Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - #Eucharist in Lent - Your Virtual Church


Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 253
Reading 1DN 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
King Nebuchadnezzar said:
“Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god,
or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
“There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up.”
King Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army
bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and cast them into the white-hot furnace.
Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
“Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?”
“Assuredly, O king,” they answered.
“But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.”
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed,
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him;
they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies
rather than serve or worship any god
except their own God.”

Responsorial PsalmDANIEL 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56

R.    (52b)  Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim;
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!

Verse Before The GospelLK 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

GospelJN 8:31-42

Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father.”
They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!”
So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”

Saint April 1 : St. Hugh of Grenoble a Carthusian known for Preaching and his Generosity to the Poor



Born:
1053 at Chateauneuf, Dauphiné, France
Died:
1 April 1132
Canonized:
1134 by Pope Innocent II
St. Hugh was born in 1053 in southeastern France at Châteauneuf-sur-Isère, near Grenoble in the western foothills of the Alps. Such was his reputation for piety and theological knowledge that, although only in his mid-twenties, Hugh was elected bishop of Grenoble even though he had not yet been ordained. He was selected to carry out reforms of abuses within the Church which had been instituted under Pope Gregory VII, who ordained Hugh in Rome after his election as bishop. After two years of successfully battling abuses in Grenoble such as simony (the selling of church positions) and enforcing rules about clerical celibacy, Hugh wanted to retire to the great Benedictine monastery at Cluny. However, Pope Gregory ordered him to remain in his position as bishop. He was well-known for his inspired preaching and his generosity to the poor.


In 1084, Hugh helped St. Bruno of Cologne and six of his companions found the great Carthusian monastery "La Grande Chartreuse" high in the Alps. They devoted their monastic life to prayer and study and were visited by Hugh often. It was reported that, as much as he could in his role as bishop, Hugh adopted the monastic way of life practiced by the monks at Chartreuse. The 2005 film, Into Great Silence, documented the daily life at La Grande Chartreuse. After many years of illness which he endured in patient silence, St. Hugh died on April 1, 1132 and was canonized only two years later by Pope Innocent II. Text: sthughofgrenoble.org

Saint March 31 : St. Guy of Pomposa : Abbot


St. Guy of Pomposa (1046) was born in Italy and gave everything to the poor. He spent three years, as a hermit, on the island of Po River. He become the abbot of St. Severus. He became a much sought after spiritual adviser. His feast day is March 31.

Watch as England was Re-Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary - Now you can Pray at Home with the Official Prayers



On Sunday, March 29th, 2020 at 12pm noon, England was re-dedicated to Mary. Although the faithful could not be at their churches, there were and still can be part of the virtual congregation at home.
You can join, anytime, Virtually with the prayers below.

 Why is England called the Dowry of Mary?
On the Feast of Corpus Christi 1381, King Richard II dedicated England to Mary in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey in thanksgiving for his kingdom being saved at the time of the Peasants’ Revolt.
England received the title ‘Mary’s Dowry’; meaning that England was ‘set aside’ as a gift – a dowry – for Our Lady under her guidance and protection. 

 Watch and take part… Pray the Re-dedication

You can join to pray the Angelus Prayer and the Act of Entrustment with Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Subtitles and signed version also available (BSL).


Today we’re invited to take part in the Re-dedication of England as Mary’s Dowry and to make a personal Act of Dedication. Let us unite in prayer and join Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

Our film has subtitles and, if you can read British Sign Laguage (BSL) we have a version of the Cardinal praying the re-dedication between the two prayers below.

The Angelus Promise

The Angelus Promise is a spiritual exercise created to assist us to embrace the message of Our Lady, as expressed in the Angelus. It invites us to ‘share in the joy of the Annunciation’ by following Mary’s openness to God’s call, through her faith-filled ‘yes’. Through our own faith-filled ‘yes’, the Lord will work wonders in our lives.
R: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
V: And she conceived by the Holy Spirit
As God once chose Mary to become the Mother of his Son through the message of an angel, so he chooses me this day, and invites me through the ministry of the Church or the example of another, to seek and do his will at this moment in my life. Hail Mary full of grace…
R: Behold the handmaid of the Lord
V: Be it be done unto me according to thy Word
Mary’s response to her invitation, ‘let it be done to me according to your Word’, opened her heart to God’s grace and all things became possible. Let my ‘yes’ today take away fear, as I embrace God’s will, and like Mary ‘ponder these things in my heart’. Hail Mary full of grace…
R: And the Word became flesh (Bow or genuflect)
V: And dwelt among us
At a moment in history, Mary’s faith-filled ‘yes’ conceived him, first in her heart, which then led to the birth of our Saviour. Through accepting him in my heart, enable me to recognise my role in bringing Christ to my sisters and brothers today. Hail Mary full of grace…
R: Pray for us most holy Mother of God
V: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
Let us pray: O Holy Mother of God, pray for us, and assist us as we dedicate ourselves this day. Your ‘yes’ at the Annunciation brought our Saviour Jesus into the world, and you invite us to contemplate the great mystery of the Incarnation, sharing your joy in announcing that ‘the Word was made flesh and lived among us.’ May our yes, this day, open our hearts to serve our sisters and brothers in this your Dowry, that they too may share our joy in the Good News that God walks among us. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Act of Entrustment Based on Prayer of Erasmus 1532, Dedication of England to the Mother of God 1893, Prayer for England, Cardinal Griffin’s Act of Consecration 1948, Act of Consecration St John Paul 1982.
PrayerO Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England thy Dowry and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee.
ResponseWe your faithful people assembled here offer you this country in which we live. Once it was yours, all its children were your children and you were honoured throughout England as its Protectress and its Queen. Again do we consecrate it as your Dowry, and entrust it to your maternal care.
PrayerBy thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more.
ResponseTo you we entrust the Church, which invokes you as Mother. On earth you preceded her in the pilgrimage of faith. Comfort her in her difficulties and trials. Make her always the sign and instrument of intimate union with God and of the unity of the whole human race. To you, Mother of the human family, and of the nations, we confidently entrust the whole of humanity with its hopes and fears. Let it not lack the light of true wisdom. Guide it to seek freedom and justice for all. Direct its steps in the ways of peace. Enable all to meet Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
PrayerPlead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother.
ResponsePray, O Holy Mother of God, for the conversion of heart of the people of England, restoration of the sick, consolation for the troubled, repentance of sinners, peace to the departed. Queen of Peace, pray for us and give to the world the peace for which all peoples are longing, peace in the truth, justice and charity of Christ. Give peace to the nations and to the souls of all, that in peace, the Kingdom of God may prevail.
PrayerIntercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son.
ResponseMay your prayers bring back this country to the fullness of its ancient faith. May your intercession lead us to a closer union with your divine Son. We offer you all the people of this land, especially those who know you so little or not at all. May all in our country know Christ, the light of the world and its only Saviour.
PrayerPray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home.
ResponseMay we who follow your Son, be fruitful in the good work of building a culture of life in our world, where all human life is treasured and the gift of God’s creation is respected and cared for, so that all may share the fruits of Gods generous love.
V: Pray for us O Holy Mother of God: That we may be made worthy of the Promises of Christ.
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross, O sorrowful Mother, intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith, fruitful in good works, we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee in our heavenly home. Amen.

