Wednesday, March 31, 2021

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

Wow LISTEN to Singer Harry Connick Jr Talk about his Catholic Faith in this Exclusive INTERVIEW and His New Album "Alone with My Faith"


Harry Connick, Jr. is an American Singer, Actor and Musician. His career has exemplified excellence across multiple platforms in the
entertainment world over for the past three decades. He has received Grammy and Emmy awards  as well as Tony nominations for his live and recorded musical performances. He has made great achievements in  20 films and television and his appearances on Broadway as both an actor and a composer. Harry has sold over 20 million music albums. 
However, what is interesting is that despite all this fame and popularity Harry has kept to his Catholic faith and stayed with his family. He grew up in New Orleans with a Catholic father and a Jewish mother. Sadly, his mother died when he was just 13 years old. Despite this set back he became an accomplished musician who is famous around the world. He gave an Exclusive Interview with Catholic News World where he reveals his personal faith journey: WATCH below:

With the pandemic casting a long shadow in 2020, Harry Connick Jr retreated to his home studio during the lockdown and emerged with an album of new music. Long regarded as one of America’s finest vocalists and pianists, the sheer breadth of Connick’s talents has never been more on display than with the forthcoming album ALONE WITH MY FAITH to be released jointly by Universal Music’s Verve and Capitol CMG on March 19th.
Connick wrote and arranged all of the songs, played every instrument, and sang every part. Both the album cover and the first video “Amazing Grace” were conceived and directed by Harry’s daughter Georgia Connick, available to view HERE.
HARRY CONNICK JR Personal Statement
In March 2020, right after news of the pandemic hit, when my tour was cancelled and I headed home for however long it would last, I decided to record some music. Not only because I wanted to, but because I needed to. With no tour dates in sight, and with everyone’s realities upended and futures uncertain, recording was what was necessary for me to help guide me through the uncharted odyssey in which we all unexpectedly found ourselves. I found myself alone (with my faith!) in my home studio, surrounded by instruments and gear, bursting with an abundance of ideas. I was able to go deep within myself as a musician and a man, uninterrupted by the normalcies of collaboration or human interaction. It was a sort of “musical isolation chamber”, a silent retreat, the silence only broken by the sound of my own voice, the instruments I played and the occasional microphone I inadvertently knocked over, as I’m not the most graceful recording engineer that ever lived!
Seven months later, after countless tracks and edits, I can say that it was not only the secluded nature of the recording process, but the content of the songs themselves that helped me through this strange period. In fact, this was the first time that I found this level of comfort, peace and truth throughout the process of making music. Because the lyrics are all about the spectrum of faith, I found myself interpreting them in real time - they were allowing me to heal as much as I wanted them to help heal others. I didn't have to pretend or put myself in another place or time, as one often does as a singer or actor.
Besides the familiar, traditional songs, I wrote and recorded new music that tells the story of my experience during the lockdown. I, like most of us, felt joy, sadness, doubt, conviction, melancholy and inspiration - all the emotions that faith, or lack thereof, can elicit. Even though many of the songs are Christian, my hope is that they will resonate with people of all faiths, as it gives me great comfort to know that faith is an immeasurably beautiful gift that, with its universal spirit, can help bring us together in the most arduous of times.
Some notes on the recording process...
I set up the mics and did all of the tracking.
I used Logic to track and edit. When I was playing an immovable instrument, like drums or organ, I used Logic Remote, with my iPad as the controller. I sang all of the lead and background vocals, as well as played each of the instruments. In addition to all of the acoustic instruments, I used many electric instruments - basses, guitars, synthesizers, etc. However, there are no “soft synths” on this recording - all synthesizers, keyboards and organs are real. No instruments were "in the box". After all of the edits were made and all of the tracks consolidated, I sent the files to my good friend, Tracey Freeman, to mix. A couple of weeks later, I rented an RV and drove to New Orleans to finish the mixing process with him at his home studio.
The album is available for pre-order HERE.
TRACK LIST (CD/DIGITAL)
1. Alone With My Faith
2. Because He Lives
3. Be Not Afraid
4. Benevolent Man
5. Amazing Grace
6. The Old Rugged Cross
7. How Great Thou Art
8. God And My Gospel
9. Old Time Religion
10. All These Miracles
11. Look Who I Found
12. Thank You For Waiting (For Me)
13. Panis Angelicus

Pope Francis says "Every time we celebrate the Eucharist...we renew this mystery of redemption... his Body and Blood grant us salvation from the slavery of sin and death."





POPE FRANCIS at the GENERAL AUDIENCE

Library of the Apostolic Palace - Wednesday, 31 March 2021 

Catechesis - The Easter Triduum

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Already immersed in the spiritual atmosphere of Holy Week, we are on the eve of the Easter Triduum. From tomorrow until Sunday we will live the central days of the Liturgical Year, celebrating the mystery of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord. And we live this mystery every time we celebrate the Eucharist. When we go to Mass, we do not go only to pray, no: we go to renew, to bring about again, this mystery, the Paschal mystery. It is important not to forget this. It is as though we were to go to Calvary – it is the same – to renew, to bring about again the Paschal mystery.

