Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Pope Francis "... Lent is a favourable time to remedy the dissonant chords of our Christian life and to receive the ever new..." FULL TEXT Homily + Video


Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ homily: 
The season of Lent is a favourable time to remedy the dissonant chords of our Christian life and to receive the ever new, joyful and hope-filled proclamation of the Lord’s Passover. The Church in her maternal wisdom invites us to pay special attention to anything that could dampen or even corrode our believing heart. We are subject to numerous temptations. Each of us knows the difficulties we have to face. And it is sad to note that, when faced with the ever-varying circumstances of our daily lives, there are voices raised that take advantage of pain and uncertainty; the only thing they aim to do is sow distrust. If the fruit of faith is charity – as Mother Teresa often used to say – then the fruit of distrust is apathy and resignation. Distrust, apathy and resignation: these are demons that deaden and paralyze the soul of a believing people.
Lent is the ideal time to unmask these and other temptations, to allow our hearts to beat once more in tune with the vibrant heart of Jesus. The whole of the Lenten season is imbued with this conviction, which we could say is echoed by three words offered to us in order to rekindle the heart of the believer: pause, see and return.
Pause a little, leave behind the unrest and commotion that fill the soul with bitter feelings which never get us anywhere. Pause from this compulsion to a fast-paced life that scatters, divides and ultimately destroys time with family, with friends, with children, with grandparents, and time as a gift… time with God.
Pause for a little while, refrain from the need to show off and be seen by all, to continually appear on the “noticeboard” that makes us forget the value of intimacy and recollection.
Pause for a little while, refrain from haughty looks, from fleeting and pejorative comments that arise from forgetting tenderness, compassion and reverence for the encounter with others, particularly those who are vulnerable, hurt and even immersed in sin and error.
Pause for a little while, refrain from the urge to want to control everything, know everything, destroy everything; this comes from overlooking gratitude for the gift of life and all the good we receive.
Pause for a little while, refrain from the deafening noise that weakens and confuses our hearing, that makes us forget the fruitful and creative power of silence.
Pause for a little while, refrain from the attitude which promotes sterile and unproductive thoughts that arise from isolation and self-pity, and that cause us to forget going out to encounter others to share their burdens and suffering.
Pause for a little while, refrain from the emptiness of everything that is instantaneous, momentary and fleeting, that deprives us of our roots, our ties, of the value of continuity and the awareness of our ongoing journey.
Pause in order to look and contemplate!
See the gestures that prevent the extinguishing of charity, that keep the flame of faith and hope alive. Look at faces alive with God’s tenderness and goodness working in our midst.
See the face of our families who continue striving, day by day, with great effort, in order to move forward in life, and who, despite many concerns and much hardship, are committed to making their homes a school of love.
See the faces of our children and young people filled with yearning for the future and hope, filled with “tomorrows” and opportunities that demand dedication and protection. Living shoots of love and life that always open up a path in the midst of our selfish and meagre calculations.
See our elderly whose faces are marked by the passage of time, faces that reveal the living memory of our people. Faces that reflect God’s wisdom at work.
See the faces of our sick people and the many who take care of them; faces which in their vulnerability and service remind us that the value of each person can never be reduced to a question of calculation or utility.
See the remorseful faces of so many who try to repair their errors and mistakes, and who from their misfortune and suffering fight to transform their situations and move forward.
See and contemplate the face of Crucified Love, who today from the cross continues to bring us hope, his hand held out to those who feel crucified, who experience in their lives the burden of failure, disappointment and heartbreak.
See and contemplate the real face of Christ crucified out of love for everyone, without exception. For everyone? Yes, for everyone. To see his face is an invitation filled with hope for this Lenten time, in order to defeat the demons of distrust, apathy and resignation. The face that invites us to cry out: “The Kingdom of God is possible!”
Pause, see and returnReturn to the house of your Father. Return without fear to those outstretched, eager arms of your Father, who is rich in mercy (cf. Eph 2:4), who awaits you.
Return without fear, for this is the favourable time to come home, to the home of my Father and your Father (cf. Jn 20:17). It is the time for allowing one’s heart to be touched… Persisting on the path of evil only gives rise to disappointment and sadness. True life is something quite distinct and our heart indeed knows this. God does not tire, nor will he tire, of holding out his hand (cf. Misericordiae Vultus, 19).
Return without fear, to join in the celebration of those who are forgiven.
Return without fear, to experience the healing and reconciling tenderness of God. Let the Lord heal the wounds of sin and fulfil the prophecy made to our fathers: “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek 36: 26).
Pause, see and return!

