Thursday, June 14, 2018

Saint June 15 : St. Germaine Cousin : Patron of #Abuse Victims, #Disabled , #Ugly, and Abandoned

St. Germaine Cousin
Feast: June 15


Feast Day:
June 15
1579, Pibrac, France
1601, Pibrac, France
29 June 1867 by Pope Pius IX
Patron of:
abandoned people; abuse victims; against poverty; bodily ills; child abuse victims; disabled people; girls from rural areas; handicapped people; illness; impoverishment; loss of parents; peasant girls; physically challenged people; poverty; shepherdesses; sick people; sickness; unattractive people; victims of abuse; victims of child abuse; young country girls

Born in 1579 of humble parents at Pibrac, a village about ten miles from Toulouse; died in her native place in 1601. From her birth she seemed marked out for suffering; she came into the world with a deformed hand and the disease ofscrofula, and, while yet an infant, lost her mother. Her father soon married again, but his second wife treated Germaine with much cruelty. Under pretence of saving the other children from the contagion of scrofula she persuaded the father to keep Germaine away from the homestead, and thus the child was employed almost from infancy as a shepherdess. When she returned at night, her bed was in the stable or on a litter of vine branches in a garret. In this hard school Germaine learned early to practise humility and patience. She was gifted with a marvellous sense of the presence of God and of spiritual things, so that her lonely life became to her a source of light and blessing. To poverty, bodily infirmity, the rigours of the seasons, the lack of affection from those in her own home, she added voluntary mortifications and austerities, making bread and water her daily food. Her love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and for His Virgin Mother presaged the saint. She assisted daily at the Holy Sacrifice; when the bell rang, she fixed her sheep-hook or distaff in the ground, and left her flocks to the care of Providence while she heard Mass. Although the pasture was on the border of a forest infested with wolves, no harm ever came to her flocks.
She is said to have practised many austerities as a reparation for the sacrileges perpetrated by heretics in the neighbouring churches. She frequented the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, and it was observed that her piety increased on the approach of every feast of Our Lady. The Rosary was her only book, and her devotion to the Angelus was so great that she used to fall on her knees at the first sound of the bell, even though she heard it when crossing a stream. Whenever she could do so, she assembled the children of the village around her and sought to instil into their minds the love of Jesus and Mary. The villagers were inclined at first to treat her piety with mild derision, until certain signs of God's signal favour made her an object of reverence and awe. In repairing to the village church she had to cross a stream. The ford in winter, after heavy rains or the melting of snow, was at times impassable. On several occasions the swollen waters were seen to open and afford her a passage without wetting her garments.Notwithstanding her poverty she found means to help the poor by sharing with them her allowance of bread. Her father at last came to a sense of his duty, forbade her stepmother henceforth to treat her harshly, and wished to give her a place in the home with the other children, but she begged to be allowed to remain in thehumbler position. At this point, when men were beginning to realize the beauty of her life, God called her to Himself. One morning in the early summer of 1601, her father finding that she had not risen at the usual hour went to call her; he found her dead on her pallet of vine-twigs. She was then twenty-two years of age.

Her remains were buried in the parish church of Pibrac in front of the pulpit. In 1644, when the grave was opened to receive one of her relatives, the body of Germaine was discovered fresh and perfectly preserved, and miraculously raised almost to the level of the floor of the church. It was exposed for public view near the pulpit, until a noble lady, the wife of François de Beauregard, presented as a thanks-offering a casket of lead to hold the remains. She had been cured of a malignant and incurable ulcer in the breast, and her infant son whose life was despaired of was restored to health on her seeking the intercession of Germaine. This was the first of a long series of wonderful cures wrought at her relics. The leaden casket was placed in the sacristy, and in 1661 and 1700 the remains were viewed and found fresh and intact by the vicars-general of Toulouse, who have left testamentary depositions of the fact. Expert medical evidence deposed that the body had not been embalmed, and experimental tests showed that the preservation was not due to any property inherent in the soil. In 1700 a movement was begun to procure the beatification of Germaine, but it fell through owing to accidental causes. In 1793 the casket  was desecrated by a revolutionary tinsmith, named Toulza, who with three accomplices took out the remains and buried them in the sacristy, throwing quick-lime and water on them. After the Revolution, her body was found to be still intact save where the quick-lime had done its work.

