Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Monday, May 28, 2012

ST. JOHN OF AVILA AND ST. HILDEGARD OF BINGEN TO BE PROCLAIMED DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH


Vatican City, 27 May 2012 (VIS) - After celebrating Mass this morning in the Vatican Basilica for the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Before the Marian prayer the Pope announced that on 7 October, at the start of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, he will proclaim St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen as Doctors of the Universal Church. "These two great witnesses of the faith lived in very different historical periods and cultural environments", he said. "Hildegard was a Benedictine nun during the height of the German Middle Ages, a true master of theology and a great scholar of the natural sciences and of music. John was a young diocesan priest of the Spanish Renaissance, who participated in the travails of the cultural and spiritual renewal of the Church and society at the dawn of the Modern Age".

The sanctity of their lives and the profundity of their doctrine mean that these two saints "retain all their importance. The grace of the Holy Spirit enabled them to experience profound understanding of divine revelation and intelligent dialogue with the world, two factors which represent the perennial goal of the life and activity of the Church".

St. John and St. Hildegard are particularly significant on the eve of the forthcoming Year of Faith, and in light of the new evangelisation to which the Synod of Bishops will be dedicating its attention. "Also in our own day, and through their teaching, the Spirit of the risen Lord continues to make His voice heard and to illuminate the path which leads to the Truth, which is the only thing that can make us free and give full meaning to our lives", the Pope said.

After praying the Regina Coeli he recalled that Mother Saint Louis (nee Marie-Louise Elisabeth de Lamoignon, widow of Mole de Champlatreux), foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis who lived between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was today proclaimed a blessed in France. She was "an exemplary witness of love for God and for neighbour", the Holy Father said. He also recalled the fact that he is due to travel to Milan on Friday to participate in the seventh World Meeting of Families, and he asked the faithful to pray for the success of that event.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bakhita: From Slave to Saint - Trailer

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Feast of Saint Matthias the Apostle (From Goffine's Devout Instructions)

May 14

Of this apostle nothing certain is known beyond what is contained in the epistle. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: “To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

Prayer

O God, Who didst associate blessed Matthias to the company of the apostles, grant, we beseech Thee, that, by his intercession, we may ever experience Thy tender mercy towards us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, etc. Amen.

Epistle: Acts 1:15-26

In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren said (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty): Men, brethren, the Scripture must needs be fulfilled which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus: who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day wherein He was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of His resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, Who knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus answered and said: I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father, neither doth anyone know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is sweet and My burden light.

The wise and prudent referred to in this gospel are the proud scribes and Pharisees, who, in their imaginary wisdom, would not receive the incarnate and suffering Son of God, but despised and rejected Him; in general, they represent also all who in their pride would measure everything by their own understanding, and to whom, consequently, the mysteries of faith seem foolishness. The little ones are the apostles, who, although taken from a low condition of life, without a learned education, but rather ignorant, were enlightened by God to know the deepest mysteries, because they had docile and humble hearts, desirous of salvation. Thus God gives grace to the humble, while the proud go away empty.

To those who bear His yoke, and follow Him, Christ promises peace of mind, temporal and eternal happiness; and, indeed, we must confess that as often as we are disquieted and discontented the cause of it is our selfishness and want of submission to the will of God, our pride and vanity. Learn, then, to love to be meek and humble, if you would enjoy peace, here or hereafter.

Prayer to Saint Matthias

O Saint Matthias, glorious apostle and martyr of Jesus Christ, who, by the special providence of God, wast added to the eleven apostles in the room of the traitor, I humbly beseech thee to obtain for us the grace of Him Who chose thee from all eternity, that, assisted thereby, we may, after thy example, keep the commandments of God, practice good works, and thus merit to be numbered with the elect. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, etc. Amen.

