Thursday, August 31, 2017

Saint September 1 : St. Giles : Patron of #BreastCancer , #Beggars and #Disabled

Feast: September 1
Information: Feast Day: September 1

Born: Athens, Greece

Died: France
Major Shrine: St. Giles' Cathedral (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Patron of: beggars; blacksmiths; breast cancer; breast feeding; cancer patients; disabled people; epilepsy; fear of night; forests; hermits; horses; lepers; mental illness; noctiphobics; outcasts; poor peoples; rams; spur makers; sterility;
An Abbot, said to have been born of illustrious Athenian parentage about the middle of the seventh century. Early in life he devoted himself exclusively to spiritual things, but, finding his noble birth and high repute for sanctity in his native land an obstacle to his perfection, he passed over to Gaul, where he established himself first in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone and later by the River Gard. But here again the fame of his sanctity drew multitudes to him, so he withdrew to a dense forest near Nîmes, where in the greatest solitude he spent many years, his sole companion being a hind. This last retreat was finally discovered by the king's hunters, who had pursued the hind to its place of refuge. The king [who according to the legend was Wamba (or Flavius?), King of the Visigoths, but who must have been a Frank, since the Franks had expelled the Visigoths from the neighbourhood of Nîmes almost a century and a half earlier] conceived a high esteem for solitary, and would have heaped every honour upon him; but the humility of the saint was proof against all temptations. He consented, however, to receive thenceforth some disciples, and built a monastery in his valley, which he placed under the rule of St. Benedict. Here he died in the early part of the eighth century, with the highest repute for sanctity and miracles.
His cult spread rapidly far and wide throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, as is witnessed by the numberless churches and monasteries dedicated to him in France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the British Isles; by the numerous manuscripts in prose and verse commemorating his virtues and miracles; and especially by the vast concourse of pilgrims who from all Europe flocked to his shrine. In 1562 the relics of the saint were secretly transferred to Toulouse to save them from the hideous excesses of the Huguenots who were then ravaging France, and the pilgrimage in consequence declined. With the restoration of a great part of the relics to the church of St. Giles in 1862, and the discovery of his former tomb there in 1865, the pilgrimages have recommenced. Besides the city of St-Gilles, which sprang up around the abbey, nineteen other cities bear his name, St-Gilles, Toulouse, and a multitude of French cities, Antwerp, Bridges, and Tournai in Belgium, Cologne and Bamberg, in Germany, Prague and Gran in Austria-Hungary, Rome and Bologna in Italy, possess celebrated relics of St. Giles. In medieval art he is a frequent subject, being always depicted with his symbol, the hind. His feast is kept on 1 September. On this day there are also commemorated another St. Giles, an Italian hermit of the tenth century (Acta SS., XLI, 305), and a Blessed Giles, d. about 1203, a Cistercian abbot of Castaneda in the Diocese of Astorga, Spain (op. cit. XLI, 308).
SOURCE the Catholic Encyclopedia
Novena in Honor of St. Giles
Preparatory Prayer 
For Each  Novena to a Holy Helper
ALMIGHTY and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy Heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy Divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy Divine Son.
Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen. Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be each day of the Novena.
Prayer in Honor of St. Giles
O GOD, we beseech Thee to grant us, through the merits and intercession of St. Giles, to flee from the vanity and praise of this world, to avoid carefully all occasions of sin, to cleanse our hearts from all wickedness by a sincere Confession, to leave this world in Thy love and rich in good works, and to find Thee gracious on the day of judgment. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invocation of St. Giles
ZEALOUS follower of Christ, St. Giles; from early youth thou didst take to heart the words of our Savior: "Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart." Therefore thou didst flee from the praise and honors of the world, and wast rewarded with the grace to preserve thy heart from all sin and to persevere in a holy life to a ripe old age. I, on my part, through pride, self-confidence, and negligence, yielded to my evil inclinations, and thereby sinned grievously and often, offending my God and Lord, my Creator and Redeemer, my most loving Father. Therefore I implore thee to help me through thy mighty intercession to be enlightened by the Holy Ghost, that I may know the malice, grievousness, and multitude of my sins, confess them humbly, fully, and contritely, and receive pardon, tranquillity of heart, and peace of conscience from God. Amen.
My Lord and God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the Saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.
Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.
THE FOURTEEN HOLY HELPERS, Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, O.F.M. 

