Friday, September 14, 2018

Feast September 15 : Our Lady of Sorrows - #OurLady


The object of these feasts is the spiritual martyrdom of the Mother of God and her compassion with the sufferings of her Divine Son.
(1) The seven founders of the Servite Order, in 1239, five years after they established themselves on Monte Senario, took up the sorrows of Mary, standing under the Cross, as the principal devotion of their order. The corresponding feast, however, did not originate with them; its celebration was enacted by a provincial synod of Cologne (1413) to expiate the crimes of the iconoclast Hussites; it was to be kept on the Friday after the third Sunday after Easter under the title: "Commemoratio augustix et doloris B. Marix V.". Its object was exclusively the sorrow of Mary during the Crucifixion and Death of Christ. Before the sixteenth century this feast was limited to the dioceses of North Germany, Scandinavia, and Scotland. Being termed "Compassio" or "Transfixio", "Commendatio, Lamentatio B.M.V.", it was kept at a great variety of dates, mostly during Eastertide or shortly after Pentacost, or on some fixed day of a month (18 July, Merseburg; 19 July, Halberstadt, Lxbeck, Meissen; 20 July, Naumberg; cf. Grotefend, "Zeitrechnung", II, 2, 166). Dreves and Blume (Analecta hymnica) have published a large number of rhythmical offices, sequences and hymns for the feast of the Compassion, which show that from the end of the fifteenth century in several dioceses the scope of this feast was widened to commemorate either five dolours, from the imprisonment to the burial of Christ, or seven dolours, extending over the entire life of Mary (cf. XXIV, 122-53; VIII, 51 sq.; X, 79 sq., etc.). Towards the end of the end of the sixteenth century the feast spread over part of the south of Europe; in 1506 it was granted to the nuns of the Annunciation under the title "Spasmi B.M.V.", Monday after Passion Sunday; in 1600 to the Servite nuns of Valencia, "B.M.V. sub pede Crucis", Friday before Palm Sunday. After 1600 it became popular in France and was termed "Dominx N. de Pietate", Friday before Palm Sunday. To this latter date the feast was assigned for the whole German Empire (1674). By a Decree of 22 April 1727, Benedict XIII extended it to the entire Latin Church, under the title "Septem dolorum B.M.V.", although the Office and Mass retain the original character of the feast, the Compassion of Mary at the foot of the Cross. At both Mass and Office the "Stabat Mater" of Giacopone da Todi (1306) is sung.
(2) The second feast was granted to the Servites, 9 June and 15 September, 1668, double with an octave for the third Sunday in September. Its object of the seven dolours of Mary (according to the responsories of Matins: the sorrow
at the prophecy of Simeon;
at the flight into Egypt;
having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem;
meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary;
standing at the foot of the Cross;
Jesus being taken from the Cross;
at the burial of Christ.
This feast was extended to Spain (1735); to Tuscany (double of the second class with an octave, 1807). After his return from his exile in France Pius VII extended the feast to the Latin Church (18 September, 1814), major double); it was raised to the rank of a double of the second class, 13 May, 1908. The Servites celebrate it as a double of the first class with an octave and a vigil. Also in the Passionate Order, at Florence and Granada (N.S. de las Angustias), its rank is double of the first class with an octave. The hymns which are now used in the Office of this feast were probably composed by the Servite Callisto Palumbella (eighteenth century). On the devotion, cf. Kellner, "Heortology", p. 271. The old title of the "Compassio" is preserved by the Diocese of Hildesheim in a simple feast, Saturday after the octave of Corpus Christi. A feast, "B.M.V. de pietate", with a beautiful medieval office, is kept in honour of the sorrowful mother at Goa in India and Braga in Portugal, on the third Sunday of October; in the ecclesiastical province of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, last Sunday of May, etc. (cf. the corresponding calendars). A special form of devotion is practised in Spanish-speaking countries under the term of "N.S. de la Soledad", to commemorate the solitude of Mary on Holy Saturday. Its origin goes back to Queen Juana, lamenting the early death of her husband Philip I, King of Spain (1506).
To the oriental churches these feasts are unknown; the Catholic Ruthenians keep a feast of the sorrowful Mother on Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi. Text Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis to Capuchins "Keep the apostolate of confessions, of forgiveness: it is one of the most beautiful things..."

