Saturday, November 30, 2019

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. December 1, 2019 - Eucharist #1stAdvent - Reading + Video

First Sunday of Advent

Lectionary: 1
Reading 1 IS 2:1-5
This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come,
the mountain of the LORD's house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
"Come, let us climb the LORD's mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths."
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Responsorial PsalmPS 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my brothers and friends
I will say, "Peace be within you!"
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Reading 2ROM 13:11-14

Brothers and sisters:
You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

AlleluiaCF. PS 85:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us Lord, your love;
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples:
"As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."

Saint December 1 : St. Edmund Campion an English Jesuit Martyr & Companions

January 24, 1540, London
December 1, 1581, Tyburn, England
October 25, 1970 by Pope Paul VI 
English Jesuit and martyr; he was the son and namesake of a Catholic bookseller, and was born in London, 25 Jan., 1540; executed at Tyburn, 1 Dec., 1581. A city company sent the promising child to a grammar school and to Christ Church Hospital. When Mary Tudor entered London in state as queen, he was the schoolboy chosen to give the Latin salutatory to her majesty. Sir Thomas White, lord mayor, who built and endowed St. John's College at Oxford, accepted Campion as one of his first scholars, appointed him junior fellow at seventeen, and, dying, gave him his last messages for his academic family. Campion shone at Oxford in 1560, when he delivered one oration at the reburial of Amy Robsart, and another at the funeral of the founder of his own college; and for twelve years he was to be followed and imitated as no man ever was in an English university except himself and Newman. He took both his degrees, and became a celebrated tutor, and, by 1568, junior proctor. Queen Elizabeth had visited Oxford two years before; she and Dudley, then chancellor, won by Campion's bearing, beauty, and wit, bade him ask for what he would. Successes, local responsibilities, and allurements, his natural ease of disposition, the representations, above all, of his friend Bishop Cheyney of Gloucester, blinded Campion in regard to his course as a Catholic: he took the Oath of Supremacy, and deacon's orders according to the new rite. Afterthoughts developing into scruples, scruples into anguish, he broke off his happy Oxford life when his proctorship ended, and betook himself to Ireland, to await the reopening of Dublin University, an ancient papal foundation temporarily extinct. Sir Henry Sidney, the lord deputy, was interested in Campion's future as well as in the revival which, however, fell through. With Philip Sidney, then a boy, Campion was to have a touching interview in 1577.

