Sunday, January 14, 2018

Saint January 15 : St. Ita : Religious : Patron of Ireland


Born:
475, County of Waterford, Ireland
Died:
15 January 570
Patron of:
Diocese of Limerick, Ireland

St. Ita was born of Christian parents towards the end of the fifth century. She belonged to the noble tribe of the Decii in County Waterford. All her early biographers favor the pleasant metaphor describing her as the 'Brigid of Munster'. Actually the differences were more striking than the resemblances between those two foremost women saints of the Celtic church (see St. Brigid). Brigid's effective life as a nun was spent in continual movement. When she had made a success of one convent settlement, she moved off to found another. Organization was her bent. Ita did just the opposite. Instead of entering one of Brigid's convents, she founded another in a district where there was none, at Killeedy, County Limerick. There she remained all her life, courting retirement. Again, there is an emphasis on austerity in Ita's life not found in Brigid's. Ita's mortifications were on a par with those of the greatest contemporary missionaries.

A strongly individualistic character is glimpsed in the legends of Ita. When she decided to settle in Killeedy, a chieftain offered her a large grant of land to support the convent. But Ita would accept only four acres, which she cultivated intensively. The convent became known as a training school for little boys, many of whom later became famous churchmen. One of these was St. Brendan, whom Ita accepted in fosterage when he was a year old and kept until he was six. The great Navigator revisited her between his voyages and always deferred to her counsel. He once asked her what were the three clings which God most detested, and she replied: 'A scowling face, obstinacy in wrong-doing, and too great a confidence in the power of money'. St. Mochoemoc, whom because of his beauty she called 'Pulcherius', was another great personage of the Celtic church she fostered in infancy.
Ita died on January 15th, which is now kept as her feast, about the year 570. There is a strong local cult of her in Munster, particularly in Waterford and Limerick, and her name is a popular one for Irish girls. In the middle of the nineteenth century a new move was made in Ireland for the development of her cult, when Bishop Butler of Limerick obtained from Pope Pius IX a special office and mass for her feast

#PopeFrancis "...are we capable of recognizing Jesus Christ who is asking to be welcomed, protected.." Homily FULL TEXT + Video

Official English-language translation of Pope Francis’ homily at Holy Mass on Sunday in St. Peter’s Basilica on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
This year I wanted to celebrate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees with a Mass that invites and welcomes you especially who are migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Some of you have recently arrived in Italy, others are long-time residents and work here, and still others make up the so-called “second-generation”.
For everyone in this assembly, the Word of God has resonated and today invites us to deepen the special call that the Lord addresses to each one of us. As he did with Samuel (cf 1 Sm3:3b-10,19), he calls us by name and asks us to honour the fact that each of us has been created a unique and unrepeatable being, each different from the others and each with a singular role in the history of the world. In the Gospel (cf Jn 1:35-42), the two disciples of John ask Jesus, “Where do you live?” (v. 38), implying that the reply to this question would determine their judgment upon the master from Nazareth. The response of Jesus, “Come and see!” (v. 39) opens up to a personal encounter which requires sufficient time to welcometo know and to acknowledge the other.


In the Message for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees I have written, “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Mt 25:35,43).” And for the stranger, the migrant, the refugee, the asylum seeker and the displaced person, every door in a new land is also an opportunity encounter Jesus. His invitation “Come and see!” is addressed today to all of us, to local communities and to new arrivals. It is an invitation to overcome our fears so as to encounter the other, to welcome, to know and to acknowledge him or her. It is an invitation which offers the opportunity to draw near to the other and see where and how he or she lives. In today’s world, for new arrivals to welcome, to know and to acknowledge means to know and respect the laws, the culture and the traditions of the countries that take them in. It even includes understanding their fears and apprehensions for the future. For local communities to welcome, to know and to acknowledge newcomers means to open themselves without prejudices to their rich diversity, to understand the hopes and potential of the newly arrived as well as their fears and vulnerabilities.
True encounter with the other does not end with welcome, but involves us all in the three further actions which I spelled out in the Message for this Day: to protect, to promote and to integrate. In the true encounter with the neighbour, are we capable of recognizing Jesus Christ who is asking to be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated? As the Gospel parable of the final judgment teaches us: the Lord was hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, a stranger and in prison -- by some he was helped and by others not (cf Mt 25:31-46). This true encounter with Christ is source of salvation, a salvation which should be announced and brought to all, as the apostle Andrew shows us. After revealing to his brother Simon, “We have found the Messiah” (Jn 1:41), Andrew brings him to Jesus so that Simon can have the same experience of encounter.
It is not easy to enter into another culture, to put oneself in the shoes of people so different from us, to understand their thoughts and their experiences. As a result we often refuse to encounter the other and raise barriers to defend ourselves. Local communities are sometimes afraid that the newly arrived will disturb the established order, will ‘steal’ something they have long laboured to build up. And the newly arrived also have fears: they are afraid of confrontation, judgment, discrimination, failure. These fears are legitimate, based on doubts that are fully comprehensible from a human point of view. Having doubts and fears is not a sin. The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection. The sin is to refuse to encounter the other, the different, the neighbour, when this is in fact a privileged opportunity to encounter the Lord.
From this encounter with Jesus present in the poor, the rejected, the refugee, the asylum seeker, flows our prayer of today. It is a reciprocal prayer: migrants and refugees pray for local communities, and local communities pray for the newly arrived and for migrants who have been here longer. To the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy we entrust the hopes of all the world’s migrants and refugees and the aspirations of the communities which welcome them. In this way, responding to the supreme commandment of charity and love of neighbour, may we all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves.
Text source: Vatican News

