Friday, July 22, 2016

Saint July 23 : St. Bridget of Sweden : Patron of #Widows and #Europe

Born:
1303 at Finsta Castle, Uppsala, Sweden
Died:
23 July 1373 at Rome, Italy
Canonized:
7 October 1391 by Pope Boniface IX
Major Shrine:
Vadstena
Patron of:
Europe, Sweden, Widows
The most celebrated saint of the Northern kingdoms, born about 1303; died 23 July, 1373. Early life
She was the daughter of Birger Persson, governor and provincial judge (Lagman) of Uppland, and of Ingeborg Bengtsdotter. Her father was one of the wealthiest landholders of the country, and, like her mother, distinguished by deep piety. St. Ingrid, whose death had occurred about twenty years before Bridget's birth, was a near relative of the family. Birger's daughter received a careful religious training, and from her seventh year showed signs of extraordinary religious impressions and illuminations. To her education, and particularly to the influence of an aunt who took the place of Bridget's mother after the latter's death (c. 1315), she owed that unswerving strength of will which later distinguished her.
Marriage
In 1316, at the age of thirteen, she was united in marriage to Ulf Gudmarsson, who was then eighteen. She acquired great influence over her noble and pious husband, and the happy marriage was blessed with eight children, among them St. Catherine of Sweden. The saintly life and the great charity of Bridget soon made her name known far and wide. She was acquainted with several learned and pious theologians, among them Nicolaus Hermanni, later Bishop of Linköping, Matthias, canon of Linköping, her confessor, Peter, Prior of Alvastrâ, and Peter Magister, her confessor after Matthias. She was later at the court of King Magnus Eriksson, over whom she gradually acquired great influence. Early in the forties (1341-43) in company with her husband she made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. On the return journey her husband was stricken with an attack of illness, but recovered sufficiently to finish the journey. Shortly afterwards, however, he died (1344) in the Cistercian monastery of Alvastrâ in East Gothland.
Widowhood
Bridget now devoted herself entirely to practices of religion and asceticism, and to religious undertakings. The visions which she believed herself to have had from her early childhood now became more frequent and definite. She believed that Christ Himself appeared to her, and she wrote down the revelations she then received, which were in great repute during the Middle Ages. They were translated into Latin by Matthias Magister and Prior Peter.
St. Bridget now founded a new religious congregation, the Brigittines, or Order of St. Saviour, whose chief monastery, at Vadstena, was richly endowed by King Magnus and his queen (1346). To obtain confirmation for her institute, and at the same time to seek a larger sphere of activity for her mission, which was the moral uplifting of the period, she journeyed to Rome in 1349, and remained there until her death, except while absent on pilgrimages, among them one to the Holy Land in 1373. In August, 1370, Pope Urban V confirmed the Rule of her congregation. Bridget made earnest representations to Pope Urban, urging the removal of the Holy See from Avignon back to Rome. She accomplished the greatest good in Rome, however, by her pious and charitable life, and her earnest admonitions to others to adopt a better life, following out the excellent precedents she had set in her native land. The year following her death her remains were conveyed to the monastery at Vadstena. She was canonized, 7 October, 1391, by Boniface IX.

Special #Prayer to St. Mary Magdalen by St. Anselm and #Litany

PRAYER TO ST. MARY MAGDALEN BY ST. ANSELM:  Feast July 22
Patroness of Women, penitent sinners, pharmacists, prostitutes, sexual temptations, hairdressers.
Prayer-
St Mary Magdalene, you came with springing tears to the spring of mercy, Christ; from him your burning thirst was abundantly refreshed through him your sins were forgiven; by him your bitter sorrow was consoled.
My dearest lady, well you know by your own life how a sinful soul can be reconciled with its creator, what counsel a soul in misery needs, what medicine will restore the sick to health.
It is enough for us to understand, dear friend of God, to whom were many sins forgiven, because she loved much.
Most blessed lady, I who am the most evil and sinful of men do not recall your sins as a reproach, but call upon the boundless mercy by which they were blotted out.
This is my reassurance, so that I do not despair; this is my longing, so that I shall not perish.
I say this of myself, miserably cast down into the depths of vice, bowed down with the weight of crimes, thrust down by my own hand into a dark prison of sins, wrapped round with the shadows of darkness.
Therefore, since you are now with the chosen because you are beloved and are beloved because you are chosen of God, 1, in my misery, pray to you, in bliss; in my darkness, I ask for light; in my sins, redemption; impure, I ask for purity.
Recall in loving kindness what you used to be, how much you needed mercy, and seek for me that same forgiving love that you received when you were wanting it. Ask urgently that I may have the love that pierces the heart; tears that are humble; desire for the homeland of heaven; impatience with this earthly exile; searing repentance; and a dread of torments in eternity.
Turn to my good that ready access that you once had and still have to the spring of mercy.
Draw me to him where I may wash away my sins; bring me to him who can slake my thirst; pour over me those waters that will make my dry places fresh. You will not find it hard to gain all you desire from so loving and so kind a Lord, who is alive and reigns and is your friend.

