Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Eastertide

 Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 275
Reading I
Acts 8:1b-8
There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem,
and all were scattered
throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria,
except the Apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him.
Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church;
entering house after house and dragging out men and women,
he handed them over for imprisonment.
 Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.
Responsorial Psalm
66:1-3a, 4-5, 6-7a
R.    (1)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R.    Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
    sing praise to the glory of his name;
    proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R.    Alleluia.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
    sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
    his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R.    Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
    through the river they passed on foot;
    therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R.    Alleluia.
See Jn 6:40
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jn 6:35-40
Jesus said to the crowds,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”
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 April 21 : St. Anselm a Doctor of the Church and Archbishop of Canterbury who Argued for the Existence of God

St. Anselm

1033 at Aosta, Piedmont, Italy
21 April 1109 at Canterbury, England
1492 by Pope Alexander IV
Major Shrine:
Canterbury Cathedral
Archbishop of Canterbury, Doctor of the Church; born at Aosta a Burgundian town on the confines of Lombardy, died 21 April, 1109. His father, Gundulf, was a Lombard who had become a citizen of Aosta, and his mother, Ermenberga, came of an old Burgundian family. Like many other saints, Anselm learnt the first lessons of piety from his mother, and at a very early age he was fired with the love of learning. In after life he still cherished the memories of childhood, and his biographer, Eadmer, has preserved some incidents which he had learnt from the saint's own lips. The child had heard his mother speak of God, Who dwelt on high ruling all things. Living in the mountains, he thought that Heaven must be on their lofty summits. "And while he often revolved these matters in his mind, it chanced that one night he saw in a vision that he must go up to the summit of the mountain and hasten to the court of God, the great King. But before he began to ascend the mountain, he saw in the plain through which he had passed to its foot, women, who were the King's handmaidens, reaping the corn; but they were doing this very negligently and slothfully. Then, grieving for their sloth, and rebuking them, he bethought him that he would accuse them before their Lord and King. Thereafter, having climbed the mountain he entered the royal court. There he found the King with only his cupbearer. For it seemed that, as it was now Autumn, the King had sent his household to gather the harvest. As the boy entered he was called by the Master, and drawing nigh he sat at his feet. Then with cheery kindliness he was asked who and whence he was and what he was seeking. To these questions he made answer as well as he knew. Then at the Master's command some moist white bread was brought him by the cupbearer and he feasted thereon in his presence, wherefore when morning came and he brought to mind the things he had seen, as a simpler and innocent child he believed that he had truly been fed in heaven with the bread of the Lord, and this he publicly affirmed in the presence of others". (Eadmer, Life of St. Anselm, I, i.) Eadmer adds that the boy was beloved by all and made rapid progress in learning. Before he was fifteen he sought admission to a monastery. But the abbot, fearing the father's displeasure, refused him. The boy then made a strange prayer. He asked for an illness, thinking this would move the monks to yield to his wishes. The illness came but his admission to the monastery was still denied him. None the less he determined to gain his end at some future date. But ere long he was drawn away by the pleasures of youth and lost his first ardour and his love of learning. His love for his mother in some measure restrained him. But on her death it seemed that his anchor was lost, and he was at the mercy of the waves.

