Friday, August 5, 2016

Saint August 6 : Feast of The Transfiguration of the Lord - #Transfiguration

The Transfiguration of the Lord
Feast: August 6
 The Transfiguration of Christ is the culminating point of His public life, as His Baptism is its starting point, and His Ascension its end. Moreover, this glorious event has been related in detail by St. Matthew (xvii, 1-6), St. Mark (ix, 1-8), and St. Luke (ix, 28-36), while St. Peter (II Pet., i, 16-18) and St. John (i, 14), two of the privileged witnesses, make allusion to it. About a week after His sojourn in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them to a high mountain apart, where He was transfigured before their ravished eyes. St. Matthew and St. Mark express this phenomenon by the word metemorphothe, which the Vulgate renders transfiguratus est.
The Synoptics explain the true meaning of the word by adding "his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow," according to the Vulgate, or "as light," according to the Greek text. This dazzling brightness which emanated from His whole Body was produced by an interior shining of His Divinity. False Judaism had rejected the Messias, and now true Judaism, represented by Moses and Elias, the Law and the Prophets, recognized and adored Him, while for the second time God the Father proclaimed Him His only-begotten and well-loved Son.
By this glorious manifestation the Divine Master, who had just foretold His Passion to the Apostles (Matt., xvi, 21), and who spoke with Moses and Elias of the trials which awaited Him at Jerusalem, strengthened the faith of his three friends and prepared them for the terrible struggle of which they were to be witnesses in Gethsemani, by giving them a foretaste of the glory and heavenly delights to which we attain by suffering.
LOCATION OF THE TRANSFIGURATION Already in Apostolic times the mount of the Transfiguration had become the "holy mount" (II Pet., i, 18). It seems to have been known by the faithful of the country, and tradition identified it with Mount Thabor. Origen said (A.D. 231-54) "Thabor is the mountain of Galilee on which Christ was transfigured" (Comm. in Ps. lxxxviii, 13). In the next century St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catech., II, 16) and St. Jerome (Ep. xlvi, ad Marcel.; EP. viii, ad Paulin.; Ep. cviii, ad Eust.) likewise declare it categorically. Later St. Proculus, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 447; Orat. viii, in Transfig.), Agathangelus (Hist. of Armenia, II, xvii), and Arnobius the Younger (d. 460; Comm. in Ps. lxxxviii, 13) say the same thing. The testimonies increase from century to century without a single dissentient note, and in 553 the Fifth Council of Constantinople erected a see at Mount Thabor (Notitif Antioch. . . . patriarch.). Some modern writers claim that the Transfiguration could not have taken place on Mount Thabor, which, according to Josephus, was then surmounted by a city. This is incorrect; the Jewish historian speaks neither of a city nor a village; he simply fortified, as he repeats three times, "the mount called Itabyrion" ("Bell. Jud.", II, xx, 6; IV, i, 8; Vita , 37). The town of Atabyrion of Polybius, the Thabor or Celeseth Thabor, the "flank of Thabor" of the Bible, is situated at the foot of Mount Thabor. In any case the presence of houses on a wooded height would not have made it impossible to find a place apart. It is again objected that Our Lord was transfigured on Mount Hermon, since He was at that time in its vicinity. But the Synoptics are all explicit concerning the lapse of time, six days, or about eight days including those of departure and arrival, between the discourse in Caesarea and the Transfiguration, which would infer a somewhat lengthy journey. Moreover the summits of Hermon are covered with snow as late as June, and even the lesser peaks of 4000 or 5000 feet are likewise snow-covered in February and March, the period of the Transfiguration. Finally, the ancients judged of the height of mountains by their appearance, and Thabor especially was considered a "high mountain", if not by David and Jeremias, at least by Origen and St. Jerome and the pilgrims who made the ascent.Shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Wow 10 Things about the #Olympics and Religion you need to Know and SHARE #Rio2016






