For who can tell, beloved and blest of God, with what kind familiarity and familiar kindness he himself replied on your behalf to the calumnies of those who were against you? How he defended you, when the proud Pharisee was indignant, how he excused you, when your sister complained, how highly he praised your deed, when Judas begrudged it.
And, more than all this, what can I say, how can I find words to tell, about the burning love with which you sought him, weeping at the sepulchre, and wept for him in your seeking?
How he came, who can say how or with what kindness, to comfort you, and made you burn with love still more; how he hid from you when you wanted to see him, and showed himself when you did not think to see him; how he was there all the time you sought him, and how he sought you when, seeking him, you wept.
But you, most holy Lord, why do you ask her why she weeps?
Surely you can see; her heart, the dear life of her soul, is cruelly slain.
O love to be wondered at;
O evil to be shuddered at;
you hung on the wood, pierced by iron nails, stretched out like a thief for the mockery of wicked men; and yet, 'Woman,' you say, 'why are you weeping?' She had not been able to prevent them from killing you, but at least she longed to keep your body for a while with ointments lest it decay.
No longer able to speak with you living, at least she could mourn for you dead. So, near to death and hating her own life, she repeats in broken tones the words of life which she had heard from the living.
And now, besides all this, even the body which she was glad, in a way, to have kept, she believes to have gone.
And can you ask her, 'Woman, why are you weeping?'
Had she not reason to weep?
For she had seen with her own eyes--if she could bear to look--what cruel men cruelly did to you; and now all that was left of you from their hands she thinks she has lost.
All hope of you has fled, for now she has not even your lifeless body to remind her of you.
And someone asks, 'Who are you looking for? Why are you weeping?'
You, her sole joy, should be the last thus to increase her sorrow. But you know it all well, and thus you wish it to be, for only in such broken words and sighs can she convey a cause of grief as great as hers. The love you have inspired you do not ignore,
And indeed you know her well, the gardener, who planted her soul in his garden. What you plant, I think you also water.
Do you water, I wonder, or do you test her?
In fact, you are both watering and putting to the test.
But now, good Lord, gentle Master, look upon your faithful servant and disciple, so lately redeemed by your blood, and see how she burns with anxiety, desiring you, searching all round, questioning, and what she longs for is nowhere found.
Nothing she sees can satisfy her, since you whom alone she would behold, she sees not.
What then?
How long will my Lord leave his beloved to suffer thus?
Have you put off compassion now you have put on incorruption? Did you let go of goodness when you laid hold of immortality?
Let it not be so, Lord.
You will not despise us mortals now you have made yourself immortal, for you made yourself a mortal in order to give us immortality.
And so it is; for love's sake he cannot bear her grief for long or go on hiding himself. For the sweetness of love he shows himself who would not for the bitterness of tears.
The Lord calls his servant by the name she has often heard and the servant knows the voice of her own Lord.
I think, or rather I am sure, that she responded to the gentle tone with which he was accustomed to call, 'Mary'. What joy filled that voice, so gentle and full of love.
He could not have put it more simply and clearly:

'I know who you are and what you want; behold me; do not weep, behold me; I am he whom you seek.'

