Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saint January 28 : St. Thomas Aquinas : Patron of Catholic #Universities, #Colleges, and schools


Feast Day:
January 28
Born:
1225, Roccasecca, in Lazio, Italy
Died:
7 March 1274, Fossanuova Abbey, Italy
Canonized:
July 18, 1323, Avignon, France
Major Shrine:
Church of the Jacobins, Toulouse, France
Patron of:
Catholic universities, colleges, and schools
Today, January 28, we celebrate the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Doctor of the Church, patron saint of universities and students, and the greatest teacher of the medieval Catholic Church. Alternately referred to as the Angelic Doctor and the Universal Doctor, the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas greatly influenced not only Church doctrine, but schools of theological and philosophical thought. Candidates for the priesthood are instructed to model themselves after this holy man, and Pope Benedict XV declared that his teachings were the teachings of the Church, herself. By universal consent, this holy man is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and divine revelation.
Thomas was born in Aquino, Italy (the name “Aquinas” is not his surname, but translates as “of Aquino”), the son of the Count of Aquino. At the ago of five years old, his father placed him in the care of the monks at the Benedictine Monastery at Monte Casino. He was immediately observed to excel at the scholastic life, and his teachers were astounded not only by his eagerness to learn and aptitude for difficult concepts, but also by the virtuous manner in which he lived his life. As he grew older, he was sent to Naples to continue his studies, where he first encountered the philosophy of Aristotle.
His father, who had hoped he would enter the Benedictine Order upon reaching the age of consent was dismayed to learn that Thomas had other plans. Renouncing all his worldly ties and possessions, Thomas entered the Dominican Order in Naples. His family, for their part, did all in their power to convince him otherwise, first kidnapping him, and later sending him all manners of temptation (including “impure women”) to lead him astray. However, Thomas remained constant in his pursuits of the Lord, and maintained perfect chastity throughout his life (which is why he is referred to as the “Angelic Doctor.”)
Upon ordination, Thomas left Naples and traveled to Paris and Cologne, Germany, where he studied under the tutelage of Albert the Great. Here he was nicknamed the "dumb ox" because of his silent ways and huge size, but his brilliance as a student was evident in his writings. While he pursued his philosophical and theological writings, Thomas held two tenures as professor at the University of Paris. During that time, he resided at the court of Pope Urban IV, under whose direction he combated all forms of heresy and adversaries of the Church. Thomas similarly directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, traveling between them as frequently as needed. He received his doctorate at the age of 31.
While a gifted preacher, the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas (which fill twenty volumes) are considered his greatest contribution to the Catholic Church. His writings reconcile the unity of faith and reason, of those things revealed by God, and those things discovered through natural human knowledge. The breadth and depth of his theory encompass the entirety of the natural order, as a cherished and divine gift granted to us by God. Pope John Paul II affirmed the importance of this tradition, saying: "The whole living tradition of the Church teaches us this: faith seeks understanding, and understanding seeks faith. Both the need to understand and the need to believe are deeply rooted in man's heart. It is for this reason that the Church herself was the point of departure for the creation of universities.” Similarly, Pope Benedict XVI asserted, “With his charism as a philosopher and theologian, he [Thomas] offered an effective model of harmony between reason and faith, dimensions of the human spirit that are completely fulfilled in the encounter and dialogue with one another. Both the light of reason and the light of faith come from God, he [Thomas] argued; hence there can be no contradiction between them.” Prior to his death, Saint Thomas Aquinas undertook to deal with the entirety of Catholic theology. His most acclaimed work, the Summa Theologiae, although incomplete summarizes the theological underpinnings of our faith in a scientific and rational manner. Saint Thomas ceased writing this work following a supernatural encounter with the Lord while celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. During Mass, he is said to have heard the voice of Jesus asking him what he most desired. Thomas is said to have replied, “Only you, Lord,” following which he experienced something which he never revealed. Following that experience, he stopped writing, explaining, “I cannot go on… All I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” Saint Thomas fell ill (likely from overwork) at the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova, and died peacefully while providing commentary on the Song of Songs. His remains were placed in the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse in 1369.
Prayer for Guidance
O creator past all telling, you have appointed from the treasures of your wisdom the hierarchies of angels, disposing them in wondrous order above the bright heavens, and have so beautifully set out all parts of the universe. You we call the true fount of wisdomand the noble origin of all things. Be pleased to shed on the darkness of mind in which I was born, The twofold beam of your light and warmth to dispel my ignorance and sin. You make eloquent the tongues of children. Then instruct my speech and touch my lips with graciousness. Make me keen to understand, quick to learn, able to remember; make me delicate to interpret and ready to speak. Guide my going in and going forward, lead home my going forth. You are true God and true man, and live for ever and ever. Amen. Text shared from 365 Rosaries Blog

