Thursday, June 20, 2019

What is the Eucharist or Communion? 5 Points on the Eucharist to Share from the Bible and Catechism

1. What is this Sacrament called?
The word EUCHARIST comes from the Greek noun εὐχαριστία (eucharistia), meaning thanksgiving. In the New Testament of the Bible we find Jesus establishing the Eucharist. At Holy Mass (Church Service) Catholics receive Jesus under the appearance of bread from the Priest; this is the Body and Blood of Christ.  We believe that this transubstantiation happens because Jesus expained it in the Bible. 
Bible basis: Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body. (Matt. 26:26)
CCC 1328 The inexhaustible richness of this sacrament is expressed in the different names we give it. Each name evokes certain aspects of it. It is called: Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. The Greek words eucharistein and eulogein recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim - especially during a meal - God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification.
CCC1330 We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name.
2. Why is it called the Lord's Supper?
CCC1329 The Lord's Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meat when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread,above all at the Last Supper.It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection,and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies;by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him.
Bible basis: 
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.(John 6:53-56)
3. Why is it called Holy Communion?
 The term "Communion" comes from Latin communio ("sharing in common"), translated from the Greek κοινωνία (koinōnía) coming from the New Testament:
Bible basis: 
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16)
CCC 1331 Holy Communion, because by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body.We also call it: the holy things (ta hagia; sancta)- the first meaning of the phrase "communion of saints" in the Apostles' Creed - the bread of angels, bread from heaven, medicine of immortality,viaticum. . . .
4.What is the Breaking of Bread?
The phrase (Greek: του κλασαι αρτον) is found in the New Testament 
Bible Basis:.
 The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread. (Luke 24:35)
They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. (Acts 2:42)
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. (Acts 2:42)

5. Why is it called the Holy Mass?

The Eucharist is also called "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass", where the term "Mass" might be derived from the use of unleavened bread (in Hebrew: matzah).  Latin word missa (dismissal), is used at the end of Mass in Latin: Ite, missa est ("Go; it is the dismissal"). "Misa" came to mean a 'mission', since the congregation are sent out to serve Christ.
Bible Basis:
Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” (Luke 22:19)
CCC 1332 Holy Mass (Missa), because the liturgy in which the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth (missio) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God's will in their daily lives.
 CCC means Catechism of the Catholic Church

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday, June 19, 2109 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 368

Reading 12 COR 11:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me!
Please put up with me.
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God,
since I betrothed you to one husband
to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts may be corrupted
from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.
For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received
or a different gospel from the one you accepted,
you put up with it well enough.
For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these "superapostles."
Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge;
in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

Did I make a mistake when I humbled myself so that you might be exalted,
because I preached the Gospel of God to you without charge?
I plundered other churches by accepting from them
in order to minister to you.
And when I was with you and in need, I did not burden anyone,
for the brothers who came from Macedonia
supplied my needs.
So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.
By the truth of Christ in me,
this boast of mine shall not be silenced
in the regions of Achaia.
And why?  Because I do not love you?
God knows I do!

Responsorial PsalmPS 111:1B-2, 3-4, 7-8

R.(7a) Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaROM 8:15BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have received a spirit of adoption as sons
through which we cry: Abba! Father!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This is how you are to pray:

'Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.'

"If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Saint June 20 : St. Silverius a Pope who Died in 537

St. Silverius
Feast: June 20

Feast Day:June 20
Born:480 at Frosinone (in modern Italy)
Died:November 537
Patron of:Ponza, Italy
Dates of birth and death unknown. He was the son of Pope Hormisdas who had been married before becoming one of the higher clergy. Silverius entered the service of the Church and was subdeacon at Rome when Pope Agapetus died at Constantinople, 22 April, 536. The Empress Theodora, who favoured the Monophysites sought to bring about the election as pope of the Roman deacon Vigilius who was then at Constantinople and had given her the desired guarantees as to the Monophysites. However, Theodatus, King of the Ostrogoths, who wished to prevent the election of a pope connected with Constantinople, forestalled her, and by his influence the subdeacon Silverius was chosen. The election of a subdeacon as Bishop of Rome was unusual. Consequently, it is easy to understand that, as the author of the first part of the life of Silverius in the "Liber pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 210) relates, a strong opposition to it appeared among the clergy. This, however, was suppressed by Theodatus so that, finally, after Silverius had been consecrated bishop (probably on 8 June, 536) all the Roman presbyters gave their consent in writing to his elevation. The assertion made by the author just mentioned that Silverius secured the intervention of Theodatus by payment of money is unwarranted, and is to be explained by the writer's hostile opinion of the pope and the Goths. The author of the second part of the life in the "Liber pontificalis" is favourably inclined to Silverius. The pontificate of this pope belongs to an unsettled, disorderly period and he himself fell a victim to the intrigues of the Byzantine Court.

