Sunday, December 6, 2015

#Basketball SuperStar Kobe Bryant "I’m Catholic, I grew up Catholic, my kids are Catholic" turned to Faith when caught in sin...SHARE

Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978) is an American professional basketball player who has retired from the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He entered the NBA from high school, and has played for the Lakers his entire career. He is the son of former NBA player Joe Bryant. . At 34 years, Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points. He has won the All-Star MVP Award four times (2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011). In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault in Colorado, but the charges were eventually dropped, and a civil suit was settled out of court. Bryant admitted that he had an adulterous encounter, but denied the rape allegations. He did apologize publicly: Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals as a member of the U.S. national team. Bryant was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the youngest of three children and the only son of Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. Bryant was raised Roman Catholic. When Bryant was six, his father left the NBA and moved his family to Rieti in Italy to play professional basketball. Bryant learned to speak fluent Italian. Bryant started playing basketball when he was 3 years old. When Joe Bryant retired from playing basketball in 1991, the Bryant family moved back to the United States. Kobe married Vanessa Laine in 2001. The Bryants' first child, a daughter named Natalia Diamante Bryant, was born in 2003.  Their second daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, was born in 2006.Kobe Bryant is Catholic, and turned to a priest when caught due to his sinful relationship. In a article from GQ Kobe states:
 “I started to consider the mortality of what I was doing,” he says. At the time, he was 24. “What’s important? What’s not important? What does it mean when everybody loves you, and then everybody hates your guts for something they think you did? So that’s when I decided that—if people were going to like me or not like me—it was going to be for who I actually was. To hell with all that plain vanilla shit, just to get endorsement deals. Those are superficial, anyway. I don’t enjoy doing them, anyway. I’ll just show people who I actually am…. The [loss of the] endorsements were really the least of my concerns. Was I afraid of going to jail? Yes. It was twenty-five to life, man. I was terrified. The one thing that really helped me during that process—I’m Catholic, I grew up Catholic, my kids are Catholic—was talking to a priest. It was actually kind of funny: He looks at me and says, ‘Did you do it?’ And I say, ‘Of course not.’ Then he asks, ‘Do you have a good lawyer?’ And I’m like, ‘Uh, yeah, he’s phenomenal.’ So then he just said, ‘Let it go. Move on. God’s not going to give you anything you can’t handle, and it’s in his hands now. This is something you can’t control. So let it go.’ And that was the turning point.” (All Images Shared from Google Images) (Information from GQ and Wikipedia)

#PopeFrancis ".. the Lord is near" Lights #VaticanCity #Nativity and Christmas Tree made from Refugee Boat - Video - Text


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday evening lit – remotely from the Vatican – the Christmas tree and nativity scene in the lower piazza of the Basilica San Francesco in Assisi. The nativity scene has been built into a seven-meter boat used by migrants to travel from Tunisia to the Italian island of Lampedusa in 2014. The ceremony was attended by 31 refugees from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Nigeria and Syria being hosted by Caritas Assisi. The Italian State Railway and Italian Navy also distributed toys to families in need. Below is a translation of the Pope's words in English
Watching that boat ... Jesus is always with us, even in difficult times. How many brothers and sisters have drowned at sea! They are with the Lord now. But He came to give us hope, and we must take this hope. He came to tell us that He is stronger than death, that He is greater than any evil. He came to tell us he is merciful, all mercy; and this Christmas I invite you to open your hearts to mercy and forgiveness. But it is not easy to forgive these massacres. It's not easy. I would like to thank the [members of the] Coast Guard: the good men and women. I thank you, for you were the instrument of hope that brings us Jesus. You, among us, you have been sowers of hope, the hope of Jesus. Thank you, Antonio, you and all your teammates and all that this land of Italy has so generously received: the South of Italy is an example of solidarity for the whole world! For everyone who looks at the crib, they can say to Jesus: "But, I also have lent a hand because you are a sign of hope." And to all refugees, I say a word, that of the prophet: Raise your head, the Lord is near. And with him is strength, salvation, hope. The heart, perhaps, [is] sorrowful, but the head [is] high in the hope of the Lord.