#BreakingNews over 80 Inter-Faith Leaders call Canadian Government to change Policy which denies Freedom of Conscience

A dictatorship of conscience is being place on Canadian citizens, not only of religious denominations but also those who hold contrary beliefs. This new policy that forces organizations seeking summer jobs grants to accept the pro abortion and gender policies of the Liberal Party. Cardinal Collins, has joined more than 87 religious leaders asking government to drop Summer Jobs  Cardinal Collins, speaking on behalf of Canada’s Catholic bishops, “Nobody here is trying to start any conflict,” Cardinal Collins. They gathered at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Toronto. Employment Minister Patty Hajdu told an Ottawa news conference later the same day that her government has no intention of removing the attestation or changing the wording to address the concerns of the religious leaders.  Applicants for summer job funding must now sign an attestation approval of the government’s abortion and gender identity policies. The applicant must tick a box to attest general support of the government’s abortion and gender policies. Canada’s bishops are “seriously concerned.”
“The attestation and examples still amount to the government’s coercion on matters of conscience and religious belief,”
said a statement from the Canadian Bishops' Conference communications director Rene Laprise.
“They foreclose the possibility of wide ranging views and even healthy disagreement. The attestation remains unacceptable.” Rabbi Chaim Strauchler said, “We have been a minority throughout history. We are very sensitive to the possibility of the majority trying to impose values, even if we agree with those values… (forcing people) to believe or to act in a certain way not in accord with their basic values.” Bruce Clemenger, president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, said more than 1,500 Evangelical projects have received government funding in the past. “The government has placed us in an untenable position,” he said. “We’re worried about the future, not just now,” said Imam Refaat Mohamed of the Canadian Council of Imams. Ideological tests, if allowed, could be used in other ways if it is permitted for this issue, said Mohamed. “We love the differences we have in Canada. We are very proud of who we are. We are really proud of who we are. And we should always respect those with different beliefs,” Mohamed said.
FULL STATEMENT http://www.cccb.ca/site/images/stories/pdf/Interfaith_statement_-_CSJ_Final_EN_signatures.pdf

Free Catholic Movie : Fr. Damien of Molokai

Pope Francis " Jesus tells us that there is no greater love than giving life for others..." FULL TEXT + Video


ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE ITALIAN RED CROSS

Paul VI Hall
Saturday, January 27th 2018

[Multimedia]



Dear brothers and sisters,

I welcome you and thank the President for his kind words. They also allowed me to rethink the birth of your Movement, the inspiration that sustains you and the goals you set for yourself. The Red Cross carries out an irreplaceable service throughout Italy and the world, precious both for the work that materially fulfills, and for the spirit with which it is carried out, which contributes to spreading a new, more open, more supportive mentality.

Your action, then, deserves even more the gratitude of every citizen because it takes place in the most diverse situations, having to cope with fatigue and dangers of various kinds. It is thus in the case of assistance given to the victims of earthquakes and other natural disasters, which alleviates the evidence of the affected populations, representing a sign of the closeness of the whole Italian people. Of equal value is the commitment that you place in the rescue of migrants during their arduous journey on the sea, and in receiving those who disembark and hope to be welcomed and integrated. The hand that you stretch them and that they grasp is a high sign, which should be translated as: "I will not help you only in this moment, to lift you from the sea and bring you to safety, but I assure you that I will be there and I will take your heart to heart. fate ". For this reason, your presence alongside immigrants is a prophetic sign, so necessary for our time. I said the word "prophetic sign": the prophet - to say it in a language that we all understand - the prophet is the one who "slaps"; with his way of life, with the service he does and the words ... "slap": wake up, he gives real slaps to social egoism, to the selfishness of societies. And it awakens the best there is in the heart! But give the slap with the word and the testimony, not with the hand!

