Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Saint August 28 : St. Moses the Black : Patron of Africa




Information:
Feast Day:
August 28
Born:
330; Ethiopian ancestry
Died: 405, Scetes, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Paromeos Monastery, Scetes, Egypt
Patron of:
Africa
Moses the Black, sometimes called the Ethiopian, was a slave of a government official in Egypt who dismissed him for theft and suspected murder. He became the leader of a gang of bandits who roamed the Nile Valley spreading terror and violence. He was a large, imposing figure. On one occasion, a barking dog prevented Moses from carrying out a robbery, so he swore vengeance on the owner. Weapons in his mouth, Moses swam the river toward the owner's hut. The owner, again alerted, hid, and the frustrated Moses took some of his sheep to slaughter. Attempting to hide from local authorities, he took shelter with some monks in a colony in the desert of Scete, near Alexandria. The dedication of their lives, as well as their peace and contentment, influenced Moses deeply. He soon gave up his old way of life and joined the monastic community at Scete.

Attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell, Moses fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he didn't think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them. The overwhelmed robbers repented, were converted, and themselves joined the community.

Moses was zealous in all he did, but became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, St. Isidore, abbot of the community, took Brother Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isidore told Moses, "Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative."

Moses proved to be effective as a prophetic spiritual leader. The abbot ordered the brothers to fast during a particular week. Some brothers came to Moses, and he prepared a meal for them. Neighboring monks reported to the abbot that Moses was breaking the fast. When they came to confront Moses, they changed their minds, saying "You did not keep a human commandment, but it was so that you might keep the divine commandment of hospitality." Some see in this account one of the earliest allusions to the Paschal fast, which developed at this time.

When a brother committed a fault and Moses was invited to a meeting to discuss an appropriate penance, Moses refused to attend. When he was again called to the meeting, Moses took a leaking jug filled with water and carried it on his shoulder. Another version of the story has him carrying a basket filled with sand. When he arrived at the meeting place, the others asked why he was carrying the jug. He replied, "My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another." On hearing this, the assembled brothers forgave the erring monk.

Moses became the spiritual leader of a colony of hermits in the desert. At some time, he had been ordained priest. At about age 75, about the year 407, word came that a group of renegades planned to attack the colony. The brothers wanted to defend themselves, but Moses forbade it. He told them to retreat, rather than take up weapons. He and seven others remained behind and greeted the invaders with open arms, but all eight were martyred by the bandits. A modern interpretation honors St. Moses the Black as an apostle of non-violence.
The lives of St. Moses the Black and St. Norbert, contain some interesting parallels. Both lived rather dissolute lives in their younger years. Both had conversion experiences in which they heard and heeded the call of God. Both were leaders in their respective religious communities. Both are known as men of peace, having spent much of their ministry calling people to reconciliation and forgiveness by word and example.
(Edited from: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmosestheblack.asp

Pope Francis "...to forgive and to love, and to resemble Jesus.” Text/Video Angelus


Pope Francis at weekly General Audience
27/08/

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday said that in a Christian community division is one of the worst sins because it comes not from God. He made the comment during weekly General Audience on Wednesday in St Peter’s Square.
The importance of unity was at the heart of Pope Francis’ catechesis at his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, telling the estimated ten thousand pilgrims and tourists present in St Peter’s Square that “ while we, the members of the Church, are sinners, the unity and holiness of the Church arise from God and call us daily to conversion.
The Holy Father said that the sins against unity, such as jealousy, envy, and  antipathy come about when we place ourselves at the centre and even occur even in our parish communities. 
Then the Pope underlined that in a Christian community division is one of the worst sins because it comes not from God but from the Devil.
God’s will, stressed Pope Francis “is that we grow in our capacity to welcome one another, to forgive and to love, and to resemble Jesus.” 
Giving an example of Christ’s unity and Holiness at work, Pope Francis recounted a story he had heard about an elderly woman who, all her life worked for her parish. She was a women who never gossiped, never spoke ill of anyone and always had a smile on her face. This is the kind of woman, said the Pope that could be “canonized tomorrow”. This, the Holy Father noted, is the holiness of the Church – “to recognize the image of God in one another”.
Concluding his Catechesis, the Holy Father asked that we all examine our consciences and look for forgiveness “for the times when we have given rise to division or misunderstanding in our communities and may our relationships mirror more beautifully and joyfully the unity of Jesus and the Father.”

Pope Francis meets with Dr. Paul Bhatti former Minister of Pakistan

Pope Francis embraces Paul Bhatti, former Pakistani Minister for Minority Affairs and brother of the assassinated member of the Pakistani National Assembly Shahbaz Bhatti.
27/08/
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis met briefly Wednesday with Dr. Paul Bhatti, former Pakistani Minister for National Harmony and Minorities.  Dr. Bhatti attended the weekly General Audience where he and his mother, both Catholics, had an opportunity to speak with the Pope.  Bhatti, whose brother Shabhaz was assassinated by Islamic extremists as Pakistan’s first Minister for Minority Affairs in 2011, says Pope Francis is a father figure for the world’s persecuted Christians.  Bhatti and his mother invited Pope Francis to visit Pakistan’s small Christian community and said their meeting with the Pope was a special moment.
In the interview, Bhatti criticizes the international community's complacency in speaking out against persecution against Christians and says the root causes of religious extremism and terrorism must be identified and dealt with.  He also speaks about the courage of some Muslims who come to the defense of Christians and condemns the “abuse of children” who are sometimes “brainwashed” as early as the age of 6 to kill.

Novena Prayer to St. Monica - Patron of Mothers

PRAYER TO
NOVENA TO SAINT MONICA

(Say this for 9 Days)

Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
You perserveringly pursued your wayward son
Not with wild threats 
But with prayerful cries to heaven. 

Intercede for all mothers in our day 
So that they may learn 
To draw their children to God. 


Teach them how to remain
Close to their children, 
Even the prodigal sons and daughters 
Who have sadly gone astray. 

Dear St Monica, troubled wife and mother, 
Many sorrows pierced your heart
During your lifetime. 
Yet you never despaired or lost faith. 
With confidence, persistence and profound faith, 
You prayed daily for the conversion
Of your beloved husband, Patricius 
And your beloved son, Augustine. 

Grant me that same fortitude, 
Patience and trust in the Lord. 
Intercede for me, dear St. Monica, 
That God may favorably hear my plea 
For 

[State your petition here.) 

And grant me the grace 
To accept his will in all things, 
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, 
In the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
One God forever and ever.

Amen.
Pray Hail Mary 3 times 
Pray Glory Be 3 times 
St. Monica, pray for us

Today's Mass Readings : Wednesday August 26, 2014


Memorial of Saint Monica
Lectionary: 427


Reading 12 THES 3:6-10, 16-18

We instruct you, brothers and sisters,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to shun any brother
who walks in a disorderly way
and not according to the tradition they received from us.
For you know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked,
so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that
if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.

May the Lord of peace himself
give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you.

This greeting is in my own hand, Paul’s.
This is the sign in every letter; this is how I write.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Responsorial Psalm PS 128:1-2, 4-5

R. (1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Gospel MT 23:27-32

Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”