Saturday, September 12, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Sunday, September 13, 2020 - Your Virtual Church

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 130

Reading 1
SIR 27:30—28:7
Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
R. (8) The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
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, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
Reading 2
ROM 14:7-9
Brothers and sisters:
None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.
For if we live, we live for the Lord,
and if we die, we die for the Lord;
so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
For this is why Christ died and came to life,
that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
JN 13:34
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

MT 18:21-35
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint September 13 : St. John Chrysostom a Doctor of the Church and the Patron of Education, Epilepsy and Preachers -

(Chrysostomos, "golden-mouthed" so called on account of his eloquence).
Doctor of the Church, born at Antioch, c. 347; died at Commana in Pontus, 14 September, 407.
John — whose surname "Chrysostom" occurs for the first time in the "Constitution" of Pope Vigilius (cf. P.L., LX, 217) in the year 553 — is generally considered the most prominent doctor of the Greek Church and the greatest preacher ever heard in a Christian pulpit. His natural gifts, as well as exterior circumstances, helped him to become what he was.
Life Boyhood
At the time of Chrysostom's birth, Antioch was the second city of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. During the whole of the fourth century religious struggles had troubled the empire and had found their echo at Antioch. Pagans, Manichaeans, Gnostics, Arians, Apollinarians, Jews, made their proselytes at Antioch, and the Catholics were themselves separated by the schism between the bishops Meletius and Paulinus. Thus Chrysostom's youth fell in troubled times. His father, Secundus, was an officer of high rank in the Syrian army. On his death soon after the birth of John, Anthusa, his wife, only twenty years of age, took the sole charge of her two children, John and an elder sister. Fortunately she was a woman of intelligence and character. She not only instructed her son in piety, but also sent him to the best schools of Antioch, though with regard to morals and religion many objections could be urged against them. Beside the lectures of Andragatius, a philosopher not otherwise known, Chrysostom followed also those of Libanius, at once the most famous orator of that period and the most tenacious adherent of the declining paganism of Rome. As we may see from the later writings of Chrysostom, he attained then considerable Greek scholarship and classical culture, which he by no means disowned in his later days. His alleged hostility to classical learning is in reality but a misunderstanding of certain passages in which he defends the philosophia of Christianity against the myths of the heathen gods, of which the chief defenders in his time were the representatives and teachers of the sophia ellenike (see A. Naegele in "Byzantin. Zeitschrift", XIII, 73-113; Idem, "Chrysostomus und Libanius" in Chrysostomika, I, Rome, 1908, 81-142). 

 Prayer of Saint John Chrysostom

O Lord, receive me in penitence.
O Lord, forsake me not.
O Lord, lead me not into misfortune.
O Lord, quicken in me a good thought.
O Lord, give me tears and remembrance of death, and contrition.
O Lord, make me solicitous of confessing my sins.
O Lord, give me humility, chastity, and obedience.
O Lord, give me patience, magnanimity, and meekness.
O Lord, implant in my the root of all good--Thy fear in my heart.
O Lord, vouchsafe that I may love thee from all my soul and mind and in everything do Thy will.
O Lord, shelter me from certain men, from demons and passions, and from any other unbecoming thing.
O Lord, Thou knowest that Thou dost as Thou wilt, let then Thy will be done in me, a sinner, for blessed art Thou unto the ages. Amen.

Chrysostom as lector and monk
It was a very decisive turning-point in the life of Chrysostom when he met one day (about 367) the bishop Meletius. The earnest, mild, and winning character of this man captivated Chrysostom in such a measure that he soon began to withdraw from classical and profane studies and to devote himself to an ascetic and religious life. He studied Holy Scripture and frequented the sermons of Meletius. About three years later he received Holy Baptism and was ordained lector. But the young cleric, seized by the desire of a more perfect life, soon afterwards entered one of the ascetic societies near Antioch, which was under the spiritual direction of Carterius and especially of the famous Diodorus, later Bishop of Tarsus (see Palladius, "Dialogus", v; Sozomenus, Church History VIII.2). Prayer, manual labour and the study of Holy Scripture were his chief occupations, and we may safely suppose that his first literary works date from this time, for nearly all his earlier writings deal with ascetic and monastic subjects [cf. below Chrysostom writings: (1) "Opuscuia"]. Four years later, Chrysostom resolved to live as an anchorite in one of the caves near Antioch. He remained there two years, but then as his health was quite ruined by indiscreet watchings and fastings in frost and cold, he prudently returned to Antioch to regain his health, and resumed his office as lector in the church.
Chrysostom as deacon and priest at Antioch
As the sources of the life of Chrysostom give an incomplete chronology, we can but approximately determine the dates for this Antiochene period. Very probably in the beginning of 381 Meletius made him deacon, just before his own departure to Constantinople, where he died as president of the Second Ecumenical Council. The successor of Meletius was Flavian (concerning whose succession see F. Cavallera, "Le Schime d'Antioche", Paris, 1905). Ties of sympathy and friendship connected Chrysostom with his new bishop. As deacon he had to assist at the liturgical functions, to look after the sick and poor, and was probably charged also in some degree with teaching catechumens. At the same time he continued his literary work, and we may suppose that he composed his most famous book, "On the Priesthood", towards the end of this period (c. 386, see Socrates, Church History VI.3), or at latest in the beginning of his priesthood (c. 387, as Nairn with good reasons puts it, in his edition of "De Sacerd.", xii-xv). There may be some doubt if it was occasioned by a real historical fact, viz., that Chrysostom and his friend Basil were requested to accept bishoprics (c. 372). All the earliest Greek biographers seem not to have taken it in that sense. In the year 386 Chrysostom was ordained priest by Flavian, and from that dates his real importance in ecclesiastical history. His chief task during the next twelve years was that of preaching, which he had to exercise either instead of or with Bishop Flavian. But no doubt the larger part of the popular religious instruction and education devolved upon him. The earliest notable occasion which showed his power of speaking and his great authority was the Lent of 387, when he delivered his sermons "On the Statues" (P.G., XLVIII, 15, xxx.). The people of Antioch, excited by the levy of new taxes, had thrown down the statues of Emperor Theodosius. In the panic and fear of punishment which followed, Chrysostom delivered a series of twenty or twenty-one (the nineteenth is probably not authentic) sermons, full of vigour, consolatory, exhortative, tranquilizing, until Flavian, the bishop, brought back from Constantinople the emperor's pardon. But the usual preaching of Chrysostom consisted in consecutive explanations of Holy Scripture. To that custom, unhappily no longer in use, we owe his famous and magnificent commentaries, which offer us such an inexhaustible treasure of dogmatic, moral, and historical knowledge of the transition from the fourth to the fifth century. These years, 386-98, were the period of the greatest theological productivity of Chrysostom, a period which alone would have assured him for ever a place among the first Doctors of the Church. A sign of this may be seen in the fact that in the year 392 St. Jerome already accorded to the preacher of Antioch a place among his Viri illustres ("De Viris ill.", 129, in P.L., XXIII, 754), referring expressly to the great and successful activity of Chrysostom as a theological writer. From this same fact we may infer that during this time his fame had spread far beyond the limits of Antioch, and that he was well known in the Byzantine Empire, especially in the capital. St. Chrysostom as bishop of Constantinople In the ordinary course of things Chrysostom might have become the successor of Flavian at Antioch. But on 27 September 397, Nectarius, Bishop of Constantinople, died. There was a general rivalry in the capital, openly or in secret, for the vacant see. After some months it was known, to the great disappointment of the competitors, that Emperor Areadius, at the suggestion of his minister Eutropius, had sent to the Prefect of Antioch to call John Chrysostom out of the town without the knowledge of the people, and to send him straight to Constantinople. In this sudden way Chrysostom was hurried to the capital, and ordained Bishop of Constantinople on 26 February, 398, in the presence of a great assembly of bishops, by Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who had been obliged to renounce the idea of securing the appointment of Isidore, his own candidate. The change for Chrysostom was as great as it was unexpected. His new position was not an easy one, placed as he was in the midst of an upstart metropolis, half Western, half Oriental, in the neighbourhood of a court in which luxury and intrigue always played the most prominent parts, and at the head of the clergy composed of most heterogeneous elements, and even (if not canonically, at least practically) at the head of the whole Byzantine episcopate. The first act of the new bishop was to bring about a reconciliation between Flavian and Rome. Constantinople itself soon began to feel the impulse of a new ecclesiastical life.
