Monday, July 1, 2019

Saint July 2 : St. Bernardino Realino a Jesuit who cherished to Poor

St. Bernardino Realino
Feast: July 2 
Born:Modena, Italy, in 1530
Canonized:1947 by Pope Pius XII
Patron of:

Lecce, Italy 
Bernardino Realino was born on December 1st, 1530 in Carpi in the province of Emilia in Northern Italy.Bernardino Realino’s long life – he was over eighty-six at the time of his passing – can be conveniently divided into two unequal parts.
The First Thirty-Four years (1530-1564)
His mother was mainly responsible for his early training in piety and profane knowledge. She chose the tutors who for sixteen years taught Bernardino at home, as was the custom with rich families in those days. His father was often away from home, as his services were in constant demand by several ruling princes, who inisisted on his attendance on them.
When he was sixteen, he left the paternal home in order to complete his literary studies and for further studies in medicine.
While he was at Bologna, another woman began to play an important part in his life, a beautiful girl, Signorina Calindra, who became eventually his betrothed. Apparently this young lady did not like men of the medical profession; and Bernardino, anxious to please his lady-love switched over to the study of law.
He took his degree in civil and canon law in 1561. He was doing well. However the sunshine soon went out of his life, for about that time his long courtship with Calindra suddenly came to an end with the premature death of his beloved.
In those days, Bernardino was a practising Catholic, but by no means an exemplary one. He was hot-tempered, and when he considered himself offended, he was liable to go to extremes. He also foolishly thought that when insulted, the proper thing for him to do was to challenge the offender to fight it out with deadly weapons.

The Parting of the Ways

It would seem that one day he saw in the streets of Naples two young religious who impressed him by their modest exterior. He enquired who they were, and was told that they were members of a new Order, founded by Ignatius of Loyola and called the Society of Jesus. Bernardino, who had never heard of the Society of Jesus, wanted to know more about it. On the following Sunday he went to hear Mass in the Jesuit church, and also listened to the sermon.
This sermon and the grace of God were the first seeds of Bernardino’s spiritual awakening. He sought an interview with the preacher, discussed matters with him, spent a few days in recollection and prayer, and made up his mind to enter the Society, not without some hesitation, because he was anxious about his old father. The poor man would get a great shock, he might even have a stroke and die suddenly.

Divine Light!

While he was in that disturbed frame of mind, Bernardino earnestly prayed for light. One day as he was saying his beads – it was in the month of September 1564- another woman entered into his life, the Mother of God. Our Lady and her Holy Child appeared to him. Her holy presence filled his heart with overflowing joy, and swept from his mind the cobwebs of procrastination. The question was settled there and then, Bernardino entered the novitiate of Naples on October 13th, 1564. He was ordained a Priest in 1567

Bernardino in Lecce, Italy- a long life

On the request of the General, Father Everard Mercurian, Fr. Bernardino was required in Lecce, Rome. In Lecce, Fr. Bernardino’s name became a household word. He endeared himself to all, young and old, rich and poor alike. He preached to the grown-ups, he taught the catechism to the little ones, he heard confessions for hours on end, he visited the sick in their houses and in the hospitals, he took a special interest in the prisoners and the slaves. He became the spiritual guide of priests, religious men and women including lay people. His saintly life deeply impressed the inhabitants of Lecce, and soon all sorts of rumours began to spread.The poor, whom he cherished above all others, began to spread marvellous stories. The Lord permitted him to work wonders and miracles.
As years went by, the Jesuit college at Lecce saw many changes of personnel. Rectors came and Rectors went, but Fr. Bernardino remained. Of course, the inhabitants knew that sooner or later Fr. Bernardino would die. On July 2nd, 1616, Father Bernardino was heard to whisper Oh Santisima Signora Mia, “O Most Holy Lady Mine”. With Mary’s name on his lips, he breathed his last.
He was beatified by Pope Leo XII in 1895 and canonzied on June 23rd, 1947, by Pope Pius XII.
Saint Bernardino is thepatron of Lecce-Italy and we celebrate his feast on July 2nd.
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Official Date for Canonization of Card. John Henry Newman and Sr. Mariam Thresia and 3 others on Oct. 13

Vatican News reports that Cardinal John Henry Newman, Sister Thresia of India and 3 others are soon to be Saints.
The date of the canonization of Blessed John Henry Newman along with four others will be on the third Sunday of October 13, 2019.
On Monday, July 1, 2019 at a Consistory of cardinals, Pope Francis formally approved Blessed John Henry Newman’s canonisation along with that of Sister Mariam Thresia, of Giuseppina Vannini, of Dulce Lopes Pontes and of Margarita Bays.

The Pope signed a decree recognising a second miracle attributed to Blessed John Henry Newman, the inexplicable healing of a woman with a “life-threatening pregnancy”, in February.
Blessed John Henry Newman was one of the most prominent converts to Catholicism from Anglicanism of the 19th century. He was already an esteemed Anglican theologian when he founded the Oxford Movement to return the Church of England to its Catholic roots, before himself converting to the Catholic faith. He was renowned as a brilliant thinker and was made a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. He died in Birmingham in 1890, aged 89, after founding the Birmingham Oratory.

Sister Mariam Thresia of India is the founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family.

Italian Sister Giuseppina Vannini is the founder of the Daughters of Saint Camillus.

Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God.

Marguerite Bays of Switzerland, of the Third Order of Saint Francis of Assisi.
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#BreakingNews Franciscan Dies at Lourdes due to Fall while climbing - RIP Fr. Andrea Caruso

Father Andrea Caruso, the first on the left in the photo taken in Lourdes
Father Andrea Caruso, member of the Franciscans, died in Lourdes.
Even in France, he did not give up his passion for the mountains. A fall on a path was fatal to Father Andrea Caruso, aged 68, a Capuchin friar, considered the last disciple of Father Umile Bonzi, the founder of this group of Franciscans. And it was to the Franciscan that Father Andrea had dedicated much of his life, until a year and a half ago when he had been transferred to Lourdes, where he would have to stay for three years. The incident occurred on Tuesday, while Father Caruso was making an excursion in the company of a brother on a path in the Pyrenees.

