Wednesday, April 26, 2017

June 26: S. Cleti et Marcellini Summorum Pontificum et Martyrum ~



Cletus was a Roman, and ruled the Church in the time of the Emperors Vespasian and Titus. In accordance with the precept of the Prince of the Apostles he ordained twenty-five priests for the City. He was the first Pope who made use in his letters of the phrase, Health and Apostolic Benediction. Having brought the Church into an excellent state of order, he was crowned with martyrdom in the reign of the Emperor Domitian, and the second persecution since the time of Nero, and was buried on the Vatican mount, hard by the body of blessed Peter. Marcellinus was a Roman; he ruled the Church during the savage persecution which was ordered by the Emperor Diocletian. He suffered through the false severity of those who blamed him as being too indulgent toward them who had fallen into idolatry, and for this reason also hath been slandered to the effect that he himself burnt incense to idols; but this blessed Pope, on account of his confession of the faith, was put to death along with three other Christians, whose names are Claudius, Cyrinus and Antoninus.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday: "Something strange is happening today... a great silence ..."

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday
The Lord's descent into the underworld
Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
  He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
  I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
  See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
  I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
  Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Not "fake news": Jesus reads the conscience of the Samaritan woman at the well

Third Sunday of Lent Year A

Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well: Not fake news.

What is news?

What is fake news?

We are often played between people on both sides of the spectrum, but no matter what happens we have to do what is best for ourselves and continue to seek the truth.

What's news for us? What is the truth for us? The "good news": the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ does not look at us impersonally, from a distance, but he reads our lives back to us from within, as he did with the Samaritan woman.

HIs love works through our conscience. Knowledge of our sins is real news but we are called to respond not with denial as if it were fake or useless.

He is Incarnate God with a heart like ours beating in his breast, one who was tempted as we are yet without sinning, one who walked the earth as we do, one who suffered fatigue and weariness, who needed to sleep and eat, needed to love friends and family.

And one who reads our sins back to us from the Cross and in the Resurrection tells the real news of His forgiving merciful love which confers life without end.

Just as is with the Samaritan woman, so for ourselves he reads our lives back to us as God. We are called respond to the truth about ourselves not with suspicion as fake news but as the good news, the truth. And called to respond in love, disciples who testify to His forgiving, life-giving love to others.

Jesus is the true "good news" for all of us but, before we can accept Him with authentic love, we must first face the real news about our sins with repentance.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday, first week of Lent: "Love your enemies"

"But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your Heavenly Father"

Matthew 5

"Christ died out of love for us, while we were still 'enemies.' The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself. 

"The Apostle Paul has given an incomparable depiction of charity: 'charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.'"

CCC 1825

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday, Lent I: "If you forgive men's sins"

"This is how you are to pray:

"Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

"If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

"The Lord's Prayer "is truly the summary of the whole gospel."7 "Since the Lord . . . after handing over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, 'Ask and you will receive,' and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer [the Lord's Prayer] is said first, as the foundation of further desires."8

CCC 2761

Saturday, February 25, 2017

8th Sunday of Ordinary Time A: "But seek first the kingdom of God ..."

"... and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides."

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022617.cfm

"The virtue of solidarity goes beyond material goods. In spreading the spiritual goods of the faith, the Church has promoted, and often opened new paths for, the development of temporal goods as well. And so throughout the centuries has the Lord's saying been verified: "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well": 
"For two thousand years this sentiment has lived and endured in the soul of the Church, impelling souls then and now to the heroic charity of monastic farmers, liberators of slaves, healers of the sick, and messengers of faith, civilization, and science to all generations and all peoples for the sake of creating the social conditions capable of offering to everyone possible a life worthy of man and of a Christian."

CCC 1942

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: "Be holy"

"... for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

In spite of the holy Law that again and again their Holy God gives them - "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy" - and although the Lord shows patience for the sake of his name, the people turn away from the Holy One of Israel and profane his name among the nations. For this reason the just ones of the old covenant, the poor survivors returned from exile, and the prophets burned with passion for the name.


CCC 2811

"Christ, 'holy, innocent, and undefiled,' knew nothing of sin, but came only to expiate the sins of the people. The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal." All members of the Church, including her ministers, must acknowledge that they are sinners. In everyone, the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time. Hence the Church gathers sinners already caught up in Christ's salvation but still on the way to holiness: 
The Church is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for those offenses, of which she has the power to free her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

CCC 827