Free Christmas Movie : Miracle on 34th Street : Santa Claus is defended

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) 96 min - Comedy | Drama | Family - 2 May 1947 (USA) When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real  thing. Director: George Seaton Writers: George Seaton (written for the screen by), Valentine Davies (story) Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne | 

Novena to St. Nicholas - #Chaplet - #Caminata de los Tres Lunes - #Novena #Prayers - SHARE

Novena to St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas, Glorious Confessor of Christ, assist us in thy loving kindness. Glorious St. Nicholas, my special Patron from thy throne in glory, thou dost enjoy the presence of God, turn thine eyes in pity upon me and attain for me from our Lord the graces and help that I need in my spiritual and temporal necessities (and especially this favor ______________________________________ provided that it be profitable to my salvation). Be mindful likewise, O Glorious and Saintly Bishop, of our Sovereign Pontiff of our Holy Church and of all Christian people. Bring back to the right way of salvation all those who are living steeped in sin, blinded by darkness of ignorance, error and heresy. Comfort the afflicted, provide the needy. Strengthen the fearful, defend the oppressed, give health to the infirm. Cause all [people] to experience the effects of thy powerful intercession with the supreme giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen. 
 Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be to the Father. 
 Pray for us, Oh Blessed Nicholas, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us Pray, O God who has glorified Blessed St. Nicholas, thine illustrious Confessor and Bishop, by means of countless signs and wonder, and who does not cease daily so to glorify him , grant we beseech thee, that we, being assisted by his merits and prayers, be delivered from the fires of hell and from all dangers through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Chaplet of Saint Nicholas 

• Gracious God,On the cross, pray
hear my prayers for mercy,
and by the help of Saint Nicholas
keep me safe from all danger,
and guide me on the way of salvation.
Grant this through our Lord Jeus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
Amen.
• Offer petitions on the first bead of the first triad,
continuing on the three beads
  Holy Nicholas, hear me,
• Holy Nicholas, hear me,
• Holy Nicholas, hear me.
• Offer petitions on the first bead of the second triad, continuing on the three beads
  Holy Nicholas, guide me,
• Holy Nicholas, guide me,
• Holy Nicholas, guide me.
• Offer petitions on the first bead of the third triad, continuing on the three beads
Holy Nicholas, help me,
• Holy Nicholas, help me,
• Holy Nicholas, help me.

On the medal, pray
• Glorious Holy Nicholas,
humble and virtuous Archbishop of Myra,
it is true that you hear those who come to you
in their trials and tribulations.
I trust in you, I hope in you,
and I ask you to intercede with our holy God
so that I may receive grace
in the things for which I have sought.
Be my guide, be my defense, cleanse my soul.
Amen.
Caminata de los Tres Lunes (Spanish)
(Mondays one walks to a Saint Nicholas statue dedicated to Nicholas)

I know you will not betray my trust,Invocation

Full of sweet hope I come to you today, my Holy One,
for I am confident that in your goodness
I will be blessed.
my desperate cries will be heard
and my troubled spirit will be calmed.
Psalm and Scripture Reading
FIRST MONDAY Psalm 60, Romans 12.1–2
SECOND MONDAY Psalm 30, James 2.14–17
THIRD MONDAY Psalm 24, Matthew 22.36–40
Prayer
Holy Father Nicholas,
through the precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
that was spilled on the way of bitterness,
for the crown of thorns that they put on his holy head,
for the slap across his holy face,
for the spear thrust into his holy side,
O Divine Love! for the lashings he endured,
for the pain his Holy Mother felt
as she watched him walk the way of affliction,
when she saw him fall,
the cross heavy with the weight of our sins;
for all he suffered during his holy Passion
and for all the blood that was spilled,
I beg you, holy Father Nicholas,
that you would know my needs and my distress
and that you would provide answers to my fervent prayers.
First Monday
Offer petitions, closing with:
Holy Father Nicholas, hear me,
Holy Father Nicholas, hear me,
Holy Father Nicholas, hear me.
Second Monday
Offer petitions, closing with:
Holy Father Nicholas, guide me,
Holy Father Nicholas, guide me,
Holy Father Nicholas, guide me.
Third Monday
Offer petitions, closing with:
Holy Father Nicholas, receive my petition,
Holy Father Nicholas, receive my petition,
Holy Father Nicholas, receive my petition.
The Our Father
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
[For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.]
Prayer
Glorious Holy Nicholas,
humble and virtuous Archbishop Of Myra,
it is true that you hear those who come to you
in their trials and tribulations.
I trust in you,
I hope in you,
and I ask you to intercede with our holy God
so that I may receive grace
in the things for which I have sought.
Be my guide, be my defense, cleanse my soul.
Amen.
Hymn
From this perilous sea,
O Holy Father Nicholas,
Lead us to the safe port
Of our heavenly home.
From the struggles of this life
And fatal storms,
Save us by your favor
And singular virtue.
You always come to help
Everyone who cries to you—
The sick, sailors,
Rich or poor—all who call upon you.
By your holiness
And powerful intercession,
Keep us on the way
To our heavenly home.
To those who faithfully
Carried your tradition,
They've earned the glory
and love of us all. Amen.
Prayer
We beseech you, O Lord,
and plead for your mercy,
by the intercession of Holy Bishop Nicholas,
who protects us from all dangers,
show us the way of salvation.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Letters Movie about Mother Teresa - Official Trailer - #MotherTeresa might change your Life! SHARE


