Thursday, November 17, 2016

#PopeFrancis "a God in love with you who is looking for you, and desirous of seeing you happy.' #Homily

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence on Thursday morning – the liturgical memory of St. Elisabeth of Hungary, the devout queen who was a 3
rd Order Franciscan renowned for her solicitude to the needy.

In remarks following the Readings of the Day, Pope Francis addressed words to the gathered faithful that focused on the episode proclaimed from the Gospel according to St. Mark, in which Our Lord wept for the sins of Jerusalem. The Holy Father spoke especially of the stark contrast of God’s steadfast and faithful love for His people, and His people’s faithlessness – which is our faithlessness:
“That is what pains the heart of Jesus Christ, this story of infidelity, this story of not recognizing the caresses of God, the love of God, a God in love with you who is looking for you, and desirous of seeing you happy. Jesus saw in that moment [when, shortly before His passion, He wept over Jerusalem’s sinfulness] what awaited him as the Son – and He wept ... ‘because they did not recognize the time of their visitation.’. This drama has not only happened in history and ended with Jesus. It is the drama of every day. It is even my drama. Can any of us really say, ‘I know how to recognize the hour in which I have been visited? does God visit me?’”
The Pope went on to highlight the way that the Liturgy of two days ago – Tuesday – offered occasions to reflect on three moments of God’s visitation: correction, entering into dialogue with us, and “inviting himself into our home.” Pope Francis then asked the faithful to make an examination of conscience, to ask whether each one of us listens to the words of Jesus when He knocks on our door and says, “Amend your life!” Everyone in fact runs a risk:
“Each of us can fall into the same sin of the people of Israel, the same sin of Jerusalem, not recognizing the time in which we have been visited – and every day the Lord visits us, every day He is knocking at our door – but we must learn to recognize this, that we not end up in that so painful a situation: ‘The more I loved them, as I called them, the more they fled from me’. ‘But I am sure of  things. I go to Mass, I'm sure ...’. Do you make a daily examination of conscience on this? Did the Lord visit me today? Have I heard some call, some inspiration to follow Him more closely, to do a work of charity, to pray a little more? I do not know, so many things to which the Lord invites us every day to meet with us.”
It is central therefore to recognize when we are “visited” by Jesus, and to open ourselves to His love:
“Jesus wept not only for Jerusalem, but for all of us. He gives His life, that we might recognize his visitation. St. Augustine said a word, a very strong sentence: ‘I am afraid of God, of Jesus, when He passes!’ But why are you afraid? ‘I’m afraid I will not recognize it!’ If you’re not careful with your heart, you'll never know if Jesus is visiting you or not. May the Lord give all of us the grace to recognize the times we have been visited, we are visited and shall be visited, so that we open the door to Jesus and so ensure that our heart is more enlarged by love, and that we might therefore serve the Lord Jesus in love.”

#PopeFrancis "Let us not forget Jesus’ words: “Why do you notice the splinter..." #Audience - FULL TEXT - Video

