Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Saint December 5 : St. Sabbas : Hermit : Died 532

St. Sabbas HERMIT Feast: December 5 
Information: =
Feast Day:
December 5
Born:
439 at Motalala, Cappadocia
Died:
532
Hermit, born at Mutalaska near Caesarea in Cappadocia, 439; died in his laura 5 December, 532. He entered a Basilian monastery aat the age of eight, came to Jerusalem in 456, lived five years in a cavern as a disciple of St. Euthymius, and, after spending some time in various monasteries, founded (483) the Laura Mar Sabe (restored in 1840) in the gorges of the Cedron, southeast of Jerusalem. Because some of his monks opposed his rule and demanded a priest as their abbot, Patriarch Salustius of Jerusalem ordained him in 491 and appointed archimandrite of all the monasteries in Palestine in 494. The opposition continued and he withdrew to the new laura which he had built near Thekoa. A strenuous opponent of the Monophysites and the Origenists he tried to influence the emperors against them by calling personally on Emperor Anastasius at Constantinople in 511 and on Justinian in 531. His authorship of "Typicon S. Sabæ" (Venice, 1545), a regulation for Divine worship throughout the year as well as his authorship of a monastic rule bearing the same title (Kurtz in "Byzant, Zeitschrift", III, Leipzig, 1894, 167-70), is doubtful. After him was named the Basilica of St. Sabas with its former monastery on the Aventine at Rome. His feast is on 5 December.
source The Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis in Homily - Prepare for Christmas by building peace in one's soul, in the family and in the world through humility.

Pope at Mass: Advent a time to make peace in the soul, family, neighbourhood
At his morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday, Pope Francis spoke about how Christians can prepare for Christmas by building peace in one's soul, in the family and in the world through humility.
By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis is urging Christians to prepare themselves for Christmas this Advent season by being humble and trying to build peace in their soul, in their family and in the world.

Delivering a homily at Mass, Friday morning at the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, the Pope said that peacemaking consists in not talking evil of and harming others, a bit like imitating God, who humbled Himself.

Pointing to the pastoral scene evoked by Isaiah in the first reading, where the wolf and the lamb, and the leopard and the kid live side by side harmlessly, the Pope said the prophet speaks about the peace of Jesus that transforms life and history, which is why He is called the "Prince of Peace".

The soul
Advent, therefore, is the time to prepare ourselves for this Prince of Peace by being at peace with ourselves, our soul, that is often in anxiety, anguish and without hope.   For this, one needs to start with oneself.

The Pope said that today the Lord asks us whether our soul is at peace?  If not, then we should ask the Prince of Peace to pacify our souls, so we can meet Him.   The Pope said we are so used looking at the souls of others rather than our own.

Family
After being at peace with our soul, it is time to be at peace at home, in the family, the Pope said.  He noted much sadness in families with much struggle, “small wars” and at times disunity.

He urged Christians to examine themselves whether they are at peace or at war in their families or against others, whether there are bridges or walls that separate.

World
The Pope then spoke about making peace in the world where there is much war, disunity, hatred and exploitation.  Christians should ask themselves what they are doing about creating peace in the world by working for peace in the neighbourhood, in the school and in the workplace.

The Pope urged Christians to ask themselves whether they find excuses to make war, to hate, to talk ill about others and condemn or are they meek and try to build bridges.


Children too can ask themselves whether at school they bully a companion they dislike because he is a little hateful or weak, or they make peace and forgive everything.
Peacemaking like God
Peace, the Pope said, is never still but always moves forward.  It starts with the soul, and after making its journey of peace, returns to the soul.  Making peace is a bit like imitating God. When He wanted to make peace with us and forgave us, He sent His Son to make peace, to be the Prince of peace.

The Pope said to be a peacemaker one does not have to be wise and learned and study peace.  Peace is an attitude that Jesus speaks about in the Gospel.  Jesus glorifies God because he has hidden these things from the wise and learned and has revealed them to the little ones.

