Archive for April, 2014

Poem : Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

Jesus has come that you might have life,
Ending the turmoil and chaos of the strife;
In order that we have life more abundantly,
For those who believe having life eternally;
The bedrock of our faith Christ has risen,
He rose releasing us from the sinful prison;
“Christ is risen”, when another you meet,
“He has risen indeed” to return the greet;
What a joyous feeling that you resound,
Hearing the birds chirping a happy sound;
The resurrection was not for just Christ,
His suffering and death being sacrificed;
It was also for each one of us, you and me,
Freeing sin as blood flowing down the tree;
To give His only Son a sign that He cares,
In return to remember Him all He shares;
Resurrection in three days Jesus is alive,
Is the reassurance that we will revive;
It’s the trusting faith of the eternal seed,
For Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

By : Richard Newton Sherrer

#MiniBulletin : Pope Francis: ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead?’

In his April 23 general audience, Pope Francis reflected on the words spoken by the angels at Christ’s tomb: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Lk. 24:5)

These words are “a milestone in history, but also a stumbling block, if we do not open ourselves to the Good News,” the Pope said, as he asked “how many times we seek the living among the dead,” among “things that cannot give life,” among “things that exist today and tomorrow will no longer exist.”

We need to hear the question of the angels, he continued, when we fall prey to “any form of selfishness or self-complacency; when we let ourselves be seduced by earthly powers and the things of this world, forgetting God and neighbor; when we place our hopes in worldly vanities, in money, in success.”

“Jesus is not in the tomb, He is the Risen One!” the Pope added. “He is the Living One, the One who always renews his body, which is the Church.”

— taken from http://it.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/04/23/udienza_generale._il_papa:_la_nostra_gioia_%C3%A8_fondata_sulla_certezza/it1-793064

#MiniBulletin : Giant crucifix collapses, killing Italian man

(ANSA) – Brescia, April 24 – A young man in northern Italy was crushed to death Thursday by a falling crucifix that was built to honor pope John Paul II’s 1998 visit to Brescia. The 21-year-old’s death comes just three days before John Paul will be canonized in Rome.

The accident occurred in the town of Cevo, outside Brescia, where the 30-meter-high sculpture stood outdoors near the Alps. Its unusual, curved shape meant that the figure of Christ was facing straight down, parallel with the ground below.

Witnesses said the victim, part of a visiting group of young Catholics, was killed instantly, whereas another person was taken to hospital for minor injuries. The artist behind the cross was the late set designer Enrico Job, the husband of celebrated Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmueller.

— taken from http://www.ansa.it/english/news/general_news/2014/04/24/john-paul-ii-crucifix-crushes-young-man_30dc3065-58b1-4ad5-93e1-ceb9abc71f86.html

#MiniBulletin : 93 nations sending delegations to papal canonizations

(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Holy See’s press office, Father Federico Lombardi gave another briefing on Thursday to journalists where he gave details about official delegations scheduled to attend both the prayer vigil on Saturday night and the canonization Mass on Sunday morning.

Father Lombardi told journalists that over 90 official delegations from various countries plus 24 heads of state or royalty are due to attend the prayer vigil. More than a single prayer vigil, there will be a series of prayer vigils being held in at least 11 churches located in the central area of Rome in a number of different languages including English.

Turning the Canonization ceremony, Father Lombardi said as many as 150 cardinals and 1000 bishops will be concelebrating with Pope Francis. 93 official delegations from various countries and international organisations plus 24 heads of State are set to attend the Mass. Representatives from other major religions will also be attending the canonization ceremony including many Orthodox, Anglican, Jewish and Moslem officials.

Father Lombardi said he could not confirm the attendance of the Pope Emeritus at the Canonization Mass. He said Benedict XVI had been invited of course but it had been left up to him to decide whether or not to come.

