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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Saint December 1 : St. Edmund Campion & Companions


Born:
January 24, 1540, London
Died:
December 1, 1581, Tyburn, England
Canonized:
October 25, 1970 by Pope Paul VI 
English Jesuit and martyr; he was the son and namesake of a Catholic bookseller, and was born in London, 25 Jan., 1540; executed at Tyburn, 1 Dec., 1581. A city company sent the promising child to a grammar school and to Christ Church Hospital. When Mary Tudor entered London in state as queen, he was the schoolboy chosen to give the Latin salutatory to her majesty. Sir Thomas White, lord mayor, who built and endowed St. John's College at Oxford, accepted Campion as one of his first scholars, appointed him junior fellow at seventeen, and, dying, gave him his last messages for his academic family. Campion shone at Oxford in 1560, when he delivered one oration at the reburial of Amy Robsart, and another at the funeral of the founder of his own college; and for twelve years he was to be followed and imitated as no man ever was in an English university except himself and Newman. He took both his degrees, and became a celebrated tutor, and, by 1568, junior proctor. Queen Elizabeth had visited Oxford two years before; she and Dudley, then chancellor, won by Campion's bearing, beauty, and wit, bade him ask for what he would. Successes, local responsibilities, and allurements, his natural ease of disposition, the representations, above all, of his friend Bishop Cheyney of Gloucester, blinded Campion in regard to his course as a Catholic: he took the Oath of Supremacy, and deacon's orders according to the new rite. Afterthoughts developing into scruples, scruples into anguish, he broke off his happy Oxford life when his proctorship ended, and betook himself to Ireland, to await the reopening of Dublin University, an ancient papal foundation temporarily extinct. Sir Henry Sidney, the lord deputy, was interested in Campion's future as well as in the revival which, however, fell through. With Philip Sidney, then a boy, Campion was to have a touching interview in 1577.

