Friday, December 29, 2017

#Novena Prayer for the #Epiphany - #Prayers to SHARE

Novena to the Magi for the Epiphany - Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be Each Day

DAY 1:
O holy Magi! You were living in continual expectation of the rising of the Star of Jacob, which would announce the birth of the true Sun of justice; obtain for us an increase of faith and charity, and the grace to live in continual hope of beholding one day the light of heavenly glory and eternal joy. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

DAY 2:
O holy Magi! who at the first appearance of the wondrous star left your native country to go and seek the newborn King of the Jews; obtain for us the grace of corresponding with alacrity to every divine inspiration. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

 DAY 3:
O holy Magi! who regarded neither the severity of the season, nor the inconveniences of the journey that you might find the newborn Messiah; obtain for us the grace not to allow ourselves to be discouraged by any of the difficulties which may meet us on the way of salvation. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 

DAY 4:
O holy Magi, who, when deserted by the star in the city of Jerusalem, sought humbly, and without human respect, from the rulers of the Church, the place where you might discover the object of your journey; obtain for us grace to have recourse, in faith and humility, in all our doubts and perplexities to the counsel of our superiors, who hold the place of God on earth. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 

DAY 5:
O holy Magi, who were gladdened by the reappearance of the star which led you to Bethlehem; obtain for us from God the grace, that, remaining always faithful to Him in afflictions, we may be consoled in time by His grace, and in eternity by His glory. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

DAY 6:
O holy Magi, who, entering full of faith into the stable of Bethlehem, prostrated yourselves on the earth, to adore the newborn King of the Jews, though he was surrounded only by signs of poverty and weakness; obtain from the Lord for us a lively faith in the real presence of Jesus in the blessed Sacrament, the true spirit of poverty, and a Christ-like charity for the poor and suffering. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 

DAY 7:
O holy Magi, who offered to Jesus Christ gold, incense, and myrrh, thereby recognizing Him to be at once King, God, and Man; obtain from the Lord for us the grace never to present ourselves before Him with empty hands; but that we may continually offer to Him the gold of charity, the incense of prayer, and the myrrh of penance and mortification. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

DAY 8:
O holy Magi, who, when warned by an angel not to return to Herd, traveled back to your country be another road; obtain for us from the Lord, the grace that, after having found Him in true repentance, we may avoid all danger of losing Him again. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

DAY 9:
O holy Magi, who were first among the Gentiles called to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and who persevered in the faith till your deaths, obtain for us of the Lord the grace of living always in conformity to our baptismal vows, ever leading to a life of faith; that like you we may attain to the beatific vision of that God Who now is the object of our faith. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Free Movie : Becket : Stars Peter O'Toole - Drama on St. Thomas #Becket

In honor of the Feast of St. Thomas Becket JCE News is sharing the entire film BECKET. This Hollywood production stars the award winning Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole.
St. Thomas Becket


Feast: December 29
1118 - 1170 AD
Becket was in conflict with King Henry II of England over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral.

#PopeFrancis “the beauty of God’s saving love manifested in Jesus Christ, dead and risen” to Theologians - FULL TEXT