Pope Francis urged Christians to make themselves small, humble and be the servant of others.  “The Lord will give you the ability to understand how to make peace and will provide you the strength to make it,” the Pope assured.
Stop short of "small wars"
The Pope said that whenever there is the possibility of a “small war” at home, in the heart, at school or at work, we should stop short and try and make peace. “Never, never wound the other. Never,” he said, exhorting Christians to start by not speaking ill of others or firing the first cannon. This way, he said,  we become men and women of peace, carrying peace forward.
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican News Va

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday December 4, 2018 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

Lectionary: 176

Reading 1IS 11:1-10

On that day,
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A Spirit of counsel and of strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land's afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra's den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.

On that day,
The root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
The Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Responsorial PsalmPS 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17

R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
He shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Alleluia 

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, our Lord shall come with power;
he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 10:21-24

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
"I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."

Turning to the disciples in private he said,
"Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."

#BreakingNews Death Toll at 60 in Attack at Cathedral Refugee Camp with 2 Priests Killed - Please Pray

Alindao Massacre: “At least 60 killed but who knows how many more lie dead in the undergrowth” says Cardinal Nzapalainga Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - “At least 60 dead. But in the undergrowth how many more may have been killed?” asked Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui, after visiting Alindao in the Central African Republic where on 15 November guerrilla fighters of the UPC (Unité pour la Paix en Centrafrique) assaulted a displaced persons camp adjacent to the Cathedral. Among those killed by the fighters also two priests, the Vicar general of the diocese Alindao, Mons. Blaise Mada, and Rev. Celestine Ngoumbango, parish priest at Mingala (see Fides 17/11/2018).
Speaking to the French daily Le Monde, Cardinal Nzapalainga said the displaced persons sheltering in the Alindao camp destroyed in the attack, fled for safety to Ndakoto “a village of only 15 homes, 7 km away. The villagers were not able to provide shelter for 26,000 people. After a week people were dying of starvation. On 23 November the World Food Programme sent four trucks. You should have seen how the people threw themselves on the food. In the first few days I saw people scratching the ground for a grain of rice”.
Regarding the reasons for the massacre, Cardinal Nzapalainga said he had the impression “that it was the start of a war for positioning. In the talks with the armed groups those with the most men will have the control of a higher number of areas and therefore be able to ask for ministries, money... Alindao is completely under the control of the UPC. The attack was planned, organized. I think these are moves to take position in view of dialogue with the state and the international community”.
Cardinal Nzapalainga confirms what the Bishop of Bangassou Mons. Juan Jose Aguirre Muños had previously told Fides about the presence of foreign mercenaries among the perpetrators of the massacre, (Fides 19/11/2018). “The Bishop of Alindao said that in the most recent group of aggressors there were men who did not speak Sango, the official language, or French. This means they are mercenaries who come to steal diamonds, gold or livestock, anything that can be sacked”. “We have become the soft belly of the region and I fear we will end up being its garbage dump” he said. Nevertheless Cardinal Nzapalainga underlines “even though others pull the strings it is always up to us Central Africans to find a solution. But once the solutions are accepted – he warns –the decisions made must be applied”. (L.M.) (FULL TEXT Release by Agenzia Fides 3/12/2018)

Novena to St. Barbara and Prayers - #Patron of #Architects, #Builders, #Miners, and Sudden Death