The private veneration of Germaine had continued from the original finding of the body in 1644, supported and encouraged by numerous cures and miracles. The cause of beatification was resumed in 1850. The documents attested more than 400 miracles or extraordinary graces, and thirty postulatory letters from archbishops and bishops in France besought the beatification from the Holy See. The miracles attested were cures of every kind (of blindness, congenital and resulting from disease, of hip and spinal disease), besides the multiplication of food for the distressed community of the Good Shepherd at Bourges in 1845. On 7 May, 1854, Pius IX proclaimed her beatification, and on 29 June, 1867, placed her on the canon of virgin saints. Her feast is kept in the Diocese of Toulouse on 15 June. She is represented in art with a shepherd's crook or with a distaff; with a watchdog, or a sheep; or with flowers in her apron.
Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis World Day Poor Message "Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor..." FULL Official Text

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
18 November 2018

This poor man cried and the Lord heard him

1. «This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him» (Ps 34:7). The words of the Psalmist become our own when we are called to meet the different conditions of suffering and marginalization lived out by very many of our brothers and sisters whom we are accustomed to label generically as “the poor”. The Psalmist is not extraneous to suffering; quite the contrary. He has direct experience of poverty and yet transforms it into a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. This Psalm is an opportunity for us today, immersed as we are in the many different forms of poverty, to understand who are the true poor on whom we are called to look upon in order to hear their cry and recognise their needs.
We are told, first of all, that the Lord listens to the poor who cry to Him and is good to those who seek refuge in him, their hearts broken by sadness, loneliness and exclusion. The Lord listens to those who are downtrodden in their dignity and yet have the strength to look up in order to receive light and comfort. He listens to those who are persecuted in the name of a false justice, oppressed by policies unworthy of the name and intimidated by violence. And yet they know that they have their Saviour in God. What emerges from this prayer is above all the sense of abandonment to, and trust in, a Father who listens and is welcoming. It is on the same wavelength as these words that we can better understand what Jesus proclaimed with the beatitude «Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
Such is this unique experience, in many ways undeserved and impossible to express in full, that we nevertheless feel the desire to communicate it others, first of all to those who, like the Psalmist, are poor, rejected and marginalized. In fact, no-one can feel excluded from the Father’s love, especially in a world which often elevates riches as the primary objective and leads us to isolation.
2. Psalm 34 uses three verbs to characterize the attitude of the poor man and his relationship with God. First of all, “to cry”. The condition of poverty cannot be expressed in a word, but becomes a cry which crosses the heavens and reaches God. What does the cry of the poor express if not their suffering and solitude, their delusion and hope? We can ask ourselves how it is that this cry, which rises to the presence of God, is unable to penetrate our ears and leaves us indifferent and impassive? On a day like the World Day of the Poor we are called to make a serious examination of conscience in order to understand if we are really capable of hearing them.
What we need in order to recognise their voice is silence in which to listen. If we speak too much ourselves, we will be unable to hear them. Often I am afraid that many initiatives, by themselves meritorious and necessary, are intended more to please those who undertake them than to really acknowledge the cry of the poor. If this is the case, when the cry of the poor rings out our reaction is incoherent and we are unable to empathize with their condition. We are so entrapped in a culture which obliges us to look in the mirror and to pamper ourselves that we believe that a gesture of altruism is sufficient without compromising ourselves directly.
3. The second verb is “to answer”. The Lord, the Psalmist tells us, not only listens to the cry of the poor, but He answers it. His answer, as attested by the whole history of salvation, is an all-loving sharing in the condition of the poor. It was so when Abram expressed to God his desire for an offspring, notwithstanding that he and his wife Sarah were old in years and had no children (cfr. Genesis 15:1-6). It happened when Moses, through a bush which burned without being consumed, received the revelation of the divine name and the mission to free his people from Egypt (Exodus 3:1-15). And this answer is confirmed throughout the wandering of Israel in the desert, when it was bitten by hunger and thirst (cfr. Exodus 16:1-6; 17:1-7) and when it fell into wretchedness of the worst kind, that is, unfaithfulness to the covenant and idolatry (cfr. Exodus 32:1-14).