Pope Francis gave to the Italian Theological Association, for the 50th anniversary of their founding, in the Vatican on Dec. 28/17
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I welcome you and thank your President for his words. In these days we are immersed in the joyful contemplation of the mystery of our God, who involved and committed Himself to such a point with our poor humanity as to send His Son and to take, in Him, our frail flesh. Every Christian theological thought cannot but begin always and incessantly from here, in a reflection that will never exhaust the living source of divine Love, who let Himself be touched, looked at and savored in the stable of Bethlehem.
In 2017 the Italian Theological Association has existed for half a century. I’m pleased to join you in thanking the Lord for those who had the courage, fifty years ago, to take the initiative and give life to the Italian Theological Association; for all those that have adhered to it in this time, offering their presence, their intelligence and the effort of a free and responsible reflection and, above all, for your Association’s contribution to theological development and to the life of the Church, with research that was always proposed – with the critical effort that befits it – to be attuned to the fundamental stages and challenges of Italian ecclesial life.
It’s worth noting the fact that the Italian Theological Association was born, as the first Article of your Statute states, “in the spirit of service and of communion indicated by the Second Ecumenical Council.” The Church must always refer to that event, with which “a new stage of evangelization” began ((Bull Misericordiae Vultus, 4) and with which it assumed the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel in a new way, more consonant with a profoundly changed world and culture. It’s evident how that effort asks the whole Church, and the theologians in particular, to be implemented in the sign of a “creative fidelity”: in the awareness that in these 50 years further changes have happened and in the confidence that the Gospel can also continue to touch the women and men of today. Therefore, I ask you to continue to be faithful and anchored, in your theological work, in the Council and in the capacity that the Church showed there to let herself be fecundated by the perennial novelty of the Gospel of Christ, just as you have done, moreover, in these decades, as the topics attest which you have chosen and addressed in Congresses and in refresher Courses, in addition to the recent powerful work of commentary to all the Documents of Vatican II. In particular, a clear fruit of the Council and a richness not to be wasted is the fact that you perceived and continue to feel the need to “do theology together,” as an Association, which numbers today more than 330 theologians. This aspect is a fact of style, which already expresses something essential of the Truth in whose service theology places itself. In fact, one can’t think of serving the Truth of a God who is Love, eternal communion of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and whose saving design is that of the communion of men with Him and among themselves, by doing it in an individualistic, particularistic or, worse still, in a competitive logic. That of theologians cannot but be personal research, but of persons who are immersed in a theological community that is the widest possible, of which they feel and are truly a part, involved in bonds of solidarity and also of genuine friendship. This isn’t an accessory aspect of theological ministry!
It’s a ministry of which there continues to be a great need in the Church today. In fact, it’s true that to be genuinely believers it’s not necessary to have taken academic courses in theology. There is a sense of the realities of the faith that belongs to the whole people of God, also of those that don’t have particular intellectual means to express it, and which asks to be intercepted and heard – I’m thinking of the famous infallible in credendo: we must go there often  — and there are even very simple persons that are able to sharpen  the “eyes of the faith.” It’s in this living faith of the holy people of God that every theologian must feel himself immersed and of which he must know himself also to be supported, transported and embraced. However, this does not take away the necessity that there always be that specific theological work through which, as the holy Doctor Bonaventure said, one can come to the credibile ut intelligibile, to what one believes in as much as it is understood. It’s a need of the full humanity of the believers themselves, first of all, so that our believing is fully human and doesn’t flee from the thirst of conscience and of understanding, the most profound and ample possible, of what we believe. And it’s an exigency of the communication of the faith, so that it appears always and everywhere that not only does it not mutilate what is human, but presents itself always as an appeal to the freedom of persons.
It’s above all in the desire and the perspective of a Church in a missionary going forth that the theological ministry results, in this historical juncture, particularly important and urgent. In fact, a Church that rethinks itself thus is concerned, as I said in Evangelii Gaudium, to make evident to women and men what is the center and fundamental nucleus of the Gospel, or “the beauty of God’s saving love manifested in Jesus Christ, dead and risen” (n. 36). Such a task of essentiality, in a time of complexity and of unprecedented scientific and technical development, and in a culture that was permeated, in the past, by Christianity but in which today distorted visions can meander of the very heart of the Gospel, makes indispensable, in fact, a great theological work. The task of theology, with its effort to rethink the great subjects of the Christian faith within a profoundly changed culture, is indispensable, so that the Church can continue to have the center of the Gospel heard by the women and men of today, so that the Gospel truly reaches persons in their singularity and so that it permeates society in all its dimensions.
There is need of a theology that helps all Christians to proclaim and to show, above all, the saving face of God, the merciful God, especially in the presence of some unheard of challenges that involve the human today, such as that of the ecological crisis, of the development of the neurosciences or of the techniques that can modify man, such as that of the ever greater social inequalities or the migrations of entire peoples, as that of the theoretic relativism but also of the practical relativism. Therefore, there is need of a theology that, as in the best tradition of the Italian Theological Association, of Christian men and women that don’t think of talking only among themselves, but are able to be at the service of the different Churches and of the Church, and who also assume the task of rethinking the Church so that she is in conformity with the Gospel she must proclaim.
I’m pleased to know that many times and in different ways, also recently, you have already done so, addressing explicitly the subject of the proclamation of the Gospel and of the forma Ecclesiae, of synodality, of the ecclesial presence in the context of secularism and democracy, of power in the Church. Therefore, I hope that your researches will be able to fecundate and enrich the whole people of God. And I would like to add a thought that came to me while you were speaking. Don’t lose the capacity to be amazed; do theology in amazement, amazement that leads us to Christ, to the encounter with Christ. It’s like the air in which our reflection is more fruitful. And I also repeat something else I said: the theologian  is he who studies, thinks, reflects, but does so kneeling; do theology kneeling, as the great Fathers. The great Fathers who thought, prayed, adored, praised: a strong theology, which is the foundation of all Christian theological development. And I also repeat a third thing I said here, but I want to repeat it because it’s important: do theology in the Church, namely, in the holy faithful people of God, that have – I will say it with a non-theological word – that have the “smell” of the faith. I remember, once, in a confession, the conversation I had with a Portuguese elderly lady who accused herself of sins that didn’t exist, but she was that much of a believer! And I asked her some questions and she answered well. And, at the end, I said to her: “But tell me, lady, did you study at the Gregorian?” She was in fact a simple, simple woman but she had the “smell,” she had the sensus fidei, which can never err in the faith. Vatican II takes this up.
I bless you from my heart and, please, don’t forget to pray for me.
[Original text: Italian]  [BLOGGER SHARE OF ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