#PopeFrancis sends Prayers and Special Message to Hurricane Harvey Victims - FULL TEXT -

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressing his condolences to the loved-ones of the victims of hurricane Harvey, promising continued spiritual solicitude for all those affected, and asking for the prayerful solidarity that has already been shown, to continue in the days and weeks to come.
Below, please find the full text of the Message
Message of the Holy Father addressed to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
His Holiness Pope Francis asks you kindly to convey the assurance of his spiritual closeness and pastoral concern to all those affected by the violent hurricane that swept through the states of Texas and Louisiana in these days.  Deeply moved by the tragic loss of life and the immense material devastation that this natural catastrophe has left in its wake, he prays for the victims and their families, and for all those engaged in the vital work of relief, recovery and rebuilding.  He likewise trusts that the immense and immediate needs of so many individuals and communities will continue to inspire a vast outpouring of solidarity and mutual aid in the best traditions of the nation.  With these sentiments, and with the renewed promise of his prayers, the Holy Father sends his blessing as a pledge of consolation, strength and peace in the Lord.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

Quote to SHARE by Saint Augustine "If you Believe what you Like in the Gospels, and Reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself."

"If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." - 
Saint Augustine

#PopeFrancis to Jewish Rabbis "may the Eternal One bless and enlighten our cooperation, so that together we can accept and carry out..." FULL TEXT + Video

On Thursday, August 31, the Holy Father, greeted a Delegation of Rabbis in the Vatican for the presentation of the Statement “Between Jerusalem and Rome”.
Below find the English translation of Pope Francis' address
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
         I offer a cordial welcome to all of you, and in a special way to the representatives of the Conference of European Rabbis, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in dialogue with the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. I thank Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt for his kind greeting in your name.
         In our shared journey, by the graciousness of the Most High, we are presently experiencing a fruitful moment of dialogue.  This is reflected in the Statement Between Jerusalem and Rome which you have issued and which you present to me today. This document pays particular tribute to the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration Nostra Aetate, whose fourth chapter represents the “Magna Charta” of our dialogue with the Jewish world.  Indeed, the ongoing implementation of the Council’s Declaration has enabled our relations to become increasingly friendly and fraternal.  Nostra Aetate noted that the origins of the Christian faith are to be found, in accordance with the divine mystery of salvation, in the Patriarchs, in Moses and in the Prophets.  It also stated that, given the great spiritual heritage we hold in common, every effort must be made to foster reciprocal knowledge and respect, above all through biblical studies and fraternal discussions (cf. No. 4).  Consequently, in recent decades, we have been able to draw closer to one another and to engage in an effective and fruitful dialogue.  We have grown in mutual understanding and deepened our bonds of friendship.
         The Statement Between Jerusalem and Rome does not hide, however, the theological differences that exist between our faith traditions.  All the same, it expresses a firm resolve to collaborate more closely, now and in the future.  Your document is addressed to Catholics, speaking of them as “partners, close allies, friends and brothers in our mutual quest for a better world blessed with peace, social justice and security”.  It goes on to say that “despite profound theological differences, Catholics and Jews share common beliefs” and also “the affirmation that religions must use moral behavior and religious education - not war, coercion or social pressure – to influence and inspire”.  This is most important: may the Eternal One bless and enlighten our cooperation, so that together we can accept and carry out ever better his plans, “plans for welfare and not for evil”, for “a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11).
         On the occasion of your welcome visit, I would like to express to you and to your communities beforehand my best wishes for the Jewish New Year which will begin in a few weeks.  Shanah tovah!  Once more I thank you for coming and I ask you to remember me in your prayers.  Finally, I would invoke upon you, and upon all of us, the blessing of the Most High for the shared journey of friendship and trust that lies before us.  In his mercy, may the Almighty bestow his peace upon us and upon the entire world.  Shalom alechem!     