As too Catholic minded an Anglican, Campion was suspected, and exposed to danger. Hidden in friendly houses, he composed his treatise called "A History of Ireland" Written from an English standpoint it gave much offence to the native Irish, and was severely criticized, in the next century, by Geoffrey Keating In his Irish history of Ireland. Urged to further effort by the zeal of Gregory Martin, he crossed to England in disguise and under an assumed name, reaching London in time to witness the trial of one of the earliest Oxonian martyrs, Dr. John Storey. Campion now recognized his vocation and hastened to the seminary at Douai. Cecil lamented to Richard Stanihurst the expatriation of "one of the diamonds of England" At Douai Campion remained for his theological course and its lesser degree, but then set out as a barefoot pilgrim to Rome, arriving there just before the death of St. Francis Borgia; " for I meant", as he said at his examination, "to enter into the Society of Jesus, thereof to vow and to be professed". This he accomplished promptly in April (1573), being the first novice received by Mercurianus, the fourth general. As the English province was as yet non-existent, he was allotted to that of Bohemia, entering on his noviceship at Prague and passing his probation year at Brunn in Moravia. Returning to Prague, he taught in the college and wrote a couple of sacred dramas; and there he was ordained in 1578. Meanwhile, Dr. Allen was organizing the apostolic work of the English Mission, and rejoiced to secure Fathers Robert Parsons and Edmund Campion as his first Jesuit helpers. In the garden at Brunn, Campion had had a vision, in which Our Lady foretold to him his martyrdom. Comrades at Prague were moved to make a scroll for P. Edmundus Campianus Martyr, and to paint a prophetic garland of roses within his cell. Parsons and Campion set out from Rome, had many adventures, and called upon St. Charles Borromeo in Milan, and upon Beza in Geneva. Campion was met in London, and fitly clothed, armed, and mounted by a devoted young convert friend. His office was chiefly to reclaim Catholics who were wavering or temporizing under the pressure of governmental tyranny; but his zeal to win Protestants, his preaching, his whole saintly and soldierly personality, made a general and profound impression. An alarm was raised and he fled to the North, where he fell again to writing and produced his famous tract, the "Decem Rationes". He returned to London, only to withdraw again, this time towards Norfolk. A spy, a former steward of the Roper family, one George Eliot, was hot upon his track, and ran him and others down at Lyford Grange near Wantage in Berkshire on 17 July, 1581.
 Amid scenes of violent excitement, Campion was derisively paraded through the streets of his native city, bound hand and foot, riding backwards, with a paper stuck in his hat to denote the " seditious Jesuit". First thrown into Little Ease at the Tower, he was carried privately to the house of his old patron, the Earl of Leicester; there he encountered the queen herself, and received earnest proffers of liberty and preferments would he but forsake his papistry. Hopton having tried in vain the same blandishments, on Campion's return to the Tower, the priest was then examined under torture, and was reported to have betrayed those who had harboured him. Several arrests were made on the strength of the lie. He had asked for a public disputation. But when it came off in the Norman chapel of the Tower, before the Dean of St. Paul's and other divines, Campion had been denied opportunity to prepare his debate, and had been severely racked. Thus weakened, he stood through the four long conferences, without chair, table, or notes, and stood undefeated. Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, who was looking on in the flush of worldly pride, became thereby inspired to return to God's service. The privy council, at its wits' end over so purely spiritual a "traitor", hatched a plot to impeach Campion's loyalty, and called in the hirelings Eliot and Munday as accusers. A ridiculous trial ensued in Westminster Hall, 20 Nov., 1581. Campion, pleading not guilty, was quite unable to hold up his often-wrenched right arm, seeing which, a fellow prisoner, first kissing it, raised it for him. He made a magnificent defence. But the sentence was death, by hanging, drawing, and quartering: a sentence received by the martyrs with a joyful shout of Haec dies and Te Deum. Campion, with Sherwin and Briant, who were on a separate hurdle, was dragged to Tyburn on 1 December. Passing Newgate arch, he lifted himself as best he could to salute the statue of Our Lady still in situ. On the scaffold, when interrupted and taunted to express his mind concerning the Bull of Plus V excommunicating Elizabeth, he answered only by a prayer for her, "your Queen and my Queen". He was a Catholic Englishman with political opinions which were not Allen's, though he died, as much as ever Felton did, for the primacy of the Holy See. The people loudly lamented his fate; and another great harvest of conversions began. A wild, generous-hearted youth, Henry Walpole, standing by, got his white doublet stained with Campion's blood; the incident made him, too, in time, a Jesuit and a martyr.
Historians of all schools are agreed that the charges against Campion were wholesale sham. They praise his high intelligence, his beautiful gaiety, his fiery energy, his most chivalrous gentleness. He had renounced all opportunity for a dazzling career in a world of master men. Every tradition of Edmund Campion, every remnant of his written words, and not least his unstudied golden letters, show us that he was nothing less than a man of genius; truly one of the great Elizabethans, but holy as none other of them all. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 9 December, 1886, and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970. Relics of him are preserved in Rome and Prague, in London, Oxford, Stonyhurst, and Roehampton. A not very convincing portrait was made soon after his death for the Gesù in Rome under the supervision of many who had known him. Of this there is a copy in oils at Stonyhurst, and a brilliantly engraved print in Hazart's "Kerckelycke Historie" (Antwerp, 1669), Vol. III (Enghelandt, etc.), though not in every copy of that now scarce work.
SOURCE: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Novena for the Immaculate Conception of Mary : Prayers with Plenary Indulgence

The Immaculate Conception – Celebrating the Blessed Virgin’s Mary’s conception as freed from all sin -

Feast: December 8
Plenary indulgence to all who shall assist at these Novenas every day, and who shall afterwards, either on the Feast-day itself, to which each Novena respectively has reference, or on some one day in its Octave, after Confession and Communion, pray to our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin according to the pious intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.


Virgin most pure, conceived without sin, all fair and stainless from thy Conception; glorious Mary, full of grace, Mother of my God, Queen of angels and of men, - I humbly venerate thee as Mother of my Saviour, who, though He was God, taught me by His own veneration, reverence, and obedience to thee, the honour and homage which are due to thee. Vouchsafe, I pray thee, to accept this Novena, which I dedicate to thee. Thou art the safe refuge of the penitent sinner; it is very fitting, then, that I should have recourse to thee. Thou art the Mother of compassion; then wilt thou surely be moved with pity for my many miseries. Thou art my best hope after Jesus; thou canst not but accept the loving confidence that I have in thee. Make me worthy to be called thy son, that so I may dare to cry unto thee,
Monstra te esse matrem.
Show thyself a mother.

Nine Ave Maria’s, one Gloria Patri, and the following Prayer.


