Sunday, December 1, 2019

Wow Pope Francis visits Historic Cave where St. Francis Created the 1st Nativity Scene saying "God loves us to the point of sharing our humanity..." Video


LITURGY OF THE WORD
AND SIGNATURE OF THE LETTER ON THE PRESEPIO

( Pope Francis prayed at the site where Saint Francis of Assisi created the first nativity scene in 1223. Here frescoes from the 14th century are still visible on the cave’s walls, depicting Mary breastfeeding the Christ Child and Saint Francis kneeling in adoration. While there he signed an important document on the importance of the Creche) 
Sanctuary of Greccio (Rieti)
Sunday, 1 December 2019

Words to the Friars of Greccio

Short meditation by the Holy Father

Apostolic Letter "Admirabile signum" on the meaning and value of the crib



WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER TO THE FRIARS



POPE FRANCIS

The greatest message of Francis is the testimony. That phrase: "Preach the Gospel, if it were necessary also with words". It is not a matter of proselytizing, of convincing. The last, the sinners ... The testimony. He made us from the earth, as the Book of Genesis says, He made us earth, we are earth ... He fell in love with our earth ... The testimony of Jesus' love ... Poverty, humility ... Thanks.

FRIARS

Thanks for your visit! We pray for her ...

POPE FRANCIS

I need it.

Our father…

Blessing

SHORT MEDITATION OF THE HOLY FATHER

How many thoughts crowd the mind in this holy place! And yet, before the rock of these mountains so dear to St. Francis, what we are called to do is, first of all, rediscover simplicity.

The nativity scene, which for the first time San Francesco realized in this small space, in imitation of the narrow cave of Bethlehem, speaks for itself. Here there is no need to multiply words, because the scene that is placed under our eyes expresses the wisdom we need to capture the essential.

In front of the crib we discover how important it is for our life, so often frenetic, to find moments of silence and prayer. Silence, to contemplate the beauty of the face of the child Jesus, the Son of God born in the poverty of a stable. Prayer, to express the "thank you" amazed by this immense gift of love that is done to us.

The great mystery of our faith is manifested in this simple and admirable sign of the nativity scene, which popular piety welcomed and transmitted from generation to generation: God loves us to the point of sharing our humanity and our life. He never leaves us alone; he accompanies us with his hidden but not invisible presence. In every circumstance, in joy as in pain, He is the Emmanuel, God with us.

Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, we welcome the invitation to go to the cave, to see and recognize the sign that God has given us. Then our heart will be full of joy, and we will be able to take it where there is sadness; it will be filled with hope, to be shared with those who have lost it.

Let us identify ourselves in Mary, who laid her Son in the manger, because there was no place in a house. With her and with Saint Joseph, her husband, we look to the Child Jesus. His smile, blossomed in the night, scatters indifference and opens hearts to the joy of those who feel loved by the Father who is in heaven.

Pope Francis says "Consumerism is a virus that affects the faith at its root...and so you forget about God..." Homily


HOLY MASS FOR THE CONGOLESE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY IN ROME AND ITALY

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

Vatican Basilica, Altar of the Chair
Sunday, 1 December 2019

Pope Francis: Boboto [peace]

Assembly: Bondeko [faternity]

Pope Francis: Bondeko

Assembly: I am [joy]

In today's Readings there often appears a verb, coming, present three times in the first reading, while the Gospel concludes by saying that "the Son of man comes" (Mt 24.44). Jesus comes: Advent reminds us of this certainty already from the name, because the word Advent means coming. The Lord comes: here is the root of our hope, the assurance that the consolation of God reaches us among the tribulations of the world, a consolation that is not made of words but of presence, of his presence that comes among us.

The Lord comes; Today, the first day of the liturgical year, this announcement marks our starting point: we know that, beyond any favorable or contrary event, the Lord does not leave us alone. It came two thousand years ago and will come again at the end of time, but it also comes into my life today, into your life. Yes, this life of ours, with all its problems, its anguishes and its uncertainties, is visited by the Lord. Here is the source of our joy: the Lord has not tired and will never get tired of us, he wants to come, visit us.