At this time his father treated him with great harshness; so much so that he resolved to leave his home. Taking a single companion, he set out on foot to cross Mont Cenis. At one time he was fainting with hunger and was fain to refresh his strength with snow, when the servant found that some bread was still left in the baggage, and Anselm regained strength and continued the journey. After passing nearly three years in Burgundy and France, he came into Normandy and tarried for a while at Avranches before finding his home at the Abbey of Bec, then made illustrious by Lanfranc's learning. Anselm profited so well by the lessons of this master that he became his most familiar disciple and shared in the work of teaching. After spending some time in this labour, he began to think that his toil would have more merit if he took the monastic habit. But at first he felt some reluctance to enter the Abbey of Bec, where he would be overshadowed by Lanfranc. After a time, however, he saw that it would profit him to remain where he would be surpassed by others. His father was now dead, having ended his days in the monastic habit, and Anselm had some thought of living on his patrimony and relieving the needy. The life of a hermit also presented itself to him as a third alternative. Anxious to act with prudence he first asked the advice of Lanfranc, who referred the matter to the Archbishop of Rouen. This prelate decided in favour of the monastic life, and Anselm became a monk in the Abbey of Bec. This was in 1060. His life as a simple monk lasted for three years, for in 1063 Lanfranc was appointed Abbot of Caen, and Anselm was elected to succeed him as Prior. There is some doubt as to the date of this appointment. But Canon Poree points out that Anselm, writing at the time of his election as Archbishop (1093), says that he had then lived thirty three years in the monastic habit, three years as a monk without preferment, fifteen as prior, and fifteen as abbot (Letters of Anselm, III, vii). This is confirmed by an entry in the chronicle of the Abbey of Bec, which was compiled not later than 1136. Here it is recorded that Anselm died in 1109, in the forty-ninth year of his monastic life and the seventy-sixth of his age, having been three years a simple monk; fifteen, prior; fifteen, abbot; and sixteen archbishop (Poree, Histoire de l'abbaye de Bec, III, 173). At first his promotion to the office vacated by Lanfranc gave offence to some of the other monks who considered they had a better claim than the young stranger. But Anselm overcame their opposition by gentleness, and ere long had won their affection and obedience. To the duties of prior he added those of teacher. It was likewise during this period that he composed some of his philosophical and theological works, notably, the "Monologium" and the "Proslogium". Besides giving good counsel to the monks under his care, he found time to comfort others by his letters. Remembering his attraction for the solitude of a hermitage we can hardly wonder that he felt oppressed by this busy life and longed to lay aside his office and give himself up to the delights of contemplation. But the Archbishop of Rouen bade him retain his office and prepare for yet greater burdens. This advice was prophetic, for in 1078, on the death of Herluin, founder and first Abbot of Bec Anselm was elected to succeed him. It was with difficulty that the monks overcame his reluctance to accept the office. His biographer, Eadmer, gives us a picture of a strange scene. The Abbot-elect fell prostrate before the brethren and with tears besought them not to lay this burden on him, while they prostrated themselves and earnestly begged him to accept the office. His election at once brought Anselm into relations with England, where the Norman abbey had several possessions. In the first year of his office, he visited Canterbury where he was welcomed by Lanfranc. "The converse of Lanfranc and Anselm", says Professor Freeman, "sets before us a remarkable and memorable pair. The lawyer, the secular scholar, met the divine and the philosopher; the ecclesiastical statesman stood face to face with the saint. The wisdom, conscientious no doubt but still hard and worldly, which could guide churches and kingdoms in troublous times was met by the boundless love which took in all God's creatures of whatever race or species" (History of the Norman Conquest, IV, 442). It is interesting to note that one of the matters discussed on this occasion related to a Saxon archbishop, Elphage (Ælfheah), who had been put to death by the Danes for refusing to pay a ransom which would impoverish his people. Lanfranc doubted his claim to the honours of a martyr since he did not die for the Faith. But Anselm solved the difficulty by saying that he who died for this lesser reason would much more be ready to die for the Faith. Moreover, Christ is truth and justice and he who dies for truth and justice dies for Christ. It was on this occasion that Anselm first met Eadmer, then a young monk of Canterbury. At the same time the saint, who in his childhood was loved by all who knew him, and who, as Prior of Bec, had won the affection of those who resisted his authority, was already gaining the hearts of Englishmen. His fame had spread far and wide, and many of the great men of the age prized his friendship and sought his counsel. Among these was William the Conqueror, who desired that Anselm might come to give him consolation on his death-bed. When Lanfranc died, William Rufus kept the See of Canterbury vacant for four years, seized its revenues, and kept the Church in England in a state of anarchy. To many the Abbot of Bec seemed to be the man best fitted for the archbishopric. The general desire was so evident that Anselm felt a reluctance to visit England lest it should appear that he was seeking the office. At length, however, he yielded to the entreaty of Hugh, Earl of Chester and came to England in 1092. Arriving in Canterbury on the eve of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, he was hailed by the people as their future archbishop; but he hastened away and would in no wise consent to remain for the festival. At a private interview with the King, who received him kindly, he spoke freely on the