Sunday, April 29, 2018

Pope Francis " I invite you to unite yourselves spiritually and to prolong...the prayer of the Rosary for peace." FULL TEXT + Video

Before the Regina Coeli
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
On this fifth Sunday of Easter, the Word of God also continues to indicate to us the way and conditions to be a community of the Risen LordHighlighted last Sunday was the relationship between a believer and Jesus the Good Shepherd. Today the Gospel proposes to us the moment in which Jesus presents Himself as the true vine and He invites us to remain united to Him to bear much fruit (Cf. John 15:1-8). The vine is a plant that forms a whole with the branches, and the branches are fruitful only when united to the vine. This relationship is the secret of the Christian life, and the evangelist John expresses it with the verb “abide,” which in today’s passage is repeated seven times. “Abide in Me,” says the Lord; abide in the Lord.
It’s about abiding in the Lord to have the courage to go out of ourselves — of our comforts, of our restricted and protected areas –, to go into the open sea of the needs of others and give ample breadth to our Christian witness in the world. This courage to go out of oneself and to go to the needs of others is born of faith in the Risen Lord and of the certainty that His Spirit accompanies our history. One of the most mature fruits that flows from communion with Christ is, in fact, the commitment of charity to our neighbor, loving brothers with abnegation of self, up to the ultimate consequences, as Jesus has loved us. The dynamism of the believer’s charity isn’t the fruit of strategies; it’s not born of external solicitations of social or ideological instances, but it is born of an encounter with Jesus and of abiding in Jesus. He is for us the life of which we absorb the lymph, that is, “life” to bring to society a different way of living and spending oneself, which puts the last in the first place.
When one is intimate with the Lord, as the vine and the branches are intimate and united between them, one is capable of bearing fruits of new life, of mercy, of justice and of peace, stemming from the Lord’s Resurrection. It’s what the Saints did, those who lived the Christian life in fullness and the witness of charity because they were true branches of the Lord’s vine. However, to be saints “it’s not necessary to be Bishops, priests, women or men religious. [. . .] All of us, all are called to be saints living with love, and each one offering their own witness in the occupations of every day, there where one finds oneself” (Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, 14). We are all called to be saints; we must be saints with this richness that we receive from the Risen Lord. Every activity – work, rest, family and social life, the exercise of political, cultural and economic responsibilities — every activity, whether little or great, if lived in union with Jesus and with an attitude of love and service, is an occasion to live Baptism and evangelical holiness fully.
May Mary, Queen of Saints and model of perfect communion with her divine Son, be of help to us. May she teach us to abide in Jesus, as branches in the vine, and to never separate ourselves from His love. In fact, we can do nothing without Him, because our life is Christ alive, present in the Church and in the world.
[Original text: Italian]  [Blog Entry Share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Regina Coeli
 Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Yesterday Anna Chrzanowska, lay faithful who dedicated her life to the care of the sick, in whom she saw the face of suffering Jesus, was proclaimed Blessed in Krakow. We thank God for the witness of this apostle of the sick and let us make an effort to imitate her example.
I accompany with prayer the positive success of last Friday’s Inter-Korean Summit and the courageous commitment assumed by the leaders of the two sides, to engage in a course of sincere dialogue for a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear arms. I pray to the Lord that the hope of a future of peace and more fraternal friendship won’t be disappointed and that the collaboration can continue bearing fruits of goodness for the beloved Korean people and for the whole world.
Last week the Christian community of Nigeria was stricken again with the killing of a group of faithful, among whom were two priests. We entrust these brothers to the God of mercy, that he may help those very tried communities to rediscover concord and peace.
I greet affectionately the pilgrims present today, truly too many to name each group! However, at least I greet those from Braga, Portugal, from India and from Pakistan; the faithful of Pavia, Crema and Vignale; the numerous youngsters that received or will receive Confirmation; and the adolescents of Cuneo, Remedello, Arcore, Valle Olona, and Modica.
A particular thought goes to the Confraternities of Assisi, accompanied by the Bishop; to the young animators of the Josephite Fathers of Murialdo, and to the participants in the National Catechumenate Congress, organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference.
Dear brothers and sisters, day after tomorrow, May 1, in the afternoon, I will initiate the Marian Month with a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love. We will pray the Rosary, praying in particular for peace in Syria and in the whole world. I invite you to unite yourselves spiritually and to prolong throughout the month of May the prayer of the Rosary for peace.
I wish you all a happy Sunday. And, please, don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian]  [Blog entry Share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest Killed after saying Mass and Blessing Children - RIP Fr. Mark Ventura