After Silverius had become pope the Empress Theodora sought to win him for the Monophysites. She desired especially to have him enter into communion with the Monophysite Patriarch of Constantinople, Anthimus, who had been excommunicated and deposed by Agapetus, and with Severus of Antioch. However, the pope committed himself to nothing and Theodora now resolved to overthrow him and to gain the papal see for Vigilius. Troublous times befell Rome during the struggle that broke out in Italy between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines after the death of Amalasuntha, daughter of Theodoric the Great. The Ostrogothic king, Vitiges, who ascended the throne in August, 536, besieged the city. The churches over the catacombs outside of the city were devastated, the graves of the martyrs in the catacombs themselves were broken open and desecrated. In December, 536, the Byzantine general Belisarius garrisoned Rome and was received by the pope in a friendly and courteous manner. Theodora sought to use Belisarius for the carrying out of her plan to depose Silverius and to put in his place the Roman deacon Vigilius, formerly apocrisary at Constantinople, who had now gone to Italy. Antonina, wife of Belisarius, influenced her husband to act as Theodora desired. By means of a forged letter the pope was accused of a treasonable agreement with the Gothic king who was besieging Rome. It was asserted that Silverius had offered the king to leave one of the city gates secretly open so as to permit the Goths to enter. Silverius was consequently arrested in March, 537, roughly stripped of his episcopal dress, given the clothing of a monk and carried off to exile in the East. Vigilius was consecrated Bishop of Rome in his stead.

Silverius was taken to Lycia where he was went to reside at Patara. The Bishop of Patara very soon discovered that the exiled pope was innocent. He journeyed to Constantinople and was able to lay before the Emperor Justinian such proofs of the innocence of the exile that the emperor wrote to Belisarius commanding a new investigation of the matter. Should it turn out that the letter concerning the alleged plot in favour of the Goths was forged, Silverius should be placed once more in possession of the papal see. At the same time the emperor allowed Silverius to return to Italy, and the latter soon entered the country, apparently at Naples. However, Vigilius arranged to take charge of his unlawfully deposed predecessor. He evidently acted in agreement with the Empress Theodora and was aided by Antonina, the wife of Belisarius. Silverius was taken to the Island of Palmaria in the Tyrrhenian Sea and kept their in close confinement. Here he died in consequence of the privations and harsh treatment he endured. The year of his death is unknown, but he probably did not live long after reachingPalmaria. He was buried on the island, according to the testimony of the "Liber pontificalis" on 20 June; his remains were never taken from Palmaria. According to the same witness he was invoked after death by the believers who visited his grave. In later times he was venerated as a saint. The earliest proof of this is given by a list of saints of the eleventh century (Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 1893, 169). The "Martyrologium" of Peter de Natalibus of the fourteenth century also contains his feast, which is recorded in the present Roman Martyrology on 20 June.

[Editor's note: According to the Liber Pontificalis, Pope St. Silverius was exiled not to Palmaria, but rather to the Island of Palmarola, a much smaller and more desolate island near Ponza, Italy, in the Bay of Naples.]

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis explains "We ask the Lord to let us experience a new Pentecost, which expands our hearts and tunes our feelings with those of Christ..." Full Text


St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles: 3. "Languages ​​like of fire" (Acts 2: 3). The Pentecost and the dynamis of the Spirit that inflames the human word and makes it the Gospel

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Fifty days after Easter, in that cenacle which is now their home and where the presence of Mary, mother of the Lord, is the element of cohesion, the Apostles live an event that exceeds their expectations. Gathered in prayer - prayer is the "lung" that gives breath to the disciples of all times; without prayer one cannot be a disciple of Jesus; without prayer we cannot be Christians! It is air, it is the lung of Christian life - they are surprised by the irruption of God. It is an irruption that does not tolerate the closed: it opens the doors through the force of a wind that remembers the ruah, the primordial breath , and fulfills the promise of "strength" made by the Risen One before his dismissal (see Acts 1,8). Suddenly, from above, "a roar, almost a wind that crashes down, and filled the whole house where they were" (Acts 2,2).
Then the fire is added to the wind which recalls the burning bush and the Sinai with the gift of the ten words (see Es 19,16-19). In the biblical tradition, fire accompanies the manifestation of God. In fire, God gives his living and energetic word (see Hebrews 4:12) which opens to the future; the fire symbolically expresses his work of heating, illuminating and testing hearts, his care in proving the resistance of human works, in purifying and revitalizing them. While at Sinai the voice of God is heard, in Jerusalem, on the feast of Pentecost, it is Peter who speaks, the rock on which Christ chose to build his Church. His word, weak and even capable of denying the Lord, crossed by the fire of the Spirit gains strength, becomes capable of piercing the hearts and moving to conversion. God in fact chooses what is weak in the world to confuse the strong (see 1 Cor 1:27).

The Church is thus born of the fire of love and of a "fire" that flares up at Pentecost and which manifests the strength of the Word of the Risen One imbued with the Holy Spirit. The new and definitive Covenant is founded no longer on a law written on stone tablets, but on the action of the Spirit of God who makes all things new and is engraved in hearts of flesh.

The word of the Apostles is imbued with the Spirit of the Risen One and becomes a new, different word, which however can be understood, as if it were translated simultaneously in all languages: in fact "each one heard them speaking in his own language" (Acts 2: 6). It is the language of truth and love, which is the universal language: even the illiterate can understand it. Everyone understands the language of truth and love. If you go with the truth of your heart, with sincerity, and go with love, everyone will understand you. Even if you can't speak, but with a caress, that is truthful and loving.