evils by which the land was made desolate. Anselm's own affairs kept him in England for some months, but when he wished to return to Bec the King objected. Meanwhile the people made no secret of their desires. With the King's permission prayers were offered in all the churches that God would move the King to deliver the Church of Canterbury by the appointment of a pastor, and at the request of the bishops Anselm drew up the form of prayer. The King fell ill early in the new year (1093), and on his sick-bed he was moved to repentance. The prelates and barons urged on him the necessity of electing an archbishop. Yielding to the manifest desire of all he named Anselm, and all joyfully concurred in the election. Anselm, however, firmly refused the honour, whereupon another scene took place still more strange than that which occurred when he was elected abbot. He was dragged by force to the King's bedside, and a pastoral staff was thrust into his closed hand; he was borne thence to the altar where the "Te Deum" was sung. There is no reason to suspect the sincerity of this resistance. Naturally drawn to contemplation, Anselm could have little liking for such an office even in a period of peace; still less could he desire it in those stormy days. He knew full well what awaited him. The King's repentance passed away with his sickness and Anselm soon saw signs of trouble. His first offence was his refusal to consent to the alienation of Church lands which the King had granted to his followers. Another difficulty arose from the King's need of money. Although his see was impoverished by the royal rapacity, the Archbishop was expected to make his majesty a free gift; and when he offered five hundred marks they were scornfully refused as insufficient. As if these trials were not enough Anselm had to bear the reproaches of some of the monks of Bec who were loath to lose him; in his letters he is at pains to show that he did not desire the office. He finally was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury 4 December, 1093. It now remained for him to go to Rome to obtain the pallium. But here was a fresh occasion of trouble. The Antipope Clement was disputing the authority of Urban II, who had been recognized by France and Normandy. It does not appear that the English King was a partisan of the Antipope, but he wished to strengthen his own position by asserting his right to decide between the rival claimants. Hence, when Anselm asked leave to go to the Pope, the King said that no one in England should acknowledge either Pope till he, the King, had decided the matter. The Archbishop insisted on going to Pope Urban, whose authority he had already acknowledged, and, as he had told the King, this was one of the conditions on which alone he would accept the archbishopric. This grave question was referred to a council of the realm held at Rockingham in March, 1095. Here Anselm boldly asserted the authority of Urban. His speech is a memorable testimony to the doctrine of papal supremacy. It is significant that not one of the bishops could call it in question (Eadmer, Historia Novorum, lib. I). Regarding Anselm's belief on this point we may cite the frank words of Dean Hook: "Anselm was simply a papist — He believed that St. Peter was the Prince of the Apostles — that as such he was the source of all ecclesiastical authority and power; that the pope was his successor; and that consequently, to the pope was due, from the bishops and metropolitans as well as from the rest of mankind, the obedience which a spiritual suzerain has the right to expect from his vassals" [Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury (London, 18(i0-75), II, 183]. William now sent envoys to Rome to get the pallium. They found Urban in possession and recognized him. Walter, Bishop of Albano, came back with them as legate bearing the pallium. The King publicly acknowledged the authority of Urban, and at first endeavoured to get Anselm deposed by the legate. Eventually a reconciliation was occasioned by the royal difficulties in Wales and in the north. The King and the Archbishop met in peace. Anselm would not take the pallium from the King's hand; but in a solemn service at Canterbury on 10 June, 1095 it was laid on the altar by the legate, whence Anselm took it. Fresh trouble arose in 1097. On returning from his ineffectual Welsh campaign William brought a charge against the Archbishop in regard to the contingent he had furnished and required him to meet this charge in the King's court. Anselm declined and asked leave to go to Rome. This was refused, but after a meeting at Winchester Anselm was told to be ready to sail in ten days. On parting with the King, the Archbishop gave him his blessing, which William received with bowed head. At St. Omer's Anselm confirmed a multitude of persons. Christmas was spent at Cluny, and the rest of the winter at Lyons. In the spring he resumed his journey and crossed Mont Cenis with two companions all travelling as simple monks. At the monasteries on their way they were frequently asked for news of Anselm. On his arrival in Rome he was treated with great honour by the Pope. His case was considered and laid before the council, but nothing could be done beyond sending a letter of remonstrance to William. During his stay in Italy Anselm enjoyed the hospitality of the Abbot of Telese, and passed the summer in a mountain village belonging to this monastery. Here he finished his work, "Cur Deus Homo", which he had begun in England. In October, 1098, Urban held a council at Bari to deal with the difficulties raised by the Greeks in regard to the procession of the Holy Ghost. Here Anselm was called by the Pope to a place of honour and bidden to take the chief part in the discussion. His arguments were afterwards committed to writing in his treatise on this subject. His own case was also brought before this council, which would have excommunicated William but for Anselm's intercession. Both he and his companions now desired to return to Lyons, but were bidden to await the action of another council to be held in the Lateran at Easter. Here Anselm heard the canons passed against Investitures, and the decree of excommunication against the offenders. This incident had a deep