AUDIENCE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE GENERAL CHAPTER
OF THE ORDER OF THE FRIARS MINOR CAPUCHINS

Clementine Hall
Friday, September 14th 2018

[Multimedia]


Off the Cuff Speech of the Holy Father

Speech delivered



"A BRACCIO" SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER

Here is a prepared speech, but it is too formal to share with you Capuchins; it will be delivered to Father General ... Here it is, this is the official one. But I prefer to talk to you like this, from the heart. I wish you the best: you are the fourth General I know. [Addressing the newly elected Minister General, Friar Roberto Genuin] Before I met Flavio Carraro, with whom we were companions in the Synod of '94; then, John Corriveau, who stole a good Capuchin from Argentina to make him a councilor, but then I took my revenge and was made a bishop [laughs, laughs]. Then Mauro [Jöri], who, as a good Swiss, carried out things with common sense - common sense -, with a sense of concreteness, of reality; and, like all those who can speak languages ​​but also dialect, it is one that goes into the details of life. And now you, the fourth. I wish you the best [to him and to the new councilors].

This morning I was thinking of you. There is a word that you said in your speech: first of all, the Capuchins are "the friars of the people": it is a characteristic of you. The proximity to the people. Being close to the people of God, neighbors. And closeness gives us that science of concreteness, that wisdom - it is more than science: it is a wisdom. Proximity to all, but especially to the smallest, most discarded, the most desperate. And also to those who have gone further. I think of Fra 'Cristoforo [of the Promessi sposi], to "your" brother Cristoforo. Proximity: I would like this word to remain in you, like a program. Proximity to the people. Because the people have great respect for the Franciscan habit. Once Cardinal Quarracino told me that, in Argentina, sometimes some "mangiaprete" says a dirty word to a priest, but never, never has a Franciscan habit been insulted, because it is a grace. And you Capuchins have this closeness: keep it. Always close to the people. Because you are the friars of the people.

Recently, in Ireland [in Dublin], I saw your work with the most discarded and I was moved. And a beautiful word that said the superior of that House, the elderly founder, was: "We, here, do not ask where you come from, who you are: you are the son of God". This is one of the features. Understand well, to "sniff", people, without conditions. You come in, then we'll see. It is your charisma, closeness, keep it.

Then, another thing typical of the Capuchins: you are men capable of resolving conflicts, of making peace, with that wisdom that comes from proximity; and above all make peace in consciences. That "here is not asked, here you listen", that I said of that Irish Cappuccino, you practice it so much in the sacrament of Confession and Penance. You are men of reconciliation. I remember your church in Buenos Aires: so many people from all over the city went to confession there. Because they listen to you, smile at you, do not ask for things and forgive you. And this does not mean being "wide-sleeved", no, this is the wisdom of reconciliation. Keep the apostolate of confessions, of forgiveness: it is one of the most beautiful things you have, reconciling people. Both in the sacrament and in families: reconciling, reconciling. And it takes patience for this, not words, few words, but closeness and patience.

And then, another thing I saw in your life: simple prayer. You are men of prayer, but simple. A prayer face to face with the Lord, with Our Lady, with the Saints ... Keep this simplicity in prayer. Pray a lot, but with this simplicity. Men of peace, of simple prayer, men of the people, men of reconciliation. So the Church wants you to be: keep this. And with that freedom and simplicity that is proper to your charism.

I thank you for everything you do for the Church, I thank you so much. Keep it up, keep it up, "to the Capuchin" ... [laugh] Thank you!
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER DELIVERED



Dear Friars Minor Capuchins!

I am pleased with this meeting, which allows me to greet you personally on the occasion of your General Chapter. I thank the new Minister General, Fra 'Roberto Genuin, and send good wishes to him and his Council. In these days of study and fraternal exchange, you have placed your attention on the theme "Learn from me ... and you will find" (cf. Mt 11,29), to identify apostolic and formative perspectives to offer to your confreres scattered throughout the world. In fact, besides the election of the new Government of your Fraternity, you have devoted ample space to the Ratio Formationis Ordinis, an important document to lead the consecrated person into the heart of the Gospel, which is the life form of Jesus totally spent for God and for the brothers , especially the last and the marginalized.

In the footsteps of the Divine Master and following the example of Saint Francis, who met humbleness and service by encountering lepers, strive to live relationships and religious activity in gratuitousness, humility and meekness. In this way you can realize with real and daily gestures the "minority" that characterizes the followers of Francis. It is a precious gift of great necessity for the Church and for the humanity of our time. Thus the Lord acts: he does things simply. Humility and simplicity are the style of God; and it is this style that all of us Christians are called to assume in our life and in our mission. The true greatness is to become small and servants.

With this minority in your heart and lifestyle, you give your contribution to the Church's great commitment to evangelization. You do it by generously carrying out the apostolate in direct contact with different peoples and cultures, especially with so many poor and suffering people. I encourage you in this effort, which you have shared at the international level in the Chapter, exhorting you not to lose heart in the face of difficulties, including the numeric decline of the friars in certain areas, but to renew trust and hope every day. support of the grace of God. The joy of the Gospel, which irresistibly fascinated the Poverello of Assisi, is the source of your strength and constancy, because with the reference to the Word of Jesus everything appears under a new light, that of providential love of God. Every time we draw from the source to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new paths emerge, new pastoral approaches and creative methods adhering to current circumstances.

