Monday, November 14, 2016

Saint November 15 : St. Albert the Great : Patron of #Sciences; #Philosophers; #Scientists; Students

“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for ‘God is Charity.’”
Today, November 15, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Albert the Great (1206-1280), Doctor of the Church, bishop, teacher, theologian, and one of the Church’s greatest intellects. Widely admired for his wisdom and learning, he was known as “Albertus Magnus” to his contemporaries (“Albert the Great”), and by those who came after him as “Doctor universalis” (“Teacher of all that there is to know”). Saint Albert is the patron saint of scientists. His works constantly remind us of the importance of both faith and reason, and that there can be no separation between these—in fact, faith and reason reinforce and sustain each other.
Albert was born the son of a military Lord in service to Emperor Frederick II. The family lived in Lauingen on the Danube, near Ulm, Germany. His parents were wealthy, which afforded him the finest education. Also quite pious, they instructed him in the ways of the faith. As a child, he was drawn to scientific pursuits, and demonstrated an unexpected aptitude for reasoning given his age. So advanced was his thinking, he began studying humanities and natural sciences at the university of Bologna at just 15. The university, closely associated with the Dominican Order, drew Albert closer to his commitment to serving the Lord. This was further fired by the arrival of Blessed Reginald of Orleans, a Dominican preacher and former professor in Paris, who arrived at the college to preach.
Not long after, a second Dominican, Blessed Jordan of Saxony, arrived in Padua. An eloquent preacher, he drew many—including young Albert—toward religious life. Albert’s family was opposed to his entering the Order, given his youth and exceptional scientific prowess, but Albert was torn. One night, in his dreams, he saw himself entering the order, only to depart soon afterwards. The very next day, he heard Blessed Jordan preach, specifically about how the Devil turns those who would enter religious orders away from their calling through dreams and false promises. After Mass, Albert found Blessed Jordan, inquiring: “Master, who revealed my heart to you?” He subsequently entered the Order that summer, at the age of 16.
As a Dominican, Albert continued his studies, earning a Doctorate in theology. He obediently taught, wherever he was sent, traveling to Cologne, Padua, Bologna, Saxony, Fribourg, Ratisbonne, and Strasbourg. In each of these places he attracted numerous disciples, some of them destined for illustrious careers. However, Albert himself remained humble and focused only o the Lord.
When Blessed Jordan died in 1237, Albert assumed his duties as General until his successor was elected. At that point, he returned to Cologne, where he was to meet his most illustrious disciple, Saint Thomas Aquinas. While his classmates saw Thomas as a mute and unlearned man, Albert recognized in him the grace and glory of the Lord. Together, they traveled to the University of Paris, where Saint Albert’s theology and philosophy blossomed and changed the manner in which the world thought. While he wrote many scientific works, he was, first and foremost, a Catholic. Gifted with encyclopedic knowledge, he used this gift in service to the Church. He used his reason and thinking diligently. He was a brilliant scholar, student and seeker for truth. His writings fill thirty-eight volumes. His explanations on vast subjects took twenty years to complete. Albert possessed boundless writing energies and wrote exclusively on natural science, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, astronomy, ethics, economics, politics, metaphysics, physics, mineralogy, chemistry, biology, botany and human/animal physiology.
While Saint Albert would have been quite content to remain in Paris, writing and teaching, obedience to his Order bade him travel back to Germany when he was elected Provincial. He thereafter served his community, traveling to all the monasteries in his jurisdiction by foot, without any money, across long distances—Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, and Holland. In 1260, he was appointed bishop of Regensberg. After three years, he was permitted to resign, but was subsequently called to be an adviser to the pope and was sent on several diplomatic missions. Amid his journeys and works of zeal, Saint Albert found the time to write his thirty-eight volumes on the natural sciences, philosophy and theology.
Saint Albert died, apparently of fatigue, at the age of seventy-three. His body was buried at the Dominican Church, Saint Andrea’s, in Cologne. Three years after his death, his body was in a state of perfect preservation and his body exuded the delightful fragrance or sanctity recorded at the graves of many saints. Miraculous healings were reported at his tomb side. Others received visions that were recorded due to Albert's intercession. His relics continue to be venerated there today.
It is often said of Saint Albert the Great: "He was great in science, greater in philosophy, greatest in theology." He discovered a science above all other sciences—the knowledge that only God can impart, a heavenly wisdom that comes when reason and faith are joined together in charity towards others in prayer and action. Saint Albert reminds us not to rely on anything or trust anyone more than God. In this trust, faith and reason unite, leading us toward a greater knowledge of eternity.
Marian Prayer of Saint Albert the Great:
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” For note, Mary, for you have found grace, not taken it as Lucifer tried to so. You have found grace, not lost it as Adam did. You have found favor with God because you desired and sought it. You have found uncreated Grace, that is, God himself became your Son, and with the Grace you have found and obtained every uncreated good.”
Selected Quotation from Saint Albert the Great:
"There are some people who attribute all these things to divine order and say that we must not consider in them any other cause but the will of God. This in part we can agree to. Yet we do not say that he does this because of a natural cause of which he is the first mover, since he is the cause of all movement; for we are not seeking a reason or explanation of the divine will but rather investigating natural causes which are as instruments through which God's will is manifested. It is not sufficient to know these things in a general sort of way; what we are looking for is the cause of each individual thing according to the nature belonging to it. This is the best and most perfect kind of knowledge."
God Our Father,
you endowed St. Albert with the talent of combining human wisdom with divine faith. Keep us true to his teachings that the advance of human knowledge may deepen our knowledge and love of you. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

