Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Saint August 24 : St. Bartholomew - #Apostle - Patron of #Nerves, #Bookbinders and Cobblers

One of the Twelve Apostles, mentioned sixth in the three Gospel lists (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14), and seventh in the list of Acts (1:13).
The name (Bartholomaios) means "son of Talmai" (or Tholmai) which was an ancient Hebrew name, borne, e.g. by the King of Gessur whose daughter was a wife of David (2 Samuel 3:3). It shows, at least, that Bartholomew was of Hebrew descent; it may have been his genuine proper name or simply added to distinguish him as the son of Talmai. Outside the instances referred to, no other mention of the name occurs in the New Testament.
Nothing further is known of him for certain. Many scholars, however, identify him with Nathaniel (John 1:45-51; 21:2). The reasons for this are that Bartholomew is not the proper name of the Apostle; that the name never occurs in the Fourth Gospel, while Nathaniel is not mentioned in the synoptics; that Bartholomew's name is coupled with Philip's in the lists of Matthew and Luke, and found next to it in Mark, which agrees well with the fact shown by St. John that Philip was an old friend of Nathaniel's and brought him to Jesus; that the call of Nathaniel, mentioned with the call of several Apostles, seems to mark him for the apostolate, especially since the rather full and beautiful narrative leads one to expect some important development; that Nathaniel was of Galilee where Jesus found most, if not all, of the Twelve; finally, that on the occasion of the appearance of the risen Savior on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, Nathaniel is found present, together with several Apostles who are named and two unnamed Disciples who were, almost certainly, likewise Apostles (the word "apostle" not occurring in the Fourth Gospel and "disciple" of Jesus ordinarily meaning Apostle) and so, presumably, was one of the Twelve. This chain of circumstantial evidence is ingenious and pretty strong; the weak link is that, after all, Nathaniel may have been another personage in whom, for some reason, the author of the Fourth Gospel may have been particularly interested, as he was in Nicodemus, who is likewise not named in the synoptics.
No mention of St. Bartholomew occurs in ecclesiastical literature before Eusebius, who mentions that Pantaenus, the master of Origen, while evangelizing India, was told that the Apostle had preached there before him and had given to his converts the Gospel of St. Matthew written in Hebrew, which was still treasured by the Church. "India" was a name covering a very wide area, including even Arabia Felix. Other traditions represent St. Bartholomew as preaching in Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Armenia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, and on the shores of the Black Sea; one legend, it is interesting to note, identifies him with Nathaniel.
The manner of his death, said to have occurred at Albanopolis in Armenia, is equally uncertain; according to some, he was beheaded, according to others, flayed alive and crucified, head downward, by order of Astyages, for having converted his brother, Polymius, King of Armenia. On account of this latter legend, he is often represented in art (e.g. in Michelangelo's Last Judgment) as flayed and holding in his hand his own skin. His relics are thought by some to be preserved in the church of St. Bartholomew-in-the-Island, at Rome. His feast is celebrated on 24 August. An apocryphal gospel of Bartholomew existed in the early ages. Text from The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis " And don’t fail to pray the Rosary every day. " FULL TEXT + Video at Audience