Our time shows signs of obvious spiritual and moral discomfort, due to the loss of the sure and comforting references of faith. What a great need today people have to be welcomed, listened to, illuminated with love! And what a great tradition do you have for Capuchins in the smallest proximity to the people, in sharing in the concrete problems, in the spiritual conversation and in the administration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation! Do not fail to be teachers of prayer, to cultivate the robust spirituality, which communicates to everyone the call of the "things from up there".

In this, you will be more convincing if even your communities and structures will express sobriety and parsimony, a visible sign of that primacy of God and of his Spirit of which consecrated persons commit themselves to give clear testimony. In this perspective, even the transparent and professional management of economic resources is the image of a true family that walks in co-responsibility and solidarity between its members and with the poor. Another important aspect of the life of your communities is unity and communion, which are realized by dedicating ample space to listening and dialogue to strengthen fraternal discernment.

The history of your Order is full of many courageous witnesses of Christ and the Gospel, many of whom are proclaimed Saints and Blessed. The holiness of them confirms the fruitfulness of your charism and shows the signs of your identity: total consecration to God up to martyrdom, where required, simple life among people, sensitivity towards the poor, spiritual accompaniment as closeness and humility that allows us to welcome everyone. In the wake of your typical way of life, may you walk animated by renewed zeal to push you, with prophetic freedom and wise discernment, on courageous apostolic roads and missionary frontiers, always cultivating collaboration with the Bishops and the other components of the ecclesial community.

Your charismatic identity, enriched by the cultural variety of your religious family, is more than ever valid and is an attractive proposal for many young people of the world, who are looking for authenticity and essentiality. Fraternity shines as a qualifying element of your consecrated life, turning away from you every elitist attitude, stimulating to always seek the meeting between you and everyone, especially with the many thirsty of the merciful love that only Christ can offer us. May the Lord fill you with his graces, and in the spirit of St. Francis proceed joyfully and sure, always in the grateful awareness of belonging to the holy People faithful of God and serving him with humility. May the Apostolic Blessing accompany you, which I cordially impart to you, Chapter Fathers, and to your whole Order. And please, do not forget to pray me. Thank you!

Pope Francis "Today more than ever it takes a revolution of tenderness." FULL TEXT

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE NATIONAL CONVENTION PROMOTED
FROM THE FAMILY CENTER "CASA DELLA TENEREZZA"
ON THE THEME "THE THEOLOGY OF THE TENDERNESS IN POPE FRANCIS"

Clementine Hall
Thursday, 13 September 2018

[Multimedia]



Dear brothers and sisters,

I greet you cordially and thank Cardinal Bassetti for the kind words he addressed to me in your name, and also for your words, which have updated me on the work you do. In these days you will reflect on the theology of tenderness, and I would simply like to tell you something, because when I saw that this was the title, I began to study. You made me read this book to understand what "the thing" was. A good book, you know it, that of Rocchetta. He's good ... Is he? [applause]

I, simply, I would like to offer you three ideas.

The first concerns the expression theology of tenderness. Theology and tenderness seem two distant words: the first seems to recall the academic context, the second the interpersonal relations. In reality our faith links them inextricably. Theology, in fact, can not be abstract - if it were abstract, it would be ideology - because it arises from an existential knowledge, born from the encounter with the Word made flesh! Theology is then called to communicate the concreteness of God's love. And tenderness is a good "concrete existential", to translate in our times the affection that the Lord nourishes for us.

Today, in fact, there is less focus on the concept or practice and more on "feeling" than in the past. It may not please, but it is a fact: we start from what we hear. Theology can certainly not be reduced to sentiment, but it can not even ignore that in many parts of the world the approach to vital issues no longer begins with the ultimate questions or social demands, but with what the person emotionally feels. Theology is called upon to accompany this existential quest, bringing the light that comes from the Word of God. And a good theology of tenderness can decline divine charity in this sense. It is possible, because the love of God is not an abstract general principle, but personal and concrete, that the Holy Spirit communicates intimately. In fact, he reaches and transforms the feelings and thoughts of man. What contents could therefore have a tenderness theology? Two seem important to me, and it is the other two ideas that I would like to offer you: the beauty of feeling loved by God and the beauty of feeling loved in the name of God.

Feeling loved. It is a message that has come to us stronger in recent times: from the Sacred Heart, from Merciful Jesus, from mercy as an essential property of the Trinity and of the Christian life. Today the liturgy reminded us of the word of Jesus: "Be merciful, as your Father is merciful" (Lk 6:36). Tenderness can indicate precisely our way of receiving divine mercy today. Tenderness reveals us, next to the paternal face, the maternal one of God, of a God in love with man, who loves us with a love infinitely greater than that which a mother has for her own son (cf. Is 49,15). Whatever happens, whatever we do, we are certain that God is near, compassionate, ready to be moved for us. Tenderness is a beneficial word, it is the antidote to fear in regard to God, because "in love there is no fear" (1 Jn 4:18), because trust overcomes fear. To feel loved, therefore, means learning to trust in God, to tell him, as He wishes: "Jesus, I trust in you".