(Lydia O'Kane)

Wow Princess Diana's Great Uncle soon to be Canonized a Catholic Saint - Father Ignatius Spencer of the Passionists

The great-great-great uncle of Princess Diana, was an Anglican vicar until he converted to Catholicism at the age of 31. As a Catholic, he was ordained a priest and became a Passionist. The then Father Ignatius (the former George Spencer) was drawn to Christianity: 
“He had not shown strong feelings toward Christianity until he saw Mozart’s Don Giovanni during a visit to Paris and was struck by a scene in which the anti-hero Giovanni, a seducer and blasphemer, is carried off to Hell by a troop of devils.” 
Fr. Ignatius is portrayed in a stained glass in British chapel. He was named pastor of an Anglican parish in Brighton; and there he worked for the poor, the sick and dying. George began to question his Anglican faith. He investigated other Christian traditions. He questioned the truth of the Thirty-Nine Articles, the defining statements of doctrine upon which the English Reformation was based. Also his earlier studies of Scripture did not support the doctrines which were central to Anglicanism. When Spencer began to read the writings of the Early Church Fathers he found that St. John Chrysostom and Gregory the Great explained differences between Catholic and Protestant thought. He was encouraged by other Catholic priests. When Spencer met Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle, a recent English convert to Catholicism, he soon resigned his pastorate on January 30, 1830. He was received into the Catholic Church. There he then studied Catholic tradition and joined the Passionists Order (which lived in poverty). George wrote the story of his conversion from Protestantism to the Catholicism, that was published in Catholic journals of the time. George Spencer’s friend Ambrose de Lisle spoke of the priest’s conversion: 
“To renounce the errors and prejudices imbibed in childhood is, perhaps, the most difficult act of duty that a human being can ever be called upon to perform; there it was that he embraced the Catholic faith, thereby accomplishing an act that it will ever be memorable in the history of the Church; an act, the fame of which has penetrated wherever the faith of the Church is preached, from one end of the world to the other, and deservedly so; for it was accompanied with the utter renunciation of all his worldly goods and prospects, all of which he cheerfully sacrificed to follow the dictates of his upright conscience, that he might possess that greatest of all blessings —the communion and privileges of Christ’s true Church.” 
Spencer, wished that he could die in poverty like Jesus–”in a ditch, unseen and unknown.” He had a seizure on a country lane near Edinburgh, Scotland, and died there alone. The Vatican's investigations have declared that Father Ignatius Spencer, who is buried in Merseyside, lived a life of "heroic virtue". The priest, is buried in the church of St Anne and Blessed Dominic, in St Helens. He was a great, great, great uncle of Diana, Princess of Wales and thus, a relative of Prince William and Prince Harry. He was born as George Spencer in 1799, he was the youngest child of the second Earl Spencer, who was First Lord of the Admiralty at the time. He grew up at Althorp, where Diana Princess of Wales is now buried. The Spencers, were ancestors of Winston Churchill, were very wealthy. The Vatican, which has been studying his writings since 2007, said it had concluded that he lived a holy life and there was nothing in his written work which was contrary to Roman Catholic teachings on faith and morals. 