St. Barbara is the patroness of architects, builders, miners and artillery men, and she is invoked against lightning, fire and sudden death.
Prayer of the Church
O GOD, Who among the wonders of Thy might didst grant the victory of Martyrdom also to the weaker sex, graciously grant us that we, by recalling the memory of Thy blessed Virgin and Martyr Barbara, through her example may be led to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Novena in Honor of St. Barbara
Preparatory Prayer
For Each  Novena to a Holy Helper
ALMIGHTY and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy Heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy Divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy Divine Son.
Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.
Prayer in Honor of St. Barbara
O GOD, Who didst adorn Thy holy Virgin and Martyr Barbara with extraordinary fortitude in the confession of the Faith, and didst console her in the most atrocious torments; grant us through her intercession perseverance in the fulfillment of Thy law and the grace of being fortified before our end with the holy Sacraments, and of a happy death. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invocation of St. Barbara  
 INTREPID Virgin and Martyr, St. Barbara, through thy intercession come to my aid in all needs of my soul. Obtain for me the grace to be preserved from a sudden and unprovided death; assist me in my agony, when my senses are benumbed and I am in the throes of death. Then, O powerful patroness of the dying, come to my aid! Repel from me all the assaults and temptations of the evil one, and obtain for me the grace to receive before death the holy Sacraments, that I breathe forth my soul confirmed in faith, hope, and charity, and be worthy to enter eternal glory. Amen.
St. Barbara, at my last end
  Obtain for me the Sacrament;
Assist one in that direst need
  When I my God and Judge must meet:
That robed in sanctifying grace
  My soul may stand before His face.
Prayer
My Lord and God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the Saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.
Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.
SOURCE:
THE FOURTEEN HOLY HELPERS, Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, O.F.M.
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, 1995; with Imprimatur, Imprimi Potest and Nihil Obstat.

Pope Francis meets Mahmoud Abbas - President of Palestine - at Vatican to discuss the Middle East - Video




Today, 3 December 2018, the Holy Father Francis received in audience H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, who subsequently met with His Excellency the Secretary for Relations with States, H.E. Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher.
During the cordial discussions, the good relations between the Holy See and Palestine were noted, as were the positive role of Christians and the activity of the Church in Palestinian society, enshrined in the Global Agreement of 2015. Attention then turned to the path of reconciliation among the Palestinian people, as well as the efforts to reactivate the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, and to reach a two-state solution, hoping for a renewed commitment on the part of the international community to meet the legitimate aspirations of both peoples. Particular attention was reserved for the status of Jerusalem, underlining the importance of recognizing and preserving its identity and the universal value of the holy City for the three Abrahamic religions.
Finally, mention was made of the other conflicts afflicting the Middle East and the urgency of promoting paths of peace and dialogue, with the contribution of the religious communities, to combat every form of extremism and fundamentalism.

Saint December 4 : St. John Damascene : Doctor of the Church

Born:
676, Damascus
Died:
December 4, 749, Mar Saba, Jerusalem
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH This Doctor of the Church was born in Damascus, Syria, and his father was a government official under both the Byzantine emperor and the Muslim rulers of Damascus. Receiving an excellent classical education, and fluent in Arabic as well as Greek, St. John Damascene worked in the Muslim court until the hostility of the caliph toward Christianity caused him to resign his position, about the year 700.
He migrated to Jerusalem and became a monk at Mar Sabas monastery near Jerusalem. He taught in the monastery, preached many of his luminous sermons in Jerusalem, and began to compose his theological treatises.
It was about this time that the iconoclast controversy shook the Churches of the East, when the Byzantine emperor ordered the destruction of images in Christian churches. John fought the heresy, bringing down upon himself the wrath of the emperor and the hatred of the iconoclast party.
He has left a rich legacy of writings, including his principal dogmatic work, , which was a , a refutation of heresy, an exposition of the Orthodox faith, and a study of contemporary religious issues. His writings on Mary constitute a true theology of the Mother of God, and his sermons of the saints, the liturgical feasts, and the Gospels show not only vast learning but also give us information about local customs and contemporary happenings.
Since he lived in the midst of political and theological turmoil, John wrote much to clarify true doctrine and to do his part in spreading the Gospel. The fact that he lived and worked in Jerusalem itself gives his sermons, delivered at many of the holy places, a special appeal.
He died at a very old age, some say one hundred four, in the midst of his labors, beloved by his fellow monks and revered by the people. He was buried at the monastery of Mar Sabas and was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1890.
source: The Catholic Encyclopedia