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
We dedicate today’s catechesis to a work of mercy that we all know very well, but that perhaps we do not put into practice as we should: to endure patiently people who annoy us.We are all very good in identifying a presence that can annoy us: it happens when we meet someone on the street, or when we receive a phone call … We immediately think: “How long will I have to hear the complaints, the gossip, the requests or the boasts of this person?” It also happens some times that annoying persons are those closest to us: among relatives there is always one; they are not lacking in the workplace and not even in free time are we exempted. What should we do with annoying persons? But we also many times are annoying to others. Why has this also been inserted among the works of mercy? To endure patiently people who annoy us?
In the Bible, we see that God Himself must exercise mercy to endure the complaints of His people. For instance, in the Book of Exodus the people are truly unbearable: first they weep because they are slaves in Egypt, and God delivers them; then, in the desert, they complain because there is nothing to eat (cf. 16:3), and God sends quails and manna (cf. 16:13-16), yet despite this, the complaints do not cease. Moses was the mediator between God and the people, and sometimes the Lord also annoyed him. However, God had patience and thus He also taught Moses and the people this essential dimension of faith.
Then a first question comes spontaneously: do we ever make an examination of conscience to see if we also, sometimes, are annoying to others? It is easy to point the finger at the defects and lacks of others, but we should learn to put ourselves in others’ shoes.
We look above all at Jesus: how much patience He had to have during the three years of His public life! Once, when He was walking with His disciples, he was stopped by the mother of James and John, who said to Him: “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom” (Matthew 20:21). The mother was lobbying for her sons, but she was the mother …
Jesus takes that situation also as a starting point to give a fundamental teaching: His is not a kingdom of power and glory as the earthly ones, but of service and donation to others. Jesus teaches to go always to the essential and to look beyond to assume one’s mission with responsibility. We can see here the recalling to two other works of spiritual mercy: to admonish sinners and to teach the ignorant. We think of the great commitment we can give when we help people to grow in faith and in life. I am thinking, for instance, of catechists – among whom there are so many mothers and so many women religious – who dedicate time to teach youngsters the basic elements of the faith. How much effort, especially when youngsters prefer to play rather than to listen to the catechism!
It is good and important to accompany <individuals> in the search for the essential, because it makes us share the joy of relishing the meaning of life. It often happens that we meet persons who stop at superficial, ephemeral and trivial things, sometimes because they have not met someone who would stimulate them to seek something else, to appreciate the true treasures. To teach to look at the essential is a determinant help, especially in a time like ours, which seems to have lost the way and chases short-term satisfactions. To teach to discover what the Lord wants from us, and how we can correspond to Him, means to set out on the way to grow in one’s vocation, the way of true joy. Thus were Jesus’ words to the mother of James and John, and then to the whole group of the disciples, indicating the way to avoid falling into envy, ambition and adulation, temptations that are always lurking also among us Christians. The need to counsel, admonish and teach must not make us feel superior to others, but obliges us first of all to enter within ourselves to verify if we are coherent with all that we ask of others. Let us not forget Jesus’ words: “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? (Luke 6:41).” May the Holy Spirit help us to be patient in enduring and humble and simple in counseling.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I greet the Masters of Work Federation, which is observing the sixtieth anniversary of its foundation and I hope that the occasion will contribute to foster social and economic inclusion, especially of the weakest sectors of the population.
I greet the Sons of God Community of Florence; the Red Cross of Spoltore; the “Christmas Oranges” Association of Camisano Vicentino; the parish groups and the students. In the imminence of the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee may each one remember how important it is to be merciful as the Father and may love for brothers make us more human and more Christian.
A special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. In the month of November, the liturgy invites us to pray for the deceased. Let us not forget how much they loved us; they have preceded us in faith, as well as those that no one remembers: the suffrage in the Eucharistic Celebration is the best spiritual help that we can offer their souls. We remember with particular affection the victims of the recent earthquake in Central Italy: we pray for them and for their relatives and we continue to be solidaristic with all those who have suffered damages.
The Holy Father’s Appeal
This coming Sunday, November 20th, the International Day of the Rights of Childhood and Adolescence will be observed. I appeal to the conscience of all, institutions and families, may children and their wellbeing always be protected, so that they never fall into forms of slavery, are recruited into armed groups and mistreated. I hope that the International Community will watch over their life, guaranteeing to every boy and girl the right to school and to education, so that their growth is serene and they look at the future with confidence.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. November 17, 2016


Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
Lectionary: 500

Reading 1RV 5:1-10

I, John, saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.
It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals.
Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice,
“Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth
was able to open the scroll or to examine it.
I shed many tears because no one was found worthy
to open the scroll or to examine it.
One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep.
The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed,
enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.”

Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne
and the four living creatures and the elders
a Lamb that seemed to have been slain.
He had seven horns and seven eyes;
these are the seven spirits of God sent out into the whole world.
He came and received the scroll from the right hand
of the one who sat on the throne.
When he took it,
the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders
fell down before the Lamb.
Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense,
which are the prayers of the holy ones.
They sang a new hymn:

“Worthy are you to receive the scroll
and break open its seals,
for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God
those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation.
You made them a kingdom and priests for our God,
and they will reign on earth.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B

R. (Rev. 5:10) The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaPS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 19:41-44

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you
when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Saint November 17 : St. Elizabeth of Hungary : Patron of Brides, Nurses, Homeless, Bakers


St. Elizabeth of Hungary
PRINCESS OF HUNGARY
Feast: November 17
Information:
Feast Day:
November 17
Born:
1207 at Presburg, Hungary
Died:
17 November 1231, Marburg, Germany
Canonized:
1235, Perugia, Italy
Major Shrine:
Elisabeth Church (Marburg)
Patron of:
hospitals, nurses, bakers, brides, countesses, dying children, exiles, homeless people, lacemakers, tertiaries and widows

Also called St. Elizabeth of Thuringia, born in Hungary, probably at Pressburg, 1207; died at Marburg, Hesse, 17 November (not 19 November), 1231. She was a daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary (1205-35) and his wife Gertrude, a member of the family of the Counts of Andechs-Meran; Elizabeth's brother succeeded his father on the throne of Hungary as Bela IV; the sister of her mother, Gertrude, was St. Hedwig, wife of Duke Heinrich I, the Bearded, of Silesia, while another saint, St. Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal (d. 1336), the wife of the tyrannical King Diniz of that country, was her great-niece. In 1211 a formal embassy was sent by Landgrave Hermann I of Thuringia to Hungary to arrange, as was customary in that age, a marriage between his eldest son Hermann and Elizabeth, who was then four years old. This plan of a marriage was the result of political considerations and was intended to be the ratification of a great alliance which in the political schemes of the time it was sought to form against the German Emperor Otto IV, a member of the house of Guelph, who had quarrelled with the Church. Not long after this the little girl was taken to the Thuringian court to be brought up with her future husband and, in the course of time, to be betrothed to him. The court of Thuringia was at this period famous for its magnificence. Its centre was the stately castle of the Wartburg, splendidly placed on a hill in the Thuringian Forest near Eisenach, where the Landgrave Hermann lived surrounded by poets and minnesingers, to whom he was a generous patron. Notwithstanding the turbulence and purely secular life of the court and the pomp of her surroundings, the little girl grew up a very religious child with an evident inclination to prayer and pious observances and small acts of self-mortification. These religious impulses were undoubtedly strengthened by the sorrowful experiences of her life. In 1213 Elizabeth's mother, Gertrude, was murdered by Hungarian nobles, probably out of hatred of the Germans. On 31 December, 1216, the oldest son of the landgrave, Hermann, who Elizabeth was to marry, died; after this she was betrothed to Ludwig, the second son. It was probably in these years that Elizabeth had to suffer the hostility of the more frivolous members of the Thuringian court, to whom the contemplative and pious child was a constant rebuke. Ludwig, however, must have soon come to her protection against any ill-treatment. The legend that arose later is incorrect in making Elizabeth's mother-in-law, the Landgravine Sophia, a member of the reigning family of Bavaria, the leader of this court party. On the contrary, Sophia was a very religious and charitable woman and a kindly mother to the little Elizabeth. The political plans of the old Landgrave Hermann involved him in great difficulties and reverses; he was excommunicated, lost his mind towards the end of his life, and died, 25 April, 1217, unreconciled with the Church. He was succeeded by his son Ludwig IV, who, in 1221, was also made regent of Meissen and the East Mark. The