Behold me at thy sacred feet, O Immaculate Virgin. I rejoice with thee, because from all eternity thou wast elected to be the Mother of the Eternal Word, and wast preserved stainless from the taint of original sin. I praise and bless the Most Holy Trinity, who poured out upon thy soul in thy Conception the riches of that privilege. I humbly pray thee to obtain for me grace effectually to overcome the sad effects produced in my soul by original sin; make me wholly victorious over them, that I may never cease to love my God.

After the Litanies, or Hymn as above, say as follows:

V. All fair art thou, O Mary.
R. All fair art thou, O Mary.
V. The original stain is not in thee.
R. The original stain is not in thee.
V. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem.
R. Thou art the joy of Israel.
V. Thou art the honour of our people.
R. Thou art the advocate of sinners.
V. O Mary.
R. O Mary.
V. Virgin most prudent.
R. Mother most clement.
V. Pray for us.
B. Intercede for us to our Lord Jesus Christ.

V. In thy Conception, O Virgin, thou wast immaculate.
R. Pray for us to the Father, whose Son was born of thee.

Let us pray.
O God, who through the Immaculate Conception of a Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling-place for Thy Son, we beseech Thee, who by the death of that Son, foreseen by Thee, didst preserve her from every stain of sin, to grant that by her intercession we also may be purified, and so may come to Thee.

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look down upon Thy servant N., whom Thou host chosen to be the pastor of Thy Church; and grant him, we beseech Thee, both by word and example, so to direct those over whom Thou hast placed him, that, together with the flock entrusted to his care, he may attain eternal life.

O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all holiness, listen to the pious prayers of thy Church, and grant that what we ask in faith we may effectually obtain. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The same order is to be observed en all the other days of the Novena, the Prayers for the Day alone being changed.


Mary, unsullied Lily of purity, I rejoice with thee, because from the first moment of thy Conception thou wast filled with grace, and hadst given unto thee the perfect use of reason. I thank and I adore the Ever-blessed Trinity, who gave thee these high gifts. Behold me at thy feet overwhelmed with shame to see myself so poor in grace. O thou who wast filled full of heavenly grace, grant me a portion of that same grace, and make me a partaker in the treasures of thy Immaculate Conception.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary, mystic Rose of purity, I rejoice with thee at the glorious triumph thou didst gain over the serpent by thy Immaculate Conception, in that then wast conceived without original sin. I thank and praise with my whole heart the Ever-blessed Trinity, who granted thee that glorious privilege and I pray thee to obtain for me courage to overcome every snare of the great enemy, and never to stain my soul with mortal sin. Be thou always mine aid, and enable me with thy protection to obtain the victory over all the enemies of man’s eternal welfare.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Mirror of holy purity, I rejoice exceedingly to see how from thy Immaculate Conception there were infused into thy soul the most sublime and perfect virtues, with all the gifts of the Most Holy Spirit. I thank and praise the Ever-Blessed Trinity, who bestowed upon thee these high privileges, and I beseech thee, gracious Mother, obtain for me grace to practise every Christian virtue, and so to become worthy to receive the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary, bright Moon of purity, I congratulate thee in that the mystery of thy Immaculate Conception was the beginning of salvation to the human race, and was the joy of the whole world. I thank and bless the Ever-blessed Trinity, who did so magnify and glorify thy Person. I entreat thee to obtain for me the grace so to profit by the Death and Passion of thy dear Son, that His Precious Blood may not have been shed upon the cross for me in vain, but that after a holy life I may be saved.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary Immaculate, brilliant Star of purity, I rejoice with thee, because thy Immaculate Conception brought exceeding joy to all the angels in Paradise. I thank and bless the Ever-blessed Trinity, who enriched thee with this privilege. Enable me also one day to take part in this heavenly joy, praising and blessing thee in the company of angels world without end. Amen.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary immaculate, rising Morn of purity, I rejoice with thee, and I am filled with admiration at beholding thee confirmed in grace and rendered sinless from the first moment of thy Conception. I thank and praise the Ever-blessed Trinity, who elected thee alone from all mankind for this especial privilege. Holiest Virgin, obtain for me an entire and lasting hatred of sin, as the worst of all evils, that I may rather die than ever again commit a mortal sin.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Mary, Virgin, Sun without stain, I congratulate thee, and I rejoice with thee, because God gave unto thee in thy Conception a greater and a more abundant grace than He gave to all His angels and His saints together, even when their merits were most exalted. I thank and admire the immense beneficence of the Ever-blessed Trinity, who hath dispensed to thee alone this privilege. O, enable me too to correspond with the grace of God, and never more to receive it in vain; change my heart, and help me to begin in earnest a new life.
Litanies, &c., as before.