Historic meeting with President Trump and North Korea's Leader Pyongyong for Peace

For the first time in history a US president traveled to North Korea.  This has anticipated a restart of denuclearization talks, which were stalled since February.  South Korea views this as a "turning point" in the peace process .
The North Korean state media are celebrating the meeting on June 30, 2019, between leader Kim Jong-un and US president Donald J. Trump as "historic" and "amazing".
 It occurred in Panmunjom inside the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which for 66 years has divided the two Koreas.
Some critics say the meeting is nothing more than "a drama for publicity purposes".

Kim accepted the invitation to meet in the DMZ that Trump had extended the day before, during a 48-hour visit to South Korea for talks with President Moon Jae-in.  Kim and Trump shook hands on the concrete blocks that divide the North and the South, before Trump took a few steps into North Korean territory, becoming the first US president to set foot there.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) - Pyongyang public news agency - reports today that the US president and Kim agree to "resume and carry out productive dialogues to take a new step forward in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula".

"The top leaders of the DPRK and the US exchanging historic handshakes at Panmunjom" was an "amazing event", KCNA said, describing the truce village as a "place that had been known as the symbol of division".

A few hours after the pleasantries between Kim and Trump, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, told reporters that he expected the North Korean denuclearization talks to resume in mid-July.

On table will be once again the dismantling of nuclear weapons and the regime's ballistic programs, in exchange for a loosening of the economic sanctions imposed by the international community.

  Pompeo said he was "enthusiastic" about the imminent return to the negotiating table.  " "We think we do have a jumping-off point for these discussions, which have put us in a place where we can truly evaluate if there is a clear path forward," he said. "I've been listening to Chairman Kim today. I think there is."

Even South Korea, expressed satisfaction with the new developments as declared by the Unification Ministry of Seoul.  Spokesman Lee Sang-min states: "After yesterday, talks on denuclearization between the North and the United States should accelerate.  Our government will continue to strive to maintain the momentum towards dialogue and strengthen a virtuous circle between inter-Korean links, denuclearization and US-North Korea relations ".

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe points out that Tokyo "has been supporting the process since the first Trump-Kim summit in Singapore (in June 2018).  We hope that yesterday's meeting will push him even further ”.  Meanwhile, relatives of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea state that the meeting between Trump and Kim has rekindled their hopes of solving the problem of their missing family members. (Edited from Asia News IT)
Vatican News reports that Pope Francis prayed for the meeting and was pleased. 
“In these last few hours, we have seen in Korea a good example of the ‘culture of encounter,” Pope Francis said after the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday.

July a Month Devoted to the Precious Blood of Jesus - #Novena to the Precious Blood - Powerful Prayers to Share! with Litany and Chaplet

These Prayers are Especially Powerful in July the Month of the Precious Blood of Jesus - There is Powerful Evil in the World - We Need to PRAY More - Share these Prayers and Change the World!
Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy,
Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, hear us, Jesus graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony, save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness. save us.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, save us.
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, save us.
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, save us.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, save us.
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, save us.
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, save us.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, save us.
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, save us.
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, 
save us.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the worldhave mercy on us.
You have redeemed us, O Lord, in your Blood.
 And made us, for our God, a kingdom.
Let us pray, ---  Almighty and eternal God, you have appointed your only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and willed to be appeased by his Blood. Grant we beg of you, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation, and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life, so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. 

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V. Deus in adjutorium meum intende.
R. Domine ad adiuvandum me festina.
V. Gloria Patri, &c.
R. Sicut erat, &c.


The first time our loving Saviour shed His Precious Blood for its was on the eighth day after His birth, when He was circumcised in order to accomplish the law of Moses. While, then, we reflect that Jesus did this to satisfy the justice of God for our dissolute lives, let us excite ourselves to true sorrow for them, and promise, with the help of his all-powerful grace, to be henceforth truly chaste in body and in soul.

Five Pater noster's and one Gloria Patri.

V. Te ergo quaesumus tuis famulis subveni, quos pretioso Sanguine redemisti.
We beseech Thee, therefore, help Thy servants, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.


Next, in the Garden of Olives, Jesus shed His Blood for us in such quantity that it bathed the earth around. Thus took place at the sight of the ingratitude with which men would meet His love. O, let us, then, repent sincerely because we have hitherto corresponded so ill with the innumerable benefits of our God, and resolve to make good use of His graces and holy inspirations.

Five Pater noster's and one Gloria Patri.

V. Te ergo quaesumus, &c.


Next, in His cruel scourging, Jesus shed His Blood, when His flesh was so torn that rivers of Blood flowed from His body in every part, all of which He offered all the time to His Eternal Father in payment of our impatience and our delicacy. How is it, then, we do not curb our anger and our self-love?  Henceforth we will indeed try our very best to bear our troubles well, and, despising ourselves, to take peacefully the injuries which men may do us.

Five Pater noster's and one Gloria Patri.

V. Te ergo quaesumus, &c.


Again, from the sacred Head of Jesus Blood poured down when it was crowned with thorns, in punishment of our pride and evil thoughts. Shall we, then, continue to nurture haughtiness, foster foul imaginations, and feed the wayward will in our minds?  Henceforth let there be ever before our eyes our utter nothingness, our misery, and our weakness; and with generous hearts let its resist all the wicked suggestions of the devil.

Five Pater noster's and one Gloria Patri.