As too Catholic minded an Anglican, Campion was suspected, and exposed to danger. Hidden in friendly houses, he composed his treatise called "A History of Ireland" Written from an English standpoint it gave much offence to the native Irish, and was severely criticized, in the next century, by Geoffrey Keating In his Irish history of Ireland. Urged to further effort by the zeal of Gregory Martin, he crossed to England in disguise and under an assumed name, reaching London in time to witness the trial of one of the earliest Oxonian martyrs, Dr. John Storey. Campion now recognized his vocation and hastened to the seminary at Douai. Cecil lamented to Richard Stanihurst the expatriation of "one of the diamonds of England" At Douai Campion remained for his theological course and its lesser degree, but then set out as a barefoot pilgrim to Rome, arriving there just before the death of St. Francis Borgia; " for I meant", as he said at his examination, "to enter into the Society of Jesus, thereof to vow and to be professed". This he accomplished promptly in April (1573), being the first novice received by Mercurianus, the fourth general. As the English province was as yet non-existent, he was allotted to that of Bohemia, entering on his noviceship at Prague and passing his probation year at Brunn in Moravia. Returning to Prague, he taught in the college and wrote a couple of sacred dramas; and there he was ordained in 1578. Meanwhile, Dr. Allen was organizing the apostolic work of the English Mission, and rejoiced to secure Fathers Robert Parsons and Edmund Campion as his first Jesuit helpers. In the garden at Brunn, Campion had had a vision, in which Our Lady foretold to him his martyrdom. Comrades at Prague were moved to make a scroll for P. Edmundus Campianus Martyr, and to paint a prophetic garland of roses within his cell. Parsons and Campion set out from Rome, had many adventures, and called upon St. Charles Borromeo in Milan, and upon Beza in Geneva. Campion was met in London, and fitly clothed, armed, and mounted by a devoted young convert friend. His office was chiefly to reclaim Catholics who were wavering or temporizing under the pressure of governmental tyranny; but his zeal to win Protestants, his preaching, his whole saintly and soldierly personality, made a general and profound impression. An alarm was raised and he fled to the North, where he fell again to writing and produced his famous tract, the "Decem Rationes". He returned to London, only to withdraw again, this time towards Norfolk. A spy, a former steward of the Roper family, one George Eliot, was hot upon his track, and ran him and others down at Lyford Grange near Wantage in Berkshire on 17 July, 1581.
Amid scenes of violent excitement, Campion was derisively paraded through the streets of his native city, bound hand and foot, riding backwards, with a paper stuck in his hat to denote the " seditious Jesuit". First thrown into Little Ease at the Tower, he was carried privately to the house of his old patron, the Earl of Leicester; there he encountered the queen herself, and received earnest proffers of liberty and preferments would he but forsake his papistry. Hopton having tried in vain the same blandishments, on Campion's return to the Tower, the priest was then examined under torture, and was reported to have betrayed those who had harboured him. Several arrests were made on the strength of the lie. He had asked for a public disputation. But when it came off in the Norman chapel of the Tower, before the Dean of St. Paul's and other divines, Campion had been denied opportunity to prepare his debate, and had been severely racked. Thus weakened, he stood through the four long conferences, without chair, table, or notes, and stood undefeated. Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, who was looking on in the flush of worldly pride, became thereby inspired to return to God's service. The privy council, at its wits' end over so purely spiritual a "traitor", hatched a plot to impeach Campion's loyalty, and called in the hirelings Eliot and Munday as accusers. A ridiculous trial ensued in Westminster Hall, 20 Nov., 1581. Campion, pleading not guilty, was quite unable to hold up his often-wrenched right arm, seeing which, a fellow prisoner, first kissing it, raised it for him. He made a magnificent defence. But the sentence was death, by hanging, drawing, and quartering: a sentence received by the martyrs with a joyful shout of Haec dies and Te Deum. Campion, with Sherwin and Briant, who were on a separate hurdle, was dragged to Tyburn on 1 December. Passing Newgate arch, he lifted himself as best he could to salute the statue of Our Lady still in situ. On the scaffold, when interrupted and taunted to express his mind concerning the Bull of Plus V excommunicating Elizabeth, he answered only by a prayer for her, "your Queen and my Queen". He was a Catholic Englishman with political opinions which were not Allen's, though he died, as much as ever Felton did, for the primacy of the Holy See. The people loudly lamented his fate; and another great harvest of conversions began. A wild, generous-hearted youth, Henry Walpole, standing by, got his white doublet stained with Campion's blood; the incident made him, too, in time, a Jesuit and a martyr.
Historians of all schools are agreed that the charges against Campion were wholesale sham. They praise his high intelligence, his beautiful gaiety, his fiery energy, his most chivalrous gentleness. He had renounced all opportunity for a dazzling career in a world of master men. Every tradition of Edmund Campion, every remnant of his written words, and not least his unstudied golden letters, show us that he was nothing less than a man of genius; truly one of the great Elizabethans, but holy as none other of them all. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 9 December, 1886, and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970. Relics of him are preserved in Rome and Prague, in London, Oxford, Stonyhurst, and Roehampton. A not very convincing portrait was made soon after his death for the Gesù in Rome under the supervision of many who had known him. Of this there is a copy in oils at Stonyhurst, and a brilliantly engraved print in Hazart's "Kerckelycke Historie" (Antwerp, 1669), Vol. III (Enghelandt, etc.), though not in every copy of that now scarce work.
SOURCE: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Novena for the #ImmaculateConception of Mary : #Prayers - Plenary #Indulgence - SHARE


The Immaculate Conception – Celebrating the Blessed Virgin’s Mary’s conception as freed from all sin -

Feast: December 8


Plenary indulgence to all who shall assist at these Novenas every day, and who shall afterwards, either on the Feast-day itself, to which each Novena respectively has reference, or on some one day in its Octave, after Confession and Communion, pray to our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin according to the pious intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

NOVENA-

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

PREPARATORY PRAYER FOR EVERY DAY OF THE NOVENA.

Virgin most pure, conceived without sin, all fair and stainless from thy Conception; glorious Mary, full of grace, Mother of my God, Queen of angels and of men, - I humbly venerate thee as Mother of my Saviour, who, though He was God, taught me by His own veneration, reverence, and obedience to thee, the honour and homage which are due to thee. Vouchsafe, I pray thee, to accept this Novena, which I dedicate to thee. Thou art the safe refuge of the penitent sinner; it is very fitting, then, that I should have recourse to thee. Thou art the Mother of compassion; then wilt thou surely be moved with pity for my many miseries. Thou art my best hope after Jesus; thou canst not but accept the loving confidence that I have in thee. Make me worthy to be called thy son, that so I may dare to cry unto thee,
Monstra te esse matrem.
Show thyself a mother.

Nine Ave Maria’s, one Gloria Patri, and the following Prayer.

PRAYER FOR THE FIRST DAY. .

Behold me at thy sacred feet, O Immaculate Virgin. I rejoice with thee, because from all eternity thou wast elected to be the Mother of the Eternal Word, and wast preserved stainless from the taint of original sin. I praise and bless the Most Holy Trinity, who poured out upon thy soul in thy Conception the riches of that privilege. I humbly pray thee to obtain for me grace effectually to overcome the sad effects produced in my soul by original sin; make me wholly victorious over them, that I may never cease to love my God.