#BreakingNews over 1000 Killed by Mud Slides in Sierra Leone, W. Africa - Please PRAY

Freetown (Agenzia Fides) - Mobilization of the Catholic Church in West Africa to help the population of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, affected by the tragedy that occurred in the night between 13 and 14 August, when a mudslide struck the village of Regent (see Fides 21/8/2017). 
According to the latest toll, the victims are more than a thousand.
"This is another tragedy for a Country that has yet to recover from the disaster of the Ebola epidemic", said Fr. Chukwuyenum Afiawari, at the head of the northwestern Jesuit province of Africa (whose territory includes Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Gambia), who has launched a fundraiser to start the long-term reconstruction of the devastated areas.
"In responding to immediate needs, we must also keep an eye on and begin planning long-term reconstruction efforts", said Fr. Chukwuyenum Afiawari. "We appeal to all of our Jesuit confreres, communities, and institutions of our entire society, our mission-collaborators, friends and benefactors, and all people of good will so they join this noble cause while we work to bring emergency relief", said Fr. Afiawari.
Don Alphonse Seck, coordinator of Caritas groups in West Africa, stressed that "the Caritas of all fifteen member states have confirmed that they will help support Sierra Leone's authorities" to tackle the consequences of the disaster. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 29/8/2017)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday August 31, 2017 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 428

Reading 11 THES 3:7-13

We have been reassured about you, brothers and sisters,
in our every distress and affliction, through your faith.
For we now live, if you stand firm in the Lord.

What thanksgiving, then, can we render to God for you,
for all the joy we feel on your account before our God?
Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person
and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith.
Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus
direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase
and abound in love for one another and for all,
just as we have for you,
so as to strengthen your hearts,
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

Responsorial PsalmPS 90:3-5A, 12-13, 14 AND 17

R. (14) Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
You turn man back to dust,
saying, "Return, O children of men."
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

AlleluiaMT 24:42A, 44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake!
For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is long delayed,'
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant's master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Saint August 31 : St. Raymond Nonnatus : Patron of #Pregnant, #Midwives and #Newborns

(In Spanish SAN RAMON). Born 1200 or 1204 at Portello in the Diocese of Urgel in Catalonia; died at Cardona, 31 August, 1240. His feast is celebrated on 31 August. He is pictured in the habit of his order surrounded by ransomed slaves, with a padlock on his lips. He was taken from the womb of his mother after her death, hence his name. Of noble but poor family, he showed early traits of piety and great talent. His father ordered him to tend a farm, but later gave him permission to take the habit with the Mercedarians at Barcelona, at the hands of the founder, St. Peter Nolasco. Raymond made such progress in the religious life that he was soon considered worthy to succeed his master in the office of ransomer. He was sent to Algiers and liberated many captives. When money failed he gave himself as a hostage. He was zealous in teaching the Christian religion and made many converts, which embittered the Mohammedan authorities. Raymond was subjected to all kinds of indignities and cruelty, was made to run the gauntlet, and was at last sentenced to impalement. The hope of a greater sum of money as ransom caused the governor to commute the sentence into imprisonment. To prevent him from preaching for Christ, his lips were pierced with a red-hot iron and closed with a padlock. After his arrival in Spain, in 1239, he was made a cardinal by Gregory IX. In the next year he was called to Rome by the pope, but came only as far as Cardona, about six miles from Barcelona, where he died. His body was brought to the chapel of St. Nicholas near his old farm. In 1657 his name was placed in the Roman martyrology by Alexander VII. He is invoked by women in labour and by persons falsely accused. The appendix to the Roman ritual gives a formula for the blessing of water, in his honour, to be used by the sick, and another of candles. Text shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia

Wow Young Woman goes from NASA Engineer to Convent - God's creation inspires her to become a Sister!

 -- Libby Osgood, an aerospace engineer who has worked for NASA, is taking a sabbatical from her job as a professor at the University of Prince Edward Island to pursue a new vocation --becoming a nun. "I feel so whole. It feels like there was all these different puzzle pieces before and they just all fit now together," she said. "With the science and religion perspective ... I'm already getting to learn more about my two passions, and seeing how other people have put them together." Osgood, 34, said she felt like she rushed through life as she ascended through academia, earning a PhD in mechanical engineering and eventually teaching more than a dozen courses. At around the age of 23, NASA hired her as a systems engineer whose job it was to nag scientists to fill out the paperwork required to prove a satellite would launch as planned. She wore a NASA badge and bright pink heels -- a bold fashion statement in the buttoned-up, male-dominated workplace -- along with her grandmother's crucifix, but other than religious heirlooms, Osgood said she tried to avoid public displays of faith. "(Engineers are) pretty introverted in a lot of ways, especially about what's most important to us," she said. "We may talk and laugh and dork out about a lot of things, but rarely what's most important to us." During her four years stationed across the United States, Osgood said she practiced her faith during her off-hours, but at work, she said the subject of spirituality seemed almost taboo. "I think the most vocal scientists and engineers are atheists," she said. "Those of us who do have faith and are scientists and engineers, we're just quieter about it." In 2010, Osgood moved to Charlottetown, where she spent her summers growing up visiting her mother's family, and eventually became a professor at UPEI. For much of her life, Osgood mostly confined her faith to the personal realm. Accustomed to dispassionate scientific jargon, Osgood said speaking openly about devoting one's life to God felt almost "counter-cultural." Osgood said this separation was seemingly made literal when her parents visited her in Charlottetown and displaced her from her bedroom, so she "secreted away her bible" and prayed in a closet. With the support of Charlottetown's tightknit Catholic community, Osgood said she found the courage to begin the process of her religious "coming out."
SHARE this Amazing Story to Inspire others to join the Religious Life!
"It's more vulnerable to be able to say what you truly desire," she said. "I think it was really hard first to admit to myself I truly desired to do something that was so against the norm, and second, then to admit it to other people." Over the course of two years, Osgood explored the possibility of a religious calling. She said a visit from Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno opened her up to the idea that "science and religion could coexist." "All of this (background) wondering about being a nun, I never let myself feel that, because I liked engineering too much," said Osgood. "All of a sudden, I realized I could be an engineer and I could be a sister. "I don't have to change my life 90 degrees like I think I do. I can keep doing this and just live this much more fully." Since she announced her career change, other scientists of faith have sent her messages of support. Osgood is now embarking on what she calls a two-year "nun bootcamp" in New York as a sister-in-training at the Congregation of Notre Dame. After taking her vows, Osgood hopes to return to Charlottetown teach the word of God and the principles of aerospace design -- but not at the same time. She said her classes at UPEI will remain focused on the science, but in the past, there have been curious overlaps between her two passions. In one course, Osgood gave her students a $20-budget to design a system to walk on water. While the shift from the classroom to the convent may seem drastic, Osgood said her spiritual and scientific studies compliment one another. As she sees it, they are both expressions of God's love. "The reason that we pursued science initially was that we looked at the stars and wondered what that is," Osgood said. "Science and religion is like looking at that view, where you get a much better picture when you work together to try to understand that as opposed to individually." Text edited from CTV Canada

#PopeFrancis "God wants us to be able to dream like Him and with Him, as we walk very carefully through reality." Audience + FULL Video on Creation

Pope: There is no evangelization without joy. An appeal for the care of creation

At the general audience, Pope Francis speaks of the encounter with Jesus as a source of joy, vocation, and mission. Jesus "appears to ignite hearts." "What youth is a happy youth, without a search for meaning? Young people who are looking for nothing are not young, they age before their time. " "Do not give credence to disappointed and unhappy people." A Message together with Patriarch Bartholomew I to ask everyone to "take a respectful and responsible attitude towards creation" and to the powerful "to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, who are most affected by ecological imbalances.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "A disciple of the Kingdom of God who is without joy cannot evangelize this world": This is one of the cornerstones of the talk that Pope Francis gave today at the general audience with more than 30,000 pilgrims in St. Peter's Square on the theme "The memory of vocation revives hope".
At the end of the audience, the Pontiff reminded that on the occasion of the Day for the Care of Creation, which is celebrated on 1 September, together with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I he has written a message inviting "everyone to adopt a respectful and responsible attitude toward Creation" and asks "those who occupy influential roles "," to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most from the ecological imbalances ".
The Pope's catechesis is inspired by the account of the first encounter of the disciples with Jesus (John 1,35-51), in which he asks John and Andrew, "What are you looking for?"
"Jesus - he explains - appears in the Gospels as an expert on the human heart. At that moment he had met two young men in search, earnestly restless. In fact, what kind of youth is a happy youth, without questioning  the meaning of things? Young people who are looking for nothing are not young, they grow old before their time. And Jesus, through all the Gospel, in all the encounters that happen to him on the road, is an “igniter” of hearts. Hence his question that seeks to bring out the desire for life and happiness that every young man should encounter: "What are you looking for?"
John's and Andrea's vocation thus begins: it is the beginning of a friendship with Jesus so strong to impose a communion of life and passion with Him. The two disciples begin to stand with Jesus and immediately become missionaries: so much so, that their respective brothers - Simone and James - are soon involved in the discipleship. It was such a touching encounter, so happy that the disciples will remember that day that illuminated and directed their youth forever. "

"How do you discover your vocation in this world? It can be discovered in so many ways, but this Gospel passage tells us that the first indicator is the joy of meeting with Jesus. Marriage, Consecrated Life, Priesthood: Every vocation begins with a meeting with Jesus that gives us a joy and a New hope; And leads us, even through trials and difficulties, to an ever-greater encounter with Him and to the fullness of joy.
The Lord does not want ungodly men and women who walk behind him, without the wind of gladness in their heart. Jesus wants people who have experienced that being with Him gives immense happiness that can be renewed every day of life. A disciple of the Kingdom of God who is not joyful does not evangelize this world. He cannot proclaim Jesus with the refined weapons of rhetoric but by keeping alive the flame of true happiness in his eyes.
For this reason, the Christian - like the Virgin Mary - keeps the flame in love. Of course, there are trials in life, there are times when we must move forward despite the cold and the opposing winds. But Christians know the road that leads to that sacred fire that ignited them once and forever. "
" Do not give credence to disappointed and unhappy people; Do not listen to those who cynically recommend that you should not nourish hopes in life; Do not trust those who douse all enthusiasm saying that no enterprise is worth the sacrifice of a lifetime; Do not listen to the 'old' people who stifle youthful euphoria. Instead, we should nourish healthy utopias: God wants us to be able to dream like Him and with Him, as we walk very carefully through reality. Dreaming of a different world. And if a dream dies, go back to dreaming again, hopefully drawing on the memory of its origins.
So here is a fundamental dynamic of Christian life: remembering Jesus, the flame of love with which one day we conceived our life as a project for good, and enliven our hope with this flame." 

#BreakingNews 1200 Killed and Millions displaced by Floods in South East Asia - Please PRAY

At least 1,200 people have been killed and millions have been left homeless following devastating floods that have hit India, Bangladesh and Nepal, in one of the worst flooding disasters. Aid agencies said thousands of villages have been cut off by flooding with people left without food and clean water for days. South Asia suffers from frequent flooding during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September. The authorities have said this year's floods have been much worse. The papers say the ongoing floods had so far affected 17 mllion people in India, with thousands sheltered in relief camps.

More than 600,000 hectares of farmland have been partially damaged and in excess of 10,000 hectares have been completely washed away, according to the disaster minister. "Farmers are left with nothing, not event with clean drinking water," said Matthew Marek. In Nepal, 90,000 homes have been destroyed. The UN has called the worst flooding incident in the country in a decade. According to the Red Cross, at least 7.1 million people have been affected in Bangladesh  - and around 1.4 million people have been affected in Nepal.

#BreakingNews Death Toll from Hurricane Harvey at 30 with more Rain to come...Please PRAY

The NY Times reports that 30 people have died as a result of the Hurrican. Hurricane Harvey began in Texas in the USA on Friday, with warnings about rainfall and the potential for severe flooding. The forecast calls for an additional 15 to 31 centimetres of rain through to Friday. On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in an advisory, "Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues in southeastern Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana."  "Isolated storm totals may reach 50 inches (127 centimetres) over the upper Texas coast, including the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area," NOAA warned. It made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Friday, where it lingered as a tropical storm before moving briefly offshore. Over 17,000 people have sought refuge in Texas shelters — a number that is expected to grow. Officials have also warned that the death toll might rise once floodwaters recede. Harvey leaves thousands of homes and vehicles submerged and destroyed by water. People in Texas are pleading for help and Hurricane Harvey survivors will face health risks even after emergency is over. Please PRAY for the Victims  of this storm.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. August 30, 2017 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 427

Reading 11 THES 2:9-13

You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery.
Working night and day in order not to burden any of you,
we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and so is God,
how devoutly and justly and blamelessly
we behaved toward you believers.
As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children,
exhorting and encouraging you and insisting
that you walk in a manner worthy of the God
who calls you into his Kingdom and glory.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly,
that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us,
you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God,
which is now at work in you who believe.

Responsorial PsalmPS 139:7-8, 9-10, 11-12AB

R. (1) You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall hide me,
and night shall be my light"–
For you darkness itself is not dark,
and night shines as the day.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

Alleluia1 JN 2:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 23:27-32

Jesus said,
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets' blood.'
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!"

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Saint August 30 : St. Jeanne Jugan : Founder of #LittleSisters of the Poor

Who is Jeanne Jugan? Jeanne Jugan, a Saint for old age and every age
Jeanne Jugan is the foundress and first Little Sister of the Poor. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 1982 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.

A Saint for old age and every age

Jeanne Jugan gave herself entirely to God and the elderly poor. As our aging population continues to grow and dignity at the end of life is increasingly threatened, Jeanne Jugan offers herself as a friend and patron of the elderly. She is a Saint for old age.

But she is more than that!

Jeanne is a Saint for every age as she challenges young people to give themselves to God and neighbor.
She is a role model for those who care for the poor, the sick and the aging.
To those who feel anxious in these tough economic times, she offers an invitation to live the Beatitudes, trusting that God will provide.
She challenges all of us to do everything through love.
Jeanne is a friend of God and a hero for the poor. She is a Gospel witness for our time and a Saint for all times!

Her Life

Growing up in hard times
Jeanne Jugan grew up in a small town in revolutionary France. Times were tough. Violence ruled the day. For thousands, begging was a way of life.
Those who openly practiced their faith were not merely ridiculed—they were imprisoned or killed. Jeanne received her faith formation—secretly and at great risk—from her mother and a group of women who belonged to an ecclesial movement of the day.
By the time Jeanne was four years old her father had been lost at sea. Her mother found odd jobs to make ends meet. Neighbor helped neighbor. As a young girl Jeanne worked as a shepherdess. She learned to knit and spin wool. Later she went to work as a kitchen maid for a wealthy family.

On fire with love for God

Jeanne barely learned to read and write. Her education consisted mostly of on-the-job training in the school of real life. Neither beautiful nor talented in the usual sense, she was gifted with an extraordinary heart. Jeanne was on fire with love for God!
Those who let themselves be seized by the love of Christ cannot help abandoning everything to follow him… Barely out of her teens, Jeanne felt the call of divine love. Preparing to leave home, she told her mother “God wants me for himself. He is keeping me for a work which is not yet founded.”
Jeanne took the road less traveled, setting out to work among the poor and forsaken in a local hospital.