The mission of the volunteer, called to bend over whoever finds himself in need and to lend him his help in a loving and disinterested manner, recalls the evangelical figure of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10: 25-37). It is a parable of Jesus whose inexhaustible wealth offers us a precious light on your action and on the values ​​enshrined in your Statutes.

The first of the fundamental principles that the Statute affirms is that of "humanity", which leads to "preventing and relieving human suffering everywhere" (Art 1.3). The "humanity", by virtue of which you take care of the sufferings of many people, is the same that drives the Good Samaritan to bend over the wounded man lying on the ground. He feels compassion and makes himself his neighbor: without compassion, he would keep himself at a distance, and the man stumbled upon the brigands would remain for him a faceless subject.

How many, even in our world, are the children, the elderly, women and men whose face is not recognized as unique and unrepeatable, and that remain invisible because hidden in the shadow of indifference! This prevents us from seeing the other, from hearing the call and perceiving the suffering. The culture of waste - so current today - is an anonymous culture, without ties and without faces. It takes care only of some, excluding many others. To affirm the principle of humanity means then to become promoters of a mentality rooted in the value of every human being, and of a practice that puts economic interests at the center of social life, but not the care of people. Not the money at the center, no: people!

The second principle stated in the Statute is "impartiality", which leads to not basing its action on "any distinction of nationality, race, religious belief, class or political opinion". It has as its consequence the "neutrality" - the third principle - for which the Movement does not take sides with any of the parties in political, racial or religious conflicts and disputes. This criterion of action contrasts the trend, today unfortunately so widespread, to distinguish who deserves attention and relief from those, on the contrary, it is not worthy. But you have a policy: this is your policy. And what is your political party? The president said it: you are from the political party of the most needy, those who need it most.

The Samaritan of the Gospel acts impartially: he does not question the man lying on the ground, before helping him, to know what his provenance is, his faith, or to understand if he has been wrongly or rightly wrong. No. The Good Samaritan does not subject the wounded man to any prior examination, he does not judge it and does not subordinate his aid to moral prerogatives, let alone religious ones. He simply soothes his wounds and then entrusts him to an inn, taking care first of all of his material needs, which can not be postponed. The Samaritan acts, pays for it - as I like to say that the devil enters from his pockets, so also the virtues come out of their pockets: pay for a
help the other -, the Samaritan loves. Behind his figure stands the one of Jesus himself, who bent over humanity and on each of those who wanted to call brothers, without making any distinction, but offering his salvation to every human being. The Italian Red Cross shares the principles of humanity, impartiality and neutrality with the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent which, collecting as many as 190 national movements, constitutes an international network necessary to coordinate and "globalize" relief efforts, to ensure that promote "mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace among peoples" (cf. Statutes, 1,3). These words are always the meaning of your mission: the building of a mutual understanding between people and peoples, and the birth of a lasting peace, which can only be based on a style of cooperation, to be encouraged in every human and social environment, and on feelings of friendship. In fact, those who look at others with the glasses of friendship, and not with the lenses of competition or conflict, become the builder of a more livable and human world. And I would not want to end without a thought to those of you who, in the exercise of the mission of help, have lost their lives. Excuse me: they have not lost it, no, they have not lost it: they have given it! They are your martyrs, they are your martyrs. And Jesus tells us that there is no greater love than giving life for others; you have these among you. May they inspire us, inspire you, help you, protect you from heaven. And we ask that the Spirit of the Risen, who is the Spirit of love and peace, teaches us this way and helps us to realize it. I ask for this on all of you the blessing of God - God the Father of us all, Father of all confessions - and I invoke it in particular for those who have lost their lives doing their service and for their loved ones. I also commend myself to your prayers. Thank you. (Image source Vatican News - Text - Vatican.va)
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The Problem of Evil and our Relationships - A scholarly inquiry by Dr. Gary Knight