#Wow Andrea Bocelli sings Beautiful Ave Maria with Orchestra for Vatican project - Watch and SHARE


"We are here to celebrate the beauty and joy of love, and to spread the good news of the family," said Msgr. Carlos Simon Vasquez, Undersecretary of the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, in his presentation of the new event in the project "The Great Mystery. The Gospel of the family school of humanity for our times," on Saturday night in St. Stephens Basilica in Budapest,. Accompanied by the Óbudai Danubia Zenekar Orchestra under the direction of Marcello Rota, the young Ukrainian violinist Anastasiya Petryshak, and the Vox Humana Choir, the tenor Andrea Bocelli performed a rich repertoire featuring Händel’s Hallelujah, Rossini's Stabat Mater, the Ave Maria of Schubert and Verdi's Va pensiero. Bearing greetings from Cardinal Kevin Farrell,
SHARE this Beautiful Video!

#BreakingNews Priest Fr. José, who Criticised Crime, was Kidnapped and Tortured but released in Mexico - Please PRAY

Veracruz (Agenzia Fides) - Diocesan priest José Luis Sánchez Ruiz, who had been kidnapped on Friday, November 11, was released yesterday with "obvious signs of torture", according to a statement from the Diocese of San Andres Tuxtla (Veracruz, Mexico) signed by His Exc. Mgr. Fidencio Lopez Plaza.
In the statement, sent to Fides, the Bishop thanked the authorities for their interest and informs that the community awaits the conclusions of the prosecutor to clarify the facts. Mgr. Lopez Plaza also thanks for the "heartfelt sympathy and prayers of all the faithful, as well as the Mexican Episcopal Conference, and in particular the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Veracruz".
According to the local press, Father Sánchez Ruiz, the parish priest of Los 12 Apóstoles Catemaco, in the days before the kidnapping had received threats, surely for his harsh criticism against corruption and crime in the town of Catemaco. Citizens had more than once expressed the lack of security and the arrogance of organized crime. Fides on several occasions reported that the Mexican states of Veracruz, Guerrero and Michoacán are the most violent regions even for priests. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 14/11/2016)

Pope Francis meets with German #Soccer Team that Donates to Poor Children around the World

