GOD ATTRACTS US WITH THE GOODNESS OF HIS INCARNATE SON
VATICAN CITY, 10 JUL 2011 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the balcony overlooking the central courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered there. The Pope is spending the summer months at his residence in Castelgandolfo. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
The Pope focused his remarks on today's Gospel in which Jesus addresses the multitude with the famous parable of the sower. "In some way this is an 'autobiographical' episode", he said, "because it reflects Jesus' own experience as a preacher. He identifies Himself with the sower who, while spreading the good seed of God's Word, becomes aware of the differing effects it produces depending on the way it is accepted. There are those who listen superficially but fail to welcome it; those who accept it immediately but have no constancy and lose everything; those who are overwhelmed by the cares and lures of the world, and those who receive and absorb it like good soil, for them the Word brings forth abundant fruit.
"Yet this Gospel narrative also highlights the 'method' of Jesus' preaching; in other words, His use of parables", the Holy Father added. "His disciples ask Him: 'why do you speak to them in parables?' Jesus replies by distinguishing between the disciples and the crowds: to the former, who have already chosen to follow Him, He can speak openly of the Kingdom of God, but to others He has to use parables in order to simulate a decision, a conversion of heart. This is because parables, by their nature, require an effort of interpretation, they appeal to our intelligence but also to our freedom. ... In the final analysis the true 'Parable' of God is Jesus Himself ... Who, in human form, both hides and reveals divinity. Thus, God does not force us to believe in Him; rather, He draws us to Him with the truth and goodness of His incarnate Son. Love, in fact, always respects freedom".
The Holy Father concluded his remarks by recalling that tomorrow is the Feast of St. Benedict, abbot and patron of Europe. "In the light of today's Gospel reading we look to him as a master of profound and persistent attention to the Word of God. We must always learn from the great patriarch of western monasticism to give God the place He deserves, first place, offering Him our daily activities through our morning and evening prayer".
VATICAN CITY, 10 JUL 2011 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus at midday today from the central courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Pope mentioned the fact that today marks the "Day of the Sea", in other words "the day dedicated to the apostolate in the maritime world".
The Holy Father addressed a special greeting to "chaplains and volunteers who work to being pastoral care to seafarers, fishermen and their families. I also give assurances of my prayers for those seafarers who, alas, find themselves as hostages of pirates", he said. "My hope is that they be treated with respect and humanity, and I pray for their families that they may remain strong in the faith and not lose hope of soon being reunited with their loved ones".
Turning then to address French-speaking pilgrims including members of the choir from the basilica of Notre-Dame de Lausanne, Switzerland, Benedict XVI invited them "to draw strength from contemplating the splendour of the Creation. Parents, teach your children to observe nature, to respect and protect it as a magnificent gift that makes us aware of the greatness of the Creator. Speaking in parables, Jesus used the language of nature to explain the mysteries of the Kingdom to His disciples. May the images He used become familiar to us all!"
VATICAN CITY, 11 JUL 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Andre Gazaille, auxiliary of Montreal, Canada, as bishop of Nicolet (area 3,682, population 209,066, Catholics 203,035, priests 122, permanent deacons 25, religious 401), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Raymond Saint-Gelais, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Fr. Christian Lepine of the clergy of the archdiocese of Montreal, Canada, pastor of the parishes of "Notre-Dame-des-Champs" and "Purification-de-la-
On Saturday 9 July it was made public that the Holy Father appointed:
- Fr. Emmanuel Barbara O.F.M. Cap., minister provincial of the Capuchin Fathers for Malta and president of the European Capuchin Conference, as bishop of Malindi (area 33,254, population 539,000, Catholics 25,509, priests 35, religious 74), Kenya. The bishop-elect was born in Gzira, Malta in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1974.
- Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Monterrey, Mexico, as his special envoy to the closing celebrations of the Jubilee Year marking the 375th anniversary of the discovery of the image of Our Lady of the Angeles, patron of Costa Rica. The event is due to be held in the Costa Rican city of Cartagoon 2 August.
KANSAS CITY, July 8, 2011 BY CHRISTINE DHANAGOMLifeSiteNews.com report- When St. Paul exhorted Christians to run the race with endurance, he probably didn’t mean they should pull out actual running shoes, but Bishop Thomas Paprocki is taking St. Paul’s exhortation literally anyway.
Paprocki, the Bishop of Springfield, is travelling to Kansas City this October for the Kansas City Marathon. He will be joining LIFE Runners, a team of pro-life runners dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Life and raising funds for pro-life charities.
To donate to the 2011 LIFE Runner marathon, click here.
“The suffering times during speed workouts and long runs are potent prayers to help save the unborn and families,” explained the co-founder of the group, Pat Castle, in an interview with LifeSiteNews,
The organization grew out of a weekday email prayer devotional founded by running partners Pat Castle and Rich Reich. As chemistry professors at the Air Force Academy, Castle and Reich trained for marathons together in the mountains of Colorado Springs, and prayed together every morning before work.