The Holy Father’s Catechesis
He who sat upon the throne said: “Behold, I make all things new.” And He added: “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And He said to me: “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water without price from the fountain of the water of life. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
We listened to the Word of God in the Book of Revelation, and it says thus: “Behold, I make all things new” (21:5). Christian hope is based on faith in God, who always creates novelties in man’s life, He creates novelties in history and He creates novelties in the cosmos. Our God is the God that creates novelties, because He is the God of surprises.
It’s not Christian to walk looking down — as pigs do: they always go like this — without raising our eyes to the horizon, as if all our journey ended here, in the span of a few meters of travel; as if there were no aim in our life and no landing, and we were constrained to an eternal wandering, without any reason for our many toils. This isn’t Christian.
The last pages of the Bible show us the ultimate horizon of the believer’s journey: the Jerusalem of Heaven, the celestial Jerusalem. It is imagined first of all as an immense tent, where God will receive all men to dwell definitively with them (Revelation 21:3). And this is our hope. And what will God do, when we are finally with Him? He will use an infinite tenderness towards us, as a father that welcomes his children who have worked hard and suffered. In Revelation John prophesies: “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men! . . . He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away. . . . Behold, I make all things new!” (21:3-5) — the God of novelty!
Try to meditate on this passage of Sacred Scripture, not in an abstract way, but after having read a chronicle of our days, after having seen the television news or the front page of newspapers, where there are so many tragedies, where sad news is reported to which we all risk growing inured. And I have greeted some <of you> from Barcelona: how much sad news form there! I have greeted some <of you> from the Congo, and how much sad news from there! And how many others! To name only two countries of <those of> you who are here . . . Try to think of the faces of children afraid of war, of the cry of mothers, of the broken dreams of so many young people, of refugees that face terrible voyages, and are exploited so many times . . . Unfortunately, life is also this, sometimes one should say that it is especially this.
It can happen, but there is a Father who weeps with us; there is a Father who cries tears of infinite compassion for His children. We have a Father who is able to cry, who weeps with us, a Father who waits for us to console us, because He knows our sufferings and has prepared a different future for us. This is the great vision of Christian hope, which dilates itself on all the days of our existence, and intends to uplift us.
God did not will our lives by mistake, constraining Himself and us to hard nights of anguish. Instead, He created us because He wants us happy. He is our Father and if we here, now, experience a life that is not that which He wished for us, Jesus guarantees us that God Himself is operating His rescue. He works to rescue us.
We believe and know that death and hatred are not the last words pronounced in the parable of human existence. To be Christians implies a new perspective: a look full of hope. Some believe that life retains all their happiness in youth and in the past, and that living is a slow decay. Others even hold that our joys are only episodic and passing, and that non sense is inscribed in men’s life, those that in face of so many calamities say: “But life has no meaning, our journey is non-sense.: But we Christians don’t believe this. Instead we believe that in man’s horizon there is a sun that illumines for ever. We believe that our most beautiful days are yet to come. We are people of spring more than autumn. I would like to ask now – each one answer in his heart, in silence, but answer –: Am I a man, a woman, a boy, a girl of spring or of autumn? Is my soul in spring or in autumn?” Each one answers himself. We see the sprouts of a new world rather than the yellowing leaves on branches. We do not delude ourselves in nostalgias, regrets and laments: we know that God wants us to be heirs of a promise and tireless cultivators of dreams. Don’t forget that question: “Am I a person of spring or of autumn?” Of spring, that waits for the flower, that waits for the fruit, that waits for the sun that is Jesus, or of autumn, which is always with a face looking down, embittered and, as I’ve said sometimes, with the face of vinegar peppers.
The Christian knows that the Kingdom of God, His Lordship of love is growing as a great field of wheat, even if in the midst of darnel. There are always problems, there is gossip, there are wars, there are sicknesses . . . there are problems! But the wheat grows and, in the end, evil will be eliminated. The future doesn’t belong to us, but we know that Jesus Christ is the greatest grace of life: it’s God’s embrace that awaits us at the end, but which already now accompanies and consoles us on the way. He leads us to God’s great “tent” with men (Cf. Revelation 21:3), with so many other brothers and sisters, and we will bring to God the memory of days lived down here. And it will be beautiful to discover in that instant that nothing was lost, no smile and no tear. Although our life might have been long, it will seem to us that we lived it in a breath. And that Creation was not arrested on the sixth day of Genesis but has continued tirelessly, because God has always been concerned about us. Until the day that everything will be fulfilled, in the morning that tears will be extinguished, in the very instant in which God will pronounce His last word of blessing: “Behold – says the Lord – I make all things new!” (v. 5) Yes, our Father is the God of novelties and surprises. And that day we will be truly happy, and we’ll weep. Yes, but we’ll weep with joy.
To Italian visitors
I now greet the Italian pilgrims. In particular, the Franciscan Sisters of Saint Clare, who are taking part in their Congregation’s General Chapter, and I exhort them to witness concretely the Gospel of hope and love. Numerous seminarians are present: those taking part in the 25th summer course, those of Saint Philip Neri’s Oratory and those of Verona: dear youngsters and youths who are preparing for the priesthood, train yourselves henceforth to live the Gospel with an ardent missionary spirit and with special attention in serving the poor and the needy. And don’t fail to pray the Rosary every day. In addition, I greet the members of the “Extended Wings” Association of Vittorio Veneto and the other groups present, especially the parishes. I hope for each one that this pause at the Tombs of the Apostles is a propitious occasion for a profitable spiritual renewal.
A warm greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Beloved, let us raise our gaze to Heaven to contemplate the splendor of the Holy Mother of God, whom we remembered last week in her Assumption, and whom we invoked yesterday as our Queen. Cultivate a sincere devotion to her, so that she is by your side in your daily existence.
Finally I address my thought and express my affectionate closeness to all those suffering because of the earthquake that on Monday evening affected the Island of Ischia. Let us pray for the dead, for the wounded, for the respective families and for the persons that lost their home.
[Original text: Italian]
BLOGGER SHARE Translation by ZENIT, Virginia M. Forrester