Marriage and the problem of evil
Not for nothing was the collection of pope John Paul’s first series of Angelus reflections entitled ‘Original Unity’ - a counterfoil to Original Sin. His corpus of addresses launched a developed theology of the body and later Evangelium Vitae - to commemorate the watershed encyclical of Paul VI: Humanae Vitae, now 50 years old. Going to the opening of scripture, the target of malice was the togetherness of our first human parents: a togetherness that, if left unimpeded, the devil would see producing other human beings able in flesh and bone, spirit and truth, to love God with a love that he, a being ‘of elevated order’, had rejected. The angel ‘of light’ (lucifer is light- bearer) had to attack what would have been a shaming. God, for his wise reasons, didn’t warn Adam or Eve that some created beings were bound and bent to contradict Him. Probably our parents would not have had the guile even to understand anything like a mendacious contradiction of their maker. Although God warned them of death, they really couldn’t have understood that either, any more than a baby in the womb understands birth.
As St. Augustine concluded after long rumination, answers to problems like: why God who is all good would allow powerful beings who turned from Him to tempt much less powerful innocent beings, are not for the human mind to gain, unaided. But the what was an efficient way to exercise our free moral will, for involuntary love would have been too meagre for God. Many doctors have explained this much of free will. Some of our betters have asked why God might even make creatures that He could foresee would become radically evil in turning from Him. If evil is the radical opposition of good as I’ve been saying, the problem remains how a creature created as well as any other could or would find or create and seize a moral vacuum. But where the fallen intellect is not up to it, the innocence of Adam and Eve was in a sense ‘above it’.
It puzzles why Eve did not put to the serpent a question: “how is it that you, a creature, know something contrary to what our Maker has said to us, also creatures?”. But it must not have even entered her mind that a creature of the all good God could in any way deceive. If Augustine dressed-up could appear and warn her from the future, like Scrooge she’d say “this is so beyond our ken that we have to dismiss it as indigestion”.
We cannot fail to see that in satan’s cross-hairs was human progeny, man fulfilling God’s mandate to fruitfully multiply. The dreaded multiplying he halved right away, provoking Cain to kill Abel in jealous rage. Then he’d whip tribes into such debauchery that only the family of Noah could survive the purging (starting maybe in Turkey’s Valley of the Eight). Through the ages this insatiable enemy would not be satisfied to snare any number of souls in his netherworld: he had to repeatedly foment mass genocides. The fact that God visited death on Adam without eradicating his progeny was a sign - resented by satan - that through marriage the human race should endure until the woman’s anointed seed would crush the serpent’s head. We may picture an insidious viper, but Apocalypse sees this whom God rebuked as a dragon able to pull a third of the luminaries (even other angels) from the firmament. It was no little asp with darting tongue.
The plurality man and woman, the community of love as the image of God in His own triune Love, satan clearly hated. He teased us apart, tempting Eve aside, and then prodding Adam (who’d no trouble taking her lead) to shun his wife, ‘that woman’. If Eve had been first taken in the snare of curiosity, that was because there were two of them and she got the draw. Adam could as easily have gone to seek a closer look at the forbidden fruit. Likely (to speak figuratively) it was shiny enough to reflect a face, turning attention of self to self, setting up a Narcissistic vulnerably and suggestibility. The word ‘repent’ has ever since meant, ‘turn back to God’. One of the punishments of our forebears was to have to struggle - and at that not prevailingly, as the ground would yield few harvests without thorn and weed. Morally neutral entropy (destructive if locally unchecked) had ascendancy over life. The remaining fact of work was real promise of survival, but not of any one individual. We read of a cosmic ‘groaning’ till revelation of the sons of man .. also called the new Jerusalem. Mankind could not afford leisure - not with wives and children - unless some obtained the power of control over others. The love of power or control lies very near the appeal of science, which to remain innocent requires an acuity of conscience much finer than we’ve become accustomed to in a technological can- do age. Holy monks and sisters might be safer in the pursuit of science, of which they were often fathers and mothers; but we seem to be long past that.