At once the tears are changed; I do not believe that they stopped at once, but where once they were wrung from a heart broken and self-tormenting they flow now from a heart exulting. How different is, 'Master!' from 'If you have taken him away, tell me'; and, 'They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him,' has a very different sound from,
'I have seen the Lord, and he has spoken to me.'
But how should I, in misery and without love, dare to describe the love of God and the blessed friend of God? Such a flavour of goodness will make my heart sick if it has in itself nothing of that same virtue.
But in truth, you who are very truth, you know me well and can testify that I write this for the love of your love, my Lord, my most dear Jesus.
I want your love to burn in me as you command so that I may desire to love you alone and sacrifice to you a troubled spirit, 'a broken and a contrite heart'.
Give me, 0 Lord, in this exile, the bread of tears and sorrow for which I hunger more than for any choice delights.
Hear me, for your love, and for the dear merits of your beloved Mary, and your blessed Mother, the greater Mary.
Redeemer, my good Jesus, do not despise the prayers of one who has sinned against you but strengthen the efforts of a weakling that loves you.
Shake my heart out of its indolence, Lord, and in the ardour of your love bring me to the everlasting sight of your glory where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, God, for ever. Amen.
ATTRIBUTED TO ST. ANSELM

LITANY to St. Mary Magdalene

Prayer:
Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, have mercy on us. 
Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, hear us. 
Christ, graciously hear us.
 Holy Mary, Mother of God, 
Saint Mary Magdalene, Pray for us. 
Sister of Martha and Lazarus, Pray for us. 
Who didst enter the Pharisee's house to anoint the feet of Jesus, Pray for us. 
Who didst wash His feet with thy tears, Pray for us. 
Who didst dry them with thy hair, Pray for us. 
Who didst cover them with kisses, Pray for us. 
Who wast vindicated by Jesus before the proud Pharisee, Pray for us. 
Who from Jesus received the pardon of thy sins, Pray for us. 
Who before darkness wast restored to light, Pray for us. 
Mirror of penance, R 
Disciple of Our Lord,Pray for us. Wounded with the love of Christ, Pray for us. Most dear to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us. Constant woman, Pray for us. Last at the Cross of Jesus, first at His tomb, Pray for us. Thou who wast the first to see Jesus risen, Pray for us. Whose forehead was sanctified by the touch of thy risen Master, Pray for us. Apostle of apostles, Pray for us. Who didst choose the "better part,"Pray for us. Who lived for many years in solitude being miraculously fed, Pray for us. Who wast visited by angels seven times a day, Pray for us. Sweet advocate of sinners, Pray for us. Spouse of the King of Glory, Pray for us.
V. Saint Mary Magdalene, earnestly intercede for us with thy Divine Master R. That we may share thy happiness in heaven.
Let us pray. May the glorious merits of blessed Mary Magdalene, we beseech Thee, O Lord, make our offerings acceptable to Thee: for Thine only-begotten Son vouchsafed graciously to accept the humble service she rendered. Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. R. Amen.
May the prayers of blessed Mary Magdalene help us, O Lord : for it was in answer to them that Thou didst call her brother Lazarus, four days after death, back from the grave to life. Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, Unity in Trinity, world without end. R. Amen.
Prayer Source: Kyrie Eleison — Two Hundred Litanies by Benjamin Francis Musser O.F.M., The Magnificat Press, 1944

#BreakingNews Shooting Spree at Mall - 9 Killed at McDonald's - many injured - Please PRAY

A Shooting spree' has occurred at Munich shopping mall in Germany. UPDATE: The killer, who shot himself, was an 18-year-old German of Iranian descent. His name was Ali David Sonboly; police say the attack was not terrorism and that Ali was psychologically troubled.Gunfire was heard on Friday at a shopping center in Munich, Germany. UPDATED: At least 9 were killed and others are wounded. Authorities shut down public transportation and have warned people to stay home. The shooting occurred at the  McDonald's across from the Olympia shopping mall. The shooting at the McDonald's happened around 5:50 p.m. (11:50 a.m. ET). Gunfire was reported in several locations. PLEASE PRAY for Peace.