God’s answer to the poor is always an intervention of salvation in order to heal the wounds of body and soul, restore justice and assist in beginning anew to live life with dignity. God’s answer is also an appeal in order that those who believe in Him can do the same within the limitations of their human nature. The World Day of the Poor wishes to be a small answer which the whole Church, spread throughout the world, gives to the poor of every type and in every land lest they think that their cry has gone unheard. Probably, it is like a drop of water in the desert of poverty; and yet it can be a sign of sharing for those who are in need, that they might experience the active presence of a brother or a sister. It is not delegated power of which the poor have need, but the personal involvement of as many hear their cry. The concern of believers in their regards cannot be limited to a kind of assistance – as useful and as providential as this may be in the beginning – but requires a «loving attentiveness» (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 199) which honours the person as such and seeks out his best interests.
4. The third verb is “to free”. The poor of the Bible live with the certainty that God intervenes in their favour to restore their dignity. Poverty is not brought on by itself, but is caused by selfishness, pride, greed and injustice. These are evils as old as man himself, but also sins in which the innocents are caught up, leading to consequences on the social level which are dramatic. God’s liberating action is an act of salvation towards those who manifest their sadness and distress to Him. The prison of poverty is broken open by the power of God’s intervention. Many of the Psalms narrate and celebrate this history of salvation which is mirrored in the personal life of the poor: «For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him» ( Psalm 22:25). To be able to contemplate God’s countenance is a sign of His friendship, His proximity, and His salvation. «Thou hast seen my affliction, thou hast taken heed of my adversities … thou hast set my feet in a broad place» ( Psalm 31:8-9). To offer the poor a “broad space” is to liberate them from the “snare of the fowler” ( Psalm 91:3) and subtract them from the trap hidden on their path, in order that they might proceed expeditiously and look serenely upon life. God’s salvation takes the form of hand held out to the poor which is welcoming, offers protection and allows them to experience the friendship which they need. It is beginning with this concrete and tangible proximity that a genuine path of liberation emerges. «Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society. This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and to come to their aid» ( Evangelii gaudium, 187).
5. I find it moving to know that many of the poor have identified themselves with Bartimaeus from St. Mark’s Gospel. Bartimaeus, a blind man, «was sitting by the roadside to beg» (verse 46) and, having heard that Jesus was passing by, «began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”» (verse 47). «Many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more» (verse 48). The Son of God heard his cry: «“What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Master, let me receive my sight”» (verse 51). This Gospel narrative makes visible what in the Psalm is announced as a promise. Bartimaeus is a poor man who finds himself deprived of fundamental capacities like his sight and being able to work for his living. How many paths today also lead to forms of precariousness! The lack of basic means of subsistence, marginalization stemming from a reduced capacity to work owing to ill-heath, the various forms of social slavery, notwithstanding the progress made by humankind … How many poor people today are like Bartimaeus, sitting by the roadside and searching for the meaning of their existence! How many of them ask themselves why they have fallen so far and how they can escape! They are waiting from someone to come up and say: «Take heart; rise, he is calling you» (verse 49).
Unfortunately, often the opposite happens and the poor are reached by voices rebuking them and telling them to shut up and to put up. These voices are out of tune, often determined by a phobia of the poor, considered not only as destitute, but also as bearers of insecurity and instability, detached from the habits of daily life and, consequently, to be rejected and kept afar. The tendency is to create a distance between them and us, without realizing that by so doing we distance ourselves from the Lord Jesus who does not reject the poor, but calls them to Him and consoles them. The words of the Prophet concerning the style of life proper to believers is most apt in this case: «to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke … to share bread with the hungry and bring the homeless and poor into the house … to cover the naked» (Isaiah 58:6-7). Deeds such as these allow sin to be forgiven (cfr. 1 Peter 4:8), justice to pursue its path and, when it is us to cry to the Lord, ensure that he will answer and say: here I am! (Isaiah 58:9).
6. The poor are the first to whom it is given to recognise the presence of God and to testify to His proximity in their lives. God remains faithful to his promise, and even in the darkness of the night does not withhold the warmth of his love and consolation. However, in order to overcome the overwhelming condition of poverty, it is necessary that the poor perceive the presence of brothers and sisters who show concern for them and who, by opening the door of their hearts and lives, make them feel like friends and family. Only in this way can we discover «the saving power at work in their lives» and «put them at the centre of the Church’s pilgrim way» (Evangelii gaudium, 198).
On this World Day we are invited to give concreteness to the words of the Psalm: «The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied» (Psalm22:27). We know that in the Temple of Jerusalem, after the sacrificial rite, a banquet took place. It was this experience which enriched the first World Day of the Poor in many Dioceses last year. Many people found the warmth of a home, the joy of a celebration meal and the solidarity of those who wished to share the table in a simple and brotherly way. I would like that this year and in the future this World Day be celebrated in the spirit of joy for the rediscovery of our capacity for getting together. Praying together as a community and sharing a Sunday meal is an experience which takes us back to the earliest Christian community, described by St. Luke the Evangelist with all his originality and simplicity: «And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. […] And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need» (Acts 2:42.44-45).