Another punishment was that, Eve and Adam in love before, now would also feel tension of (largely unrequited) desire: “your desire for your husband” on one hand, and childbearing pain on another. No-one fully knows the etiology of such pain or its extent; random stabs as recent as the 1960s included fetus-risking epidurals, and thalidomide - a sport drug for back-pain - which induced deformations and even death of offspring.
The angst of rearing children and the often earth-scraping labour of sustaining them began to act as anaphrodisiac, giving scope to a temptation to separate the more immediate pleasures from the great promise of procreation. Sex took on the trappings of a ‘sport’ - a padded one at that. It is wrong of course to see God as author of desolate pain and difficult tension. Rather, the outcome - less disastrous than the immediate destruction of the human race desired by satan - was what is unpacked by radical disobedience and woeful choices not fully to love God both as individuals and as a couple. It had not happened without warning. In the baggage were death rattles as sudden as murder, or slow disease and mouldering corruption starting even in this sojourn, as is dementia. If evil were simply the absence of good, or just a lie against truth (albeit that these are key elements or methods of the evil one) then God could hardly draw ‘good’ (think of the barren fig tree), whereas He very often does so, signifying His infinite superiority to the author of evil. The lie is a terrible thing, well described as absence of truth, but it doesn’t exist on its own: it has an author, who seeks receptive listeners. While God is all-powerful it is true that there is a key sense, because of total goodness, that he cannot do what is evil. Another way of saying that is, whatever God does defines ‘good’. What we often call ills and ‘evils’ God acknowledges that yes, He visits upon souls as punishments, to steer them aside from what is worse: a final death that would conform in all respects to physical death. That is good. Dylan Thomas chimed ‘after the first death there is no other’. But that secular belief echoes Nicodemus in failing to see that after the first birth there needs to be another. What satan wanted out of physical death was final captivity in the spiritual death that he accuses any saint of having deserved; and but few are not guilty. This is what we call second death, even though its condition or begetting fault occurs before the other, after which there’s no more chance to reform. Think of a soul who sets his house afire and flees to the upper floor: when that floor falls through (first peril), if there remained nothing sound beneath - or a rescuing net - then all is lost (the second).
The implicit hope which God gave our race by allowing its continuance, work, progeny and consolations - especially the promise that the lying head of satan would be crushed - gave Adam and Eve reason to hope for redemption, though they die. Even when one son murdered the other (and thus burnt his lower floor), their hope did not refrain from love, and Seth too was received from the Lord. Birth and then, fie, second birth has ever been, the target of satan’s wrath. Given the family as the very cell of the mystical body of Christ on earth: that fulness of help [paraphrasing Vatican II] to the second birth we call salvation, the family must be the singular target. For satan, marriage has to fall everywhere, and it’s not enough that some cosy Christian countries will hold to the sanctity of marriage while the rest of the world runs to the bonfire of the vanities. Infernal dupes must attack bastions of conscience wherever they are. Normative love relations between men and women have to be undermined and treated as anything but ‘normal’, but as sport or as phobic aberrations conceived in bigotry. Marriage and family are bedrock to moral education, which the adversarial state must replace with dictated ‘conscientiousness’. Male and femaleness are put in dialectic tension, making the distinction