forty-two years she directed the nunnery with zeal and prudence, her own life serving as a constant sermon for her sisters to emulate. Of Pope Innocent IV she requested the privilege that she and her community live in absolute poverty. She was a most perfect follower of St. Francis of Assisi.

"When the Saracens were besieging Assisi and were preparing to attack the convent, St. Clare asked to be assisted as far as the entrance, for she was ill. In her hand she carried a vessel containing the blessed Eucharist as she prayed: O Lord, do not deliver over to beasts the souls that praise You! (Ps. 73). Protect Your servants, for You have redeemed them by Your precious Blood. And in the midst of that prayer a voice was heard, saying: Always will I protect you ! The Saracens took to flight."

Heroic in suffering (she was sick for twenty-seven years), she was canonized only two years after her death. Thomas of Celano coined the saying: Clara nomine, vita clarior, clarissima moribus.

Clare was the first flower in the garden of the Poor Man of Assisi. Poor in earthly goods, but rich in her utter poverty, she was a replica of Jesus, poor in the crib and on the Cross. At her time the Church generally and many Church men were enmeshed in financial matters and political maneuvering. Through the renewal of the ideal of poverty, St. Francis effected a "reform of Christian life in head and members."

In our twentieth century there still remain large areas with millions suffering under extreme poverty. Poverty in itself is no virtue; but it should be made into a virtue. Let us recall a few of the examples and texts from holy Scripture which show how precious poverty is and what deep reverence we should have toward it. Christ was poor. His entrance into the world and His departure from it took place in circumstances of greatest need. He had no house wherein to be born, no crib; no house wherein to die, no deathbed. Poverty stood watch at birth and remained to see His death. "The foxes have dens and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head" (Matt. 3:20).

At least we can be moderate and frugal, and thereby find the way to the spirit of Christian poverty. St. Clare, help us.

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

Patron: Embroiderers; eye disease; eyes; gilders; goldsmiths; gold workers; good weather; laundry workers; needle workers; Santa Clara Indian Pueblo; telegraphs; telephones; television; television writers.

Symbols: Chalice and host; tall cross; Monstrance; lily; ciborium.
Often Portrayed as: Woman with a monstrance in her hand; Nun holding a vessel containing the holy Eucharist.

Things to Do:

From A Treasure Chest of Traditions For Catholic Families by Monica McConkey:

While St. Clare is the patroness of sore eyes, she has also become the patroness of television. She miraculously saw and heard Mass, even when she was too sick to attend!

Make a resolution to prevent sore eyes caused by too much television! Pick shows selectively. Some families create a token system, rationing viewing by requiring viewers to "PAY-PER-VIEW". Buttons, poker chips or other sets of small game pieces can be used as tokens (handed out weekly), or a TIME SHEET can be used to log in or out TV programs to keep track.

Help children to choose programs carefully. Help children to recognize how programs which may be cute or funny, do not necessarily reflect family values. Keep the dialogue going and talk about the differences!

Used with permission. Write to or see Arma Dei for more information about this great book. Treasure Chest is filled with unique ideas for activities, crafts and recipes to help families celebrate the various Seasons and Feast Days of the year.

Sts. Tiburtius and Susanna
A sense of reverential awe and deep respect fills us whenever we meet the martyrs of the ancient Church. Yet it is often very difficult to give a strictly historical account of their lives. Nevertheless, even though we do not know all the biographical details, they are for us representatives of that "army of light," the martyrs, witnesses to Christ. And we want to be inspired by their example. Today the Martyrology tells this: "At Rome, between the two laurel trees, the death of the holy martyr Tiburtius. During the persecution of Diocletian the magistrate Fabian forced him to tread barefoot upon burning coals. As it only served to make him profess the faith more boldly, he was ordered to be led outside the city until the third milestone and there beheaded. . . . At Rome, the holy virgin Susanna. She came from an illustrious family, and was the niece of the saintly Pope Cams. At the time of Diocletian she won the palm of martyrdom by being beheaded."

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

Symbols: Susanna Crown at her feet; sword.

