Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Saint November 16 : St. Gertrude the Great : #Benedictine : Patron of #Nuns, #Travellers, West Indies

St. Gertrude the Great
Feast: November 16
Feast Day:
November 16
6 January 1256 at Eisleben, Germany
November 17, 1302, Helfta, Germany
received equipotent canonization, and a universal feast day declared in 1677 by Pope Clement XII
Patron of:
nuns, travellers, West Indies

Memorial: November 16 - in Germany: November 17 Also known as: Getrude; Gertrud the Great of Helfta, Gertrude the Great Saint Gertrude is one of the greatest and most wonderful saints in the Church of God. Gertrude was born January 6, 1256, in Eisleben, Thuringia ((part of modern Germany). When she was about 5 years old, she became a student at the Benedictine monastery at Helfta, near Eisleben (southwest of Magdeburg, Germany). The Abbess at the time was Gertrude of Hackerborn a woman who ensured that both spiritual and intellectual life flourished. The child Gertrude was put in the care of Mechthilde (became later a Saint), the sister of the Abbess who was head of the school associated with the monastery. Gertrude studied the Scriptures, the Liturgy, and the writings of the Fathers of the Church.
Her life was crowded with wonders. She has in obedience recorded some of her visions, in which she traces in words of indescribable beauty the intimate converse of her soul with Jesus and Mary. Gertrude had her first vision of Christ at the age of twenty-six. She tells us that she heard Christ say to her, "Do not fear. I will save you and set you free." This was the first in a series of visions that transformed her life. From then on, she spent many hours reading the bible and writing essays on the word of God. When she was asked to write about her experiences, she claimed that it would serve no purpose. When she was told that her words would encourage others, Gertrude agreed to write spiritual autobiography. Gertrude committed to writing many of her mystical experiences in the book commonly called the "Revelations of Saint Gertrude." These Revelations form one of the classics of Catholic writing. And although they would have to be classified as “mystical literature,” their message is clear and obvious, for this book states many of the secrets of Heaven in terms that all can understand. Recorded here are Saint Gertrude's many conversations with Our Lord, wherein He reveals His great desire to grant mercy to souls and to reward the least good act. In the course of their conversations, He reveals wonderful spiritual “shortcuts” that will help everyone in his or her spiritual life. She also composed many prayers, ‘sweeter than the honeycomb’, and many other examples of spiritual liturgically inspired Exercitia spiritualia is a gem still awaiting in-depth analysis.
But Gertrud’s most important legacy is universally acknowledged to be the Legatus memorialis abundantiae divinae pietatis, or Herald of the Memorial of the Abundance of Divine Love. This complex work, usually abbreviated in English to The Herald of Divine Love, is worthy of attention both in itself and as a fascinating test case for the study of medieval women’s theology. Another most important book is “The spiritual exercises”. Through her writings helped spread devotion to the Sacred Heart. She meditated on the Passion of Christ which many times brought a flood of tears to her eyes. She had a tender love for Our Lady.
During the long illness of five months from which she would die, she gave not the slightest sign of impatience or sadness; her joy, on the contrary, increased with her pains. When the day of her death arrived, November 17, 1302, she saw the Most Blessed Virgin descend from heaven to assist her, and one of her Sisters perceived her soul going straight to the Heart of Jesus, which opened to receive it. Saint Gertrude died at Helfta monastery of natural causes.
She is properly known as Saint Gertrude for, although never formally canonized, she was equipollently canonized in 1677 by Pope Clement XII when he inserted her name in the Roman Martyrology. Her feast was set for November 16. Pope Benedict XIV gave her the title "the Great" to distinguish her from Abbess Gertrude of Hackeborn and to recognize the depth of her spiritual and theological insight.
When the community was transferred in 1346 to the monastery of New Helfta, the present Trud-Kloster, within the walls of Eisleben, they still retained possession of their old home, where doubtless the bodies of Saint Gertrude and Saint Mechtilde still buried, though their place of sepulture remains unknown.
Saint Gertrud and Saint Mechtilde:
When Gertrude was five years old, she was placed in the care of Mechtilde. She became the first teacher of Gertrude. They became close friends, and Mechtildis (Mechtilde), who had mystical experiences of her own, helped Gertrude with her Book of Special Graces (also called The Revelations of St. Mechtildis), and the two Saints collaborated on a series of prayers. Mechtidle died November 19, 1298 at Helfta monastery of natural causes. Text shared from MaryPages

#PopeFrancis "the Mass is’s the prayer par excellence, the highest, the most sublime and.. it’s the encounter of love with God through His Word and the Body and Blood of Jesus." FULL TEXT + Video