Jeanne meets Christ in the Poor
Many years went by before Jeanne discovered her vocation. Finally, one cold winter night she met Jesus Christ in the person of an elderly, blind and infirm woman who had no one to care for her. Jeanne carried the woman home, climbed up the stairs to her small apartment and placed her in her own bed. From then on, Jeanne would sleep in the attic.
God led more poor old people to her doorstep. Generous young women came to help. Like Jeanne, they wanted to make a difference. Like her, they believed that “the poor are Our Lord.” A religious community was born!
There were so many old people in need of a home, so many souls hungry for love! The work rapidly spread across France and beyond. Struck by their spirit of humble service, local citizens dubbed the group the Little Sisters of the Poor. The name stuck!
For herself Jeanne chose the religious name Sister Mary of the Cross. She would live it in its fullness.…
Jeanne is grafted into the cross
The work of the Little Sisters continued to spread, borne by the wind of the Spirit. So did Jeanne’s renown—until one day she was mysteriously cast aside by an ambitious priest who had taken over the direction of the young community.
Jeanne was replaced as superior and sent out begging on behalf of the poor. And then one day she was placed in retirement, relegated to the shadows. At the time of her death 27 years later, the young Little Sisters didn’t even know that she was the foundress.
Jeanne had often told them, “We are grafted into the cross and we must carry it joyfully unto death.” How she lived these words! What a radiant example of holiness she gave to generations of Little Sisters!

God lifts up the lowly

Like the grain of wheat that falls into the earth and dies, Jeanne’s life would bear much fruit. Thousands of young women followed in her footsteps. The Little Sisters’ mission of hospitality spread to the ends of the earth, like a great wave of charity.
In his time, God would raise Jeanne up. At her beatification Pope John Paul II said that “God could glorify no more humble a servant than she.”
Pope Benedict said that Saint Jeanne’s canonization would “show once again how living faith is prodigious in good works, and how sanctity is a healing balm for the wounds of humankind.”

A friend of the poor — a Gospel witness for our time — a Saint for old age and every age!

Shared from Little Sisters of the Poor Website

Free Catholic Movie : St. Augustine : Full Film in English

Augustine was born in 354 in Thagaste (now Souk Ahras, Algeria) Roman Africa. His mother, Monica, was a devout Christian; his father Patricius was a Pagan who converted to Christianity on his deathbed. Augustine converted to Christianity and became Bishop. This is an excellent movie on his life....

2 versions of St. Augustine the lower contains subtitles

Novena to St. John the Baptist : Patron of #Baptism, #Monks - #Prayer to SHARE

Novena Prayer
O Holy St. John, from all eternity you were chosen
To prepare the way for Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We implore your intercession for ...,
For all of our members in their work
And for all those we serve.

Pray for us that we may receive the courage and strength
To persevere in announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ,
Who came to seek and save the lost,

To heal the broken hearted and to bind up their wounds.

May we be guided by the Holy Spirit
With good words of counsel for those in need.
May we be strengthened by your prayers
And good example as we prepare the way for the
Healing power of Jesus to heal and transform
Those entrusted to our care.

We ask all of this through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.
St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday August 29, 2017 - #Eucharist

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Lectionary: 426/634

Reading 11 THES 2:1-8

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters,
that our reception among you was not without effect.
Rather, after we had suffered and been insolently treated,
as you know, in Philippi,
we drew courage through our God
to speak to you the Gospel of God with much struggle.
Our exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives,
nor did it work through deception.
But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the Gospel,
that is how we speak,
not as trying to please men,
but rather God, who judges our hearts.
Nor, indeed, did we ever appear with flattering speech, as you know,
or with a pretext for greed–God is witness–
nor did we seek praise from men,
either from you or from others,
although we were able to impose our weight as Apostles of Christ.
Rather, we were gentle among you,
as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you
not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well,
so dearly beloved had you become to us.

Responsorial PsalmPS 139:1-3, 4-6

R. (1) You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know the whole of it.
Behind me and before, you hem me in
and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
too lofty for me to attain.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

AlleluiaMT 5:10

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

GospelMK 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
"It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias' own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
"Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you."
He even swore many things to her,
"I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother,
"What shall I ask for?"
She replied, "The head of John the Baptist."
The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request,
"I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.