V. Te ergo quaesumus, &c.


But O! how much of His Precious Blood did our loving Lord pour forth from His veins when laden with the heavy wood of the cross.  He made His mournful way to Calvary, so that the streets and ways of Jerusalem, through which He passed, were watered with it! this was done in satisfaction for the scandals and the bad examples by which His own creatures had led others astray on the way to ruin.  Who can tell how many of us are of this unhappy number?  Who knows how many he himself alone has by his own bad example brought down to hell?  And have we done anything to remedy this evil? L et us henceforth at least endeavour all we can to save souls by word and by example, making ourselves a pattern to all of good and holy life.

Five Pater noster's and one Gloria Patri.

V. Te ergo quaesumus, &c.


Still more copiously the Redeemer of mankind shed Blood in His barbarous Crucifixion; when His veins being rent and arteries burst, there gushed forth in a torrent, from His hands and His feet, that saving balm of life eternal, to pay for all the crimes and enormities of the universe. Who ever after this would continue in sin, and so renew the cruel crucifixion of the Son of God?  Let us weep bitterly for our bad deeds, and let us detest them at the feet of the sacred minister of God; let us amend our evil ways, and henceforth begin a truly Christian life, with the thought ever in our hearts of all the Blood which our eternal salvation cost the Saviour of men.

Five Pater noster's and one Gloria Patri.

V. Te ergo quaesumus, &c.


Last of all, after His death, when His sacred Side was opened by the lance and His loving Heart was wounded, Jesus shed Blood, and with the Blood there came forth water, to show us how the Blood was all poured out to the last drop for our salvation. O the infinite goodness of our Redeemer!  Who will not love Thee, my Saviour?  What heart will not consume itself away for love of Thee, who hast done all this for our redemption?  The tongue wants words to praise Thee: let us, then, invite all creatures upon earth, all angels and all saints in Paradise, and, most of all, our dear Mother Mary, to bless, to praise, and to celebrate Thy most Precious Blood.  Glory to the Blood of Jesus! Glory to the Blood of Jesus now and ever throughout all ages.  Amen.

At this last Mystery three Pater noster's and one Gloria Patri are to be said, to make up the number of thirty-three.

V. Te ergo quaesumus, &c.

Then say the following

Most Precious Blood of life eternal! price and ransom of the whole universe! drink and bath of the soul! ever pleading the cause of man before the throne of heavenly Mercy; I adore Thee most profoundly: I would, if I were able, make Thee some compensation for the outrages and wrongs Thou dost ever suffer from men, and especially from those who in their rashness dare to blaspheme Thee. Who will not bless this Blood of value infinite? who does not feel himself inflamed with the love of Jesus, who shed it all for us? What should I be but for this Blood, which hath redeemed me? And who drew it out of the veins of my Lord, even unto the last drop? It was love. O immense love, which gave to us this saving Balsam! O Balsam beyond all price, streaming forth from the Fount of immeasurable love! Give to all hearts, all tongues, power to praise, celebrate, and thank Thee, now and ever, and throughout all eternity. Amen.

V. Redemisti nos, Domine, in Sanguine tuo.
R. Et fecisti nos Deo nostro regnum.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui Unigenitum Filium tuum mundi Redemptorem constituisti, ac ejus Sanguine placari voluisti: concede nobis, quaesumus, salutis nostrae pretium ita venerari, atque praesentis vitae malis ejus virtute defendi in terris, ut fructu perpetuo laetemur in coelis. Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate, &c. Amen.


V. Then hast redeemed us, O Lord, with Thy Blood.
R. And hast made us a kingdom to our God.

Let us pray.
Almighty and Everlasting God, who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Saviour of the world, and hast willed to be appeased with His Blood; grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate this Blood, the price of our salvation, and so to be defended by its power upon earth from the evils of this present life, that in heaven we may enjoy its everlasting fruit. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

 By the Voice of your Blood, O Jesus, I would press you, solicit you, importune you. Though you seem to reject my supplications I will not leave your bleeding feet until you hear me. Too many graces, too many mercies flow from your Blood for me not to hope in its efficacy.
 Then, O Jesus, by the Precious Blood seven times shed for the welfare of all, by each drop of that sacred price of our redemption, by the tears of your immaculate mother,
 I implore you, hear my earnest prayer. (here specify your request)
 O Jesus, during all the days of your mortal life you consoled so many sufferers, healed so many infirmities, raised so often a sinking courage, you will not fail to have pity on one who cries to you from the depths of anguish. Oh! No, it is impossible.
Another profound sigh from my heart, and from the wound in your own there will flow to me upon a wave of your merciful Blood the grace so ardently desired. O Jesus, Jesus, hasten the moment when you will change my tears into joy, my sighs into thanksgiving. Holy Mary, source of the divine Blood, I implore you not to lose this occasion of glorifying the Blood which made you immaculate. Amen. Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be each day.

List of Canadian Saints who have Shaped the Life of the Catholic Church - #OCanada

The Saints and Blesseds of Canada 

A number of men and women have, in some particular way, shaped the life of the Church in Canada. Some gave their lives to ensure that the Good News be heard throughout North America. Others, out of steadfast faith and profound love dedicated their lives to the service of their brothers and sisters, whom very often were among the most underprivileged.

Declared saint, blessed or venerable by the Popes over the years, these extraordinary people are lights on the journey and examples of holiness and charity that Catholics can follow.

