Archive for November, 2016

Hear The Herald Voice Resounding

come-jesus

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1. Hark! a herald voice is calling:
‘Christ is nigh,’ it seems to say;
‘Cast away the dreams of darkness,
O ye children of the day!’

 2. Startled at the solemn warning,
 Let the earth-bound soul arise;
Christ, her Sun, all sloth dispelling,
 Shines upon the morning skies.

 3. Lo! the Lamb, so long expected,
Comes with pardon down from heaven;
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
One and all to be forgiven;

 4. So when next he comes with glory,
Wrapping all the earth in fear,
May he then as our defender
Of the clouds of heaven appear.

 5. Honour, glory, virtue, merit,
To the Father and the Son,
With the co-eternal Spirit,
While unending ages run.

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#ShortNews: Cardinal Sarah: Pope cannot change divine law on marriage

Not even the Roman Pontiff can change the Church’s teaching on marriage, Cardinal Robert Sarah told an interviewer.

In a conversation with the French Catholic journal L’Homme Nouveau, responding to questions about his book God or Nothing, Cardinal Sarah addressed the question of whether Pope Francis could allow Catholics who are divorced and remarried to receive the Eucharist. He said:

The entire Church has always firmly held that one may not receive communion with the knowledge of being in a state of mortal sin, a principle recalled as definitive by John Paul II in his 2003 encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

Cardinal Sarah concluded: “Not even a Pope can dispense from such a divine law.”

In the interview, Cardinal Sarah—who is prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship—voiced his concern about the level of confusion, even among bishops, regarding the Church’s teaching. He said:

I cannot allow myself to imagine as the cause of such confusion anything but the insufficiency of the formation of my confreres. And insofar as I am responsible for the discipline of the sacraments in the whole Latin Church, I am bound in conscience to recall that Christ has reestablished the Creator’s original plan of a monogamous, indissoluble marriage ordered to the good of the spouses, as also to the generation and education of children.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-chief-of-sacraments-no-pope-can-change-divine-law-on-communion

#ShortNews: Nearly 1 billion passed through Holy Doors during Year of Mercy

Events organized in Rome for the Jubilee Year drew 21.3 million pilgrims, Archbishop Rino Fisichella informed reporters at a November 21 briefing.

Archbishop Fisichella—who as president of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization had primary responsibility for organizing the Vatican’s observance—estimated that nearly one billion people passed through a Holy Door somewhere in the world during the Year of Mercy. On a worldwide basis, he said, “the average participation among the Catholic population as a whole was between 56% and 62%.” He said that these statistics were based on reports from “some important dioceses around the world.”

The archbishop also called attention to the large number of pilgrims who traveled to Catholic shrines: 22 million to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico; 3 million in Krakow, and an all-time record at Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

In Rome, the archbishop said, the greatest number of pilgrims registered for Jubilee events were, not surprisingly, Italian. They were followed by German-speaking pilgrims, Americans, Poles, and Spanish. But the list also included visitors from China, Chad, Rwanda, Nepal, and the Cook Islands. “In short,” Archbishop Fisichella said, “we can say that the whole world has come to Rome.”

http://www.lastampa.it/2016/11/21/vaticaninsider/eng/the-vatican/canon-law-on-abortion-is-going-to-change-says-fisichella-MLsOz6rLmtKAUSsblusmdO/pagina.html

#ShortNews: Pope, in TV interview, calls abortion ‘very grave sin,’ ‘horrendous crime’

In an interview with the Italian bishops’ radio and television stations, Pope Francis looked back upon the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, including his “Mercy Friday” visits.

Commenting on his visit to a neonatal unit, he described abortion as a “very grave sin” and “horrendous crime.”

Lamenting indifference to those in need, and describing money as “the greatest enemy of God,” the Pope also spoke of his desire for a “poor Church for the poor,” in accord with Matthew 25.

Reiterating his opposition to capital punishment, Pope Francis said that prison should be, like Purgatory, a place with hope, one whose aim is reintegration into society.

In response to other questions, the Pope said he dislikes flatterers more than detractors and said he faces temptations to “impatience, selfishness, then a little laziness,” and that such temptations accompany us until our final moments.

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/11/21/pope_recalls_mercy_fridays,_jubilee_in_tv2000_interview/1273670

Praying Against Evil

The scene in the Gospel reading (Jonah 4:1-11) takes place after the Ninevites converted. Jonah wanted revenge, not mercy, for those who had inflicted harm on his people. But God was concerned about the Ninevites, who “could not distinguish their right from their left” (good from evil), i.e., they had poorly formed consciences.

He is just as concerned today for the evil-doers that we know. All were made in the image of God, but they don’t know their right hand from their left. Succumbing to the spirit of evil makes people very, very stupid, so stupid that they cannot understand truth when it stares them in the face or knocks on their hearts. Of course God cares about them! He is their Father.

Are we going to be complainers like Jonah? Jesus taught us how to turn our concerns into prayer (see today’s Gospel reading, Luke 11:1-4). Remember, the Lord’s Prayer is said in the plural: It’s not meant to be prayed just for our own individual sake. We’re supposed to use it to pray for others, too. And it’s meant to be prayed in community, because it’s in the community of believers that God provides the answers to our prayers.

OUR FATHER – Daddy, Father of us all, You love all of your children, even those who don’t know You.

WHO IS IN HEAVEN – You are Lord over all. Eventually, we will all come face-to-face with Your infinite love and realize how little we have loved. Help us all to discover Your love here on earth and convert to it before it’s too late.

HOLY IS YOUR NAME – Help us all to revere You and to recognize Your great mercy. Help those who, because of their involvement in evil, are most in need of Your mercy. Help us all to turn away from everything that is not of You.

YOUR KINGDOM COME – Whatever is fighting against Your kingdom, our Savior Jesus has already defeated it through the cross and his resurrection. May his Precious Blood cover every evil-doer for whom I am praying: Break Satan’s strongholds and heal their minds and souls.

YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN – Help us all to know Your will, clearly and accurately, and fill us with a zeal for doing what You ask of us. Give us special graces to hear and grasp Your will more profoundly.

GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD – You know what we need for understanding and doing Your will. Help us all to receive it and be nourished by it. Evil-doers are starving for You; use the circumstances of their day today to help them find You.

FORGIVE US OUR SINS – Forgive us for succumbing to temptation and for allowing ourselves to be confused about what is right and what is wrong. Forgive us for contributing to evil in the world by our unloving actions and by our lack of loving actions.

FOR WE OURSELVES FORGIVE EVERYONE IN DEBT TO US – Lord, I do forgive everyone who has sinned. I join You, merciful Father, in forgiving those who do evil. Break the chains of hatred and violence that hold so many people in Satan’s grip. Empower me to be part of Your plan to overcome evil with love.

DO NOT SUBJECT US TO THE FINAL TEST – Do not let anyone for whom I’m praying die before they have recognized and accepted Your love. Help us all to become like Jesus, who is the human embodiment of Perfect Love.

DELIVER US FROM EVIL – Deliver me and the whole world from all tactics of the devil. Rescue evil-doers from living as Satan’s instruments; set them free to enjoy Jesus Christ here on earth and then eternally in heaven.

AMEN!
© 2015 by Terry A. Modica

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz

stlorenzoruizLorenzo Ruiz was born in Binondo, Manila, to a Chinese father and a Filipino mother who were both Catholic. His father taught him Chinese while his mother taught him Tagalog.

Lorenzo served as an altar boy at the Binondo Church. After being educated by the Dominican friars for a few years, Lorenzo earned the title of escribano (calligrapher) because of his skillful penmanship. He became a member of the Cofradia del Santísimo Rosario (Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary). He married Rosario, a native, and they had two sons and a daughter. The Lorenzo family led a generally peaceful, religious and content life.

In 1636, whilst working as a clerk for the Binondo Church, Lorenzo was falsely accused of killing a Spaniard. Lorenzo sought asylum on board a ship with three Dominican priests: Saint Antonio Gonzalez, Saint Guillermo Courtet, and Saint Miguel de Aozaraza; a Japanese priest, Saint Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz; and a lay leper Saint Lázaro of Kyoto. Lorenzo and his companions left for Okinawa on 10 June 1636, with the aid of the Dominican fathers and Fr Giovanni Yago.

A shock awaited the holy passengers when they arrived in Japan. At the time of their arrival, the rulers of Japan, the Tokugawa Shogunate, were persecuting Christians. Prior to this persecution, the Christian population of Japan was thought to number 50,000 souls.

Now Lorenzo was imprisoned by Japanese officials for the crime of being a Christian and refused to renounce his faith. On September 27, 1637, Lorenzo and his companions were taken to Nagasaki to be tortured and killed if they would not renounce their faith.

Lorenzo and his companions were tortured by water, which was forced into their mouths and down their throats and out their noses and ears. Despite the painful torture, the men refused to renounce his faith.

Following this, Lorenzo was hanged upside down, with a rope around his ankles. This form of torture was known as tsurushi (釣殺し) in Japanese or horca y hoya (“gallows and pit”) in Spanish. The torture forces a person to be hanged upside down with a gash cut in their forehead to prevent too much blood from gathering in the head. The gash also causes the victim to bleed to death over an extended period of time. One hand is left free so the victim can offer an agreed symbol that will represent their desire to renounce their faith. Lorenzo refused to renounce Christianity and died from blood loss and suffocation. His body was cremated, with the ashes thrown into the sea.

According to Latin missionary accounts sent back to Manila, Lorenzo declared these words upon his death: ”Ego Catholicus sum et animo prompto paratoque pro Deo mortem obibo. Si mille vitas haberem, cunctas ei offerrem.” (“I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God; Had I a thousand lives, all these to Him shall I offer.”)

His traveling companions were all killed, steadfast until the end.

Lorenzo was beatified by Pope John Paul II on February 18, 1981. The beatification ceremony was held in the Philippines making it the first beatification ceremony ever held outside the Vatican. A miracle attributed to his intercession occurred in 1983. A two-year-old girl, Alegria Policarpio, suffering from hydrocephaly, a condition she had since birth, was miraculously cured.

“For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God’s will, to be what God wants us to be.”

“For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God’s will, to be what God wants us to be.” ~ Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island