These and other considerations can deepen the research: to give the Church a "tasty" theology; to help us live a conscious faith, burning with love and hope; to exhort us to bend our knees, touched and wounded by divine love. In this sense, tenderness refers to the Passion. The Cross is in fact the seal of divine tenderness, which is drawn from the wounds of the Lord. His visible wounds are the windows that open his invisible love. His Passion invites us to transform our heart of stone into a heart of flesh, to become passionate about God. And of man, for the love of God.

Here then is the last idea: to feel ourselves to love. When man feels truly loved, he feels inclined to love. On the other hand, if God is infinite tenderness, even man, created in his image, is capable of tenderness. Tenderness, then, far from being reduced to sentimentalism, is the first step to overcome the withdrawal of oneself, to get out of self-centeredness that disfigures human freedom. The tenderness of God leads us to understand that love is the meaning of life. Thus we understand that the root of our freedom is never self-referential. And we feel called to pour into the world the love received from the Lord, to decline it in the Church, in the family, in society, to combine it in serving and giving ourselves. All this not out of duty, but out of love, out of love for him from whom we are tenderly loved. These short cues point to a theology on the way: a theology that emerges from the bottlenecks in which it is sometimes confined and with dynamism turns to God, taking man by the hand; a non-narcissistic theology, but aimed at the service of the community; a theology that is not content to repeat the paradigms of the past, but be Word incarnate. Certainly the Word of God does not change (cf. Heb 1,1-2, 13,8), but the flesh that it is called to assume, this yes, changes in every age. There is so much work, therefore, for theology and for its mission today: to incarnate the Word of God for the Church and for the man of the third millennium. Today more than ever it takes a revolution of tenderness. This will save us. We entrust the deepening of your work to Our Lady, Mother of tenderness. I bless you and, together with you, I bless the communities you come from, asking you to pray and to make people pray for me. Thank you.

FULL TEXT + Image from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Pope Francis on Crisis in Middle East "Every day, in prayer, I bring before the Lord the sufferings and the needs of the Churches..."


INSTITUTION OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE WORKING MEETING
ON THE CRISIS IN SYRIA AND THE SURROUNDING COUNTRIES

Hall of the Consistory
Friday, September 14th 2018

[Multimedia]


Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

I greet and thank all of you who are taking part in this sixth coordination meeting on the Church's response to the crisis in Iraq, Syria and neighboring countries, a meeting that this year also involves the Migrants and Refugees Section.

I especially thank Cardinal Peter Turkson and the Department for the Integral Human Development Service for organizing this meeting, in collaboration with the Secretariat of State and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. I also thank Mr. Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, for his presence and for the work he does for refugees. Thank you very much!

For too many years, the conflicts have bloodied that region and the situation of the populations in Syria and in Iraq and in the neighboring countries continues to cause great concern. Every day, in prayer, I bring before the Lord the sufferings and the needs of the Churches and of the peoples of those beloved lands, as well as those who are doing their best to help them. And this is true: every day.

With your third survey on the humanitarian aid of ecclesial entities, you are making an important contribution to better understand the needs and better coordinate the aid in favor of these populations.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, there is a risk that the Christian presence will be erased precisely in the earth from which the light of the Gospel has spread throughout the world. In collaboration with the sister Churches, the Holy Church works assiduously to guarantee a future for these Christian communities.

The whole Church looks to these our brothers and sisters in the faith and encourages them with closeness in prayer and concrete charity not to resign themselves to the darkness of violence and keep the lamp of hope burning. The testimony of love with which the Church listens and responds to the cry for help of all, starting with the weakest and poorest, is a luminous sign for the present and a seed of hope that will sprout in the future.

This exquisitely Christian work reminds me of some passages of the so-called "Simple Prayer" attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: "Where hate is, let me bring love [...]. Where despair is, that I bring hope. Where is sadness, that I bring joy ".

Among the many praiseworthy initiatives promoted by you, I would like to mention the great work this year to support the return of Christian communities to the Nineveh plain in Iraq, and the health care provided to so many poor people in Syria, in particular through the project "Open Hospitals".

Dear brothers, together, with the grace of God, let us look to the future. I encourage you, working in the name of the Church, to continue to take care of the education of children, of the work of young people, of closeness to the elderly, of the treatment of psychological wounds; without forgetting those of hearts, which the Church is called to soothe: "Where it is offended, that I bring forgiveness. Where there is discord, I bring the union ".