The North American Martyrs
St. Jean de Brebeuf (1593-1649)
St. Noël Chabanel (1613–1649)
St. Anthony Daniel (1601–1648)
St. Charles Garnier (1605–1649)
St. Isaac Jogues (1602–1646)
St. Gabriel Lalemant (1610–1649)
St. René Goupil (1607–1642)
St. Jean de Lalande (????-1646)

The North American Martyrs were a group of six Jesuit priests and two associates who worked selflessly as missionaries to the Hurons in the colonial days of New France. Having been martyred for their faith, they were canonized by Pope Pius XI on June 29, 1930. Their feast day is celebrated in Canada on September 26.
Marguerite Bourgeoys established the first school in Ville-Marie (present-day Montreal) and founded the Congregation of Notre Dame, an order of religious women, largely responsible for bringing Christian education to many areas of the New World. She worked tirelessly to ensure the rights and welfare of women and children in New France and to guarantee that young people received an education. Canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 31, 1982, her feast day is celebrated in Canada on January 12.
Marguerite d’Youville was instrumental in setting up hospitals in Montreal with the help of the Grey Nuns (Sisters of Charity), an order of religious women that she founded. She played a special role in caring for the poor, the elderly, orphans, invalids and the mentally challenged. Her congregation spread across Canada, setting up hospitals. Canonized by Pope John Paul II on December 9, 1990, her feast day is celebrated in Canada on October 16.
Canadian Blesseds
Blessed André Grasset (1758-1792) (French only)
Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher (1811-1849)
Blessed Marie-Léonie Paradis (1840-1912)
Link to the biography of Blessed Marie-Léonie Paradis (PDF)
Link to catechetical resources in English
Link to the website of the Centre of Marie-Léonie Paradis
Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau (1824-1901)
Blessed Frédéric Janssoone (1838-1916)
Blessed Catherine of Saint Augustine (1632-1668)
Link to the biography of Blessed Catherine of Saint Augustine (PDF)
Link to catechetical resources in English Link to the website of the Centre of Catherine of Saint Augustine
Blessed Dina Bélanger (1897-1929)
Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin (1809-1890)
Link to the biography of Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin (PDF)Link to catechetical resources in EnglishLink to the prayer to Blessed Marie-Anne BlondinLink to the website of the Congregation of Sisters of Saint Anne
Blessed Émilie Tavernier Gamelin (1800-1851)
Blessed Nykyta Budka (1877-1949)
Blessed Vasil Velychkovsky (1903-1973)
Link to the biography of Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky (PDF)Link to catechetical resources in EnglishLink to the website of Bishop Velychkovsky Martyr's ShrineLink to a pamphlet of the Martyr's Shrine (PDF)
Blessed Élisabeth Turgeon (1840-1881)
Link to the biography of Blessed Élisabeth Turgeon (PDF)
Link to catechetical resources in English
Link to the website of the Congregation for the beatification
Link to the video archives of the beatification
Link to the Education Teaching Centre of the Congregation (materials available in English, French and Spanish)
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Pope Francis speaks to the Heart of the People of Germany "Forgiveness and salvation is not something that we have to buy..." in Letter - Full Text


Dear brothers and sisters,

The meditation of the readings of the book of the Acts of the Apostles that were proposed to us in the Easter season moved me to write this letter to you. There we find the first apostolic community imbued with that new life that the Spirit gave them, transforming every circumstance into a good opportunity for the announcement. They had lost everything and on the morning of the first day of the week, between desolation and bitterness, they heard from the mouth of a woman that the Lord was alive. Nothing and no one could stop the Paschal outbreak in their lives and they could not keep silent what their eyes had seen and their hands touched (see 1 Jn 1: 1).

In this climate and with the conviction that the Lord "can always, with his novelty, renew our life and our community" [1] I want to approach and share your concern about the future of the Church in Germany. We are aware that we do not live only a time of changes but a change of time that awakens new and old questions with which it is fair and necessary to confront each other. Situations and questions that I could converse with your pastors in the last Ad Limina visit and that surely continue to resonate within your communities. As on that occasion I would like to offer my support, be closer to you to walk by your side and encourage the search to respond with parrhesia to the present situation.

1. With gratitude I look at that capillary network of communities, parishes, chapels, schools, hospitals, social structures that have been woven throughout history and are a testimony of the living faith that has sustained, nourished and vivified them for several generations. A faith that passed through moments of suffering, confrontation and tribulation, but also of perseverance and vitality that is also shown today rich in fruit in so many testimonies of life and works of charity. The German Catholic communities, in their diversity and plurality, are recognized throughout the world for their sense of co-responsibility and generosity that has been able to reach out and accompany the implementation of evangelization processes in regions that are quite submerged and without possibilities. . Such generosity was not only manifested in recent history as material economic aid but also sharing, over the years, numerous charisms and people: priests, religious, lay people who have faithfully and tirelessly fulfilled their service and mission in situations often difficult [2]. They have given to the Universal Church great saints and saints, theologians and theologians, as well as pastors and laity who helped that the encounter between the Gospel and cultures could reach new syntheses capable of awakening the best of both [3] and being offered to the new generations with the same ardor of the beginnings. This allowed a remarkable effort to identify pastoral responses to the challenges that were presented to them.

It is to point out the ecumenical way they carry out and of which we could see the fruits during the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a path that allows to encourage the instances of prayer, cultural exchange and exercise of charity capable of overcoming prejudices and wounds. of the past allowing us to celebrate and witness better the joy of the Gospel.

2. Today, however, I agree with you as it is painful to see the growing erosion and decay of the faith with all that this entails not only on a spiritual level but also socially and culturally. Situation that becomes visible and confirms, as Benedict XVI already pointed out, not only "in the East, where, as we know, the majority of the population is unbaptized and has no contact with the Church and, often, does not know not at all to Christ "[4] but also in the so-called" region of Catholic tradition [where there is] a very strong fall of participation in the Sunday Mass, as of the sacramental life "[5]. A deterioration, certainly multifaceted and not easy and quick solution, which calls for a serious and conscious approach that encourages us to become, on the threshold of present history, like that mendicant to hear the words of the apostle: "I have no silver or gold , but I give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk "(Ac 3,6).
3. To face this situation, your pastors have suggested a synodal path. What it means in concrete and how it will develop is something that is surely still being considered. For my part I expressed my reflections on the synodality of the Church on the occasion of the celebration of the fifty years of the Synod of Bishops [6]. In essence it is a synod under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that is, to walk together and with the whole Church under its light, guide and irruption to learn to listen and discern the ever new horizon that it wants to give us. Because the synodality supposes and requires the irruption of the Holy Spirit.