Signed version (BSL)


Shell Rocha from the Caritas Westminster Deaf Service has kindly produced a British Sign Language (BSL) version of the Cardinal’s re-dedication prayers.
Source: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/

2 Catholic Cardinals Test Positive for Coronavirus - Pope Francis' Vicar of Rome Card. De Donatis is Hospitalized and Card. Ouédraogo of Africa


Two Catholic Cardinals have tested positive with the Coronavirus in one day. According to Vatican News the Vicar of Rome tests positive for coronavirus, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the Pope’s Vicar for Rome, says he is praying “for those who suffer”, after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) is also positive.
On the same day, the diocese of Ouagadougou (in Burkina Faso, Africa) announced that its bishop, Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo, 75, had also tested positive. They are the first two cardinals affected by the disease.
Pope Francis’ Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on Monday after testing positive for Covid-19.

Vatican News said the Cardinal is running a fever, but his general condition is currently good, and he has begun antiviral therapy. Cardinal De Donatis, following procedures in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus, has had fewer meetings with his staff at the Lateran Palace recently. As a precaution, his closest collaborators are in isolation. The Cardinal noted that he has not been to the Vatican in recent days, and has been in contact with the Pope only by phone.

“I am also experiencing this trial, I am at peace and confident”, Cardinal De Donatis said. “I entrust myself to the Lord, and to the prayers of all you, dear faithful of Rome!”

He added, “I live this moment as an opportunity that Providence has given me to share in the sufferings of so many brothers and sisters. I am offering my prayer for them, for the whole diocesan community, and for the people of the City of Rome”.

Since 11 March, Cardinal De Donatis has been celebrating a Mass every evening at the Sanctuary of Divine Love in Rome. The Mass is broadcast on the Bishops’ Conference television channel, TV2000, and is live-streamed on the Diocese of Rome’s Facebook page.

During the first Mass from the Sanctuary, on the occasion of the Pope’s act of entrustment to Mary, the Cardinal said that “the antidote, the therapy for the suffering of the present moment, is to entrust oneself to the hands of God. We are in His hands, and no one can tear us away from Him”.

 Last week, Salesian Bishop Angelo Moreschi, the Apostolic Vicar of Ethiopia’s Gambella Vicariate, became the first Bishop in the world to die of the disease.

The Holy See, in solidarity with Italy, will be flying flags at half-mast on Tuesday, as a sign of mourning. The gesture is an expression of the Church's closeness to the victims of Covid-19 in Italy and around the world, as well as to their families and to those who are generously fighting to end the pandemic.

Edited from Vatican News and La Croix Intl.

RIP Fr. Charles Okeke-Odogwu a Catholic Priest Found Dead in his Car in Nigeria


Nigeria: Catholic Priest Found Dead in Car. The Premium Times of Nigeria reports that the body of a Catholic priest, Charles Okeke-Odogwu, has been discovered in Anambra State. Until his death, he was the Vicar of Holy Cross Parish, Oroma-Etiti in Anam, Anambra West Local Government Area of the state. His body was found in his car at the front of the Vicarage gate. It was gathered that the deceased was found dead in the driver's seat before the gate of the vicarage. A family source said the priest who managed Fr. Ohai Memorial Secondary School located in the area, had attended a regional meeting of his Archdiocese on Monday, March 23 before the incident happened. "He participated actively at the meeting and did not show any sign of illness before the the sad incident. He had vomited in the car before he died, "the source added. Though the cause of his death was still unclear, a resident of the area said he might have died of a heart attack. "He was found next morning in his car that was still steaming," he said. Police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, said the Commissioner of Police, John Abang, has directed the divisional police officer in the area to investigate the report. "It seems there was no official report on such incident but the CP has directed the DPO to find out please," he said. Source: AllAfrica.com