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday morning greeted members of the German national football team in the Vatican.  Germany beat San Marino 8-0 on Friday evening in the qualifying stages of their defense of the World Cup.
“I have often heard it said that your victories are team victories,” Pope Francis said, noting the official nickname of the German squad is Die Mannschaft (The Team).
“Truly, competitive sport not only requires a great deal of discipline and personal sacrifice, but also respect for others and team spirit,” – the Pope continued – “This carries you to success as ‘Die Mannschaft ‘ and at the same time causes you to recognize your responsibility on the football pitch, especially to the young people who often see you as role models.  It also causes you to make a mutual commitment to work together to support some important social causes.”
In particular, Pope Francis thanked the team for their support for the Sternsinger (‘Star Singer’) collection at Epiphany, where children from over 10,000 Catholic parishes all over Germany go door-to-door singing carols and collecting money, which is used to help children in poor countries around the world. The initiative was begun in 1959, and is now the world’s largest fundraiser by children, for children.
“This initiative shows how together we can overcome barriers that seem insurmountable, and which penalize needy and marginalized people,” – the Holy Father said – “In this way you contribute to building a more just and united society.”

#BreakingNews Little Girl Dies after Bomb Attack at Church on Sunday - Please PRAY

Child injured in Samarinda church bomb attack has died

Mathias Hariyadi

Two year old Olivia Intan Marbun did not survive her wounds and burns. She was playing with other children in front of the church when the improvised explosive device exploded. The assailant, Johanda, had already been arrested for terrorism and has ties with the Islamic State.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The first victim of the attack yesterday at the church Samarinda (East Kalimantan) is a two year old girl, who did not survive her wounds and the burns. Olivia Intan Marbun was playing with other children in front of the church, waiting for her parents, when an improvised explosive device exploded overwhelming her and other children. Triniti Hutahayan (4 years), Anita (4) and Alfaro Sinaga (5) are in serious condition.
All of those wounded in the attack belong to the Batak ethnic group, members of the Protestant Batak Church. Police arrested the alleged assailant, Jo Bin Muhammad Aceng Kurnia known as Johanda, an ex-convict for terrorist crimes, suspected of having links with the Islamic state.

Johanda was arrested in May 2011 for plotting attacks on the science and technology center in Puspitek Serpong (South Tangerang, southwest of Jakarta) and the Gading Serpong church. Sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment, the terrorist was released on bail in 2014, during the Islamic holiday of "Eid Mubarak." It is tradition that during this period some prisoners can get their sentences reduced, as is the case with Christians during Christmas. Much of civil society is now asking if this measure is not too permissive towards terrorists.
Instead of repenting, Johanda continued to plan attacks up to yesterday. According to the head of the Indonesian police, Tito Karnavian, "Johanda is a member of the Jamaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT)," an Islamist movement founded by Abu Bakar Bashir. The latter, 77, was sentenced in August to 15 years in prison for having financed a fundamentalist training camp in Aceh.
Johanda along with five other people were arrested in connection with the attack yesterday.

The Synod of Protestant Churches in Indonesia (PGI) has released a document describing the terrorist attack "as a human tragedy". Violent acts, the statement said, can never be the best solution to solve the problems: "We ask the police to deal with this emergency as soon as possible. Intolerance can not be tolerated in any form, including the hate speech that led to the protests of recent weeks ".

The reference is to the protests against the Christian Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, accused of blasphemy. According to many analysts, they are part of a political plan to bring down the President Joko Widodo. Image source Google Images - Text AsiaNewsIT

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon. November 14, 2016 - #Eucharist


Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 497


Reading 1RV 1:1-4; 2:1-5

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him,
to show his servants what must happen soon.
He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
who gives witness to the word of God
and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud
and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message
and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.

John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace
from him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven spirits before his throne.

I heard the Lord saying to me:
“To the angel of the Church in Ephesus, write this:

“‘The one who holds the seven stars in his right hand
and walks in the midst of the seven gold lampstands says this:
“I know your works, your labor, and your endurance,
and that you cannot tolerate the wicked;
you have tested those who call themselves Apostles but are not,
and discovered that they are impostors.
Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name,
and you have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you:
you have lost the love you had at first.
Realize how far you have fallen.
Repent, and do the works you did at first.
Otherwise, I will come to you
and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”’”

Responsorial PsalmPS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (Rev. 2:17) Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.

AlleluiaJN 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.