1. Pope Francis sent a special message for the Olympics: "In a world thirsting for peace, tolerance, and reconciliation, I hope that the spirit of the Olympic Games inspires all – participants and spectators – to “fight the good fight” and finish the race together (cf. 2 Tim 4,7-8), desiring to obtain as a prize, not a medal, but something much more precious:  the construction of a civilization in which solidarity reigns and is based upon the recognition that we are all members of the same human family, regardless of the differences of culture, skin color, or religion."
2. A Catholic priest is coordinating the inter-religious center for athletes at the Olympic Village. He said, “We are a symbol of peace, brotherhood and the unity of peoples.”
3.The center will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, from July 24-Aug. 24 for Olympic athletes and their delegations and September 1-21 for Paralympic athletes and delegations.
4. The inter-religious center has five meeting rooms, each occupied by one of the five faiths chosen by the International Olympic Committee: Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. The Catholic Church will represent the Christian faith. These religions were chosen based on the faith composition of the athletes slated to compete in the Olympic Games. The center will host group meetings and Masses.
5. The Cardinal of Brazil blessed the Olympic Torch at the site of the Jesus Redeemer Statue.
“This is the moment for us to surpass our difficulties and work together as a team, making our country and our world safer, less unequal, and putting love in the hearts of all,” the cardinal explained.
 6.The original Olympics began in the 6th century B.C. in Greece.The games were connected to their worship of gods. Athletes often dedicated their performances to a patron god. In around 390AD the Olympics were banned due to its paganism.  For 1,500 years, there were no Olympic Games.
7. A Catholic, Pierre de Coubertin, from France and educated by Jesuits initiated their rebirth.  In 1889, he began with the motive of promoting peace between nations.
 8. The International Olympic Committee was founded by de Coubertin in 1894. The first modern international games were held in 1896, in Athens.
9. During the opening ceremonies - Athletes take an “Olympic Oath” to respect and abide by the rules, to play fair and not cheat.
10. There is an Olympics every 2 years.

#BreakingNews #ProLife Win as High Court Rules Unborn have Right to Life in Ireland

The High Court in Ireland's justice has found the rights of the ‘unborn’ extend beyond the right to life. A High Court judge has said the word ‘unborn’ in the Constitution means an ‘unborn child’ with rights beyond the right to life. A High Court judge has said the word ‘unborn’ in the Constitution means an ‘unborn child’ with rights beyond the right to life.
A High Court judge has said the word “unborn” in the Constitution means an “unborn child” with rights beyond the right to life, which “must be taken seriously” by the State.
The unborn child, including the unborn child of a parent facing deportation, enjoys “significant” rights and legal position at common law, by statute, and under the Constitution, “going well beyond the right to life alone”, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said.
Many of those rights were “actually effective” rather than merely prospective. He said article 42a of the Constitution, inserted as a result of the 2012 Children’s Referendum, provides the State must protect “all” children.
Because an “unborn” is “clearly a child”, article 42a means all children “both before and after birth”. 
He said while neither article 42a nor article 40.3.3 (requiring the State to vindicate the right to life of the unborn) were intended to confer immigration rights, that did not displace any legal consequences flowing from the prospective position of an unborn child with a parent facing deportation. Fintan O’Toole: Pro-life campaign needs to get its facts straight ‘My baby’s remains in a cardboard box’: Irish GP’s abortion story Justice Mary Laffoy to chair citizens’ assembly on abortion.
He made the findings during a judicial review.
 The Minister must consider the constitutional, statutory, EU and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) rights of the man, his partner and the child, including their family rights under article 8 of the ECHR, he ruled. Edited from the IrishTimes (Aug. 2, 2016)

Saint August 5 : St. Afra : #Convert and Former #Prostitute



Today, August 5, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Afra (died 304), Martyr of the Church. Saint Afra worked as a prostitute, but kindly hid her local bishop during the persecution of Christians. From his influence, she converted to the faith, dedicated herself to acts of charity, and was eventually persecuted and executed for her beliefs. The life of Saint Afra reminds us that true conversion and repentance for past sins is always possible, and that Our Loving Father calls us to Him regardless of the sins we have committed in the past!
Afra was originally a courtesan in the German town of Augsburg, having grown up in Cyprus, and moved to that area.
Upon moving to Ausburg, it is likely that Afra worked in a brothel, possibly close to the pagan Temple of Venus. At the onset of the persecution of Christians under the orders of Emperor Diocletian, Afra and her mother, Hilaria, hid the local bishop from harm. The holy man, Bishop Narcissus of Girona, did not know the profession of Afra and her mother, and through his witness, converted them to the faith. Afra and her mother, as well as her servants, were baptized, and began spending their time in charitable acts to the poor and suffering around them.
Despite the threat of death and persecution, Afra continued to hide the holy bishop until she herself was arrested and brought before the authorities. The judge, Gaius, knew of Afra and her profession, and ordered her to sacrifice to the pagan gods or be condemned to death.