Wow Catholic Archbishop in Plane over Brazil Blesses the Nation with the Eucharist and Virgin Mary Statue


AMERICA/BRAZIL - In a plane with the ostensory or with the statue of the Virgin Mary to bless the Brazilians during the pandemic
Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Goiania (Agenzia Fides) – In order to invoke the health and protection of the people of God, after the blessing imparted by Pope Francis Urbi et Orbi on Friday, March 27, from St. Peter's Square, some dioceses in Brazil promoted particular initiatives to bless the faithful, invite to prayer and show closeness even in this period of isolation due to covid 19.
In Goiânia, Archbishop Washington Cruz flew over the capital and metropolitan region with the Blessed Sacrament: "Jesus Christ, resurrection and life, make us strong in faith and grant us the gift of healing, the gift of overcoming this pandemic", he said in a video released by the CNBB. The Archbishop commented his experience with these words: "It was an experience of my smallness, of my nothingness. It was Jesus the Sacrament who flew over Goiânia. I was just an instrument that carried it.
It was He who certainly blessed Goiânia, the surroundings, the archdiocese, Brazil and the whole world".
In Belém the pilgrim image of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré, patroness of the state of Pará and considered Queen of the Amazon, was transported by helicopter, by the rector of the Marian Basilica, Father Luiz Carlos Maria Gonçalves, and by some faithful who prayed with the Rosary "pleading for the blessings and protection of the Virgin of Nazaré", according to a video shared on social networks. The Archbishop of Belém, Alberto Taveira Corrêa, said it was a very positive experience, "which helped many people to feel the protection of Our Lady in this very difficult period". "I hope many other initiatives - he added - will help us fight with the most powerful weapons we have: prayer, penance, fasting, charity, which are the weapons of Lent and which can help us overcome this challenge".
Yesterday, March 30, the archdiocese of São Luís was flown over by the image of Nossa Senhora da Vitória, patron saint of the city and to whom the metropolitan cathedral is dedicated, invoking her intercession so that "God frees us from the evil that afflicts Brazil and the world". Parish priest of the cathedral, Father Roney Rocha Carvalho on board, and during the trip, all the faithful were invited to pray the rosary, "thus forming a large prayer chain in the city". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 31/3/2020)

Pope Francis Prays for Homeless, at Mass and says "Just contemplate, pray and thank." - Full Video


MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCAST LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

"Look at the crucifix in the light of redemption"

Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Introduction

Let us pray today for those who are homeless, at this moment when we ask to be inside the house. For the society of men and women to become aware of this reality and to help, and the Church to welcome them.

Homily

The snake is certainly not a nice animal: it is always associated with evil. Even in revelation, the serpent is precisely the animal that the devil uses to induce sin. In the Apocalypse the devil is called "ancient snake", the one who from the beginning bites, poisons, destroys, kills. This is why it cannot succeed. If you want to succeed as someone who offers beautiful things, these are fantasy: we believe them and so we sin. This is what happened to the people of Israel: they did not endure the journey. He was tired. And the people said against God and against Moses. It's always the same music, isn't it? "Why did you take us out of Egypt? To make us die in this desert? Because there is no bread or water and we are sick of this light food, manna "(cf. Nm 21.4-5). And the imagination - we read it in recent days - always goes to Egypt: "But, we were fine there, we ate well ...". And also, it seems that the Lord did not endure the people at this time. He became angry: the wrath of God shows up at times ... And "then the Lord sent among the people burning snakes which bit the people and died. A large number of Israelites died" (Nm 21.5). moment, the serpent is always the image of evil: the people see sin in the serpent, see what has done evil in the serpent. And he comes from Moses and says: "We have sinned because we have spoken against the Lord and against you . Plead with the Lord to drive these snakes away from us "(Nm 21,7). Repent. This is the story in the desert. Moses prayed for the people and the Lord said to Moses:" Make a snake and put it on a pole of metal. Whoever has been bitten and looks at him, will remain alive "(Nm 21,8).

I am thinking: is this not an idolatry? There is the snake, there, an idol, who gives me health ... It is not clear. Logically, it is not clear, because this is a prophecy, this is an announcement of what will happen. Because we also heard as a close prophecy in the Gospel: "When you have exalted the Son of man, then you will know that I am and that I do nothing by myself" (Jn 8:28). Jesus raised: on the cross. Moses makes a snake and raises it up. Jesus will be raised up, like the serpent, to give salvation. But the crux of the prophecy is precisely that Jesus made himself a sin for us. He did not sin: he became sin. As St. Peter says in his Letter: "He carried our sins upon himself" (cf. 1Pt 2,24) And when we look at the crucifix, we think of the Lord who suffers: all that is true. But let's stop before we get to the center of that truth: at this moment, You seem the greatest sinner, You made yourself a sin. He has taken upon himself all our sins, has annihilated himself until now. The cross, it is true, is a torture, there is the revenge of the doctors of the Law, of those who did not want Jesus: all this is true. But the truth that comes from God is that He came into the world to take our sins upon himself to the point of becoming sin. All sin. Our sins are there.