After the Litanies, or Hymn as above, say as follows:

V. All fair art thou, O Mary.
R. All fair art thou, O Mary.
V. The original stain is not in thee.
R. The original stain is not in thee.
V. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem.
R. Thou art the joy of Israel.
V. Thou art the honour of our people.
R. Thou art the advocate of sinners.
V. O Mary.
R. O Mary.
V. Virgin most prudent.
R. Mother most clement.
V. Pray for us.
B. Intercede for us to our Lord Jesus Christ.

V. In thy Conception, O Virgin, thou wast immaculate.
R. Pray for us to the Father, whose Son was born of thee.

Let us pray.
O God, who through the Immaculate Conception of a Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling-place for Thy Son, we beseech Thee, who by the death of that Son, foreseen by Thee, didst preserve her from every stain of sin, to grant that by her intercession we also may be purified, and so may come to Thee.

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look down upon Thy servant N., whom Thou host chosen to be the pastor of Thy Church; and grant him, we beseech Thee, both by word and example, so to direct those over whom Thou hast placed him, that, together with the flock entrusted to his care, he may attain eternal life.

O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all holiness, listen to the pious prayers of thy Church, and grant that what we ask in faith we may effectually obtain. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The same order is to be observed en all the other days of the Novena, the Prayers for the Day alone being changed.

PRAYER FOR THE SECOND DAY. 

Mary, unsullied Lily of purity, I rejoice with thee, because from the first moment of thy Conception thou wast filled with grace, and hadst given unto thee the perfect use of reason. I thank and I adore the Ever-blessed Trinity, who gave thee these high gifts. Behold me at thy feet overwhelmed with shame to see myself so poor in grace. O thou who wast filled full of heavenly grace, grant me a portion of that same grace, and make me a partaker in the treasures of thy Immaculate Conception.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE THIRD DAY. 

Mary, mystic Rose of purity, I rejoice with thee at the glorious triumph thou didst gain over the serpent by thy Immaculate Conception, in that then wast conceived without original sin. I thank and praise with my whole heart the Ever-blessed Trinity, who granted thee that glorious privilege and I pray thee to obtain for me courage to overcome every snare of the great enemy, and never to stain my soul with mortal sin. Be thou always mine aid, and enable me with thy protection to obtain the victory over all the enemies of man’s eternal welfare.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE FOURTH DAY. 

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Mirror of holy purity, I rejoice exceedingly to see how from thy Immaculate Conception there were infused into thy soul the most sublime and perfect virtues, with all the gifts of the Most Holy Spirit. I thank and praise the Ever-Blessed Trinity, who bestowed upon thee these high privileges, and I beseech thee, gracious Mother, obtain for me grace to practise every Christian virtue, and so to become worthy to receive the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE FIFTH DAY. 

Mary, bright Moon of purity, I congratulate thee in that the mystery of thy Immaculate Conception was the beginning of salvation to the human race, and was the joy of the whole world. I thank and bless the Ever-blessed Trinity, who did so magnify and glorify thy Person. I entreat thee to obtain for me the grace so to profit by the Death and Passion of thy dear Son, that His Precious Blood may not have been shed upon the cross for me in vain, but that after a holy life I may be saved.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE SIXTH DAY.

Mary Immaculate, brilliant Star of purity, I rejoice with thee, because thy Immaculate Conception brought exceeding joy to all the angels in Paradise. I thank and bless the Ever-blessed Trinity, who enriched thee with this privilege. Enable me also one day to take part in this heavenly joy, praising and blessing thee in the company of angels world without end. Amen.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVENTH DAY. 

Mary immaculate, rising Morn of purity, I rejoice with thee, and I am filled with admiration at beholding thee confirmed in grace and rendered sinless from the first moment of thy Conception. I thank and praise the Ever-blessed Trinity, who elected thee alone from all mankind for this especial privilege. Holiest Virgin, obtain for me an entire and lasting hatred of sin, as the worst of all evils, that I may rather die than ever again commit a mortal sin.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE EIGHTH DAY..

Mary, Virgin, Sun without stain, I congratulate thee, and I rejoice with thee, because God gave unto thee in thy Conception a greater and a more abundant grace than He gave to all His angels and His saints together, even when their merits were most exalted. I thank and admire the immense beneficence of the Ever-blessed Trinity, who hath dispensed to thee alone this privilege. O, enable me too to correspond with the grace of God, and never more to receive it in vain; change my heart, and help me to begin in earnest a new life.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE NINTH DAY. 