The Holy Spirit not only manifests itself through a symphony of sounds that unites and harmonically composes the differences but presents itself as the orchestra conductor who plays the scores of the praises for the "great works" of God. The Holy Spirit is the the creator of communion, it is the artist of reconciliation who knows how to remove the barriers between Jews and Greeks, between slaves and free, to make one body. He builds the community of believers by harmonizing the unity of the body and the multiplicity of the members. It makes the Church grow by helping it to go beyond human limits, sins and any scandal.

The wonder is so great, and someone wonders if those men are drunk. Then Peter intervenes on behalf of all the Apostles and rereads that event in the light of Joel 3, where a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit is announced. The followers of Jesus are not drunk, but live what Saint Ambrose calls "the sober intoxication of the Spirit", which turns prophecy through dreams and visions among the people of God. This prophetic gift is not reserved only for some, but for all those who invoke the name of the Lord.

From now on, from that moment, the Spirit of God moves hearts to welcome the salvation that passes through a Person, Jesus Christ, the One whom men have nailed to the wood of the cross and whom God has raised from the dead "freeing him from sorrows of death (Acts 2.24). It is He who has poured out that Spirit that orchestrates the polyphony of praise and that everyone can hear. As Benedict XVI said, "this is Pentecost: Jesus, and through Him God himself, comes to us and draws us into himself" (Homily, 3 June 2006). The Spirit works the divine attraction: God seduces us with his Love and thus involves us, to move history and initiate processes through which new life filters. Only the Spirit of God in fact has the power to humanize and fraternize every context, starting from those who welcome it.
We ask the Lord to let us experience a new Pentecost, which expands our hearts and tunes our feelings with those of Christ, so that we proclaim his transforming word without shame and bear witness to the power of love that calls to life all that it encounters.
Greetings in Various Languages:

Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de Suisse, de France et d'autres pays francophones, venant en particulier de Genève, de Paris et de La Guadeloupe. Alors que nous allons célébrer la fête du Corps et du Sang du Christ, je vous invite à donner a central place à la Eucharistie dans vos vies. Cest est nelle fait vivre de la vie du Christ. C est elle qui fait l'Eglise. Que Dieu vous bénisse!

[I cordially greet the pilgrims from Switzerland, France and other French-speaking countries, especially those in Geneva, Paris and Guadeloupe. The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, which we are about to celebrate is an invitation to give a central place to the Eucharist in your life. It is the Eucharist that makes us live the life of Christ and makes the Church. God bless you!]

I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today's audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Australia, India, Indonesia, Canada and the United States of America. My special greeting goes to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Youth Peace Messengers from Japan. I also greet the winners of the traditional Bible Contest of the Holy Land. On the whole of you I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

[I welcome the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Australia, India, Indonesia, Canada and the United States of America. I greet in particular the Young Messengers of Peace of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who have come from Japan. I also greet the winners of the traditional Biblical Competition in the Holy Land. Upon all I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!]

Herzlich heiße ich alle Brüder und Schwestern deutscher Sprache willkommen. Der Heilige Geist macht lebendig und führt uns in Christus als seine Kirche zusammen. Lassen wir uns von seiner Kraft verwandeln, um das Heil des Herrn zu verkünden und seinen Frieden und seine Versöhnung zu bezeugen, die die Welt so sehr braucht. Der Heilige Geist erleuchte und führe uns allezeit.

[I address a cordial welcome to the German-speaking brothers and sisters. The Holy Spirit gives life and unites us in Christ as his Church. Let us allow ourselves to be transformed by its strength to announce the salvation of the Lord and to bear witness to his peace and reconciliation which the world so much needs. May the Holy Spirit enlighten us and guide us always.]

I pay cordially to los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica; in a particular way to the pilgrims of the Diócesis de León, acompañados por su obispo, Msgr. Julián López Martín. I invite you to see the Señor experimenting a new Pentecosts in all the rooms, for the Parito clam dilate nuestro corazón haciéndolo semejante al de Cristo, y así podamos testiar to amor en medio del mundo y de las personas que nos rodean. Que Dios los bendiga.

Saúdo cordialmente os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, de especial way os grupos paroquiais do Rio de Janeiro and de Belo Horizonte and os fiéis de Aveiro: o Senhor vos encha de alegria and ilumine as decisões da vossa vida, para realizardes fielmente a vontade do Pai heavenly a vosso respeito. Rezai por mim. Não vos faltará a minha oração and Bênção de Deus.

[I cordially greet the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, especially the parish groups of Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte and the faithful of Aveiro: the Lord fill you with joy and enlighten the decisions of your life, so that you faithfully fulfill the will of the heavenly Father about you. Pray for me; you will not miss my prayer and God's Blessing.]

أرحب بالحاضرين الناطقين باللغة العربية ، وخاصة بالقادمين من العراق ، ومن الأردن ، ومن الشرق الأوسط. "إن الروح القدس هو من ينقل باستمرار من العدم إلى الخليقة ، ومن الفوضى إلى النظام ، ومن الارتباك إلى الانسجام ، من التشوه إلى الجمال ، من العتيق إلى الجديد". ليبارككم الرب جميعا ويحرسكم دائما من الشرير!

[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, in particular those from Iraq, Jordan and the Middle East. "The Holy Spirit is the one who continually moves from chaos to the cosmos, from disorder to order, from confusion to harmony, from deformity to beauty, from antiquity to novelty". May the Lord bless you and always protect you from the evil one!]

Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, uroczystość Najświętszego Ciała i Krwi Chrystusa, którą będziemy obchodzić, jest szczególną sposobnością do ożywienia naszej wiary w rzeczywistą obecność Pana w Eucharystii. Celebracja Mszy św., Adoracja eucharystyczna procesje ulicami miast i wsi niech będą świadectwem naszej czci i przylgnięcia do Chrystusa, który daje nam swoje Ciało i Krew, aby karmić nas swoją miłością i uczynić nas uczestnikami Jego życia w chwale Ojca. Niech Jego błogosławieństwo stale wam towarzyszy!
[I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, the solemnity of the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ, which we are about to celebrate, is a special opportunity to revive our faith in the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. The celebration of Holy Mass, Eucharistic adoration and processions in the streets of cities and towns are the testimony of our veneration and adherence to Christ who gives us His Body and Blood, to nourish us with His love and make us participants of His life in the glory of the Father. May your blessing always accompany you.]

* * *

I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims. In particular I greet the faithful of Ostuni, the children of the First Communion of Martinsicuro, the parents active in the contaminated areas of the Veneto, the soldiers of the naval team of Santa Rosa.

I am pleased to welcome the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds, especially the couples of the diocese of Tivoli. The day after tomorrow we will celebrate the liturgical memory of Saint Luigi Gonzaga, an admirable example of austerity and evangelical purity. Invoke him to help you build a friendship with Jesus that enables you to face your life with serenity.
FULL TEXT + Image Source Share from - Unofficial Translation

#BreakingNews over 150 people violently Killed in Nigeria by Fulani and Boko Haram - Please Pray

AFRICA/NIGERIA - Kidnapped priest released; over 150 violent deaths in a week
Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) – Fr. Isaac Agubi, a priest who serves at the Holy Name church of Ikpeshi, 230 km away from Benin City, capital of Edo State in southern Nigeria was released by the police. The priest had been kidnapped on June 16th along the Auchi-Igarra road, around 5 pm, as he was returning home after having celebrated mass. The police forces, helped by some hunters in the area, managed to identify where the kidnappers were in the forest. During the release of the priest one of the bandits was injured.
The kidnappers seem to belong to a group of Fulani, a nomadic shepherd ethnicity, who in Nigeria and other West African countries (where they are known as Peuls) have become protagonists of violent raids against other populations. In the last week in northern Nigeria, violence linked to the Fulani issue and others committed by Boko Haram, caused the death of over 150 people, while nine others were kidnapped.
In the State of Sokoto on June 15, 25 people lost their lives in raids, probably committed by the Fulani, in three villages. In a separate incident, a woman, and her stepson, were kidnapped by a gang of shepherds on Airport Road, in the city of Osi, in the state of Ondo, on their way to Sunday mass.
On 12 June an officer and 20 soldiers in the State of Borno were killed in the attack on a military formation. The Islamic State of West Africa (ISWA), then claimed responsibility for the attack.
On June 14, at least 34 people were killed in an assault by an armed group that attacked three villages in the area of Shinkafi in the State of Zamfara. The bandits, who arrived on motorcycles, set fire to the houses and shot all those they encountered.
A few days ago His Exc. Mgr. Augustine Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin City and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, had denounced "the unprecedented level of insecurity" (see Fides, 6/6/2019) and the "complete impunity" of who sows chaos and destruction in the Country. (L.M.) (Full Text Release by Agenzia Fides, 19/6/2019)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday June 19, 2019 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 367

Reading 12 COR 9:6-11

Brothers and sisters, consider this:
whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

You are being enriched in every way for all generosity,
which through us produces thanksgiving to God.

Responsorial PsalmPS 112:1BC-2, 3-4, 9

R.(1b) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

Saint June 19 : Saint Juliana Falconieri a Sister of the Servants of Mary or #Servite Order

Saint Juliana Falconieri

Saint Juliana Falconieri was born in 1270, in answer to prayer. Her father was the builder of the splendid church of the Annunziata in Florence, while her uncle, Saint Alexis Falconieri, became one of the seven Founders of the Servite Order. Under his surveillance Juliana grew up more like an angel than a human being, as he said. Her great modesty was remarkable; never during her entire lifetime did she look at her reflection in a mirror. The mere mention of sin made her shudder and tremble, and once, on hearing of a scandal, she fainted.

Her devotion to the sorrows of Our Lady drew her to the Servants of Mary or Servite Order, and at the age of fourteen, after refusing an offer of marriage, she received the habit from Saint Philip Benizi, General of the Order. Her sanctity attracted many novices, for whose direction she was bidden to draw up a rule, and thus she became foundress of the Mantellate.

She was the servant of her Sisters rather than their mistress, while outside her convent she led a life of apostolic charity, converting sinners, reconciling enemies, and healing the sick. She was sometimes rapt for whole days in ecstasy, and her prayers saved the Servite Order when it was in danger of being suppressed.

