Sunday, October 6, 2019

Saint October 7 : Our Lady of the Rosary who helped defeat an army at the Battle of Lepanto

October 7th is the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary:
Apart from the signal defeat of the Albigensian heretics at the battle of Muret in 1213 which legend has attributed to the recitation of the Rosary by St. Dominic, it is believed that Heaven has on many occasions rewarded the faith of those who had recourse to this devotion in times of special danger. More particularly, the naval victory of Lepanto gained by Don John of Austria over the Turkish fleet on the first Sunday of October in 1571 responded wonderfully to the processions made at Rome on that same day by the members of the Rosary confraternity. St. Pius V thereupon ordered that a commemoration of the Rosary should be made upon that day, and at the request of the Dominican Order Gregory XIII in 1573 allowed this feast to be kept in all churches which possessed an altar dedicated to the Holy Rosary. In 1671 the observance of this festival was extended by Clement X to the whole of Spain, and somewhat later Clement XI after the important victory over the Turks gained by Prince Eugene on 6 August, 1716 (the feast of our Lady of the Snows), at Peterwardein in Hungary, commanded the feast of the Rosary to be celebrated by the universal Church.
A set of "proper" lessons in the second nocturn were conceded by Benedict XIII. Leo XIII has since raised the feast to the rank of a double of the second class and has added to the Litany of Loreto the invocation "Queen of the Most Holy Rosary".
 On this feast, in every church in which the Rosary confraternity has been duly erected, a plenary indulgence toties quoties is granted upon certain conditions to all who visit therein the Rosary chapel or statue of Our Lady. This has been called the "Portiuncula" of the Rosary.
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

RIP Fr. Bob Bedard - Remembering the Founder of the Companions of the Cross who Died in 2011

Fr. Bob Bedard (1929-2011) was the Founder of the Companions of the Cross. 
On October 6, 2011, Fr. Bob passed away peacefully surrounded by his Companions of the Cross family. Fr. Bedard was born on July 17, 1929 in Ottawa the only child to parents Eileen (Starrs) and Henry “Harry” Bedard.
He came from humble beginnings in Ottawa where he was raised, went to school and was ordained a priest in 1955. He was a high school teacher for many years. Through his involvement in the Charismatic Renewal, the Lord transformed his ministry to his students and as a result many were evangelized and returned to their faith. His extensive speaking at conferences about the renewal of parishes had a tremendous impact and helped numerous people allow the Holy Spirit to be active in their lives. His open and surrendered approach to his faith throughout his life enabled him to say “yes”, when the Lord asked for his permission to begin a new community of priests and seminarians in 1985.
Fr. Bob Bedard, CC was a truly remarkable man of God.
Convinced of the infinite love of God, the active Presence of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, he yearned wholeheartedly to extend the Kingdom of God.  As a much loved high school principal, teacher, and basketball coach, he brought many young people into fervent commitment to the faith. As a fiery preacher and pioneer of the New Evangelization and the Marian movement he influenced the lives of untold numbers of people. Known for his call to radical surrender to the Lord, he sought to help renew the Church and make it always fully Catholic, imbued with an Evangelical heart, and filled with Pentecostal fire.
In 1985 he founded the Companions of the Cross to provide a supportive fraternal life for priests and to extend the mission of evangelization. He is fondly remembered for his unparalleled passion for the Lord, his gentle fatherly care, and incredible sense of humour. Many embrace him as their ‘spiritual Father in Christ’, including the Companions of the Cross, the Servants of the Cross (our associated sisterhood), and our many Lay Associates.
June, 2003: Sr. Anna Chan answers the call to incarnate the spirituality of the Companions of the Cross into a community of women called the Servants of the Cross
Many people who did not have the opportunity to know Fr. Bob personally have come to know him and his spirituality through his books, articles, talks, and the testimony of others. We invite you to get to know and love our founder – as his life was completely devoted to knowing and loving Christ.

#BreakingNews Pope Francis at Mass for Opening of Amazon Synod says "May the Spirit....inspire our Synod to renew the paths of the Church in Amazonia..." Full Text Homily