The Northernforum reports that a Catholic Missionary priest was shot dead after saying Mass. This occurred in the Philippines. The killers shot the parish priest in Gattaran town in Cagayan on Sunday morning, April 29.
In a report reaching Cagayan provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Warren Tolito, the victim was identified as Fr. Mark Anthony Yuaga Ventura, a resident of Barangay Naruangan in Tuao town.
Initial investigations showed Ventura had just finished saying the Holy Mass in Barangay PiƱa Weste Gymnasium when a man in helmet walked near and shot him twice. He was proclaimed dead on the spot.
Police also said he was currently blessing the children and talking to the choir members when the assailants killed him.
 In a statement, Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio Utleg called the death of Ventura a “brutal and cowardly act.”
“We just lost a young priest, zealous and dedicated, one who smelled like his sheep, to an assassin’s bullet right after he said Mass and was baptizing children,” Utleg said.

The suspect, together with the driver of the single motorcycle,  fled towards the highway going Baggao town, the report added.
Police said motive has yet to determined.
Ventura was serving as the parish of San Isidro Labrador Mission Station based in remote Barangay Mabuno, also in Gattaran. Sources said he chose to be assigned in remote barangays because he is a missionary priest.
He also served as a rector at the St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Lyceum of Aparri.
Edited from northernforum

Wow Singing Priest goes Viral - Famous for Hallelujah on Britain's Got Talent

A singing priest and contestant on Britain’s Got Talent has become a viral YouTube star. Fr Ray Kelly, 64, of Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland received a standing ovation  on the talent show after singing REM’s Everybody Hurts.
The priest said: “I knew I could put in a fairly good performance but I was amazed at the (judges) comments. I am in awe and humbled by it, I really was not expecting it.”
Fr Kelly  has two albums to his name thanks to a previous musical career and achieved social media fame in 2014 after a video of him singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah went viral, with over 60 million views.
Fr Kelly will progress to the next round of the competition and compete to progress to the semi-finals.

Who is Jordan Peterson - a Brief Bio and his 12 Principles that Counter Political Correctness

Jordan Bernt Peterson was born on June 12, 1962; and is a Canadian clinical psychologist, public intellectual, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He is particularly famous for his psychology of religious and ideological belief. Peterson studied at the University of Alberta and McGill University. He moved to Harvard University, where he was associate professor in the psychology department. In 1998, he went back in Canada and became full professor at the University of Toronto as a full professor.  In 2016, Peterson released a series of videos on his YouTube channel in which he criticized political correctness and the Canadian government's Bill C-16.
Peterson married Tammy Roberts in 1989. They have one daughter and one son. He became a grandfather in August 2017.
Peterson has become a popular figure for Conservative politics since he challenges political correctness.
He has recently released 12 Principles of Conservatives that Counter Political Correctness. (see Image and Video Below)
On September 27, 2016, Peterson released the first installment of a three-part lecture video series, entitled "Professor against political correctness: Part I: Fear and the Law". In the video, he stated he would not use the preferred gender pronouns of students and faculty as part of compelled speech, and announced his objection to the Canadian government's Bill C-16, which proposed to add "gender identity or expression" as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, in the Criminal Code. He objection to the bill was based on potential free speech implications if the Criminal Code is amended, as he claimed he could then be prosecuted under provincial human rights laws if he refuses to call a transsexual student or faculty member by the individual's preferred pronoun. He argued that Section 46.3 of the Ontario Human Rights Code would make it possible for employers and organizations to be subject to punishment under the code if any employee or associate says anything that can be construed "directly or indirectly" as offensive, "whether intentionally or unintentionally". National Post published an op-ed by Peterson in which he elaborated on his opposition to the bill and explained why he publicly made a stand against it: "I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words "zhe" and "zher." These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century." In response to the controversy, academic administrators at the University of Toronto sent Peterson two letters of warning.