Saint Juliana in her old age suffered various painful illnesses. She was wasting away through a disease of the stomach which prevented her taking food, and bore her silent agony with constant cheerfulness, grieving only for the privation of Holy Communion. At last, when in her seventieth year she was at the point of death, she begged to be allowed once more to see and adore the Blessed Sacrament. It was brought to her cell and reverently laid on a corporal, which was placed over her heart. At this moment she expired, and the Sacred Host disappeared. After her death the form of the Host was found stamped upon her heart, at the exact spot over which the Blessed Sacrament had been placed. Saint Juliana died in her convent in Florence in 1340. Miracles have been frequently effected through her intercession.

Reflection. Meditate often, says Saint Paul of the Cross, on the sorrows of the Blessed Mother, sorrows inseparable from those of Her beloved Son. If you seek the Cross, there you will find the Mother; and where the Mother is, there also is the Son.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Saint June 19 : St. Romuald an Abbot and Founder of the #Camaldolese Order

St. Romuald
Feast: June 19Feast Day:
June 19
950 at Ravenna, Italy
19 June 1027 at Val-di-Castro, Italy
1582 by Pope Gregory XIII
Born at Ravenna, probably about 950; died at Val-di-Castro, 19 June, 1027. St. Peter Damian, his first biographer, and almost all the Camaldolese writers assert that St. Romuald's age at his death was one hundred and twenty, and that therefore he was born about 907. This is disputed by most modern writers. Such a date not only results in a series of improbabilities with regard to events in the saint's life, but is also irreconcilable with known dates, and probably was determined from some mistaken inference by St. Peter Damian. In his youth Romuald indulged in the usual thoughtless and even vicious life of the tenth-century noble, yet felt greatly drawn to the eremetical life. At the age of twenty, struck with horror because his father had killed an enemy in a duel, he fled to the Abbey of San Apollinare-in-Classe and after some hesitation entered religion. San Apollinare had recently been reformed by St. Maieul of Cluny, but still was not strict enough in its observance to satisfy Romuald. His injudicious correction of the less zealous aroused such enmity against him that he applied for, and was readily granted, permission to retire to Venice, where he placed himself under the direction of a hermit named Marinus and lived a life of extraordinary severity. About 978, Pietro Orseolo I, Doge of Venice, who had obtained his office by acquiescence in the murder of his predecessor, began to suffer remorse for his crime. On the advice of Guarinus, Abbot of San Miguel-de-Cuxa, in Catalonia, and of Marinus and Romuald, he abandoned his office and relations, and fled to Cuxa, where he took the habit of St. Benedict, while Romuald and Marinus erected a hermitage close to the monastery. For five years the saint lived a life of great austerity, gathering round him a band of disciples. Then, hearing that his father, Sergius, who had become a monk, was tormented with doubts as to his vocation, he returned in haste to Italy, subjected Sergius to severe discipline, and so resolved his doubts. For the next thirty years St. Romuald seems to have wandered about Italy, founding many monasteries and hermitages. For some time he made Pereum his favourite resting place. In 1005 he went to Val-di- Castro for about two years, and left it, prophesying that he would return to die there alone and unaided. Again he wandered about Italy; then attempted to go to Hungary, but was prevented by persistent illness. In 1012 he appeared at Vallombrosa, whence he moved into the Diocese of Arezzo. Here, according to the legend, a certain Maldolus, who had seen a vision of monks in white garments ascending into Heaven, gave him some  land, afterwards known as the Campus Maldoli, or Camaldoli. St. Romuald built on this land five cells for hermits, which, with the monastery at Fontebuono, built two years later, became the famous mother-house of the Camaldolese Order. In 1013 he retired to Monte-Sitria. In 1021 he went to Bifolco. Five years later he returned to Val-di-Castro where he died, as he had prophesied, alone in his cell. Many miracles were wrought at his tomb, over which an altar was allowed to be erected in 1032. In 1466 his body was found \still incorrupt; it was translated to Fabriano in 1481. In 1595 Clement VIII fixed his feast on 7 Feb., the day of the translation of his relics, and extended its celebration to the whole Church. He is represented in art pointing to a ladder on which are monks ascending to Heaven.

[Note: By the Apostolic Constitution Calendarium Romanum, promulgated in 1969, the feast of St. Romuald was assigned, as an "Optional Memorial," to 19 June, the day of his death.]

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

#BreakingNews Shooting inside Catholic Church Kills Catechist in Mexico - RIP Margeli Antonio