7. Numerous initiatives are undertaken every day by the Christian community in order to give a sign of neighbourliness and relief in the face of the many forms of poverty which are before our eyes. Often it is the case that cooperation with other enterprises, moved not not by faith but by human solidarity, enable us to give assistance which by ourselves would have been impossible. Recognising that the in the immense world of poverty our capacity for action is limited, weak and insufficient leads us to reach out to others so that reciprocal cooperation can reach its objective in a more effective way. We are inspired by faith and by the imperative of charity, but we also know how to recognise other forms of assistance and solidarity which are characterized, in part, by our same objectives, albeit that we do not neglect our proper role which is to lead everyone to God and to holiness. Dialogue among the different forms of experience and humility in giving freely of our collaboration, without seeking the limelight, is an adequate and fully evangelical response which we can all give.
In the service of the poor, the last thing we need is a battle for first place. Instead we should recognise with humility that it is the Spirit which solicits from us actions which are a sign of God’s answer and proximity. When we find a way to draw near to the poor, we know that the first place belongs to Him who has opened our eyes and our heart to conversion. The poor have no need of protagonists, but of a love which knows how to hide and forget the good which it has done. The true protagonists are the Lord and the poor. He who desires to serve is an instrument in God’s hands in order to make manifest His presence and salvation. St. Paul recalls this when writing to the Christians of Corinth, who used to compete amongst themselves for charisms by seeking the most prestigious: «The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you”» (1 Corinthians 12;21). The Apostle makes an important point when he observes that it is the parts of the body which appear to be weaker which are more necessary (cfr. verse 22); and those which «we think less honourable we invest with the greater honour, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require» (verses 23-24). Thus, while Paul imparts to the community a fundamental teaching on charisms, he also educates it concerning its attitude towards its weaker and more needy members in the light of the Gospel. Far from the disciples of Christ nourishing sentiments of contempt or pietism towards the poor, they are called to honour them, giving them precedence, out of the conviction that they are a real presence of Jesus in our midst. «As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me» (Matthew 25:40).
8. Here we can see how distant our way of living is from that of the world which praises, follows and imitates those who have power and riches, while at the same time marginalizing the poor and considering them a waste and an object of shame. The words of the Apostle Paul are an invitation to give evangelical fullness to solidarity with the weaker and less gifted members of the body of Christ: «If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together» (1 Corinthians 12:26). Similarly, in the Letter to the Romans, he exhorts us: «Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly» (12:15-16). This is the vocation of the disciple of Christ; the ideal for which we must constantly strive is the increasing assimilation in us of the «mind of Jesus Christ» (Philippians 2:5).
9. A word of hope is the natural epilogue to which faith gives rise. Often it is the poor who undermine our indifference which is the daughter of a vision of life which is too imminent and bound up with the present. The cry of the poor is also a cry of hope which manifests the certainty of being liberated. This hope is founded upon the love of God who does not abandon those who trust in Him (cfr. Romans 8:31-39). As St. Teresa of Ávila writes in The Way of Perfection: «Poverty comprises many virtues. It is a vast domain. I affirm that whoever despises all earthly goods holds dominion over them» (2:5). It is in the measure in which we are able to discern authentic good that we become rich before God and wise in the face of ourselves and others. It is really so: in the measure in which we succeed in giving riches their right and true sense that we grow in humanity and become capable of sharing.
10. I invite my brother bishops, priests and, in particular, deacons, on whom hands have been laid for the service of the poor (Acts 6:1-7), as well as religious and the lay faithful – men and women – who in parishes, associations and ecclesial movements make tangible the Church’s response to the cry of the poor, to live this World Day as a special moment of new evangelization. The poor evangelize us, helping us to discover every day the beauty of the Gospel. Let us not waste this opportunity for grace. Let all of us feel on this day that we are debtors towards the poor because, stretching out our hands reciprocally one to another, a salvific encounter be created which strengthens our faith, renders our charity active and enables our hope to continue secure on the journey towards the Lord who is returning.
From the Vatican, 13 June 2018
Liturgical Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua

Source: - Official Translation 

Pope Francis "...respond to the current migration situation, the assistance of the entire international community is needed," FULL Official Text + Video

[Vatican City, 14 June 2018]

I greet all those taking part in this Second Holy See-Mexico Conference on International Migration, and wish especially to thank the organizers and presenters. This meeting is taking place on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the United Mexican States and the Holy See. It is thus an opportunity to strengthen and renew the bonds of cooperation and understanding between us, in order to continue to work jointly on behalf of the needy and the marginalized in our society.
At this time, when the International Community is engaged in two processes aimed at the adoption of two global compacts, one on refugees and the other on safe, orderly and regular migration, I encourage you in your work and your efforts to ground responsibility for the shared global management of international migration in the values of justice, solidarity and compassion. This demands a change in mindset: we must move from considering others as threats to our comfort to valuing them as persons whose life experience and values can contribute greatly to the enrichment of our society. For this to happen, our basic approach must be “to encounter the other, to welcome, to know and to acknowledge him or her” (Homily for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 14 January 2018).
In order to acknowledge and respond to the current migration situation, the assistance of the entire international community is needed, since its transnational dimension exceeds the capacities and resources of many States. Such international cooperation is important at every stage of migration: from departing one’s country of origin all the way to reaching one’s destination, as well as facilitating reentry and transit. In each of these countries, migrants are vulnerable, feeling alone and isolated. The recognition of this fact is vitally important if we wish to give a concrete and dignified response to this humanitarian challenge.
Finally, I would like to point out that the issue of migration is not simply one of numbers, but of persons, each with his or her own history, culture, feelings and aspirations… These persons, our brothers and sisters, need “ongoing protection”, independently of whatever migrant status they may have. Their fundamental rights and their dignity need to be protected and defended. Particular concern must be shown for migrant children and their families, those who are victims of human trafficking rings, and those displaced due to conflicts, natural disasters and persecution. All of them hope that we will have the courage to tear down the wall of “comfortable and silent complicity” that worsens their helplessness; they are waiting for us to show them concern, compassion and devotion.
I give thanks to God for your work and service, and I encourage you to continue your efforts to respond to the plea of our brothers and sisters, who ask us to recognize them as such, to give them an opportunity to live in dignity and peace, and in so doing, to contribute to the development of peoples. To all I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing.
From the Vatican, 14 June 2018