Today the verb to come is not only for God but also for us. In fact in the first reading Isaiah prophesies: "Many peoples will come and will say:" Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord "" (2,3). While the evil on earth derives from the fact that each one follows his own path without the others, the prophet offers a wonderful vision: all come together to the mountain of the Lord. On the mountain there was the temple, the house of God. Isaiah therefore sends us an invitation from God to his home. We are God's guests, and those who are invited are expected, desired. "Come - God says - because at home there is room for everyone. Come, because in my heart there is not one people, but every people ".

Dear brothers and sisters, you have come from afar. You left your homes, you left loved ones and dear things. Once here, you have found acceptance along with difficulties and unexpected events. But for God you are always welcome. For Him we are never strangers, but expected children. And the Church is the house of God: here, therefore, always feel at home. Here we come to walk together towards the Lord and carry out the words with which Isaiah's prophecy concludes: "Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord" (v. 5).

But in the light of the Lord we can prefer the darkness of the world. The Lord who comes and his invitation to go to Him can be answered "no, I do not go". Often it is not a direct, brazen, but subtle "no". It is the no from which Jesus warns us in the Gospel, urging us not to do as in the "days of Noah" (Mt 24:37). What happened in the days of Noah? It happened that, while something new and shocking was about to arrive, nobody paid attention to it, because everyone thought only of eating and drinking (see v. 38). In other words, they all reduced their lives to their needs, they were content with a flat, horizontal life, without momentum. There was no expectation of anyone, only the pretense of having something for oneself, to consume. Waiting for the Lord who comes, and does not claim to have something to consume us. This is consumerism.

Consumerism is a virus that affects the faith at its root, because it makes you believe that life depends only on what you have, and so you forget about God who comes to you and those around you. The Lord comes, but rather follow the appetites that come to you; the brother knocks on your door, but it bothers you because it disturbs your plans - and this is the selfish attitude of consumerism. In the Gospel, when Jesus signals the dangers of faith, he does not care about powerful enemies, hostilities and persecutions. There has been all this, there is and will be, but it does not weaken faith. The real danger, on the other hand, is that which anesthetizes the heart: it depends on consumption, it is letting oneself be burdened and dissipated by needs (see Lk 21:34).

Then one lives of things and one no longer knows for what; one has many goods but no good is done; houses fill with things but are empty of children. This is the drama of today: houses full of things but empty of children, the demographic winter that we are suffering. Time is thrown away in pastimes, but there is no time for God and for others. And when you live for things, things are never enough, greed grows and others become obstacles in the race and so you end up feeling threatened and, always dissatisfied and angry, you raise the level of hatred. "I want more, I want more, I want more ...". We see it today where consumerism reigns: how much violence, even if only verbal, how much anger and desire to look for an enemy at all costs! Thus, while the world is full of weapons that cause death, we do not realize that we continue to arm our hearts with anger.

From all this Jesus wants to awaken us. He does this with a verb: "Watch" (Mt 24.42). "Be careful, watch". Watching was the job of the sentinel, who kept watch while awake while everyone slept. Watching is not giving in to the sleep that surrounds everyone. In order to keep watch, we must have a certain hope: that the night will not last forever, that dawn will soon come. It is also so for us: God comes and his light will also illuminate the thickest darkness. But today it is up to us to watch, to watch: to overcome the temptation that the meaning of life is to accumulate - this is a temptation, the meaning of life is not to accumulate -, it is up to us to unmask the deception that we are happy if we have so many things , resist the dazzling lights of consumption, which will shine everywhere this month, and believe that prayer and charity are not lost time, but the greatest treasures.

When we open our hearts to the Lord and to our brethren, the precious good that things can never give us comes and that Isaiah announces in the first reading, peace: "They will break their swords and make them plows, of their spears they will make sickles; a nation will no longer raise the sword against another nation, they will no longer learn the art of war "(Is 2,4). These are words that make us think of your homeland too. Today we pray for peace, seriously threatened in the East of the country, especially in the territories of Beni and Minembwe, where conflicts erupt, fueled also from outside, in the complicit silence of many. Conflicts fueled by those who get rich selling weapons.

Today you remember a beautiful figure, Blessed Marie-Clémentine Anuarite Nengapeta, who was violently killed, not before telling her executioner, like Jesus: "I forgive you, because you don't know what you are doing!" We ask by his intercession that, in the name of God-Love and with the help of neighboring peoples, we renounce our weapons, for a future that is no longer against each other, but with each other, and we get converted from an economy that uses war to an economy that serves peace.