Finally, I strongly urge the international community not to forget the many needs of the victims of this crisis, but above all to overcome the logic of interests and put themselves at the service of peace by ending the war.

We can not close our eyes to the causes that have forced millions of people to leave their land with pain. At the same time I encourage all the actors involved and the international community to renew their commitment to the safe return of displaced persons to their homes. Ensuring their protection and the future is a duty of civility. It is drying the tears of children who have seen nothing but rubble, death and destruction that the world will rediscover dignity (cf. Words at the conclusion of the dialogue, Bari, 7 July 2018). In this regard, I reiterate my appreciation for the great efforts in favor of refugees made by various countries in the region and by the various organizations, including some represented here.

Let us again do the Prayer: "O Lord, make me an instrument of your peace [...]. Where there is darkness, I bring light ". Being instruments of peace and light: it is the wish I give to each one of you. From the bottom of the heart: thank you for everything you do every day, along with many men and women of good will. Thank you thank you! May the Lord bless you and may the Madonna accompany you.
FULL TEXT + Image from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Pope Francis at Mass “The cross of Jesus teaches us that in life there is failure and there is victory”, Homily

Pope at Mass: the cross teaches us not to fear defeat
Speaking to the faithful gathered for Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected on how the cross, the mark of Christians,
By Alessandro Di Bussolo
 “The cross of Jesus teaches us that in life there is failure and there is victory”, it teaches us not to fear the “dark times” which can be illuminated by the cross, which is a sign of God's victory over evil. This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily on Friday morning during Mass at the 
Describing Satan as evil who is demolished and chained, he warned those present that he “still barks” and that, if you approach him to caress him, “he will destroy you.”  
Jesus’ defeat lights up the darkness in our lives The Pope explained that when we contemplate the cross, the mark of Christians, we contemplate a sign of defeat but also a sign of victory:  “All that Jesus did during his life” failed on the cross - he said - and all the hope of his followers came to an end.
“We must not be afraid to contemplate the cross as a moment of defeat, of failure. When Paul reflects on the mystery of Jesus Christ, he says some powerful things. He tells us that Jesus emptied himself, annihilated himself, was made sin to the end and took all our sins upon himself, all the sins of the world: he was a ‘rag’, a condemned man. Paul was not afraid to show this defeat and even this can enlighten our moments of darkness, our moments of defeat. But the cross is also a sign of victory for us Christians”.

Good Friday

The Pope recalled that in the first Reading, the Book of Numbers tells of the moment during the Exodus when the people who complained “were punished by serpents”. This, he said, refers to the ancient serpent, Satan, the “Great Accuser”. But, the Pope continued, the Lord told Moses that the serpent that brought death would be raised and would bring salvation. Francis explained that this  “is a prophecy”. In fact, he said, “having been made sin, Jesus defeated the author of sin, he defeated the serpent”. And Satan, the Pope commented, was so happy on Good Friday “that he did not notice” the great trap “of history in which he was to fall.

Satan swallowed up Jesus and his divinity

As the Fathers of the Church say, Pope Francis continued, Satan saw Jesus in such a bad state, and like a hungry fish that goes after the bait attached to the hook, he swallowed Him. “But in that moment, the Pope said, he also swallowed His divinity because that was the bait attached to the hook. “At that moment, the Pope said, Satan was destroyed forever. He has no strength. In that moment the cross became a sign of victory”.

The serpent is chained, but you must not approach it

“Our victory is the cross of Jesus, victory over our enemy, the ancient serpent, the Great Accuser” the Pope said. “We have been saved” by the cross, by the fact that Jesus chose to sink to the very lowest point, but with the power of divinity”.
Jesus said to Nicodemus: When I am lifted up I will draw all people to myself”. Jesus was lifted up and Satan was destroyed. We must be attracted to the cross of Jesus: we must look at it because it gives us the strength to go forward. And the ancient serpent that was destroyed still barks, still threatens but, as the Fathers of the Church say, he is a chained dog:  do not approach him and he will not bite you; but if you try to caress him because you attracted to him as if he were a puppy, prepare yourself, he will destroy you”.

The crucifix: a sign of defeat and of victory

Our life goes on, Pope Francis concluded, with Christ victorious and risen, and who sends us the Holy Spirit; but also with that chained dog, the devil, “whom I must not draw close to because he will bite me”.
The cross teaches us that in life there is failure and victory. We must be capable of tolerating defeat, of bearing our failures patiently, even those of our sins because He paid for us. We must tolerate them in Him, asking forgiveness in Him, but never allowing ourselves to be seduced by this chained dog. It will be good if today, when we go home, we would  take 5, 10, 15 minutes in front of the crucifix, either the one we have in our house or on the rosary: look at it, it is our sign of defeat, it provokes persecutions, it destroys us; it is also our sign of victory because it is where God was victorious”.
TEXT SOURCE: Vatican News

Litany of the Holy Cross - #Prayer #Litany to SHARE


 

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Cross, whereon the Lamb of God was offered for the sins of the world,
Deliver and save us.