Pope Francis "...way of seeing things, through the eyes of faith, which accepts God’s self-disclosure." to Astronomers FULL Official TEXT + Video

Clementine Hall
Thursday, 14 June 2018

Dear Friends,
I offer a warm welcome to all of you, the professors and students of this summer course organized by the Vatican Observatory. Coming from many countries and cultures, you bring with you many different areas of expertise. You remind us that diversity can be united by a common goal of study, and that the success of that work depends on precisely this kind of diversity. By working together, from the variety of your backgrounds, you can help develop a common understanding of our universe.
Your topic this year concerns variable stars in the light of new, large astronomical surveys that are themselves the result of collaborative efforts by many nations and teams of scientists. As will become apparent in this course, only such teamwork can make sense of all these new data.
As our understanding of this vast universe gradually grows, so does our need to learn how to manage the flood of information we receive from so many different sources. Perhaps the way you yourselves manage such a torrent of data can offer hope to all those people in our world who feel overwhelmed by the information revolution of the internet and the social media!
Before all this information, and the vastness of our universe, we may be tempted to think of ourselves as small and insignificant. This fear is nothing new. More than two thousand years ago, the Psalmist could write: “When I see your heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you arranged, what is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man, that you care for him?” He then went on to say: “Yet you have made him little less than a god; with glory and honour you crowned him” (Ps 8:4-6).
Whether as scientists or believers, it is always important to start by admitting there is much that we do not know. But it is equally important never to stop at a complacent agnosticism. Just as we should never think we know everything, we should never fear to try to learn more.
To know the universe, at least in part; to know what we know and what we don’t know, and how we can go about learning more; this is the task of the scientist. There is another way of seeing things, that of metaphysics, which acknowledges the First Cause of everything, hidden from tools of measurement. Then there is still another way of seeing things, through the eyes of faith, which accepts God’s self-disclosure. Harmonizing these different levels of knowledge leads us to understanding, and understanding – we hope – will make us open to wisdom.
The “glory and honour” of which the Psalmist speaks can also be understood in terms of the joy of intellectual work such as your own study of astronomy. It is through us, human beings, that this universe can become, so to speak, aware of itself and of its Maker. This is the gift, and the accompanying responsibility, given to us as thinking, rational creatures in this cosmos.
On the other hand, as human beings, we are more than thinking, rational beings. We are persons, with a sense of curiosity that drives us to know more; we are creatures, who work to learn and share what we have learned for the pure joy of doing so. And as people who love what we do, we can find in our love for this universe a foretaste of that divine Love which, in contemplating his creation, declared that it was good.
Dante famously wrote that it is love that moves the sun and the stars (cf. Paradiso, XXXIII, 145). May your work likewise be “moved” by love: love of truth; love of the universe itself; and love for one another as you work together amid your diversity.

With these prayerful sentiments, I cordially invoke the Lord’s abundant blessings on you and upon your work. Thank you!

Pope Francis " beautiful it would be if we never insulted others. May the Lord grant us this grace." Homily

Pope Francis at Mass: ‘Jesus desires reconciliation'
On Thursday morning during his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis says that Jesus invites us to 'radical reconciliation'.
By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Pope Francis used the Gospel of the day (Matthew 5:20-26) as the point of departure for his homily on Thursday morning during Mass at Casa Santa Marta. He said that Jesus desires “radical” reconciliation.

