Thursday, October 26, 2017

Saint October 27 : St. Frumentius : Bishop of #Ethiopia

St. Frumentius

Feast: October 27
Feast Day:
October 27
Tyre (modern Sur, Lebanon)
380 in Ethiopia
Patron of:
Abyssinia, Ethiopia

Saint Frumentius, Amharic Abba Salama (flourished 4th century, feast day October 27 in the Roman Catholic Church; November 30 in Eastern Orthodox churches; December 18th in the Coptic Church), Syrian apostle who introduced Christianity into Ethiopia. As first bishop of its ancient capital, Aksum, he structured the emerging Christian church there in the orthodox theology of the Alexandrian school during the 4th-century controversy over Arianism. A student of philosophy from Tyre, Frumentius and a colleague, Aedesius, were captured by Ethiopians in about 340. They became civil servants at the court of the Aksumite king Ezana, whom Frumentius converted. On the death of the monarch, Frumentius became the royal administrator and tutor to the crown prince and was empowered to grant freedom of religious expression to visiting Christian merchants from the Roman Empire. After fulfilling his regency Frumentius visited Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, in about 347. Athanasius ordained Frumentius bishop and commissioned him to initiate the cultural adaptation of Greek Christianity’s biblical-liturgical texts to Ethiopic symbols and language. The link between the Egyptian Coptic and Ethiopian churches having thus been established, Frumentius, despite the enmity of the Byzantine Roman emperor Constantius II (337–361), repudiated the Arians. The 4th-century church historian Rufinus of Aquileia, by meeting Aedesius later at Tyre, was able to document Frumentius’ achievements, noting that the Ethiopians addressed him as abuna, or “Our Father,” a title that is still used for the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.SOURCE Encyclopedia Britannica
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#PopeFrancis "Astronomy makes us contemplate the endless horizons of the universe..." to #Astronauts in Space - FULL TEXT + Video