Hope of Christians,
Save us, O Holy Cross*

Pledge of the resurrection from the dead,*
Shelter of persecuted innocence,*
Guide of the blind,*
Way of those who have gone astray,*
 Staff of the lame,*
Consolation of the poor,*
Restraint of the powerful,*
Destruction of the proud,*
Refuge of sinners,*
Trophy of victory over hell,*
Terror of demons,*
Mistress of youth,*
Succor of the distressed,*
Hope of the hopeless,*
Star of the mariner,*
Harbor of the wrecked,*
Rampart of the besieged,*
Father of orphans,*
Defense of widows,*
Counsel of the just,*
Judge of the wicked,*
Rest of the afflicted,*
Safeguard of childhood,*
Strength of manhood,*
Last hope of the aged,*
Light of those who sit in darkness,*
Splendor of kings,*
Civilizer of the world,*
Buckler impenetrable,*
Wisdom of the foolish,*
Liberty of slaves,*
Knowledge of the ignorant,*
Sure rule of life,*
Heralded by prophets,*
Preached by apostles,*
Glory of martyrs,*
Study of anchorites,*
Chastity of virgins,*
Joy of priests,*
Foundation of the Church,*
Salvation of the world,*
Destruction of idolatry,*
Stumbling-block of the Jews,*
Condemnation of the ungodly,*
Support of the weak,*
Medicine of the sick,*
Health of the leprous,*
Strength of the paralytic,*
Bread of the hungry,*
Fountain of those that thirst,*
Clothing of the naked,*

Lamb of God, Who wast offered on the cross for the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who wast offered on the cross for the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who wast offered on the cross for the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

V. We adore the, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. Because through Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.


Let us Pray:

O God, Who, for the redemption of the world, wast pleased to be born in a stable, and to die upon a cross; O Lord Jesus Christ, by Thy holy Sufferings, which we, Thy unworthy servants, devoutly call to mind, by Thy holy Cross, and by Thy Death, deliver us from the pains of hell, and vouchsafe to conduct us whither thou didst conduct the thief who was crucified with Thee. Who livest and reignest eternally in heaven.     Amen.

#BreakingNews US Bishops Conference FULL TEXT Statement on Meeting with Pope Francis "...together for God's mercy and strength as we work to heal the wounds."


President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Issues Statement Following Meeting with Pope Francis September 13, 2018 VATICAN CITY—
Following a private audience with Pope Francis this morning in Vatican City, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following statement regarding the recent moral crisis in the American Catholic Church. "We are grateful to the Holy Father for receiving us in audience. We shared with Pope Francis our situation in the United States -- how the Body of Christ is lacerated by the evil of sexual abuse. He listened very deeply from the heart. It was a lengthy, fruitful, and good exchange. As we departed the audience, we prayed the Angelus together for God's mercy and strength as we work to heal the wounds. We look forward to actively continuing our discernment together identifying the most effective next steps."
FULL TEXT Release by USCCB

German Report Reveals Abuse from 1946-2014 involving Clergy in Germany


An article from the BBC reports that more than 3,600 children in Germany were assaulted by Roman Catholic priests between 1946 and 2014, a leaked report has revealed. The study was commissioned by the Church itself, and was due to be published on 25 September. According to the report, some 1,670 clergymen in Germany committed some form of sex attack on 3,677 minors, German outlet Spiegel Online reported. A Church spokesman said it was "dismayed and ashamed" by the findings. The report is the latest in a long series of revelations that have uncovered decades of sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests around the world.   Most of the victims were boys, and more than half were aged 13 or younger. The study was compiled by three German universities, using 38,000 documents from 27 German dioceses.
"We know the extent of the sexual abuse that has been demonstrated by the study. We are dismayed and ashamed by it," said Bishop Stephan Ackermann, a spokesman for the German Bishops' Conference which commissioned the report. 
 He said the aim of the study was to shed light on "this dark side of our Church, for the sake of those affected, but also for us ourselves to see the errors and to do everything to prevent them from being repeated". "I stress that the study is a measure that we owe not only to the Church but first and foremost, to those affected," the bishop added. 
He said the Church had planned to provide counselling helplines for people affected by its contents.  In August, the Pope condemned the "atrocities" of child sex abuse in a letter to the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
(Edited from a Report by BBC)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday September 14, 2018 - #Eucharist


Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Lectionary: 638 

Reading 1NM 21:4B-9

With their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
"Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!"

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
"We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us."
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
"Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live."
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. 