Pope Francis: Who has ears to hear

Assembly: Intend

Pope Francis: Who has the heart to consent

Assembly: Consents
Source: Full Text + Image : Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Top Advent Songs of All Time to SHARE - Beautiful #Advent Music to Prepare your Heart for Christmas



Advent is a season in preparation for the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming". This is a translation of the Greek word parousia, referring to the Second Coming of Christ.
Some of the most beautiful music has been composed for this season. The following are some of the most popular of all time...
1."O come, O come, Emmanuel" is a hymn for Advent. The original Latin is "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel."  The hymn is a metrical paraphrase of the O Antiphons, a series of plainchant antiphons attached to the Magnificat at Vespers over the final days before Christmas. The verses, correspond to the seven standard O Antiphons, in the following order: "Veni, veni Emmanuel!" = "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" "Veni, O Jesse Virgula" = "O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse" "Veni, veni, O Oriens" = "O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high" "Veni, clavis Davidica" = "O come, Thou Key of David, come" "Veni, veni, Adonai" = "O come, Adonai, Lord of might"



2. "Gabriel's Message" or "The angel Gabriel from heaven came" (Basque: Birjina gaztetto bat zegoen) is a Basque Christmas folk carol about the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the archangel Gabriel. It uses the biblical account of that event (Luke, Chapter 1, verses 26-38) and Mary's Magnificat (Luke 1.46-55) with the opening lines. It was collected by Charles Bordes and then paraphrased into English by Sabine Baring-Gould.


3. O COME, DIVINE MESSIAH! Words: Abbé Simon J. Pellegrin, 1663-1745 English Translation of French Carol Venez Divin Messie Translator: Sister Mary of St. Philip, SND


4. The Advent of our God: Music: 16th Century French Carol MIDI / Noteworthy Composer Meter: 78.76.888 Often played as a processional during Advent Words: Charles Coffin, Paris Breviary, 1736 (Instantis adventum Dei); translated from Latin to English by John Chandler, Hymns of the Primitive Church, 1837. Music: Doncaster Samuel Wesley, in Psalms and Hymns for the Service of the Church, 1837 . Alternate tunes: Franconia (König), Harmonischer Liederschatz, 1738  St. Thomas (Williams), Aaron Williams, 1770


5. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 62. Bible text Revelation 3:20 Chorale Nun komm, der  (Now come, Savior of the heathens) is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Weimar for the first Sunday in Advent and first performed it on 2 December 1714.

 6. "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" (Awake, the voice is calling) is a Lutheran hymn written in German by Philipp Nicolai, first published in 1599 together with "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern". It appears in German hymnals and in several English hymnals in translations such as "Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying".

Pope Francis says "...Advent, the liturgy leads us to celebrate the Christmas of Jesus, as it reminds us that He comes every day into our lives, and will return..." Full Text


ANGELUS

St. Peter's Square
Sunday, 1 December 2019



Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today, the first Sunday of Advent, a new liturgical year begins. In these four weeks of Advent, the liturgy leads us to celebrate the Christmas of Jesus, as it reminds us that He comes every day into our lives, and will return gloriously at the end of time. This certainty leads us to look to the future with confidence, as the prophet Isaiah invites us to, who with his inspired voice accompanies the whole journey of Advent.

In the first Reading of today, Isaiah prophesies that "at the end of days, the mountain of the temple of the Lord will be fixed on the top of the mountains and will rise above the hills; all peoples will flow to it "(2,2). The temple of the Lord in Jerusalem is presented as the point of convergence and meeting of all peoples. After the Incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus himself revealed himself as the true temple. Therefore, the wonderful vision of Isaiah is a divine promise and urges us to assume an attitude of pilgrimage, of a journey towards Christ, the meaning and end of all history. Those who are hungry and thirsty for justice, can find it only by walking the ways of the Lord; while evil and sin come from the fact that individuals and social groups prefer to follow paths dictated by selfish interests, which cause conflicts and wars. Advent is the right time to welcome the coming of Jesus, who comes as a messenger of peace to show us the ways of God.