The Holy Father’s Conversation with the Astronauts
Good morning <to> you all!
Paolo Nespoli: Good morning, Your Holiness. Welcome to the International Space Station, <welcome> among us, among the crew of expedition 52 and 53.
Holy Father:
 Good morning! . . . or Good evening . . . because, when one is in space, one never knows! Dear Dr. Nespoli, dear astronauts, I think that there, in the Space Station the days flow in a different way, no? I thank you and all those who organized this connection, which gives me the possibility to “meet” you and to ask you some questions. I begin immediately with the first question.
(Question 1) Astronomy makes us contemplate the endless horizons of the universe, and arouses in us the questions: where do we come from? Where are we going? I ask you, Dr. Nespoli: in the light of your experience in space, what is your thought about man’s place in the universe?
Paolo Nespoli: Holy Father, this is a complex question. I feel myself a technical person, an engineer, I feel at ease among machines, among experiments, but when there is talk of these much more internal things – – “where do we come from. . .” I am also perplexed. It’s a very delicate discourse. I think our objective is to know our being, to fill <our> knowledge, to understand what’s around us. And among others, it’s an interesting thing, because the more we know the more we realize we know little. I would very much like persons like you — not only engineers, not only physicists –, but persons like you — theologians, philosophers, poets, writers . . . could come here in space, and this will surely be the future; I would like them to come here to explore what it means to have a human being in space.
Holy Father: What you say is true.
(Question 2) In this hall from which I’m speaking to you, there is — as you can see — an artistic tapestry inspired by the famous verse with which Dante ends the Divine Comedy: “The Love that Moves the Sun and the Other Stars” (Paradise, XXXIII, 145). I ask you: what meaning does it have for you — who are all engineers and astronauts, as you well said –, what meaning does it have for you to call the force that moves the universe “love”?
Paolo Nespoli: Holy Father, I would like to give the floor to my Russian colleague Aleksandr Misurkin, who will address you in Russian.
[Misurkin answers in Russian]
 Paolo Nespoli: Holy Father, I hope we haven’t surprised you with Russian: Do you have the ability to have a translation there, or should we summarize it quickly?
Holy Father:
 It’s better to summarize it quickly.
Paolo Nespol translates: Colleague Aleksandr gave a very beautiful answer in Russian, which I will now translate somewhat like this, quickly. He made reference to a book he is reading these days up here, to reflect, “The Little Prince” of Saint Exupery. He makes reference to the story that he gives gladly – or would give gladly – his own life to return and save the plants and animals on earth. And, essentially, love is that strength that gives you the capacity to give your life for someone else.
Holy Father:
 I like this answer. It’s true, without love, it’s not possible to give one’s life for someone else. This is true. One sees that you have understood the message that Saint Exupery explains so poetically and that you, Russians, have in the blood, in your very humanistic and very religious tradition. This is beautiful. Thank you.
(Question 3) This one is a curiosity. They say that women are curious, but we men are also curious! What motivated you to become astronauts? What in the main gives you joy in the time you spend in the space station?
Paolo Nespoli: Holy Father, I will give the microphone to two colleagues: the Russian colleague Sergey Ryazanskiy and the American colleague Randy Bresnik.
 [Ryazansky answers in English] Paolo Nespoli translates:
[Bresnik answers in English Paul Nespoli translates:
 [Bresnik continues in English] Paolo Nespoli translates:
 He said that his inspiration was his grandfather: his grandfather was one of the first pioneers of space; he worked on the Sputnik satellite, the first satellite to fly over the Earth; he was one of those responsible for the construction of the satellite, and he took his inspiration from his grandfather, he wanted to follow in his footsteps, because in his opinion, space is interesting and beautiful, but also very important for us, as human beings.
What I see from here is an incredible perspective: it’s the possibility of seeing the Earth somewhat with God’s eyes, and to see the beauty and incredibility of this planet.
In our orbital speed of 10 kilometers per second, we see the Earth with different eyes: we see an Earth without borders, we see an Earth where the atmosphere is extremely fine and fleeting, and to look at this Earth in this way enables us to think how human beings, how we human beings should work together and collaborate for a better future.
Holy Father:
 I was very pleased with what the two of you said in this answer. You, the first, went to the very roots to explain this: you went to <your> grandfather. And you, who come from America, were able to understand that the Earth is too fragile, it’s a moment that passes:  10 kilometers per second, said Dr. Nespoli . . . The atmosphere is a very fragile, subtle reality enough to destroy us. And you went to look, in fact, with God’s eyes — <your> grandfather and God: the roots and our hope, our strength. Never forget the roots: and it does me good to hear this, and to hear it from you! Thank you.
(Question 4) I would like to ask you another question: to travel in space modifies so many things that are taken for granted in daily life, for example the idea of “up” and “down.” I ask you: was there something in particular that surprised you living in space? And, on the contrary, is there something that struck you precisely because it was also confirmed there, in such a different context?
Paolo Nespoli: Thank you, Holy Father, for this question. I will give the floor to the American colleague Mark Vande Hei.
 [Vande Hei answers in English]
 Paolo Nespoli translates:
Mark says that what surprised him is that in space you find things that are completely different, which seem the same but <are> not recognizable. Every now and then I approach something from a completely different angle and at first I’m a bit disconcerted, because I am unable to understand where they are, to understand what it is. Instead, what has not changed is that here also where there is no “up” and “down,’ to be able to understand where I am and to find myself in this situation I must decide where “up” is and where “down” is. And, therefore, establish my micro-cosmos, my micro-universe with my sense and my systems of reference.
Holy Father:
 And this is something very human: the capacity to decide, of decision. The answer seems interesting to me because it also goes to the human roots.
(Question 5) And now, if you have the courtesy to listen, I’ll ask another question. Our society is very individualistic and in life, instead, collaboration is essential. I think of all the work that is behind an enterprise like yours. Can you give me a significant example of your collaboration in the Space Station?
Paolo Nespoloi: Holy Father, an optimal question. I’ll leave the question to the American colleague Joseph Acaba who is of Puerto Rican descent.
Joseph Acaba: Holy Father, it’s a great honor to speak with you . . . [he continues in English]
Paolo Nespoli translates
 Joe recalled that for this Station there is cooperation between several nations of the world: there is the United States, there is Russia, Japan, Canada, nine European nations . . . And he recalled how these nations work together to obtain something that is beyond each one of them. However, one of the important and interesting things that he said is the fact that each one of us bears a difference and these differences put together make a much greater whole than an individual person could be; and working thus together, in this collaborative spirit to go beyond, this is the way for us as human beings, to go out of the world and continue this voyage in knowledge.
Holy Father:
 Your are a small “Glass Palace!! The totality is greater that the sum of the parts, and this is the example that you give us.
Thank you so much, dear friends, I would like to say: dear brothers, because we feel ourselves representatives of the whole human family in the great project of research that is the Space Station. My heartfelt thanks for this conversation, which has enriched me very much. May the Lord bless you, your work and your families. I assure you: I will pray for you and you, please, pray for me. Thank you!
Paolo Nespoli: Holy Father, on behalf of all I want to thank you for having been with us today, on the International Space Station. This is a place where we do much research, where we go to seek the things of every day. We thank you for having been with us and for having led us higher and having pulled us out of this daily mechanicalness, and making us think of greater things than ourselves. Thank you again!
Holy Father:
 Thank you!
Blogger SHARE of ZENIT translation from Italian by Virginia M. Forrester

