Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Pope Francis "...Mother Church prays so that her children, regenerated in Baptism, won’t succumb to the snares of the Evil One" FULL TEXT + Video

FULL TEXT Audience - April 25, 2018 (Image source: Vatican.va
The Holy Father’s Catechesis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
We continue our reflection on Baptism, ever in the light of the Word of God. It’s the Gospel that enlightens the candidates and arouses adherence to the faith:  “Baptism is ‘the sacrament of faith’ in a particular way, since it is the sacramental entry into the life of faith” [Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 1236]. And faith is the giving of oneself to the Lord Jesus, acknowledged as “spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14), “light of the world” (John 9:5),  “resurrection and life” (John 11:25), as the itinerary shows, followed still today, by catechumens now close to receiving Christian initiation. Educated by listening to Jesus, by His teaching and by His works, catechumens relive the experience of the Samaritan woman thirsty for living water, of the man born blind who opens his eyes to the light, of Lazarus who comes out of the sepulcher. The Gospel has within itself the strength to transform one who accepts it with faith, tearing him away from the dominion of the Evil One, so that he learns to serve the Lord with joy and newness of life.
One never goes alone to the baptismal font, but accompanied by the prayer of the whole Church, as the Litanies of the Saints recall, which precede the Prayer of Exorcism and the pre-baptismal anointing with the oil of the catechumens. They are gestures that, since antiquity, assure all those that prepare themselves to be reborn as children of God, that the prayer of the Church assists them in the struggle against evil, accompanies them on the way of goodness, helps them to subtract themselves from the power of sin to pass into the kingdom of divine grace. The prayer of the Church – the Church prays and prays for all, for all of us! We, as Church, pray for others. It’s a good thing to pray for others. How many times we don’t have an urgent need and <so> we don’t pray. We must pray, united to the Church, for others: “Lord, I pray to you for those that are in need, for those that don’t have faith . . .” Don’t forget: the prayer of the Church is always on-going. However, we must enter this prayer and pray for all the people of God and for those that are in need of prayers Therefore, the path of adult catechumens is marked by repeated exorcisms pronounced by the priest (Cf. CCC, 1237), namely, by prayers that invoke deliverance from all that separates one from Christ and impedes profound union with Him. For children also, God is asked to free them from original sin and consecrate them dwelling of the Holy Spirit (Cf. Rite of the Baptism of Children, n. 56). The children – pray for the children, for <their> spiritual and corporal health. It’s a way of protecting children with prayer. As the Gospels attests, Jesus Himself fought and expelled devils to manifest the advent of the Kingdom of God (Cf. Matthew 12:28): His victory over the power of the Evil One leaves free room to the lordship of God who makes glad and reconciles with life.
Baptism isn’t a magical formula, but a gift of the Holy Spirit, which enables one who receives it “to fight against the spirit of evil,” believing that “God sent His Son into the world to destroy Satan’s power and transfer man from darkness to His Kingdom of infinite light” (Cf. Rite of the Baptism of Children, n. 56). We know from experience that Christian life is always subject to temptation, especially the temptation of separating oneself from God, from His Will, from communion with Him, to fall back into worldly seductions. And Baptism prepares us. It give us the strength for this daily struggle, also to fight against the devil who – as Saint Peter says – seeks as a lion to devour us, to destroy us.  
In addition to prayer, there is then the anointing of the chest with the oil of catechumens, with which “they receive vigour to renounce the devil and sin, before approaching the font and being born to a new life” (Blessing of the oil. Premesse, n. 3). Because of the property of oil to penetrate the tissues of the body bringing them benefit, ancient fighters used to sprinkle themselves with oil to tone the muscles and flee more easily from the adversary’s grip. In the light of this symbolism, the Christians of the first centuries adopted the use of anointing the body of candidates to Baptism with the oil blessed by the Bishop, in order to show, through this “sign of salvation,” that the power of Christ the Saviour strengthens to fight against evil and overcome it (Cf. Rite of the Baptism of Children, n. 105).
It’s tiring to fight against evil, to flee from its deceits, to have strength again after an exhausting struggle, but we must know that the whole of Christian life is a battle. However, we must also know that we’re not alone, that Mother Church prays so that her children, regenerated in Baptism, won’t succumb to the snares of the Evil One but overcome him by the power of Christ’s Passover. Strengthened by the Risen Lord, who defeated the prince of this world (Cf. John 12:31), we can also repeat with Saint Paul’s faith: “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). All of us can overcome, overcome everything, but with the strength that comes to us from Christ.
[Original text: Italian]  [Blog Entry Share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
In Italian
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking faithful.
I am happy to receive the Divine Word Missionaries, the Handmaids of Mary Ministers of the Sick and the Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres. I encourage all to be faithful to Christ to have the joy of the Gospel shine.
I greet the Confirmation candidates of the Diocese of Treviso, accompanied by the Archbishop, Monsignor Gianfranco Gardin; the pilgrimage of the Groups of the Gospel of the Tent of the Magnicat; the students; the Parishes; the Italian Biochemical Institute; the Bands Complex of Casalbordino; the New Society Association Sant’Antonio di Sutri and the Rogationist alumni.
A special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist. May his intercession sustain you in your journey of faith so that, following his example, you can become hearers and heralds of Christ’s Gospel, witnessing it with your life.
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
The Holy Father’s Appeal
Friday, April 27, an Inter-Korean Summit will be held at Panmunjom, in which the leaders of the two Koreas, Mister Moon Jae-in and Mister Kim Jong Un will take part. This meeting will be a propitious occasion to start a transparent dialogue and a concrete process of reconciliation and rediscovered fraternity, in order to guarantee peace in the Korean Peninsula and in the entire world.
To the Korean people, who ardently desire peace, I assure my personal prayer and the closeness of all the Church. The Holy See accompanies, supports and encourages every useful and sincere initiative to build a better future, in the spirit of encounter and friendship among peoples. I ask those that have direct political responsibilities to have the courage to hope, making themselves “craftsmen” of peace, while I exhort them to continue with trust the path undertaken for the good of all. And, as God is Father of all and Father of peace, I invite you to pray to our Father, God, Father of all, for the Korean people, be it those that are in the South be it those that are in the North.
[Recitation of the Our Father]
[Original text: Italian]  [Blog Entry Share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest Killed in Road Robbery - RIP Fr. Bernardin Brou - in the Ivory Coast

Abidjan (Agenzia Fides)- A Catholic priest was killed in a road robbery 23 April in Cote d’Ivoire. Fr Bernardin Brou Aka Daniel was assistant parish priest at Sacred Heart Parish Koun-Abronso diocese of Abengourou, in the east of the country.
According to information sent to Fides, in the evening of 23 April , Rev. Bernardin was returning to his parish on the Agnibilekro – Koun-Fao road after taking part in meetings in Abengourou. With him in the car was Fr. Théophile Ahi. At about 10 pm local time in the town of Nianda, just after the village of Apprompronou (some 30 km from Abengourou), the car carrying the two priests was forced to slow down because of a truck stranded in the middle of the road. Rev. Bernardin who was driving tried to avoid the obstacle but was hit by shots fired by two armed men who appeared all of a sudden. The wounded priest was made to stop, the bandits asked the priests for money, Rev. Bernardin replied that they were not carrying much money. Without warning the bandits opened fire the priest was hit to the abdomen.
The criminals were forced to interrupt the attack when a second vehicle appeared. Rev. Bernardin, who was losing blood fast resumed his place at the wheel, managed to reach Agnibilékrou where he was admitted to the local hospital where, despite the efforts of doctors, he died of his wounds. 
Rev Bernardin Brou Aka Daniel born in December 1976, was ordained a priest in 2013. He served at the parish of Appouessou , at Saint-Joseph d’Amelékia, then at the parish of St Teresa of the Child Jesus in Apprompronou, before being transferred to Sacred Heart parish Koun-Abronso. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 25/5/2018)

#BreakingNews Latest on Alfie Evans - 28 hours with no Food - Parents in Court Fight to take him to Italy - Please Pray

Little Alfie Evans, who is fighting a rare neurological condition. is finally getting food. Alder Hey Children’s Hospital waited 28 hours before feeding the 23-month old boy. 
Alfie is not being allowed to go home or to be transferred to a hospital in Italy that has promised to provide him treatment. Please continue to pray...
 Statement from the Liverpool hospital:
"This evening the High Court again ruled that it is in Alfie’s best interests to continue with the end of life care plan developed by the clinical team who have cared for him throughout.
"Our top priority therefore remains in ensuring Alfie receives the care he deserves to ensure his comfort, dignity and privacy are maintained throughout.
"This includes working closely with Kate and Tom as they spend this precious time together with him.
"We would be grateful if respect and consideration is shown to all our staff, patients and families at the hospital at this difficult time."
The judge said: "The sad truth is that it is not the brain stem and the white matter enabling Alfie just about to sustain respiration. A brain cannot regenerate itself, as I have been told."
-----------------------------------
Alfie’s Father Tom Evans said, “They only started feeding him at one ‘o’clock yesterday. It’s disgusting how he’s being treated." “Not even an animal would be treated like this. He’s proving them wrong. It’s time to give him some grace and dignity and let him go home or to Italy.”
The Evans family are in court again today fighting to overturn a jduge’s decision preventing Alfie from going to Italy for proper care.
‘The court of appeal have reached out to us and said they are going to set back three judges to hear the case. In reality, he could be in Italy right now. We all know the military air force are ready to take him and a team of doctors are there,” he said. “We’ve also got a German air ambulance team, who attempted to take him in the first place, ready.”
Alfie Evans survived for 36 hours after a children’s hospital removed his life support without his parents’ consent. 
Justice Hayden said flying Alfie to Italy could harm his health because, as court testimony , the flight could trigger possible “continuous seizures due to stimulations” of the flight. 
Evans explained that Alfie is not in any pain and that Alfie is not having any seizures at this time.
 Italy has granted Alfie  Italian citizenship which would allow  him to leave the country.
Attorneys for his parents say they want Italian doctors to be able to come to Britain to evaluate and treat Alfie.
A spokeswoman for the Christian Legal Centre, said medics at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool had stopped providing “ventilation support” to Alfie shortly after 9pm on Monday.
However, Alfie continued to breathe independently.
She said: “Alfie has survived much longer than the doctors predicted, lending support to the request from Alfie’s parents for Alfie to be seen by medical experts in Italy.
“An air ambulance is now waiting outside Alder Hey Hospital ready to take Alfie to hospital in Italy.”
An air ambulance arrived outside the hospital where Alfie Evans is located. 
The parents are praying to get life support restored and to take him to Italy, which granted him citizenship.
The Medical Ethics Alliance, expressed in a statement its condemnation over the treatment of Alfie Evans and called it a “medical tyranny.”
Italy’s Healthcare Chief has raised the alarm over the decisions by UK courts. The President of the Italian National Institute of Health decried the UK High Court’s decision on Alfie Evans.
Pope Francis has reiterated his support for Alfie and his parents and asks that Alfie’s parents be allowed to bring him to Italy.


Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. April 25, 2018 - #Eucharist


Feast of Saint Mark, evangelist
Lectionary: 555

Reading 11 PT 5:5B-14

Beloved:
Clothe yourselves with humility
in your dealings with one another, for:

God opposes the proud
but bestows favor on the humble.


So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time.
Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.

Be sober and vigilant.
Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, steadfast in faith,
knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world
undergo the same sufferings.
The God of all grace
who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you
after you have suffered a little.
To him be dominion forever. Amen.

I write you this briefly through Silvanus,
whom I consider a faithful brother,
exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.
Remain firm in it.
The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son.
Greet one another with a loving kiss.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Responsorial PsalmPS 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17

R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The heavens proclaim your wonders, O LORD,
and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies can rank with the LORD?
Who is like the LORD among the sons of God?
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;
in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk.
At your name they rejoice all the day,
and through your justice they are exalted.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia1 COR 1:23A-24B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We proclaim Christ crucified;
he is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 16:15-20

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

Saint April 25 : St. Mark Evangelist : Patron of Lawyers and #Prisoners

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St. Mark EVANGELIST, PATRON SAINT OF VENICE Feast: April 25
Born:
1st century AD, Palestine
Died:
April 25, 68 AD, Alexandria
Major Shrine:
Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Cairo, Egypt)
Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Alexandria, Egypt)
Basilica di San Marco (Venice, Italy)
Patron of:
against impenitence, against struma, attorneys, barristers, captives, glaziers, imprisoned people, prelature of insect bites, Ionian Islands, lawyers, lions, notaries, prisoners, scrofulous diseases, stained glass workers, struma patients, Venice
On April 25, we celebrate the feast of Saint Mark (died 57), writer of the Gospel, martyr, and follower of Jesus. Mark, and his family, were among the first Christians of the early Church. His mother, Mary, was one of the women who followed Jesus. Mark was present at the wedding in Cana, tasting the water turned into wine. He is likewise believed to be the young man who carried the pitcher signaling that his home would be used for the Last Supper. Later, that same room housed the disciples when the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost. On this, the dawning of the Easter season, we look to the courageous life of this saint and writer, as inspiration for our Easter journey. Born into the tribe of Levi, Mark was born in Northern Africa (Gyrene, in modern-day Libya), in the small village of Aberyatolos. As a young Levite, he received a thorough education and was able to read and write multiple languages—a skill he would utilize to its full potential as a preacher and writer. His family moved to Palestine following unrest in Northern Africa, and there he encountered Jesus and His disciples. Given his mother’s affiliation and following of Christ, the family was held in high esteem in early Christian circles. Often, many would meet to pray and preach in their home, and Biblical scholars posit family connections to both Saint Thomas and Saint Peter. In fact, when Saint Peter was freed from prison he went directly to the house of Mark.
It is believed that Peter himself converted Mark to the faith, and following the Ascension of Jesus, Mark accompanied Peter on his subsequent missionary trips. History tells us that Mark’s first convert was his father, who while allowing his wife to become Christian, had resisted the call himself. While traveling with his father to Jordan, the two men were set upon by a hungry lion and lioness. Mark appealed to Christ, praying, “Oh Christ, Save us!” The lions immediately departed, and his father accepted the faith. To this day, the winged lion is considered the symbol of Saint Mark. Mark accompanied Saint Peter to Rome, likely acting as a secretary and interpreter, and is said to have later preached the Gospel in Venice and Aquila. To this day, the citizens of Venice proclaim Saint Mark as their father of faith, and the most famous of Basilicas in that city is named in his honor. When Saint Peter wrote his First Epistle to the churches of Asia, he affectionately joined to his own salutation that of his faithful companion, whom he calls “my son Mark.” The Roman people entreated Saint Mark to put in writing for them the substance of Saint Peter’s frequent discourses on Our Lord’s life. This the Evangelist did under the eye and with the express sanction of the Apostle, and every page of his brief but graphic Gospel so bore the impress of Saint Peter’s character, that the Fathers used to name it “Peter’s Gospel.” Saint Mark traveled subsequently throughout Lebanon, reaching Mount Lebanon, and serving as the first Bishop of Gobayel.
 He then journeyed to Alexandria, and is considered the father of the Egyptian Church and the theological school of Alexandria. This school became the center of Christian learning and culture for several centuries. Holy legend tells us that Saint Mark was martyred in Alexandria around the year 57. He was dragged behind a team of oxen, with a rope around his neck, until his holy death. His relics were translated to Venice in 466, although the Italian government returned many of the relics to Egypt in the mid 1900s. Saint Mark was graced with the gift of writing. Through his Gospels, we are revealed many of the small details of the life of Jesus—His words and actions—that other Gospel writers did not record. As his Gospel, the second Gospel, is a vivid retelling of Saint Peter’s recollections, we can be certain that these writings are the intimate and personal reflections of the first pope. The life and service of Saint Mark—as well as the legacy of discipleship and learning he left in Egypt—remind us that we each are called to play our part in the fullness of the Resurrection. What is the Risen Lord calling you to do today?
Prayer: Almighty God, who by the hand of Mark the evangelist hast given to thy Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank thee for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 O Almighty God, who hast instructed thy holy Church with the heavenly doctrines of thy Evangelist Saint Mark; Give us grace, that, being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the truth of thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Text from 365Rosaries Blog