#BreakingNews 12 Killed and 20 wounded by Terrorists in Coptic Christian Church in Cairo - Please Pray

Gunmen attack Coptic church south of Cairo, killing ten and wounding at least 20 (updated to 12 killed)

Two of the victims are said to be police officers. A gunman with explosive belt was also shot dead. The target was the Mar Mina church in Helwan, south of Cairo. Fearing attacks, the authorities have been on a high state of alert for days.
Cario (AsiaNews) – At least ten people have been killed and twenty wounded in an attack on a Coptic Orthodox church this morning in Helwan, an area south of Cairo.
Two of the victims were said to be be police officers. One gunman was shot dead by security forces (pictured). Although information remains uncertain, a second gunman appears to have escaped and is still at large.
The target of the attack was the Mar Mina Coptic Church, which was preparing to celebrate Orthodox Christmas on 7 January.
The authorities have been on a high state of alert for days in fear of possible attacks, with rapid reaction forces deployed.
Eyewitnesses said that security forces defused an explosive belt that was fasten around the dead gunman. So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
A group of Catholics was visiting the neighbourhood for the traditional exchange of good wishes with local Christian families.
Sources told AsiaNews that police sealed the area, blocking access. Visitors already there were asked to leave the area "immediately".
In a nation of almost 95 million people with a large Muslim majority, Coptic Christians are a substantial minority of around 10 per cent of the population.
Last year the country aw a series of bloody attacks, some involving Christians. The escalation of violence almost led to the cancellation of Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Egypt last April.
However, the pontiff was able to visit the country where he met with its president and the great imam of al-Azhar and celebrated Mass before tens of thousands of people.
Meanwhile, Catholic Christmas took place amid tight security measures, but no incidents were reported as crowds filled the churches.
Now “the celebrations of the Coptic Orthodox Church can be held,” Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, told AsiaNews. “The alarm levels are high, an attempt at attack can never be ruled out,” which is what happened today. (DS)

A Special Knock at the Door of Pope Emeritus' Benedict - #PopeFrancis arrives for a Christmas Greeting!

Pope Francis has visited the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, to convey to him his Christmas greetings.
Francis knocked at the door of the “Mater Ecclesiae” monastery in the Vatican where Benedict resides. 
As they do each year during the Christmas season, the two men spent some time together, first in prayer and then in conversation.
These good wishes for Holy Christmas are part of relationship that exists between the Holy Father and the Pope Emeritus.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday December 29, 2017 - #Eucharist

The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Lectionary: 202

Reading 11 JN 2:3-11

The way we may be sure that we know Jesus 
is to keep his commandments. 
Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments
is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him. 
This is the way we may know that we are in union with him:
whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you
but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. 
The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 
And yet I do write a new commandment to you,
which holds true in him and among you,
for the darkness is passing away,
and the true light is already shining. 
Whoever says he is in the light,
yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. 
Whoever loves his brother remains in the light,
and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. 
Whoever hates his brother is in darkness;
he walks in darkness
and does not know where he is going
because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Responsorial PsalmPS 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 5B-6

R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name. 
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty go before him;
praise and grandeur are in his sanctuary.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

AlleluiaLK 2:32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A light of revelation to the Gentiles
and glory for your people Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 2:22-35

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. 
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. 
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

"Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel."

The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
(and you yourself a sword will pierce)
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."