St. Philomena
On May 25, 1802, excavators in the ancient Catacomb of St. Priscilla in Rome came upon a well-preserved shelf tomb sealed with terra-cotta slabs in the manner usually reserved for nobility or great martyrs. The tomb was marked with three tiles, inscribed with the following confusing words: LUMENA / PAXTE / CUMFI. However, if one places the first tile last and separates the words properly, the very intelligible sentence emerges: "Pax tecum, Filumena", which is, "Peace be with you, Philomena" Also inscribed on the tiles were symbols: a lily, arrows, an anchor and a lance, which would appear to indicate virginity and martyrdom. Inside the coffin there were discovered the remains of a girl of about twelve or thirteen years of age, along with a vial or ampulla of her dried blood.

Transferred to the Treasury of the Rare Collection of Christian Antiquity in the Vatican, the remains were soon forgotten by the public, especially since no record existed of a virgin martyr named Philomena. But in 1805, a Neapolitan priest, Don Francesco di Lucia, traveling to Rome with his newly appointed bishop, requested and, after a brief delay, received the relics of this martyr "Philomena" to enshrine in his village church at Mugnano, near Naples.

Immediately upon the official donation of St. Philomena’s sacred remains, signal favors began to be granted through her intercession and unusual events to occur. The favors, graces and even miracles started to increase, even before her enshrinement at Mugnano, and they steadily grew in number thereafter-such that this virgin martyr soon earned the title, "Philomena, Powerful with God." In 1837, only 35 years after her exhumation, Pope Gregory XVI elevated this "Wonder-Worker of the Nineteenth Century" to sainthood. In an act unprecedented in the history of Catholicism, she became the only person recognized by the Church as a Saint solely on the basis of her powerful intercession, since nothing historical was known of her except her name and the evidence of her martyrdom.

But truly, as her devotees have discovered, no case, of whatever matter is too trivial or too unimportant to concern her. Among her most devoted clients was St. John Vianney (the Cure D'Ars) whose childlike devotion to this virgin Saint played an intimate part in his daily life. Other Saints who were always devoted to her, prayed to her and sang her praises were : St. Peter Julian Eymard, St.Peter Chanel, St. Anthony Mary Claret, St. Madelaine Sophie Barat, St. Euphrasia Pelletier, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, St. John Nepomucene Neumann, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi and Ven. Pauline Jaricot.

A number of Popes have also shown remarkable devotion to Philomena as well: Pope Leo XII (1823-1829) expressed the great admiration for this unknown child-saint and gladly gave his permission for the erection of altars and churches in her honor. Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846), who authorized her public veneration showed his esteem and devotion to the Saint by giving her the title of "Patroness of the Living Rosary." A Mass and proper Office in her honor were approved by him in 1834 or 1835. This is extraordinary privilege granted to comparatively few Saints. Pope Pius IX (1846-1878) proclaimed her "Patroness of the Children of Mary." Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) made two pilgrimages to her shrine before his election to the papacy. After he had become the Vicar of Christ, he gave a valuable cross to the sanctuary He approved the Confraternity of St. Philomena and later raised it to an Arch-confraternity (which is still headquartered at her shrine at Mugnano, Italy). Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914) spoke warmly of her and manifested his devotion to her in various ways. Costly gifts were given by him to her shrine.

Excerpted from TAN Books and Publishers, Inc.

Patron: against barrenness, against bodily ills, against infertility, against mental illness, against sickness, against sterility, babies, children, Children of Mary, desperate causes, forgotten causes, impossible causes, infants, lost causes, Living Rosary, newborns, orphans, poor people, priests, prisoners, sick people, students, test takers, toddlers, young people, youth

Symbols: anchor (an image of one was inscribed on her tomb); arrows; crown; lily

Things to Do:

38 posted on 08/11/2011 6:56:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Joshua 3:7-11,13-17

“All Israel crossed over on dry ground.” (Joshua 3:17)

Imagine you’re about to cross the river Jordan. You take one very careful and delicate step into the riverbed. Now two steps. Now three. The ominous looking gush of water is still being held at bay, and you’re still dry! Ahead of you are the priests with the Ark of the Covenant— and they’re still dry! Your nerves gradually uncoil, and you marvel as you walk farther into the now exposed riverbed.