RIP Famous Catholic Theologian Fr. Matthew Lamb - Death of Priest and Prof. of Ave Maria University

Father Matthew Lamb, died on Friday, January 12, 2018. He was the Cardinal Maida Chair of Theology at Ave Maria University. Lamb died in the company of two graduate students, who were keeping a prayer at his side. He died after a brief illness caused by pulmonary fibrosis. Lamb was 80 years old. Officials at Ave Maria University report that in the days leading to his death, he spoke openly about his desire to meet Jesus, and received the anointing of the sick and the Eucharist. Lamb was born in Washington, D.C., in 1937, and entered the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit in May, 1952. He was ordained a priest in 1962 in the Abbey Church. He later became a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He earned a licentiate in sacred theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1966, and in 1974, completed a doctorate in theology at the Westfalsche Wilhems University in Munster, Germany. During doctoral studies in Germany, he was formed by influential philosophers and theologians Josef Pieper, Fr. Bernard Lonergan, and Fr. Josef Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI. Lamb taught at Marquette University, and later Boston College. While teaching in Boston, he was a cofounder of an influential academic study group on the work of St. Thomas Aquinas, which drew scholars from Boston College, Harvard University, Providence College, and other institutions. He co-founded the Society for Catholic Liturgy in 1995, and the Academy for Catholic Theology in 2007. He served as a board member of the American Academy of Religion, the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Archdiocese of Denver Theological Institute, and the John XXIII National Seminary. He was the author of 12 books and hundreds of scholarly articles and papers. He was a member of the editorial board for Communio, a theological journal cofounded by Fr. Josef Ratzinger.
In 2014, he stepped down from his administrative position, but continued to teach and write. He was known as a serious intellectual, a prudent spiritual director, and an instrumental part of the renewal of American Catholic universities after the publication of Pope St. John Paul II’s Ex corde ecclesiae in 1990. He had been honored with an honorary doctorate from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, the Robert Bellarmine Award from the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Ex Corde Ecclesiae and Veritas Medals from Ave Maria University, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Maritain Association. In 2014, writer Michael Novak wrote that Lamb “has passed along to others his own contemplation in the presence of the Love of the Holy Trinity, where all theology begins.” Funeral arrangements for Fr. Lamb have not yet been announced. Edited from NCR

#PopeFrancis ""Every stranger who knocks on our door is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ.." FULL TEXT Angelus + Video

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Like on the Feast of the Epiphany and that of the Baptism of Jesus, today's Gospel also proposes the theme of the manifestation of the Lord. This time it is John the Baptist who points Him out to his disciples as "the Lamb of God", inviting them to follow Him.
And it is the same for us: He whom we have contemplated in the mystery of Christmas, is the One we are now called to follow in everyday life. Therefore, today's Gospel introduces us perfectly into ordinary liturgical time, a time that serves to animate and confirm our journey of faith in our everyday life, in a dynamic that moves between epiphany and discipleship, between manifestation and vocation.


The Gospel story indicates the essential characteristics of the journey of faith for disciples of all times, beginning with the question Jesus addresses to the two disciples who, urged by the Baptist, begin to follow him: "What are you looking for?". This is the same question the Risen Lord addresses to Mary Magdalene on Easter morning: "Woman, whom do you seek?". Each one of us, as a human being, is looking for something: we are searching for happiness, for love, for a good and full life. God the Father has given us all this in His Son Jesus.
In this search, the role of a real witness, of a person who first made the journey and met the Lord, is fundamental. In the Gospel, John the Baptist is this witness. This is why he can direct the disciples to Jesus, who then involves them in a new experience by saying: "Come and see". Those two disciples will never be able to forget the beauty of that encounter, to the point that the Evangelist even notes the time: "It was about four o'clock in the afternoon". Only a personal encounter with Jesus can generate a journey of faith and discipleship. We can have many experiences, accomplish many things, establish relationships with many people, but only the appointment with Jesus, at the hour that God knows, can give full meaning to our lives and make our projects and efforts fruitful.
It is not enough to construct an image of God based on hearsay; we must go in search of the Divine Master and discover where He lives. The two disciples’ question to Jesus: "Where do you live?", has a strong spiritual sense: it expresses the desire to know where the Master resides, to be with Him. The life of faith consists in a burning desire to be with the Lord and, therefore, in a continuous search for the place where He lives. We are called to overcome a religious practice that is habitual and obvious, and to revive our encounter with Jesus in prayer, in meditation on the Word of God and in frequenting the Sacraments - to be with Him and bear fruit thanks to Him, to His help, His grace.
May the Virgin Mary support us in this regard to follow Jesus, to go and be where He lives, to listen to His Word of life, to be close to Him who takes away the sin of the world, to find hope and spiritual impulse in Him. 

