Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spectacular Virtual Tour of the Tomb of St. Peter on Vatican Website

 

If you want to visit the tomb of St. Peter and the Vatican necropolis, it’s no longer necessary to book tickets and travel to Rome.

The Vatican website now offers an exciting virtual tour through interactive high quality images. With just one click you can skip the queues and get into the foundations of St. Peter's Basilica.

The virtual tour also includes explanations of the most relevant details of the necropolis, and a map showing your location at all times within the necropolis towards the tomb of St. Peter.

You will have one of the best guides possible for your visit: Cardinal Angelo Comastri, president of the Fabbrica of St Peter’s, which looks after the necropolis.

An amazing look at the origins and construction of St. Peter's Basilica, available from any computer in the world.

CNN Report on Benedict XVI Met With Protest

(Zenit.org).- The secular media's unfounded accusations against Benedict XVI is nothing new. Yet, Catholics are quick to respond to another production about the Pope and the sexual abuse crisis.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, stated in an article, posted today on the organization's Web site, that "the CNN documentary, 'What the Pope Knew,' which aired Sept. 25, deserves a response."

"From top to bottom, what CNN did was the televised version of what the New York Times did in print form earlier in the year," he stated.

"The goal was to tarnish the image of Pope Benedict XVI, making him out to be a co-conspirator in the scandal," Donohue said. "Though it came up empty handed with proof of his culpability, there was enough innuendo to convict Snow White."

Drawing on the facts of history, Donohue offered a rebuttal on CNN's claim that the Pope was guilty of "foot-dragging and, perhaps, obstruction."

"Nowhere in the program is there any evidence that the Pope was guilty of obstruction of justice," Donohue said. READ MORE

40 Days for Life - Day 9- September 30, 2010

Day 9 - September 30

Intention:
May we grow in joy, knowing we serve a living God.

Scripture:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
-- John 1:14
Reflection:
The Word of God came to us in human form in Jesus Christ. Every time I contemplate this fact I get chills! And I think it is something that we, as Christians, tend to gloss over. I can only imagine how the first disciples felt when they were looking into the eyes of the one and only Almighty God who created them.

The first disciples developed a close relationship with Him as they daily walked and talked with Him. They ate with Him, prayed with Him and rested when He rested. As they listened to the Word of God, who was and is Jesus….they believed and "beheld His glory."

Today, this is something we can still do because we serve a living God. Remember, Jesus died on the cross but rose from the dead in victory! Jesus is every bit as real and alive for all of us as He was to the first disciples. He wants us to develop a close relationship with Him in the very same way. Jesus wants us to know Him personally. He wants us to walk with Him and talk with Him on a daily basis.

Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your love and saving grace in Christ Jesus. Help us to realize every day the great blessing we have in our Savior. I pray that we will rise every morning with excitement and zeal, looking forward to walking another day in your footsteps fully knowing that you continue to dwell among us. Amen.

Day Gardner
President, National Black Pro-life Union

Oh Dear !

The Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey that was made public revealed that 3,412 adult Americans were asked 32 questions about the Bible, world religions, and important historical figures. Among the key findings:

Atheists & Agnostics got 20.9 answers right. Jews got 20.5, Mormons 20.3, Protestants 16 and Catholics came up last with only 14.7 correct answers. Atheists know more about religion than believers. Wow!

Of the 12 questions specifically about the Bible and Christianity, Mormons scored 7.9 correct responses, Protestants got 6.5 and Catholics once again came in last with 5.4 right answers.

The most stunning item was that 45% of the Catholics surveyed didn’t know about the Church’s teaching that the Eucharist is not merely symbolic but is the Real Presence of the Body & Blood of Christ.

H/O - http://www.loyolapress.com/blogs-people-for-others.htm

Prayer - For Children in Unhappy Homes

Little Flower Novena - Day Nine

Little Flower Novena
 
Prayers to be said each day:

Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of divine love.

V. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.