In the recent plenary assembly of the Italian Bishops, I had the opportunity to reiterate this central reality for the life of the Church by contributing the double perspective that it operates: "synodality from the bottom up, that is, the duty of caring for existence and good the functioning of the Diocese: the councils, the parishes, the participation of the laity ... (cf CIC 469-494), starting with the diocese, because you can not make a great synod without going to the base ...; and then the synodality from the top downwards »that allows to live in a specific and singular way the Collegial dimension of the episcopal ministry and of the ecclesial being [7]. Only in this way can we reach and make decisions on matters essential to the faith and life of the Church. This will be possible if we encourage ourselves to walk together with patience, anointing and with the humble and healthy conviction that we will never be able to respond at the same time to all the questions and problems. The Church is and always will be a pilgrim in history, bearer of a treasure in earthenware vessels (2 Cor 4, 7). This reminds us that he will never be perfect in this world and that his vitality and beauty lies in the treasure of which he is constitutively bearer [8].

The present questions, as well as the answers we demand, so that a healthy aggiornamento can be created, "a long fermentation of life and the collaboration of a whole people for years" [9]. This stimulates generating and implementing processes that build us as People of God rather than the search for immediate results that generate quick and mediatic but ephemeral consequences due to lack of maturity or because they do not respond to the vocation to which we are called.

4. In this sense, wrapped in serious and inevitable analysis, you can fall into subtle temptations to which I consider it necessary to pay special attention and care, because, far from helping us walk together, they will keep us clinging and installed in recurring schemes and mechanisms that end up denaturing or limiting our mission; and also with the aggravating circumstance that, if we are not aware of them, we can end up revolving around a complicated set of arguments, disquisitions and resolutions that do nothing but distance us from the real and daily contact of the faithful people and the Lord.

5. Assuming and suffering the current situation does not imply passivity or resignation and less negligence, on the contrary it supposes an invitation to make contact with what is necrosed in us and in our communities and needs to be evangelized and visited by the Lord. And this requires courage because what we need is much more than a structural, organizational or functional change.

I remember that in the meeting I had with your pastors in 2015, I told you that one of the first great temptations at the ecclesial level was to believe that solutions to present and future problems would come exclusively from purely structural, organic or bureaucratic reforms, but that, at the end of the day, they would not touch at all the vital nuclei that demand attention. "This is a new Pelagianism, which leads us to put confidence in administrative structures and perfect organizations. An excessive centralization that, instead of helping us, complicates the life of the Church and its missionary dynamic (Evangelii Gaudium, 32) »[10].

What is at the base of this temptation is to think that, in the face of so many problems and shortcomings, the best response would be to reorganize things, make changes and especially "patches" that make it possible to put the church's life in order and in harmony, adapting it to the present logic or that of a particular group. By this way it seems that everything is solved and things will return to their course if the ecclesial life enters into a "determined" new or old order that puts an end to the tensions of our human being and of those that the Gospel wants to provoke [11]. ]
Along that path, ecclesial life could eliminate tensions, be "in order and in tune" but only cause, over time, numb and domesticate the hearts of our people and diminish and even silence the vital and evangelical force that the Spirit wants to give: "This would be the greatest sin of mundane and worldly anti-evangelical spirit" [12]. It would have a good ecclesial body well organized and even "modernized" but without Gospel soul and novelty; we would live a "gaseous" Christianity without evangelical bite [13]. «Today we are called to manage the imbalance. We can not do something good, evangelical if we are afraid of imbalance »[14]. We can not forget that there are tensions and imbalances that have the flavor of the Gospel and that are essential to maintain because they are an announcement of new life.

6. That is why it seems important to me not to lose sight of what "the Church taught repeatedly: we are not justified by our works or by our efforts, but by the grace of the Lord who takes the initiative" [15]. Without this theological dimension, in the various innovations and proposals that are made, we will repeat the same thing that today is preventing the ecclesial community from announcing the merciful love of the Lord. The way you have to assume the current situation will be determinant of the fruits that will later develop. That is why I appeal to it to be done in a theological key so that the Gospel of Grace with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the light and guide to face these challenges. Each time the ecclesial community tried to leave its problems alone and focused exclusively on its forces or its methods, its intelligence, its will or its prestige, it ended up increasing and perpetuating the evils it was trying to solve. Forgiveness and salvation is not something that we have to buy "or that we have to acquire with our works or efforts. The Lord forgives us and frees us for free. His surrender on the Cross is something so great that we can not and should not pay, we just have to receive it with immense gratitude and with the joy of being so loved before we could even imagine it »[16].

The present scenario does not have the right to make us lose sight of the fact that our mission does not hold on forecasts, calculations or encouraging or discouraging environmental surveys neither at the ecclesial level nor at a political, economic or social level. Nor about the successful results of our pastoral plans [17]. All these things are important to value, to listen to, to reflect and to be attentive, but in themselves they do not exhaust our believing being. Our mission and raison d'etre is that "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him does not die, but has eternal Life" (Jn 3:16). "Without new life and authentic evangelical spirit, without" fidelity of the Church to her own vocation ", any new structure is corrupted in a short time" [18].

Therefore, the transformation to be operated can not respond exclusively as a reaction to external data or demands, such as the sharp drop in births and the aging of communities that do not allow a generational change to be visible. Objective and valid causes, but which, viewed separately from the ecclesial mystery, would favor and stimulate a reactionary attitude (both positive and negative) towards the problems. The true transformation responds and also demands demands that are born of our being believers and of the evangelizing dynamic of the Church, demands pastoral conversion. We are asked for an attitude that seeks to live and make the gospel transparent, breaking with "the gray pragmatism of the daily life of the Church in which everything apparently proceeds normally, but in reality the faith is worn out and degenerating into pettiness" [19] . Pastoral conversion reminds us that evangelization must be our criterion-guide par excellence on which to discern all the movements that we are called to give as an ecclesial community; Evangelization constitutes the essential mission of the Church [20].