same year (1221) Ludwig and Elizabeth were married, the groom being twenty-one years old and the bride fourteen. The marriage was in every regard a happy and exemplary one, and the couple were devotedly attached to each other. Ludwig proved himself worthy of his wife. He gave his protection to her acts of charity, penance, and her vigils and often held Elizabeth's hands as she knelt praying at night beside his bed. He was also a capable ruler and brave soldier. The Germans call him St. Ludwig, an appellation given to him as one of the best men of his age and the pious husband of St. Elizabeth. They had three children: Hermann II (1222-41), who died young; Sophia (1224-84), who married Henry II, Duke of Brabant, and was the ancestress of the Landgraves of Hesse, as in the war of the Thuringian succession she won Hesse for her son Heinrich I, called the Child; Gertrude (1227-97), Elizabeth's third child, was born several weeks after the death of her father; in after-life she became abbess of the convent of Aldenburg near Wetzlar.
Shortly after their marriage, Elizabeth and Ludwig made a journey to Hungary; Ludwig was often after this employed by the Emperor Frederick II, to whom he was much attached, in the affairs of the empire. In the spring of 1226, when floods, famine, and the pest wrought havoc in Thuringia, Ludwig was in Italy attending the Diet at Cremona on behalf of the emperor and the empire. Under these circumstances Elizabeth assumed control of affairs, distributed alms in all parts of the territory of her husband, giving even state robes and ornaments to the poor. In order to care personally for the unfortunate she built below the Wartburg a hospital with twenty-eight beds and visited the inmates daily to attend to their wants; at the same time she aided nine hundred poor daily. It is this period of her life that has preserved Elizabeth's fame to posterity as the gentle and charitable Cheatelaine of the Wartburg. Ludwig on his return confirmed all she had done. The next year (1227) he started with the Emperor Frederick II on a crusade to Palestine but died, 11 September of the same year at Otranto, from the pest. The news did not reach Elizabeth until October, just after she had given birth to her third child. On hearing the tidings Elizabeth, who was only twenty years old, cried out: "The world with all its joys is now dead to me."
The fact that in 1221 the followers of St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226) made their first permanent settlement in Germany was one of great importance in the later career of Elizabeth. Brother Rodeger, one of the first Germans whom the provincial for Germany, Caesarius of Speier, received into the order, was for a time the spiritual instructor of Elizabeth at the Wartburg; in his teachings he unfolded to her the ideals of St. Francis, and these strongly appealed to her. With the aid of Elizabeth the Franciscans in 1225 founded a monastery in Eisenach; Brother Rodeger, as his fellow-companion in the order, Jordanus, reports, instructed Elizabeth, to observe, according to her state of life, chastity, humility, patience, the exercise of prayer, and charity. Her position prevented the attainment of the other ideal of St. Francis, voluntary and complete poverty. Various remarks of Elizabeth to her female attendants make it clear how ardently she desired the life of poverty. After a while the post Brother Rodeger had filled was assumed by Master Conrad of Marburg, who belonged to no order, but was a very ascetic and, it must be acknowledged, a somewhat rough and very severe man. He was well known as a preacher of the crusade and also as an inquisitor or judge in cases of heresy. On account of the latter activity he has been more severely judged than is just; at the present day, however, the estimate of him is a fairer one. Pope Gregory IX, who wrote at times to Elizabeth, recommended her himself to the God-fearing preacher. Conrad treated Elizabeth with inexorable severity, even using corporal means of correction; nevertheless, he brought her with a firm hand by the road of self-mortification to sanctity, and after her death was very active in her canonization. Although he forbade her to follow St. Francis in complete poverty as a beggar, yet, on the other hand, by the command to keep her dower she was enabled to perform works of charity and tenderness.