 

 On the evening of Holy Thursday, as we enter the Easter Triduum, we will relive the Mass known as in Coena Domini, that is, the Mass in which we commemorate the Last Supper, there, in that moment. This is the evening when Christ left his disciples the testament of his love in the Eucharist, not as a remembrance, but as a memorial, as his everlasting presence. Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, as I said at the beginning, we renew this mystery of redemption. In this Sacrament, Jesus substituted the sacrificial victim – the Paschal lamb - with himself: his Body and Blood grant us salvation from the slavery of sin and death. The salvation from every form of slavery is there. It is the evening in which he asks us to love one another by becoming servants to one another, as he did in washing the disciples' feet, a gesture that anticipates his bloody oblation on the cross. And indeed, the Master and Lord will die the next day to purify not the feet, but the hearts and the entire life of his disciples. It was an oblation of service to us all, because with that service of his sacrifice he redeemed us all.

Good Friday is the day of penance, fasting and prayer. Through the texts of the Sacred Scripture and the liturgical prayers, we will gather as though we were on Calvary to commemorate the redemptive Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. In the intensity of the rite, through the Liturgical Action, the Crucifix will be presented to us to adore. Adoring the Cross, we will relive the journey of the innocent Lamb sacrificed for our salvation. We will carry in our minds and hearts the sufferings of the sick, the poor, the rejected of this world; we will remember the "sacrificed lambs", the innocent victims of wars, dictatorships, everyday violence, abortions... Before the image of the crucified God, we will bring, in prayer, the many, the too many who are crucified in our time, who only from Him can receive comfort and meaning in their suffering. And nowadays there are many: do not forget the crucified of our time, who are the image of Jesus Crucified, and Jesus is in them.

Ever since Jesus took upon himself the wounds of humanity and death itself, God’s love has irrigated these deserts of ours, he has enlightened our darkness. Because the world is in darkness. Let us make a list of all the wars that are being fought in this moment; of all the children who die of hunger; of children who have no education; of entire populations destroyed by wars, by terrorism. Of the many, many people who, just to feel a bit better, need drugs, the drug industry that kills … It is a disaster, it is a desert! There are small “islands” of the people of God, both Christian and of all other faiths, that hold in their heart the desire to be better. But let us tell the truth: in this Calvary of death, it is Jesus who suffers in his disciples. During his ministry, the Son of God disseminated life by the handful, healing, forgiving, reviving… Now, in the hour of his supreme Sacrifice on the cross, he brings to fulfilment the task entrusted to him by the Father: he enters into the abyss of suffering, he enters into these disasters of this world, to redeem and transform. And also to free every one of us from the power of darkness, of pride, of resistance to being loved by God. And this, only God’s love can do this. By his wounds we have been healed (see 1 Pt 2: 24), the apostle Peter says, by his death we have been reborn, all of us. And thanks to him, abandoned on the cross, no-one will ever again be alone in the darkness of death. Never, he is always beside us: we need only open our heart and let ourselves be looked upon by him.

Holy Saturday is the day of silence, lived by the first disciples in mourning and bewilderment, shocked by Jesus’ ignominious death. While the Word is silent, while Life is in the tomb, those who had hoped in him were put to a difficult test, they feel like orphans, perhaps even orphaned by God. This Saturday is also Mary's day: she too lived it in tears, but her heart was full of faith, full of hope, full of love. The Mother of Jesus had followed her Son along the path of sorrows and remained at the foot of the cross, with her soul pierced. But when it all seemed to be over, she kept watch, she kept vigil, in expectation, maintaining her hope in the promise of God who raises the dead. Thus, in the world’s darkest hour, she became the Mother of believers, the Mother of the Church and sign of hope. Her witness and her intercession sustain us when the weight of the cross becomes too heavy for each one of us.

In the darkness of Holy Saturday, joy and light will break through with the rites of the Easter Vigil and, in the late evening, the festive singing of the Alleluia. It will be an encounter in faith with the Risen Christ, and the joy of Easter will continue throughout the following fifty days, until the coming of the Holy Spirit. He who was crucified is risen! All questions and uncertainties, hesitations and fears are dispelled by this revelation. The Risen One gives us the certainty that good always triumphs over evil, that life always conquers death, and it is not our end to descend lower and lower, from sorrow to sorrow, but rather to rise up high. The Risen One is the confirmation that Jesus is right in everything: in promising us life beyond death and forgiveness beyond sins. The disciples doubted, they did not believe. The first to believe and to see was Mary Magdalene; she was the apostle of the resurrection who went to announce that she had seen Jesus, who had called her by name. And then, all the disciples saw him. But, I would like to pause at this point: the guards, the soldiers, who were in the tomb to prevent the disciples from coming and taking his body, they saw him; they saw him alive and risen. His enemies saw him, and then they pretended not to have seen him. Why? Because they were paid. Here is the true mystery of what Jesus once said: “There are two masters in the world, two, no more: two. God and money. He who serves money is against God”. And here it is money that changed reality. They had seen the wonder of the resurrection, but they were paid to keep quiet. Think of the many times that Christian men and women have been paid not to acknowledge in practice the resurrection of Christ, and did not do what Christ asked us to do, as Christians.