In today's Gospel, Jesus exhorts us to be ready for his coming: "Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord will come" (Mt 24.42). Watching does not mean having your eyes open materially, but having your heart free and facing in the right direction, that is, willing to give and to serve. This is watching! The sleep from which we must awaken is constituted by indifference, vanity, the inability to establish genuinely human relationships, the inability to take charge of the lonely, abandoned or sick brother. The expectation of Jesus who comes must therefore be translated into a commitment to vigilance. It is above all a question of marveling at the action of God, of his surprises, and of giving Him the primacy. Vigilance also means, concretely, to be attentive to our neighbor in difficulty, to be challenged by his needs, without waiting for him or her to ask us for help, but to learn to prevent, to anticipate, as God always does with us.

Mary, Virgin vigilant and Mother of hope, guide us on this journey, helping us to turn our gaze to the "mountain of the Lord", image of Jesus Christ, who attracts to himself all men and all peoples.



After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters!

I am following the situation in Iraq with concern. I learned with grief that the protests in recent days have received a harsh reaction, which has caused dozens of victims. I pray for the dead and the wounded; I am close to their families and to the entire Iraqi people, invoking peace and concord from God.

The Department for the Laity, the Family and Life has established a new International Youth Advisory Body, made up of twenty young people from different geographical and ecclesial backgrounds. It is a concrete response to the solicitation of the Synod dedicated to young people last year (see fin. Doc., 123). The task of this body is to help understand the vision of young people on the priorities of youth ministry and on other topics of more general interest. We pray for this.

I greet all of you, Romans and pilgrims from various countries! In particular, the faithful from Poland and the children's choir from Bucharest.

I greet the groups of Giulianova Lido, Nettuno and Jesi; as well as the Cavarzere pilgrims with the "Serafin" choir, and the Romanian Association in Italy.

This afternoon I will go to Greccio, to the place where St. Francis made the first nativity scene. There I will sign a letter on the meaning and value of the crib. The crib is a simple and wonderful sign of the Christian faith. It is a short letter, which can do good to prepare for Christmas. Accompany me with prayer on this journey.

I wish you all a good Sunday and a good Advent journey. Please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye.
Source: Full Text + Image : Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

What is Advent? 3 Things to Know and SHARE plus Free Resources - Happy #Advent!


1. ADVENT comes from the Latin ad-venio, meaning to come to.
2. Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) and involving four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.
3. With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches. During this time the faithful are admonished

  • to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
  • thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and
  • thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.
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Duration and ritual

In the Massthe Gloria in excelsis is not said. The Alleluia, however, is retained. During this time the solemnization of matrimony Benediction) cannot take place; which prohibition binds to the feast of Epiphany inclusively. The celebrant and sacred ministers use violet vestments.   An exception is made for the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday), on which the vestments may be rose-coloured.   Flowers and relics of Saints are not to be placed on the altars during the Office and Masses of this time, except on the third Sunday. 

Historical origin

The preparation for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord was not held before the feast itself 
existed, and of this we find no evidence before the end of the fourth century, when, according 
to Duchesne [Christian Worship (London, 1904), 260], it was celebrated throughout the 
whole Church,    Several synods had made laws about fasting to be observed during this time,. 


Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") 
is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the 
celebration of Christmas.
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to 
Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s 
birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, 
focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord 
(Christmas).
Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind us of the meaning of the season. 
Our Advent calendar above can help you fully enter in to the season with daily activity and 
prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.  More Advent 
resources are listed below.

ADVENT RESOURCES

  • About Advent WreathsTraditionally, Advent wreaths are constructed of a circle of evergreen branches
  •  into which four candles are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent. Ideally, three candles are
  •  purple and one is rose, but white candles can also be used. The purple candles in particular symbolize
  •  the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose 
  • candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; 
  • Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, 
  • when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the 
  • candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the 
  • anticipation of his second coming to judge the living and the dead.

Pope Francis meets over 3,000 Children and says "...you have looked away from your mobile phone screen and have rolled up your sleeves to put yourself at the service of the community." Full Text


Pope Francis on Saturday met some 3,500 school boys and girls, aged 6-16, along with their parents and teachers, who participated in the “I Can” Children’s Global Summit in Rome.
SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE WORLD MEETING "I CAN"

Paul VI Hall
Saturday, November 30, 2019


Dear boys and girls,
dear teachers and dear parents!

I greet you all and thank you for being here today at the end of your global meeting. I especially thank the President of FIDAE for her words of introduction.

I like to see beauty in action in your daily commitment. A beauty formed by the sharing of many small gestures. I am reminded of the art of mosaic, in which many pieces fit together to form a larger image. Up close, those little bits of stone seem to have no meaning, but together they create an amazing vision.

