Sunday, February 9, 2020

Saint February 10 : St. Scholastica, Twin Sister of St. Benedict and the Patron of Nuns and Storms

Feast Day:
February 10
480, Nursia, Italy
Patron of:
convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain

“St. Gregory tells us that St. Benedict governed nuns as well as monks, and it seems clear that St. Scholastica must have been their abbess, under his direction. She used to visit her brother once a year and, since she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he used to go with some of his monks to meet her at a house a little way off. They spent these visits praising God and in conversing together on spiritual matters.
“St. Gregory gives a remarkable description of the last of these visits. After they had passed the day as usual they sat down in the evening to have supper. When it was finished, Scholastica, possibly foreseeing that it would be their last interview in this world, begged her brother to delay his return till the next day that they might spend the time discoursing of the joys of Heaven. Benedict, who was unwilling to transgress his rule, told her that he could not pass a night away from his monastery. When Scholastica found that she could not move him, she laid her head upon her hands which were clasped together on the table and besought God to interpose on her behalf.
“Her prayer was scarcely ended when there arose such a violent storm of rain with thunder and lightning that St. Benedict and his companions were unable to set foot outside the door. He exclaimed, ‘God forgive you, sister; what have you done?’ Whereupon she answered, ‘I asked a favour of you and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it.’
“Benedict was therefore forced to comply with her request, and they spent the night talking about holy things and about the felicity of the blessed to which they both ardently aspired and which she was soon to enjoy.
“The next morning they parted, and three days later St. Scholastica died. St. Benedict was at the time alone in his cell absorbed in prayer when, lifting up his eyes, he saw his sister’s soul ascending to Heaven as a dove. Filled with joy at her happiness, he thanked God and announced her death to his brethren. He then sent some of the monks to fetch her body which he placed in a tomb which he had prepared for himself.”
Edited from Butler's Lives of the Saints
Prayer in honor of St. Scholastica
In this short prayer in honor of Saint Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict of Nursia, patron saint of Europe, we ask God to grant us the grace to live our lives in imitation of Saint Scholastica's virtues. Amen.
St. Scholastica Novena 

Opening Prayer
St. Scholastica, God granted your request because of your great love. I ask now that you turn to God with my request out of your great love for Him and your great love for me.

(State your intentions here)
 Each day of the Novena say 1 Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.

Day 1:
Love is patient (1 Cor. 13:4). Through God’s grace, help me, St. Scholastica, to grow in love by becoming more patient.

Day 2:
Love is kind (1 Cor. 13:4). Through God’s grace, help me, St. Scholastica, to grow in love by becoming more kind.

Day 3:
Love is not jealous (1 Cor. 13:4). Through God’s grace, help me, St. Scholastica, to grow in love by becoming more grateful, and by overcoming my disordered desires for the goods or traits of my neighbor.

Day 4:
Love is not pompous or inflated (1 Cor. 13:4). Through God’s grace, help me, St. Scholastica, to grow in love by becoming more humble.

Day 5:
Love is not rude (1 Cor. 13:5). Through God’s grace, help me, St. Scholastica, to grow in love by becoming more courteous in mind and speech.

Day 6:
Love does not seek its own interests (1 Cor. 13:5). Through God’s grace, help me, St. Scholastica, to grow in love by seeking God’s will and the interests of others before my own.

Day 7:
Love is not quick-tempered (1 Cor. 13:5). Through God’s grace, help me, St. Scholastica, to grow in love by gaining greater control over my emotions.

Day 8:
Love does not brood over injury (1 Cor. 13:5). Through God’s grace, help me, St. Scholastica, to grow in love by more readily forgiving those who have hurt me.

Day 9:
Love does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth (1 Cor. 13:4). Through God’s grace, help me, St. Scholastica, to grow in love by honoring the good in others and never celebrating another’s shame.

Closing Prayer
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (1 Cor. 13:7-8). St. Scholastica, you were a great witness to this truth. Help me to believe it more fully and to live it out each day. Amen.

Pope Francis says "It is the task of the Christian to" make "...the light of Christ shine" and proclaim "his Gospel." Full Text-Video


St. Peter's Square
Sunday, February 9, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In today's Gospel (cf Mt 5: 13-16), Jesus says to his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth [...]. You are the light of the world "(vv. 13.14). He uses symbolic language to indicate to those who intend to follow him some criteria for living presence and witness in the world.

First image: salt. Salt is the element that gives flavor and that preserves and preserves food from corruption. The disciple is therefore called to keep away from society the dangers, the corrosive germs that pollute people's lives. It is a question of resisting moral degradation, of sin, testifying to the values ​​of honesty and fraternity, without giving in to the worldly enticements of arrival, power and wealth. The disciple is "salt" who, despite the daily failures - because we all have them -, gets up from the dust of his mistakes, starting again with courage and patience, every day, to seek dialogue and meeting with others. The disciple is "salt" who does not seek consensus and praise, but strives to be a humble, constructive presence, in fidelity to the teachings of Jesus who came into the world not to be served, but to serve. And this attitude is so much needed!

The second image that Jesus proposes to his disciples is that of light: "You are the light of the world". Light dispels darkness and allows you to see. Jesus is the light that has dispelled the darkness, but they still remain in the world and in individual people. It is the task of the Christian to disperse it by making the light of Christ shine and proclaiming his Gospel. It is an radiation which can also derive from our words, but must above all stem from our "good works" (v. 16). A disciple and a Christian community are light in the world when they direct others to God, helping each one to experience his goodness and his mercy. Jesus' disciple is light when he knows how to live his faith outside confined spaces, when he helps to eliminate prejudices, to eliminate slanders, and to let the light of truth enter into situations spoiled by hypocrisy and lies. Make light. But it is not my light, it is the light of Jesus: we are tools for the light of Jesus to reach everyone.

Jesus invites us not to be afraid to live in the world, even if in it there are sometimes conditions of conflict and sin. In the face of violence, injustice, oppression, the Christian cannot close in on himself or hide in the safety of his own fence; even the Church cannot close in on herself, she cannot abandon her mission of evangelization and service. At the Last Supper, Jesus asked the Father not to remove the disciples from the world, to leave them there in the world, but to keep them from the spirit of the world. The Church spends herself generously and tenderly on the little ones and the poor: this is not the spirit of the world, this is its light, it is salt. The Church listens to the cry of the least and excluded, because it is aware of being a pilgrim community called to prolong the salvific presence of Jesus Christ in history.

May the Holy Virgin help us to be salt and light in the midst of people, bringing to everyone, with life and word, the Good News of God's love.

After Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

yesterday, in the liturgical memory of Saint Josephine Bakhita, the World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Trafficking in Persons was celebrated. To heal this plague - because it's a real plague! - which exploits the weakest, everyone's commitment is needed: institutions, associations and educational agencies. On the prevention front, I would like to point out how various research shows that criminal organizations are increasingly using modern means of communication to entice victims with deception. Therefore, it is necessary on the one hand to educate about the healthy use of technological means, on the other to supervise and call the suppliers of these telematic services to their responsibilities.

Painful news continues to come from the north-west of Syria, in particular on the conditions of many women and children, of people forced to flee due to military escalation. I renew my heartfelt appeal to the international community and to all the actors involved to make use of diplomatic instruments, dialogue and negotiations, in compliance with International Humanitarian Law, to safeguard the life and fate of civilians. Let us pray for this beloved and tormented Syria: Ave Maria,…

I greet all of you from Italy and other countries, especially the pilgrims from Seville, Carmona and Cadiz.
I greet the faithful from Milan, Naples-Fuorigrotta, Portici and Crispano; the boys of the Confirmation of Rosolina and those of Prato; the participants in the International Symposium promoted by the Catholic Action on the theme "Pedagogy of holiness".

And I wish everyone a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
FULL TEXT Source: - Unofficial Translation

February is Black History Month - Free Resources, Prayers and History to Share!


Timely Ministry Resources for Black Catholics

African American Affairs E-Newsletter Archive

View past and current issues in the e-newsletter archive.

Addressing Racism

National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) XII Pastoral Plan of Action - Read the Pastoral Plan of Action. . . which was developed by delegates who were appointed by bishops from every diocese in the United States. These women and men brought the concerns and needs of their local communities, and worked together to develop a list of pastoral priorities.
 Brothers and Sisters to Us - The pastoral letter on racism by the U.S. Catholic Bishops in 1979 explains how racism divides society. The Executive Summary Report on the 25th Anniversary of the U.S. Bishop's Pastoral Letter on Racism outlines the Church's progress in meeting the goal outlined in the pastoral letter.
Pastoral Statements from 1958-2018 - Read statements issued/approved by USCCB and its predecessors about the sin of racism:
Find more information and resources regarding the issue of racism on USCCB's Combatting Racism webpage.

Prayer & Liturgical Resources

Foundational Materials

Below are additional foundation materials:

Marriage and Family Life Ministry


Young Adult Catholics

Read the report from the 2015 Black Catholic Young Adult Listening Session and related material at the Young Adult Resources webpage.


Below are some video and audio resources available:

Torture Awareness Month and International Day of Support of Victims of Torture

June is Torture Awareness Month and June 26 is the International Day of Support of Victims of Torture. The focus of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), a USCCB partner, now includes ending torture in U.S. prisons and campaigning against solitary confinement. Help end torture in U.S. policy, practice and culture by downloading a free toolkit of resources from NRCAT. . . .

Additional Resources

On The Road to Sainthood - Pray for holy men and women on the road to sainthood.
FULL TEXT Release from US Bishops - USCCB

Glorious "Hymn of the Cherubim" by Tchaikovsky - Hauntingly Beautiful will Touch you Soul!

~Listen to this Beautiful Cherubic Hymn which is the primary cherubikon (Gr: χερουβικόν), or song of the angels, sung during every Divine Liturgy of the year. The Cherubic Hymn was added to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom near the end of the sixth century. 
SHARE this Beautiful Hymn to Touch a Soul!
Translation in English:
 "We, who mystically represent the Cherubim, And chant the thrice-holy hymn to the Life-giving Trinity, Let us set aside the cares of life That we may receive the King of all, Who comes invisibly escorted by the Divine Hosts." 
Lyrics in Greek:

Οἱ τὰ Χερουβεὶμ μυστικῶς εἰκονίζοντες,
καὶ τῇ ζωοποιῷ Τριάδι τὸν Τρισάγιον ὕμνον προσάδοντες,
πᾶσαν τὴν βιοτικὴν ἀποθώμεθα μέριμναν.
Ὡς τὸν Βασιλέα τῶν ὅλων ὑποδεξόμενοι,
ταῖς ἀγγελικαῖς ἀοράτως δορυφορούμενον τάξεσιν.

Ἀλληλούϊα, Ἀλληλούϊα, Ἀλληλούϊα.

Image Source : Google : 1854 Louis Janmot (French; 1814-92) 

Sunday Mass Online ' Readings and Video : Sunday February 9, 2020 - #Eucharist - 5th Ord. Time A

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 73

Reading 1IS 58:7-10

Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst
oppression, false accusation and malicious speech;
if you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

Responsorial PsalmPS 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (4a) The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
R. The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
R. The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
His justice shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.

Reading 21 COR 2:1-5

When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of Spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

AlleluiaJN 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”