Immaculate Mary, living Light of holiness, Model of purity, Virgin and Mother, as soon as thou wast conceived thou didst profoundly adore thy God, giving Him thanks, because by means of thee the ancient curse was blotted out, and blessing was again come upon the sinful sons of Adam. Let this blessing kindle in my heart love towards God; and do thou inflame my heart still more and more, that I may ever love Him more constantly, and afterwards eternally enjoy Him in heaven, there to thank and praise Him more and more fervently for all the wondrous privileges conferred on thee, and to rejoice with thee for thy high crown of glory.
Litanies, &c., as before.

#BreakingNews Relic of Jesus' Manger returned to Bethlehem from Vatican that was sent as a Gift to the Pope over 1,000 years ago

CBC news reports that a relic of a tiny piece of wood returned to Bethlehem 1,400 years after it was sent to Rome as a gift to the Pope
Christians on Friday celebrated the return to the Holy Land of a tiny wooden relic they believe was part of Jesus' manger nearly 1,400 years after it was sent to Rome as a gift to the pope.

The thumb-sized relic was unveiled to worshippers Friday at the Notre Dame church in Jerusalem for a day of celebrations and prayer.

On Saturday, it was sent to its permanent home at the Franciscan Church of St. Catherine, next to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the West Bank holy site where tradition says Jesus was born. Its arrival coincided with Advent, a four-week period leading up to Christmas.

Christian tradition holds that Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem to register for the Roman census and found no room at the inn, forcing her to give birth to Jesus in a manger where animals were held. The idea that the son of God was born in humble surroundings is central to Christian theology.

A wooden structure that Christians believe was part of the manger was sent by St. Sophronius, the patriarch of Jerusalem, to Pope Theodore I in the 640s, around the time of the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land.

Yisca Harani, an Israeli expert on Christianity, said many relics were relocated from the Holy Land in the Middle Ages as Rome and other cities were establishing themselves as centres of Christian life and pilgrimage. A relic from the manger would have been particularly useful for dispelling heresies holding that Jesus was more of a spiritual than a physical being.

She said the return of such an important item "is definitely a statement saying the Vatican and the Holy Land are together."

Few relics have been submitted to scientific testing. One of the most famous, the Shroud of Turin, the cloth purportedly used to wrap Jesus for burial after he was crucified, was tested by forensics scientists and dated to the 13th or 14th century.

'A very old and continuous tradition'
Christians cite oral history and tradition for proof of the authenticity of the relics, including the wooden manger. They say the earliest Christian communities preserved and venerated objects connected to Jesus, handing them down through the generations like family heirlooms.

"When there is a very old and continuous tradition we can say that the relic is true," said Brother Francesco Patton, the custodian of the Franciscan order in the Holy Land.

He said the wooden manger was given to Pope Theodore I as a gift because the pope was himself from the Holy Land, and would have strengthened ties with the church. He said the entire wooden structure is too fragile to move, so Pope Francis decided to return a small part of it instead.

Harani, the historian, said that for Christians the authenticity of the objects was less important than the message they convey, that Jesus was a living God who was born and existed in a certain time and place.

"My heart is beating. I'm really crying from joy for this event and thankful also for the pope, for this kindness that he brought to Bethlehem," said Louisa Fleckenstein, a guide for pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. "Today is like Christmas."

Her husband, Karl Heinz Fleckenstein, a German writer and theologian, said having the relic back in the Holy Land gives Christians "courage" to remain in the cradle of their faith, where decades of war, conflict and emigration have decimated Christian communities.

"It gives us the security that Jesus is not only a story," he said. "Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the son of God became man in a land, in a certain period, in a certain people. So this is proof for us."
Edited from CBC News - Image Source: Google Images

Pope Francis on Evangelization says "The longing for God, for an infinite and true love, is rooted in the heart of every person." Full Text

To Participants at the International Meeting: The "Church which goes forth". Evangelii Gaudium: Reception and Perspectives
Hall of Blessings
Saturday, November 30, 2019

Dear brothers and sisters,

In these days you have found yourselves numerous, coming from many parts of the world, to take back the Evangelii gaudium. I thank you for this and I am grateful to Bishop Fisichella for his words and also because he is carrying out this work. I am sure that you will bring home the fruits of these days of meeting with enthusiasm.