We have to get used to looking at the crucifix in this light, which is the truest, it is the light of redemption. In Jesus suffering for sin we see the total defeat of Christ. He doesn't pretend to die, he doesn't pretend not to suffer, alone, abandoned ... "Father, why did you abandon me?" (cf. Mt 27.46; Mk 15.34). A snake: I am raised like a snake, like that which is all sin.

It is not easy to understand this and, if we think, we will never reach a conclusion. Just contemplate, pray and thank.

Prayer to make spiritual communion:

People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As already come, I embrace you and I join everything with you. Don't let it ever separate me from you. Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - #Eucharist in Lent - Your Virtual Church


Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 252
Reading 1NM 21:4-9
From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road,
to bypass the land of Edom.
But 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 away from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and whoever looks at it after being bitten 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 Psalm102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21

R.    (2)  O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
O LORD, hear my prayer,
and let my cry come to you.
Hide not your face from me
in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;  
in the day when I call, answer me speedily.
R.    O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.
R.    O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”
R.    O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.

Verse Before The Gospel

The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live forever.


GospelJN 8:21-30

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come.”
So the Jews said,
“He is not going to kill himself, is he,
because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”
He said to them, “You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins.”
So they said to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
“When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him.”
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.
Prayer to make spiritual communion:

People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.

At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it.

Saint March 31 : St. Benjamin : Martyr and Deacon of Persia


St. Benjamin
MARTYR, DEACON

Died:
424 in Persia Isdegerdes, son of Sapor III, who put a stop to the cruel persecution against the Christians in Persia, which had been begun by Sapor II, and the church had enjoyed twelve years' peace in that kingdom when, in 420, it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of one Abdas, a Christian bishop, who burned down the Pyraeum, or temple of fire, the great divinity of the Persians. King Isdegerdes threatened to demolish all the churches of the Christians unless he would rebuild it. Abdas had done ill in destroying the temple, but did well in refusing to rebuild it; for nothing can make it lawful to contribute to any act of idolatry, or to the building a temple, as Theodoret observes. Isdegerdes therefore demolished all the Christian churches in Persia, put to death Abdas, and raised a general persecution against the church, which continued forty years with great fury. Isdegerdes died the year following, in 421. But his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with greater inhumanity. The very description which Theodoret, a contemporary writer, and one that lived in the neighbourhood, gives of the cruelties he exercised on the Christians strikes us with horror: some were flayed alive in different parts of the body, and suffered all kinds of torture that could be invented: others, being stuck all over with sharp reeds, were hauled and rolled about in that condition; others were tormented divers other ways, such as nothing but the most hellish malice was capable of suggesting. Amongst these glorious champions of Christ was St. Benjamin, a deacon. The tyrant caused him to be beaten and imprisoned. He had lain a year in the dungeon when an ambassador from the emperor obtained his enlargement on condition he should never speak to any of the courtiers about religion.

The ambassador passed his word in his behalf that he would not; but Benjamin, who was a minister of the gospel, declared that he could not detain the truth in captivity, conscious to himself of the condemnation of the slothful servant for having hid his talent. He therefore neglected no opportunity of announcing Christ. The king, being informed that he still preached the faith in his kingdom, ordered him to be apprehended; but the martyr made no other reply to his threats than by putting this question to the king: What opinion he would have of any of his subjects who should renounce his allegiance to him, and join in war against him? The enraged tyrant caused reeds to be run in between the nails and the flesh both of his hands and feet, and the same to be thrust into other most tender parts, and drawn out again, and this to be frequently repeated with violence. He lastly ordered a knotty stake to be thrust into his bowels, to rend and tear them, in which torment he expired in the year 424. The Roman Martyrology places his name on the 31st of March.
St. Ephrem, considering the heroic constancy of the martyrs, makes on them the following pious reflections: "The wisdom of philosophers, and the eloquence of the greatest orators, are dumb through amazement, when they contemplate the wonderful spectacle and glorious actions of the martyrs: the tyrants and judges were not able to express their astonishment when they beheld the faith, the constancy, and the cheerfulness of these holy champions. What excuse shall we have in the dreadful day of judgment, if we, who have never been exposed to any cruel persecutions, or to the violence of such torments, shall have neglected the love of God and the care of a spiritual life? No temptations,  no torments, were able to draw them from that love which they bore to God; but we, living in rest and delights, refuse to love our most merciful and gracious Lord. What shall we do in that day of terror, when the martyrs of Christ, standing with confidence near his throne, shall show the marks of their wounds? What shall we then show? Shall we present a lively faith? true charity towards God? a perfect disengagement of our affections from earthly things? souls freed from the tyranny of the passions? silence and recollection? meekness? almsdeeds? prayers poured forth with clean hearts? compunction, watchings, tears? Happy shall he be whom such good works shall attend. He will be the partner of the martyrs, and, supported by the treasure of these virtues, shall appear with equal confidence before Christ and his angels." We entreat you, O most holy martyrs, who cheerfully suffered most cruel torments for God our Saviour and his love, on which account you are now most intimately and familiarly united to him, that you pray to the Lord for us miserable sinners, covered with filth, that he infuse into us the grace of Christ that it may enlighten our souls that we may love him, &c."
Edited from Butler's Lives of the Saints

At Mass, Pope Francis Prays those who are Frightened by the Pandemic saying "...pray, with confidence in the mercy of God, pray for forgiveness." Full Video


MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCAST LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

"Trust in the mercy of God"

Monday, March 30, 2020

Introduction

We pray today for so many people who cannot react: they are frightened by this pandemic. May the Lord help them to stand up, to react for the good of all society, of the whole community.