Saint Peter’s Basilica
XXVII Sunday of Ordinary Time, 6 October 2019

The Apostle Paul, the greatest missionary in the Church’s history, helps us to make this “synod”, this “journey together”. His words to Timothy seem addressed to us, as pastors in the service of God’s People.
Paul first tells Timothy: “I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Tim 1:6). We are bishops because we have received a gift of God. We did not sign an agreement; we were not handed an employment contract. Rather, hands were laid on our heads so that we in turn might be hands raised to intercede before the Father, helping hands extended to our brothers and sisters. We received a gift so that we might become a gift. Gifts are not bought, traded or sold; they are received and given away. If we hold on to them, if we make ourselves the centre and not the gift we have received, we become bureaucrats, not shepherds. We turn the gift into a job and its gratuitousness vanishes. We end up serving ourselves and using the Church.
Thanks to the gift we have received, our lives are directed to service. When the Gospel speaks of “useless servants” (Lk 17:10), it reminds us of this. The expression can also mean “unprofitable servants”. In other words, we do not serve for the sake of personal profit or gain, but because we received freely and want to give freely in return (cf. Mt 10:8). Our joy will be entirely in serving, since we were first served by God, who became the servant of us all. Dear brothers, let us feel called here for service; let us put God’s gift at the centre.
To be faithful to our calling, our mission, Saint Paul reminds us that our gift has to be rekindled. The verb he uses in the original text is fascinating: to rekindle, literally, which means stoking a fire (anazopyrein). The gift we have received is a fire, a burning love for God and for our brothers and sisters. A fire does not burn by itself; it has to be fed or else it dies; it turns into ashes. If everything continues as it was, if we spend our days content that “this is the way things have always been done”, then the gift vanishes, smothered by the ashes of fear and concern for defending the status quo. Yet “in no way can the Church restrict her pastoral work to the ‘ordinary maintenance’ of those who already know the Gospel of Christ. Missionary outreach is a clear sign of the maturity of an ecclesial community” (BENEDICT XVI, Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, 95). For the Church is always on the move, always going out and never withdrawn into itself. Jesus did not come to bring a gentle evening breeze, but to light a fire on the earth.
The fire that rekindles the gift is the Holy Spirit, the giver of gifts. So Saint Paul goes on to say: “Guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit” (2 Tim 1:14). And again: “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power and love and prudence” (v. 7). Not a spirit of timidity, but of prudence. Someone may think that prudence is a virtue of the “customs house”, that checks everything to ensure that there is no mistake. No, prudence is a Christian virtue; it is a virtue of life, and indeed the virtue of governance. And God has given us this spirit of prudence. Paul places prudence in opposition to timidity. What is this prudence of the Spirit? As the Catechism teaches, prudence “is not to be confused with timidity or fear”; rather, it is “the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it” (No. 1806).
Prudence is not indecision; it is not a defensive attitude. It is the virtue of the pastor who, in order to serve with wisdom, is able to discern, to be receptive to the newness of the Spirit. Rekindling our gift in the fire of the Spirit is the opposite of letting things take their course without doing anything. Fidelity to the newness of the Spirit is a grace that we must ask for in prayer. May the Spirit, who makes all things new, give us his own daring prudence; may he inspire our Synod to renew the paths of the Church in Amazonia, so that the fire of mission will continue to burn.
As we see from the story of the burning bush, God’s fire burns, yet does not consume (cf. Ex 3:2). It is the fire of love that illumines, warms and gives life, not a fire that blazes up and devours. When peoples and cultures are devoured without love and without respect, it is not God’s fire but that of the world. Yet how many times has God’s gift been imposed, not offered; how many times has there been colonization rather than evangelization! May God preserve us from the greed of new forms of colonialism. The fire set by interests that destroy, like the fire that recently devastated Amazonia, is not the fire of the Gospel. The fire of God is warmth that attracts and gathers into unity. It is fed by sharing, not by profits. The fire that destroys, on the other hand, blazes up when people want to promote only their own ideas, form their own group, wipe out differences in the attempt to make everyone and everything uniform.
To rekindle the gift; to welcome the bold prudence of the Spirit; to be faithful to his newness. Saint Paul now moves on to a final exhortation: “Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, but take your share of suffering for the Gospel in the power of God” (2 Tim 1:8). Paul asks Timothy to bear witness to the Gospel, to suffer for the Gospel, in a word, to live for the Gospel. The proclamation of the Gospel is the chief criterion of the Church’s life, it is her mission, her identity. A little later, Paul will write: “I am already on the point of being sacrificed” (4:6). To preach the Gospel is to live as an offering, to bear witness to the end, to become all things to all people (cf. 1 Cor 9:22), to love even to the point of martyrdom. I am grateful to God that in the College of Cardinals there are some brother Cardinals who are martyrs, because they have experienced in this life the cross of martyrdom. The Apostle makes it quite clear that the Gospel is not served by worldly power, but by the power of God alone: by persevering in humble love, by believing that the only real way to possess life is to lose it through love.