R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be ever truly wise and rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love: O my God! I believe in Thee: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee: do Thou secure them. I love Thee: teach me to love Thee daily more and more.

The Act of Contrition: O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance , and to amend my life. Amen.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day:

O Lord, You have said: Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Special Prayers for Each Day:
 
Ninth Day

Dear Little St. Thérèse, by love and suffering while you were on earth, you won the power with God which you now enjoy in heaven. Since your life there began, you have showered down countless blessings on this poor world; you have been an instrument made use of by your divine Spouse to work countless miracles. I beg of you to remember all my wants. Sufferings must come to me also, may I use them to love God more, and follow my Jesus better. You are especially the little missionary of love. Make me love Jesus more, and all others for His sake. With all my heart I thank the most Holy Trinity for the wonderful blessings conferred on you, and upon the world through you.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: The Mission of the Little Flower. I do not intend to remain inactive in Heaven. I want to work for the Church and for souls. I have asked this of God and I am certain that He will grant my request.

I will spend my Heaven doing good upon earth. This is not impossible, since the angels though always enjoying the beatific vision, watch over us. No, I cannot be at rest until the end of the world.
I beseech Thee, O Jesus, to cast Thy divine glance on a great number of little souls. I beg of Thee to choose in this world a legion of little victims, worthy of Thy Love.

 

Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary Novena - Day 3

Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary  Novena Prayer
This novena is to be said along with a daily rosary. 


My dearest Mother Mary, behold me, your child, in prayer at your feet. Accept this Holy Rosary, which I offer you in accordance with your requests at Fatima, as a proof of my tender love for you, for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in atonement for the offenses committed against your Immaculate Heart, and for this special favor which I earnestly request in my Rosary Novena:  (Mention your request).

I beg you to present my petition to your Divine Son. If you will pray for me, I cannot be refused. I know, dearest Mother, that you want me to seek God’s holy Will concerning my request. If what I ask for should not be granted, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul.

I offer you this spiritual “Bouquet of Roses” because I love you. I put all my confidence in you, since your prayers before God are most powerful. For the greater glory of God and for the sake of Jesus, your loving Son, hear and grant my prayer. Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.

ST. JEROME

It’s appropriate that as we end this month during which we have been praying that the Word of God may be an incentive for authentic social development, we celebrate a saint who dedicated his life to making the Word of God accessible to people. Let us pray once more with Pope Benedict for this General Intention of his by reflecting on his words about St. Jerome.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Over 25,000 people at the Beatification of Chiara Luce Badano


25,000 people from 71 countries including, Australia, Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam, Syria and Russia filled the Sanctuary of Divine Love in Rome for the beatification of Chiara Luce Badano, the first of the Focolare movement raised to the altar.

The Mass was celebrated by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Angelo Amato, who highlighted how the life of Chiara Luce conveys a message of optimism and hope.


Arch. Angelo Amato
Prefect, Congregation for the Causes of Saints

"The Church gives thanks to the Divine Trinity for her life of charity and kindness. Chiara Badano, a modern and cheerful girl who loved sports, conveys a message of optimism and hope. Even today, young people can be holy. Yes, even today."

This is a historic beatification because she is the first member of the Focolare movement raised to the altar. This movement was founded by Chiara Lubich in 1943 and helped lead Chiara on her path to holiness. There are currently about 2 million people from 182 countries that participate in the spirituality of the Focolare Movement.

Pope's general audience on Saint Matilda of Hackeborn


A new papal catechesis on the life of women saints. "Today we focus on the life of Saint Matilda of Hackeborn, one of several important thirteenth-century figures of the convent of Helfta in Saxony", said the Pope.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our catechesis today, we focus on the life of Saint Matilda of Hackeborn, one of several important thirteenth-century figures of the convent of Helfta in Saxony. Entering there at an early age, Matilda was formed in an intensely spiritual and intellectual atmosphere founded upon Sacred Scripture, the liturgy, and the patristic tradition.
This climate, along with the gift of divine illumination that she received through her mystical contemplation, enabled her to compose numerous prayers and be of counsel and consolation to many. Distinguished by her humility and intelligence, and by the intensity with which she lived her relationship with God and the saints, Matilda became the director of the convent’s novices, its choir, and its school. In this way she also became the spiritual guide of Saint Gertrude the Great, another important figure of Germanic monasticism.
Dear friends, Saint Matilda’s life of prayer, guided by Sacred Scripture and nourished by the Holy Eucharist, led her to an intimate union with Christ, expressed in her devotion to his Sacred Heart. May we too grow in that devotion, through the power of her intercession.
I am pleased to greet the seminarians and staff from the Venerable English College and the new students and staff from the Pontifical Irish College, and I offer prayerful good wishes for their studies. I also welcome the members of the Christ Child Society from the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, accompanied by Bishop Leonard Blair. Upon all the English-speaking visitors present at today’s audience, especially the pilgrim groups from Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Nigeria, Oceania, the Philippines, and North America, I invoke God’s abundant blessings.

FEAST OF THE ARCHANGELS

Today’s feast began in the fifth century when a basilica in Rome was dedicated in honor of the Archangel Michael. In the past each of the three Archangels whom we honor today had a separate feast day but now they are celebrated together. They are a reminder to us, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states in #358, “God created everything for man….” This means that even those spiritual creatures, the angels, were created for humanity, to help us, to guide us, to protect us, and to deliver important messages to us. We see this in the Bible accounts of the three Archangels. Michael is called “the great prince, guardian of Your people” in the Book of Daniel 12: 1 and in the Book of Revelation he leads the angels in battle against the angels who through their rebellion have become devils (12: 7). Gabriel also appears in Daniel (8: 16, 9: 21) but is known primarily as the messenger of salvation who appeared to Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1: 26-37). Finally, Raphael appears in the Book of Tobit where he serves as a guide and brings about healing. Let us invoke these three heavenly friends of ours and ask them to guide and protect the Holy Father and the entire Church.

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us against the enemies of our souls, protect us always, and guide us to our eternal home where we will praise the Holy Trinity with all the powers of heaven forever and ever. Amen.

St. Gabriel, Divine Messenger, you were sent to the Blessed Virgin Mary to announce to her our salvation. At the end of our days on earth, at the hour of our death, greet us with the message of our salvation so that we may, with you, praise God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

St. Raphael, the Archangel, you were sent to guide young Tobiah on his trip and to cure the elderly Tobit of his blindness. Guide us on our earthly journey and be our physician, taking care of all our ailments of body and soul. Amen.

40 Days for Life - Day 6- September 29, 2010

Day 8 - September 29

Intention:
May the spirit and example of the Good Samaritan fill the hearts and minds of all our citizens.

Scripture:
Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So, too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
-- Luke 10:30-37
Reflection:
Here Jesus commands us to show mercy to the victims of the culture of violence and death.

But why did the priest and Levite fail to show mercy? Perhaps they feared that the robbers were hiding just around the next corner to attack them. They asked themselves, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"

The Samaritan, however, reversed the question, and asked, "If I don't stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
In working to save the unborn, let's not worry about what will happen to us if we act; let's worry about what will happen to the unborn if we don't.

Prayer:
Father, we are moved by the lesson of the Good Samaritan, who allowed compassion to influence him more than fear. Give us the same heart. Grant that we may never count the cost of standing up and speaking out for the unborn. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life




Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary Novena - Day 2

Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary  Novena Prayer

This novena is to be said along with a daily rosary. 


My dearest Mother Mary, behold me, your child, in prayer at your feet. Accept this Holy Rosary, which I offer you in accordance with your requests at Fatima, as a proof of my tender love for you, for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in atonement for the offenses committed against your Immaculate Heart, and for this special favor which I earnestly request in my Rosary Novena:  (Mention your request).

I beg you to present my petition to your Divine Son. If you will pray for me, I cannot be refused. I know, dearest Mother, that you want me to seek God’s holy Will concerning my request. If what I ask for should not be granted, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul.

I offer you this spiritual “Bouquet of Roses” because I love you. I put all my confidence in you, since your prayers before God are most powerful. For the greater glory of God and for the sake of Jesus, your loving Son, hear and grant my prayer. Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.

Little Flower Novena - Day Eight

Little Flower Novena

Prayers to be said each day:

Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of divine love.

V. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.

R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be ever truly wise and rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love: O my God! I believe in Thee: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee: do Thou secure them. I love Thee: teach me to love Thee daily more and more.

The Act of Contrition: O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance , and to amend my life. Amen.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day:

O Lord, You have said: Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Special Prayers for Each Day:
Eighth Day

Dear St. Thérèse, like you I have to die one day. I beseech you, obtain from God, by reminding Him of your own precious death, that I may have a holy death, strengthened by the Sacraments of the Church, entirely resigned to the most holy Will of God, and burning with love for Him. May my last words on earth be, "My God. I love You."

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Death. It says in the catechism that death is nothing but the separation of the soul and body. Well, I have no fear of a separation which will unite me forever with the good God.
I am happy to die because I shall be able to help souls who are dear to me, far more than I can here below.

Life is not sad; it is very joyous. If you say, "This exile is sad," I understand you. We are wrong to give the name "life" to something which will end; it is only to the things of Heaven that we should apply this beautiful name.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Benedict XVI would travel to Santo Domingo next year

 

According to the bishops of the Dominican Republic, the Pope will travel to the island in 2011. It would be the second trip of Benedict XVI to Latin America because in 2007 was in Brazil.

The main reason for this visit is the 500th anniversary of the founding of the first diocese in America. The Pope declared 2011 the Jubilee Year.

In fact, the president of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez Reyna, visited Benedict XVI on 21 May and invited him to visit the country.

A few months after the visit, the diocese of La Vega, the oldest of the island, began to prepare the place that could accommodate the Pope during his visit.

If confirmed, will be the fourth time a Pope visits the island. John Paul II visited on three occasions. The last was in 1992 when it celebrated the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America.

Little Flower Novena - Day Seven

Little Flower Novena

Prayers to be said each day:

Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of divine love.

V. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.

R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be ever truly wise and rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love: O my God! I believe in Thee: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee: do Thou secure them. I love Thee: teach me to love Thee daily more and more.

The Act of Contrition: O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance , and to amend my life. Amen.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day:

O Lord, You have said: Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Special Prayers for Each Day:
 
Seventh Day

O little martyr of Love, you know now even better than in the days of your pilgrimage that Love embraces all vocations; that it is Love alone which counts, which unites us perfectly to God and conforms our will with His. All you sought on earth was love; to love Jesus as He had never yet been loved. Use your power in heaven to make us love Him. If only we love Him we shall desire to make Him loved by others; we shall pray much for souls. We shall no longer fear death, for it will unite us to Him forever. Obtain for us the grace to do all for the love of God, to give Him pleasure, to love Him so well that He may be pleased with us as He was with you.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Love of God. I will love God alone and will not have the misfortune of attaching myself to creatures, now that my heart perceive what He has in store for those who love Him.
What attracts me to the kingdom of Heaven is the call of our Lord, the hope of loving Him as I have so desired and the thought that I shall be able to make Him loved by a great number of souls who will bless Him forever.

When Christ said, "Give Me a Drink," it was the love of His poor creatures that He, the Creator of all things, desired. He thirsted for love.

Remember that the dear Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you, for you alone. Remember that He is consumed with a desire to come into your heart.

Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary Novena - Day 1

Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary  Novena Prayer

This novena is to be said along with a daily rosary. 

My dearest Mother Mary, behold me, your child, in prayer at your feet. Accept this Holy Rosary, which I offer you in accordance with your requests at Fatima, as a proof of my tender love for you, for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in atonement for the offenses committed against your Immaculate Heart, and for this special favor which I earnestly request in my Rosary Novena:  (Mention your request).

I beg you to present my petition to your Divine Son. If you will pray for me, I cannot be refused. I know, dearest Mother, that you want me to seek God’s holy Will concerning my request. If what I ask for should not be granted, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul.

I offer you this spiritual “Bouquet of Roses” because I love you. I put all my confidence in you, since your prayers before God are most powerful. For the greater glory of God and for the sake of Jesus, your loving Son, hear and grant my prayer. Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.

40 Days for Life - Day 5 - September 28, 2010

Day 7 - September 28

Intention:
May we have a heart and a zeal to save the poor and release the oppressed.

Scripture:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
-- Luke 4:18-19

Reflection:
This passage is a very familiar one. It has been preached on many occasions, even made popular in books and songs. Though the quote is about Jesus, all Christians take this commission seriously as a directive on how to reach the world with the gospel. We, like our Savior, are to bring the good news to the poor, the broken hearted, those in captivity, those who cannot see, and the oppressed.

The commission given to us in this passage is clearly a charge to care for those for whom God cares the most. I wonder though, whom do we look for to be touched by the Holy Spirit as we go out into the world?

Who are the poor, if not those unborn children who have been abandoned by their parents before they ever leave the womb? Who are the broken hearted, if not those unborn children whose only example of love is having their mother take them to an abortion clinic to be destroyed, or the mother of a child who has been deceived by everyone around her into believing that what she is doing is best for her and her child? Who are the captives, if not those unborn children who are bound over to death by the "choice" of abortion? Who is more blind than an unborn child in the darkness of a womb that has become a waiting room for their death? And who is more oppressed than those unborn children whose oppression has been legitimized by their government, their church and even their family and loved ones.

Prayer:
Lord, You empower us with Your Spirit to do your will in the earth. Send us to the poorest, the most broken, the most captive, the most blind and the most oppressed in the world, the innocent pre-born children in their mother's wombs that are scheduled for destruction. Help us to bring them healing, liberty, sight and justice through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Fr. Terry Gensemer
National Director, Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life

Pope Benedict XVI's Good-Bye to Castel Gandolfo

Dear brothers and sisters,

Before leaving Castel Gandolfo at the end of the summer, I am happy to meet with all of you who represent the ecclesial and civil community of this pleasant city that I so love, where Providence grants me every year to spend a peaceful and fruitful stay.

First of all, my fraternal greeting and cordial gratitude go to the bishop of Albano, Marcello Semeraro, a greeting I extend to the whole diocese, which I follow with special affection in prayer in its life of faith and Christian witness. I also greet the parish priest of Castel Gandolfo and the parish community, together with the various men's and women's religious institutes that live and work here to joyfully serve the Gospel and the brethren. READ MORE

ST. LAWRENCE RUIZ AND COMPANIONS

According to Pope John Paul II, the saint whom we honor today, the first Filipino saint, was the “most improbable of saints.” Lawrence or Lorenzo Ruiz was the son of a Chinese father and a Tagala mother who worked as a calligrapher for the Dominican parish in Manila. A husband and father of three, he was implicated in a murder. He went to the priests for help and they, believing his innocence but fearing that he would not get a fair trial, put him on a ship. Lorenzo thought the ship was going to Taiwan where, because he was half Chinese, he thought he would find refuge until the matter was forgotten. Instead, the ship went to Japan where Lorenzo and the missionaries on board were soon arrested and put to death. As we continue to pray that the Word of God may transform hearts so that authentic human development and peace may come to the world, let us reflect on the following words of Pope John Paul II when he beatified Lorenzo in 1981 and canonized him in 1987.

The example of Lorenzo Ruiz … reminds us that everyone’s life and the whole of one’s life must be at Christ’s disposal. Christianity means daily giving, in response to the gift of Christ who came into the world so that all might have life and have it to the full (John 10: 10). … To die for the faith is a gift to some; to live the faith is a call for all. …Faith conquers the world. San Lorenzo demonstrated [heroism] as a lay witness to the faith … which is very important in today’s world. The witness of San Lorenzo is the testimony we need of courage without measure to show us that it is possible. Faith and life for Lorenzo were synonymous and inseparable. Life without faith would have been without value; …he proved that sanctity and heroism are there for anybody and the final victory is made to size for each one of us.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Youth worker gains fame through banner

Diocesan youth worker and friends create banners that are seen by millions around the world.

I love the colourful banners!

By Simon Caldwell

If prizes were handed out for the wittiest banner in support of the Pope then Niamh Moloney would surely have swept the board.

The Northampton diocesan youth worker and her friends amused millions when television cameras captured them waving banners bearing such slogans as, “We love you Papa more than beans on toast” and “Catholic über alles” at Cofton Park. She also carried a placard saying: “Give it some welly for the Pope in the park” – devised to match her colourful boots.

“We just wanted to make some joyful noise because there was so much negative stuff,” said Miss Moloney, 25.

40 Days for Life - Day 6 - September 27, 2010

Day 6 - September 27

Intention:
That knowing the shortness of life, all may value it more deeply.

Scripture:
Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
-- Ecclesiastes 12:6-7
Reflection:
God is giver of all life. Short lived or long lived, human lives are lived out in this world. The metaphors for death are many. But their meaning is clear and singular: all will die. Even so, death is not the absolute end. It is not the end of the story. For as certainly as God gave life, at death the life or spirit that God gave returns to God.

By God, we are created. For God, we live our given days. To God, we return at the end of our earthly days. And with God, we live through eternity. Clearly, all along the way, this gracious, loving God is with us. No human life is random or alone. No human life was created without purpose. Not one human life is without destiny.

All human lives, acknowledged or not, are related to God -- from beginning, to end, throughout eternity. Therefore, in this world, all human lives are to be respected and protected, for their lives are signs of God's sovereignty.

Prayer:
O God, we too often try to live in ways that ignore our coming death. We forget that our days are numbered by You, that at the end of our days your judgment awaits, that You are the Lord of our destiny.

Help us to repent daily, and then to live each day in joyful obedience. Lead us to live in the light and promise of eternity. Prepare us to live fully and sacrificially. Prepare us to die faithfully and hopefully, so that we might live forever with You. Through Jesus Christ, who has gone before us, we trust and hope and love and pray. Amen.

Rev. Paul Stallsworth
President, Lifewatch (United Methodist Church)

Little Flower Novena - Day Six

Little Flower Novena

Prayers to be said each day:

Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of divine love.

V. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.

R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be ever truly wise and rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love: O my God! I believe in Thee: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee: do Thou secure them. I love Thee: teach me to love Thee daily more and more.

The Act of Contrition: O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance , and to amend my life. Amen.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day:

O Lord, You have said: Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Special Prayers for Each Day:

St. Thérèse, Patroness of the Missions, be a great missionary throughout the world to the end of time. Remind our Master of His own words, "The harvest is great, but the laborers are few." Your zeal for souls was so great, obtain a like zeal for those now working for souls, and beg God to multiply their numbers, that the millions to whom Jesus is yet unknown may be brought to know, love and follow Him.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Zeal for souls. Let us work together for the salvation of souls. We have only the day of this life to save souls and to give them to the Lord as proofs of our love.

I tell Jesus that I am glad not to be able to see, with the eyes of my soul, this beautiful heaven which awaits me, in order that He may vouchsafe to open it forever to poor unbelievers.

I cannot perform brilliant works; I cannot preach the Gospel or shed my blood. But what matter? My brothers work in place of me, and I a little child, keep very close to the royal throne. I love for those who are carrying on the warfare.

My deeds, my little sufferings, can make God loved all over the world.