The necessity for reform was undeniable. Chrysostom began "sweeping the stairs from the top" (Palladius, op. cit., v). He called his oeconomus, and ordered him to reduce the expenses of the episcopal household; he put an end to the frequent banquets, and lived little less strictly than he had formerly lived as a priest and monk. With regard to the clergy, Chrysostom had at first to forbid them to keep in their houses syneisactoe, i.e. women housekeepers who had vowed virginity. He also proceeded against others who, by avarice or luxury, had given scandal. He had even to exclude from the ranks of the clergy two deacons, the one for murder and the other for adultery. Of the monks, too, who were very numerous even at that time at Constantinople, some had preferred to roam about aimlessly and without discipline. Chrysostom confined them to their monasteries. Finally he took care of the ecclesiastical widows. Some of them were living in a worldly manner: he obliged them either to marry again, or to observe the rules of decorum demanded by their state. After the clergy, Chrysostom turned his attention to his flock. As he had done at Antioch, so at Constantinople and with more reason, he frequently preached against the unreasonable extravagances of the rich, and especially against the ridiculous finery in the matter of dress affected by women whose age should have put them beyond such vanities. Some of them, the widows Marsa, Castricia, Eugraphia, known for such preposterous tastes, belonged to the court circle. It seems that the upper classes of Constantinople had not previously been accustomed to such language. Doubtless some felt the rebuke to be intended for themselves, and the offence given was the greater in proportion as the rebuke was the more deserved. On the other hand, the people showed themselves delighted with the sermons of their new bishop, and frequently applauded him in the church (Socrates, Church History VI). They never forgot his care for the poor and miserable, and that in his first year he had built a great hospital with the money he had saved in his household. But Chrysostom had also very intimate friends among the rich and noble classes. The most famous of these was Olympias, widow and deaconess, a relation of Emperor Theodosius, while in the Court itself there was Brison, first usher of Eudoxia, who assisted Chrysostom in instructing his choirs, and always maintained a true friendship for him. The empress herself was at first most friendly towards the new bishop. She followed the religious processions, attended his sermons, and presented silver candlesticks for the use of the churches (Socrates, op. cit., VI, 8; Sozomenus, op. cit., VIII, 8).
Unfortunately, the feelings of amity did not last. At first Eutropius, the former slave, now minister and consul, abused his influence. He deprived some wealthy persons of their property, and prosecuted others whom he suspected of being adversaries of rivals. More than once Chrysostom went himself to the minister (see "Oratio ad Eutropium" in P.G., Chrys. Op., III, 392) to remonstrate with him, and to warn him of the results of his own acts, but without success. Then the above-named ladies, who immediately surrounded the empress, probably did not hide their resentment against the strict bishop. Finally, the empress herself committed an injustice in depriving a widow of her vineyard (Marcus Diac., "Vita Porphyrii", V, no. 37, in P.G., LXV, 1229). Chrysostom interceded for the latter. But Eudoxia showed herself offended. Henceforth there was a certain coolness between the imperial Court and the episcopal palace, which, growing little by little, led to a catastrophe. It is impossible to ascertain exactly at what period this alienation first began; very probably it dated from the beginning of the year 401. But before this state of things became known to the public there happened events of the highest political importance, and Chrysostom, without seeking it, was implicated in them. These were the fall of Eutropius and the revolt of Gainas.
In January, 399, Eutropius, for a reason not exactly known, fell into disgrace. Knowing the feelings of the people and of his personal enemies, he fled to the church. As he had himself attempted to abolish the immunity of the ecclesiastical asylums not long before, the people seemed little disposed to spare him. But Chrysostom interfered, delivering his famous sermon on Eutropius, and the fallen minister was saved for the moment. As, however, he tried to escape during the night, he was seized, exiled, and some time later put to death. Immediately another more exciting and more dangerous event followed. Gainas, one of the imperial generals, had been sent out to subdue Tribigild, who had revolted. In the summer of 399 Gainas united openly with Tribigild, and, to restore peace, Arcadius had to submit to the most humiliating conditions. Gainas was named commander-in-chief of the imperial army, and even had Aurelian and Saturninus, two men of the highest rank at Constantinople, delivered over to him. It seems that Chrysostom accepted a mission to Gainas, and that, owing to his intervention, Aurelian and Saturninus were spared by Gainas, and even set at liberty. Soon afterwards, Gainas, who was an Arian Goth, demanded one of the Catholic churches at Constantinople for himself and his soldiers. Again Chrysostom made so energetic an opposition that Gainas yielded. Meanwhile the people of Constantinople had become excited, and in one night several thousand Goths were slain. Gainas however escaped, was defeated, and slain by the Huns. Such was the end within a few years of three consuls of the Byzantine Empire. There is no doubt that Chrysostom's authority had been greatly strengthened by the magnanimity and firmness of character he had shown during all these troubles. It may have been this that augmented the jealousy of those who now governed the empire — a clique of courtiers, with the empress at their head. These were now joined by new allies issuing from the ecclesiastical ranks and including some provincial bishops — Severian of Gabala, Antiochus of Ptolemais, and, for some time, Acacius of Beroea — who preferred the attractions of the capital to residence in their own cities (Socrates, op. cit., VI, 11; Sozomenus, op. cit., VIII, 10). The most intriguing among them was Severian, who flattered himself that he was the rival of Chrysostom in eloquence. But so far nothing had transpired in public. A great change occurred during the absence of Chrysostom for several months from Constantinople. This absence was necessitated by an ecclesiastical affair in Asia Minor, in which he was involved. Following the express invitation of several bishops, Chrysostom, in the first months of 401, had come to Ephesus, where he appointed a new archbishop, and with the consent of the assembled bishops deposed six bishops for simony. After having passed the same sentence on Bishop Gerontius of Nicomedia, he returned to Constantinople.
 Meanwhile disagreeable things had happened there. Bishop Severian, to whom Chrysostom seems to have entrusted the performance of some ecclesiastical functions, had entered into open enmity with Serapion, the archdeacon and oeconomus of the cathedral and the episcopal palace. Whatever the real reason may have been, Chrysostom, found the case so serious that he invited Severian to return to his own see. It was solely owing to the personal interference of Eudoxia, whose confidence Serapion possessed, that he was allowed to come back from Chalcedon, whither he had retired. The reconciliation which followed was, at least on the part of Severian, not a sincere one, and the public scandal had excited much ill-feeling. The effects soon became visible. When in the spring of 402, Bishop Porphyrius of Gaza (see Marcus Diac., "Vita Porphyrii", V, ed. Nuth, Bonn, 1897, pp. 11-19) went to the Court at Constantinople to obtain a favour for his diocese, Chrysostom answered that he could do nothing for him, since he was himself in disgrace with the empress. Nevertheless, the party of malcontents were not really dangerous, unless they could find some prominent and unscrupulous leader. Such a person presented himself sooner than might have been expected. It was the well-known Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria. He appeared under rather curious circumstances, which in no way foreshadowed the final result. Theophilus, toward the end of the year 402, was summoned by the emperor to Constantinople to apologize before a synod, over which Chrysostom should preside, for several charges, which were brought against him by certain Egyptian monks, especially by the so-called four "tall brothers". The patriarch, their former friend, had suddenly turned against them, and had them persecuted as Origenists (Palladius, "Dialogus", xvi; Socrates, op. cit., VI, 7; Sozomenus, op. cit., VIII, 12). However, Theophilus was not easily frightened. He had always agents and friends at Constantinople, and knew the state of things and the feelings at the court. He now resolved to take advantage of them. He wrote at once to St. Epiphanius at Cyprus, requesting him to go to Constantinople and prevail upon Chrysostom at to condemn the Origenists. Epiphanius went. But when he found that Theophilus was merely using him for his own purposes, he left the capital, dying on his return in 403. At this time Chrysostom delivered a sermon against the vain luxury of women. It was reported to the empress as though she had been personally alluded to. In this way the ground was prepared. Theophilus at last appeared at Constantinople in June, 403, not alone, as he had been commanded, but with twenty-nine of his suffragan bishops, and, as Palladius (ch. viii) tells us, with a good deal of money and all sorts of gifts. He took his lodgings in one of the imperial palaces, and held conferences with all the adversaries of Chrysostom. Then he retired with his suffragans and seven other bishops to a villa near Constantinople, called epi dryn (see Ubaldi, "La Synodo ad Quercum", Turin, 1902). A long list of the most ridiculous accusations was drawn up against Chrysostom (see Photius, "Bibliotheca", 59, in P.G., CIII, 105-113), who, surrounded by forty-two archbishops and bishops assembled to judge Theophilus in accordance with the orders of the emperor, was now summoned to present himself and apologize. Chrysostom naturally refused to recognize the legality of a synod in which his open enemies were judges. After the third summons Chrysostom, with the consent of the emperor, was declared to be deposed. In order to avoid useless bloodshed, he surrendered himself on the third day to the soldiers who awaited him. But the threats of the excited people, and a sudden accident in the imperial palace, frightened the empress (Palladius, "Dialogus", ix). She feared some punishment from heaven for Chrysostom's exile, and immediately ordered his recall. After some hesitation Chrysostom re-entered the capital amid the great rejoicings of the people. Theophilus and his party saved themselves by flying from Constantinople. Chrysostom's return was in itself a defeat for Eudoxia. When her alarms had gone, her rancour revived. Two months afterwards a silver statue of the empress was unveiled in the square just before the cathedral. The public celebrations which attended this incident, and lasted several days, became so boisterous that the offices in the church were disturbed. Chrysostom complained of this to the prefect of the city, who reported to Eudoxia that the bishop had complained against her statue. This was enough to excite the empress beyond all bounds. She summoned Theophilus and the other bishops to come back and to depose Chrysostom again. The prudent patriarch, however, did not wish to run the same risk a second time. He only wrote to Constantinople that Chrysostom should be condemned for having re-entered his see in opposition to an article of the Synod of Antioch held in the year 341 (an Arian synod). The other bishops had neither the authority nor the courage to give a formal judgment. All they could do was to urge the emperor to sign a new decree of exile. A double attempt on Chrysostom's life failed. On Easter Eve, 404, when all the catechumens were to receive baptism, the adversaries of the bishop, with imperial soldiers, invaded the baptistery and dispersed the whole congregation. At last Arcadius signed the decree, and on 24 June, 404, the soldiers conducted Chrysostom a second time into exile.
Exile and death
They had scarcely left Constantinople when a huge conflagration destroyed the cathedral, the senate-house, and other buildings. The followers of the exiled bishop were accused of the crime and prosecuted. In haste Arsacius, an old man, was appointed successor of Chrysostom, but was soon succeeded by the cunning Atticus. Whoever refused to enter into communion with them was punished by confiscation of property and exile. Chrysostom himself was conducted to Cucusus, a secluded and rugged place on the east frontier of Armenia, continually exposed to the invasions of the Isaurians. In the following year he had even to fly for some time to the castle of Arabissus to protect himself from these barbarians. Meanwhile he always maintained a correspondence with his friends and never gave up the hope of return. When the circumstances of his deposition were known in the West, the pope and the Italian bishops declared themselves in his favour. Emperor Honorius and Pope Innocent I endeavoured to summon a new synod, but their legates were imprisoned and then sent home. The pope broke off all communion with the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch (where an enemy of Chrysostom had succeeded Flavian), and Constantinople, until (after the death of Chrysostom) they consented to admit his name into the diptychs of the Church. Finally all hopes for the exiled bishop had vanished. Apparently he was living too long for his adversaries. In the summer, 407, the order was given to carry him to Pithyus, a place at the extreme boundary of the empire, near the Caucasus. One of the two soldiers who had to lead him caused him all possible sufferings. He was forced to make long marches, was exposed to the rays of the sun, to the rains and the cold of the nights. His body, already weakened by several severe illnesses, finally broke down. On 14 September the party were at Comanan in Pontus. In the morning Chrysostom had asked to rest there on the account of his state of health. In vain; he was forced to continue his march. Very soon he felt so weak that they had to return to Comana. Some hours later Chrysostom died. His last words were: Doxa to theo panton eneken (Glory be to God for all things) (Palladius, xi, 38). He was buried at Comana. On 27 January, 438, his body was translated to Constantinople with great pomp, and entombed in the church of the Apostles where Eudoxia had been buried in the year 404 (see Socrates, VII, 45; Constantine Prophyrogen., "Cæremoniale Aul Byz.", II, 92, in P.G., CXII, 1204 B).
|Shortened from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis sends Greetings for March for Life in Berlin, Germany via Nuncio

March for Life Berlin: Powerful message from Nuncio Eterovic with thanks from Pope Francis

Papal Nuncio: “Shattering examples of abortions and activities that lead to death” show how much people's lives are in danger. "As Christians we can only serve one culture of life, never one of death"

 “At this moment in history, which affects all of humanity, you are setting out to stand up for human life from the first moment of its development to the last moment of its earthly peril.” This is what the Archbishop wrote Nikola Eteroviv, the Apostolic Nuncio in Berlin, in his greeting to the participants in the upcoming March for Life Berlin 2020 on September 19. The nuncio especially wrote to the protectors of life that his "heartfelt thanks" go to them, "which I convey to you in the name of the Holy Father Pope Francis, whom I have the honor of representing in the Federal Republic of Germany." As Christians, Eterovic recalls “We can and we want to serve only one culture of life, never one of death”.
The Nuncio encouraged the people “to walk the march for life in the light of Easter, which we celebrated in an extraordinary way this year. Let us testify before the whole world that we serve life because He, who was born of the Virgin Mary and died for us, rose from the dead. And we want to woo everyone without any doubt and say: 'Choose life!' ".

Personal Secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in Hospital for Reported "kidney disease"

Archbishop Georg Gänswein (64) has been in a hospital in Rome for several days. This was reported by The personal secretary of  Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He is undergoing several examinations because of complaints, the results of which are not yet available. Other reports from CNA say that he has "severe kidney disease".
In 2012 he was appointed Prefect of the Papal Household.

Pope Francis Says "Contemplating is giving oneself time to be silent, to pray, so that harmony returns to the soul..." to "Laudato Si" Meeting - Full Text


Paul VI Audience Hall
Saturday, 12 September 2020

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
I welcome you, and in greeting you I wish to reach all the members of the Laudato Si 'Communities in Italy and throughout the world. I thank Mr. Carlo Pertini in my paternal, non-maternal language: “Carlìn”. You have placed the integral ecology proposed by the Encyclical Laudato si ' as the driving force of all your initiatives Integral, because we are all creatures and everything in creation is related, everything is related. Indeed, I dare say, everything is harmonious. The pandemic has also proved it: human health cannot be separated from that of the environment in which it lives. It is also evident that climate change does not only upset the balance of nature, but causes poverty and hunger, affects the most vulnerable and sometimes forces them to leave their land. Neglect of creation and social injustices influence each other: it can be said that there is no ecology without equity and there is no equity without ecology.
You are motivated to take care of the least and of creation, together, and you want to do it following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, with meekness and industriousness. I thank you for this, and I renew the appeal to commit ourselves to safeguard our common home. It is a task that concerns everyone, especially those responsible for nations and for productive activities. What is needed is a real will to tackle the causes of the ongoing climate upheavals at the root. Generic commitments are not enough - words, words ... - and one cannot only look at the immediate consent of one's constituents or financiers. We need to look far, otherwise history will not forgive. We need to work today for everyone's tomorrow. The young and the poor will ask us for an account. It is our challenge. I take a sentence from the martyr theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer: our challenge today it is not “how we manage”, how we get out of this reality; our real challenge is "what the life of the next generation will be like": we must think about this!
Dear friends, now I would like to share with you two key words of integral ecology: contemplation and compassion .
Contemplation . Today, the nature that surrounds us is no longer admired, contemplated, but "devoured". We have become voracious, dependent on profit and results now and at all costs. The gaze on reality is increasingly rapid, distracted, superficial, while in a short time the news and the forests are burnt. Sick of consumption. This is our disease! Sick of consumption. We scramble for the latest “ app”, But the names of the neighbors are no longer known, the less one knows how to distinguish one tree from another. And, what is more serious, with this lifestyle the roots are lost, the gratitude for what is there and for those who gave it to us is lost. In order not to forget, we must return to contemplating; in order not to be distracted by a thousand useless things, it is necessary to find silence again; so that the heart does not become sick, it is necessary to stop. It's not easy. For example, we need to free ourselves from the imprisonment of the cell phone, to look in the eyes of those around us and the creation that has been given to us.
Contemplating is giving oneself time to be silent, to pray, so that harmony returns to the soul, the healthy balance between head, heart and hands; between thought, feeling and action. Contemplation is the antidote to hasty, superficial and inconclusive choices. Those who contemplate learn to feel the ground that supports them, they understand that they are not alone and meaningless in the world. He discovers the tenderness of God's gaze and understands that he is precious. Everyone is important in God's eyes, everyone can transform a bit of a world polluted by human voracity into the good reality desired by the Creator. Those who know how to contemplate, in fact, do not sit idle, but get busy concretely. Contemplation leads you to action, to do.
Here is the second word: compassionIt is the fruit of contemplation. How is it understood that someone is a contemplative, that he has assimilated the gaze of God? If he has compassion for others - compassion is not saying: "I feel sorry for this ...", compassion is "suffering with" -, if it goes beyond excuses and theories, to see in others brothers and sisters to cherish. What Carlo Petrini finally said about brotherhood. This is the proof, because so does the gaze of God who, despite all the evil we think and do, always sees us as beloved children. He does not see individuals, but children, he sees brothers and sisters of a single family, who live in the same house. We are never strangers to his eyes. His compassion is the opposite of our indifference. Indifference - I allow myself the somewhat vulgar word - is that indifference that enters the heart, the mentality, and that ends with a "who gets by". Compassion is the opposite of indifference.
It also applies to us: our compassion is the best vaccine against the epidemic of indifference. "It does not concern me", "it does not concern me", "I have nothing to do with it", "it is his thing": these are the symptoms of indifference. There is a beautiful photograph - I have said it on other occasions -, taken by a Roman photographer, found in the Almsgiving. One winter night, we see a lady of a certain age coming out of a luxury restaurant, with a fur coat, hat, gloves, well covered from the cold, comes out after having eaten well - which is not a sin, to eat well ! [laugh] - and there is another woman at the door, with a crutch, badly dressed, you can see that she feels the cold ... a homeless, with an outstretched hand ... And the lady who comes out of the restaurant looks away. The photo is called "Indifference". When I saw her, I called the photographer to tell him, “You were good at taking this spontaneously,” and said to put it in Alms. In order not to fall into the spirit of indifference. Instead, those who have compassion go from "I don't care about you" to "you are important to me". Or at least "you touch my heart". But compassion is not a beautiful feeling, it is not pietism, it is creating a new bond with the other. It is to take charge of it, like the good Samaritan who, moved by compassion , takes care of that unfortunate person who does not even know ( cf.Lk10.33-34). The world needs this creative and effective charity, of people who do not stand in front of a screen to comment, but of people who get their hands dirty to remove degradation and restore dignity. Having compassion is a choice: it is choosing not to have any enemy in order to see my neighbor in each one And this is a choice.
This doesn't mean getting soft and giving up fighting. Indeed, those who have compassion enter into a hard daily struggle against waste and waste, the waste of others and the waste of things. It hurts to think about how many people are discarded without compassion: the elderly, children, workers, people with disabilities ... But the waste of things is also scandalous. FAO has documented that more than a billion - more than a billion are thrown away in industrialized countries! - tons of edible food! This is reality. Together, let's help each other fight against waste and waste, we demand political choices that combine progress and equity, development and sustainability for all, so that no one is deprived of the land they live in, the good air they breathe, the water they have right to drink and food that has the right to eat.
I am sure that the members of each of your communities will not be satisfied with living as spectators, but will always be mild and determined protagonists in building the future of all. And all this does fraternity. Working as and as brothers. Building universal fraternity. And this is the moment, this is today's challenge. I wish you to nurture contemplation and compassion, indispensable ingredients of integral ecology. I thank you again for your presence and for your commitment. I thank you for your prayers. To those of you who pray, I ask to pray, and to those who do not pray, at least send me good waves, I need it! [laugh, applause]

And now I would like to ask God to bless each of you, bless the heart of each of you, whether you are a believer or a non-believer, of whatever religious tradition it is. May God bless you all. Amen.

Catholic Maronite Patriarch Rai of Lebanon Reaffirms "Lebanese neutrality" Saying it is Not "against" Hezbollah

ASIA/LEBANON - Maronite Patriarch: the proposal on "Lebanese neutrality" is not aimed "against" Hezbollah
Friday, 11 September 2020

Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - The proposal to reaffirm the so-called "Lebanese neutrality", indicated in recent months on several occasions by Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai as a way out of the crisis in Lebanon, should in no way be interpreted as a political stance hostile to the Shiite Hezbollah Party. The Maronite Patriarch himself strongly emphasized this, receiving on Thursday 10 September, at the summer patriarchal residence of Diman, the representatives of the so-called Spiritual Rassemblement, an interreligious body that brings together members of different Christian and Muslim confessions present in the country.
Lebanon - explained the Maronite Cardinal - is neutral by nature, precisely by virtue of its cultural and religious pluralism, and the Lebanese national pact is based on this pluralist neutrality. If we do not continue to walk in the wake of this neutrality - the Patriarch pointed out - "the Maronites will move towards France, the Sunnis towards Saudi Arabia and the Shiites towards Iran". The plural and neutral connotation of Lebanon, according to the Maronite Patriarch, was put in crisis during the civil war, by the emergence of the sectarian militias fighting each other. Thus the Lebanese nation risks being upset and torn apart in the clashes between geopolitical blocs that are confronted in the Middle East. This process - continued the Primate of the Maronite Church - is at the root of the international isolation and impoverishment of the Lebanese people: a spiral from which one can only escape by reaffirming one's own plural identity and the consequent position of Lebanese neutrality with respect to the conflicts that upset the Middle East.
The representatives of the Spiritual Rassemblement wanted to express their unanimous consent to the proposal to reaffirm the "Lebanese neutrality" supported by Cardinal Rai, which they appreciated as a historical position that protects Lebanon from any foreign intervention aimed at making the Country a vassal of other States.
The reaffirmation of the “active neutrality” of the Land of Cedars was set out in an organic way by Patriarch Rai in the "Memorandum for Lebanon", a document published in mid-August.
The Maronite Patriarch, in his speech before the Spiritual Rassemblement, reported that all the Lebanese political forces have expressed their official considerations and reactions to this proposal in various ways, with the exception of the Shiite Party of Hezbollah. In this regard, the Primate of the Maronite Church wanted to deny the "misunderstandings" of the media and analysts who in recent weeks have interpreted and presented the proposal on "Lebanese neutrality" as a political initiative aimed at isolating Hezbollah and targeting its links with Iran. "Everything that has been written in the newspapers", said Patriarch Rai in this regard "does not concern me and does not affect me. My position on neutrality is not against Hezbollah, but has the good of all Lebanese at heart, because today poverty affects everyone". Speaking of himself, the Patriarch said he was "Lebanese before being a Maronite". (GV) (FULL TEXT Source: SAgenzia Fides, 11/9/2020)

Litany to the Holy Name of Mary and Special Prayers to Share honoring Mary with Indulgences

The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary was established by Pope Innocent XI upon the victory of Christian forces against the Moslems beseiging Vienna in 1683. This litany, reflecting the nature of the feast, is for private devotion.
(Feast Day September 12)
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Son of Mary, hear us.
Son of Mary, graciously hear us.

Heavenly Father, of Whom Mary is the Daughter, have mercy on us.
Eternal Word, of Whom Mary is the Mother...
Holy Spirit, of Whom Mary is the Spouse...
Divine Trinity, of Whom Mary is the Handmaid...

Mary, Mother of the Living God, pray for us
Mary, Daughter of the Light Eternal...
Mary, our light...
Mary, our sister...
Mary, Flower of Jesse...
Mary, Issue of Kings...
Mary, Chief Work of God...
Mary, the Beloved of God...
Mary, Immaculate Virgin...
Mary, all fair...
Mary, Light in Darkness...
Mary, our sure rest...
Mary, House of God....
Mary, Sanctuary of the Lord...
Mary, Altar of the Divinity...
Mary, Virgin Mother...
Mary, embracing your Infant God...
Mary, reposing with Eternal Wisdom...
Mary, Ocean of Bitterness...
Mary, Star of the Sea...
Mary, suffering with your only Son...
Mary, pierced with a sword of sorrow...
Mary, torn with a cruel wound...
Mary, sorrowful even unto death...
Mary, bereft of all consolation...
Mary, submissive to the law of God...
Mary, standing by the Cross of Jesus...
Mary, Our Lady...
Mary, Our Queen...
Mary, Queen of Glory...
Mary, Glory of the Church Triumphant...
Mary, Blessed Queen...
Mary, Advocate of the Church Militant...
Mary, Queen of Mercy...
Mary, Consoler of the Church Suffering...
Mary, exalted above the angels,
Mary, crowned with twelve stars...
Mary, fair as the moon...
Mary, bright as the sun...
Mary, distinguished above all...
Mary, seated at the right hand of Jesus...
Mary, Our Hope...
Mary, Our Sweetness...
Mary, Glory of Jerusalem...
Mary, Joy of Israel...
Mary, Honor of Our People...
Mary, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception...
Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption...
Mary, Our Lady of Loreto...
Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes...
Mary, Our Lady of Fatima...
Mary, Our Lady of Czestochowa...
Mary, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal...
Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel...
Mary, Our Lady of the Angels...
Mary, Our Lady of Dolors...
Mary, Our Lady of Mercy...
Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary...
Mary, Our Lady of Victory...
Mary, Our Lady of La Trappe...
Mary, Our Lady of Divine Providence...

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord Jesus.

Son of Mary, hear us.
Son of Mary, graciously hear us.

I will declare your name unto my brethren.
I will praise you in the assembly of the faithful.

Let Us Pray (Oremus)
O Almighty God, Who beholds Thy servants earnestly desiring to place themselves under the shadow of the name and protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, grant, we beseech You, that by her charitable intercession, we may be delivered from all evil on earth, and may arrive at everlasting joys in Heaven, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Special Prayers to Mary
My queen! my mother! remember I am thine own.
Keep me, guard me, as thy property and possession.
His Holiness, Pope Pius IX., by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Aug 5, 1851, granted to all the faithful who, with fervor and at least contrite heart, shall say, morning and evening, one Hail Mary, together with this prayer and ejaculation, to implore of the blessed Virgin victory over temptations, especially over those against chastity: An Indulgence of One Hundred Days, once a day.
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we Thy faithful people, who rejoice in the name and protection of the most holy Virgin Mary, may by her loving intercession be delivered from all evils here on earth, and be made worthy to reach eternal glory in the life to come. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Sweet Heart of Mary be my salvation.
An indulgence of 300 days. A plenary indulgence once a month under the usual conditions, if repeated daily (S. C. Ind., Sept. 30,1852).
The Magnificat (from the Gospel of Luke)
My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him. He hath shewed might in His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy: As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
(Indulgence 100 days)

Peace Agreement between Israel and Bahrain as Announced by US President Trump - FULL TEXT Release

The White House Announced on September 11, 2020 a peace agreement between Bahrain and Israel. However, Asia News It reports that the agreement also breaks with the past of the Arab countries that had always made the birth of a Palestinian state a pre-condition of relations with Israel. Now this condition has been removed. It is maintained – and no-one knows for how long - only by Saudi Arabia. The Arab League, once strongly pro-Palestinian, has also given its backing to relations with Israel. The Palestinians feel betrayed. Ahmad Majdalani, social affairs minister in the Palestinian Authority, classifies the agreement as "a stab in the back for the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people". For Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, it is "an aggression" that brings "serious prejudice" to the Palestinian cause.
FULL TEXT Release from The White House: 
President Donald J. Trump Has Brokered a Historic Deal Between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain

  Issued on: September 11, 2020

Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead.

President Donald J. Trump

President Donald J. Trump has brokered a deal to establish full diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel – the second such agreement between Israel and an Arab nation in less than one month.

Israel and Bahrain have committed to begin the exchange of embassies and ambassadors, start direct flights between their countries, and launch cooperation initiatives across a broad range of sectors.
This peace deal is a significant step forward for both Israel and Bahrain.
It further enhances their security while creating opportunities for them to deepen their economic ties.
This deal comes on the heels of the historic normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are the first Arab nations to normalize relations with Israel in more than 25 years.
The United States will continue to support the people of Bahrain as they work to counter terrorism and extremism, develop economically, and build new peaceful partnerships across the region.
CREATING THE CONDITIONS FOR PEACE:  President Trump’s wise foreign policy strategy has created the conditions for peace between Israel and its neighbors.
When President Trump took office, the Middle East was in a state of extreme turmoil.
President Trump has worked to rebuild trust with our regional partners and identify their shared interests, moving them away from the conflicts of the past.
Thanks to the President’s bold foreign policy vision and his acumen as a dealmaker, nations across the region are realizing the benefits of his thoughtful approach.
As the President’s work continues, more Arab and Muslim countries will likely seek to normalize relations with Israel.
Each country that normalizes relations will build upon the other, bringing peace and prosperity to the region and the people who live there.
AN UNPRECEDENTED REGIONAL TRANSFORMATION: After decades of instability and crisis, nations across the Middle East and Africa are increasingly working together to build a more peaceful and prosperous future.
Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, the Arab world is experiencing the most rapid geopolitical transformation in more than a generation.
As more countries normalize relations with Israel, the region is becoming more stable, secure, and prosperous.
Expanded business and financial ties between economies will accelerate growth and economic opportunity across the region.
Agreements with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates also help to advance President Trump’s vision for finding a fair and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
The United States will continue to stand with the people of the region as they work to build a brighter, more hopeful future.
Press Release Source:

#BreakingNews Beloved Vatican Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines Tests Positive for COVID-19

CBCP report: Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelizaton of Peoples, has tested positive for coronavirus upon his arrival in Manila yesterday.

This was confirmed by the Holy See Press Office in a report published by Vatican News on Friday evening.

Cardinal Tagle, who is also the president of Caritas Internationalis, is asymptomatic and currently under quarantine, the Vatican said.

In the meantime, the necessary checks are being carried out on those who have come into contact with the cardinal in the past few days.

Although he has a residence at the Congregation, Cardinal Tagle has been staying at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino since his arrival in Rome in February.

The 63-year-old cardinal was in Italy’s city of Turin this week to take part in the episcopal ordination of the new Apostolic Nuncio for Mongolia, Fr. Giorgio Marengo.

The Vatican said that Cardinal Tagle had already undergone a Covid-19 swab test in Rome on Sept. 7, which turned out to be negative.

On September 8, he also led an online recollection for Filipino Covid-19 frontliners organized by Caritas Philippines and Cebu-based Dilaab Foundation.

Cardinal Tagle has become the first Roman curia dicastery head to have contracted the virus.

His last meeting with Pope Francis in a private audience was August 29.
Source: CBCP 

Pope Francis meets with Families of Victims and Says "...unfortunately with the succession of many, too many human tragedies - we risk forgetting."

According to Vatican News almost two years ago, on the night of 8 December 2018, six people were killed in a stampede at a nightclub in Corinaldo, Italy. The day after the tragedy, Pope Francis prayed at the Angelus for the victims – five young people attending a rap concert and a mother who was accompanying her daughter to the event – and for the numerous people who were injured. On Saturday, September 12, 2020 Pope Francis met with the families.


Consistory Hall
Saturday, 12 September 2020

Dear brothers and sisters ,

I thank you for coming to share your pain and prayers with me too. I remember then, when the tragedy happened, I was shaken. But as time goes by - and unfortunately with the succession of many, too many human tragedies - we risk forgetting. This meeting helps me and the Church not to forget, to keep in the heart, and above all to entrust your loved ones to the heart of God the Father.

Every tragic death brings great pain with it. But when he kidnaps five teenagers and a young mother, it's immense, unbearable without God's help. I don't go into the cause of the accidents in that nightclub where your family members died. But I wholeheartedly unite with your suffering and your legitimate desire for justice.

I also wish to offer you a word of faith, consolation and hope.

Corinaldo, the place of the tragedy, is located in an area where the Madonna di Loreto watches: its Sanctuary is not far away. And then I want - we want - to think that she, as a Mother, has never taken her gaze from them, especially in that moment of dramatic confusion; who accompanied them with his tenderness. How many times have they invoked her in the Hail Mary: "Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death"! And even if in those chaotic moments they could not do it, Our Lady does not forget, she does not forget our pleas: she is Mother. Surely he accompanied them to the merciful embrace of his Son Jesus.

This tragedy took place in the night, in the early hours of 8 December 2018, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. On that same day, at the end of the Angelus recitation , I prayed with the people for the young victims, for the wounded and for you family members. I know that many, starting with your Bishops present here, your priests and your communities, have supported you with their prayer and affection. My prayer for you also continues, and I accompany it with my blessing.

When we lose a dad or mom, we are orphans. There is an adjective: orphan, orphan. When a spouse is lost in marriage, those who remain are widowed or widowed. There is an adjective for this too. But when a child is lost, there is no adjective. The loss of a child is impossible to "adjective". I lost my son: what am I ...? No, I am neither an orphan nor a widower. I lost a son. Without adjective. There is not. And this is your great pain.

Now I would like to recite with you the Ave Maria for Asia, Benedetta, Daniele, Emma, ​​Mattia and Eleonora.

[Ave Maria …]

FULL TEXT Source: - Unofficial Translation