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!"