Post-Angelus address


Dear brothers and sisters,
Today is the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. This morning I celebrated Mass with a number of migrants and refugees residing in the Diocese of Rome. In my message for this Day, I stressed that migration today is a sign of the times. "Every stranger who knocks on our door is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ, who identifies himself with the foreigner who has been accepted or rejected in every age”.
In this regard, I would like to reaffirm that our common response could be articulated around four verbs founded on the principles of the Church's doctrine: welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating ". From now on, for pastoral reasons, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on the second Sunday of September. The next, the one hundredth-fifth, will be Sunday, September 8, 2019.
Tomorrow I leave for Chile and Peru. I ask you to accompany me with your prayers on this Apostolic Journey.
I greet all of you, Romans and pilgrims: families, parish groups, associations. I address a special greeting to the Latin American community of Santa Lucia in Rome, which celebrates 25 years since its foundation. On this joyful anniversary, I ask the Lord to fill you with His blessings, and I pray you may continue to give witness to your faith amid the difficulties, joys, sacrifices and hopes of your experience as migrants.
I wish everyone a pleasant Sunday. I ask you, please do not forget to pray for me.
Enjoy your lunch and goodbye!
Source: Vatican News

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. January 14, 2018 - 2nd Ordinary Time - B - #Eucharist - Readings + Video


Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 65


Reading 11 SM 3:3B-10, 19

Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, "Here I am."
Samuel ran to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me."
"I did not call you, " Eli said. "Go back to sleep."
So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
"Here I am, " he said. "You called me."
But Eli answered, "I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep."

At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD,
because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, "Here I am. You called me."
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, "Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening."
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, "Samuel, Samuel!"
Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.

Responsorial Psalm PS 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10

R. (8a and 9a) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God. 
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
"In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!"
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading II1 COR 6:13C-15A, 17-20

Brothers and sisters:
The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord,
and the Lord is for the body;
God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.
Avoid immorality.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body,
but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body
is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price.
Therefore glorify God in your body. 

AlleluiaJN 1:41, 17B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We have found the Messiah:
Jesus Christ, who brings us truth and grace.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God."
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
"What are you looking for?"
They said to him, "Rabbi" — which translated means Teacher —,
"where are you staying?"
He said to them, "Come, and you will see."
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
"We have found the Messiah" — which is translated Christ —.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
"You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas" — which is translated Peter.

Saint January 14 : St. Felix of Nola : Patron of #Eyes, Against #Lies; domestic #Animals

Today, January 14, marks the death and martyrdom ofSaint Felix of Nola (born early third century, died 255). Born in Campania, Italy, Felix joined the clergy, giving all he had to the poor, shortly following the death of his father. Working under the guidance of Bishop Maximus of Nola, both underwent persecution and torture at the hands of Roman Emperor Decius.

Shortly following the imprisonment of Bishop Maximus, Felix was taken into custody by Roman soldiers, imprisoned, scourged and tortured, and wrapped with heavy chains in his prison cell. He miraculously escaped from his cell, following visitation from an angel who instructed him to go to the aid of his ailing bishop. As the angel encouraged Felix, his chains fell off and his prison cell was opened. Felix rescued Maximus, bearing him on his back (despite weakness and small stature), and effectively hiding both men from Roman authorities until the end of Decius’ reign.

The second attempt to imprison Felix and Maximus was miraculously prevented by a spider! Upon hearing Roman soldiers approaching, Felix crawled into a small hole in the building he was staying, where it is said a spider immediately spun a web over the opening. The guards saw the spider web and ceased searching for the men, assuming that the room had been undisturbed for some time.
Felix was a humble and giving servant of the Lord. Following the death of Maximus, he was called to be the next Bishop of Nola, but refused, indicating that one of his more experienced brothers (ordained only seven days prior to Felix) was more deserving. He refused to reclaim his possessions and land seized during the persecution, instead renting a meager plot, tilling it by hand, and sharing his goods with the poorest around him. It is said that whatever Felix possessed, he gave away to those in need, oftentimes to his own detriment. He died in 255, and is considered a Church martyr due to the torture, imprisonment, persecution, and suffering he endured for his faith. Buried in Nola, numerous miracles have been reported at his tomb.
Felix received a clear call to action from the angel in his prison cell, just as the Blessed Virgin received the Archangel Gabriel’s message of her extraordinary role in the Incarnation of Jesus. Felix heard the call, and risked his life and unimaginable suffering to answer it. While the messages we receive from the Lord are not always heralded by angels, we still need to listen for them—and perhaps listen all the more closely. These are the quiet urgings of our hearts, which bring us closer to our God. How often are we too busy and too wrapped up in our wants and needless anxieties to hear the call of God? Might slowing down and creating some silence in our lives enable a deeper communion with Christ? Today, we pray for that silence—the silence in which we hear and understand what the Lord wishes for us, and the courage to stand up and put the call into action!

Text shared from 365RosariesBlog