Immaculate Mary, living Light of holiness, Model of purity, Virgin and Mother, as soon as thou wast conceived thou didst profoundly adore thy God, giving Him thanks, because by means of thee the ancient curse was blotted out, and blessing was again come upon the sinful sons of Adam. Let this blessing kindle in my heart love towards God; and do thou inflame my heart still more and more, that I may ever love Him more constantly, and afterwards eternally enjoy Him in heaven, there to thank and praise Him more and more fervently for all the wondrous privileges conferred on thee, and to rejoice with thee for thy high crown of glory.
Litanies, &c., as before.

#PopeFrancis "God can never be invoked to justify hatred and violence against our fellow human beings." in Banglasdesh - FULL TEXT + Video

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday expressed his gratitude to the nation of Bangladesh for providing assistance and shelter to the hundreds of thousands of refugees pouring into the country, he appealed to the international community to address the crisis both on a political and on a material level, and he warned against using God’s name to justify hatred and violence against our fellow human beings. The Pope’s words came during his address to political leaders, civil society and the diplomatic corps at the President House in Dhaka.
Please find below the full text of the Pope’s speech:   
Mr President,
Honourable State and Civil Authorities,
Your Eminence, My Brother Bishops,
Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the beginning of my stay in Bangladesh, I would like to thank you, Mr President, for the kind invitation to visit this country and for your gracious words of welcome.  I come here in the footsteps of two of my predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II, to pray with my Catholic brothers and sisters, and to offer them a message of affection and encouragement.  Bangladesh is a young state, yet it has always had a special place in the heart of the Popes, who from the start have expressed solidarity with its people, sought to accompany them in overcoming initial adversities, and supported them in the demanding task of nationbuilding and development.  I am grateful for the opportunity to address this assembly, which brings together men and women with particular responsibilities for shaping the future of Bangladeshi society.
During my flight here, I was reminded that Bangladesh – “Golden Bengal” – is a country united by a vast network of rivers and waterways, great and small.  That natural beauty is, I think, symbolic of your particular identity as a people.  Bangladesh is a nation that strives to join unity of language and culture with respect for the different traditions and communities which, like so many streams, draw from, and return to enrich, the great current of the political and social life of the country.
In today’s world, no single community, nation or state can survive and make progress in isolation.  As members of the one human family, we need one another and are dependent on one another.  President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman understood and sought to embody this principle in the national Constitution. He envisioned a modern, pluralistic and inclusive society in which every person and community could live in freedom, peace and security, with respect for the innate dignity and equal rights of all.  The future of this young democracy and the health of its political life are essentially linked to fidelity to that founding vision.  For only through sincere dialogue and respect for legitimate diversity can a people reconcile divisions, overcome unilateral perspectives, and recognize the validity of differing viewpoints.  Because true dialogue looks to the future, it builds unity in the service of the common good and is concerned for the needs of all citizens, especially the poor, the underprivileged and those who have no voice.
In recent months, the spirit of generosity and solidarity which is a distinguishing mark of Bangladeshi society has been seen most vividly in its humanitarian outreach to a massive influx of refugees from Rakhine State, providing them with temporary shelter and the basic necessities of life.  This has been done at no little sacrifice.  It has also been done before the eyes of the whole world.  None of us can fail to be aware of the gravity of the situation, the immense toll of human suffering involved, and the precarious living conditions of so many of our brothers and sisters, a majority of whom are women and children, crowded in the refugee camps.  It is imperative that the international community take decisive measures to address this grave crisis, not only by working to resolve the political issues that have led to the mass displacement of people, but also by offering immediate material assistance to Bangladesh in its effort to respond effectively to urgent human needs.
Although my visit is primarily addressed to Bangladesh’s Catholic community, a privileged moment will be my meeting tomorrowin Ramna with ecumenical and interreligious leaders.  Together we will pray for peace and reaffirm our commitment to work for peace.  Bangladesh is known for the harmony that has traditionally existed between followers of the various religions.  This atmosphere of mutual respect, and a growing climate of interreligious dialogue, enables believers to express freely their deepest convictions about the meaning and purpose of life.  In this way, they can contribute to promoting the spiritual values that are the sure basis for a just and peaceful society.  In a world where religion is often – scandalously – misused to foment division, such a witness to its reconciling and unifying power is all the more necessary.  This was seen in a particularly eloquent way in the common reaction of indignation that followed last year’s brutal terrorist attack here in Dhaka, and in the clear message sent by the nation’s religious authorities that the most holy name of God can never be invoked to justify hatred and violence against our fellow human beings.
Bangladesh’s Catholics, though relatively few in number, nonetheless seek to play a constructive role in the development of the country, particularly through their schools, clinics and dispensaries.  The Church appreciates the freedom to practice her faith and to pursue her charitable works, which benefit the entire nation, not least by providing young people, who represent the future of society, with a quality education and a training in sound ethical and human values.  In her schools, the Church seeks to promote a culture of encounter that will enable students to take up their responsibilities in the life of society.  Indeed, the vast majority of the students and many of the teachers in these schools are not Christians, but from other religious traditions.  I am confident that, in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the national Constitution, the Catholic community will continue to enjoy the freedom to carry out these good works as an expression of its commitment to the common good.

