28 February, 2013

Pope's last audience


Benedict’s last audience: God guides his Church


 Farewell, Holy Father
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood!
Distinguished Authorities!
Dear brothers and sisters!
Thank you for coming in such large numbers to this last General Audience of my pontificate. [I am so moved by your presence – when I see you, I see the living church.]
Like the Apostle Paul in the biblical text that we have heard, I feel in my heart the paramount duty to thank God, who guides the Church and makes her grow: who sows His Word and thus nourishes the faith in His people. At this moment my spirit reaches out to embrace the whole Church throughout the world, and I thank God for the “news” that in these years of Petrine ministry I have been able to receive regarding the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the charity that circulates in the body of the Church – charity that makes the Church to live in love – and of the hope that opens for us the way towards the fullness of life, and directs us towards the heavenly homeland.
I feel I [ought to] carry everyone in prayer, in a present that is God’s, where I recall every meeting, every voyage, every pastoral visit. I gather everyone and every thing in prayerful recollection, in order to entrust them to the Lord: in order that we might have full knowledge of His will, with every wisdom and spiritual understanding, and in order that we might comport ourselves in a manner that is worthy of Him, of His, bearing fruit in every good work (cf. Col 1:9-10).
At this time, I have within myself a great trust [in God], because I know – all of us know – that the Gospel’s word of truth is the strength of the Church: it is her life. The Gospel purifies and renews: it bears fruit wherever the community of believers hears and welcomes the grace of God in truth and lives in charity. This is my faith, this is my joy.

Lenten Quotes


Quotes of Mother Theresa - Lenten Reflection.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own power. Your self-sufficiency, your selfishness and your intellectual pride will inhibit His coming to live in your heart because God cannot fill what is already full. It is as simple as that.

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat. 

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. 
Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.  

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. 

God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.  

24 February, 2013

Who is Jesus? Fr Barron - Video

THE TWO STANDARDS


The Two Standards

By Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ

St Ignatius of Loyola SJ

('The Two Standards' is a classical meditation given by St Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises.  Standards wound means Choices in our context. - David Roy)

Making Choices in Christ

Stand with Jesus or with the Way of the World

…All disciples have to choose where we are going to stand—with Jesus or with the world. No matter what life the Spirit has drawn us to, once we are baptized and confirmed we are called to stand in Jesus’ company under his flag.
We begin to move under Jesus’ standard when we join him in the living conviction that everything we have and are is God’s gift. However much or little we have, we say gratefully, “Look at all God has given me.” Then the way opens through the smoke of self-satisfaction and approval of others. “How can I help?” becomes a daily preoccupation. And through a life of love and service, the Spirit leads us to live as meekly and humbly as the Lord lived—whether we are a famous ballerina or an anonymous computer programmer.
The way of the world differs entirely. The starting point is getting as much wealth as you can. You say, “Look at all this stuff I have.” When the world’s way opens before you, you shift your focus, saying, “Look at me with all this stuff.” As those around you grow more deferential, you start saying, “Look atme.” You become convinced that you are the center of your world. You may not have sinned yet, but it is only a matter of time.

Three Forms of Collusion with the World’s Standard

Even without subscribing to theories of the subconscious, we can see that the world’s standard is as inviting to Christ’s disciples as it is to anyone else. In a way, even after we have made a solemn, lifelong choice to follow Christ’s standard, we have to purify our daily life of collusion with the world’s standard. The collusion comes in three forms.
First, there is benign secularism. Certainly, there are people who do not know Jesus Christ who lead deeply good lives. But even the baptized can live in a benignly secular way. We join civic movements and help the needy because that’s what our neighbors do. We are good to our families and honest in the workplace. There is no immediate harm in this way, but neither is there anything more than a secular spirit, even though people today call it spirituality.
The second form of collusion, seen particularly in the affluent first world, is the search for pleasure. We are surrounded by people who live what St. Paul describes as the way of the flesh. Those who follow this way are the target of advertising; they need to have whatever everyone else has right now. Their less lovely side manifests self-indulgence, lust, envy—all seen as acceptable social mores. The flesh has its own laws, and those who follow this way will readily obey those laws into sin.
Finally, there is the collusion of succumbing to darkness. Think of the report of an adult who forced a twelve-year-old to kill another and then drink some of his blood. It is evil manifest. But most of the works of the dark are not manifest. Hatred, vengeance, violence, self-destructive habits—these flourish in the dark corners of the sinful human self.
In your heart of hearts, you may loathe the dark and leap to the light. But in everyday life, you will find yourself in the twilight of benign secularism or the flesh over and over again. You will find safety in Christ’s standard only if you resolutely begin everything with thanks to God and keep watching what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Courtesy: www.ignatianspirituality.com