The Letters (II) (2014) PG | 114 min | Drama | 4 December 2015 (USA) A drama that explores the life of Mother Teresa through letters she wrote to her longtime friend and spiritual advisor, Father Celeste van Exem over a nearly 50-year period. Director: William Riead Writer: William Riead Stars: Juliet Stevenson, Rutger Hauer, Max von Sydow | See full cast and crew »MOTHER TERESA, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, is considered one of the greatest humanitarians of modern times. Her selfless commitment changed hearts, lives and inspired millions throughout the world. THE LETTERS, as told through personal letters she wrote over the last 40 years of her life, reveal a troubled and vulnerable woman who grew to feel an isolation and an abandonment by God. The story is told from the point of view of a Vatican priest charged with the task of investigating acts and events following her death. He recounts her life’s work, her political oppression, her religious zeal and her unbreakable spirit.
Written and directed by William Riead, THE LETTERS stars the acclaimed four-time BAFTA nominated British Actress Juliet Stevenson as Mother Teresa in a transformational performance that spans over 50 years, Academy Award Nominee Max Van Sydow and Golden Globe winner Rutger Hauer. The film was executive produced by Corky Barton and Lourden Saks and produced by William Riead, Lisa Riead and Tony Cordeaux. A CinemaWest and Riead Production Corporation Production, THE LETTERS will be released by Freestyle Releasing Dec 4, 2015 nationwide. The film is rated PG.

#PopeFrancis "“Salvation, is offered to every human, to every people, without exception, to each of us." at Angelus Text-Video


 * * * Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
On this second Sunday of Advent, the liturgy places us in the school of John the Baptist, who preached a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” And perhaps we ask ourselves, “Why do we have to convert? Conversion is for an atheist who becomes a believer or a sinner who becomes just. But we don’t need it. We are already Christian.”
We can ask ourselves this and in this regard say, “we’re ok.” But that’s not true. Thinking like this, we don’t realize that it is precisely because of this presumption — that we are Christians, good in every way, that we’re doing the right thing — precisely because of this presumption we must convert: from the supposition that, overall, things are going well like they are and we don’t need any conversion.
But let us ask: Is it true that in the various situations and circumstances of life, we have in us the same sentiments that Jesus had? Is it true that we feel as Christ felt? For example, when we suffer some evil or some affront, can we react without animosity and forgive from the heart those who ask us for forgiveness? How difficult it is to forgive, eh? How difficult! “You’re going to pay for this” — that phrase comes spontaneously, yes? Or when we are called to share joys and sadnesses, do we know how to truly cry with the one who cries and rejoice with the one who rejoices? Or when we should share our faith, do we know how to do it with courage and simplicity, without being ashamed of the Gospel? And in this way, we can ask ourselves so many questions. We’re not alright. We should always convert, to have the sentiments that Jesus had. The voice of the Baptist still cries in humanity’s deserts of today, which are — what are the deserts of today? — they are the closed minds and the hardened hearts. And [his voice] calls us so that we ask ourselves if we actually are following the right path, living a life according to the Gospel. Today, as then, he admonishes us with the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “Prepare the way of the Lord!” It is a pressing invitation to open the heart and receive the salvation that God incessantly offers, almost stubbornly, because he wants us all to be free of the slavery of sin. But the text of the prophet amplifies this voice, pre-announcing that “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” And salvation is offered to every man, and every people, without excluding anyone, to each one of us. None of us can say, “I’m a saint; I’m perfect; I’m already saved.” No. We should always accept this offer of salvation, and that’s what the Year of Mercy is for: to advance farther in this journey of salvation, this path that Jesus has taught us. God wants all mankind to be saved through the mediation of Jesus, the only mediator.
Therefore, each one of us is called to make Jesus known to those who still do not know him. But this is not to proselytize. No. It is to open a door. “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” St. Paul declared. If Our Lord Jesus has changed our lives, and he changes it every time we draw close to him, how can we not feel a passion to make him known to those we find at work, at school, in our communities, in the hospital, in meeting places? If we look around us, we find people who would be disposed to beginning — or beginning again — a journey of faith if they were to find Christians who are in love with Jesus. Shouldn’t we be and couldn’t we be these Christians?
I leave you with this question: Am I truly in love with Jesus? Am I convinced that Jesus offers me and gives me salvation? And, if I am in love, I have to make him known! But we should be courageous: make low the mountains of pride and rivalry; fill in the valleys dug by indifference and apathy; make straight the pathways of our laziness and our comforts.
May we be aided in this by Our Lady — who is Mother and who knows how to do it — to bring down the walls and the obstacles that impede our conversion, that is, our journey toward the encounter with the Lord. He alone. Only Jesus can fulfill all the hopes of man! [Angelus]
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am following with close attention the work of the conference on climate underway in Paris. And a question I asked in Laudato Si’ comes again to my mind: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” For the good of our common home, of all of us and of the future generations, in Paris every effort should be directed toward mitigating the impact of climate change and, at the same time, to curb poverty and to bring human dignity to flourish. The two choices go together. Stop climate change and curb poverty so that human dignity flourishes. Let us pray so that the Holy Spirit enlightens all those who are called to make such important decisions and gives them the courage to always have the greater good of the human family as the criteria to guide their decisions.
Tomorrow, we mark the 50th anniversary of a memorable event between Catholics and Orthodox. On Dec. 7, 1965, in the vigil of the conclusion of Vatican II, with a common declaration from Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, the sentences of excommunication exchanged between the Church of Rome and Constantinople in 1054 were eliminated. It is truly providential that this historic gesture of reconciliation, which created the conditions for a new dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics in love and truth, would be marked precisely at the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy. There is no authentic path toward unity without a petition for forgiveness, to God and between us, for the sin of division. Let us recall in our prayer the dear Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the other leaders of the Orthodox Churches and let us ask the Lord that relations between Catholics and Orthodox be always inspired by fraternal love.
Yesterday in Chimbote, Peru, Conventual Franciscans Michael Tomaszek and Zbigniew Strzałkowski were beatified. and Alessandro Dordi, a fidei donum priest assassinated in hatred of the faith in 1991. May these martyrs’ fidelity in following Jesus give all of us, especially Christians persecuted in different parts of the world, the strength to give testimony to the Gospel with courage.
I greet all of the pilgrims from Italy and from various countries. There are a lot of banners, eh? In particular, I greet the liturgical choir of Milherós de Poiares and the faithful of Casal de Cambra, Portugal. I greet the participants in the congress of the Movement of Educational Commitment of Catholic Action, the faithful of Biella, Milán, Cusano Milanino, Neptuno, Rocca di Papa and Foggia, those being confirmed from Roncone and Settimello, the band of Calangianus and the choir of Taio.
I wish you all a good Sunday and a good preparation for the beginning of the Year of Mercy. Please don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!
[Transcription and translation by ZENIT]

Sunday Mass Online : 2ndAdvent Sun. December 6, 2015 - Readings and Video


Second Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 6


Reading 1BAR 5:1-9

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery;
put on the splendor of glory from God forever:
wrapped in the cloak of justice from God,
bear on your head the mitre
that displays the glory of the eternal name.
For God will show all the earth your splendor:
you will be named by God forever
the peace of justice, the glory of God’s worship.

Up, Jerusalem! stand upon the heights;
look to the east and see your children
gathered from the east and the west
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing that they are remembered by God.
Led away on foot by their enemies they left you:
but God will bring them back to you
borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones.
For God has commanded
that every lofty mountain be made low,
and that the age-old depths and gorges
be filled to level ground,
that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.
The forests and every fragrant kind of tree
have overshadowed Israel at God’s command;
for God is leading Israel in joy
by the light of his glory,
with his mercy and justice for company.

Responsorial PsalmPS 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3) The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading 2PHIL 1:4-6, 8-11

Brothers and sisters:
I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the gospel
from the first day until now.
I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is my witness,
how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more
in knowledge and every kind of perception,
to discern what is of value,
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God.

AlleluiaLK 3:4, 6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”