#BreakingNews Priest who Converted from being a former Klu Klux Klan member steps down - FULL TEXT statement

Father William Aitcheson, a Priest has stepped down from public ministry. He belonged to the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) as a University of Maryland student(40 years ago). He burned a cross in the front yard of a black newlywed couple’s home. He was sentenced to jail time and ordered to pay about $20,000 to the family. Then God changed his heart.
FULL TEXT Statement by Father William from the catholicherald of Arlington: 
Moving from hate to love with God’s grace 
By Fr. William Aitcheson  In the course of one’s life, there are seminal moments that humble us and, in some cases, even bring shame. For the past several decades, I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve as a Catholic priest. Originally ordained for the Diocese of Reno-Las Vegas, I transferred to my home area here in the Diocese of Arlington.
What most people do not know about me is that as an impressionable young man, I was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s public information but it rarely comes up. My actions were despicable. When I think back on burning crosses, a threatening letter, and so on, I feel as though I am speaking of somebody else. It’s hard to believe that was me.
As a young adult I was Catholic, but in no way practicing my faith. The irony that I left an anti-Catholic hate group to rejoin the Catholic Church is not lost on me. It is a reminder of the radical transformation possible through Jesus Christ in his mercy.
While 40 years have passed, I must say this: I’m sorry. To anyone who has been subjected to racism or bigotry, I am sorry. I have no excuse, but I hope you will forgive me.
The images from Charlottesville brought back memories of a bleak period in my life that I would have preferred to forget. The reality is, we cannot forget, we should not forget. Our actions have consequences and while I firmly believe God forgave me — as he forgives anyone who repents and asks for forgiveness — forgetting what I did would be a mistake. Those mistakes have emboldened me in my journey to follow the God who yearns to give us his grace and redemption.
The images from Charlottesville are embarrassing. They embarrass us as a country, but for those who have repented from a damaging and destructive past, the images should bring us to our knees in prayer. Racists have polluted minds, twisted by an ideology that reinforces the false belief that they are superior to others.
Christ teaches something different. He teaches us that we are all his creations and wonderfully made — no matter our skin color or ethnicity. Realizing this truth is incredibly liberating. When I left my former life, I did a lot of soul-searching. God humbled me, because I needed to be humbled. But abandoning thoughts of racism and superiority gave me the liberation I needed.
We must condemn, at every opportunity, the hatred and vile beliefs of the KKK and other white supremacist organizations. What they believe directly contradicts what we believe as Americans and what we, as Catholics, hold dear.
If there are any white supremacists reading this, I have a message for you: you will find no fulfillment in this ideology. Your hate will never be satisfied and your anger will never subside. I encourage you to find peace and mercy in the only place where it is authentic and unending: Jesus Christ.
I ask that you pray for the victims of racism and bigotry. Pray that they would never feel like anything less than children of God, bestowed with dignity and love.
Pray also for those who perpetuate racist beliefs and wrongly believe they are superior to others. God forgives everyone who truly repents. Nobody is outside of his loving grasp. With conversion in Christ, they can find new life in the truth.
Father William Aitcheson’s article was written with the intention of telling his story of transformation. He voluntarily asked to temporarily step away from public ministry, for the well being of the Church and parish community, and the request was approved. 

Special #Prayers to St. Rose of Lima - Litany and Chaplet - #StRose

Prayers to St. Rose of LimaPatroness Against Vanity, of Embroiderers, Florists, Gardeners,
Needle workers, and People Ridiculed for Their Piety

Prayer to St. Rose of Lima
Admirable Saint Rose, you were truly a sweet flower blooming on a rugged soil; you were indeed a rose among thorns, bearing with meekness and patience the stings of envious tongues, and preserving perfect purity and modesty amid the alluring blandishments of a deceitful world. To the sufferings inflicted on you by others you added the voluntary tortures of fasting and watching, of the discipline, of the crown of thorns and of the hair shirt, to subdue the flesh and to make yourself like to your heavenly Spouse. By the merits which you have thus gained with your divine Bridegroom, obtain for me the grace to bear my afflictions with patience, to remain pure and modest, to be meek and humble, to be faithful to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and so to mortify my passions that I may be ever more pleasing and acceptable in the sight of my dear Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen.