When Reich moved to Florida in 2007 to work on his PhD, the two continued their weekday morning prayer devotionals over email. They began sharing their emails with family and friends, and eventually started a blog, which they named Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group Devotions.
A year later, they formed the first LIFE Runners team to compete in the 2008 Chicago marathon. Castle and Reich continue to send out regular email devotions through LIFE Group, which Castle calls “the spiritual feeding arm” of the running group.
But personal prayer is only one element of what LIFE Runner Fr. Jonathon St. Andre refers to as “redemptive running.” Team members also seek to evangelize through pro-life slogans on their jerseys.
“We run for awareness, that the eyes of all people may be transformed and see every human life as a reflection of Your glory, Lord,” says the LIFE Runner’s creed.
Like many marathon runners, the LIFE Runner team uses each marathon to raise money for charity. Last year, the team raised $7,000 for the Alpha Center Crisis Pregnancy center’s bus, Fleet for Little Feet. The bus is a mobile Crisis Pregnancy Center that travels to rural areas in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, offering counseling and free ultrasounds.
This year, the team hopes to raise $25,000 for Alpha. The ambitious goal is a reflection of Castle and Reich’s success in expanding the group. While last year’s team consisted of 17 members, there are already 136 runners signed up for this year’s team. Participants come from 19 different states, as well as Canada, England, Turkey and Kenya.
Some of the runners are as young as 7 years old, and are participating in shorter marathons of 1.2 or 5 miles. Adult runners can choose between the 13 mile half marathon and the 26 mile full marathon. One participant, Vicki Kerkvliet from South Dakota, will be completing the 1.2 mile course in a wheelchair.
Those unable to make the trip out to Kansas City can participate in spirit by entering a local race or simply running a privately mapped out course in a LIFE Runners Jersey. All runners are asked to donate to or raise money for the designated charity.
According to Castle, participants range from running novices to former marathon champions. “We could have teammates finish near the back and teammates who win the race in LIFE Runners jerseys,” he said.
As for their first Episcopal participant, Bishop Paprocki is likely to carry his own in the upcoming marathon. The athletic 58-year-old is an avid hockey player who has been featured in USA Hockey Magazine, and is a veteran marathon runner.
“I have run several marathons in different cities for various causes and charities,” read the Bishop’s letter accepting the LIFE Runner’s invitation. “My favorite was Boston, although they have all been memorable. Chicago is flat and fast, Rome is classic, Athens is historic, Marine Corps was inspiring, and the Air Force Marathon at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton was uplifting. I like to run in different places, and I have chosen Kansas City for my 2011 marathon.”
The wider programme of the Congress includes other liturgical events, cultural events, catechesis and testimonies, and workshops during the week of the Congress. The most recent Congress was held in Quebec in 2008 and was a source of encouragement and renewal for the many thousands to took part. Source: iec2012
Guangzhou (AsiaNews) - Four bishops in communion with the pope in Guangdong have disappeared and taken away by government officials in recent days to prepare for the illegitimate episcopal ordination of Fr Huang Bingzhang (see photo), which will take place July 14 in Shantou.
Nobody knows where the four pastors are being held. Local sources tell AsiaNews, that Mgr. Liang Jiansen, of Jiangmen, ordained in March 2011, was sobbing last night as he was dragged away by government representatives. Another source says that Mgr. Liao Hongqing of Meizhou, together with Mgr. Yongda of Zhanjiang were taken away on July 9. Bishop Joseph Gan Junqiu of Guangzhou has been missing for days, his faithful “are constantly praying for him and some of his priests to be faithful to the principles of the Church at this critical time."
In addition to those in Guangdong, four other bishop, all in communion with the pope, are slated to participate in the Shantou ordination.
Meanwhile, Msgr. Paul Pei Junmin of Liaoning, designated as the principal celebrant, is being protected by his priests in the Cathedral of Shenyang (see 08/07/2011: Liaoning priests rush to defense of bishop to prevent his participation in illegitimate ordination). Yesterday all priests celebrated a Mass together, praying for the unity of the diocese. It was a deeply moving moment when the bishop thanked the faithful for their solidarity, and sang with them the hymn "The Lord bless you." In November 2010 Msgr. Pei was forced to participate in illegal episcopal ordination of Chengde.
Uniformed and plain clothes police are positioned outside the cathedral. Yesterday, the priests of Liaoning published a message explaining their presence in the cathedral: "To defend the faith, we priests come together in the cathedral for a week and will continue to stay there until this storm passes."
Last night all the priests held a prayer meeting. From now on, the faithful, have begun a perpetual non-stop devotion, to protect the Church.
In recent days a photo appeared that depicted a young man with a T-shirt, topped with the inscription: "To avoid the excommunications, eliminate illicit ordinations." For some believers this is a sign of pain and anger caused by the illicit ordinations in recent months.
For several months, the Patriotic Association (PA) and the government have planned a series of ordinations without papal mandate. The last that which took place was on June 29 in Leshan. On 4 July, the Holy See issued a statement in which it excommunicated the ordained bishop (Mgr. Lei Shiyin) and warned the bishops who participated (see 07/04/2011 The Holy See condemns Leshan ordination ).
In recent days, many Catholic websites in China have reported on a statement from the PA and the National Council of Chinese bishops. In all likelihood it was written by Fr Yang Yu, a spokesman for the PA. The statement expresses "deep regret" over the move by the Vatican, accusing it of not promoting the unity of the Church in China and instead creating greater divisions.
The declaration says that the diocese of Leshan, founded in 1946, has more than 70 thousand Catholics under the leadership of Lei Shiyin and his priests, who until the end assisted their predecessor, Msgr. Luo Duxi, who died in December 2009. On 18 March, 2010, the statement continues, the diocese held an election and Lei won by 31 votes to 27.
Although relations between China and the Vatican are not normalized - it adds - the Church in China faces urgent need for evangelization and it is understandable that the local Churches elect bishops to fill the diocesan sees left vacant.
But the reality is that the rhetoric of "evangelization" hides a project to control all Episcopal ordinations. The Shantou ordination is proof of this, where the candidate, Fr. Huang Bingzhang, was elected at a session controlled and manipulated by the PA. In addition, the diocese has a bishop in the person of Mgr. Zhuang Jianjian, secretly ordained with the approval of the Holy See in 2006. But the PA does not recognize him as a bishop and has always restrained his pastoral work. Since last December, he has been held under constant police surveillance and during Holy Week was prevented from carrying out his ministry.
Image from The Catholic Weekly report
CATH NEWS REPORT: The St Vincent de Paul Society and the Hilton Sydney have entered into a three-year partnership worth more than $100,000 which will provide support for Vinnies homeless services, reports the Catholic Weekly.
To mark the launch of the partnership, 12 of Hilton's international vice-presidents stocked up the Sydney Night Patrol van with nutritious meals prepared by Hilton executive chef Gary Johnson which were handed out to the homeless community on June 30.The Hilton's commitment will provide food and volunteering for Sydney's Night Patrol, a monthly supply of meat to the Matthew Talbot Hostel in the city's Woolloomooloo, and event support for the Hotels Have Hearts gala dinner that has raised more than $2.1 million to support Vinnies homeless services.
Since taking part in last year's Vinnies CEO Sleepout, Ashley Spencer, Hilton's vice-president of operations, Australasia, has been committed to doing more to help the homeless.
"With 105,000 homeless people in Australia, it is the role of business, charities and government to work together to try to ensure that more people do not fall through to the abyss of homelessness."
Julie McDonald, Vinnies manager of community and corporate relations, said it was encouraging to see how the CEO Sleepout has "inspired the team at Hilton to do that little bit more to address homelessness".
"We hope that Hilton's initiative will encourage many more businesses to think outside the box in addressing this insidious issue."
St. Benedict of Nursia
FOUNDER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM
Feast: July 11
Founder of western monasticism, born at Nursia, c. 480; died at Monte Cassino, 543. The only authentic life of Benedict of Nursia is that contained in the second book of St. Gregory's "Dialogues". It is rather a character sketch than a biography and consists, for the most part, of a number of miraculous incidents, which, although they illustrate the life of the saint, give little help towards a chronological account of his career. St. Gregory's authorities for all that he relates were the saint's own disciples, viz. Constantinus, who succeeded him as Abbot of Monte Cassino; and Honoratus, who was Abbot of Subiaco when St. Gregory wrote his "Dialogues".
Benedict was the son of a Roman noble of Nursia, a small town near Spoleto, and a tradition, which St. Bede accepts, makes him a twin with his sister Scholastica. His boyhood was spent in Rome, where he lived with his parents and attended the schools until he had reached his higher studies. Then "giving over his books, and forsaking his father's house and wealth, with a mind only to serve God, he sought for some place where he might attain to the desire of his holy purpose; and in this sort he departed [from Rome], instructed with learned ignorance and furnished with unlearned wisdom" (Dial. St. Greg., II, Introd. in Migne, P.L. LXVI). There is much difference of opinion as to Benedict's age at the time. It has been very generally stated as fourteen, but a careful examination of St. Gregory's narrative makes it impossible to suppose him younger than nineteen or twenty. He was old enough to be in the midst of his literary studies, to understand the real meaning and worth of the dissolute and licentious lives of his companions, and to have been deeply affected himself by the love of a woman (Ibid. II, 2). He was capable of weighing all these things in comparison with the life taught in the Gospels, and chose the latter, He was at the beginning of life, and he had at his disposal the means to a career as a Roman noble; clearly he was not a child, As St. Gregory expresses it, "he was in the world and was free to enjoy the advantages which the world offers, but drew back his foot which he had, as it were, already set forth in the world" (ibid., Introd.). If we accept the date 480 for his birth, we may fix the date of his abandoning the schools and quitting home at about A.D. 500.
Benedict does not seem to have left Rome for the purpose of becoming a hermit, but only to find some place away from the life of the great city; moreover, he took his old nurse with him as a servant and they settled down to live in Enfide, near a church dedicated to St. Peter, in some kind of association with "a company of virtuous men" who were in sympathy with his feelings and his views of life. Enfide, which the tradition of Subiaco identifies with the modern Affile, is in the Simbrucini mountains, about forty miles from Rome and two from Subiaco. It stands on the crest of a ridge which rises rapidly from the valley to the higher range of mountains, and seen from the lower ground the village has the appearance of a fortress. As St. Gregory's account indicates, and as is confirmed by the remains of the old town and by the inscriptions found in the neighbourhood, Enfide was a place of greater importance than is the present town. At Enfide Benedict worked his first miracle by restoring to perfect condition an earthenware wheat-sifter (capisterium) which his old servant had accidentally broken. The notoriety which this miracle brought upon Benedict drove him to escape still farther from social life, and "he fled secretly from his nurse and sought the more retired district of Subiaco". His purpose of life had also been modified. He had fled Rome to escape the evils of a great city; he now determined to be poor and to live by his own work. "For God's sake he deliberately chose the hardships of life and the weariness of labour" (ibid., 1).
A short distance from Enfide is the entrance to a narrow, gloomy valley, penetrating the mountains and leading directly to Subiaco. Crossing the Anio and turning to the right, the path rises along the left face oft the ravine and soon reaches the site of Nero's villa and of the huge mole which formed the lower end of the middle lake; across the valley were ruins of the Roman baths, of which a few great arches and detached masses of wall still stand. Rising from the mole upon twenty five low arches, the foundations of which can even yet be traced, was the bridge from the villa to the baths, under which the waters of the middle lake poured in a wide fall into the lake below. The ruins of these vast buildings and the wide sheet of falling water closed up the entrance of the valley to St. Benedict as he came from Enfide; to-day the narrow valley lies open before us, closed only by the far off mountains. The path continues to ascend, and the side of the ravine, on which it runs, becomes steeper, until we reach a cave above which the mountain now rises almost perpendicularly; while on the right hand it strikes in a rapid descent down to where, in St. Benedict's day, five hundred feet below, lay the blue waters of the lake. The cave has a large triangular-shaped opening and is about ten feet deep. On his way from Enfide, Benedict met a monk, Romanus, whose monastery was on the mountain above the cliff overhanging the cave. Romanus had discussed with Benedict the purpose which had brought him to Subiaco, and had given him the monk's habit. By his advice Benedict became a hermit and for three years, unknown to men, lived in this cave above the lake. St. Gregory tells us little of these years, He now speaks of Benedict no longer as a youth (puer), but as a man (vir) of God. Romanus, he twice tells us, served the saint in every way he could. The monk apparently visited him frequently, and on fixed days brought him food.
During these three years of solitude, broken only by occasional communications with the outer world and by the visits of Romanus, he matured both in mind and character, in knowledge of himself and of his fellow-man, and at the same time he became not merely known to, but secured the respect of, those about him; so much so that on the death of the abbot of a monastery in the neighbourhood (identified by some with Vicovaro), the community came to him and begged him to become its abbot. Benedict was acquainted with the life and discipline of the monastery, and knew that "their manners were diverse from his and therefore that they would never agree together: yet, at length, overcome with their entreaty, he gave his consent" (ibid., 3). The experiment failed; the monks tried to poison him, and he returned to his cave. From this time his miracles seen to have become frequent, and many people, attracted by his sanctity and character, came to Subiaco to be under his guidance. For them he built in the valley twelve monasteries, in each of which he placed a superior with twelve monks. In a thirteenth he lived with "a few, such as he thought would more profit and be better instructed by his own presence" (ibid., 3). He remained, however, the father or abbot of all. With the establishment of these monasteries began the schools for children; and amongst the first to be brought were Maurus and Placid.
The remainder of St. Benedict's life was spent in realizing the ideal of monasticism which he has left us drawn out in his Rule.
|Matthew 10: 34 - 42|
|34||"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.|
|35||For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;|
|36||and a man's foes will be those of his own household.|
|37||He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;|
|38||and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.|
|39||He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.|
|40||"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.|
|41||He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.|
|42||And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."|