Today’s reading tells us that in order to get across the Jordan and into the Promised Land, the Hebrews had to pass beside the Ark of the Covenant, which was stationed right in the middle of the riverbed. The Ark was the sign of God’s presence. It was a reminder of God’s promises to their nation. So crossing the river, even taking the first step, was an act of faith in God’s covenant. Any personal, inner doubts about whether God really could be trusted had to be brought to the surface and dealt with if they wanted to enter the Promised Land. Would the waters hold? Or will God forget and let me drown?

What a fitting image for the call to faith! To use Paul’s words, as long as we are “at home in the body” we are away from our Promised Land of heaven (2 Corinthians 5:6). As long as we keep our eyes fixed on this world and not his faithfulness, we risk being drowned in the anxieties and temptations of this life.

Life can feel like a wilderness sometimes! But we have an ever present reminder of the faithfulness and loving care of God—Jesus himself. When we sense God calling us to step out into the Jordan River of faith, we just have to look to Jesus, the source of our strength. Our inner doubts and fears may surface, but as we let Jesus calm them in prayer, we’ll find the courage to take a few careful steps in the direction he’s leading. Our faith in him, combined with his faithfulness to us, will see us through. The world doesn’t have to swallow us up!

Keep looking to Jesus and you can cross any river—no matter how fiercely it rages!

“Jesus, you are the Author and Finisher of my faith. I trust in you.”

Psalm 114:1-6; Matthew 18:21–19:1

39 posted on 08/11/2011 6:58:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim


Feast: 11 August 

Introductory Notes: Clare Favarone de Offreduccio was born in a noble family at Assisi in the year 1193. Greatly influenced by Francis of Assisi, Clare refused to accept a marriage that was ardently desired by her family and in 1212 gave up all her possessions to join Francis in his life of poverty at Portiuncula, near Assisi. Francis initially placed her in a Benedictine convent, but as Clare was soon joined by many other women, including her sisters Agnes and Beatrice and eventually her own widowed mother, Ortolana, she moved to the convent and Church of San Damiano. Here, from 1215, she performed the duties of abbess. Through her work was established the Second Order of St. Francis, known as the Poor Clares. She led a very austere life, abounding in works of piety and charity. She died in the year 1253, and canonized by Pope Alexander IV in 1255. 


In her letter to Agnes of Prague, who had determined to follow her example, Clare described her vocation solely in terms of espousal with Christ, and this was how she lived out that vocation. Clare never deviated from this initial resolve.   

When she wrote to Ermentrude, “Remain faithful until death, dearly beloved, to Him to whom you have promised yourself”, she could point to her own example. Strong and passionate love of Christ animated her entire being. This profound and fundamental motive was basic to the whole of Clare’s life. 

As a matter of fact, in all the actions of her life, Clare did nothing but love. A review of her biography, writings, and the process of canonization show that love permeated her desires, thoughts, and actions. Clare simply lived her love: she was charitable to all and ardent in prayer and imitation of the chaste, poor, suffering, meek, and humble Christ. Clare repeats to us, the modern-day Christians: “It is enough to love, to love with courage, even to the point of heroism, as you put the whole Gospel into the whole of your life.”  

This is how the saintly Clare appears in history: a wonderful figrue of a woman, a saint whose very name meas RADIANT. Her radiance dazzled her contemporaries. Pope Alexander IV [1254-1261] called her a “lofty candlestick of holiness that burned brightly in the tabernacle of the Lord.” 

Like Francis, she had no systematic conception of the spiritual life, the religious life, or the ascent to sanctity. For her, as for him, the one thing necessary was to live every moment as a personal love relationship. It was love that enabled Francis and Clare to discover at every instant how to be faithful to their Beloved

Clare was essentially a great contemplative. Francis loved Christ, and that love led him to put prayer above everything else in his life. He was “not so much praying,” wrote Thomas Celano, “as becoming himself a prayer”. Clare followed Francis’ example of continuous mystical conversation with God. With her whole being she desired to meet the ONE she loved, and to remain with Him in wonder, adoration and praise. 