Afra declared: “I was a great sinner before I knew God; but I will not add new crimes, nor do what you command me. My capitol is Jesus Christ, whom I have always before my eyes. I every day confess my sins; and, because I am unworthy to offer him any sacrifice, I desire to sacrifice myself for his name, that this body in which I have sinned may be purified and sacrificed to him by torments.” 

Gaius persisted, referencing her former profession, and urging her to recant her faith. “I am informed,” he said, “that you are a prostitute. Sacrifice, therefore, as you are a stranger to the God of the Christians, and cannot be accepted by him.”
But Afra replied, “Our Lord Jesus Christ hath said, that he came down from heaven to save sinners. The gospels testify that an abandoned woman washed his feet with her tears, and obtained pardon, and that he never rejected the publicans, but permitted them to eat with him.” 

Gaius said, “Jesus Christ will have nothing to do with you. It is in vain for you to acknowledge him for your God: a common prostitute can never he called a Christian.”

Afra replied, “It is true, I am unworthy to bear the name of a Christian; but Christ hath admitted me to be one.” 

Growing frustrated, the judge ordered her again: “Sacrifice to the gods, and they will save you.”
The martyr replied: “My Savior is Jesus Christ, who upon the cross promised paradise to the thief who confessed him. The only subject of my confusion and grief are my sins.”

Having run out of patience, Gaius declared, “I am ashamed that I have disputed so long with you. If you do not comply, you shall die.”

Afra replied: “That is what I desire, if I am not unworthy to find rest by this confession. Let that body which hath sinned undergo torments; but as to my soul, I will not taint it by sacrificing to demons.” 

Throwing up his hands, Gaius sentenced Afra to death. “We condemn Afra, a prostitute who hath declared herself a Christian, to be burnt alive, because she hath refused to offer sacrifice to the gods.”
Afra was immediately seized, stripped of her clothing, tied to a stake, and set ablaze. While she burned, she lifter her eyes to heaven and prayed:“O Lord Jesus Christ, Omnipotent God, who camest to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance, accept now the penance of my sufferings, and by this temporal fire deliver me from the everlasting fire, which torments both body and soul. I return thee thanks, O Lord Jesus Christ, for the honor thou hast done me in receiving me a holocaust for thy name’s sake; thou who hast vouchsafed to offer thyself upon the altar of the cross a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, the just for the unjust, and for sinners. I offer myself a victim to thee, O my God, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost world without end. Amen.”

Having prayed and handed her life over to her creator, Saint Afra died. Her mother and her servants rescued her body and interred her relics in a selpuchre. In the process of this act they were caught, and refusing to sacrifice to the pagan gods, were likely executed.
Inspired by Saint Afra, today we pray for the conversion of sinners throughout the world, and for our own personal conversion and repentance. Holy Saint Afra, pray for us!

Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Savior of the world, we humbly beseech You, by Your most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep who stray out of Your fold may in one days be converted to You, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end.
Amen. Shared from 365Rosaries

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Fri. August 5, 2016 #Eucharist


Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 411


Reading 1NA 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7

See, upon the mountains there advances
the bearer of good news,
announcing peace!
Celebrate your feasts, O Judah,
fulfill your vows!
For nevermore shall you be invaded
by the scoundrel; he is completely destroyed.
The LORD will restore the vine of Jacob,
the pride of Israel,
Though ravagers have ravaged them
and ruined the tendrils.

Woe to the bloody city, all lies,
full of plunder, whose looting never stops!
The crack of the whip, the rumbling sounds of wheels;
horses a-gallop, chariots bounding,
Cavalry charging, the flame of the sword, the flash of the spear,
the many slain, the heaping corpses,
the endless bodies to stumble upon!
I will cast filth upon you,
disgrace you and put you to shame;
Till everyone who sees you runs from you, saying,
“Nineveh is destroyed; who can pity her?
Where can one find any to console her?”

Responsorial PsalmDT 32:35CD-36AB, 39ABCD, 41

R. (39c) It is I who deal death and give life.
Close at hand is the day of their disaster,
and their doom is rushing upon them!
Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people;
on his servants he shall have pity.
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
“Learn then that I, I alone, am God,
and there is no god besides me.
It is I who bring both death and life,
I who inflict wounds and heal them.”
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
I will sharpen my flashing sword,
and my hand shall lay hold of my quiver,
“With vengeance I will repay my foes
and requite those who hate me.”
R. It is I who deal death and give life.

AlleluiaMT 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 16:24-28

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”