— taken from http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/04/24/canonization:_fr_lombardi_briefing_on_numbers_of_official_delegations/en1-793596

Touching Jesus’ Wounds

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

And after eight days again His disciples were inside and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst, and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and see my hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have your believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” – John 20:24-29

 

Let’s look at Thomas…
Thomas touching Jesus' WoundsJesus invited his disciples to accompany him on a dangerous mission. A friend had died, and he wanted to go and publicly raise his friend from death. Feeling pessimistic, Thomas heaved a deep sigh and muttered, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

This disciple probably went by the motto, ‘if anything bad can happen, it will’. Death hung like a dark cloud over his vision of the future.

It wasn’t that Thomas’ vision was unrealistic. There were powerful persons upset with Jesus’ ministry and teachings. Upset enough to kill. Jesus and his followers had been lying low in the wake of this rising opposition.

Thomas’ worst fears came true. Jesus was arrested, quickly tried and executed. Once again the disciples had to lie low, this time without their master. Thomas was gone when Jesus appeared to them after his resurrection. When the disciples told Thomas that they had seen their master alive, that he was risen from the dead, he shook his head in disbelief.

Staring incredulously, he said: “Unless I see in his hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the wounds, and put my hand into the wound in his side, I will not believe.”

Imagine Thomas’ shock when he saw the risen Lord. Imagine his dismay when he realized that he had doubted, that he had discounted any hope of Jesus rising from the dead.

Jesus said, “Reach here your finger, and see my hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side.” These were words of chastisement . . . but they were words of holy chastisement. The purpose was the restoration of Thomas. This invitation to touch Jesus’ wounds, resulted in Thomas’ healing. His heart was broken as he cried, “My Lord and my God!”

We can know that Jesus was from God, even that he died on a cross. But the master invites us to go further – to touch his wounds, to experience him alive from the dead . . . to discover that he died for us. May we, like Thomas, lose all doubt as we embrace the wounds of Jesus and confess him as our Lord and our God.

St. Gertrude Prayers

St.Gertrude prayers

Saint Gertrude of Delft

St.GertrudeWhile working as a servant-girl at Delft in the Netherlands, Gertrude was engaged to be married. But her fiancé broke up with her and married another woman. Broken-hearted at first, Gertrude gradually overcame her anguish and chose a new direction for her life. She joined the Béguines at Delft, spending the rest of her life among them. The Béguines were sisterhoods of celibate women who lived in common households, prayed together, and dedicated themselves to works of mercy. Béguines could hold property and leave the community to marry. But as Gertrude immersed herself in her new life, all thoughts of marriage evaporated. She even befriended the woman who had stolen her fiancé.

As St. Gertrude opened herself to God in prayer, he seems to have touched her soul very personally. In the following note, she records her response to his comforting interventions:

As I was occupied after Vespers with my evening prayers before retiring to rest, this passage of the gospel came suddenly to my mind: “Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make a home in him” (John 14:23 NJB). At these words my worthless heart felt your presence, O my most sweet God and my delight. And although my mind takes pleasure in wandering after and in distracting itself with perishable things, yet when I return to my heart I find you there. So I cannot complain that you have left me, even for a moment, from that time until this year, the ninth since I received this grace. Only once I felt that you left me for a period of 11 days. It seemed to me that this happened on account of involvement with the world. Then your sweetest humanity and stupendous charity prompted you to seek me. I had reached such a pitch of madness that I thought no more of the greatness of the treasure I had lost. I don’t even remember feeling at the time any grief for having lost it, nor any desire of recovering it. Draw and unite me entirely to yourself. May I remain inseparably attached to you even when I am obliged to perform external duties for my neighbor’s good. And afterwards may I return to seek you within me when I have accomplished them.

On Good Friday, 1340, images of Christ’s wounds appeared on Gertrude’s body. For a time these painful marks bled seven times a day. Word of Gertrude’s stigmata spread throughout the country. So many people interrupted her prayerful solitude in order to view the phenomena that she asked God to do something about it. So the bleeding stopped, but the marks and pain remained with her for the rest of her life.

For the next 18 years, Gertrude suffered patiently every day. She leavened her spiritual anguish with hope by singing hymns. She repeated a favorite Dutch chorus so often that she came to bear the surname van der Oosten after its first line: The day is breaking in the East. Gertrude of Delft died on the feast of Epiphany, 1358, whispering, “I am longing to go home.”