#PopeFrancis writes preface for New book on Mother Teresa founder of the Missionaries of Charity


(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has written the preface to a new book on Mother Teresa entitled “let us love those who are unloved” that is based on two speeches given by her during a meeting with young people and with religious sisters in Milan in 1973. Founder of the Missionaries of Charity order, Mother Teresa will be proclaimed a saint by Pope Francis on September 4th.  In his preface, the Pope reflected on the five themes of prayer, charity, works of mercy, family and young people.
Pope Francis noted that Mother Teresa always began her day by going to Mass and ended it with the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In this way, he said, it’s possible to transform our work into prayer. If we enter into the feelings of Jesus we can savour life and give a renewed look to those we meet. 
Turning next to charity, the Pope explained that this means being close to all those on the peripheries that we meet every day, feeling compassion for those who are the least in terms of body and spirit and to bear witness to God’s caress for every wound of humanity. 
When it comes to works of mercy, Pope Francis reminded that we are called to take care of every person with works of corporal and spiritual mercy. He said this is a way to reawaken our consciences that often have become dormant when faced with the harsh reality of poverty in order to enter more fully into the heart of the Gospel where the poor are the recipients of divine mercy.
Looking next at the family, the Pope noted that this is where we learn from our parents to smile and forgive each other, to welcome and sacrifice ourselves for others, to give without expecting anything in return, to pray and suffer together, to rejoice and help each other, just like Mother Teresa urged us to do.
Concluding by turning to the theme of young people, Pope Francis spoke of the upcoming World Youth Day gathering in Krakow, Poland and urged young people to serve the poor and to be builders of bridges that tear down the logic of division, rejection and fear of others.  He also appealed to them to face up with courage to life, describing it as a gift of God. 
In the book, Mother Teresa states that "the greatest disease is not leprosy or tuberculosis but loneliness."  This, she said, "is the cause of so many conflicts, divisions and wars that afflict us nowadays."

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday July 22, 2016 - #Eucharist


Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene
Lectionary: 603


Reading 1SGS 3:1-4B

The Bride says:
On my bed at night I sought him
whom my heart loves–
I sought him but I did not find him.
I will rise then and go about the city;
in the streets and crossings I will seek
Him whom my heart loves.
I sought him but I did not find him.
The watchmen came upon me,
as they made their rounds of the city:
Have you seen him whom my heart loves?
I had hardly left them
when I found him whom my heart loves.

OR 2 COR 5:14-17

Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us,
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.

Responsorial PsalmPS 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

R. (2) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Tell us, Mary, what did you see on the way?
I saw the glory of the risen Christ, I saw his empty tomb.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 20:1-2, 11-18

On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her,
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her.

#PopeFrancis issues "Seeking the Face of God" for Nuns - New Apostolic Constitution for Women Contemplatives

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican on Friday published a new Apostolic Constitution,Vultum Dei quaerere (Seeking the Face of God), On Women’s Contemplative Life. 
 The promotion of anadequate formation; the centrality of prayer and of the word of God, especially in lectio divina; specific criteria for the autonomy of contemplative communities; and membership of monasteries within federations are some of the main points addressed by Pope Francis in the new Apostolic Constitution.
In the introduction to Vultum Dei quaerere, Pope Francis explains the motivation behind the document, noting the journey the Church has undergone, and “the rapid progress of human history,” in the fifty years since the Second Vatican Council. From that starting point, the Pope points out the need “to weave a dialogue” with contemporary society, while preserving the “fundational values” of contemplative life – silence, attentive listening, the call to an interior life, stability. Through these values, the Pope says, contemplative life “can and must challenge the contemporary mindset.”
The document is introduced by a broad discussion of the importance of nuns and the contemplative life for the Church and the world. Addressing contemplative sisters, the Pope asks, “Without you what would the Church be like, or those living on the fringes of humanity and ministering in the outposts of evangelization?” The Church, he says, “greatly esteems your life of complete self-giving.  The Church counts on your prayers and on your self-sacrifice to bring today’s men and women to the good news of the Gospel.  The Church needs you!”
The bulk of the document is taken up with a reflection on twelve themes calling for discernment and renewed norms. Among these, Pope Francis calls special attention to the need for adequate formation, to prayer, and to the centrality of the Word of God.
The new document concludes with a series of fourteen articles that set the Pope’s reflections in juridical terms, notably with regard to formation and vocational discernment; the exercise of authority within communities; the autonomy of the various communities; and their relationships to one another – especially in federations. The final article establishes that the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life will be responsible for issuing new regulations with regard to the indications of the Apostolic Constitution.