In our Jewish and Christian tradition, beauty and goodness are linked, they are inseparable. For example, in the book of Genesis we read that God - in creation - separates the different elements of the world, the light from the darkness, the earth from the waters ... It populates the earth with plants and animals and, when everything is ready, it creates the man and woman. At the end of the creation of everything we read: "God saw that it was good"; and for man and woman: "God saw what he had done, and behold, it was very good" (Gen 1:31).

The term "good" in Hebrew has a very extensive value and can be translated not only as good but also as harmonious. It is a polyphonic harmony, made of beauty, goodness and sharing. Creation amazes us with its splendor and variety and, at the same time, brings us back down to earth, making us understand what our role in the world is in the face of such greatness.

When we look at the sky and the stars with wonder and admiration, or in front of the murmuring of a stream with its clear waters, our mind is led to contemplate the author of so much beauty (see Wis 13: 3), a donated treasure to the human race, which in turn must cultivate and preserve it (see Gen 2:15). In the Holy Scriptures, therefore, there is a very close relationship between good and good, between beauty and goodness understood as a service to others.

As God has made the work of his creation available to human beings, so men themselves find their full realization by giving life to a "shared beauty". We are facing a "key" of the universe, on which its survival also depends: this key is God's covenant design. It is a question of recognizing the intention that is written in the beauty of creation, that is, desire of the Creator to communicate, to offer a wonderful message to those who can interpret it, that is us human beings.

We must not delude ourselves "of being able to replace an unrepeatable and unrecoverable beauty with another created by us" (Enc. Laudato si ’, 34). We cannot take the risk of Prometheus. Perhaps you have already heard the story of this young man who - although in good faith - wants to become almost a deity. He wants to replace God. Sometimes even we, without realizing it, fall into this temptation, when our "I" becomes the center of everything and everyone. Instead, dear friends, this project of yours, inspired by the encyclical Laudato si ’, rightly says that we cannot be ourselves without the other and without others. We must not be fooled and fall into the trap of exclusivity. You have understood that "I can" must become "we can together". Together it is more beautiful and more effective! I can, we can together.
Together, of course, with the teachers. A cordial greeting and thanks to all the teachers who accompany this project with their precious work. Together we are preparing for the Global Covenant on Education and the event that will take place in Rome on May 14th 2020. We are all called to build a "global village of education". This word is beautiful: "global village of education". What was the word? ... [everyone repeats] I don't feel well ... [they repeat again] Now it's good! Where those who live there generate a network of human relations, which are the best medicine against all forms of discrimination, violence and bullying. In this great village, education becomes the bearer of fraternity and creator of peace among all the peoples of the human family, and also of dialogue between their religions.

Together, of course, with parents. This is decisive for the success of your initiatives. Parents not only contribute to the final realization but, at the same time, participate in the educational project through a nice confrontation made of curiosity and novelty. Even we adults can learn from the boys who, for everything concerning the protection of nature, are at the forefront. Thanks to mothers and fathers for their contribution and their patient support.

Dear boys and dear girls, I see in you a courageous trust. Yes, the trust and courage of a concrete environmental and social improvement project; a project that can leave an impression. You have made a right choice: you have looked away from your mobile phone screen and have rolled up your sleeves to put yourself at the service of the community. And you have also put mobile phones at the service of this commitment! Creativity and imagination have made your initiatives even more interesting. You have shown that artificial intelligence alone cannot provide the human warmth we all need. I still remember when, during the Youth Synod, two girls presented the activities of your project step by step.

What makes me so happy - seeing your smiling eyes - is that you have preferred solidarity, common work and responsibility to so many other things that the world offers you. In fact it is so: certain things entertain you for a moment, and that's it. Instead this commitment together gives you a satisfaction that remains within. This is also the fruit of an educational method that involves the head, the hands and the heart, that is our different dimensions, which are always connected to each other. That's why you seem happier than those who have everything and don't want to give anything. You are happier than those who want everything and give nothing. It is only through giving that happiness can be achieved (see Acts 20:35).

Thanks! I thank you for your visit and I cordially bless you. Thanks.

And now standing, in silence we pray for each other, we all pray from our hearts and ask the Lord, we ask God to bless us all. Amen.
Source: Full Text + Image : Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation