Monday, June 18, 2018

Saint June 19 : Saint Juliana Falconieri : Servants of Mary or #Servite Order


Saint Juliana Falconieri
Virgin
(1270-1340)

Saint Juliana Falconieri was born in 1270, in answer to prayer. Her father was the builder of the splendid church of the Annunziata in Florence, while her uncle, Saint Alexis Falconieri, became one of the seven Founders of the Servite Order. Under his surveillance Juliana grew up more like an angel than a human being, as he said. Her great modesty was remarkable; never during her entire lifetime did she look at her reflection in a mirror. The mere mention of sin made her shudder and tremble, and once, on hearing of a scandal, she fainted.

Her devotion to the sorrows of Our Lady drew her to the Servants of Mary or Servite Order, and at the age of fourteen, after refusing an offer of marriage, she received the habit from Saint Philip Benizi, General of the Order. Her sanctity attracted many novices, for whose direction she was bidden to draw up a rule, and thus she became foundress of the Mantellate.

She was the servant of her Sisters rather than their mistress, while outside her convent she led a life of apostolic charity, converting sinners, reconciling enemies, and healing the sick. She was sometimes rapt for whole days in ecstasy, and her prayers saved the Servite Order when it was in danger of being suppressed.

Saint Juliana in her old age suffered various painful illnesses. She was wasting away through a disease of the stomach which prevented her taking food, and bore her silent agony with constant cheerfulness, grieving only for the privation of Holy Communion. At last, when in her seventieth year she was at the point of death, she begged to be allowed once more to see and adore the Blessed Sacrament. It was brought to her cell and reverently laid on a corporal, which was placed over her heart. At this moment she expired, and the Sacred Host disappeared. After her death the form of the Host was found stamped upon her heart, at the exact spot over which the Blessed Sacrament had been placed. Saint Juliana died in her convent in Florence in 1340. Miracles have been frequently effected through her intercession.

Reflection. Meditate often, says Saint Paul of the Cross, on the sorrows of the Blessed Mother, sorrows inseparable from those of Her beloved Son. If you seek the Cross, there you will find the Mother; and where the Mother is, there also is the Son.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

#BreakingNews Catholic Bishops in the USA release Statement Against Separation of Children from Families


Fort Lauderdale, FL—"At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General's recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.
Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB's Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration's zero tolerance policy. Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral." (FULL TEXT Release from USCCB)

Pope Francis warns Against Slander "after having destroyed both a person and a situation with slander" Homily

Pope denounces “slanderous communication” of dictatorships
In his homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta, June 18, the Pope spoke about the devastating power of slanderous communication used by dictators against others. It is something that happens even today. If you want to destroy institutions or people, you start by speaking ill of them.  This is the “slanderous communication” that Pope Francis exhorted Christians to watch out against in his homily at Mass Monday morning in the chapel of the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta residence. 

Slander makes martyrs of innocents


The Pope was reflecting on the episode in the First Book of Kings, where Jezebel, the cruel wife of King Ahab of Samaria, used slander and falsehood to have Naboth killed in order to take possession of his vineyard which her husband greatly coveted.  
The Pope described Naboth as a “martyr of fidelity to the inheritance" that he had received from his forefathers: "an inheritance of the heart".
He said the story of Naboth is repeated in the story of Jesus, Saint Stephen and all the martyrs who were falsely condemned with slander.  The episode also reflects the ways of  “many heads of state or government".  One begins with a lie and, "after having destroyed both a person and a situation with slander", one judges and condemns them.

Dictatorship of evil communication


Pope Francis pointed out that even today this method of slanderous communication is used in many countries.  Media and communication law is brushed aside with the entire communication system handed to a company or a group that weakens democratic life with slander and falsehood. The judges then condemn these weakened institutions and destroyed people.  That’s how dictatorship works, the Pope said.
The Pope said all dictatorships began by adulterating communication by putting it in the hands of an unscrupulous person or government.

The seduction of scandals


This also happens in daily life, the Pope pointed out, saying one begins to destroy a person by starting with communication – speaking ill of others, slandering and spreading scandals, which he said have great seductive power.
Good news doesn’t seduce, it passes by, but a scandal draws attention.  This is how a person, institution and country ends up in ruins. 
The Pope said many persons and nations have been destroyed by evil and slanderous dictatorships, such as in the last century.  He particularly pointed to the example of the persecution of Jews, who because of a slanderous communication did not deserve to live and thus ended up at Auschwitz.
Calling it a horror, the Pope said it happens even today in small societies, in persons and in many countries.
The Pope said James the Apostle speaks precisely of the "destructive capacity of evil communication".   The Holy Father thus exhorted Christians to re-read the episode of Naboth and think of  the many people and countries destroyed by dictatorships of 'white gloves'.
SOURCE of Text Vatican News

RIP Underground Catholic Bishop Joseph Li Mingshu of China at Age 94 - who Invited Mother Teresa Sisters to Diocese

Msgr. Joseph Li Mingshu, bishop of Qingdao has died. 'Fearful', he had invited Mother Teresa’s Sisters to his diocese by Bernardo Cervellera He was 94 years old. He was bishop of Qingdao since 2000, with the Holy See approval. But according to several people, he was too subjugated to the Patriotic Association and to Antonio Liu Bainian, president of the organization and originally from Shandong. The diocese is silent on the period from 1953 to 1978. It is probable that the bishop was dragged to prison or forced labor camps during the Maoist period and the Cultural Revolution.
Rome (AsiaNews) - Msgr. Giuseppe Li Mingshu, bishop of Qingdao (Shandong), died on June 15 at the age of 94. The diocese reported news of his death, but has yet to announce a date for his funeral. His faithful remember him as a "fearful" and obedient bishop to the Patriotic Association, but in 2005 he invited Sister Nirmala Joshi, who succeeded Mother Teresa as superior of the Missionaries of Charity, to visit Qingdao to study the possibility of opening a house in his diocese. He also invited Sister Nirmala to write to the Chinese authorities for permission, but the nun's letter has never been answered. The various stages of Msgr. Li’s life are noted in the necrology published for the press. However, silence shrouds the period from 1953 to 1978, namely the period of Maoism and the Cultural Revolution. It is very likely that at that time he was sent to forced labor camps, like many priests throughout China. Even in the obituaries of other (official) bishops, this period is omitted or erased, with the subsequent risk of ignoring or manipulating history.
The diocese of Qingdao has about twenty priests and two female religious congregations.
Msgr. Joseph Li Mingshu was born in December 1924 in the village of Lijia (Shandong).
He completed his studies in secondary school and in the minor seminary of Zhoucun. Between 1943 and 1949 he studied in the major seminary of Jinan (Shandong) and then in Wuhan (Hubei). He was ordained a priest on April 11, 1949, in Wuhan Cathedral. Between 1949 and 1953 he worked as a priest in Shaoguan (Guangdong), also teaching in primary and secondary school. The diocese gives no news of him in the period from 1953 to 1978.
From 1978 - the end of the Maoist period - until 1986 he taught an educational science at a teacher training college and English in a high school in Boxing, Shandong. From 1986 to 1994 he was vice-principal for studies in the Holy Spirit seminary (Shandong). He was then appointed diocesan administrator in Qingdao and on 13 August 2000 he was ordained bishop of the diocese, with a mandate from the Holy See. From 2000 to 2005 he was vice-rector of the Beijing National Seminary.
At the ordination ceremony, Msgr. Li declared that he wanted to strengthen new means of evangelization for his diocese, forming lay leaders, developing adult catechism classes and maintaining relations of communion with the universal Church.
But the people who served under him say that he was a "fearful" person who advised everyone to "obey the Patriotic Association", the controlling body of the Catholic Church in China, which wants to build an "independent" Church from the Holy See. According to some observers, the dependence of Msgr. Li Mingshu on the Patriotic Association depended on the cumbersome and powerful presence of Antonio Liu Bainian, long time secretary and then president of the National Catholic Patriotic Association, who is also a native of Shandong. Photo credit: Uca n
Text Source: Asia News IT 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon. June 18, 2018 - #Eucharist

Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 365

Reading 1 1 KGS 21:1-16

Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel
next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria.
Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden,
since it is close by, next to my house.
I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or,
if you prefer, I will give you its value in money.”
Naboth answered him, “The LORD forbid
that I should give you my ancestral heritage.”
Ahab went home disturbed and angry at the answer
Naboth the Jezreelite had made to him:
“I will not give you my ancestral heritage.”
Lying down on his bed, he turned away from food and would not eat.