Homily

In the responsorial psalm we prayed: “The Lord is my shepherd: I lack nothing. On grassy pastures it rests me, it leads me to calm waters, it refreshes my soul. He leads me on the right path because of his name. Even if I go to a dark valley, no bad weather because you are with me. Your staff and your bondage give me security "(Ps 23: 1-4).

This is the experience these two women have had, whose story we read in the two Readings. An innocent woman, falsely accused, slandered, and a sinful woman. Both sentenced to death. The innocent and the sinner. Some Father of the Church saw in these women a figure of the Church: holy, but with sinful children. They said in a beautiful Latin expression: "The Church is the caste meretrix", the saint with sinful children.

Both women were desperate, humanly desperate. But Susanna trusts God. There are also two groups of people, men; both employees in the service of the Church: the judges and teachers of the Law. They were not clergymen, but were at the service of the Church, in the court and in the teaching of the Law. Several. The former, those who accused Susanna, were corrupt: the corrupt judge, the emblematic figure in history. In the Gospel too, in the parable of the persistent widow, Jesus takes up the corrupt judge who did not believe in God and did not care about the others. The corrupt. The doctors of the Law were not corrupt, but hypocrites.

And these women, one fell into the hands of the hypocrites and the other into the hands of the corrupt: there was no way out. "Even if I go to a dark valley I do not fear any harm, because you are with me, your staff and your bondage give me security" (Ps 23.4). Both women were for a dark valley, they went there: a dark valley, towards death. The first explicitly trusts God and the Lord intervened. The second, poor thing, knows that she is guilty, shameless in front of all the people - because the people were present in both situations - the Gospel does not say it, but she certainly prayed inside, she asked for some help.

What does the Lord do with these people? He saves her from the innocent woman, does her justice. To the sinful woman, forgive her. To the corrupt judges, he condemns them; to the hypocrites, he helps them to convert and before the people he says: “Yes, really? The first of you who has no sins, who throws the first stone "(cf. Jn 8: 7), and one by one they are gone. The apostle John has some irony here: "Those who heard this went one by one, beginning with the older ones" (Jn 8: 9). Give them some time to repent; to the corrupt he does not forgive, simply because the corrupt is unable to ask for forgiveness, he went further. He has tired ... no, he has not tired: he is not capable. Corruption has also taken away from him the ability we all have of being ashamed, of asking for forgiveness. No, the corrupt is safe, he goes on, destroys, exploits people, like this woman, everything, everything ... goes on. He put himself in God's place.

And the women respond to women. Susanna frees her from these corrupt, keeps her going, and to the other: "I don't condemn you either. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore "(Jn 8:11). He lets her go. And this, before the people. In the first case, the people praise the Lord; in the second case, the people learn. Learn what God's mercy is like.

Each of us has our own stories. Each of us has our own sins. And if you don't remember them, think a little: you will find them. Thank God if you find them, because if you don't find them, you are corrupt. Each of us has our own sins. We look to the Lord who does justice, but who is so merciful. Let us not be ashamed of being in the Church: let us be ashamed of being sinners. The Church is the mother of all. We thank God for not being corrupt, for being sinners. And each of us, looking at how Jesus acts in these cases, trust in the mercy of God. And pray, with confidence in the mercy of God, pray for forgiveness. “Because God guides me on the right path because of his name. Even if I go to a dark valley - the valley of sin - I do not fear any harm because you are with me. Your staff and your bondage give me security "(cf. Ps 23.4).

Prayer to make spiritual communion:

People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.

At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Holy Mass Online : Readings and Video : Monday, March 30, 2020 - #Eucharist in Lent


Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 251
Reading 1DN 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 OR 13:41C-62
In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim,
who married a very beautiful and God-fearing woman, Susanna,
the daughter of Hilkiah;
her pious parents had trained their daughter
according to the law of Moses.
Joakim was very rich;
he had a garden near his house,
and the Jews had recourse to him often
because he was the most respected of them all.
That year, two elders of the people were appointed judges,
of whom the Lord said, “Wickedness has come out of Babylon:
from the elders who were to govern the people as judges.”
These men, to whom all brought their cases,
frequented the house of Joakim.
When the people left at noon,
Susanna used to enter her husband’s garden for a walk.
When the old men saw her enter every day for her walk,
they began to lust for her.
They suppressed their consciences;
they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven,
and did not keep in mind just judgments.
One day, while they were waiting for the right moment,
she entered the garden as usual, with two maids only.
She decided to bathe, for the weather was warm.
Nobody else was there except the two elders,
who had hidden themselves and were watching her.
“Bring me oil and soap,” she said to the maids,
“and shut the garden doors while I bathe.”
As soon as the maids had left,
the two old men got up and hurried to her.
“Look,” they said, “the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us;
give in to our desire, and lie with us.
If you refuse, we will testify against you
that you dismissed your maids because a young man was here with you.”
“I am completely trapped,” Susanna groaned.
“If I yield, it will be my death;
if I refuse, I cannot escape your power.
Yet it is better for me to fall into your power without guilt
than to sin before the Lord.”
Then Susanna shrieked, and the old men also shouted at her,
as one of them ran to open the garden doors.
When the people in the house heard the cries from the garden,
they rushed in by the side gate to see what had happened to her.
At the accusations by the old men,
the servants felt very much ashamed,
for never had any such thing been said about Susanna.
When the people came to her husband Joakim the next day,
the two wicked elders also came,
fully determined to put Susanna to death.
Before all the people they ordered:
“Send for Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah,
the wife of Joakim.”
When she was sent for,
she came with her parents, children and all her relatives.
All her relatives and the onlookers were weeping.
In the midst of the people the two elders rose up
and laid their hands on her head.
Through tears she looked up to heaven,
for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly.
The elders made this accusation:
“As we were walking in the garden alone,
this woman entered with two girls
and shut the doors of the garden, dismissing the girls.
A young man, who was hidden there, came and lay with her.
When we, in a corner of the garden, saw this crime,
we ran toward them.
We saw them lying together,
but the man we could not hold, because he was stronger than we;
he opened the doors and ran off.
Then we seized her and asked who the young man was,
but she refused to tell us.
We testify to this.”
The assembly believed them,
since they were elders and judges of the people,
and they condemned her to death.
But Susanna cried aloud:
“O eternal God, you know what is hidden
and are aware of all things before they come to be:
you know that they have testified falsely against me.
Here I am about to die,
though I have done none of the things
with which these wicked men have charged me.”
The Lord heard her prayer.
As she was being led to execution,
God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,
and he cried aloud:
“I will have no part in the death of this woman.”
All the people turned and asked him, “What is this you are saying?”
He stood in their midst and continued,
“Are you such fools, O children of Israel!
To condemn a woman of Israel without examination
and without clear evidence?
Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her.”
Then all the people returned in haste.
To Daniel the elders said,
“Come, sit with us and inform us,
since God has given you the prestige of old age.”
But he replied,
“Separate these two far from each other that I may examine them.”
After they were separated one from the other,
he called one of them and said:
“How you have grown evil with age!
Now have your past sins come to term:
passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent,
and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says,
‘The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.’
Now, then, if you were a witness,
tell me under what tree you saw them together.”
“Under a mastic tree,” he answered.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you your head,
for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him
and split you in two.”
Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought.
Daniel said to him,
“Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah, beauty has seduced you,
lust has subverted your conscience.
This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel,
and in their fear they yielded to you;
but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness.
Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together.”
“Under an oak,” he said.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you also your head,
for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two
so as to make an end of you both.”
The whole assembly cried aloud,
blessing God who saves those who hope in him.
They rose up against the two elders,
for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury.
According to the law of Moses,
they inflicted on them
the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor:
they put them to death.
Thus was innocent blood spared that day.
or
The assembly condemned Susanna to death.
But Susanna cried aloud:
“O eternal God, you know what is hidden
and are aware of all things before they come to be:
you know that they have testified falsely against me.
Here I am about to die,
though I have done none of the things
with which these wicked men have charged me.”
The Lord heard her prayer.
As she was being led to execution,
God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,
and he cried aloud:
“I will have no part in the death of this woman.”
All the people turned and asked him,
“What is this you are saying?”
He stood in their midst and continued,
“Are you such fools, O children of Israel!
To condemn a woman of Israel without examination
and without clear evidence?
Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her.”
Then all the people returned in haste.
To Daniel the elders said,
“Come, sit with us and inform us,
since God has given you the prestige of old age.”
But he replied,
“Separate these two far from each other that I may examine them.”
After they were separated one from the other,
he called one of them and said:
“How you have grown evil with age!
Now have your past sins come to term:
passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent,
and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says,
‘The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.’
Now, then, if you were a witness,
tell me under what tree you saw them together.”
“Under a mastic tree,” he answered.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you your head,
for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him
and split you in two.”
Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought.
Daniel said to him, “Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah,
beauty has seduced you, lust has subverted your conscience.
This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel,
and in their fear they yielded to you;
but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness.
Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together.”
“Under an oak,” he said.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you also your head,”
for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two
so as to make an end of you both.”
The whole assembly cried aloud,
blessing God who saves those who hope in him.
They rose up against the two elders,
for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury.
According to the law of Moses,
they inflicted on them
the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor:
they put them to death.
Thus was innocent blood spared that day.

Responsorial Psalm23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R. (4ab) Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.

Verse Before The GospelEZ 33:11

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

GospelJN 8:1-11

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area,
and all the people started coming to him,
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
“Teacher, this woman was caught
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?”
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

Saint March 30 : St. John Climacus : Abbott of Sinai


 



Born:
525, Syria
Died:
30 March 606, Mount Sinai
St John, generally distinguished by the appellation of Climacus, from his excellent book entitled Climax, or the Ladder to Perfection, was born about the year 525, probably in Palestine.
By his extraordinary progress in the arts and sciences he obtained very young the surname of the Scholastic. But at sixteen years of age he renounced all the advantages which the world promised him to dedicate himself to God in a religious state, in 547. He retired to Mount Sinai, which, from the time of the disciples of St. Anthony and St. Hilarion, had been always peopled by holy men, who, in imitation of Moses, when he received the law on that mountain, lived in the perpetual contemplation of heavenly things. Our novice, fearing the danger of dissipation and relaxation to which numerous communities are generally more exposed than others, chose not to live in the great monastery on the summit, but in an hermitage on the descent of the mountain, under the discipline of Martyrius, an holy ancient anchoret. By silence he curbed the insolent itch of talking about everything, an ordinary vice in learned men, but usually a mark of pride and self-sufficiency. By perfect humility and obedience he banished the dangerous desire of self-complacency in his actions. He never contradicted, never disputed with anyone. So perfect was his submission that he seemed to have no self-will. He undertook to sail through the deep sea of this mortal life securely, under the direction of a prudent guide, and shunned those rocks which he could not have escaped, had he presumed to steer alone, as he tells us. From the visible mountain he raised his heart, without interruption, in all his actions, to God, who is invisible; and, attentive to all the motions of his grace, studied only to do his will. Four years he spent in the trial of his own strength, and in learning the obligations of his state, before he made his religious profession, which was in the twentieth year of his age. In his writings he severely condemns engagements made by persons too young, or before a sufficient probation. By fervent prayer and fasting he prepared himself for the solemn consecration of himself to God, that the most intense fervour might make his holocaust the more perfect; and from that moment he seemed to be renewed in spirit; and his master admired the strides with which, like a mighty giant, the young disciple advanced daily more and more towards God, by self-denial, obedience, humility, and the uninterrupted exercises of divine love and prayer.

In the year 560, and the thirty-fifth of his age, he lost Martyrius by death; having then spent nineteen years in that place in penance and holy contemplation. By the advice of a prudent director, he then embraced an eremitical life in a plain called Thole, near the foot of Mount Sinai. His cell was five miles from the church, probably the same which had been built a little before, by order of the Emperor Justinian, for the use of the monks at the bottom of this mountain, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, as Procopius mentions. Thither he went every Saturday and Sunday to assist, with all the other anchorets and monks of that desert, at the holy office and at the celebration of the divine mysteries, when they all communicated. His diet was very sparing, though, to shun ostentation and the danger of vainglory, he ate of everything that was allowed among the monks of Egypt, who universally abstained from flesh, fish, &c. Prayer was his principal employment; and he practiced what he earnestly recommends to all Christians, that in all their actions, thoughts, and words they should keep themselves with great fervour in the presence of God, and direct all they do to his holy will. By habitual contemplation he acquired an extraordinary purity of heart, and such a facility of lovingly beholding God in all his works that this practice seemed in him a second nature. Thus he accompanied his studies with perpetual prayer. He assiduously read the holy scriptures and fathers, and was one of the most learned doctors of the church. But, to preserve the treasure of humility, he concealed, as much as possible, both his natural and acquired talents, and the extraordinary graces with which the Holy Ghost enriched his soul. By this secrecy he fled from the danger of vainglory, which, like a leech, sticks to our best actions and, sucking from them its nourishment, robs us of their fruit. As if this cell had not been sufficiently remote from the eyes of men, St. John frequently retired into a neighbouring cavern which he had made in the rock, where no one could come to disturb his devotions or interrupt his tears. So ardent were his charity and compunction, that his eyes seemed two fountains, which scarce ever ceased to flow; and his continual sighs and groans to heaven, under the weight of the miseries inseparable from his moral pilgrimage, were not to be equaled by the vehemency of the cries of those who suffer from knives and fire. Overcome by importunities, he admitted a holy anchoret named Moyses to live with him as his disciple.
God bestowed on St. John an extraordinary grace of healing the spiritual disorders of souls. Among others, a monk called Isaac was brought almost to the brink of despair by most violent temptations of the flesh. He addressed himself to St. John, who perceived by his tears how much he underwent from that conflict and struggle which he felt within himself. The servant of God commended his faith, and said, "My son, let us have recourse to God by prayer." They accordingly prostrated themselves together on the ground in fervent supplication for a deliverance, and from that time the infernal serpent left Isaac in peace. Many others resorted to St. John for spiritual advice; but the devil excited some to jealousy, who censured him as one who, out of vanity, lost much time in unprofitable discourse. The saint took this accusation, which was a mere calumny, in good part, and as a charitable admonition; he therefore imposed on himself a rigorous silence for near a twelvemonth. This, his humility and modesty, so much astonished his calumniators that they joined the rest of the monks in beseeching him to reassume his former function of giving charitable advice to all that resorted to him for it, and not to bury that talent of science which he had received for the benefit of many. He who knew not what it was to contradict others, with the same humility and deference again opened his mouth to instruct his neighbour in the rules of perfect virtue, in which office, such was the reputation of his wisdom and experience, that he was regarded as another Moses in that holy place. St. John was now seventy-five years old, and had spent forty of them in his hermitage, when, in the year 600, he was unanimously chosen Abbot of Mount Sinai, and superior-general of all the monks and hermits in that country. Soon after he was raised to this dignity, the people of Palestine and Arabia, in the time of a great drought and famine, made their application to him as to another Elias, begging him to intercede with God in their behalf. The saint failed not, with great earnestness, to recommend their distress to the Father of mercies, and his prayer was immediately recompensed with abundant rains. St. Gregory the Great, who then sat in St. Peter's chair, wrote to our holy abbot, recommending himself to his prayers, and sent him beds, with other furniture and money, for his hospital, for the use of pilgrims near Mount Sinai. John, who had used his utmost endeavours to decline the pastoral charge when he saw it laid upon him, neglected no means which might promote the sanctification of all those who were entrusted to his care. That posterity might receive some share in the benefit of his holy instructions, John, the learned and virtuous Abbot of Raithu, a monastery situate towards the Red Sea, entreated him by that obedience he had ever practiced, even with regard to his inferiors, that he would draw up the most necessary rules by which fervent souls might arrive at Christian perfection. The saint answered him that nothing but extreme humility could have moved him to write to so miserable a sinner, destitute of every sort of virtue; but that he received his commands with respect, though far above his strength, never considering his own insufficiency. Wherefore, apprehensive of falling into death by disobedience, he took up his pen in haste, with great eagerness mixed with fear, and set himself to draw some imperfect outlines, as an unskillful painter, leaving them to receive from him, as a great master, the finishing strokes. This produced the excellent work which he called "Climax; or, the Ladder of religious Perfection." This book, being written in sentences, almost in the manner of aphorisms, abounds more in sense than