Before her “conversion,” amid pageantry and clashing of arms in her family home, Clare’s attraction to prayer was already notable. In the course of the process of canonization, Ranieri de Bernardo of Assisi, a close friend of the Favarone family, was asked about the good deeds of Clare’s childhood. He responded: “She fasted and prayed, and gladly gave alms to her utmost possibility.” This response, which the court clerk recorded so briefly, reveals the heart of the young noblewoman. She prayed even as a child. This was a prelude to her life’s work at San Damiano. 

There, in the silence of the cloister, having left everything to live for God alone and possessing only one love,  Clare spent her life in intimacy with the one she loved. The bull of canonization testifies that, “She would assiduously spend the greater part of the day and night in watching and in prayer.” 

Those who lived close to Clare gave similar witness during the process of canonization. The first Poor Clares simply testified that, “the blessed mother was assiduous in prayer.” Sister Pacifica stated that, “often the blessed mother passed the nights in vigil and prayer, and her fasting was such that the Sisters were made sad and lamented over it.” Pacifica candidly added that she herself often wept for the same reason. 

These remarks give us a glimpse of Clare’s intimate life, but her letters tell us more. See how she reveals herself as she counsels Ermentrude of Bruges: “Love God from the depths of your heart and Jesus His Son, who was crucified for us sinners. Never let the thought of Him leave your mind but meditate constantly  on the mysteries of the Cross and the anguish of His Mother as she stood beneath the Cross. Pray and watch at all times.” “Never let the thought of Him leave your mind.” Clare herself lived this admonition. She only taught her Sisters what she herself practiced. For twenty-nine of her forty years in religious life she was ill. Her biographer tells us that her thoughts were elevated to such a level that she was constantly occupied with Christ. 

These testimonies fully justify Thomas Celano’s conclusion: “As she was dead to the body even long before her death, so Clare was a total stranger to the world, for she occupied her soul continually with holy prayers and the praises of God. The glowing fervor of her inward desire she had fixed on the light, and, as she rose above the things of earth, she opened wide the depths of her soul to the streams of divine grace.” 

This life of total absorption in Jesus Christ is what Clare desired for each of her Sisters. All temporal things, especially work, were to serve the spirit of prayer and devotion. Clearly this attitude is all-important for her. Illiterate Sisters, Clare declared in her Rule, should not be required to learn to read, but desire “to have above all else the Spirit of the Lord and His holy manner of working, to pray always to Him with a pure heart.” If the Sisters acquire this attitude of prayer, they will possess what is essential and fulfill their vocation. 

Clare did not want to see her Sisters bound by the fetters of law. Observances are without value unless they are motivated by attachment to Jesus Christ. Their lives were to develop entirely in the dynamism of love, far from legalism, formalism, and pharisaism. Their lives were to be a great adventure of love. 

All who testified at the process of Clare’s canonization agreed that she truly lived this way of love. Sister Benvenuta, for example, stated that Lady Clare was “burning with love of God” and lived continually lost in God. The first thing Clare taught her Sisters was “to love God above all things.” 

Personal attachment to Christ in burning love is undeniably the cornerstone of the whole religious edifice of Clare and her first Sisters. The totality of their life was built on Christ. Their every act was performed in His presence; they acted because of Him and for Him. Neither logic, apostolic zeal, nor reflection on the virtues was the inspiration of the vocation and the life of the Poor Ladies of San Damiano, but rather the person of the Lord to whom they had vowed themselves. They loved Someone. And, that SOMEONE was JESUS CHRIST! 

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, in Your mercy You led Saint Clare to the personal attachment with Christ in burning love of poverty. Help us to follow Christ in poverty of spirit, so that, in the kingdom of heaven, we may see You in Your glory. We make our prayer in the most precious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen. 

Taken (with little editing) from René-Charles Dhont OFM, CLARE AMONG HER SISTERS. 

40 posted on 08/11/2011 7:07:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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