Dear brothers and sisters, again this year we will live the Easter celebrations in the context of the pandemic. In many situations of suffering, especially when they are borne by people, families and populations already tried by poverty, disasters or conflicts, Christ’s Cross is like a beacon that indicates the port to ships that are still afloat on stormy seas. Christ’s Cross is a sign of the hope that does not disappoint; and it tells us that not even one tear, not one sigh is lost in God’s plan. Let us ask the Lord to grant us the grace of serving him and acknowledging him, and of not letting ourselves be paid to forget him.


Special Greetings

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. May this Holy Week lead us to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. God bless you!

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Official Translation Image Screenshot

Quote to SHARE by St John Chrysostom “Let the mouth also fast from Foul Words and Unjust Criticism. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and meat and yet bite...”


“Let the mouth also fast from fast from foul words and unjust Criticism. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and meat and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. ” ― Saint John Chrysostom

#BreakingNews Victory for Religious Freedom as a Supreme Court in Chile Rules that Pandemic Restrictions on Churches were Discriminatory





SANTIAGO DE CHILE (26 March 2021) – On 25 March, the Chilean Supreme Court unanimously ruled that COVID-19 restrictions have been applied in a discriminatory manner against believers. The landmark ruling comes on the eve of Holy Week and recognizes that freedom of religion cannot simply be suspended. The Court is expected to order the government to change its discriminatory regulations.

ADF International supported the legal organization Comunidad y Justicia, which filed legal challenges in all of Chile´s jurisdictions. They questioned the constitutionality of the government’s restrictions, which prevented people of faith from fully exercising their right to freedom of worship.

“People of faith can rejoice. They now have the assurance that their right to exercise their faith freely will be protected. The Court has clarified that the freedom to worship in person is a fundamental right, worthy of the highest protection, and cannot simply be withheld. The church has so much to offer society at a time of grief and suffering, and the Chilean people should not be denied access to church services. We are encouraged that this is a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court, which will help protect this fundamental right in Chile for years to come,” said Tomás Henríquez, a Chilean lawyer and Director of Advocacy, Latin America and the Caribbean for ADF International.

“Comunidad y Justicia filed these legal challenges to ensure that people of faith are no longer arbitrarily and illegally prevented from living out their beliefs. For Catholics, attending Mass in person and receiving the Eucharist, are essential expressions of their faith. The Supreme Court’s decision contributes to the effective recognition of an essential right that cannot be suspended. Freedom of religion must be protected and promoted by the State as an indispensable requirement for the achievement of the common good,” said Alvaro Ferrer, Executive Director of Comunidad y Justicia.

Latin America faces further challenges to religious freedom

Latin America also faces further challenges to religious freedom. In the case of Pavez v. Chile, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights will soon hand down a landmark ruling with the potential to impact 35 American countries. The Court will determine whether Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Evangelical, or any other faith-based schools may ensure that those appointed to teach the faith live according to the things they are teaching. The Court will decide whether the right of parents to direct the religious education of their children will be respected. Find out more about our Religión Libre campaign.

“Parents, and the religious communities they belong to, should be free to pass on their faith to their children and decide who will teach it on their behalf. International law clearly protects the autonomy of religious communities. The church plays an important role in society, and society benefits from strong and autonomous religious communities,” said Tomás Henríquez.

Press Release from ADF International - https://adfinternational.org/

Breathtaking Hymn Stabat Mater for Lent sung by Amazing Youth Choir - Will Touch Your Heart!

  

Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Catholic hymn to Mary. It imagines her suffering as Jesus Christ's mother during his crucifixion. Although not certain it is that Franciscan friar Jacopone da Todi or Pope Innocent III composed the text. This musical rendition is by Pergolesi who lived in 1736.





Stabat mater dolorosa
juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!

Quae mœrebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati pœnas inclyti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suæ gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.

Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
pœnas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum præclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriæ.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animæ donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.
At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:

She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
be Thy Mother my defense,
be Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.
— Translation by Edward Caswall, Lyra Catholica (1849)

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.

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



Wednesday of Holy Week
Lectionary: 259
Reading I
Is 50:4-9a
The Lord GOD has given me 
    a well-trained tongue,
That I might know how to speak to the weary
    a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
    he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled,
    have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
    my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
My face I did not shield
    from buffets and spitting.
The Lord GOD is my help,
    therefore I am not disgraced;
 
 I have set my face like flint,
    knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right;
    if anyone wishes to oppose me,
    let us appear together.
Who disputes my right?
    Let him confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help;
    who will prove me wrong?
Responsorial Psalm
69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34
R.    (14c)  Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult,
    and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
    a stranger to my mother’s sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
    and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R.    Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
    I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
    for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,
    and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
R.    Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
    and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
    you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
    and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R.    Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Verse before the Gospel
Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our errors.
OR:
Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.
Gospel
Mt 26:14-25
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, 
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, My appointed time draws near; 
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘“
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.
When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said, 
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”
Prayer to Make a 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 may 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. Amen