7. It is necessary, therefore, as your pastors pointed out, to recover the primacy of evangelization in order to look to the future with confidence and hope because, "evangelizing, the Church begins by evangelizing herself. A believing community, a community of hope lived and communicated, a community of fraternal love, needs to listen without ceasing to what it must believe, the reasons to hope, the new commandment of love »[21].
Evangelization, thus lived, is not a tactic of ecclesial repositioning in today's world or an act of conquest, dominion or territorial expansion; nor a "retouching" that adapts it to the spirit of time but that makes it lose its originality and prophecy; nor is it the search to recover habits or practices that made sense in another cultural context. No. Evangelization is a disciplic way of response and conversion in love to Him who first loved us (see 1 Jn 4:19); a path that enables a lived faith, experienced, celebrated and witnessed with joy. Evangelization leads us to recover the joy of the Gospel, the joy of being Christians. True, there are hard moments, times of the cross, but nothing can destroy the supernatural joy, which adapts, transforms and always remains, at least as an outbreak of light that arises from the personal certainty of being infinitely loved, beyond all. Evangelization generates inner security, a hopeful serenity that provides their spiritual satisfaction incomprehensible to human parameters [22]. Bad humor, apathy, bitterness, defeatism, as well as sadness are not good signs or advisers; Moreover, there are times when "sadness has to do with ingratitude, with being closed in on oneself and one becomes incapable of recognizing the gifts of God" [23].

8. Hence, our main concern should be to share this joy by opening ourselves and going out to meet our brothers, mainly those who are lying on the threshold of our temples, in the streets, in prisons and hospitals, squares and cities. The Lord was clear: "seek first the Kingdom and its justice, and everything else will be given to you in addition" (Mt 6:33). To go out to anoint with the spirit of Christ all the earthly realities, in their multiple crossroads, mainly there "where the new stories and paradigms are born, to reach with the Word of Jesus the deepest nuclei of the soul of the cities" [24]. Help the Passion of Christ to really and concretely touch the multiple passions and situations where his Face continues to suffer because of sin and inequity. Passion that can unmask the old and new slaves that hurt the man and woman especially today we see revive xenophobic discourses and promote a culture based on indifference, confinement, as well as individualism and expulsion. And, in turn, it is the Passion of the Lord that awakens in our communities and, especially in the younger ones, the passion for their Kingdom.

This asks us to "develop the spiritual taste of being close to people's lives, to the point of discovering that this is the source of superior joy. The mission is a passion for Jesus but, at the same time, a passion for his people »[25].

We should, therefore, ask ourselves what the Spirit says today to the Church (Rev 2: 7), to recognize the signs of the times [26], which is not synonymous with simply adapting to the spirit of time without more (Rm 12, two). All these dynamics of listening, reflection and discernment are aimed at making the Church ever more faithful, available, agile and transparent to announce the joy of the Gospel, the basis on which all questions can find light and answer [27]. The challenges are to be overcome. We must be realistic but without losing joy, audacity and hopeful dedication. Let us not steal the missionary force! "[28].
9. The Second Vatican Council marked an important step in the awareness that the Church has both of herself and of her mission in the contemporary world. This path initiated more than fifty years ago continues to stimulate us in its reception and development and has not yet come to an end, especially in relation to the synodality called to operate at the different levels of ecclesial life (parish, diocese, in the national order, in the universal Church, as in the various congregations and communities). This process, especially in these times of strong tendency to fragmentation and polarization, demands to develop and ensure that the Sensus Ecclesiae also lives in every decision we make and nurtures all levels. It is about living and feeling with the Church and in the Church, which, in many situations, will also lead us to suffer in the Church and with the Church. The Universal Church lives in and of the particular Churches [29], just as the particular Churches live and flourish in and of the Universal Church, and if they are separated from the whole ecclesial body, they weaken, wither and die. Hence the need to always keep alive and effective communion with the whole body of the Church, which helps us overcome the anxiety that surrounds us in ourselves and in our particularities in order to be able to look in the eyes, listen or renounce the urgencies to accompany the one who stayed on the side of the road. Sometimes this attitude can be manifested in the least gesture, such as the father of the prodigal son, who stays with the doors open so that, when he returns, he can enter without difficulty [30]. This is not synonymous with not walking, moving forward, changing and even not discussing and disagreeing, but it is simply the consequence of knowing that we are constitutively part of a larger body that claims, expects and needs us and that we also claim, expect and need. It is the pleasure of being part of the holy and patient faithful People of God.

The challenges that we have in hand, the different questions and questions to face can not be ignored or disguised: they have to be assumed but taking care not to get caught in them, losing perspective, limiting the horizon and fragmenting reality. "When we stop at the conflictive conjuncture, we lose the sense of the profound unity of reality" [31]. In this sense, the Sensus Ecclesiae gives us that broad horizon of possibility from which to seek to respond to the issues that are urgent and also reminds us of the beauty of the pluriform face of the Church [32]. Pluriform face not only from a spatial perspective in their peoples, races, cultures [33], but also from their temporal reality that allows us to immerse ourselves in the sources of the most alive and full Tradition which has the mission of keeping alive the fire more to preserve the ashes [34] and allows all generations to relight, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the first love.