23 February, 2013

Lenten Mission

Reminder:

LENTEN MISSION (BILINGUAL)
SATURDAY 23.02.2013, 7.30 - 8.30 PM
SUNDAY 24.02.2013, 7.30 - 8.30 PM

22 February, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI's Lenten Message


MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS
BENEDICT XVI
FOR LENT 2013



"Believing in charity calls forth charity"
“We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us” (1 Jn 4:16)


*************************
Summary
1. Faith as a response to the love of God
2. Charity as life in Faith

3. The indissoluble interrelation of faith and charity
4. Priority of faith, primacy of charity
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The celebration of Lent, in the context of the Year of Faith, offers us a valuable opportunity to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity: between believing in God – the God of Jesus Christ – and love, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and which guides us on the path of devotion to God and others.
1. Faith as a response to the love of God

In my first Encyclical, I offered some thoughts on the close relationship between the theological virtues of faith and charity. Setting out from Saint John’s fundamental assertion: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us” (1 Jn 4:16), I observed that “being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction … Since God has first loved us (cf. 1 Jn 4:10), love is now no longer a mere ‘command’; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us” (Deus Caritas Est, 1). Faith is this personal adherence – which involves all our faculties – to the revelation of God’s gratuitous and “passionate” love for us, fully revealed in Jesus Christ. The encounter with God who is Love engages not only the heart but also the intellect: “Acknowledgement of the living God is one path towards love, and the ‘yes’ of our will to his will unites our intellect, will and sentiments in the all-embracing act of love. But this process is always open-ended; love is never ‘finished’ and complete” (ibid., 17). Hence, for all Christians, and especially for “charity workers”, there is a need for faith, for “that encounter with God in Christ which awakens their love and opens their spirits to others. As a result, love of neighbour will no longer be for them a commandment imposed, so to speak, from without, but a consequence deriving from their faith, a faith which becomes active through love” (ibid., 31a). Christians are people who have been conquered by Christ’s love and accordingly, under the influence of that love – “Caritas Christi urget nos” (2 Cor 5:14) – they are profoundly open to loving their neighbour in concrete ways (cf. ibid., 33). This attitude arises primarily from the consciousness of being loved, forgiven, and even served by the Lord, who bends down to wash the feet of the Apostles and offers himself on the Cross to draw humanity into God’s love.

16 February, 2013

STATIONS OF THE CROSS

  San Damiano Cross

Stations of the Cross
by St. Francis of Assisi 


Kneeling before the altar, make an Act of Contrition, and form the intention of gaining the indulgences, whether for yourself or for the souls in Purgatory. Preparatory Prayer
Most merciful Lord, * with a contrite heart and penitent spirit * I bow down before Thy divine Majesty. * I adore Thee as my supreme Lord and Master. * I believe in Thee, * I hope in Thee, * I love Thee above all things. * I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, * my only and supreme God. * I firmly resolve to amend my life; * and although I am unworthy to obtain mercy, * yet looking upon Thy holy Cross * I am filled with peace and consolation. * I will, therefore, meditate on Thy sufferings, * and visit the Stations * in company with Thy sorrowful Mother * and my holy Guardian Angel, * to promote Thy honor and to save my soul. * 
I desire to gain all indulgences granted to this holy exercise * for myself and for the souls in Purgatory. * 
O Loving Jesus, * inflame my cold heart with Thy love, * that I may perform this devotion as perfectly as possible, * and that I may live and die in union with Thee. Amen. 


Jesus Is Condemned to Death

First Station - Jesus Is Condemned to Death

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Jesus, the most innocent of beings, is condemned to death, yes, to the shameful death of the cross.  In order to remain a friend of Caesar, Pilate delivers Jesus into the hands of His enemies.  O fearful crime, to condemn Innocence to death and to displease God in order to please men.
O innocent Jesus, * I have sinned and I am guilty of eternal death; * but that I may Live, * Thou dost gladly accept the unjust sentence of death. * For whom then shall I henceforth live * if not for Thee, my Lord? * If I desire to please men, * I can not be Thy servant. * Let me, therefore, rather displease the whole world * than not please Thee, O Jesus!
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
V. Lord Jesus, crucified.
R. Have mercy on us.  Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, All His bitter anguish bearing, Now at length the sword had passed.

Jesus Carries His Cross

Second Station - Jesus Carries His Cross

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
When our divine Redeemer beheld the Cross, He most willingly reached out to it with His bleeding arms.  He embraced it lovingly, kissed it tenderly, took it on His bruised shoulders, and, exhausted as He was, He carried it joyfully.
O my Jesus, * I can not be Thy friend and follower * if I refuse to carry my cross. * O beloved cross, * I embrace Thee, * I kiss Thee, * I joyfully accept Thee from the hand of my God. * Far be it from me to glory in anything * save in the Cross of my Lord and Redeemer. * By it the world shall be crucified to me, * and I to the world, * that I may be Thine forever.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
V. Lord Jesus, crucified.
R. Have mercy on us.  O, how sad and sore distressed Was that Mother, highly blest, Of the sole begotten One!

15 February, 2013

13 February, 2013

POPE RENOUNCES PAPAL THRONE


POPE RENOUNCES PAPAL THRONE
Vatican City, 11 February 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father, at the end of today's consistory for causes for canonization, announced his resignation from ministry as Bishop of Rome to the College of Cardinals. Following is the Holy Father's complete declaration, which he read in Latin:
"I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is."
"Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer."

11 February, 2013


MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI
FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST WORLD DAY OF THE SICK
(11 FEBRUARY 2013)
“Go and do likewise” (Lk 10:37)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. On 11 February 2013, the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Twenty-first World Day of the Sick will be solemnly celebrated at the Marian Shrine of Altötting. This day represents for the sick, for health care workers, for the faithful and for all people of goodwill “a privileged time of prayer, of sharing, of offering one’s sufferings for the good of the Church, and a call for all to recognize in the features of their suffering brothers and sisters the Holy Face of Christ, who, by suffering, dying and rising has brought about the salvation of mankind” (John Paul II, Letter for the Institution of the World Day of the Sick, 13 May 1992, 3). On this occasion I feel especially close to you, dear friends, who in health care centres or at home, are undergoing a time of trial due to illness and suffering.

08 February, 2013

Let's Do Lent - 40 guidelines


Let's Do Lent
by Victor M. Parachin

"EACH YEAR, Lent offers us a providential opportunity to deepen the meaning and value of our Christian lives, and it stimulates us to rediscover the mercy of God so that we, in turn, become more merciful toward our brothers and sisters. In the Lenten period, the Church makes it her duty to propose some specific tasks that accompany the faithful concretely in this process of interior renewal: these are prayer, fasting and almsgiving," observed Pope Benedict at the beginning of his Message for Lent 2008.

The season of Lent is specifically designated to offset spiritual complacency and increase spiritual rigor. It is a time of soul searching and soul refinement. Here are 40 ways to make the most of Lent, one for each day of the Lenten season.

Day 1: Begin with the three 'Rs'. On the very first day of Lent, Renew your commitment to spiritual disciplines; Reflect on your spiritual life over the preceding year; finally, Respond by taking corrective steps where there are deficiencies.

Day 2: Read Matthew 25:35-46. Study this teaching of Jesus carefully. In it Jesus reminds followers that all people are children of God; that each person we encounter is to be treated with consummate dignity, respect and love. This is especially true for those who are marginalized by society: the poor, the homeless, the incarcerated. "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me," Jesus said.

05 February, 2013

Pope's Lenten Message

POPE'S LENTEN MESSAGE


Pope’s Lenten message on faith that urges charity

Pope Benedict XVI is urging Christians worldwide during Lent this year to develop a deeper personal relationship with God in Christ which will awaken their love and open their spirits to others. “As a result, love of neighbour will no longer be for them a commandment imposed, so to speak, from without, but a consequence deriving from their faith, a faith which becomes active through love,” the Pope says in his Lenten message released in the Vatican on Friday, February 01, 2013.