Text source: Official Vatican News Translation

Top 30 Catholic Love Quotes to SHARE - Amazing #Quotes from Saints on #Love


1. "Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting."
--Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

2. Pure love ... knows that only one thing is needed to please God: to do even the smallest things out of great love - love, and always love. (140)
--Divine Mercy in My Soul, St. Faustina
3. "The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist."
--Pope St. Gregory the Great

4. "What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like."
--St. Augustine of Hippo

5. "You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them."
--St. Therese of Lisieux 

6. "Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love."
--Saint Francis of Assisi

7. "As for what concerns our relations with our fellow men, the anguish in our neighbor's soul must break all precept. All that we do is a means to an end, but love is an end in itself, because God is love."
--St. Edith Stein

8. "Our Lord loves you and loves you tenderly; and if He does not let you feel the sweetness of His love, it is to make you more humble and abject in your own eyes."
--St. Pio of Pietrelcino

9."We must love our neighbor as being made in the image of God and as an object of His love."
--Saint Vincent de Paul

10."What a weakness it is to love Jesus Christ only when He caresses us, and to be cold immediately once He afflicts us. This is not true love. Those who love thus, love themselves too much to love God with all their heart."
--St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

11."The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life."
--Saint Thomas Aquinas

12. Charity is the sweet and holy bond which links the soul with its Creator: it binds God with man and man with God.
--Saint Catherine of Siena

13. 'The person who loves God cannot help loving every man as himself, even though he is grieved by the passions of those who are not yet purified. But when they amend their lives, his delight is indescribable and knows no bounds. A soul filled with thoughts of sensual desire and hatred is unpurified. If we detect any trace of hatred in our hearts against any man whatsoever for committing any fault, we are utterly estranged from love for God, since love for God absolutely precludes us from hating any man.'
--St. Maximos the Confessor

14. What is the mark of love for your neighbor? Not to seek what is for your own benefit, but what is for the benefit of the one loved, both in body and in soul.
--St. Basil the Great

15. "You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves."
--St. Francis de Sales

16. "Everything comes from love,
all is ordained for the salvation of man,
God does nothing without this goal in mind."
--St. Catherine of Siena


17. "We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love"
--Blessed Mother Teresa


18. "There is no place for selfishness—and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice"
--Pope John Paul II

19. "We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others. "
--St. Clare of Assisi

20. "Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger or higher or wider; nothing is more pleasant, nothing fuller, and nothing better in heaven or on earth, for love is born of God and cannot rest except in God, Who is above all created things."
--St. Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ

21. "Love is the most necessary of all virtues. Love in the person who preaches the word of God is like fire in a musket. If a person were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything; but if the person takes the same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill. It is much the same with the word of God. If it is spoken by someone who is filled with the fire of charity- the fire of love of God and neighbor- it will work wonders."
--St. Anthony Mary Claret (from his autobiography).

22. "Real love is demanding. I would fail in my mission if I did not tell you so. Love demands a personal commitment to the will of God."
--Pope John Paul II


23. “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”
--St Augustine


24. Always remember to love your neighbor; always prefer the one who tries your patience, who test your virtue, because with her you can always merit: suffering is Love; the Law is Love. 
--Bl Mary of Jesus Crucified "The Little Arab"


25. A soul enkindled with love is a gentle, meek, humble, and patient soul. 
--St John of the Cross, OCD

26. You know that our Lord does not look at the greatness or difficulty of our action, but at the love with which you do it. What, then, have you to fear? 
--St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, OCD


27. What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.   
--St John of the Cross, OCD


28. Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.
--Saint Thomas Aquinas

29. 'My Jesus, fill my heart with so much love that one day it will break just to be with you. My Jesus, you know I have placed you as a seal on my heart. Remain there always.'
--St. Bernadette Soubirous

30."He alone loves the Creator perfectly
who manifests a pure love for his neighbor." 
--St. Bede the Venerable

Pope Francis "His Word knocks at the heart and changes hearts!" at Audience - FULL TEXT + Video