Dear brothers and sisters, together let us look to the crucified Jesus, to his heart pierced for our salvation. Let us begin there, the source of the gift that has given us birth. From that heart, the Spirit who renews has been poured forth (cf. Jn 19:30). Let each and every one of us, then, feel called to give life. So many of our brothers and sisters in Amazonia are bearing heavy crosses and awaiting the liberating consolation of the Gospel, the Church’s caress of love. So many of our brothers and sisters in Amazonia have given their lives. I would like to repeat here the words of our beloved Cardinal Hummes: when he arrives in those little towns of Amazonia, he goes to the cemetery to visit the tombs of missionaries. It is a gesture on the Church’s behalf for those who gave their lives in Amazonia. And then, with a little shrewdness, he says to the Pope: “May they not be forgotten. They deserved to be canonized”. For them and for all those who have given their lives and those who are still giving their lives, and with them, let us journey together.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: - Official Transation

At Angelus, Pope Francis says " Jesus explains it to us by indicating what the measure of faith is: service." Full Text + Video



St. Peter's Square
Sunday, 6 October 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today's Gospel page (see Lk 17: 10-10) presents the theme of faith, introduced by the disciples' request: "Increase faith in us" (v. 6). A beautiful prayer, that we should pray so much during the day: "Lord, increase faith in me!" Jesus responds with two images: the mustard seed and the available servant. "If you had faith as much as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree:" Uprooted and go to plant yourself in the sea ", and it would obey you" (v. 6). Mulberry is a robust tree, well rooted in the earth and resistant to winds. Jesus, therefore, wants to make it clear that faith, even if small, can have the strength to uproot even a mulberry. And then to transplant it into the sea, which is something even more unlikely: but nothing is impossible for those who have faith, because they do not rely on their own strength, but on God, who can do everything.

Faith comparable to the mustard seed is a faith that is not superb and self-confident; does not pretend to be that of a great believer doing sometimes fool! It is a faith that in its humility feels a great need for God and in littleness abandons itself with complete trust to Him. It is faith that gives us the ability to look with hope at the alternating vicissitudes of life, which helps us to accept defeats as well , the sufferings, in the awareness that evil never has, will never have, the last word.

How can we understand if we really have faith, that is, if our faith, though tiny, is genuine, pure, genuine? Jesus explains it to us by indicating what the measure of faith is: service. And it does so with a parable that at first glance is a little disconcerting, because it presents the figure of a bossy and indifferent master. But precisely this way of doing of the master brings out what is the true center of the parable, that is the attitude of availability of the servant. Jesus wants to say that this is how the man of faith with God is: he puts himself completely back to his will, without calculations or claims.

This attitude towards God is also reflected in the way of behaving in community: it is reflected in the joy of being at the service of one another, finding in this its own reward and not in the recognitions and the gains that can derive from it. This is what Jesus teaches at the end of this story: "When you have done all that you have been ordered to do, say:" We are useless servants. We have done what we had to do "" (v. 10).

Servants useless, that is, without pretending to be thanked, without claims. "We are useless servants" is an expression of humility, availability that is so good for the Church and recalls the right attitude to work in it: the humble service of which Jesus gave us the example, washing the feet of the disciples ( see Jn 13: 3-17).

May the Virgin Mary, a woman of faith, help us to go down this path. We turn to her on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, in communion with the faithful gathered in Pompeii for the traditional Supplica.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters!

The Eucharistic celebration with which we began the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region has just ended in St. Peter's Basilica. For three weeks the Synod Fathers, gathered around the Successor of Peter, will reflect on the mission of the Church in Amazonia, on evangelization and on the promotion of an integral ecology. I ask you to accompany this ecclesial event with prayer, so that it may be lived in fraternal communion and docility to the Holy Spirit, who always shows the ways for witnessing to the Gospel.

I thank all of you pilgrims who have come in large numbers from Italy and from many parts of the world. I greet the faithful of Heidelberg, Germany, and of Rozlazino, Poland; the students of Dillingen, in Germany as well, and those of the Istituto Sant’Alfonso of Bella Vista, Argentina.

I greet the group of Fara Vicentino and Zugliano, the families of the Alta Val Tidone, the pilgrims of the Castelli Romani who have marched for peace and those of Camisano Vicentino along the Via Francigena for an initiative of solidarity.

I wish you all a good Sunday. And please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!
FULL TEXT + Image Source: - Unofficial Transation

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. October 5, 2019 - #Eucharist - Readings + Video

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 141

Reading 1HAB 1:2-3; 2:2-4

How long, O LORD?  I cry for help
 but you do not listen!
 I cry out to you, "Violence!"
 but you do not intervene.
 Why do you let me see ruin;
 why must I look at misery?
 Destruction and violence are before me;
 there is strife, and clamorous discord.
 Then the LORD answered me and said:
 Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
 so that one can read it readily.
 For the vision still has its time,
 presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
 if it delays, wait for it,
 it will surely come, it will not be late.
 The rash one has no integrity;
 but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.

Responsorial PsalmPS 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
 let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
 let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
 let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
 and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
 "Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
 as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
 they tested me though they had seen my works."
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Reading 22 TM 1:6-8, 13-14

I remind you, to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me,
in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit
that dwells within us.

Alleluia1 PT 1:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of the Lord remains forever.
This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."
The Lord replied,
"If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.

"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
'Come here immediately and take your place at table'?
Would he not rather say to him,
'Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished'?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded,
say, 'We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'"