The Sensus Ecclesiae frees us from particularisms and ideological tendencies to make us like that certainty of the Second Vatican Council, when it affirmed that the Anointing of the Saint (1 Jn 2, 20 and 27) belongs to the totality of the faithful [35]. The communion with the holy faithful People of God, bearer of the Anointing, keeps alive the hope and the certainty of knowing that the Lord walks to our side and it is He who sustains our steps. A healthy walk together should show this conviction looking for the mechanisms so that all the voices, especially that of the most simple and humble, have space and visibility. The Anointing of the Saint that has been poured out to the whole ecclesial body "distributes special graces among the faithful of any state or condition and distributes its gifts to each one according to his will" (1 Cor 12, 11). With these gifts they are prepared and willing to take on various tasks or ministries that contribute to renew and build more and more the Church, according to those words: To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (1 Cor 12, 7) »[36]. This helps us to be attentive to that ancient and always new temptation of the promoters of Gnosticism who, wanting to make their own name and expand their doctrine and fame, sought to say something always new and different from what the Word of God gave them. This is what Saint John describes with the term proagon, the one that advances, the one advanced (2 Jn v. 9) and that pretends to go beyond the ecclesial we that preserves the excesses that threaten the community [37].
10. Therefore watch and beware of any temptation that leads to reduce the People of God to an enlightened group that does not allow to see, taste and be thankful for that scattered holiness that lives "in the patient God's people: in the parents who they raise their children with so much love, in those men and women who work to bring bread to their homes, in the sick, in the old women religious who continue to smile ... In this perseverance to keep going day by day, I see holiness of the militant Church. Many times the holiness "of the next door", of those who live near us and are a reflection of the presence of God »[38]. That is the holiness that always protects and protects the Church from any ideological and manipulative ideological reduction. Holiness that evokes, remembers and invites to develop that Marian style in the missionary activity of the Church capable of articulating justice with mercy, contemplation with action, tenderness with conviction. «Because every time we look at Mary we return to believe in the revolutionary of tenderness and affection. In it we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong that do not need to mistreat others to feel important "[39].

In my native land, there is a suggestive and powerful saying that can illuminate: "the brothers be united because that is the first law; have a true union at any time, because if they fight among themselves they are devoured by those outside "[40]. Brothers and sisters, let us take care of each other and be attentive to the temptation of the father of lies and division, to the master of separation who, by seeking an apparent good or response to a specific situation, ends up fragmenting the body of the Holy People faithful of God. As an apostolic body we walk and walk together, listening to each other under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, even if we do not think the same, from the sapient conviction that "the Church, over the centuries, tends constantly to the fullness of divine truth until it the words of God are consumed »[41].

11. The synodal perspective does not cancel the antagonisms or perplexities, nor the conflicts are subject to syncretistic resolutions of "good consensus" or resulting from the elaboration of censuses or surveys on this or that topic. That would be very reducing.

Synodality, with the background and centrality of evangelization and of the Sensus Ecclesiae as determining elements of our ecclesial DNA, demands to consciously assume a way of being Church where "the whole is more than the part, and it is also more than the mere sum of they ... You always have to broaden your eyes to recognize a greater good that will benefit us all. But we must do it without escaping, without uprooting ... We work in the small, in the near, but with a broader perspective »[42].

12. This requires a state of vigilance and conversion in all the People of God, and especially in their pastors, to keep these realities alive and active. Vigil and conversion are gifts that only the Lord can give us. It is enough for us to ask for his grace through prayer and fasting. It always impressed me how during life, especially at times of great decisions, the Lord was particularly tempted. Prayer and fasting had a special place as a determinant of all their subsequent actions (see Mt 4, 1-11). Synodality can not escape this logic either, and must always be accompanied by the grace of conversion so that our personal and community actions can represent and resemble more and more the one of the kenosis of Christ (cf. Phil 2, 1-11). ). To speak, act and respond as the Body of Christ also means to speak and act in the manner of Christ with his same feelings, treatment and priority. Therefore, the grace of conversion, following the example of the Master who "emptied himself, taking the condition of servant" (Phil 2, 7), frees us from false and sterile protagonisms, removes us from the temptation to remain in protected and accommodated positions and invites us to go to the peripheries to meet and listen to the Lord.

This attitude of kenosis also allows us to experience the creative and always rich force of hope that is born of the evangelical poverty to which we are called, which makes us free to evangelize and witness. In this way we allow the Spirit to refresh and renew our life, freeing it from slavery, inertia and circumstantial conveniences that impede walking and especially adore. Because in worshiping, man fulfills his supreme duty and is able to glimpse the coming clarity, that which helps us taste the new creation [43].
Without this dimension we run the risk of starting from ourselves or the desire for self-justification and self-preservation that will lead us to make changes and arrangements but halfway, which, far from solving the problems, will end up entangled in a bottomless spiral that kills and suffocates the most beautiful, liberating and promising announcement that we have and that gives meaning to our existence: Jesus Christ is the Lord. We need prayer, penance and adoration that put us in a position to say as the publican: "My God, have mercy on me, for I am a sinner!" (Lk 18, 13); not as a prudish, puerile or faint-hearted attitude but with the courage to open the door and see what is normally veiled by superficiality, the culture of well-being and appearance [44].

Basically, these attitudes, true spiritual medicines (prayer, penance and adoration) will allow us to experience again that to be a Christian is to know oneself blessed and, therefore, a bearer of bliss for others; To be a Christian is to belong to the Church of the beatitudes for the blessed of today: the poor, those who are hungry, those who mourn, those who are hated, excluded and insulted (Lk 6: 20-23). Let us not forget that "in the beatitudes the Lord shows us the way. By walking, we can arrive at the most authentically human and divine happiness. The beatitudes are the mirror in which to look at ourselves, which allows us to know if we are walking on a right path: it is a mirror that does not lie »[45].

13. Dear brothers and sisters, I know of your perseverance and of what you have suffered and suffer without fainting for the name of the Lord; I also know of your desire and desire to rekindle ecclesially the first love (cf. Rev 2: 1-5) with the force of the Spirit, which does not break the broken reed or extinguish the wick that burns weakly (cf. Is 42,3) , to nurture, vivify and make the best of your people flourish. I want to walk and walk by your side with the certainty that, if the Lord considered us worthy to live this hour, He did not do so to embarrass or paralyze us in the face of challenges but to let His Word come back, once again, to provoke and make your heart burn like it did with your parents, so that your sons and daughters may have visions and your elders may have prophetic dreams again (see Jn 3: 1). His love "allows us to raise our heads and start again, with a tenderness that never disappoints us and that can always give us back joy. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, never declare ourselves dead, no matter what happens. May nothing be more than his life that throws us forward! "[46].