Chaplet of St. Rose
Beginning on the medal of St. Rose, pray: Glorious St. Rose of Lima, you who knew what it was to love Jesus with such a fine a generous heart. You, whom since infancy, despised the world’s vanities in order to embrace His Cross.  You who loved with unfailing devotion our Heavenly Mother and professed a great tender dedication to the destitute, serving then the same way Jesus did. Teach us to imitate your greatest virtues, so that we, following your example, could enjoy your glorious protection in Heaven. For Our Lord, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns forever. Amen.
On the large bead, pray the Our Father
On the ten small beads, pray the Hail Mary
In conclusion, pray the Glory be
"Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven."
~ St. Rose of Lima

Litany of St. Rose of Lima

(For private recitation only)

Lord, have mercy on us!
Christ, have mercy on us!
Lord, have mercy on us!
Christ, hear us!
Christ, graciously hear us!

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us!
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us!
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us!

St. Rose of Lima, pray for us.*
Sweet-scented rose of piety and virtue,*
Servant of God perfectly united with your Master,*
Virgin espoused to God from your fifth year,*
Thorn-crowned spouse of our Divine Redeemer,*
Worthy daughter of St. Dominic,*
Faithful copy of St. Catherine of Siena,*
Lover of prayer and solitude,*
Merciful friend of the poor souls and of hardened sinners,*
Consoler of the sick and help of the needy,*
First among the saints of America,*
Powerful patroness of America,*
That we may love God with our whole heart,*
That we may fear God's chastisements,*
That by true penance, we may avert God's anger,*
That we may know and amend our faults,*
That we may take up our cross,*
That we may cheerfully endure the frailties of our neighbor,*
That we may heartily thank God for all our tribulations,*
That with our sufferings our love may increase,*
That, with contrite hearts and true devotion, we may ever prepare for Holy Communion,*
That we may not die an unprovided death,*
That we may, until death, daily increase in faith, hope, and charity,*

Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us, O Lord!

V. Pray for us, St. Rose.

R. that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

O dear St. Rose, by the excessive love that inundated your soul when you heard from the lips of Christ the loving words: "Rose of My heart, you shall be My spouse!"--obtain for us and for our children a true love for Jesus Christ and an ardent desire to be united with Him. May our hearts, enclosed in His Heart, seek nothing but the perfection of His virtues, the fullness of His grace, and the imitation of His example! Obtain for us patience in suffering; gentleness under offenses; humility in calumny and abuse; and in all the affairs of life a pure heart and a contented mind. Obtain for us constant and generous renunciation of our willful desires, perfect victory over evil inclination, perseverance in prayer and good works, that we may ever please our God and, in the end, attain to a share in His glory. Amen.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday August 23, 2017 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 421

Reading 1JGS 9:6-15

All the citizens of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together
and proceeded to make Abimelech king
by the terebinth at the memorial pillar in Shechem.

When this was reported to him,
Jotham went to the top of Mount Gerizim and, standing there,
cried out to them in a loud voice:
"Hear me, citizens of Shechem, that God may then hear you!
Once the trees went to anoint a king over themselves.
So they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us.'
But the olive tree answered them, 'Must I give up my rich oil,
whereby men and gods are honored,
and go to wave over the trees?'
Then the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come; you reign over us!'
But the fig tree answered them,
'Must I give up my sweetness and my good fruit,
and go to wave over the trees?'
Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come you, and reign over us.'
But the vine answered them,
'Must I give up my wine that cheers gods and men,
and go to wave over the trees?'
Then all the trees said to the buckthorn, 'Come; you reign over us!'
But the buckthorn replied to the trees,
'If you wish to anoint me king over you in good faith,
come and take refuge in my shadow.
Otherwise, let fire come from the buckthorn
and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'"

Responsorial PsalmPS 21:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (2a) Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
O LORD, in your strength the king is glad;
in your victory how greatly he rejoices!
You have granted him his heart's desire;
you refused not the wish of his lips.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
For you welcomed him with goodly blessings,
you placed on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked life of you: you gave him 
length of days forever and ever.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
Great is his glory in your victory;
majesty and splendor you conferred upon him.
You made him a blessing forever,
you gladdened him with the joy of your face.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.

AlleluiaHEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern the reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 20:1-16

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o'clock,
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.'
So they went off. 
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o'clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o'clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
'Why do you stand here idle all day?'
They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.'
He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
'Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.'
When those who had started about five o'clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
'These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day's burden and the heat.'
He said to one of them in reply,
'My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?'
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."