St. Catherine - The Bride of Christ - Insights into a Great Love of Jesus we can Learn - by Dr. Gary D. Knight

The bride of Christ

Dr. Gary D. Knight

Saint Catherine of Siena can be recognized as a quintessence or ‘icon’ of the bride of Christ, the bride who - because of marriage anticipated – is His own mystical body: the Church. Catherine was presented to Jesus in a vision by His mother, and a ring placed on her finger. In ‘real life’ the ring was painful stigmata that brought her out of this ‘vale of tears’ at 33 years. But she received the gift of the quill miraculously, writing as compellingly as any doctor of the Church. How great that appellation is: ‘doctorus’ in Latin means teacher. Who could teach the mystical body that holds the keys of heaven, but an exemplar entirely docile to the Holy Spirit?

The ‘real life’ and ‘vale of tears’ are parenthesized for reasons that Catherine might assert. When having visions of hell, purgatory and heaven, she was in a death-like trance; yet these illuminations were more real to her than our waking hours, as is fitting for Last Things as compared with a land of exile rather like the den of Lost Boys. The world in its ‘real life’ so far from God, often runs along the line of a nightmare. Most remarkably, the professed virgin who would shun any incubus (archaic for bad dream) was led to embrace the temporal with Christian vigour, even fire.

Have you ever felt inclined to picture these passing things as a diseased reverie, or been more oppressed than by hot temperatures: like a feverish dream from which it seems better (if possible) to awake? Pity indeed those who feel it without relent and who choose to force the nocturnal hand; for as Shakespeare put it what ‘dreams’ may come? As a Christian he did not mean imaginings, but something more like the inverse of the unconscious state, where a decision to end it is part of a great delusion. That was due caution.

Catherine certainly recognized that hard realities are oppressive to distraction, delusional like the pain of an abscessed tooth with no anaesthetic in sight. And instead of remaining in cloister as she had done for a three year preparation, basting in interior light, she went into the darkness of the world: the poor, the suffering, the ignorant, and provided charm, calm and counsel along with her ministrations against distress. In this she was an incarnate daughter of Mary.

On earth the parent of a spouse is an ‘in-law’ parent; but in the heaven the relation of love surpasses ‘law’ and legalities, so that the mother of Christ is equally a mother of those who are united to Him more closely than a bride and groom. More closely because even spouses here cannot entirely share each other’s mind and affections, not even each other’s bodily strengths and afflictions (though some come close). In Christ, all is shared.

So the spouse of Jesus, daughter of Mary, rather than remaining in her hyperdulic trances, went forth just as Mary went out to visit her elder cousin Elizabeth to assist her in late-life childbearing – which couldn’t have been easy as John was a kicker and leaper even three months before birth. Her husband might even play on muteness as maybe including deafness (we don’t hear of him running out to greet Mary at her hailing). No more welcome guest to the toiling could be a daughter of Mary.

Perhaps this is why consolations found in this life are so lasting or meaningful: on the surface you wouldn’t expect that telling a few salutary prayers at a bedside would much help the dying, or arm their beloved behind. But it does. Think of your own nightmares: in panic being chased down by a wolf, the appearance of an open door too narrow for the beast is very heartening. Getting to it is even more so. And life is like that.

It is of value to insinuate ourselves in Catherine’s mind. She knows like few others that in so many ways life is a chimera, and an arduous one at that. She knows that the hints of peril we find in shame or defeat are magnified beyond all proportion on an eternal scale .. and that has a bearing on why we have a conscience at all. Yet she applies the commission received from her Spouse to go out and make disciples among all, by piercing their gloom with the hope from springs eternal. She willingly makes a temporal detour from real reality, to reach into this miasmic world and shed His light.