#PopeFrancis “Only the Holy Spirit,” can give “that peace of the soul that gives strength to Christians.... help the Holy Spirit,” by “making space in our hearts.”

(Vatican Radio) “Jesus calls us to change our lives, to change paths, calls us to conversion.” And this means fighting against evil, even in our own hearts, “a struggle that does not give you ease, but gives you peace.” That was the message of Pope Francis in his reflection during the morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Inspired by the day’s Gospel, Pope Francis explained that this is the “fire” that Jesus sets on earth – a fire, he said, that calls for change:
“Changing our way of thinking, changing our way of feeling. Your heart, which was worldly, pagan, now becomes Christian with the strength of Christ: to change, this is conversion. And changing your manner of acting: your works must change.”
It is, he continued, a conversion that “involves everything, body and soul, everything.” Pope Francis emphasized:
“It is a change, but it is not a change that is made with make-up. It is a change that the Holy Spirit makes, within. And I have to make it mine so that the Holy Spirit can act. And this means a battle, fighting!”
“Easy-going Christians, who don’t fight, don’t exist,” the Pope added. “Those are not Christians, they are lukewarm.” The tranquility necessary for sleep can be found “even with a pill,” he said, “but there are no pills” for inner peace. “Only the Holy Spirit,” can give “that peace of the soul that gives strength to Christians.” And, he said, “we must help the Holy Spirit,” by “making space in our hearts.” A daily examination of conscience “can help us in this,” the Pope said. It can help us “to fight against the maladies the enemy sows,” which he called “maladies of worldliness.”
“The fight Jesus wages against the devil, against evil, is not something old, it is a modern thing, a thing of today, of all days,” Pope Francis said, because “the fire that Jesus has come to bring us is in our hearts.” And so we must allow Him to enter, and must “ask ourselves, each day: how have I passed from worldliness, from sin, to grace? Have I made room for the Holy Spirit, so that He could act?”
“The difficulties in our lives are not resolved by watering down the truth. The truth is this: Jesus has brought fire, and struggle. What am I going to do?”
For conversion, Pope Francis concluded, “a generous and faithful heart” is needed: “generosity that always comes from love,” and “is faithful, faithful to the Word of God.”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday October 26, 2017 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 476

Reading 1ROM 6:19-23

Brothers and sisters:
I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your nature.
For just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity
and to lawlessness for lawlessness,
so now present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.
But what profit did you get then
from the things of which you are now ashamed?
For the end of those things is death.
But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God,
the benefit that you have leads to sanctification,
and its end is eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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

R. (Ps 40:5) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

AlleluiaPHIL 3:8-9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I consider all things so much rubbish
that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."