The Holy Father’s Catechesis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! Good morning even if the day is a bit nasty. However, if the spirit is joyful it’s always a good day. So, good morning! Today the Audience will take place in two areas: a small group of the sick is in the Hall, given the weather, and we are here. But we see them and they see us in the giant screen. We greet them with an applause.
We continue with the catechesis on the Mass. To what does the listening of the biblical Readings, prolonged in the homily, respond? It responds to a right: the spiritual right of the People of God to receive abundantly the treasure of the Word of God (Cf. Introduction to the Lectionary, 45). When we go to Mass, each one of us has the right to receive abundantly the Word of God well read, well said and then, explained well in the homily. It’s a right! And when the Word of God isn’t read well, isn’t preached with fervour by the Deacon, by the Priest of by the Bishop, one fails a right of the faithful. We have the right to hear the Word of God. The Lord speaks to all, Pastors and faithful. He knocks at the heart of all those taking part in the Mass, each one in his condition of life, age <and> situation. The Lord consoles, calls, brings forth shoots of new and reconciled life. And <He does> this through His Word; His Word knocks at the heart and changes hearts!
Therefore, after the homily, a time of silence enables one to settle the seed received in the spirit, so that resolutions of adherence are born to what the Spirit has suggested to each one. Silence after the homily — there must be a beautiful silence there — and each one must think about what he has heard.
After this silence, how does the Mass continue? The personal response of faith is inserted in the Church’s profession of faithexpressed in the Creed.” We all recite the “Creed” in the Mass. Recited by the whole assembly, the Symbol manifests the common response to what has been heard together of the Word of God (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 185-197). There is a vital nexus between listening and faith. They are united. The latter — faith –, in fact, is not born from the imagination of human minds but, as Saint Paul reminds, “from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Faith is nourished, therefore, with listening and leads to the Sacrament. So the recitation of the “Creed” is such that it makes the liturgical assembly “turn to meditate and profess the great mysteries of the faith, before their celebration in the Eucharist” [Ordinamento Generale del Messale Romano, (OGMR67].
The Symbol of faith links the Eucharist to Baptism, received “in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” and reminds us that the Sacraments are comprehensible in the light of the faith of the Church.
The response to the Word of God received with faith is then expressed in the common supplication, called the Universal Prayer, because it encompasses the needs of the Church and of the world (Cf. OGMR, 69-71; Introduction to the Lectionary, 30-31). It is also called Prayer of the Faithful.
The Fathers of Vatican II wished to restore this prayer after the Gospel and the homily, especially on Sunday and feasts, so that “with the participation of the people, prayers are said for the Holy Church, for those that govern us, for those that find themselves in various needs, for all men and for the salvation of the whole world” (Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 53; Cf. I Timothy 2:1-2). Therefore, under the guidance of the Priest who introduces and concludes, ”the people, exercising their own baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all” (OGMR, 69). And after the individual intentions, proposed by the Deacon or a reader, the assembly unites its voice invoking: “Hear us, O Lord.”
We remember, in fact, all that the Lord Jesus has said to us: “If you abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever you will, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). However, we don’t believe this, because we have little faith.” But, Jesus says, if we had faith as a grain of mustard, we would receive everything. “Ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.” And in this moment of the Universal Prayer after the Creed, is the moment to ask the Lord for the most intense things in the Mass, the things of which we are in need, what we want.  “It shall be done for you,” in one way or another, but “It shall be done for you.” “All is possible for one who believes,” said the Lord. What did that man answer, whom the Lord addressed to say this word — all is possible for one who believes? He said: “I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief.” And we must pray with this spirit of faith: “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.” Mundane logical pretensions, instead, don’t take off to Heaven, just as self-referential requests remain unheard (Cf. James 4:2-3). The intentions for which the faithful people are invited to pray must give voice to concrete needs of the ecclesial community and of the world, avoiding taking recourse to conventional or myopic formulas. The “Universal” Prayer, which concludes the Liturgy of the Word, exhorts us to make our own God’s look, who takes care of all His children.
[Original text: Italian]  [Blogger Entry SHARE of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
In Italian
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking faithful.
I greet, in particular, the participants in the Course, organized by the Congregation for the Clergy, for those responsible for the permanent formation of the Clergy in Latin America; the Claretian Missionaries; the Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres and the Religious Daughters of Jesus.
I greet the youngsters from Tezze sul Brenta; the parishes; the group of the Confirmed of Valbona and Lozzo Atestino and the Confirmation candidates of Monselice and Arqua Petrarca. Moreover, I greet the Associations and school Institutes, in particular L’Arca of Legnano and the De Filippo of Rome. I exhort you to revive your faith, to be witnesses of the love of the Lord with concrete works of charity.
A special thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today, Ash Wednesday, the Lenten journey begins. Dear young people, I hope you will live this time of grace as a return to the Love of the Father, who waits for all with open arms. Dear sick, I encourage you to offer your sufferings for the conversion of those that live far from the faith; and I invite you, dear newlyweds, to build your new family on the rock of the love of God.
[Original text: Italian]  [Blogger Entry SHARE of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
Greeting to the Sick in Paul VI Hall
Thank you for the visit. I give you all the blessing. I’m going to the Square and you can follow from here the Audience in the Square. They will see you from the Square, ok! You will see the Square and the Square will see you. And this is good. Let us pray a Hail Mary to Our Lady.
[Recitation of the Hail Mary and Blessing]
And pray for me! Don’t forget, o.k.! Good audience. See you later. Thank you! 
[Original text: Italian]  [Blogger Entry SHARE of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Easy #Novena to St. Valentine - Patron of #Love, #Marriage and #Fiancees - #Prayers to SHARE

St. Valentine is Patron Saint of fianced couples, against fainting, bee keepers, happy marriages, love, plague, epilepsy. Say for 9 days along with 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory be each day: 
"O glorious advocate and protector, St Valentine,
look with pity upon our wants,
hear our requests,
attend to our prayers,
relieve by your intercession the miseries
under which we labour,
and obtain for us the divine blessing,
that we may be found worthy to join you
in praising the Almighty for all
eternity: through the merits of
Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."

Prayer to St. Valentine
Almighty God, grant we beseech You,
that we who celebrate the glorious martyrdom of St. Valentine, Your
servant, may by his intercession be filled with the love of God and
neighbor and be delivered from all the evils that threaten us.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : #AshWednesday February 14, 2018 - #Eucharist


Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 219


If the blessing and distribution of ashes take place outside Mass, it is appropriate that

the Liturgy of the Word precede it, using texts assigned to the Mass of Ash Wednesday.

Reading 1JL 2:12-18

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.

Responsorial PsalmPS 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 12-13, 14 AND 17

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
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. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Reading 22 COR 5:20—6:2

Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.


Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

Verse Before The GospelSEE PS 95:8

If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

GospelMT 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."