AMERICA MEXICO - Shooting in Church, catechist killed; the Bishops reaffirm their commitment to building peace
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
Chiapas (Agenzia Fides) - A catechist instructor was shot dead in the municipality of Acacoyagua, in a chapel in Chiapas state - another example of how the violence consuming Mexico is impacting the Catholic Church. The Bishop of the Diocese of Tapachula (Chiapas), Mgr. Jaime Calderón Calderón, in a video sent to Fides talks about the dynamics of the murder: "We were victims of the generalized violence that exists in the country. Yesterday (Saturday, June 15) at the end of catechists' training course in the church of the Immaculate Conception, of San Marcos Evangelista parish, two young men entered and started shooting, one of the bullets injured Margeli Lang Antonio, who died almost immediately. We are close to her family. As a diocesan family we cannot get used to these facts of violence that demonstrate a social and moral degradation of the human community". Mgr. Calderón asked the authorities to find those responsible as soon as possible.
During a press conference on Sunday afternoon, June 16, the Bishop stressed that "social decomposition is due to a lack of integral health of communities. When there is no work, when there is injustice, when there is impunity, when there is an excessive ambition for money, when people's lives have a price, what is put at the center is money, then everything has a price and whoever has the money is the one who commands ... When there are changes of the government there is a certain emptiness of authority and power ... ", the Bishop concluded.
Yesterday Fides received the statement of the Bishops’ Conference of Mexico (CEM) on the meeting of the CEM Presidency with Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of the Republic, in order "to begin fraternal dialogue with the will to collaborate in the construction of a more just society". The Bishops, the statement said, touched two fundamental themes: migration emergency and the construction of peace.
Regarding the first, "the Church continues to offer its resources: 95 dioceses, 10 thousand parishes, more than 130 hotels and thousands of pastoral workers throughout the Mexican territory engaged in the humanitarian mission and in the defense of human rights". The Presidency of the CEM therefore stressed that "greater joint collaboration is needed to guarantee the safety of migrants".
On the second issue, the Bishops intend to give their contribution to the reconstruction of the social fabric and the strengthening of the rule of law, through the Peace Building Plan, "which includes listening centers, centers for the defense of human rights, accompaniment of the victims and peace education workshops". "The suffering of so many Mexican families for violence and insecurity urgently calls for our fraternal collaboration", the text emphasizes.
The CEM statement concludes by recalling that other topics were also discussed at the meeting, and stressed that the Church intends to fulfill its mission by participating in the search for the common good, "in a line of positive secularism, in which the full exercise of religious freedom strengthens democracy". (CE) (FULL TEXT Source: Agenzia Fides, 18/06/2019)
Image source: Google Images Screen shot -

Government in Quebec passes Secularism Bill with Protests by Religious Groups and Bishops

The Quebec government released a strict secularism bill on June 16, 2019 with protests from religious organizations, and the bishops of Quebec. The Premier Francois Legault CAQ ("Coalition for Quebec's Future") party had a majority so they could pass the bill.  Bill 21 was voted into law by a 73-35 vote. Parti Quebecois also voted in favour of the law that prohibits the wearing of religious symbols by public service employees. 

The Bishops of Quebec released a declaration in opposition to the bill (see below)- 

Declaration of Catholic Bishops of Quebec
on the draft law on secularism of the State

Having noted that Bill 21 affects fundamental rights such as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, the Quebec Assembly of Catholic Bishops regrets that this legislative exercise is taking place without the religious organizations concerned having been invited to attend. participate directly. After having expressed ourselves in our press releases of March 6 and April 16, 2019, on behalf of the 31 bishops who minister on the territory of Quebec, we wish to speak again when the debate on this bill strongly polarizes Quebec society.

We think it is particularly important to intervene when the prospect of using the gag order to end parliamentary debates is an option that the government considers legitimate. Rather, we believe that a bill that has the effect of significantly limiting individual liberties must be studied with rigor and rush. We consider that every government has the responsibility to contribute, through its laws and actions, to the respect of the rights of each and every one of its citizens, as well as to a peaceful living together. Respect for the fair treatment of people and the enhancement of personal freedom have shaped the history of our nation. Quebec society is characterized by its pacifism, hospitality and tolerance, particularly in the face of the religious diversity we have tamed. This attitude has emerged gradually through discussion and frank dialogue, including within Christian communities. At this stage of the most recent debate, we are of the opinion that Bill 21 on the secularism of the state seriously forgets the legacy of this tradition.

Many citizens support the government's plan and we reaffirm our commitment to the principle of the inclusion of secularism and religious neutrality of the state in legislation. We also agree with the prohibition of the wearing of religious symbols by state employees who exercise coercive authority and who have a strict dress code. However, the measures affecting teachers reveal a lack of knowledge about religious life in society, as well as its cultural connotation. This lack of knowledge seems to us fueled by prejudices and fear. Rather than defuse them, these measures exacerbate them. While it is true that individuals have claimed, claimed and will probably still claim an interpretation of a particular religion to disturb public order and attack the dignity of other human beings, the vast majority of believers, all religious traditions combined, contribute positively to living together. On a daily basis, these people build a better society through their benevolent acceptance of others, their active solidarity with excluded and poor people, their hope for the future and their concern for peace.

Certain traditions incite or force the faithful to put on particular clothes or symbols, generally as a sign of humility. This phenomenon seems to be misunderstood, especially when we automatically consider any religious sign worn by a person as a tool of propaganda whose function is to convert those who see it. Mistrust inspired by certain dress practices related to a particular religious identity may be exacerbated by the discretion of some other religious groups to use explicit signs. For example, Christianity, which remains the declared religious affiliation of the vast majority of the population in Quebec, does not require its faithful to wear specific clothing or symbols.

We believe that the State Secularity Act, if it includes the prohibition of the wearing of religious symbols by teachers, will increase unjustified mistrust. We believe that it is better to fight prejudices and fear of the other in a rational way, by educating people about the diversity of religious, spiritual and cultural experiences and traditions, rather than by prohibitions.