Responsorial PsalmPS 78:1BC-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38

R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
I will utter mysteries from of old.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!While he slew them they sought him
and inquired after God again,
Remembering that God was their rock
and the Most High God, their redeemer.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But they flattered him with their mouths
and lied to him with their tongues,
Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
nor were they faithful to his covenant.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
and destroyed them not;
Often he turned back his anger
and let none of his wrath be roused.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Reading 2PHIL 2:6-11

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
"No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him. 

Pope Francis " Remain vigilant even when the light disappears, or when God himself is hidden in the darkness, when the temptation..." FULL TEXT to Bishops

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE BISHOPS RECENTLY APPOINTED PARTICIPANTS TO THE PROMOTED COURSE
FROM THE CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS

Hall of the Consistory
Thursday, 13 September 2018

[Multimedia]



Dear brothers, good morning!

I welcome you today with joy at the conclusion of your pilgrimage of new Bishops to the spiritual sources of this ancient and ever new Rome of Peter and Paul. In embracing you as new Pastors of the Church, perhaps still traversed by the amazement of having been called to this mission never proportioned and conforming to our strength, I would like to take you apart, you and each of your Churches; I would like to approach you with the touch of Christ, the Gospel of God that warms the heart, reopens the ears and loosens the tongue to the joy that does not fail and sets, because it is never bought or deserved, indeed it is pure grace!

In the perspective of the joy of the Gospel you have tried to read the mystery of your identity just received as a gift from God. You have chosen the right way to enter the episcopal ministry, for which no credit can boast and there are no titles of property or rights acquired. We have almost "by chance" found the treasure of our life and therefore we are called to sell everything to preserve the field in which this inexhaustible mine hides (cf. Mt 13.44). Every day it is necessary to take back this precious gift, in its light to seek the light (see Psalm 35:10) and to let itself be transfigured by its face.

I speak to you here of the most urgent task of Pastors: that of holiness! As the prayer of the Church has been expressed on you, you have been elected by the Father, who knows the secrets of the hearts, to serve him night and day, so as to make it favorable to your people (cf. Roman Pontifical, Bishops' Prayer of Ordination).

You are not the result of a merely human scrutiny, but of a choice from Above. Therefore, from you it is required not an intermittent dedication, a fidelity to alternate phase, a selective obedience, no, but you are called to consume yourselves day and night.

Remain vigilant even when the light disappears, or when God himself is hidden in the darkness, when the temptation to withdraw is insinuated and the evil one, who is always lurking, subtly suggests that by now the dawn will no longer come. Just then, again bow down with his face on the ground (cf. Gen 17: 3), to hear God speak and renew his promise never denied. And then remain faithful even when, in the heat of the day, the forces of perseverance fail and the result of fatigue no longer depends on the resources we have.

And all this not to nurture the narcissistic claim to be essential, but to make the Father favorable to your People. God is already in favor of man. His divine being, which could also exist without us, in his Son Jesus reveals himself to us. In him, we offer the fatherhood of God that never resigns; in him we know the divine heart that nothing and nobody gives for lost. This is the message that the faithful have the right to find on your lips, in your hearts and in your life.

At the beginning of your ministry, I ask you to put God at the center: He is the one who asks everything but in return offers life fully. Not that life watered down and mediocre, meaningless because full of solitude and pride, but the life that flows from his company that never fails, from the humble force of the cross of his Son, from the serene security of the victorious love that lives there .

Do not let yourselves be tempted by stories of catastrophes or prophecies of disasters, because what really matters is persevering, preventing love from cooling down (cf. Mt 24,12) and keeping up and raising your head towards the Lord (cf. Lk 21,28) because the Church is not ours, it is God's! He was there before us and he will be there after us! The destiny of the Church, of the little flock, is victoriously hidden in the cross of the Son of God. Our names are engraved in his heart - carved in his heart! -; our fate is in his hands. Therefore, do not spend your best energies to account for failures and to reproach bitterness, letting your heart shrink and shrink your horizons. Christ be your joy, the gospel and your nourishment. Keep your gaze fixed only on the Lord Jesus and, accustoming yourself to its light, know how to search it incessantly even where it is refracted, even through humble glows.

There, in the families of your communities, where, in the persistent patience and in the anonymous generosity, the gift of life is cradled and nourished.

There, where there is in the hearts the fragile but indestructible certainty that truth prevails, that love is not in vain, that forgiveness has the power to change and reconcile, that unity always wins division, that the courage to forget oneself for the good of the other it is more satisfying than the intangible primacy of the ego.
There, where so many consecrated men and ministers of God, in the silent dedication of themselves, persevere regardless of the fact that good often does not make noise, it is not the theme of blogs nor does it come to the front pages. They continue to believe and to preach courageously the Gospel of grace and mercy to men thirsting for reasons to live, to hope and to love. They are not frightened by the wounds of the flesh of Christ, always inflicted by sin and not infrequently by the children of the Church.