Mr President, dear friends:
I thank you for your attention and I assure you of my prayers that in your lofty responsibilities, you will always be inspired by the high ideals of justice and service to your fellow citizens.  Upon you, and upon all the people of Bangladesh, I willingly invoke the Almighty’s blessings of harmony and peace.

Christmas Novena - Miracle Prayer - SHARE #Novena #Prayer of #Christmas


SHARE - St. Andrew Christmas NOVENA -

Starts November 30, the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, and concludes on Christmas Eve. It is piously believed to be very
efficacious. Recite 15 times a day until December 24- possibly 5 times before each meal.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

#PopeFrancis "Jesus is full of mercy. So share with him all that you hold in your hearts..." #Homily FULL TEXT + Mass Video in Myanmar

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday morning celebrated Mass for young people at St Mary’s Cathedral in Yangon, the last event on his schedule in Myanmar ahead of his departure for Bangladesh later in the day.
Please find below the English translation of Pope Francis’ words to the young people in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Yangon.
            As my visit to your beautiful country draws to a close, I join you in thanking God for the many graces we have received in these days.  Looking out at you, the young people of Myanmar, and all those who are united with us outside this cathedral, I want to share with you a phrase from today’s first reading that resonates within me.  Taken from the prophet Isaiah, it was echoed by Saint Paul in his letter to the young Christian community in Rome.  Let us listen once again to those words: “The footsteps of those who bring good news are a welcome sound” (Rom 10:15; cf. Is 52:7).
            Dear young people of Myanmar, hearing your young voices and listening to you sing today, I want to apply those words to you.  Yes, you are “a welcome sound”; you are a beautiful and encouraging sight, for you bring us ‘good news’, the good news of your youth, your faith and your enthusiasm.  Indeed, you are good news, because you are concrete signs of the Church’s faith in Jesus Christ, who brings us a joy and a hope that will never die. 
            Some people ask how it is possible to speak of good news when so many people around us are suffering?  Where is the good news when so much injustice, poverty and misery cast a shadow over us and our world?  But I want a very clear message to go out from this place.  I want people to know that you, the young men and women of Myanmar, are not afraid to believe in the good news of God’s mercy, because it has a name and a face: Jesus Christ.  As messengers of this good news, you are ready to bring a word of hope to the Church, to your own country, and to the wider world.  You are ready to bring good news for your suffering brothers and sisters who need your prayers and your solidarity, but also your enthusiasm for human rights, for justice and for the growth of that “love and peace” which Jesus brings.
            But I also have a challenge to set before you.  Did you listen carefully to the first reading?  There Saint Paul repeats three times the word unless.  It is a little word, but it asks us to think about our place in God’s plan.  In effect, Paul asks three questions, and I want to put them to each of you personally.  First, how are people to believe in the Lord unless they have heard about him?  Second, how are people to hear about the Lord unless they have a messenger, someone to bring the good news?  And third, how can they have a messenger unless one is sent?” (Rom 10:14-15).
            I would like all of you to think deeply about these questions.  But don’t be worried!  As a loving “father” (or better, a “grandfather”!), I don’t want you to wrestle with these questions alone.  Let me offer a few thoughts that can guide you on your journey of faith, and help you to discern what it is that the Lord is asking of you.
            Saint Paul’s first question is: “How are people to believe in the Lord unless they have heard about him?”  Our world is full of many sounds, so many distractions, that can drown out God’s voice.  If others are to hear and believe in him, they need to find him in people who are authentic.  People who know how to listen!  That is surely what you want to be!  But only the Lord can help you to be genuine, so talk to him in prayer.  Learn to hear his voice, quietly speaking in the depths of your heart. 
            But talk also to the saints, our friends in heaven who can inspire us.  Like Saint Andrew, whose feast we keep today.  Andrew was a humble fisherman who became a great martyr, a witness to the love of Jesus.  But before he became a martyr, he made his share of mistakes, and he needed to be patient, and to learn gradually how to be a true disciple of Christ.  So do not be afraid to learn from your own mistakes!  Let the saints lead you to Jesus and teach you to put your lives in his hands.  You know that Jesus is full of mercy.  So share with him all that you hold in your hearts: your fears and your worries, as well as your dreams and your hopes.  Cultivate your interior life, as you would tend a garden or a field.  This takes time; it takes patience.  But like a farmer who waits for the crops to grow, if you wait the Lord will make you bear much fruit, a fruit you can then share with others. 
            Paul’s second question is: “How are they to hear about Jesus without a messenger?”  Here is a great task entrusted in a special way to young people: to be “missionary disciples”, messengers of the good news of Jesus, above all to your contemporaries and friends.  Do not be afraid to make a ruckus, to ask questions that make people think!  And don’t worry if sometimes you feel that you are few and far between.  The Gospel always grows from small beginnings.  So make yourselves heard.  I want you to shout!  But not with your voices.  No!  I want you to shout with your lives, with your hearts, and in this way to be signs of hope to those who need encouragement, a helping hand to the sick, a welcome smile to the stranger, a kindly support to the lonely. 
            Paul’s last question is: “How can people have a messenger unless one is sent?”  At the end of this Mass we will all be sent forth, to take with us the gifts we have received and to share them with others.  This can be a little daunting, since we don’t always know where Jesus may be sending us.  But he never sends us out without also walking at our side, and always just a little in front, leading us into new and wonderful parts of his kingdom. 
            How does our Lord send Saint Andrew and his brother Simon Peter in today’s Gospel?  “Follow me!”, he tells them (Mt 4:19).  That is what it means to be sent: to follow Christ, and not to charge ahead on our own!  The Lord will invite some of you to follow him as priests, and in this way to become “fishers of men”.  Others he will call to become religious or consecrated men and women.  And yet others he will call to the married life, to be loving fathers and mothers.  Whatever your vocation, I urge you: be brave, be generous and, above all, be joyful!
            Here in this beautiful cathedral dedicated to Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, I encourage you to look to Mary.  When she said “yes” to the message of the angel, she was young, like yourselves.  Yet she had the courage to trust in the “good news” she had heard, and to express it in a life of faithful dedication to her vocation, total self-giving, and complete trust in God’s loving care.  Like Mary, may all of you be gentle but courageous in bringing Jesus and his love to others. 
            Dear young people, with great affection I commend all of you, and your families, to her maternal intercession.  And I ask you, please, to remember to pray for me. 
            God bless Myanmar!  [ Myanmar pyi ko Payarthakin Kaung gi pei pa sei ]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. November 30, 2017 - #Eucharist


Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle
Lectionary: 684


Reading 1ROM 10:9-18

Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

Responsorial PsalmPS 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (10) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. (John 6:63) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

AlleluiaMT 4:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Saint November 30 : St. Andrew #Apostle : Patron of Fishermen, Singers, Scotland, Russia

early 1st Century, Bethsaida
Died:
mid-late 1st Century, Patras
Major Shrine:
Church of St. Andreas at Patras
Patron of:
Scotland, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Romania, Amalfi, Luqa (Malta) and Prussia; Army Rangers, mariners, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, singers and performers
The name "Andrew" (Gr., andreia, manhood, or valour), like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the second or third century B.C. St. Andrew, the Apostle, son of Jonah, or John (Matthew 16:17; John 1:42), was born in Bethsaida of Galilee (John 1:44). He was brother of Simon (Peter) (Matthew 10:2; John 1:40). Both were fishermen (Matthew 4:18; Mark 1:16), and at the beginning of Our Lord's public life occupied the same house at Capharnaum (Mark 1:21, 29).
From the fourth Gospel we learn that Andrew was a disciple of the Baptist, whose testimony first led him and John the Evangelist to follow Jesus (John 1:35-40). Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messias, and hastened to introduce Him to his brother, Peter, (John 1:41). Thenceforth the two brothers were disciples of Christ. On a subsequent occasion, prior to the final call to the apostolate, they were called to a closer companionship, and then they left all things to follow Jesus (Luke 5:11; Matthew 4:19-20; Mark 1:17-18).
Finally Andrew was chosen to be one of the Twelve; and in the various lists of Apostles given in the New Testament (Matthew 10:2-4); Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13) he is always numbered among the first four. The only other explicit reference to him in the Synoptists occurs in Mark 13:3, where we are told he joined with Peter, James and John in putting the question that led to Our Lord's great eschatological discourse. In addition to this scanty information, we learn from the fourth Gospel that on the occasion of the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, it was Andrew who said: "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fishes: but what are these among so many?" (John 6:8-9); and when, a few days before Our Lord's death, certain Greeks asked Philip that they might see Jesus, Philip referred the matter to Andrew as to one of greater authority, and then both told Christ (John 12:20-22). Like the majority of the Twelve, Andrew is not named in the Acts except in the list of the Apostles, where the order of the first four is Peter, John, James, Andrew; nor have the Epistles or the Apocalypse any mention of him.
From what we know of the Apostles generally, we can, of course, supplement somewhat these few details. As one of the Twelve, Andrew was admitted to the closest familiarity with Our Lord during His public life; he was present at the Last Supper; beheld the risen Lord; witnessed the Ascension; shared in the graces and gifts of the first Pentecost, and helped, amid threats and persecution, to establish the Faith in Palestine.
When the Apostles went forth to preach to the Nations, Andrew seems to have taken an important part, but unfortunately we have no certainty as to the extent or place of his labours. Eusebius (Church History III.1), relying, apparently, upon Origen, assigns Scythia as his mission field: Andras de [eilechen] ten Skythian; while St. Gregory of Nazianzus (Oration 33) mentions Epirus; St. Jerome (Ep. ad Marcell.) Achaia; and Theodoret (on Ps. cxvi) Hellas. Probably these various accounts are correct, for Nicephorus (H.E. II:39), relying upon early writers, states that Andrew preached in Cappadocia, Galatia, and Bithynia, then in the land of the anthropophagi and the Scythian deserts, afterwards in Byzantium itself, where he appointed St. Stachys as its first bishop, and finally in Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and Achaia. It is generally agreed that he was crucified by order of the Roman Governor, Aegeas or Aegeates, at Patrae in Achaia, and that he was bound, not nailed, to the cross, in order to prolong his sufferings. The cross on which he suffered is commonly held to have been the decussate cross, now known as St. Andrew's, though the evidence for this view seems to be no older than the fourteenth century. His martyrdom took place during the reign of Nero, on 30 November, A.D. 60); and both the Latin and Greek Churches keep 30 November as his feast.
St. Andrew's relics were translated from Patrae to Constantinople, and deposited in the church of the Apostles there, about A.D. 357. When Constantinople was taken by the French, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, Cardinal Peter of Capua brought the relics to Italy and placed them in the cathedral of Amalfi, where most of them still remain. St. Andrew is honoured as their chief patron by Russia and Scotland. Shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "peace that God wants to reign in every human heart" to 100,000 at Mass in Myanmar - FULL TEXT + Video at Mass