words. A certain majestic simplicity- an inexpressible unction and spirit of humility, joined with conciseness and perspicuity-very much enhance the value of this performance; but its chief merit consists in the sublime sentiments and perfect description of all Christian virtues which it contains. The author confirms his precepts by several edifying examples, as of obedience and penance. In  describing a monastery of three hundred and thirty monks which he had visited near Alexandria, in Egypt, he mentions one of the principal citizens of that city, named Isidore, who, petitioning to be admitted into the house, said to the abbot, "As iron is in the hands of the smith, so am I in your hands." The abbot ordered him to remain without the gate, and to prostrate himself at the feet of everyone that passed by, begging their prayers for his soul struck with a leprosy. Thus he passed seven years in profound humility and patience. He told St. John that, during the first year, he always considered himself as a slave condemned for his sins, and sustained violent conflicts; the second year he passed in tranquillity and confidence; and the third with relish and pleasure in his humiliations. So great was his virtue that the abbot determined to present him to the bishop in order to be promoted to the priesthood, but the humility of the holy penitent prevented the execution of that design; for, having begged at least a respite, he died within ten days. St. John could not help admiring the cook of this numerous community, who seemed always recollected, and generally bathed in tears amidst his continual occupation, and asked him by what means he nourished so perfect a spirit of compunction, in the midst of such a dissipating laborious employment. He said that serving the monks, he represented to himself that he was serving not men, but God in his servants; and that the fire he always had before his eyes reminded him of that fire which will burn souls for all eternity. The moving description which our author gives of the monastery of penitents called the Prison, above a mile from the former, hath been already abridged in our language. John the Sabaite told our saint, as of a third person, that seeing himself respected in his monastery, he considered that this was not the way to satisfy for his sins; wherefore, with the leave of his abbot, he repaired to a severe monastery in Pontus, and after three years saw in a dream a schedule of his debts, to the amount in appearance of one hundred pounds of gold, of which only ten were cancelled. He therefore repeated often to himself, "Poor Antiochus, thou hast still a great debt to satisfy." After passing other thirteen years in contempt and the most fervent practices of penance, he deserved to see in a vision his whole debt blotted out. Another monk, in a grievous fit of illness, fell into a trance, in which he lay as if he had been dead for the space of an hour; but, recovering, he shut himself up in a cell, and lived a recluse twelve years, almost continually weeping, in the perpetual meditation of death. When he was near death, his brethren could only extort from him these words of edification, "He who hath death always before his eyes will never sin." John, Abbot of Raithu, explained this book of our saint by judicious comments, which are also extant. We have likewise a letter of St. John Climacus to the same person concerning the duties of a pastor, in which he exhorts him in correcting others to temper severity with mildness, and encourages him zealously to fulfil the obligations of his charge; for nothing is greater or more acceptable to God than to offer him the sacrifice of rational souls sanctified by penance and charity.
St. John sighed continually under the weight of his dignity during the four years that he governed the monks of Mount Sinai; and as he had taken upon him that burden with fear and reluctance, he with joy found means to resign the same a little before his death. Heavenly contemplation, and the continual exercise of divine love and praise, were his delight and comfort in his earthly pilgrimage: and in this imitation of the functions of the blessed spirits in heaven he placeth the essence of the monastic state. In his excellent maxims concerning the gift of holy tears, the fruit of charity, we seem to behold a lively portraiture of his most pure soul. He died in his hermitage on the 30th day of March, in 605, being fourscore years old. His spiritual son, George, who had succeeded him in the abbacy, earnestly begged of God that he  might not be separated from his dear master and guide; and followed him by a happy death within a few days. On several Greek commentaries on St. John Climacus's ladder, see Montfaucon, Biblioth. Coisliana, pp. 305, 306.
St. John Climacus, speaking of the excellence and the effects of charity, does it with a feeling and energy worthy of such a subject: "A mother," says he, "feels less pleasure when she folds within her arms the dear infant whom she nourishes with her own milk than the true child of charity does when united as he incessantly is, to his God, and folded as it were in the arms of his heavenly Father.—Charity operates in some persons so as to carry them almost entirely out of themselves. It illuminates others, and fills them with such sentiments of joy, that they cannot help crying out: The Lord is my helper and my protector: in him hath my heart confided, and I have been helped And my flesh hath flourished again, and with my will I will give praise to him. This joy which they feel in their hearts, is reflected on their countenances; and when once God has united, or, as we may say, incorporated them with his charity, he displays in their exterior, as in the reflection of a mirror, the brightness and serenity of their souls: even as Moses, being honored with a sight of God, was encompassed round by his glory." St. John Climacus composed the following prayer to obtain the gift of charity: "My God, I pretend to nothing upon this earth, except to be so firmly united to you by prayer that to be separated from you may be impossible; let others desire riches and glory; for my part, I desire but one thing, and that is, to be inseparably united to you, and to place in you alone all my hopes of happiness and repose." The Catholic Encyclopedia