And, please, I ask you to pray for me.

Vatican, June 29, 2019.


[1] Evangelii Gaudium, 11

[2] Cf. Benedict XVI, Meeting with the Bishops of Germany, Cologne, August 21, 2005.

[3] Cf. Gaudium et Spes, 58.

[4] Benedict XVI, Meeting with the Bishops of Germany, Cologne, August 21, 2005.

[5] Francisco, Visit ad Limina, November 20, 2015.

[6] Cf. Episcopalis communio 2018.

[7] Lumen Gentium, 23; Christus Dominus, 3. Citing the International Theological Commission in its publication The synodalità nella vita e missione della Chiesa told the Italian bishops: "Collegiality, therefore, is the specific form in which the ecclesial synodality manifests and is realized through the ministry of the Bishops on the level of communion between the particular Churches in a region and on the level of communion between all the Churches in the universal Church. Every authentic manifestation of synodality requires by its very nature the exercise of the collegial ministry of the Bishops "
[8] Cf. Lumen Gentium, 8.

[9] Yves Congar, Vera and false riforma nella Chiesa, 259.

[10] Francisco, Visit ad Limina, November 20, 2015.

[11] In the end it is the logic of the technocratic paradigm that is imposed in all the decisions, relationships and accents of our life (Cf. Laudato si ', 106-114). Logic that, therefore, also affects our way of thinking, feeling and loving the Lord and others.

[12] Francis, Convention Diocese of Rome, May 2019.

[13] "May God save us from a worldly Church under spiritual or pastoral garments! This suffocating worldliness is healed by tasting the pure air of the Holy Spirit, which frees us from being centered in ourselves, hidden in an empty religious appearance of God. Let us not steal the Gospel! »Evangelii Gaudium, 97.

[14] Idem.

[15] Gaudete et Exsultate, 52.

[16] Christus Vivit, 121

[17] Attitude that would trigger a spirit of "success" when the wind is favorable or "victim" when "we have to row with wind against". Logic that does not belong to the evangelical spirit and transpires an elitist experience of faith. Neither success nor victimism, the Christian is the person of gratitude.

[18] Evangelii Gaudium, 26

[19] Evangelii Gaudium, 83

[20] Cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14.

[21] Evangelii Nuntiandi, 15

[22] Cf. Gaudete et Exsultate, 125.

[23] Gaudete et Exsultate, 126.

[24] Evangelii Gaudium, 74

[25] Evangelii Gaudium, 268.

[26] Cf. Gaudium et Spes, 4; eleven.

[27] Cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 21.

[28] Evagenlii Gaudium, 109.

[29] Lumen Gentium, 23

[30] Cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 46.

[31] Evangelii Gaudium, 226

[32] Cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 40.

[33] Cf. Lumen Gentium, 13.

[34] Gustav Mahler: "Tradition is the safeguard of the future and not the preservation of the ashes".

[35] Cf. Lumen Gentium, 12.

[36] Lumen Gentium, 12

[37] Cf. Joseph Ratzinger, The God of Jesus Christ, Salamanca 1979, 104-105.

[38] Gaudete et Exsultate, 4.

[39] Evangelii Gaudium, 283.

[40] José Hernández, Martín Fierro.

[41] Dei Verbum, 8

[42] Evangelii Gaudium, 235

[43] Cf. Romano Guardini, Small Summa Theologica, Madrid 1963, 27-33

[44] Cf. J. M. Bergoglio, On the accusation of yes, 2.

[45] Francisco, Florencia Convention, 2015.

[46] Evangelii Gaudium, 5

Bulletin of the Press Office of the Holy See, June 29, 2019.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday, July 1, 2019 - #Eucharist

Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 377

Reading 1GN 18:16-33

Abraham and the men who had visited him by the Terebinth of Mamre
set out from there and looked down toward Sodom;
Abraham was walking with them, to see them on their way.
The LORD reflected: "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
now that he is to become a great and populous nation,
and all the nations of the earth are to find blessing in him?
Indeed, I have singled him out
that he may direct his children and his household after him
to keep the way of the LORD
by doing what is right and just,
so that the LORD may carry into effect for Abraham
the promises he made about him."
Then the LORD said:
"The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great,
and their sin so grave,
that I must go down and see whether or not their actions
fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me.
I mean to find out."

While the two men walked on farther toward Sodom,
the LORD remained standing before Abraham.
Then Abraham drew nearer to him and said:
"Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty?
Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city;
would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it
for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it?
Far be it from you to do such a thing,
to make the innocent die with the guilty,
so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike!
Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?"
The LORD replied,
"If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom,
I will spare the whole place for their sake."
Abraham spoke up again:
"See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord,
though I am but dust and ashes!
What if there are five less than fifty innocent people?
Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?"
He answered, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there."
But Abraham persisted, saying, "What if only forty are found there?"
He replied, "I will forbear doing it for the sake of forty."
Then Abraham said, "Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on.
What if only thirty are found there?"
He replied, "I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there."
Still Abraham went on,
"Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord,
what if there are no more than twenty?"
He answered, "I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty."
But he still persisted:
"Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time.
What if there are at least ten there?"
He replied, "For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it."

The LORD departed as soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham,
and Abraham returned home.

Responsorial PsalmPS 103:1B-2, 3-4, 8-9, 10-11

R. (8a)  The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

AlleluiaPS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 8:18-22

When Jesus saw a crowd around him,
he gave orders to cross to the other shore.
A scribe approached and said to him,
“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
Another of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But Jesus answered him, “Follow me,
and let the dead bury their dead.”