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Wednesday morning on Kyaikkasan Ground in Yangon during his Apostolic Journey to Myanmar.
Please find below the Pope's prepared homily:
Yangon, Kyaikkasan Ground
Wednesday 29 November 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Before coming to this country, I very much looked forward to this moment.  Many of you have come from far and remote mountainous areas, some even on foot.  I have come as a fellow pilgrim to listen and to learn from you, as well as to offer you some words of hope and consolation.
Today’s first reading, from the Book of Daniel, helps us to see how limited is the wisdom of King Belshazzar and his seers.  They knew how to praise “gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone” (Dn 5:4), but they did not have the wisdom to praise God in whose hand is our life and breath.  Daniel, on the other hand, had the wisdom of the Lord and was able to interpret his great mysteries.
The ultimate interpreter of God’s mysteries is Jesus.  He is the wisdom of God in person (cf. 1 Cor 1:24).  Jesus did not teach us his wisdom by long speeches or by grand demonstrations of political or earthly power but by giving his life on the cross.  Sometimes we can fall into the trap of believing in our own wisdom, but the truth is we can easily lose our sense of direction.  At those times we need to remember that we have a sure compass before us, in the crucified Lord.  In the cross, we find the wisdom that can guide our life with the light that comes from God. 
From the cross also comes healing.  There, Jesus offered his wounds to the Father for us, the wounds by which we are healed (cf. 1 Pet 2:24).  May we always have the wisdom to find in the wounds of Christ the source of all healing!  I know that many in Myanmar bear the wounds of violence, wounds both visible and invisible.  The temptation is to respond to these injuries with a worldly wisdom that, like that of the king in the first reading, is deeply flawed.  We think that healing can come from anger and revenge.  Yet the way of revenge is not the way of Jesus.
Jesus’ way is radically different.  When hatred and rejection led him to his passion and death, he responded with forgiveness and compassion.  In today’s Gospel, the Lord tells us that, like him, we too may encounter rejection and obstacles, yet he will give us a wisdom that cannot be resisted (cf. Lk 21:15).  He is speaking of the Holy Spirit, through whom the love of God has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5).  By the gift of his Spirit, Jesus enables us each to be signs of his wisdom, which triumphs over the wisdom of this world, and his mercy, which soothes even the most painful of injuries. 
On the eve of his passion, Jesus gave himself to his apostles under the signs of bread and wine.  In the gift of the Eucharist, we not only recognize, with the eyes of faith, the gift of his body and blood; we also learn how to rest in his wounds, and there to be cleansed of all our sins and foolish ways.  By taking refuge in Christ’s wounds, dear brothers and sisters, may you know the healing balm of the Father’s mercy and find the strength to bring it to others, to anoint every hurt and every painful memory.  In this way, you will be faithful witnesses of the reconciliation and peace that God wants to reign in every human heart and in every community. 
I know that the Church in Myanmar is already doing much to bring the healing balm of God’s mercy to others, especially those most in need.  There are clear signs that even with very limited means, many communities are proclaiming the Gospel to other tribal minorities, never forcing or coercing but always inviting and welcoming.  Amid much poverty and difficulty, many of you offer practical assistance and solidarity to the poor and suffering.  Through the daily ministrations of its bishops, priests, religious and catechists, and particularly through the praiseworthy work of Catholic Karuna Myanmar and the generous assistance provided by the Pontifical Mission Societies, the Church in this country is helping great numbers of men, women and children, regardless of religion or ethnic background.  I can see that the Church here is alive, that Christ is alive and here with you and with your brothers and sisters of other Christian communities.  I encourage you to keep sharing with others the priceless wisdom that you have received, the love of God welling up in the heart of Jesus.
Jesus wants to give this wisdom in abundance.  He will surely crown your efforts to sow seeds of healing and reconciliation in your families, communities and the wider society of this nation.  Does he not tell us that his wisdom is irresistible (cf. Lk 21:15)?  His message of forgiveness and mercy uses a logic that not all will want to understand, and which will encounter obstacles. Yet his love, revealed on the cross is ultimately unstoppable.  It is like a spiritual GPS that unfailingly guides us towards the inner life of God and the heart of our neighbour.
Our Blessed Mother Mary followed her Son even to the dark mountain of Calvary and she accompanies us at every step of our earthly journey.  May she obtain for us the grace always be to messengers of true wisdom, heartfelt mercy to those in need, and the joy that comes from resting in the wounds of Jesus, who loved us to the end. 
May God bless all of you!  May God bless the Church in Myanmar!  May he bless this land with his peace!  God bless Myanmar!

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. November 29, 2017 - #Eucharist


Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 505


Reading 1DN 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28

King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his lords,
with whom he drank.
Under the influence of the wine,
he ordered the gold and silver vessels
which Nebuchadnezzar, his father,
had taken from the temple in Jerusalem,
to be brought in so that the king, his lords,
his wives and his entertainers might drink from them.
When the gold and silver vessels
taken from the house of God in Jerusalem had been brought in,
and while the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers
were drinking wine from them,
they praised their gods of gold and silver,
bronze and iron, wood and stone.

Suddenly, opposite the lampstand,
the fingers of a human hand appeared,
writing on the plaster of the wall in the king's palace.
When the king saw the wrist and hand that wrote, his face blanched;
his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook,
and his knees knocked.

Then Daniel was brought into the presence of the king.
The king asked him, "Are you the Daniel, the Jewish exile,
whom my father, the king, brought from Judah?
I have heard that the Spirit of God is in you,
that you possess brilliant knowledge and extraordinary wisdom.
I have heard that you can interpret dreams and solve difficulties;
if you are able to read the writing and tell me what it means,
you shall be clothed in purple,
wear a gold collar about your neck,
and be third in the government of the kingdom."

Daniel answered the king:
"You may keep your gifts, or give your presents to someone else;
but the writing I will read for you, O king,
and tell you what it means.
You have rebelled against the Lord of heaven.
You had the vessels of his temple brought before you,
so that you and your nobles, your wives and your entertainers,
might drink wine from them;
and you praised the gods of silver and gold,
bronze and iron, wood and stone,
that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence.
But the God in whose hand is your life breath
and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify.
By him were the wrist and hand sent, and the writing set down.

"This is the writing that was inscribed:
MENE, TEKEL, and PERES.
These words mean:
MENE, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it;
TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting;
PERES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians."

Responsorial PsalmDN 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67

R. (59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Sun and moon, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Stars of heaven, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"All you winds, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Cold and chill, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

AlleluiaREV 2:10C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
And I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd:
"They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."