antithetical. Starting from lustful objectification, what John saw as great whoring, pornography nails it with a flourish. Contraceptive mentality follows, with every means, including abortifacient drugs to destroy the living reminder that sex is something infinitely greater than a conscience-concussive contact sport. Where seniors are ousted from the ring, ageist disdain takes hold: have sex appeal or fade. The birth dearth diminishes the young cohort, to bear medical costs increasingly burdensome. Care of elders takes a beating, as sophisticates call for euthanasia behind the wedge, the falsely presumed ‘right’, of assisted suicide. A supreme court of nine ruled that to keep a Guillaume-Barre patient alive till she’d lose the ability to commit suicide unassisted, amounts to infringing on her right to life. Such ‘enlightenment’ makes true light dark, calls darkness light, and dulls minds that might have known ‘hard cases make bad law’ so that they slip on the slime of adders.
Summation, or consummation of all things When God said that the proud head of satan would be crushed, He didn’t say that the world will rejoice. Before the definitive saving work of the cross, Jesus posed the question “when the Son of man returns, will he find justice in the earth?” Will anyone care or heed that He spoke to their conscience? In Apocalypse, at the start of woes, two just souls will seem to the world as oppressors, and will be put to death .. when all the nations party in unbridled gayness. Jesus cites the prophecy He, being the Word, had inspired in Daniel: the abomination of desolation will be set up in the Holy of Holies, the place where it ought not to be. While historians think this was fulfilled within seventy years at the profanation of Jerusalem by Rome, it is doubtful that Jesus was satisfied to peak on the subject of the end-of- ages by reference to a soon impending invasion. As always He also spoke spiritually, for the abomination of desolation is that which makes desolate - infecund and barren, physically and spiritually. A contraceptive mentality within marriage, sanctioned in ‘the place it ought not to be’, will be seen to be accepted even by some who serve the Holy of Holies: the Mass itself. A prophetic Oblate of Mary priest, the late John Mole would say, Motherhood and the Mass are inseparable. By the love act of the blessed sacrament, God converts and sustains all his children who are destined to a second birth. The radical adversaries of God and his other creatures are pure spirit, less detectable than the wind, yet more powerful than gales. Like Judas (“one of you a devil”) they were present with God, rejoicing at his creation of the cosmic firmament. John Cassian gives evidence, “when the stars were made all together, all my angels praised Me with a loud voice” [Job 38:7] suggesting that satan’s fall followed after the making of man’s habitat on earth - “I beheld lucifer cast down like lightning, into the earth”. Some have said that man or God’s plan for him occasioned satan’s fall, as his angels could not countenance God’s love for mere flesh, even His hypostatic union with it. The malaise yet afflicts many followers of a certain ‘prophet’.
Hereafter scripture warns of the ‘Spirit of the World’ which comes to hold sway over the minds of persons in power and influence - unseen powers and principalities named by St. Paul. The failure to turn in spirit and truth to God can only mean subtle enslavement, for we must have a master, which cannot be “both God and Mammon”. The problem of evil: ‘why would a good God make unwilling beings or allow evil to be visited on unwitting creatures’, may seem to surpass the mind. However, it cannot be totally past us, if God who is ever so much greater than any ‘problem’ can yet be “touched by our mind” to use St. Anselm (or even Leonard Cohen, in reverse). We can glimpse the higher plan, the outcome of salvation that God has worked for all the world lost in condemnation. Condemned it stood, yet He saw to making a sure means for willing souls to be saved from the ‘second death’, even as we do lament the first.