I am well aware of how loneliness and abandonment rage in our time, individualism spreads and indifference to the destiny of others grows. Millions of men and women, children, young people are lost in a reality that has obscured the reference points, are destabilized by the anguish of belonging to nothing. Their fate does not challenge the conscience of all and often, unfortunately, those who have the greatest responsibility, guiltily avoid. But we are not allowed to ignore the flesh of Christ, which has been entrusted to us not only in the sacrament that we break, but also in the people we have inherited.

Even his wounds belong to us. It is right to touch them not to make them programmatic manifestations of understandable anger, but places where the Bride of Christ learns to what extent she can be disfigured when the features of the Bridegroom fade in her face. But also learn from where to start, in humble and scrupulous fidelity to the voice of his Lord. Only He can guarantee that, in the branches of his vineyard, men will not just find wild grapes (cf. Is 5: 4), but good wine (cf. Jn 2:11), that of the true vine, without which nothing can we do (cf. Jn 15: 5).

This is the Church's goal: to distribute this new wine that is Christ in the world. Nothing can distract us from this mission. We constantly need new wineskins (cf. Mark 2:22), and all we do is never enough to make them worthy of the new wine that they are called to contain and pour. But, precisely for this reason, the containers should know that without the new wine they will be cold stone jars, able to remember the lack but not to give fullness. Please, nothing distracts you from this goal: to give fullness!

Your holiness is not the fruit of isolation, but flourishes and bears fruit in the living body of the Church entrusted to you by the Lord, just as at the feet of the cross he gave his Mother to the beloved disciple. Welcome her as a bride to love, a virgin to be cared for, a mother to make fruitful. Your heart does not fall in love with other loves; watch for the soil of your Churches to be fertile for the seed of the Word and never trampled by wild boar (cf. Ps 80,14).

How will you do it? Reminding you that we are not at the origin of our "portion of holiness", but it is always God. It is a small sanctity that feeds on the abandonment in his hands like a weaned child who does not need to ask for proof of the mother's proximity (see Psalm 131.2). It is a holiness aware that nothing more effective, greater, more precious, more necessary than you can offer the world of fatherhood that is within you. By meeting you, each person can at least touch the beauty of God, the safety of his company and the fullness of his closeness. It is a holiness that grows while it is discovered that God is not tamable, he does not need enclosures to defend his freedom, and does not contaminate as he approaches, indeed, sanctifies what he touches.

We do not need the accounting of our virtues, nor a program of asceticism, a gym of personal effort or a diet that is renewed from Monday to Monday, as if sanctity were the result of the will alone. The source of holiness is the grace to approach the joy of the Gospel and let this be to invade our life, so that we can no longer live differently.

Before we existed, God was there and he loved us. Holiness is touching this flesh of God that precedes us. It is getting in touch with his goodness. Look at the shepherds called on the night of Bethlehem: they found in that Child the goodness of God! It is a joy that nobody can rob them of. Look at the people who watched Calvary from afar: she came home beating her chest because she had seen the bleeding body of the Word of God. The vision of the flesh of God digs into the heart and prepares the place where the divine dwells little by little. fullness.

Therefore I commend you not to be ashamed of the flesh of your Churches. Enter into dialogue with their questions. I recommend special attention to the clergy and seminaries. We can not respond to the challenges we have against them without updating our processes of selection, accompaniment, evaluation. But our answers will be devoid of future if they do not reach the spiritual chasm that, in many cases, has allowed scandalous weaknesses, if they do not reveal the existential emptiness that they have nurtured, if they do not reveal why God has been so mute , so silenced, so removed from a certain way of life, as if it were not there.

And here, each of us must humbly enter into the depths of ourselves and ask ourselves what he can do to make the face of the Church we govern in the name of the Supreme Pastor more holy. It is not necessary to just point the finger at others, make scapegoats, tear their clothes, dig into the weakness of others as they love to do the children who lived in the house as servants (cf. Lk 15,30-31). Here it is necessary to work together and in communion, but certain that true holiness is what God accomplishes in us, when we are docile to his Spirit we return to the simple joy of the Gospel, so that his blessedness becomes flesh for others in our choices. and in our lives.

I invite you therefore to go forward joyful and not embittered, serene and not anguished, consoled and not desolate - seek the consolation of the Lord - keeping the heart of lambs that, even if surrounded by wolves, know that they will win because they count on the help of the shepherd (see St. John Cris., Om. 33.1: PG 57.389).

Mary, the One who carries us in her arms without judging us, is the bright star that guides your fireplace.

While I thank Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri and their respective Congregations for their generous work, I impart the Apostolic Blessing on each one of you and on the Churches that you have been called to serve.

Thank you!