The Holy Father’s Catechesis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
We continue with the catecheses on the Holy Mass. To understand the beauty of the Eucharistic Celebration, I want to begin with a very simple aspect: the Mass is prayer, rather, it’s the prayer par excellence, the highest, the most sublime and, at the same time, the most “concrete.” In fact, it’s the encounter of love with God through His Word and the Body and Blood of Jesus. It’s an encounter with the Lord.
However, first we must answer a question. What is prayer really? It is first of all dialogue, personal relationship with God. And man was created as being in personal relationship with God, who finds his fulfilment only in the encounter with his Creator. The journey of life is towards the definitive encounter with the Lord.
The Book of Genesis affirms that man was created in the image and likeness of God, who is Father and Son and Holy Spirit, a perfect relationship of love, which is unity. From this we are able to understand that all of us have been created to enter into a perfect relationship of love, in a continuous giving and receiving of ourselves to thus be able to find the fullness of our being.
When Moses received God’s call in front of the burning bush, he asked Him his Name. And what did God answer? “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). In its original meaning, this expression expresses presence and favour, and, in fact, immediately after God adds: “The Lord, the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (v. 15). Thus Christ also, when He calls His disciples, He calls them so that they will be with Him. Therefore, this is the greatest grace: to be able to experience that the Mass, the Eucharist is the privileged moment to be with Jesus and, through Him, with God and with brothers.
To pray, as every true dialogue, is also to be able to remain in silence, — in dialogues there are moments of silence –, in silence together with Jesus. And when we go to Mass, perhaps we arrive five minutes early and we begin to chat with the one who is next to us. However, it’s not the moment to chat: it’s the moment of silence to prepare oneself to dialogue. It’s the moment to recollect oneself in the heart to prepare oneself for the encounter with Jesus. Silence is so important! Remember what I said last week: we are not going to a show; we are going to an encounter with the Lord, and silence prepares us and accompanies us. We remain in silence together with Jesus. And from God’s mysterious silence gushes His Word, which resounds in our heart. Jesus Himself teaches us how it is really possible “to be” with the Father and He demonstrates it with His prayer. The Gospels show us Jesus who withdraws to places apart to pray. The disciples seeing this, His intimate relationship with the Father, feel the desire to be able to participate in it, and they ask Him: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). We heard it in the First Reading at the beginning of the Audience. Jesus answers that the first thing necessary go pray is to be able to say “Father.” Let’s be careful: if I’m not capable of saying “Father,” I’m not capable of praying. We must learn to say “Father,” namely, to put ourselves in His presence with filial confidence. However, to be able to learn, it is necessary to recognize humbly that we are in need of being instructed, and to say with simplicity: Lord, teach me to pray.
This is the first point: to be humble, to recognize ourselves children, to rest in the Father, to trust Him. To enter the Kingdom of Heaven it’s necessary to make oneself little as children, in the sense that children know how to trust, they know that someone will take care of them, of what they will eat, of what they will wear and so on (Cf. Matthew 6:25-32). This is the first attitude: trust and confidence, as a child towards his parents’ to know that God remembers you and takes care of you, of you, of me, of all.
The second predisposition, which is also proper to children, is to let oneself be surprised. A child always asks a thousand questions because he wants to discover the world, and he marvels even at small things, because everything is new to him. To enter in the Kingdom of Heaven it is necessary to let oneself be surprised. I ask, in our relationship with the Lord, in prayer, do we let ourselves be surprised or do we think that prayer is to talk to God as parrots do? No, it’s to trust and to open one’s heart to let oneself be surprised. Do we let ourselves be surprised by God who is always the God of surprises? Because the encounter with the Lord is always a living encounter, it’s not a museum encounter. It’s a living encounter and we go to Mass not to a museum. We go to a living encounter with the Lord.

In the Gospel there is talk of a certain Nicodemus (John 3:1-21), an elderly man, an authority in Israel, who goes to Jesus to get to know Him, and the Lord speaks to him of the need to be “born anew” (Cf. v. 3). But what does it mean? Can one be “reborn”? Is it possible to have again the taste, the joy, the wonder of life even in face of so many tragedies? This is a fundamental question of our faith and this is the desire of every true believer: the desire to be born anew, the joy of beginning again. Do we have this desire? Do each one of us always have the desire to be born anew to encounter the Lord? Do you have this desire? In fact, it can be easily lost because, given so much activity, so many projects to implement, at the end there is little time left and we lose sight of what is fundamental: our life of the heart, our spiritual life, our life which is encounter with the Lord in prayer.
In truth, the Lord surprises us by showing us that He loves us also in our weaknesses. “Jesus Christ [. . .] is the victim of expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). This gift, source of true consolation – but the Lord forgives us always – this consoles, it’s a true consolation, it’s a gift that is given to us through the Eucharist, that nuptial banquet in which the Bridegroom meets our frailty. Can I say that when I go to Communion in the Mass, the Lord encounters my frailty? Yes! We can say it because this is true! The Lord encounters our frailty to take us back to our first calling: that of being in the image and likeness of God. This is the environment of the Eucharist; this is prayer.
[Original text: Italian]  [Blogger Entry SHARE of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

#Quote to SHARE by #PopeBenedict XVI "Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment..."

"Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world.” ― Pope Benedict XVI
(Madrid, Aug. 20, 2011 to Young People)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. November 15, 2017 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 493

Reading 1WIS 6:1-11

Hear, O kings, and understand;
learn, you magistrates of the earth's expanse!
Hearken, you who are in power over the multitude
and lord it over throngs of peoples!
Because authority was given you by the Lord
and sovereignty by the Most High,
who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels.
Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you judged not rightly,
and did not keep the law,
nor walk according to the will of God,
Terribly and swiftly shall he come against you,
because judgment is stern for the exalted–
For the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy
but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test.
For the Lord of all shows no partiality,
nor does he fear greatness,
Because he himself made the great as well as the small,
and he provides for all alike;
but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends.
To you, therefore, O princes, are my words addressed
that you may learn wisdom and that you may not sin.
For those who keep the holy precepts hallowed shall be found holy,
and those learned in them will have ready a response.
Desire therefore my words;
long for them and you shall be instructed.

Responsorial PsalmPS 82:3-4, 6-7

R. (8a) Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
Defend the lowly and the fatherless;
render justice to the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the lowly and the poor;
from the hand of the wicked deliver them.
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
I said: "You are gods,
all of you sons of the Most High;
yet like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince."
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.

Alleluia1 THES 5:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In all circumstances, give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
"Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!"
And when he saw them, he said,
"Go show yourselves to the priests."
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
"Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?"
Then he said to him, "Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you."