His wife Jezebel came to him and said to him,
“Why are you so angry that you will not eat?”
He answered her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite
and said to him, ‘Sell me your vineyard, or,
if you prefer, I will give you a vineyard in exchange.’
But he refused to let me have his vineyard.”
His wife Jezebel said to him,
“A fine ruler over Israel you are indeed!
Get up.
Eat and be cheerful.
I will obtain the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”

So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and,
having sealed them with his seal,
sent them to the elders and to the nobles
who lived in the same city with Naboth.
This is what she wrote in the letters:
“Proclaim a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.
Next, get two scoundrels to face him
and accuse him of having cursed God and king.
Then take him out and stone him to death.”
His fellow citizens—the elders and nobles who dwelt in his city—
did as Jezebel had ordered them in writing,
through the letters she had sent them.
They proclaimed a fast and placed Naboth at the head of the people.
Two scoundrels came in and confronted him with the accusation,
“Naboth has cursed God and king.”
And they led him out of the city and stoned him to death.
Then they sent the information to Jezebel
that Naboth had been stoned to death.

When Jezebel learned that Naboth had been stoned to death,
she said to Ahab,
“Go on, take possession of the vineyard
of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you,
because Naboth is not alive, but dead.”
On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab started off on his way
down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite,
to take possession of it.

Responsorial PsalmPS 5:2-3AB, 4B-6A, 6B-7

R. (2b) Lord, listen to my groaning.
Hearken to my words, O LORD,
attend to my sighing.
Heed my call for help,
my king and my God!
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
You hate all evildoers.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.

AlleluiaPS 119:105

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:38-42

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."

Saint June 18 : Venerable Matt Talbot - Patron of #Alcoholics - with Prayer


Matt Talbot was born on the 2nd May 1856 at 13, Aldborough Court in the Parish of St. Agatha, Dublin, Ireland. Matt was one of Dublin's poor he lived in a tenement, wore second hand cloths, died in a laneway and was buried in a pauper's grave. Coming from such a deprived background and with an alcoholic father and a family history of neglect and poverty, Matt found himself sucked into the culture of addiction and to the only choice of drug available to the poor of his day alcohol. Matt like so many others embraced alcohol as a means of escape from the misery and poverty of daily life.
Today we live in an age of addictions more sophisticated perhaps than those of Matt's day, addictions to substances such as alcohol and other drugs soft or hard, prescription or illegal, addictions to gambling, pornography and the internet, addictions to work, professional advancement, sex, money and power. All these have the ability to destroy our lives and like demons even our very souls as well.
 Matt Talbot gradually came to this awareness and from the time of his conversion as a young man of 28, he spent the rest of his life living to a heroic extent the Christian virtues through prayer, spiritual reading, work and acts of charity. For three months, Talbot decided to make a general confession and begin to attend daily Mass. The first seven years after taking the starting were especially difficult. He avoided his former drinking places. He began to pray. He paid back people from whom he had borrowed or stolen money.  He joined the Secular Franciscan Order with strict penance; he abstained from meat nine months a year. Matt read Scripture and the lives of the saints every day. He prayed the rosary daily.  Matt sets before us a radical example which demonstrates that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. His life is a witness to the fact that people can by God's grace and their own self acceptance say no to that which leads to addiction or addictive behaviors.
Trinity Sunday the 7th June was the hottest day of a heat wave that had gripped the country since the previous week. Matt as usual had attended the 5.30am Mass in Gardiner St. and went to Holy Communion with the men of his Sodality at 8.00am Mass after Mass he returned to Rutland Street to have his usual meagre breakfast, one of his neighbours thought he looked poorly and advised him to take a little rest. Matt admitted that he was feeling a little weak but a half an hour later Matt came down again; he smiled at his neighbour, said he felt all right and was going on to the 10am Mass in Dominick Street. Dominican Church He always hurried to Mass. Around two sides of Mountjoy Square, along Gardiner Place, past Belvedere College, down Gardiner Row and along the North side of Parnell Square he was now just a few minutes away from his goal, the Dominican Church. Turning into Granby Lane, a short cut to the Church, he stumbled and collapsed. Passers by came to his aid people coming from an earlier Mass in Dominick called for a priest, a nurse and a Guard were on the scene. An eye witness account from Noel Carroll, who was a young boy at the time, recalls how his father who was manager of a chemist's shop at Bolton Street, would generally attend the 10am Mass on Sunday mornings in Dominick Street.
 Prayer to Venerable Matt Talbot
 Asking Matt's Help in the Presence of the Lord Gentle Matt, I turn to you in my present needs and ask for the help of your prayers. Trusting in you, I am confident your charitable and understanding heart will make my petitions your own. I believe that you are truly powerful in the presence of Divine Mercy. If it be for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the honour of Mary, our Mother and Queen and the deepening of my relationship with them, show that your goodness towards me, in my daily struggles, equals your influence with the Holy Spirit, who is hidden and at home in my Heart. Friend of pity, friend of power, hear, oh hear me in this hour, gentle Matt, please pray for me.


Edited from http://www.matttalbot.ie/