Up to 1888 it was believed, on account of the testimony of one of Elizabeth's servants in the process of canonization, that Elizabeth was driven from the Wartburg in the winter of 1227 by her brother-in-law, Heinrich Raspe, who acted as regent for her son, then only five years old. About 1888 various investigators (Börner, Mielke, Wenck, E. Michael, etc.) asserted that Elizabeth left the Wartburg voluntarily, the only compulsion being a moral one. She was not able at the castle to follow Conrad's command to eat only food obtained in a way that was certainly right and proper. Lately, however, Huyskens (1907) tried to prove that Elizabeth was driven from the castle at Marburg in Hesse, which was hers by dower right. Consequently, the Te Deum that she directed the Franciscans to sing on the night of her expulsion would have been sung in the Franciscan monastery at Marburg. Accompanied by two female attendants, Elizabeth left the castle that stands on a height commanding Marburg. The next day her children were brought to her, but they were soon taken elsewhere to be cared for. Elizabeth's aunt, Matilda, Abbess of the Benedictine nunnery of Kitzingen near Würzburg, took charge of the unfortunate landgravine and sent her to her uncle Eckbert, Bishop of Bamberg. The bishop, however, was intent on arranging another marriage for her, although during the lifetime of her husband Elizabeth had made a vow of continence in case of his death; the same vow had also been taken by her attendants. While Elizabeth was maintaining her position against her uncle the remains of her husband were brought to Bamberg by his faithful followers who had carried them from Italy. Weeping bitterly, she buried the body in the family vault of the landgraves of Thuringia in the monastery of Reinhardsbrunn. With the aid of Conrad she now received the value of her dower in money, namely two thousand marks; of this sum she divided five hundred marks in one day among the poor. On Good Friday, 1228, in the Franciscan house at Eisenach Elizabeth formally renounced the world; then going to Master Conrad at Marburg, she and her maids received from him the dress of the Third Order of St. Francis, thus being among the first tertiaries of Germany. In the summer of 1228 she built the Franciscan hospital at Marburg and on its completion devoted herself entirely to the care of the sick, especially to those afflicted with the most loathsome diseases. Conrad of Marburg still imposed many self-mortifications and spiritual renunciations, while at the same time he even took from Elizabeth her devoted domestics. Constant in her devotion to God, Elizabeth's strength was consumed by her charitable labours, and she passed away at the age of twenty-four, a time when life to most human beings is just opening.
Very soon after the death of Elizabeth miracles began to be worked at her grave in the church of the hospital, especially miracles of healing. Master Conrad showed great zeal in advancing the process of canonization. By papal command three examinations were held of those who had been healed: namely, in August, 1232, January, 1233, and January, 1235. Before the process reached its end, however, Conrad was murdered, 30 July, 1233. But the Teutonic Knights in 1233 founded a house at Marburg, and in November, 1234, Conrad, Landgrave of Thuringia, the brother-in-law of Elizabeth, entered the order. At Pentecost (28 May) of the year 1235, the solemn ceremony of canonization of the "greatest woman of the German Middle Ages" was celebrated by Gregory IX at Perugia, Landgrave Conrad being present. In August of the same year (1235) the corner-stone of the beautiful Gothic church of St. Elizabeth was laid at Marburg; on 1 May, 1236, Emperor Frederick II attended the taking-up of the body of the saint; in 1249 the remains were placed in the choir of the church of St. Elizabeth, which was not consecrated until 1283. Pilgrimages to the grave soon increased to such importance that at times they could be compared to those to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela. In 1539 Philip the Magnanimous, Landgrave of Hesse, who had become a Protestant, put an end to the pilgrimages by unjustifiable interference with the church that belonged to the Teutonic Order and by forcibly removing the relics and all that was sacred to Elizabeth. Nevertheless, the entire German people still honour the "dear St. Elizabeth" as she is called; in 1907 a new impulse was given to her veneration in Germany and Austria by the celebration of the seven hundredth anniversary of her birth. St. Elizabeth is generally represented as a princess graciously giving alms to the wretched poor or as holding roses in her lap; in the latter case she is portrayed either alone or as surprised by her husband, who, according to a legend, which is, however, related of other saints as well, met her unexpectedly as she went secretly on an errand of mercy, and, so the story runs, the bread she was trying to conceal was suddenly turned into roses.