What does that teach us about what her Spouse did in the first place? In the vision of her Mystical Marriage, as she called it in her memoirs, Jesus showed Catherine, as He did his apostles, the glorified wounds from which had poured the price of human salvation. Salvation from what? From the exile of Eden, dominating fear of death, weakness of will, proclivity to neglect God our life, and this dream-like darkening of mind. From this incarnate ‘reality’ of exile under a darkening sun Jesus the Light had to lead souls who follow to His agony and death beyond all telling, with eclipse and quake, graves open, curtains torn, and all things gone quiet – yes, even the birds. He had to express our whole torment: “why have You turned from me?” and a mind on the edge – “I thirst”. In forty days of preparation he had never even said “I’m hungry”. This was in extremum if ever it was.

The passion of Christ is (among infinitely many other things) a reflection on the woeful power of our ‘passions’, our heavy-laden emotions with power to sway our minds without even our knowing or clear acknowledgement of their vacillating power, just as in a dream. “Weep not for me, but for your children” He said on the via dolorosa, showing the compassion of a God-Man who could see our days coming when the ‘woods would be dry’ rather than green, and when the unimaginable is being done, while then and there Deicide was perpetrated. “What will they do when the wood is dry” He asked, and it was not just cryptic reference to the new-cut limb he was bearing on a shoulder.

Jesus always showed compassion for us, who are living on the outside, past the perception of inner reality. “The (sleeping) spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”.  “How often would I have gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks” but your (distracted) will was elsewhere. “If you knew Who it was asking you for a drink, you would instead ask Him for a draught of living water”. “Their lips are close but their hearts are far away”. “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”. “You of little faith; why did you doubt?” Even Nicodemus, a ‘teacher in Israel’ could only find answers at night-time, hearing ‘you are only in gestation’: “you must be born from above”.

So this is the reality of those being formed in the mind of Christ. We are only in gestation, like the child yet unborn. That is why so often the confines and bumps of this life seem like a reverie, even a threat. Yet in this state behind the veil, we are fully human and called to the Life that is the Way, the Truth, as Jesus characterized himself saying “the Truth shall set you free”. Like his herald still in his mother’s womb, we can hear that voice and begin to be active, gesturing at the dance which transcends even graces we receive in the now. If we are just as tended-to by Mary as in the prenatal days of John, Catherine came to know it, and went forth in haste.

Prayer: Dear Lord our God
May we be so inspired and enamoured of the life and ministrations
of your beloved saint, Catherine of Siena, who armed by the undying
hope of seeing You as she does now face to face in Love, went forth
doing all the good that she could find to do .. to the poor,
the suffering, the aged, the infirm, the ignorant and the neglected,
without omitting to converse in civil and national political life
or to communicate with bishops including the successor of Peter,
we may, in some measure like her, embrace the oppressions of
this temporal life increasingly full of injustices and insults
against not just You and your saints but humanity as your creation,
and carry forth to our brothers and children and spouses and elders
the fullness of expectant hope in that birth from above
that comprises our salvation and Your eternal embrace.

Betrothedly Yours,  a servant and friend of St. Catherine of Siena.

Quote to SHARE by St. Mother Teresa "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." - 
Saint Mother Teresa 
SHARE this Quote and Change the World through the Wisdom of the Saints of God!

#BreakingNews Kidnapped Catholic Priest Found Dead in Mexico - RIP Fr. Jose Reyes of Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica

Father Jose Moises Fabila Reyes, aged eighty three, was a Mexican Priest. He was kidnapped earlier this month, and has been found dead, despite the ransom being paid. This is the third killing of a Priest in Mexico, in a bit more than a week. He was stationed at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City since 2001. On April 3rd he was kidnapped on a trip, to the City of Cuernavaca.  A ransom of two million pesos, which is about 106,000 US dollars was paid. His body was found in Cuernavaca. Father Jose who suffered from a heart condition, was shown by testing to have been dead before the ransom was paid. Father Jose was ordained in 1961. His Congregation, say he was a gentle, kind man priest. Five Priests have been murdered in Mexico this year. Twenty four have been murdered in Mexico since 2012.