On the other hand, while we welcome the government's recent effort to specify in the Act what a religious sign is, the proposed definition only adds to the confusion. This definition, which includes a subjective criterion and a so-called objective criterion, will oblige representatives of the secular state to judge repeatedly the religious or non-religious character of various objects. This dynamic has an effect totally opposite to that sought by the assertion of secularity and neutrality of the state.
The Québec government should seek to develop and promote a better understanding of religions and a better social and professional integration of religious and cultural minorities. We are convinced that the government can do this while affirming and safeguarding its secularism. It could, for example, consider the establishment of an observatory of the religious fact, to document and analyze the cultural and religious transformations that we live and participate in collective education, from a perspective of neutrality. Such an approach would clearly show that the government is concerned first and foremost with the common good and the integrity of the human person, which means taking into account all of its needs, including spiritual and religious needs.

We believe that Bill 21, as it stands now, will fuel fear and intolerance, rather than contributing to social peace. We therefore call on members of the government and all Quebecers to promote important amendments to this project, in order to seek more to welcome than to exclude, to understand that to reject. We denounce the fact that the prohibition of the wearing of religious symbols by teachers will have an impact on the access to employment and social integration of young people who belong to religious and cultural minorities, and who want to contribute positively to active in Quebec society by becoming teachers.

Finally, whether the State Secularity Act is adopted as is or in an amended version, we must collectively seriously consider the following things. We must seize the opportunity to reduce the current social polarization through dialogue. In the recent history of Quebec, bishops have sought to be active and committed partners, less concerned with defending their interests than with contributing to the construction of a modern, open, serene, just and welcoming society. diversity of its citizens. We proudly recall that the major players in the secularization of Quebec, including Bishop Alphonse-Marie Parent, were believers. It is in this spirit of citizenship and in a search for conciliation that we wanted to speak, while Quebec is experiencing historic moments.

June 14, 2019

Altar set on Fire in Historic Catholic Church in Germany and Woman uses Holy Water to Save the Church

A beautiful historic Catholic church in Bad Durrheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg was purposely set on fire. A previously unknown perpetrator on Wednesday, June 5, 2019  set the approximately 300-year-old high altar in the church of St. John on fire. The police headquarters Tuttlingen announced. It was saved thanks to an attentive church visitor.

According to the police, the woman entered the church around 18:40. When she entered, she noticed a burning smell and saw that all the candles in the church had been lit. When the woman looked more closely, she noticed a burning flower pot on the altar. According to the information, the fire had already spread to the wood panel of the altar at this time. Immediately afterward, the woman immediately extinguished the fire with holy water.

As the police noted, the amount of property damage has not yet been quantified. The Criminal Investigation Villingen had taken over the investigation and looking for witnesses who had between 17 and 18:40 clock around the church made suspicious observations. (Stz)

Vatican Releases Synod Document with Possibility of Ordination of Married Men in Amazon

Synod for the Amazon: ‘Instrumentum Laboris’ released
The ‘Instrumentum Laboris’ (the Working Document) of the upcoming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region is released in the Vatican. The Synod takes place from 6 to 27 October 2019 on the theme “Amazonia: new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology ".
By Christiane Murray and Linda Bordoni

At the heart of the Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris is the cry of the Amazon that asks the Church to be its ally in reaching out to everyone, especially to the poor, as they seek true fulfillment and human dignity in their lives.

The Working Document was presented to the press on Monday, June 17, by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. It is the result of a listening process that began with Pope Francis' visit to Puerto Maldonado in Peru, in January 2018, and continued with consultations throughout the Amazon Region and a Second Meeting of the Pre-Synodal Council last May.

Listen to God, that with him we may hear the cry of the people;until breathing in the desire to which God calls us

Amazonia, at the heart of South America, encompasses a region of 7.8 million square kilometers. It  includes territory that belongs to nine different nations: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana.  Its 5.3 million square kilometer rainforest is the largest in the world and is an irreplaceable source of fresh water, oxygen and biodiversity for the planet.

“The Voice of the Amazon” is the title of the first part of the document and it presents the reality of the territory and of its peoples. It focusses on the relationship between life and water highlighting how the great rivers flowing through the region are crucial not only for the flora and the fauna of the territory and of the earth, but for the livelihood, culture and spirituality of thousands of indigenous communities, other minorities, and farmers who live in the Amazon region.

Life is threatened
Life in the Amazon is threatened by environmental destruction and exploitation, by the systematic violation of the fundamental human rights of the Amazon population: in particular, by the violation of the rights of the indigenous peoples, such as the right to land, to self-determination, to the delimitation of land, to consultation and prior consent.

According to the communities that took part in the synodal listening process, their life is threatened by the economic and political interests of the dominant sectors of today's society, in particular of the mining companies. Also, climate change and increased human intervention (deforestation, fires and the change of land use) have put the Amazon on a path of no return, with high rates of deforestation, forced displacement of peoples and pollution that puts its ecosystems at risk and exerts pressure on local cultures.

The cry of the earth and of the poor
In the second part, the document analysis issues and offers suggestions relating to integral ecology.  As reports by the local Churches received by the General Secretariat of the Synod express, Amazonia today is a “wounded and deformed beauty, a place of pain and violence”.

Violence, chaos and corruption are rampant. The territory has become a place of strife and of extermination of peoples, cultures and generations

There are those who are forced to leave their land; often they fall into criminal networks, drug trafficking and trafficking in human beings (especially the women), child labour and prostitution.  It is a tragic and complex reality, beyond the boundaries of the law and of rights.