“The death of the just looked like a disaster”, but yet the going of the upright was life eternal. To God, one’s death - timely or untimely - but meets in itself the necessity of the broken primordial law: by the disobedience which brings death, ‘it is appointed to all to die’. Yet woe to any who, like Cain, participate with the vengeful devil in perpetrating it. This accuser of saints comes up against the parental role that only God can have; for vengeance does not belonging to the vengeful: it belongs to God. His slowness of anger only unchains the power of the ‘venging spirit on the obdurate and unrepentant. If the punishment for breaking the first law was death, the final law of Christ “love one another as I have loved you” is all mercy and life. Each eternal soul - that principle of life which no biotechnical lab can create - that has not consigned itself to everlasting death will escape it, as the burning bush escaped consumption. Our knowing is in a bit of limbo over the destiny of any whose life ends before loss of natural innocence. We may be sure the ‘holy innocents’ killed in Herod’s pogrom were led free, come Easter some 33 years after. God as Lord of time can apply saving power backwards: the
Ninevites repented and the unchanging God seemed to have changed His mind. Agnostics rebut belief in the divine on the grounds that an all-powerful, all-good God wouldn’t allow bad things to happen to decent people. Since existence, taken as nature, is cruel and disinterested in life, there is no such provident being or ground of existence. Their fallacy is to require of an all-knowing God our agenda in willful ignorance of His greater plan. Existence goes beyond nature, and tragedies like the Titanic striking an iceberg are not final for any who die hoping and leaning on God’s hand.
For the sake of a bereft mother, perhaps teetering on moral despair, Jesus revived a young man. There’s no reason to think he’d been unjust or without conscience, or not among captivity to be set free. The collapse of the tower of Shiloh did not signify the victims’ perdition. Good Lazarus, far from the devil’s clutch, was raised because it could do the mourners no good to remain in the unbelief over which Jesus wept (Lazarus - doubtless without fear - would suffer that death all over again). As Jesus stressed, some consumed in Sodom and Gomorrah would face a better judgment than unbelievers in Nazareth and neighbouring Capernaum or Chorazin. Even Lot’s imperfect wife, empathic to cries of death, was not ‘consumed’ as they, but turned to preservative (salus) against the day of resurrection. Father Bedard concluded his memoirs warmly recommending: “do not waste pain”. Pain there will be, just as ‘the poor you will ever have with you’. Since pain and empathy can be shared with the Lord, to squander the opportunity - sorely tempting as it is to complain - is such a shame, especially knowing what outcome it promises. Taking that to mind, Job exclaimed “though He slay me, yet I will love and serve the Lord”: a bold prophetic claim on what shall be. His wisdom already grasped salvation: “my own eyes shall see Him, in my body I shall look on God, my saviour” [Job 19:25-27].
Many suppose that the Church, ever ancient, ever new, was overly preoccupied with death and afterlife beyond the grave, while now complaining she is preoccupied with vital promise (or not) of the generation of life this side of the grave. ‘We mourned and you would not mourn; now we dance and you will not dance’. It has been said of Christ, his Cross and the Church that it is a sign of contradiction. It is ! Contradictions like that are pregnant with life. A climax in union is a ‘little death’ meant to signify the birth it may bring forth. A still more beautiful signifier is the little deaths that religious make to God every day, in accepting, even embracing, the preferment of others. As St. Augustine showed, virginity is the higher call which harkens to Paradaisal innocence and the beyond-sexual union of the elect with God, their bridegroom. What the chaste married and the virginal together show is a full reality: that each soul yearns for second birth, birth ‘from above’ even if drawing to the end of its first birthing. To all this God has made a sure pledge, that the ‘problem’ of evil will be swallowed up in joy: “On that day, you will have no question to ask me at all”. This age’s is not a question of voids, though hell must be unimaginably empty of good; nor even is it the problem of satan’s existence. It is the problem of souls, destined for God, who fail to heed conscience and be saved. Why we do that is beyond the mind to know, but is answered by trust. As pope Benedict put it, Spe Salvi. If I may be allowed a final quote-bend, Our hope is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. January 27, 2018 - #Eucharist


Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 322


Reading 12 SM 12:1-7A, 10-17

The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him,
Nathan said: "Judge this case for me!
In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor.
The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers.
But the poor man had nothing at all
except one little ewe lamb that he had bought.
He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children.
She shared the little food he had
and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom.
She was like a daughter to him.
Now, the rich man received a visitor,
but he would not take from his own flocks and herds
to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him.
Instead he took the poor man's ewe lamb
and made a meal of it for his visitor."
David grew very angry with that man and said to him:
"As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death!
He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold
because he has done this and has had no pity."

Then Nathan said to David: "You are the man!
Thus says the LORD God of Israel:
'The sword shall never depart from your house,
because you have despised me
and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.'
Thus says the LORD:
'I will bring evil upon you out of your own house.
I will take your wives while you live to see it,
and will give them to your neighbor.
He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.
You have done this deed in secret,
but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel,
and with the sun looking down.'"

Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD."
Nathan answered David: "The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin:
you shall not die.
But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed,
the child born to you must surely die."
Then Nathan returned to his house.

The LORD struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David,
and it became desperately ill.
David besought God for the child.
He kept a fast, retiring for the night
to lie on the ground clothed in sackcloth.
The elders of his house stood beside him
urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not,
nor would he take food with them.

Responsorial PsalmPS 51:12-13, 14-15, 16-17

R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Free me from blood guilt, O God, my saving God;
then my tongue shall revel in your justice.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

AlleluiaJN 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 4:35-41

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
"Let us cross to the other side."
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him,
"Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"
He woke up,
rebuked the wind,
and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!"
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?"
They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
"Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"

Saint January 27 : St. Angela Merici : Patron of Sickness, #Handicapped, Loss of parents

Feast Day:
January 27
Born:
21 March 1474, Desenzano del Garda, Province of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
Died:
27 January 1540, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
Canonized:
May 24, 1807, Rome by Pope Pius VII
Major Shrine:
The Merician Centre (including the now subterranean Church of St Afra, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy)
Patron of:
sickness, handicapped people, loss of parents
Saint Mary of the Angels (1474 - 1540) Feastday: January 27 Also known as: Angela of Merici, Angela de Marici Angela Merici was born on March 21, 1474 at Desenzano, Lake Garda, Italy. She made a vow of virginity before she was ten years old and persuaded her older sister to do the same. Her parents died when she was only ten years old. Together, with her older sister, she moved to the nearby town of Salo, to live with her uncle. She and her only sister, who was three years older, loved each other very much. But soon the sister of Angela followed her parents by a sudden death. Her sister's tragic death left Angela disconsolate because it occurred before her sister could receive the last sacraments of the Catholic Church. Angela lost herself in prayer and good works. Although she had great faith, she could not help but wonder if her sister was safe in heaven. One day during harvest Angela was alone in the fields when she experienced a life-changing vision: the heaven’s opened and angels and young women came toward her singing a melody, surrounded by light. One of the young girl's was Angela’s sister and she spoke, telling her that God wanted her to establish a company of consecrated virgins. Since then she has been known as a Saint, thanks to her spiritual life and her capacity to understand and help people. In 1516, on invitation, Angela moved to Brescia, for a consolatory mission in the house of Caterina Patengola, who had lost her husband and two children. Here she met Giovan Antonio Romano. Soon a group of people formed around her, united by the same desire for good. In 1524 Angela embarked on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and a year later she went to Rome to the Pope for the Jubilee. On November 25, 1535, on Saint Catherine’s day, Angela and 28 young women formed the Order of Ursulines in honor of St. Ursula in a small house near the Church of St. Afra in Bresci. In 1536, Merici laid down the rules of the Ursuline Order, clarifying her plan to restore the family and the supremacy of Christianity through the education of girls. In 1537 she was elected superior of the company by unanimous vote. Before her death she dictated her Testament and Souvenirs, which contain her counsels to her nuns; they insist on interest in the individual, gentleness, and the efficacy of persuasion over force. In 1580, Charles Borromeo, Bishop of Milan, inspired by the work of the Ursulines in Brescia, encouraged the foundation of Ursuline houses in all the dioceses of Northern Italy. Charles also encouraged the Ursulines to live together in community rather than in their own homes. Angela died on the 27th January 1540 at Brescia and was buried in the ancient church of Saint Afra (now Saint Angela’s sanctuary), where she still rests. She left 150 spiritual daughters. On June 9, 1544, Pope Paul III approved the new institute with the Bull: “Regimini Universalis Ecclesiae”. She is beatified on April 30, 1768 by Pope Clement XIII and canonized on May 24, 1807 by Pope Pius VII. In 1962 St. Angela Merici was proclaimed the principal patron of Desenzano by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. In 1861, Pius IX extended her veneration to the universal Church. Saint Angela's body is incorrupt. After Angela's death the Company of Saint Ursula spread rapidly. Ursuline communities were established quickly in France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Canada and the United States. Today, thousands of Ursuline Sisters work to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ on six continents. Text shared from MaryPages - Image Google