I would like to tell you very simply: the joy of the Gospel springs from the encounter with Jesus. It is when we meet the Lord that we are inundated by that love of which he alone is capable. Then, "when we allow God to lead us beyond ourselves", life changes and "we reach our truest being. There lies the source of evangelizing action "(Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 8). Because at that point the need to announce it arises spontaneously, it becomes irrepressible, even without words, with testimony. Thus began the evangelization, on Easter morning, with a woman-apostle, Mary Magdalene who, after meeting the risen Jesus, the Living One, evangelized the Apostles. He was at the tomb of Jesus with so many sad feelings in his heart: the fear of the loss of the Master was joined by fear for the future and loss for the alleged violation of the tomb. But his weeping has changed into joy, his solitude in consolation after having found in Jesus the love that never disappoints, that does not abandon even before death, which gives the strength to find the best of oneself. It is true for everyone: "our infinite sadness is cured only with an infinite love" (ibid., 265).

The experience of so many people today is not far from that of Mary of Magdala. The longing for God, for an infinite and true love, is rooted in the heart of every person. It takes someone to help revive it. Angels are needed who, as was the case with Mary Magdalene, bring good announcements: angels in flesh and blood who come together to wipe away tears, to say in the name of Jesus: "do not be afraid" (see Mt 28: 5). The evangelizers are like angels, like guardian angels, messengers of good who do not give ready answers, but share the question of life, the same that Jesus addressed to Mary calling her by name: "Who do you seek?" (Jn 20:15). Who you are looking for, not what you are looking for, because things are not enough to live; to live we need the God of love. And if with this love of ours we knew how to look into the hearts of people who, due to the indifference we breathe and the consumerism that flattens us, often pass us by as if nothing had happened, we would be able to see first of all the need for this Chi, the search for a love that lasts forever, the question about the meaning of life, about pain, about betrayal, about loneliness. They are worries before which recipes and precepts are not enough; you need to walk, you need to walk together, make travel companions.

Indeed, those who evangelize can never forget that they are always on the move, searching together with others. Therefore he cannot leave anyone behind, he cannot afford to keep at a distance those who trudge, he cannot close himself in his group of comfortable relationships. The proclaimer does not seek escape from the world, because his Lord so loved the world that he gave himself, not to condemn but to save the world (see Jn 3: 16-17). The one who announces does the desire of God, which spasms those who are distant. He knows no enemies, only traveling companions. He does not stand as a teacher, he knows that the search for God is common and must be shared, that the closeness of Jesus is never denied to anyone.
Dear brothers and sisters, do not hold back the fear of making mistakes and the fear of taking new paths. Everyone in life is wrong, everyone. It's normal. There are no priorities to put before the announcement of the resurrection, the kerygma of hope. Our poverty is not an obstacle, but a precious instrument, because the grace of God loves to manifest itself in weakness (see 2 Cor 12: 9). We need to confirm ourselves in an interior certainty, in the "conviction that God can act in all circumstances, even in the midst of apparent failures" (ibid., 279). We really need to believe that God is love and that therefore no work carried out with love, no sincere concern for others, no act of love for God, no generous effort, no painful patience is lost (see ibid.). We need, to spread the message, to be simple and agile as in the Easter Gospels: like Mary, who can't wait to tell the disciples: "I have seen the Lord" (Jn 20:18); like the Apostles, who run to the tomb (see Jn 20: 4); like Peter, who dives from the boat towards Jesus (see Jn 21: 8). We need a free and simple Church, which does not think of image returns, conveniences and revenues, but to be on the way out. Someone said that to be faithful the true Church of Jesus must always be in deficit in the budget. This is good: the deficit.

We think of the first Christians, who had everyone against them, they were persecuted and yet they didn't complain about the world. Reading the New Testament, we see that they were not worried about defending themselves against an empire that put them to death, but of announcing Jesus, even at the cost of his life. So let us not be saddened by things that do not go, by fatigues, misunderstandings, chatter, no: they are little things in front of "the sublimity of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord" (see Phil 3: 8). Let us not be infected by the defeatism that everything is bad: it is not the thought of God. And the sad are not Christians. The Christian suffers many times, but does not fall into the profound sadness of the soul. Sadness is not a Christian virtue. Pain yes. In order not to let ourselves be robbed of the enthusiasm of the Gospel, let us invoke the author, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of joy who keeps the missionary ardor alive, who makes of life a love story with God, who invites us to attract the world only with love, and to discover that life is possessed only by giving it. One has the poverty of giving it, of undressing oneself. And also with surprise, the wonder of seeing that before we arrive, there is the Holy Spirit that has already arrived and is waiting for us there.

I sincerely thank you for the good that you give. I bless you and ask you to pray for me. Thanks.
Source: Full Text + Image : - Unofficial Translation

Christmas Novena of St. Andrew - a Special Traditional Prayer of Preparation for Christmas

St. Andrew Christmas NOVENA -

Starts November 30, the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, and concludes on Christmas Eve. It is piously believed to be very
efficacious. Recite 15 times a day until December 24- possibly 5 times before each meal.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

Pope Francis speaks on Marriage ".... couples can grow, nourishing themselves with prayer, with the Eucharist and Reconciliation..." to Rota

Clementine Hall
Saturday, 30 November 2019

Dear brothers and sisters,
I am pleased to receive you at the end of this course, which I hope will be fruitful for your preparation and competence. I thank His Excellency Msgr. Pinto, and I thank the speakers who have transmitted to you theological content and canonical procedures important for couples and for the life of the Church today.
The theme of the course unites two crucial areas of concern: the protection of marriage and the pastoral care of wounded couples.
Unconsciously we are immediately attracted by this second aspect, because it is first of all here that the care and maternal concern of the Church, of yesterday and today, manifests itself in the face of the different painful situations that a married couple may encounter along its way. Those that have been demonstrated are types that cannot be treated with a merely bureaucratic, almost mechanical approach. Rather, it is a matter of entering into the lives of people who suffer and who thirst for serenity and happiness, both personally and as a couple.
The wounds of marriage today – we know – have many and varied causes: psychological, physical, environmental, cultural – at times they are provoked by the closing of the human heart to love, by the sin that touches everyone. I will not dwell on this. I would just like to say that these causes carve deep and bitter furrows in the hearts of the people involved, bleeding wounds, before which the Church will never be able to pass by, turning her face the other way.
That is why the Church, when she encounters these realities of wounded couples, first of all weeps and suffers with them; she approaches with the oil of consolation, to soothe and heal; she wants to take on board the pain she encounters. And if, then, she strives to be impartial and objective in seeking the truth of a broken marriage, the Church is never extraneous either humanly or spiritually to those who suffer. She never manages to be impersonal or cold in the face of these sad and troubled stories of life. For this reason, even in her canonical and jurisprudential procedures, the Church always and only seeks the good of the wounded, seeks the truth of their love; she has nothing in mind other than to sustain their just and desired happiness, which, before being a personal good to which we all humanly aspire, is a gift that God reserves for His children and that comes from Him.
That is why every ecclesiastical procedure that faces an injured marriage, and therefore the workers, the judges, the parties involved, the witnesses, must always first of all entrust themselves to the Holy Spirit, so that, guided by Him, they may listen with the right criteria, be able to examine, discern and judge. And this is very important! A case is not something mathematical, simply to see which reason weighs more than the other. No. There is the Holy Spirit that must guide the case, always. If the Holy Spirit is not there, what we do is not ecclesial.
The course you took part in also and above all considered the attentive and vigilant care of the Church so that the marriage of Christian spouses might be what the Lord Jesus wanted it to be. Saint Paul summed it up by comparing it to the union of Christ with the Church, His body, which He loves as though she were a bride, with unfailing love, to the point of sacrificing Himself on the cross (cf. Eph 5:21-33), so that the Father’s will to make the whole of humanity the family of God may be fulfilled.
And therefore, even if marriage can fill Christian spouses with joy and human and spiritual fullness, they must never forget that they are called, as individuals and as a couple, to walk always in faith, to walk in the Church and with the Church, to walk together in the way of holiness. In fact, in the New Testament Christian marriage is lived as a journey of faith, as the intimate union of the spouses who are the “pillars” of the domestic Church[1].
It is from this journey in the Spirit, from His light that warms and satisfies the human heart, that the precious and indispensable ministry of the spouses in the Church is born, which is increasingly needed today in our parish and diocesan communities. A ministry originating from the Sacrament; a missionary ministry that proclaims that Christ is alive and working; a ministry that generously calls to life new creatures, new children of God.
This Sacrament cannot be improvised. It is necessary to prepare oneself as an engaged couple. It is not enough for Christian betrothed couples to prepare themselves to become married by achieving a good integration, in psychological, affective and relational terns and with regard to planning, which is also necessary for the stability of their future union. They must also nourish and progressively increase within themselves that specific call to model themselves as Christian spouses. This means cultivating, within the Christian vocation, the particular vocation to become missionary disciples as spouses, witnesses of the Gospel in family, working and social life, where the Lord calls them; the vocation to manifest the beauty of their belonging to Him and to give reason for that “more” of life and love which is the epiphany in the world of Christian hope offered by Christ. It is the Second Vatican Council, the Magisterium of the Church, but first of all it is the Word of God that points to this high apostolic and missionary goal inherent in the Sacrament of Marriage. And it is by looking at this horizon that engaged couples can grow, nourishing themselves with prayer, with the Eucharist and Reconciliation, with sincere concern for one another, with dedication to the brothers they meet.
The married saints Aquila and Priscilla, friends and collaborators of Paul, are a beautiful example of this vocation to the conjugal apostolate. I dedicated my catechesis to them during the General Audience on 13 November last.
The Apostle Paul found the disciples Aquila and Priscilla to be precious co-operators, chosen and called not by him but by the Lord. Thus the bishop, the parish priest, the permanent deacon and his wife, who prepare engaged couples, must help them to be living and apostolic cells of the parish communities.
The Church, in her parochial structure, is truly a community of families, called to become, like Aquila and Priscilla, witnesses of the Gospel in that territory. And here too, it is the Holy Spirit Who performs this synergy, and therefore the Spirit must be invoked, also for this apostolic process, which is not easy, but not impossible. I encourage pastors, bishops and priests to promote, support and accompany this process, so that the Church may be renewed, increasingly becoming a capillary network of communities of families who are witnesses and missionaries of the Gospel.
Dear brothers and sisters, from my heart I bless each one of you and your ecclesial and social service. I pray for you; and you too, please, pray for me. Thank you!
[1] See Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 48-50; Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio, 39; Pope Francis Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, 311.

*Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 30 November 2019
Source: Full Text + Image : - official Translation

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday, November 30, 2019 - #Eucharist

Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle
Lectionary: 684
Reading 1 ROM 10:9-18
Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

Responsorial PsalmPS 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R.(10) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R.(John 6:63) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

AlleluiaMT 4:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.

Pope Francis' message to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on Feast of St. Andrew ".. our closeness grows and intensifies each time that we pray for one another.." Full Official Text


To Holiness Bartholomew
Archbishop of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch
It is with great spiritual joy and in profound communion of faith and charity that I join the prayer of the Church of Constantinople in celebrating the feast of its holy patron, the Apostle Andrew, the first-called and brother of the Apostle Peter. My spiritual closeness is manifest once again this year with the presence of a delegation of the Church of Rome, to which I have entrusted the expression of my warmest greetings and best wishes to Your Holiness, to the members of the Holy Synod, to the clergy, monks and all the faithful gathered at the solemn Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George. Through the delegation, I convey the assurance of the unwavering intention of the Catholic Church, as well as my own, to continue in our commitment to working towards the re-establishment of full communion among the Christians of the East and the West.
This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the foundation of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, jointly inaugurated by Patriarch Dimitrios I and Pope Saint John Paul II during the latter’s visit to the Phanar on the occasion of the feast of Saint Andrew. During these years the Joint International Commission has taken many significant steps forward. I convey, therefore, my heartfelt gratitude to all its past and current members for their dedicated commitment. In particular, I recall with gratitude Metropolitan Stylianos, who for many years was the Orthodox Co-Chair of the Commission, and who earlier this year died in the hope of the Resurrection promised to all those who have placed their trust in God. During his visit to the Phanar, Pope Saint John Paul II declared that “the question we should ask ourselves is not whether we can re-establish full communion, but rather whether we have the right to remain separated” (Address to His Holiness Dimitrios I, Saint George at the Phanar, 30 November 1979). This question, which is only seemingly rhetorical, continues to challenge our Churches and demands that all the faithful respond with a renewal of both attitude and conduct.
The search for the re-establishment of full communion among Catholics and Orthodox is certainly not confined to theological dialogue, but is also accomplished through other channels of ecclesial life. Our relations are nourished above all through authentic gestures of mutual respect and esteem (cf. Rom 12:9). Such actions show a shared fidelity to the word of our one Lord Jesus Christ, and the will to remain together in his love (cf. Jn 15:10). This charity is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22) and a mark of genuine Christian life (cf. Jn 13:35). Moreover, mindful of the one baptism in which we have been regenerated, of the one faith that enlivens us, and of the one Holy Spirit who guides us (cf. Eph 4:4-5), our closeness grows and intensifies each time that we pray for one another (cf. Jas 5:16) and pray together as brothers (cf. Matt 18:19-20). Finally, our relationship is seen to be mature when, obedient to the Risen Christ’s mandate to take the Gospel to all creatures and to heal the sick (cf. Mk 16:15-18), Catholics and Orthodox work together in proclaiming the Good News and in serving the needy. The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church have already embarked upon this promising journey, as testified by our joint initiatives. I trust also that in local contexts all of us will increasingly strengthen the daily dialogue of love and life in shared spiritual, pastoral, cultural and charitable projects.
Beloved brother in Christ, to whom I am bound by a sincere and fraternal friendship, these are just some of the hopes and sentiments that fill my heart and that I wish to share with you on this joyous occasion. United in prayer to the Apostle Andrew, I renew to you and to all those present my warmest best wishes, and I exchange with you a holy embrace in Christ our Lord.