Territory of hope and "good living"
The original Amazonian peoples have much to teach us. For thousands of years they have taken care of their land, water and forest, and have managed to preserve them to this day so that humanity can benefit of the free gifts of God's creation.  New paths of evangelization must be built in dialogue with ancestral wisdom in which the seeds of the Word are manifested.

The Synod of the Amazon is a sign of hope for the people of the Amazon and for humanity

Peoples in the peripheries
The Working Document also analyses the situation of Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation. According to data from specialized ecclesiastical institutions there are between 110 and 130 different voluntarily isolated indigenous peoples, living on the margins of society or in sporadic contact with it. They are vulnerable to threats from drug traffickers, mega infrastructure projects and illegal activities linked to the extractive industry.

Amazonian peoples going forth
The Amazon is one of the regions with the highest internal and international mobility in Latin America.  According to statistics, the urban population of the Amazon has increased exponentially; currently between 70 and 80% of the population lives in cities, which permanently receive a large number of people migrating to them and are unable to provide the essential services that migrants need. Although the Church has accompanied this migratory flow, it has left pastoral gaps that need to be filled.

A Prophetic Church in the Amazon: Challenges and Hopes
Finally, the last part of the Working Document invites the Synod Fathers of the Amazon to discuss the second point of the theme proposed by the Pope: new paths for the Church in the region.

Local communities need a Church that participates, that is present in the social, political, economic, cultural and ecological life of its inhabitants; a Church that is welcoming towards cultural, social and ecological diversity in order to be able to serve individuals or groups without discrimination; a creative Church that can accompany its people in the implementation of new responses to urgent needs; a harmonious Church that promotes the values of peace, mercy and communion.

The Sacraments and popular piety
Communities frequently find it difficult to celebrate the Eucharist because of the lack of priests. “The Church draws her life from the Eucharist” and the Eucharist builds up the Church. For this reason, instead of leaving communities without the Eucharist, the criteria for the selection and preparation of ministers authorized to celebrate it should be changed. The communities ask for greater appreciation, accompaniment and for the promotion of popular piety with which many people express their faith through images, symbols, traditions, rites and other sacraments. It is the manifestation of wisdom and spirituality that constitutes an authentic theological place with a great evangelizing potential.

It would be appropriate to reconsider the idea that the exercise of jurisdiction (power of government) must be linked to all areas (sacramental, judicial, administrative) and permanently, to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

New ministries
In addition to the plurality of cultures within the Amazon, distances generate a serious pastoral problem that cannot be solved by mechanical and technological means alone. It is necessary to promote indigenous vocations of men and women in response to the needs of sacramental pastoral care; their decisive contribution lies in the impulse to authentic evangelization from an indigenous point of view, according to their customs and habits. They are indigenous people who preach to indigenous people with a profound knowledge of their culture and language, capable of communicating the message of the Gospel with the strength and effectiveness of those who have their own cultural background.

It is necessary to move from a “Church that visits” to a “Church that remains”, accompanies and is present through local ministers.

Affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, the Document states that, for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility of priestly ordination be studied for married men with families. The clause, that aims to ensure the Sacraments that accompany and support Christian life, specifies that these men must preferably be indigenous elders who are respected and accepted by their community.

Role of women
The kind of official ministry that can be conferred on women is still to be identified, taking into account the central role women play today in the Church in the Amazon.

It is demanded that the role of women be recognized, starting from their charisms and talents. They ask to re-appropriate themselves of the space given to women by Jesus, “where we can all find ourselves.” There is also a proposal to guarantee them their leadership, as well as wider and more relevant spaces in the field of formation: theology, catechesis, liturgy and schools of faith and politics.

Consecrated life
It is proposed, therefore, to promote an alternative and prophetic model for consecrated life, which is inter-congregational and inter-institutional. Above all, it must have a sense of readiness “to be where no one wants to be and with whom no one wants to be with”. It is recommended that formation for religious life should include processes focused on interculturality, inculturation and dialogue.

The document also highlights an important phenomenon to be taken into account, namely the rapid growth of recent evangelical churches of Pentecostal origin, especially in the peripheries: “They show us another way of being church, where the people feel protagonists and where the faithful can express themselves freely without censorship, dogmatism or ritual discipline”.

Church and power: the path of the cross and martyrdom
Being Church in Amazonia means to prophetically put power into question, because in this region people do not have the opportunity to assert their rights against large economic enterprises and political institutions. Today, to question power in the defense of land and human rights, means to put one's life at risk, opening a “path of the cross and martyrdom”. The number of martyrs in the Amazon is alarming (e.g. in Brazil alone, between 2003 and 2017, 1.119 indigenous people were killed for defending their land). The Church cannot remain indifferent to this; on the contrary, it must support the protection of human rights defenders and remember its martyrs, including women leaders, such as Sister Dorothy Stang.

During the time it took to draw up the Instrumentum Laboris, the voice of the Amazon was listened to in the light of faith; an attempt was made to respond to the cry of the people and of the Amazon for new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology in order to foster the capacity for prophecy in Amazonia. These Amazonian voices call upon the Synod of Bishops to give a new response to different situations and to seek new paths that make a kairós possible for the Church and the world.
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican