#MoralStory: The Secret Ingredient

A girl was watching her mother cooking a dish in the kitchen. On the shelf, there were several containers, neatly labelled, each containing cooking ingredients like salt, sugar, oil, vinegar or a spice. The mother opened the lids of the containers in a definite order and added the required amount of each ingredient into the cooking pot which was heated on a stove. Finally, she opened the last container and looked inside for a while and then closed it without taking anything from it. Then she served the delicious dish to everyone with great love. The children relished the dishes with a smile. This happened every day.

One day, the mother was too sick to cook. Her daughter agreed to do the cooking. She followed the mother’s recipe. The girl examined the labels of every container while trying to follow the directions of her mother. She found that the last container did not carry a label and so ignored it. She placed the cooking pot on the stove and put on the flame.

When the dish was getting ready, out of curiosity, she opened the unlabelled container, which her mother used to open, observe and close like a ritual every day. She was surprised to find there was only one small card in that container, with something written on it; Read more…

In Bread We Bring You Lord

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In bread we bring you Lord, our body’s’ labour
In wine we offer you our spirit’s grief.
We do not ask you, Lord, who is my neighbor?
But stand united now, in one belief.
For we have gladly heard your Word, your holy Word
And now in answer, Lord, our gifts we bring.
Our selfish hearts make true, our failing faith renew,
Our life belongs to you, our Lord and King.

The bread we offer you is blessed and broken,
And it becomes for us our spirit’s food.
Over the cup we bring, your Word is spoken;
Make it your gift to us, your healing blood.
Take all that daily toil, plants in our heart’s poor soil,
Take all we start and spoil, each hopeful dream.
The chances we have missed, the graces we resist,
Lord, in thy Eucharist, take and redeem.

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#ShortNews: New works by Raphael discovered at Vatican?

Experts working on the restoration of frescoes in the Hall of Constantine, in the Vatican’s apostolic palace, have discovered two works which they attribute to the Renaissance master Raphael.

Raphael had planned the frescoes for the Hall of Constantine, but died before the work was completed. The frescoes were completed by his students. However, restorers are convinced that two figures were actually the work of Raphael himself.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/unknown-raphael-paintings-discovered-vatican-180963999/

#ShortNews: Papal backing for ‘Laudato Si’ Pledge Campaign’

Pope Francis has endorsed an effort by the Global Catholic Climate Movement to persuade 1 million Catholics to show their support for Laudato Si‘ by pledging to live more simply and to pray for the protection of the environment.

The “Laudato Si‘ Pledge Campaign” has already been endorsed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, the head of the Vatican’s new dicastery for intergral human development; and by Cardinals Reinhard Marx of Munich and Blase Cupich of Chicago.

http://catholicclimatemovement.global/

#ShortNews: ‘An ecumenism of hate’

In an article entitled “An ecumenism of hate,” the July 14 edition of the Vatican newspaper offered a four-paragraph summary of a Civilta Cattolica essay decrying a “Manichean” strain in American conservatism and a political alliance between Catholics and Evangelical Protestants.

The Civilta Cattolica essay was written by Father Antonio Spadaro, the journal’s editor, who has been a regular adviser to the Pontiff; and Marcelo Figueroa, the Argentine Presbyterian pastor who was asked by Pope Francis to launch that nation’s edition of L’Osservatore Romano.

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=32105

Don’t Hide Your Gifts!

Are the gifts that God has given you meant to be kept for yourself (i.e., hidden)? The lamp in Gospel reading (Mark 4:21-25) is the light of Christ within you. Every good gift that you’ve received — your talents, your hard-earned money, your wisdom, your home, etc. — is a beam of the light of Christ trying to shine outward from you.

Why do we sometimes hide our gifts? It’s because we think they’re not enough — not good enough, not ready enough, or not humble enough to show them to others and let them shine.

We are treasure chests full of gifts! To share these treasures requires exposing ourselves, opening up the lid and letting others look inside to pick up and use the gifts that could benefit them. Does the thought of that make you feel too vulnerable?

We cannot do much for the kingdom of God without exposing what we naturally want to protect. Jesus exposed his back to the scourging whips, his head to thorns, and his body to the pain of the cross, because he loves you! Are you willing to expose his presence within you by sharing your gifts so that others may discover that Jesus loves them, too? Read more…

Saint Colette de Corbie

colettedecorbieSaint Colette (13 January 1381 – 6 March 1447), born Nicole Boellet, was born in Corbie in the Picardy region of France, in January 1381, to Robert Boellet, a poor carpenter at the noted Benedictine Abbey of Corbie, and to his wife, Marguerite Moyon. Her contemporary biographers say that her parents had grown old without having children, before praying to Saint Nicholas for help in having a child. Their prayers were answered when, at the age of 60, Marguerite gave birth to a daughter. Out of gratitude, they named the baby after the saint to whom they credited the miracle of her birth.

The little girl took great pleasure in prayer, in compassion for the poor, and in rigorous mortification, making of her soul and of her tender body a sacrifice to God. On the other hand, St Colette de Corbie asked God to deprive her of the rare beauty she possessed, which she believed might be the occasion of danger to herself and others; that request, too, was granted, and Colette developed features of a severe cast which inspired great respect.

When both her parents had died, St Colette de Corbie, at the age of 22, obtained the permission of the Church authorities to shut herself up in a small abode directly adjoining the church; from a small window in it she could see the Blessed Sacrament. There she expected to spend the remainder of her life as an anchoress.

Almighty God had destined St Colette for something extraordinary. In a series of visions Colette saw, as it were, the whole corrupt social fabric of her age, collapsing into destruction like leaves swept into a furnace. There was nothing exaggerated in her visions. She could almost have seen the reality by looking out of the window. Then she saw St Francis come before the Lord, and kneeling down, he begged, “Lord, give me this woman for the reform of my Order.” Read more…