influence on his career in England. While still staying in the neighbourhood of Lyons, Anselm heard of the tragic death of William. Soon messages from the new king and chief men of the land summoned him to England. Landing at Dover, he hastened to King Henry at Salisbury. He was kindly received, but the question of Investitures was at once raised in an acute form. Henry required the Archbishop himself to receive a fresh investiture. Anselm alleged the decrees of the recent Roman council and declared that he had no choice in the matter. The difficulty was postponed, as the King decided to send to Rome to ask for a special exemption. Meanwhile, Anselm was able to render the King two signal services. He helped to remove the obstacle in the way of his marriage with Edith, the heiress of the Saxon kings. The daughter of St. Margaret had sought shelter in a convent, where she had worn the veil, but had taken no vows. It was thought by some that this was a bar to marriage, but Anselm had the case considered in a council at Lambeth where the royal maiden's liberty was fully established, and the Archbishop himself gave his blessing to the marriage. Moreover, when Robert landed at Portsmouth and many of the Norman nobles were wavering in their allegiance, it was Anselm who turned the tide in favour of Henry. In the meantime Pope Paschal had refused the King's request for an exemption from the Lateran decrees, yet Henry persisted in his resolution to compel Anselm to accept investiture at his hands. The revolt of Robert de Bellesme put off the threatened rupture. To gain time the King sent another embassy to Rome. On its return, Anselm was once more required to receive investiture. The Pope's letter was not made public, but it was reported to be of the same tenor as his previous reply. The envoys now gave out that the Pope had orally consented to the King's request, but could not say so in writing for fear of offending other sovereigns. Friends of Anselm who had been at Rome, disputed this assertion. In this crisis it was agreed to send to Rome again; meanwhile the King would continue to invest bishops and abbots, but Anselm should not be required to consecrate them. During this interval Anselm held a council at Westminster. Here stringent canons were passed against the evils of the age. In spite of the compromise about investiture, Anselm was required to consecrate bishops invested by the King, but he firmly refused, and it soon became evident that his firmness was taking effect. Bishops gave back the staff they had received at the royal hands, or refused to be consecrated by another in defiance of Anselm. When the Pope's answer arrived, repudiating the story of the envoys, the King asked Anselm to go to Rome himself. Though he could not support the royal request he was willing to lay the facts before the Pope. With this understanding he once more betook himself to Rome. The request was again refused, but Henry was not excommunicated. Understanding that Henry did not wish to receive him in England, Anselm interrupted his homeward journey at Lyons. In this city he received a letter from the Pope informing him of the excommunication of the counsellors who had advised the King to insist on investitures, but not decreeing anything about the King. Anselm resumed his journey, and on the way he heard of the illness of Henry's sister, Adela of Blois. He turned aside to visit her and on her recovery informed her that he was returning to England to excommunicate her brother. She at once exerted herself to bring about a meeting between Anselm and Henry, in July, 1105. But though a reconciliation was effected, and Anselm was urged to return to England, the claim to invest was not relinquished, and recourse had again to be made to Rome. A papal letter authorizing Anselm to absolve from censures incurred by breaking the laws against investitures healed past offences but made no provision for the future. At length, in a council held in London in 1107, the question found a solution. The King relinquished the claim to invest bishops and abbots, while the Church allowed the prelates to do homage for their temporal possessions. Lingard and other writers consider this a triumph for the King, saying that he had the substance and abandoned a mere form. But it was for no mere form that this long war had been waged. The rite used in the investiture was the symbol of a real power claimed by the English kings, and now at last abandoned. The victory rested with the Archbishop, and as Schwane says (Kirchenlexicon, s.v.) it prepared the way for the later solution of the same controversy in Germany. Anselm was allowed to end his days in peace. In the two years that remained he continued his pastoral labours and composed the last of his writings. Eadmer, the faithful chronicler of these contentions, gives a pleasing picture of his peaceful death. The dream of his childhood was come true; he was to climb the mountain and taste the bread of Heaven.
His active work as a pastor and stalwart champion of the Church makes Anselm one of the chief figures in religious history. The sweet influence of his spiritual teaching was felt far and wide, and its fruits were seen in many lands. His stand for the freedom of the Church in a crisis of medieval history had far-reaching effects long after his own time. As a writer and a thinker he may claim yet higher rank, and his influence on the course of philosophy and Catholic theology was even deeper and more enduring if he stands on the one hand with Gregory VII, and Innocent III, and Thomas Becket; on the other he may claim a place beside Athanasius, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas. His merits in the field of theology have received official recognition; he has been declared a Doctor of the Church by Clement XI, 1720, and in the office read on his feast day (21 April) it is said that his works are a pattern for all theologians. Yet it may be doubted whether his position is generally appreciated by students of divinity. In some degree his work has been hidden by the fabric reared on his foundations. His books were not adopted, like those of Peter Lombard and St. Thomas, as the usual text of commentators and lecturers in theology, nor was he constantly cited as an