Goffine’s Devout Instructions


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles (From Goffine's Devout Instructions)

Saint James the Less
Saint Philip

  PHILIP, born at Bethsaida, was one of the first followers of Our Lord. After receiving the Holy Ghost he preached the Gospel in Scythia and Phrygia, converting great numbers to the faith, and was finally crucified and then stoned at Hierapolis, in Phrygia.

    JAMES, the son of Cleophas, called the Less, and on account of his sanctity surnamed the Just, and for his kinship with Christ known as His brother, was, with his brothet Judas Thaddeus, chosen an apostle in the second year of Christ's ministry. Saint James was the first Bishop of Jerusalem. One day, being requested to preach against Christ, he publicly proclaimed Him to be the Messias, in Whom men were bound to believe, at which the Jewish priests became so enraged that they threw him down from a pinnacle of the temple, cast stones upon him, and finally killed him outright with a fuller's rod.

    The Introit of the Mass is as follows:

    In the time of their tribulation they cried to Thee, O Lord, and Thou heardest them from heaven. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just; praise becometh the upright."

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

    Prayer

    O God, Who givest us joy by the annual solemnity of Thy apostles Philip and James, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be instructed by the example of those in whose merits we rejoice. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

    Epistle: Wisdom 5:1-5

    The just shall stand with great constancy against those that have afflicted them, and taken away their labors. These seeing it, shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation, saying within themselves, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit. These are they whom we had some time in derision, and for a parable of reproach. We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honor. Behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints.

    Gospel: John 14:1-13

    At that time Jesus said to His disciples: Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you, that I go to prepare a place for you. And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you; I will come again, and will take you to Myself, that where I am, you also may be. And whither I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas saith to Him: Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by Me. If you had known Me, you would without doubt have known My Father also; and from henceforth you shall know Him, and you have seen Him. Philip saith to Him: Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us. Jesus saith to him: So long a time have I been with you, and have you not known Me? Philip, he that seeth Me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou, show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of Myself. But the Father Who abideth in Me, He doth the works. Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen, I say to you, he that believeth in Me, the works that I do he also shall do, and greater than these shall he do because I go to the Father. And whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, that will I do.

Why did Jesus say to His disciples, "Let not your heart be troubled"?

    He said this in order to console them beforehand, so that they might not be downcast, or waver in their faith, in case the predicted tribulations should actually come upon Him and them. Thus it is that God never fails to comfort those who suffer persecution for His sake.

What is meant by the words, "I am the way, the truth, and the life"?

    Saint Bernard says Christ is the way, in His holy doctrine and example, in following which we cannot go astray. He is the truth, in the fulfilment of the prophecies, in His mysteries, in His promises and threatenings, in His Gospel, and in His Church, for, as God, He cannot err, neither can He lie or deceive. Finally, He is the life, in that, through His death, He has gained for us the life of grace and glory.

Why did Christ say to Philip, "He that seeth Me seeth the Father also"?

    Because, although different from the Father in person, yet in nature and substance He is equal to Him. Christ accordingly adds that He is in the Father, and the Father in Him.

    Prayer to Saint Philip

    O Saint Philip, chosen disciple of the Lord, who brought Nathaniel to Christ, who most zealously preached thy Lord, Jesus Christ, and out of love to Him willingly gave thyself to be nailed to the cross, and put to death, obtain, I beseech thee, for me, and for all men, grace with zeal to bring others to the practice of good works, to have a great desire after God and His truths, and, in hope of the eternal blissful contemplation of God, to bear patiently the adversities and miseries of this life. Amen.

    Prayer to Saint James

    O Saint James, who lived so temperately and strictly, who, like thy master, prayed so earnestly and constantly for thy tormentors, I beseech thee that thou wouldst procure us from Jesus grace, after thy example, to live sober and peniteptial lives, and to worship God in spirit and in truth. Obtain for us, therefore, the spirit with which thou didst write thine epistle, that we may follow thy doctrine, be diligent in good works, and, like thee, love and pray for our enemies. Amen.

    Goffine's Devout Instructions