Human wisdom

The Pope said that Jesus uses human wisdom in reasoning with the disciples. In order to drive home his teaching regarding loving relationships, the Lord uses an “every-day example…the problem of insults”.

Insults kill

Pope Francis smiled as he said that the list of insults Jesus cites are ancient. Jesus tells us that insults “open up a path that ends in murder”. We disqualify others through insults. They rob people of their respectability. By insulting people we silence them, we take away their voice, he said.

Insults leads to envy

Insults are so dangerous because they lead to envy, which is how the devil entered the world according to the Book of Wisdom, the Pope said. “When another person does something I don’t like … or when someone threatens me, envy pushes me to insult them”.
Pope Francis said it is good to ask ourselves:
Have I insulted anyone today? When do I use insults? When do I close my heart to another with an insult? Can I see the bitter root of envy there that pushes me to desire the destruction of another in order to avoid competition, rivalry, that type of thing. It’s not easy. But let’s think how beautiful it would be if we never insulted others. May the Lord grant us this grace.

Jesus halts the process

Jesus wants us to stop this dynamic, Pope Francis said concluding his homily.
When you go to Mass and you are aware that one of your brothers has something against you, go and reconcile yourself… Jesus is that radical. Reconciliation is not the same as good manners. No, it’s a radical attitude, one that tries to respect the dignity of others as well as my own. From insult to reconciliation, from envy to friendship—this is the example that Jesus gives us today.
Vatican News

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. June 14,2018 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 362

Reading 11 KGS 18:41-46

Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink,
for there is the sound of a heavy rain."
So Ahab went up to eat and drink,
while Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel,
crouched down to the earth,
and put his head between his knees.
"Climb up and look out to sea," he directed his servant,
who went up and looked, but reported, "There is nothing."
Seven times he said, "Go, look again!"
And the seventh time the youth reported,
"There is a cloud as small as a man's hand rising from the sea."
Elijah said, "Go and say to Ahab,
'Harness up and leave the mountain before the rain stops you.'"
In a trice the sky grew dark with clouds and wind,
and a heavy rain fell.
Ahab mounted his chariot and made for Jezreel.
But the hand of the LORD was on Elijah,
who girded up his clothing and ran before Ahab
as far as the approaches to Jezreel.

Responsorial PsalmPS 65:10, 11, 12-13

R. (2a) It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
You have visited the land and watered it;
greatly have you enriched it.
God's watercourses are filled;
you have prepared the grain.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
Thus have you prepared the land:
drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods,
Softening it with showers,
blessing its yield.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
You have crowned the year with your bounty,
and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
The untilled meadows overflow with it,
and rejoicing clothes the hills.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.

AlleluiaJN 13:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."

Saint June 14 : St. Methodius I of Constantinople : #Patriarch


Feast: June 14

Feast Day:
June 14
8th century at Syracuse
Patriarch of Constantinople (842-846), defender of images during the second Iconoclast persecution, b. at Syracuse, towards the end of the eighth century; d. at Constantinople, 14 June, 846. The son of a rich family, he came, as a young man, to Constantinople intending to obtain a place at Court. But a monk persuaded him to change his mind and he entered a monastery. Under the Emperor Leo V (the Armenian, 813-820) the Iconoclast persecution broke out for the second time. The monks were nearly all staunch defenders of the images; Methodius stood by his order and distinguished himself by his opposition to the Government. In 815 the Patriarch Nicephorus I (806-815) was deposed and banished for his resistance to the Iconoclast laws; in his place Theodotus I (815-821) was intruded. In the same year Methodius went to Rome, apparently sent by the deposed patriarch, to report the matter to the pope (Paschal I, 817-824). He stayed in Rome till Leo V was murdered in 820 and succeeded by Michael II (820-829). Hoping for better things from the new emperor, Methodius then went back to Constantinople bearing a letter in which the pope tried to persuade Michael to change the policy of the Government and restore the Patriarch Nicephorus. But Michael only increased the fierceness of the persecution. As soon as Methodius had delivered his letter and exhorted the emperor to act according to it, he was severely scourged (with 70 stripes), taken to the island Antigoni in the Propontis, and there imprisoned in a disused tomb. The tomb must be conceived as a building of a certain size; Methodius lived seven years in it. In 828 Michael II, not long before his death, mitigated the persecution and proclaimed a general amnesty. Profiting by this, Methodius came out of his prison and returned to Constantinople almost worn out by his privations. His spirit was unbroken and he took up the defence of the holy images as zealously as before.
Michael II was succeeded by his son Theophilus (829-842), who caused the last and fiercest persecution of image-worshippers. Methodius again withstood the emperor to his face, was again scourged and imprisoned under the palace. But the same night he escaped, helped by his friends in the city, who hid him in their house and bound up his wounds. For this the Government confiscated their property. But seeing that Methodius was not to be overcome by punishment, the emperor tried to convince him by argument. The result of their discussion was that Methodius to some extent persuaded the emperor. At any rate towards the end of the reign the persecution was mitigated. Theophilus died in 842 and at once the whole situation was changed. His wife, Theodora, became regent for her son Michael III (the Drunkard, 842-867). She had always been an image-worshipper in secret; now that she had the power she at once began to restore images, set free the confessors in prison and bring back everything to the conditions of the Second Nicene Council (787). The Patriarch of Constantinople, John VII (832-842), was an Iconoclast set up by the Government. As he persisted in his heresy he was deposed and Methodius was made patriarch in his place (842-846). Methodius then helped the empress-regent in her restoration. He summoned a synod at Constantinople (842) that approved of John VII's deposition and his own succession. It had no new laws to make about images. The decrees of Nicæa II that had received the assent of the pope and the whole Church as those of an Œcumenical Council were put in force again. On 19 Feb., 842, the images were brought in solemn procession back to the churches. This was the first "Feast of Orthodoxy", kept again in memory of that event on the first Sunday of Lent every year throughout the Byzantine Church. Methodius then proceeded to depose Iconoclast bishops throughout his patriarchate, replacing them by image-worshippers. In doing so he seems to have acted severely. An opposition formed itself against him that nearly became an organized schism. The patriarch was accused of rape; but the woman in question admitted on examination that she had been bought by his enemies.
On 13 March, 842, Methodius brought the relics of his predecessor Nlicephorus (who had died in exile) with great honour to Constantinople. They were exposed for a time in the church of the Holy Wisdom, then buried in that of the Apostles. Methodius was succeeded by Ignatius, under whom the great schism of Photius broke out. Methodius is a saint to Catholics and Orthodox. He is named in the Roman Martyrology (14 June), on which day the Byzantine Church keeps his feast together with that of the Prophet Eliseus. He is acclaimed with the other patriarchs, defenders of images, in the service of the feast of Orthodoxy: "To Germanus, Tarasius, Nicephorus and Methodius, true high priests of God and defenders and teachers of Orthodoxy, R. Eternal memory (thrice)." The Uniate Syrians have his feast on the same day. The Orthodox have a curious legend, that his prayers and those of Theodora saved Theophilus out of hell. It is told in the Synaxarion for the feast of Orthodoxy.
St. Methodius is reputed to have written many works. Of these only a few sermons and letters are extant (in Migne, P.G., C, 1272-1325). An account of the martyrdom of Denis the Areopagite by him is in Migne, P.G., IV, 669-682, two sermons on St. Nicholas in N. C. Falconius, "S. Nicolai acta primigenia" (Naples, 1751), 39-74. For other fragments and scholia, see Krumbacher, "Byzantinische Litteratur" (Munich, 2nd ed., 1897), 167.