authority, like St. Augustine. This was natural enough, since in the next century new methods came in with the rise of the Arabic and Aristotelean philosophy; the "Books of Sentences" were in some ways more fit for regular theological reading; Anselm was yet too near to have the venerable authority of the early Fathers. For these reasons it may be said that his writings were not properly appreciated till time had brought in other changes in the schools, and men were led to study the history of theology. But though his works are not cast in the systematic form of the "Summa" of St. Thomas, they cover the whole field of Catholic doctrine. There are few pages of our theology that have not been illustrated by the labours of Anselm. His treatise on the procession of the Holy Spirit has helped to guide scholastic speculations on the Trinity, his "Cur Deus Homo" throws a flood of light on the theology of the Atonement, and one of his works anticipates much of the later controversies on Free Will and Predestination. In the seventeenth century, a Spanish Benedictine, Cardinal d'Aguirre made the writings of Anselm the groundwork of a course of theology, "S. Anselmi Theologia" (Salamanca, 1678-81). Unfortunately the work never got beyond the first three folio volumes, containing the commentaries on the "Monologium". In recent years Dom Anselm Öcsényi, O.S.B. has accomplished the task on a more modest scale in a little Latin volume on the theology of St. Anselm, "De Theologia S. Anselmi" (Brünn, 1884).
Besides being one of the fathers of scholastic theology, Anselm fills an important place in the history of philosophic speculation. Coming in the first phase of the controversy on Universals, he had to meet the extreme Nominalism of Roscelin; partly from this fact, partly from his native Platonism his Realism took what may be considered a somewhat extreme form. It was too soon to find the golden mean of moderate Realism, accepted by later philosophers. His position was a stage in the process and it is significant that one of his biographers, John of Salisbury, was among the first to find the true solution.
Anselm's chief achievement in philosophy was the ontological argument for the existence of God put forth in his "Proslogium". Starting from the notion that God is "that than which nothing greater can be thought", he argues that what exists in reality is greater than that which is only in the mind; wherefore, since "God is that than which nothing greater can be thought", He exists in reality. The validity of the argument was disputed at the outset by a monk named Gaunilo, who wrote a criticism on it to which Anselm replied. Eadmer tells a curious story about St. Anselm's anxiety while he was trying to work out this argument. He could think of nothing else for days together. And when at last he saw it clearly, he was filled with joy, and made haste to commit it to writing. The waxen tablets were given in charge to one of the monks but when they were wanted they were missing. Anselm managed to recall the argument, it was written on fresh tablets and given into safer keeping. But when it was wanted it was found that the wax was broken to Pieces. Anselm with some difficulty put the fragments together and had the whole copied on parchment for greater security. The story sounds like an allegory of the fate which awaited this famous argument, which was lost and found again, pulled to pieces and restored in the course of controversy. Rejected by St. Thomas and his followers, it was revived in another form by Descartes. After being assailed by Kant, it was defended by Hegel, for whom it had a peculiar fascination — he recurs to it in many parts of his writings. In one place he says that it is generally used by later philosophers, "yet always along with the other proofs, although it alone is the true one" (German Works, XII, 547). Assailants of this argument should remember that all minds are not cast in one mould, and it is easy to understand how some can feel the force of arguments that are not felt by others. But if this proof were indeed, as some consider it, an absurd fallacy, how could it appeal to such minds as those of Anselm, Descartes, and Hegel? It may be well to add that the argument was not rejected by all the great Schoolmen. It was accepted by Alexander of Hales (Summa, Pt. I, Q. iii, memb. 1, 2), and supported by Scotus. (In I, Dist. ii, Q. ii.) In modern times it is accepted by Möhler, who quotes Hegel's defence with approval.
It is not often that a Catholic saint wins the admiration of German philosophers and English historians. But Anselm has this singular distinction Hegel's appreciation of his mental powers may be matched by Freeman's warm words of praise for the great Archbishop of Canterbury. "Stranger as he was, he has won his place among the noblest worthies of our island. It was something to be the model of all ecclesiastical perfection; it was something to be the creator of the theology of Christendom — but it was something higher still to be the very embodiment of righteousness and mercy, to be handed down in the annals of humanity as the man who saved the hunted hare and stood up for the holiness of Ælfheah" (History of the Norman Conquest, IV, 444).
Collections of the works of St. Anselm were issued soon after the invention of printing. Ocsenyi mentions nine earlier than the sixteenth century. The first attempt at a critical edition was that of Th. Raynaud, S.J.* (Lyons, 1630), which rejects many spurious works, e.g. the Commentaries on St. Paul. The best editions are those of Dom Gerberon, O.S.B. (Paris, 1675, 1721; Venice 1744, Migne, 1845). Most of the more important works have also been issued separately — thus the "Monologium" is included in Hurter's "Opuscula SS. Patrum" and published with the "Proslogium" by Haas (Tübingen). There are numerous separate editions of the "Cur Deus Homo" and of Anselm's "Prayers and Meditations"; these last were done into English by Archbishop Laud (1638), and there are French and German versions of the "meditationes" and the "Monologium". "Cur Deus Homo" has also been translated into English and German — see also the translations by Deane (Chicago, 1903). For Anselm's views on education, see ABBEY OF BEC. Catholic Encyclopedia

Bishops Release Statement after Trial of Officer Chauvin for the Death of Georg Floyd "To heal the wound of racism, we must open our hearts to allow God’s amazing grace..." FULL TEXT

On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, after a hearing, Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. George Perry Floyd Jr. was an African-American man killed during an arrest after passing a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis in a store. Derek Chauvin, one of four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd's neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.
Floyd's death sparked worldwide protests, violence and a reexamination of racism.   In the, Hennepin County Government Center,  in Minneapolis a jury of six white people and six Black or multiracial people came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days. Chauvin was found guilty on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His bail was immediately revoked and sentencing will be in two months. Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Minneapolis held a special Mass for peace and his homily can be heard on the video below. The Minnesota Bishops also released a statement:
Statement of the Minnesota Catholic Conference at the Close of the Trial of Derek Chauvin

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd last Spring, has reopened questions throughout Minnesota about the impact of racism in our society and culture. As leaders of the Catholic dioceses of our State—pastors of multi-racial, multi-cultural flocks from all walks of life—we acutely feel the anxieties in our communities, along with a thirst for justice and a longing for a path to a more peaceful life together as sons and daughters of God.
As the U.S. bishops noted in a 2018 pastoral letter on racism, Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, it is a sad and undeniable truth that racial prejudice and discrimination continue to impact the lives and livelihoods of millions of U.S. citizens.  
 There is far too much evidence that prejudice has an impact in criminal justice matters, influencing not only the way individuals are treated by some police and court systems but also the rates of incarceration. Whatever the verdict may be in the Chauvin trial, the Church remains committed to providing long-term leadership in eradicating structures of sin and racism in Minnesota and beyond.
In our ongoing thirst for righteousness, however, we know that we cannot permit anger or hatred to prevail. The violent protests of these past months across our country have done very little to improve the lives of people of color living in intergenerational poverty or to address their basic needs for good schools and safer neighborhoods for their children, access to capital to start businesses, better social services, and support for marriages and families.
We wish to hold up before all peoples the image of the Crucified Christ. Jesus Christ gave his life to bring eternal justice, reconciliation, and salvation to all peoples. He is before us as a witness, because he is fully God and fully man, to the healing power of forgiveness, compassion, reconciliation, and peace. He teaches us that our own personal and communal violence and destruction will not bring healing. Rather, following the example of great leaders like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who imitated Jesus through non-violence, we seek to make a gift of our lives for peace and justice for all peoples.
To heal the wound of racism, we must open our hearts to allow God’s amazing grace to be the light that fills us and the light that we share with our neighbors. As a diverse community, the Catholic Church is committed to changing hearts and minds and to moving the conversation about race in this country beyond accusations and recriminations toward practical, nonviolent solutions to the everyday problems that are encountered in these communities. We will continue to do this through teaching the truth of human dignity, offering charity to our neighbors of every race, and advocating for those who are most vulnerable.
In the interests of true and lasting social justice, however, the Church must challenge assertions that the United States is “fundamentally” racist. The truth is that, although we have much further to go, the nation has made great strides in addressing historic evils and wrongdoing. To deny or distort the truth about our history and the goals set and achieved, particularly by black Americans, misrepresents the past and dishonors their sacrifices while also rhetorically disenfranchising and disempowering the heirs to the fruit of their efforts who are currently engaged in restorative justice efforts.
The Catholic Church in Minnesota invites all people of faith to come together to speak with one another in a civil and charitable manner. Let us pray with one another and for one another. Let us respect one another as children of God, created in his image. Let us collectively confess the truth and recognize that we urgently need each other now to get out of these cycles of fear and violence. We must collectively call upon our Maker to bring the compassion, reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace that only he can provide. We commit ourselves in our communities and in our apostolates to be a place of reconciliation and racial justice. We will foster a justice rooted in our common identity as children of God.
There are no victims and no oppressors in the Kingdom of God. For our children’s sake, let us embrace our true identity, without waiting another day.
Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Most Rev. Andrew H. Cozzens, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester
Most Rev. Donald J. Kettler, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud
Most Rev. Richard E. Pates, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Crookston
Very Rev. James B. Bissonette, Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Duluth
Very Rev. Douglas L. Grams, Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of New Ulm

#BreakingNews Fire Destroys Historic US Sacred Heart of Jesus Polish Church in Minneapolis - VIDEO

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Polish National Catholic Church was destroyed by fire, on April 19, 2021, at night in Minneapolis. This beautiful
historic church was built in the early 1900s. Firefighters were able to stop the blaze, but the roof had collapsed and the church had suffered extensive damage. The fire began as Minneapolis jurors started deliberating in the Derek Chauvin murder trial. Arson investigators are involved, there but no statements have been released on what caused the fire. 
The Polish National Catholic Church has about 25,000 members in the U.S. and Canada. The PNCC is an American group that broke from the Catholic Church in the early 1900s.

Pope Francis Chooses Theme for the 1st World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly “I am with you always” to be Celebrated in July

The Vatican's Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, on April 20, 2021 announced the theme of the 1st World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly “I am with you always”.
The First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated on Sunday 25 July, 2021.
The theme chosen by Pope Francis for this World Day is “I am with you always” (cf. Mt 28:20) which is a way of expressing the closeness of the Lord and the Church to every older person, especially in these challenging pandemic times.
“I am with you always” is also a promise of closeness and hope that young and old can mutually share. Not only are grandchildren and young people called upon to be present in the lives of older people, but older people and grandparents also have a mission of evangelisation, proclamation and prayer, and of encouraging young people in their faith. In order to encourage the celebration of this World Day in the local churches and associations, from mid-June the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life will offer some pastoral tools that will be available on the website www.amorislaetitia.va.

One of the Kidnapped in Haiti is Released after $50K Ransom Paid However Other Hostages Remain

Agenzia Fides reports that the press announced the release of one of the 10 people kidnapped on Sunday, April 11, 2021.

 "One of the people kidnapped in Haiti last Sunday was reportedly released. Since then, there has been no further news from the kidnappers. A total of nine people are still held hostage", "Le Telegramme" newspaper reported on its website on Saturday evening, April 17th. On Sunday, April 11, ten people were kidnapped near Port-au-Prince, five of them priests, two nuns and three relatives of one of the priests.

"This Saturday, April 17, a Haitian source informed us that one of the hostages had been released. According to the evidence in our possession, the kidnappers received a ransom of $ 50,000 for the release of all hostages. Contrary to the prediction, however, the kidnap gang called "400 Mawozo" only freed one hostage: it is the mother of Father Jean Anel Joseph, who was supposed to take office in his new parish last Sunday", writes the newspaper "Le Telegramme", and continues: "The Haitian woman, around 70, was the weakest of the group and her health had deteriorated. She specified that the group is kept in a wood, under a tree, in very precarious conditions and the hostages have their hands and feet tied".

Local press reports also say that, since this release, the kidnappers have not had any contact with the members of the Society of Saint-Jacques, who are negotiating with the kidnappers on behalf of the authorities. Last Thursday, April 15th, public and private Haitian schools as well as many commercial activities were closed to show solidarity with the hostages and to protest against the general insecurity that has been increasing in Haiti for many months (see Fides 14/4/ 2021).

The kidnapped are five priests of the Society of Priests of Saint Jacques, two nuns and two lay faithful. Among them are Michel Briand, a 67-year-old Breton missionary from Messac who has lived on the island for many years, and Agnès Bordeau, a nun from Sarthe. (CE) (Edited from Agenzia Fides, 19/4/2021) 

US Bishops' Pro-Life Chairman Statement on Government's Proposed Rule "This proposed rule is terrible policy; it would reintegrate abortion..." FULL TEXT

Statement of the U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee Chairman on Biden Administration’s proposed rule on the Title X program

APRIL 16, 2021

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a proposed rule to reverse “The Protect Life Rule,” a regulation issued by the Trump Administration in 2019 to clearly separate abortion from family planning in the federal Title X family planning program. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement expressing profound disappointment over this action:

“This policy change will allow the Title X program to become an indirect funding avenue for abortion providers. In spite of explicit prohibitions in Federal law and clear congressional intent that abortion may not be a part of this program, it has repeatedly been coopted by abortion supporters as a funding stream for organizations, programs, and facilities that directly promote and provide abortions.

“While the USCCB has always had strong objections to government promotion and funding of contraceptives, we have also long supported clear financial and physical separation between Title X-funded projects and programs and facilities where abortion is a method of family planning. This proposed rule is terrible policy; it would reintegrate abortion into what is supposed to be a pre-pregnancy family planning program. I strongly urge the Biden Administration to suspend this proposed rule and leave the Title X program as it was intended and authorized to be – a program entirely separate from abortion.”

Source: USCCB

ISIS Kills a Coptic Christian for Building a Church - RIP Nabil Habashi Khadim, Executed by ISIS at Age 62 for his Faith

In North Sinai, Egypt, the ISIS group executed a Coptic Christian.
Nabil Habashi Khadim, age 62, was an respected merchant and philanthropist. Nabil was kidnapped on 8 November, 2020 and killed with a gunshot to the head. His murder was posted online by the jihadist movement for having contributed to the construction of the only Christian Church in Bir Al-Abd, Egypt.

The Islamic State executed this Egyptian Orthodox Coptic Christian, filmed the killing and posted it online on the jihadist group social channels.
The victim, is considered a "new martyr" by the country's Orthodox. In the video he is seen being shot in the head while kneeling on the ground.
Local sources report that the man had contributed to the construction of the only Christian place of worship in the city, the church of the Madonna dell’Anba Karras (Our Lady). This is also one of the reasons that led the jihadist commando to kidnap him.
In the video, one of the executioners belonging to the local Daesh cell (Arabic acronym for IS) explicitly accuses the man of having contributed, even financially, to the construction of the church just before pulling the trigger and executing him. The jihadist group also accuses the Church of "collaboration" with the Egyptian army, police and secret services.
Witnesses say that Nabil Habashi Khadim, was an esteemed jeweller from the city of Bir Al-Abd. His family is considered to be among the oldest in the Coptic community in the area.
His death caused grief and emotion in the Egyptian Coptic community, whose leader Pope Tawadros II issued a stark condemnation and asked for prayers for the man "kidnapped by Takfiri elements in North Sinai five months ago and subsequently martyred".
The Church, continues the note, "weeps for a son and a faithful servant" who is now in the heavenly glory of Christ for having "testified to his faith even to the sacrifice of blood". The declaration concludes by confirming the support of the Coptic Orthodox community "for the efforts of the Egyptian state" to counter "these hateful acts of terrorism" and "to preserve our dear national unity" for a "future of peace and prosperity".
Islamic extremist groups have been fighting for years in northern Sinai, which intensified following the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and the rise of the Islamic State in the region the following year. Several Christians have also been targeted, killed in attacks against individuals and groups of faithful.
In February 2018, the Egyptian security forces, the army and the police launched a massive campaign against armed groups and jihadists, with particular attention to the North Sinai area.
In just over two years, more than 840 terror suspects and over 60 soldiers have been killed.
(Edited from Asia News IT and other news sources)

RIP Cardinal Sebastian Koto Khoarai, OMI - Pope Francis Offers Condolences on the Death of Lesotho's 1st Cardinal at Age 91


The retired bishop of Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, Africa died on Saturday, 
April 17, 2021, at the age of 91. Lesotho, is a small land-locked country within South Africa. 
Pope Francis wrote the following Telegram of Condolence:
The Right Reverend John J. Tlhomola
Bishop of Mohale’s Hoek

Having learned with sadness of the death of Cardinal Sebastian koto Khoarai, I extend my heartfelt condolences to you and to the clergy, religious and laity of the diocese of Mohale’s Hoek. with gratitude for Cardinal Khoarai’s witness of consecrated life as an oblate of Mary Immaculate, his longstanding commitment to the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and his dedication to the church’s educational apostolate in Lesotho, I willingly join you in praying that our heavenly Father may grant him the reward of his tireless labours and welcome his noble soul into the joy of his eternal kingdom. to all who mourn the late cardinal’s passing in the sure hope of the resurrection I cordially impart my apostolic blessing as a pledge of consolation and peace in Jesus Christ our Saviour. Francis PP

Vatican Biography of Cardinal Sebastian Koto Khoarai, O.M.I.
Cardinal Sebastian Koto Khoarai, O.M.I., Bishop emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, was born in Koaling, in the diocese of Leribe, Lesotho, on September 11th, 1929.
He entered the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and was ordained a priest on December 21st, 1956.
He was raised to the episcopate on November 10th, 1977 as ordinary of Mohale’s Hoek, receiving consecration on April 2nd, 1978.
In May 2006 he submitted his resignation upon reaching the age limit, but remianed as apostolic administrator of the diocese untill February 2014.
From 1982 to 1987 he served as president of the Episcopal Conference of Lesotho.
He is Lesotho's first Cardinal.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 19 November 2016, titular church of San Leonardo da Porto Maurizio ad Acilia.
Cardinal Sebastian Koto Khoarai, O.M.I., died on 17 April 
At age 87, he became Lesotho’s first cardinal; but, his health did not permit him to come to the Vatican to receive the cardinal’s red hat and the ring from the Pope. 
Vatican News reports that after his death, the number of cardinals worldwide now stands at 224, of whom 126 are below the age of 80 and, hence, are eligible to vote for a new pope