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul was a great apostle of charity, and brought a great revival of the priesthood in the 17th century. He was born near Dax in the Landes (France) in 1581. As a young priest he was captured by Moorish pirates who carried him to Africa. He was sold into slavery, but freed in 1607 when he converted his owner. 

Having returned to France, he became successively a parish priest and chaplain to the galley-slaves. He founded a religious Congregation under the title of Priests of the Mission or Lazarists (now known as Vincentians), and he bound them by a special way to undertake the apostolic work of charity; he sent them to preach missions, especially to the ignorant peasants of that time, and to establish seminaries. 

In order to help poor girls, invalids, and the insane, sick and unemployed, he and St. Louise de Marillac founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity, now better known as the Sisters of St. Vincent.
St. Vincent worked tirelessly to help those in need: the impoverished, the sick, the enslaved, the abandoned, the ignored. He died in 1660 at St. Lazarus's house, Paris. His motto: "God sees you."

"Let us love God; but at the price of our hands and sweat of our face." 

Patron: charitable societies; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; prisoners; volunteers; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Vincentian Service Corps; Madagascar; diocese of Richmond, Virginia.

Symbols: 16th century cleric performing act of charity; priest surrounded by the Sisters of Charity; book with heart; model of an orphanage or hospital; model of a hospice; priest with child in his arms.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

40 Days for Life - Day 5 - September 26, 2010

Day 5 - September 26

Intention:
May the truth of the final judgment shape our thoughts, priorities, and choices here on earth.

Scripture:
The King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."
-- Matthew 25:31-46

Reflection:
Caring for others is not optional.
Jesus' picture of the final judgment concludes with this sobering word: the wicked, who failed to care for others in their various needs (e.g., the hungry, the thirsty, the aliens, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned) will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous who did seek to meet those needs will end up with him, enjoying eternal life.

We know that this was no parable! Jesus has given us fair warning! Everything in God's Word points to the truth that compassionate concern and practical care for all people, especially for the poor, the destitute, the weak and needy is required of us, if indeed we hope to escape the punishment of the fire of hell.

And who are the poor and needy, if not helpless, unborn babies, as well as the aged and infirm at the other end of life? Surely the "least of these" embraces not only those at both ends of the continuum of life, but all others in between. Just how we, as Christ's true followers, respond to his admonition "inasmuch as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me" will determine whether we enjoy eternal bliss in his presence or the bleak and dreadful reality of eternal punishment in hell. Nothing in God's Word could be clearer!

Prayer:
Gracious and merciful Father, we gladly embrace your Word that counsels us to care for the least of your children, and we renew our dedication to defending the unborn and all whose right to life is compromised by our godless society's selfish lack of concern. Free us from our own failures and sins so that we will be truly pro-life in every area of our lives. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rev. Ben Sheldon
President Emeritus, Presbyterians Pro-Life

Little Flower Novena - Day Five

Little Flower Novena

Prayers to be said each day:

Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of divine love.

V. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.

R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
 
Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be ever truly wise and rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love: O my God! I believe in Thee: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee: do Thou secure them. I love Thee: teach me to love Thee daily more and more.

The Act of Contrition: O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance , and to amend my life. Amen.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day:

O Lord, You have said: Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Special Prayers for Each Day:
 
Fifth Day

Little Flower of Jesus, from the very first moment of your religious life you thought only of denying yourself in all things so as to follow Jesus more perfectly; help me to bear patiently the trials of my daily life. Teach me to make use of the trials, the sufferings, the humiliations, that come my way, to learn to know myself better and to love God more.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Patience in Sufferings. I do not fear trials sent by Jesus, for even in the most bitter suffering we can see that it is His loving hand which causes it.

When we are expecting nothing but suffering, we are quite surprised at the least joy; but then suffering itself becomes the greatest of joys when we seek it as a precious treasure.

Far from resembling those beautiful saints who practiced all sorts of austerities from childhood, my penance consisted in breaking my self-will, in keeping back a sharp reply, in doing little kindnesses to those about me, but considering these deeds as nothing.