Source: Full Text + Image : - official Translation

Saint November 30 : St. Andrew Apostle the Patron of Fishermen, Singers, Scotland, Russia

early 1st Century, Bethsaida
mid-late 1st Century, Patras
Major Shrine:
Church of St. Andreas at Patras
Patron of:
Scotland, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Romania, Amalfi, Luqa (Malta) and Prussia; Army Rangers, mariners, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, singers and performers
The name "Andrew" (Gr., andreia, manhood, or valour), like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the second or third century B.C. St. Andrew, the Apostle, son of Jonah, or John (Matthew 16:17; John 1:42), was born in Bethsaida of Galilee (John 1:44). He was brother of Simon (Peter) (Matthew 10:2; John 1:40). Both were fishermen (Matthew 4:18; Mark 1:16), and at the beginning of Our Lord's public life occupied the same house at Capharnaum (Mark 1:21, 29).
 From the fourth Gospel we learn that Andrew was a disciple of the Baptist, whose testimony first led him and John the Evangelist to follow Jesus (John 1:35-40). Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messias, and hastened to introduce Him to his brother, Peter, (John 1:41). Thenceforth the two brothers were disciples of Christ. On a subsequent occasion, prior to the final call to the apostolate, they were called to a closer companionship, and then they left all things to follow Jesus (Luke 5:11; Matthew 4:19-20; Mark 1:17-18).
Finally Andrew was chosen to be one of the Twelve; and in the various lists of Apostles given in the New Testament (Matthew 10:2-4); Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13) he is always numbered among the first four. The only other explicit reference to him in the Synoptists occurs in Mark 13:3, where we are told he joined with Peter, James and John in putting the question that led to Our Lord's great eschatological discourse. In addition to this scanty information, we learn from the fourth Gospel that on the occasion of the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, it was Andrew who said: "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fishes: but what are these among so many?" (John 6:8-9); and when, a few days before Our Lord's death, certain Greeks asked Philip that they might see Jesus, Philip referred the matter to Andrew as to one of greater authority, and then both told Christ (John 12:20-22). Like the majority of the Twelve, Andrew is not named in the Acts except in the list of the Apostles, where the order of the first four is Peter, John, James, Andrew; nor have the Epistles or the Apocalypse any mention of him.
From what we know of the Apostles generally, we can, of course, supplement somewhat these few details. As one of the Twelve, Andrew was admitted to the closest familiarity with Our Lord during His public life; he was present at the Last Supper; beheld the risen Lord; witnessed the Ascension; shared in the graces and gifts of the first Pentecost, and helped, amid threats and persecution, to establish the Faith in Palestine.
When the Apostles went forth to preach to the Nations, Andrew seems to have taken an important part, but unfortunately we have no certainty as to the extent or place of his labours. Eusebius (Church History III.1), relying, apparently, upon Origen, assigns Scythia as his mission field: Andras de [eilechen] ten Skythian; while St. Gregory of Nazianzus (Oration 33) mentions Epirus; St. Jerome (Ep. ad Marcell.) Achaia; and Theodoret (on Ps. cxvi) Hellas. Probably these various accounts are correct, for Nicephorus (H.E. II:39), relying upon early writers, states that Andrew preached in Cappadocia, Galatia, and Bithynia, then in the land of the anthropophagi and the Scythian deserts, afterwards in Byzantium itself, where he appointed St. Stachys as its first bishop, and finally in Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and Achaia. It is generally agreed that he was crucified by order of the Roman Governor, Aegeas or Aegeates, at Patrae in Achaia, and that he was bound, not nailed, to the cross, in order to prolong his sufferings. The cross on which he suffered is commonly held to have been the decussate cross, now known as St. Andrew's, though the evidence for this view seems to be no older than the fourteenth century. His martyrdom took place during the reign of Nero, on 30 November, A.D. 60); and both the Latin and Greek Churches keep 30 November as his feast.
St. Andrew's relics were translated from Patrae to Constantinople, and deposited in the church of the Apostles there, about A.D. 357. When Constantinople was taken by the French, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, Cardinal Peter of Capua brought the relics to Italy and placed them in the cathedral of Amalfi, where most of them still remain. St. Andrew is honoured as their chief patron by Russia and Scotland. Shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia