Wednesday, July 31, 2013

POPE FRANCIS AT MASS IN HONOR OF JESUIT ST. IGNATIUS

Vatican Radio REPORT - Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass on Wednesday morning, marking the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, the Order to which the Pope belongs.

The Church chosen for the celebration was the Jesuits’ Mother Church in Rome, known simply as the “Gesù”. 

Father Bernd Hagenkord SJ, director of Vatican Radio’s German Programme, was part of the congregation. He told Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni that the experience was a fantastic one…

Father Hangenkord says that having a Jesuit Pope, celebrating the Feast of Saint Ignatius together at the tomb of Ignatius was something, up to now, unheard of: “I had never imagined this could have happened. It was very prayerful; it was a private Mass, so the Pope was not very ‘Popish’ with all sorts of people helping him”. He celebrated Mass himself with the help of the Jesuit Father General, Father Nicolas and with Archbishop Ladaria, who is also a Jesuit.

“The rest were Jesuits and friends from other congregations, celebrating St. Ignatius together: fantastic!”

Fr. Hagenkord says at the beginning of the celebration Father General Nicolas mentioned the fact that Francis is both Pope and a Jesuit. He said Francis will always be a Jesuit, “he thinks like a Jesuit, he talks like a Jesuit – the way he prepares his homily – everything is Jesuit.”

He affirmed that within the congregation there is a very strong feeling of community. “You sense the familiarity of things, of thoughts, of expressions, of words, of the way he composes a homily – always having three points for example – this is a very Jesuitical, or Ignatian way of doing things”.

Regarding the homily, Fr. Hagenkord says the Pope obviously understands St. Ignatius very well, and you can see that in the fact that he hardly ever mentioned St. Ignatius. “It wasn’t a homily on Ignatius but on the centrality of Jesus Christ for a Christian life”.

Below, please find the complete text of Pope Francis' homily at the Gesù for the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola: 
In this Eucharist in which we celebrate our Father Ignatius of Loyola, in light of the Readings we have heard, I would like to propose three simple thoughts guided by three expressions: to put Christ and the Church in the centre; to allow ourselves to be conquered by Him in order to serve; to feel the shame of our limitations and our sins, in order to be humble before Him and before the brothers. 

1. The emblem of us Jesuits is a monogram, the acronym of “Jesus, the Saviour of Mankind” (IHS). Every one of you can tell me: we know that very well! But this crest continually reminds us of a reality that we must never forget: the centrality of Christ for each one of us and for the whole Company, the Company that Saint Ignatius wanted to name “of Jesus” to indicate the point of reference. Moreover, even at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises he places our Lord Jesus Christ, our Creator and Saviour (Spiritual Exercises, 6) in front of us. And this leads all of us Jesuits, and the whole Company, to be “decentred,” to have “Christ more and more” before us, the “Deus semper maior”, the “intimior intimo meo”, that leads us continually outside ourselves, that brings us to a certain kenosis, a “going beyond our own loves, desires, and interests” (Sp. Ex., 189). Isn’t it obvious, the question for us? For all of us? “Is Christ the centre of my life? Do I really put Christ at the centre of my life?” Because there is always the temptation to want to put ourselves in the centre. And when a Jesuit puts himself and not Christ in the centre, he goes astray. In the first Reading, Moses forcefully calls upon the people to love the Lord, to walk in His ways, “because He is your life” (cf. Deut. 30, 16-20). Christ is our life! The centrality of Christ corresponds also to the centrality of the Church: they are two flames that cannot be separated: I cannot follow Christ except in and with the Church. And even in this case we Jesuits and the whole Company, are not at the centre, we are, so to speak, “displaced”, we are at the service of Christ and of the Church, the Bride of Christ our Lord, who is our Holy Mother Hierarchical Church (cf. Sp. Ex. 353). To be men routed and grounded in the Church: that is what Jesus desires of us. There cannot be parallel or isolated paths for us. Yes, paths of searching, creative paths, yes, this is important: to go to the peripheries, so many peripheries. This takes creativity, but always in community, in the Church, with this membership that give us the courage to go forward. To serve Christ is to love this concrete Church, and to serve her with generosity and with the spirit of obedience. 

2. What is the way to live this double centrality? Let us look at the experience of Saint Paul, which was also the experience of Saint Ignatius. The Apostle, in the Second Reading that we heard, writes: I press on towards the perfection of Christ, “because I have indeed been conquered by Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:12). For Paul it came along the road to Damascus, for Ignatius in his house at Loyola, but the fundamental point is the same: to allow oneself to be conquered by Christ. I seek Jesus, I serve Jesus, because He sought me first, because I was conquered by Him: and this is the heart of our experience. But He is first, always. In Spanish there is a word that is very graphic, that explains this well: He “primerea” first ahead of us, “El nos primerea”. He is always first. When we arrive, He has already arrived and is expecting us. And here I want to recall the meditation on the Kingdom in the Second Week. Christ our Lord, the eternal King, calls each one of us, saying to us: “He who wants to come with Me must work with Me, because following Me in suffering, he will follow after Me likewise in glory” (Sp. Ex. 95): Being conquered by Christ in order to offer to this King our whole person and all our hard work (cf. Sp. Ex. 96); to say to the Lord that he would do anything for His greater service and praise, to imitate Him in bearing even injury, contempt, poverty (Sp. Ex. 98). But I think of our brother in Syria in this moment. To allow ourselves to be conquered by Christ means to be always directed towards what is in front of me, toward the goal of Christ (cf. Phil. 3:14), and to ask oneself with truth and sincerity: “What have I done for Christ? What am doing for Christ? What must I do for Christ?” (cf. Sp. Ex. 53). 

3. And I come to the final point. In the Gospel, Jesus says to us: “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it . . . If anyone is ashamed of me . . .” (Lk 9:23). And so on. The shame of the Jesuit. The invitation that Jesus makes is for us to never be ashamed of Him, but to always follow Him with total dedication, trusting Him and entrusting ourselves to Him. But looking at Jesus, as Saint Ignatius teaches us in the First Week, above all looking at Christ crucified, we have that very human and noble feeling that is the shame of not reaching the highest point; we look at the wisdom of Christ and at our ignorance; at His omnipotence and our weakness; at His justice and our iniquity; at His goodness and our wickedness (cf. Sp. Ex. 59). Ask for the grace of shame; the shame that comes from the constant dialogue of mercy with Him; the shame that makes us blush before Jesus Christ; the shame that puts us in tune with the heart of Christ who is made sin for me; the shame that harmonises our heart in tears and accompanies us in the daily following of “my Lord”. And this always brings us, as individuals and as a Company, to humility, to living this great virtue. Humility that makes us understand, each day, that it is not for us to build the Kingdom of God, but it is always the grace of God working within us; humility that pushes us to put our whole being not at the service of ourselves and our own ideas, but at the service of Christ and of the Church, like clay pots, fragile, inadequate, insufficient, but having within them an immense treasure that we carry and that we communicate (2 Cor. 4:7). It is always pleasant for me to think of the sunset of the Jesuit, when a Jesuit finishes his life, when the sun goes down. And two icons of the sunset of the Jesuit always come to me: one classical, that of Saint Francis Xavier, looking at China. Art has painted this sunset so many times, this ‘end’ of Xavier. Even in literature, in that beautiful peace by Pemàn. At the end, having nothing, but in the sight of the Lord; it does me good to thing about this. The other sunset, the other icon that comes to me as an example, is that of Padre Arrupe in the last interview in the refugee camp, when he told us – something he himself said – “I say this as if it were my swan song: pray.” Prayer, the union with Jesus. And, after having said this, he caught the plane, and arrived at Rome with the stroke that was the beginning of so long and so exemplary a sunset. Two sunsets, two icons that all of us would do well to look at, and to go back to these two. And to ask for the grace that our sunset will be like theirs. 

Dear brothers, let us turn again to Our Lady, to her who bore Christ in her womb and accompanied the first steps of the Church. May she help us to always put Christ and His Church at the centre of our lives and of our ministry. May she, who was the first and most perfect disciple of her Son help us to allow ourselves to be conquered by Christ in order to follow Him and to serve Him in every situation. May she that answered the announcement of the Angel with the most profound humility: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word” (Lk 1:38), make us feel the shame for our inadequacy before the treasure that has been entrusted to us, in order to live the virtue of humility before God. May our journey be accompanied by the paternal intercession of Saint Ignatius and of all the Jesuit saints, who continue to teach us to do all things “ad majorem Dei gloriam.” 
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

NEW PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN MAMNOON HUSSAIN

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
Former Catholic minister appeals to Mamnoon Hussain, who was elected yesterday as Pakistan's new president. Violence is up as evinced by the recent Taliban attack on a prison that led to escape of scores of dangerous extremists. For Bhatti, without minorities Pakistan cannot build "peace and prosperity".

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Our "main concern" is "security", an unsolved problem that "in fact, has worsened" in recent weeks, said Paul Bhatti, former Minister for National Harmony and president of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) in an appeal to newly elected President Mamnoon Hussain.
A businessman from Sindh, backed by the now ruling PML-N party and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Hussain was elected to the presidency yesterday by an overwhelming majority, but with the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) boycotting the vote.
"We are concerned about ongoing acts of violence," Bhatti told AsiaNews, because "without peace, other problems, including terrorism and the economic crisis afflicting the country, cannot be solved. Without harmony, it is impossible to develop the nation."
The country's safety was sorely tested on the eve of the election when the Taliban attacked a prison and a hospital, killing and wounding scores of people.
Hundreds of fighters stormed a prison in Dera Ismail Khan, central Pakistan, that held hundreds of extremists. Twelve people were killed and 243 prisoners escaped. So far, Pakistani security forces have recaptured 45 escapees, but the country remains on high alert as the hunt for the terrorists continues.
In this climate of growing tension, the presidential election was held yesterday. As expected, a member of the ruling party, Mamnoon Hussain, won.
Born to an industrialist family in 1940 in the Indian city of Agra, he and his family settled in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, one of Pakistan's four provinces, where they set up a textile business.
A veteran member of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), he held the post of governor of the province of Sindh for four months in 1999, but has never been a prominent figure in the national political landscape.
Voting took place yesterday with Members of Parliament and the four provincial assemblies-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan-picking the new head of state.
Hussain received 432 votes; retired Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed, who was the candidate for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of former cricketer Irman Khan, won 77 votes.
The new president will replace Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, whose five-year term expires on 8 September.
He rose to power as head of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) after his wife's murder in December 2007 and is the first president to complete his mandate.
He agreed to a constitutional amendment that transferred many of the president's powers to the prime minister and parliament, leaving a position that is now largely ceremonial. However Zardari was also embroiled in controversy with the military and the judiciary
Speaking to AsiaNews, former Catholic Minister Paul Bhatti said that his greatest concern "is the escalating extremist violence."
At present, what is behind this escalation is unclear; however, the decision by "the main parties to hold a meeting on security without the representatives of minorities is seriously flawed".
In view of this, the APMA president wants the new president to "ensure greater involvement of minorities in the future" because "we are an important part of the country and we want to be consulted."
Despite the PPP's protests and boycott, the presidential election was fair, according to is Paul Bhatti. As to Hussain, "there is nothing especially negative. Now the post is largely ceremonial, representative, weaker than in the past. "

However, the new president will have to "engage minorities" on the path of peace and economic development for Pakistan. (DS)
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 31: ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA


St. Ignatius of Loyola
FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS
Feast: July 31


Information:
Feast Day:July 31
Born:
December 24, 1491, Loyola (Azpeitia), Basque province of Guipúzcoa, Spain
Died:July 31, 1556, Rome
Canonized:March 12, 1622, Rome by Pope Gregory XV
Patron of:provinces of Vizcaya (Biscay) & Gipuzkoa, Spain, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, Society of Jesus, soldiers.
Youngest son of Don Beltrán Yañez de Oñez y Loyola and Marina Saenz de Lieona y Balda (the name López de Recalde, though accepted by the Bollandist Father Pien, is a copyist's blunder), b. in 1491 at the castle of Loyola above Azpeitia in Guipuscoa; d. at Rome, 31 July, 1556. The family arms are: per pale, or, seven bends gules (?vert) for Oñez; argent, pot and chain sable between two grey wolves rampant, for Loyola. The saint was baptized Inigo, after St. Enecus (Innicus), Abbot of Oña: the name Ignatius was assumed in later years, while he was residing in Rome. For the saint's genealogy, see Perez (op. cit. below, 131); Michel (op. cit. below, II, 383); Polanco (Chronicon, I, 51646). For the date of birth cfr. Astráin, I, 3 S.
I. Conversion (1491-1521)
At an early age he was made a cleric. We do not know when, or why he was released from clerical obligations. He was brought up in the household of Juan Velásquez de Cuellar, contador mayor to Ferdinand and Isabella, and in his suite probably attended the court from time to time, though not in the royal service. This was perhaps the time of his greatest dissipation and laxity. He was affected and extravagant about his hair and dress, consumed with the desire of winning glory, and would seem to have been sometimes involved in those darker intrigues, for which handsome young courtiers too often think themselves licensed. How far he went on the downward course is still unproved. The balance of evidence tends to show that his own subsequent humble confessions of having been a great sinner should not be treated as pious exaggerations. But we have no details, not even definite charges. In 1517 a change for the better seems to have taken place; Velásquez died and Ignatius took service in the army. The turning-point of his life came in 1521. While the French were besieging the citadel of Pampeluna, a cannon ball, passing between Ignatius' legs, tore open the left calf. and broke the right shin (Whit-Tuesday, 20 May, 1521). With his fall the garrison lost heart and surrendered, but he was well treated by the French and carried on a litter to Loyola, where his leg had to be rebroken and reset, and afterwards a protruding end of the bone was sawn off, and the limb, having been shortened by clumsy setting, was stretched out by weights. All these pains were undergone voluntarily, without uttering a cry or submitting to be bound. But the pain and weakness which followed were so great that the patient began to fail and sink. On the eve of Sts. Peter and Paul, however, a turn for the better took place, and he threw off his fever.
So far Ignatius had shown none but the ordinary virtues of the Spanish officer. His dangers and sufferings has doubtless done much to purge his soul, but there was no idea yet of remodelling his life on any higher ideals. Then, in order to divert the weary hours of convalescence, he asked for the romances of chivalry, his favourite reading, but there were none in the castle, and instead they brought him the lives of Christ and of the saints, and he read them in the same quasi-competitive spirit with which he read the achievements of knights and warriors. "Suppose I were to rival this saint in fasting, that one in endurance, that other in pilgrimages." He would then wander off into thoughts of chivalry, and service to fair ladies, especially to one of high rank, whose name is unknown. Then all of a sudden, he became conscious that the after-effect of these dreams was to make him dry and dissatisfied, while the ideas of falling into rank among the saints braced and strengthened him, and left him full of joy and peace. Next it dawned on him that the former ideas were of the world, the latter God-sent; finally, worldly thoughts began to lose their hold, while heavenly ones grew clearer and dearer. One night as he lay awake, pondering these new lights, "he saw clearly", so says his autobiography, "the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus", at whose sight for a notable time he felt a reassuring sweetness, which eventually left him with such a loathing of his past sins, and especially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent to any carnal thought. His conversion was now complete. Everyone noticed that he would speak of nothing but spiritual things, and his elder brother begged him not to take any rash or extreme resolution, which might compromise the honour of their family.
II. Spiritual Formation (1522-24)
When Ignatius left Loyola he had no definite plans for the future, except that he wished to rival all the saints had done in the way of penance. His first care was to make a general confession at the famous sanctuary of Montserrat, where, after three days of self-examination, and carefully noting his sins, he confessed, gave to the poor the rich clothes in which he had come, and put on garment of sack-cloth reaching to his feet. His sword and dagger he suspended at Our Lady's altar, and passed the night watching before them. Next morning, the feast of the Annunciation, 1522, after Communion, he left the sanctuary, not knowing whither he went. But he soon fell in with a kind woman, Iñes Pascual, who showed him a cavern near the neighbouring town of Manresa, where he might retire for prayer, austerities, and contemplation, while he lived on alms. But here, instead of obtaining greater peace, he was consumed with the most troublesome scruples. Had he confessed this sin? Had he omitted that circumstance? At one time he was violently tempted to end his miseries by suicide, on which he resolved neither to eat nor to drink (unless his life was in danger), until God granted him the peace which he desired, and so he continued until his confessor stopped him at the end of the week. At last, however, he triumphed over all obstacles, and then abounded in wonderful graces and visions. It was at this time, too, that he began to make notes of his spiritual experiences, notes which grew into the little book of "The Spiritual Exercises". God also afflicted him with severe sicknesses, when he was looked after by friends in the public hospital; for many felt drawn towards him, and he requited their many kind offices by teaching them how to pray and instructing them in spiritual matters. Having recovered health, and acquired sufficient experience to guide him in his new life, he commenced his long-meditated migration to the Holy Land. From the first he had looked forward to it as leading to a life of heroic penance; now he also regarded it as a school in which he might learn how to realize clearly and to conform himself perfectly to Christ's life. The voyage was fully as painful as he had conceived. Poverty, sickness, exposure, fatigue, starvation, dangers of shipwreck and capture, prisons, blows, contradictions, these were his daily lot; and on his arrival the Franciscans, who had charge of the holy places, commanded him to return under pain of sin. Ignatius demanded what right they had thus to interfere with a pilgrim like himself, and the friars explained that, to prevent many troubles which had occurred in finding ransoms for Christian prisoners, the pope had given them the power and they offered to show him their Bulls. Ignatius at once submitted, though it meant altering his whole plan of life, refused to look at the proferred Bulls, and was back at Barcelona about march, 1524.
III. Studies And Companions (1521-39)
Ignatius left Jerusalem in the dark as to his future and "asking himself as he went, quid agendum" (Autobiography, 50). Eventually he resolved to study, in order to be of greater help to others. To studies he therefore gave eleven years, more than a third of his remaining life. Later he studied among school-boys at Barcelona, and early in 1526 he knew enough to proceed to his philosophy at the University of Alcalá. But here he met with many troubles to be described later, and at the end of 1527 he entered the University of Salamanca, whence, his trials continuing, he betook himself to Paris (June, 1528), and there with great method repeated his course of arts, taking his M. A. on 14 March, 1535. Meanwhile theology had been begun, and he had taken the licentiate in 1534; the doctorate he never took, as his health compelled him to leave Paris in March, 1535. Though Ignatius, despite his pains, acquired no great erudition, he gained many practical advantages from his course of education. To say nothing of knowledge sufficient to find such information as he needed afterwards to hold his own in the company of the learned, and to control others more erudite than himself, he also became thoroughly versed in the science of education, and learned by experience how the life of prayer and penance might be combined with that of teaching and study, an invaluable acquirement to the future founder of the Society of Jesus. The labours of Ignatius for others involved him in trials without number. At Barcelona, he was beaten senseless, and his companion killed, at the instigation of some worldlings vexed at being refused entrance into a convent which he had reformed. At Alcalá, a meddlesome inquisitor, Figueroa, harassed him constantly, and once automatically imprisoned him for two months. This drove him to Salamanca, where, worse still, he was thrown into the common prison, fettered by the foot to his companion Calisto, which indignity only drew from Ignatius the characteristic words, "There are not so many handcuffs and chains in Salamanca, but that I desire even more for the love of God."
In Paris his trials were very varied—from poverty, plague, works of charity, and college discipline, on which account he was once sentenced to a public flogging by Dr. Govea, the rector of Collège Ste-Barbe, but on his explaining his conduct, the rector as publicly begged his pardon. There was but one delation to the inquisitors, and, on Ignatius requesting a prompt settlement, the Inquisitor Ori told him proceedings were therewith quashed. We notice a certain progression in Ignatius' dealing with accusations against him. The first time he allowed them to cease without any pronouncement being given in his favour. The second time he demurred at Figueroa wanting to end in this fashion. The third time, after sentence had been passed, he appealed to he Archbishop of Toledo against some of its clauses. Finally he does not await sentence, but goes at once to the judge to urge an inquiry, and eventually he made it his practice to demand sentence, whenever reflection was cast upon his orthodoxy. (Records of Ignatius' legal proceedings at Azpeitia, in 1515; at Alclla in 1526, 1527; at Venice, 1537; at Rome in 1538, will be found in "Scripta de S. Ignatio", pp. 580-620.) Ignatius had now for the third time gathered companions around him. His first followers in Spain had persevered for a time, even amid the severe trials of imprisonment, but instead of following Ignatius to Paris, as they had agreed to do, they gave him up. In Paris too the first to follow did not persevere long, but of the third band not one deserted him. They were (St.) Peter Faber (q.v.), a Genevan Savoyard; (St.) Francis Xavier (q.v.), of Navarre; James Laynez, Alonso Salmerón, and Nicolás Bobadilla, Spaniards; Simón Rodríguez, a Portuguese. Three others joined soon after—Claude Le Jay, a Genevan Savoyard; Jean Codure and Paschase Broët, French. Progress is to be noted in the way Ignatius trained his companions. The first were exercised in the same severe exterior mortifications, begging, fasting, going barefoot, etc., which the saint was himself practising. But though this discipline had prospered in a quiet country place like Manresa, it had attracted an objectionable amount of criticism at the University of Alcalá. At Paris dress and habits were adapted to the life in great towns; fasting, etc., was reduced; studies and spiritual exercises were multiplied, and alms funded.
The only bond between Ignatius' followers so far was devotion to himself, and his great ideal of leading in the Holy Land a life as like as possible to Christ's. On 15 August, 1534, they took the vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre (probably near the modern Chapelle de St-Denys, Rue Antoinette), and a third vow to go to the Holy Land after two years, when their studies were finished. Six months later Ignatius was compelled by bad health to return to his native country, and on recovery made his way slowly to Bologna, where, unable through ill health to study, he devoted himself to active works of charity till his companions came from Paris to Venice (6 January, 1537) on the way to the Holy Land. Finding further progress barred by the war with the Turks, they now agreed to await for a year the opportunity of fulfilling their vow, after which they would put themselves at the pope's disposal. Faber and some others, going to Rome in Lent, got leave for all to be ordained. They were eventually made priests on St. John Baptist's day. But Ignatius took eighteen months to prepare for his first Mass.
IV. Foundation Of The Society
By the winter of 1537, the year of waiting being over, it was time to offer their services to the pope. The others being sent in pairs to neighboring university towns, Ignatius with Faber and Laynez started for Rome. At La Storta, a few miles before reaching the city, Ignatius had a noteworthy vision. He seemed to see the Eternal Father associating him with His Son, who spoke the words: Ego vobis Romae propitius ero. Many have thought this promise simply referred to the subsequent success of the order there. Ignatius' own interpretation was characteristic: "I do not know whether we shall be crucified in Rome; but Jesus will be propitious." Just before or just after this, Ignatius had suggested for the title of their brotherhood "The Company of Jesus". Company was taken in its military sense, and in those days a company was generally known by its captain's name. In the Latin Bull of foundation, however, they were called "Societas Jesu". We first hear of the term Jesuit in 1544, applied as a term of reproach by adversaries. It had been used in the fifteenth century to describe in scorn someone who cantingly interlarded his speech with repetitions of the Holy Name. In 1522 it was still regarded as a mark of scorn, but before very long the friends of the society saw that they could take it in a good sense, and, though never used by Ignatius, it was readily adopted (Pollen, "The Month", June, 1909). Paul III having received the fathers favourably, all were summoned to Rome to work under the pope's eyes. At this critical moment an active campaign of slander was opened by one Fra Matteo Mainardi (who eventually died in open heresy), and a certain Michael who had been refused admission to the order. It was not till 18 November, 1538, that Ignatius obtained from the governor of Rome an honourable sentence, still extent, in his favour. The thoughts of the fathers were naturally occupied with a formula of their intended mode of life to submit to the pope; and in March, 1539, they began to meet in the evenings to settle the matter.
Hitherto without superior, rule or tradition, they had prospered most remarkably. Why not continue as they had begun? The obvious answer was that without some sort of union, some houses for training postulants, they were practically doomed to die out with the existing members, for the pope already desired to send them about as missioners from place to place. This point was soon agreed to, but when the question arose whether they should, by adding a vow of obedience to their existing vows, form themselves into a compact religious order, or remain, as they were, a congregation of secular priests, opinions differed much and seriously. Not only had they done so well without strict rules, but (to mention only one obstacle, which was in fact not overcome afterwards without great difficulty), there was the danger, if they decided for an order, that the pope might force them to adopt some ancient rule, which would mean the end of all their new ideas. The debate on this point continued for several weeks, but the conclusion in favour of a life under obedience was eventually reached unanimously. After this, progress was faster, and by 24 June some sixteen resolutions had been decided on, covering the main points of the proposed institute. Thence Ignatius drew up in five sections the first "Formula Instituti", which was submitted to the pope, who gave a viva voce approbation 3 September, 1539, but Cardinal Guidiccioni, the head of the commission appointed to report on the "Formula", was of the view that a new order should not be admitted, and with that the chances of approbation seemed to be at an end. Ignatius and his companions, undismayed, agreed to offer up 4000 Masses to obtain the object desired, and after some time the cardinal unexpectedly changed his mind, approved the "Formula" and the Bull "Regimini militantis Ecclesiae" (27 September, 1540), which embodies and sanctions it, was issued, but the members were not to exceed sixty (this clause was abrogated after two years). In April, 1541, Ignatius was, in spite of his reluctance, elected the first general, and on 22 April he and his companions made their profession in St. Paul Outside the Walls. The society was now fully constituted.
V. The Book Of The Spiritual Exercises
This work originated in Ignatius' experiences, while he was at Loyola in 1521, and the chief meditations were probably reduced to their present shapes during his life at Manresa in 1522, at the end of which period he had begun to teach them to others. In the process of 1527 at Salamanca, they are spoken of for the first time as the "Book of Exercises". The earliest extant text is of the year 1541. At the request of St. Francis Boria. the book was examined by papal censors and a solemn approbation given by Paul III in the Brief "Pastoralis Officii" of 1548. "The Spiritual Exercises" are written very concisely, in the form of a handbook for the priest who is to explain them, and it is practically impossible to describe them without making them, just as it might be impossible to explain Nelson's "Sailing Orders" to a man who knew nothing of ships or the sea. The idea of the work is to help the exercitant to find out what the will of God is in regard to his future, and to give him energy and courage to follow that will. The exercitant (under ideal circumstances) is guided through four weeks of meditations: the first week on sin and its consequences, the second on Christ's life on earth, the third on his passion, the fourth on His risen life; and a certain number of instructions (called "rules", "additions", "notes") are added to teach him how to pray, how to avoid scruples, how to elect a vocation in life without being swayed by the love of self or of the world. In their fullness they should, according to Ignatius' idea, ordinarily be made once or twice only; but in part (from three to four days) that may be most profitably made annually, and are now commonly called "retreats", from the seclusion or retreat from the world in which the exercitant lives. More popular selections are preached to the people in church and are called "missions". The stores of spiritual wisdom contained in the "Book of Exercises" are truly astonishing, and their author is believed to have been inspired while drawing them up. (See also next section.) Sommervogel enumerates 292 writers among the Jesuits alone, who have commented on the whole book, to say nothing of commentators on parts (e.g. the meditations), who are far more numerous still. But the best testimony to the work is the frequency with which the exercises are made. In England (for which alone statistics are before the writer) the educated people who make retreats number annually about 22,000, while the number who attend popular expositions of the Exercises in "missions" is approximately 27,000, out of a total Catholic population of 2,000,000.
VI. The Constitutions Of The Society
Ignatius was commissioned in 1541 to draw them up, but he did not begin to do so until 1547, having occupied the mean space with introducing customs tentatively, which were destined in time to become laws. In 1547 Father Polaneo became his secretary, and with his intelligent aid the first draft of the constitutions was made between 1547 and 1550, and simultaneously pontifical approbation was asked for a new edition of the "Formula". Julius III conceded this by the Bull "Exposcit debitum", 21 July, 1550. At the same time a large number of the older fathers assembled to peruse the first draft of the constitutions, and though none of them made any serious objections, Ignatius' next recension (1552) shows a fair amount of changes. This revised version was then published and put into force throughout the society, a few explanations being added here and there to meet difficulties as they arose. These final touches were being added by the saint up till the time of his death, after which the first general congregation of the society ordered them to be printed, and they have never been touched since. The true way of appreciating the constitutions of the society is to study them as they are carried into practice by the Jesuits themselves, and for this, reference may be made to the articles on the SOCIETY OF JESUS. A few points, however, in which Ignatius' institute differed from the older orders may be mentioned here. They are:
1.the vow not to accept ecclesiastical dignities; 2.increased probations. The novitiate is prolonged from one year to two, with a third year, which usually falls after the priesthood. Candidates are moreover at first admitted to simple vows only, solemn vows coming much later on; 3.the Society does not keep choir; 4.it does not have a distinctive religious habit; 5.it does not accept the direction of convents; 6.it is not governed by a regular triennial chapter; 7.it is also said to have been the first order to undertake officially and by virtue of its constitutions active works such as the following:
—foreign missions, at the pope's bidding;
—the education of youth of all classes;
—the instruction of the ignorant and the poor;
—ministering to the sick, to prisoners, etc.
The above points give no conception of the originality with which Ignatius has handled all parts of his subject, even those common to all orders. It is obvious that he must have acquired some knowledge of other religious constitutions, especially during the years of inquiry (1541-1547), when he was on terms of intimacy with religious of every class. But witnesses, who attended him, tell us that he wrote without any books before him except the Missal. Though his constitutions of course embody technical terms to be found in other rules, and also a few stock phrases like "the old man's staff", and "the corpse carried to any place", the thought is entirely original, and would seem to have been God-guided throughout. By a happy accident we still possess his journal of prayers for forty days, during which he was deliberating the single point of poverty in churches. It shows that in making up his mind he was marvelously aided by heavenly lights, intelligence, and visions. If, as we may surely infer, the whole work was equally assisted by grace, its heavenly inspiration will not be doubtful. The same conclusion is probable true of "The Spiritual Exercises".
VII. Later Life And Death
The later years of Ignatius were spent in partial retirement, the correspondence inevitable in governing the Society leaving no time for those works of active ministry which in themselves he much preferred. His health too began to fail. In 1551, when he had gathered the elder fathers to revise the constitutions, he laid his resignation of the generalate in their hands, but they refused to accept it then or later, when the saint renewed his prayer. In 1554 Father Nadal was given the powers of vicar-general, but it was often necessary to send him abroad as commissary, and in the end Ignatius continued, with Polanco's aid, to direct everything. With most of his first companions he had to part soon. Rodríguez started on 5 March, 1540, for Lisbon, where he eventually founded the Portuguese province, of which he was made provincial on 10 October, 1546. St. Francis Xavier (q.v.) followed Rodríguez immediately, and became provincial of India in 1549. In September, 1541, Salmeron and Broet started for their perilous mission to Ireland, which they reached (via Scotland) next Lent. But Ireland, the prey to Henry VIII's barbarous violence, could not give the zealous missionaries a free field for the exercise of the ministries proper to their institute. All Lent they passed in Ulster, flying from persecutors, and doing in secret such good as they might. With difficulty they reached Scotland, and regained Rome, Dec., 1542. The beginnings of the Society in Germany are connected with St. Peter Faber (q.v.), Blessed Peter Canisius (q.v.), Le Jay, and Bobadilla in 1542. In 1546 Laynez and Salmeron were nominated papal theologians for the Council of Trent, where Canisius, Le Jay, and Covillon also found places. In 1553 came the picturesque, but not very successful mission of Nuñez Barretto as Patriarch of Abyssinia. For all these missions Ignatius wrote minute instructions, many of which are still extant. He encouraged and exhorted his envoys in their work by his letters, while the reports they wrote back to him form our chief source of information on the missionary triumphs achieved. Though living alone in Rome, it was he who in effect lad, directed, and animated his subjects all the world over.
The two most painful crosses of this period were probably the suits with Isabel Roser and Simón Rodríguez. The former lady had been one of Ignatius' first and most esteemed patronesses during his beginnings in Spain. She came to Rome later on and persuaded Ignatius to receive a vow of obedience to him, and she was afterwards joined by two or three other ladies. But the saint found that the demands they made on his time were more than he could possibly allow them. "They caused me more trouble", he is reported to have said, "than the whole of the Society", and he obtained from the pope a relaxation of the vow he had accepted. A suit with Roser followed, which she lost, and Ignatius forbade his sons hereafter to become ex officio directors to convents of nuns (Scripta de S. Ignatio, pp. 652-5). Painful though this must have been to a man so loyal as Ignatius, the difference with Rodríguez , one of his first companions, must have been more bitter still. Rodríguez had founded the Province of Portugal, and brought it in a short time to a high state of efficiency. But his methods were not precisely those of Ignatius, and, when new men of Ignatius' own training came under him, differences soon made themselves felt. A struggle ensued in which Rodríguez unfortunately took sides against Ignatius' envoys. The results for the newly formed province were disastrous. Well-nigh half of its members had to be expelled before peace was established; but Ignatius did not hesitate. Rodriguez having been recalled to Rome, the new provincial being empowered ti dismiss him if he refused, he demanded a formal trial, which Ignatius, foreseeing the results, endeavoured to ward off. But on Simón's insistence a full court of inquiry was granted, whose proceedings are now printed and it unanimously condemned Rodriguez to penance and banishment from the province (Scripta etc., pp. 666-707). Of all his external works, those nearest his heart, to judge by his correspondence, were the building and foundation of the Roman College (1551), and of the German College (1552). For their sake he begged, worked, and borrowed with splendid insistence until his death. The success of the first was ensured by the generosity of St. Francis Borgia, before he entered the Society. The latter was still in a struggling condition when Ignatius died, but his great ideas have proved the true and best foundation of both.
In the summer of 1556 the saint was attacked by Roman fever. His doctors did not foresee any serious consequences, but the saint did. On 30 July, 1556, he asked for the last sacraments and the papal blessing, but he was told that no immediate danger threatened. Next morning at daybreak, the infirmarian found him lying in peaceful prayer, so peaceful that he did not at once perceive that the saint was actually dying. When his condition was realized, the last blessing was given, but the end came before the holy oils could be fetched. Perhaps he had prayed that his death, like his life, might pass without any demonstration. He was beatified by Paul V on 27 July, 1609, and canonized by Gregory XV on 22 May, 1622. His body lies under the altar designed by Pozzi in the Gesù. Though he died in the sixteenth year from the foundation of the Society, that body already numbered about 1000 religious (of whom, however, only 35 were yet professed) with 100 religious houses, arranged in 10 provinces. (Sacchini, op. cit. infra., lib.1, cc, i, nn. 1-20.) It is impossible to sketch in brief Ignatius' grand and complex character: ardent yet restrained, fearless, resolute, simple, prudent, strong, and loving. The Protestant and Jansenistic conception of him as a restless, bustling pragmatist bears no correspondence at all with the peacefulness and perseverance which characterized the real man. That he was a strong disciplinarian is true. In a young and rapidly growing body that was inevitable; and the age loved strong virtues. But if he believed in discipline as an educative force, he despised any other motives for action except the love of God and man. It was by studying Ignatius as a ruler that Xavier learnt the principle, "the company of Jesus ought to be called the company of love and conformity of souls". (Ep., 12 Jan., 1519).


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/I/stignatiusofloyola.asp#ixzz1Ti6GLL2w

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. JULY 31, 2013

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
Lectionary: 403


Reading 1                EX 34:29-35

As Moses came down from Mount Sinai
with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands,
he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant
while he conversed with the LORD.
When Aaron, then, and the other children of Israel saw Moses
and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become,
they were afraid to come near him.
Only after Moses called to them did Aaron
and all the rulers of the community come back to him.
Moses then spoke to them.
Later on, all the children of Israel came up to him,
and he enjoined on them all that the LORD
had told him on Mount Sinai.
When he finished speaking with them,
he put a veil over his face.
Whenever Moses entered the presence of the LORD to converse with him,
he removed the veil until he came out again.
On coming out, he would tell the children of Israel
all that had been commanded.
Then the children of Israel would see
that the skin of Moses’ face was radiant;
so he would again put the veil over his face
until he went in to converse with the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm                   PS 99:5, 6, 7, 9

R. (see 9c) Holy is the Lord our God.
Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his footstool;
holy is he!
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
and Samuel, among those who called upon his name;
they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them;
they heard his decrees and the law he gave them.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for holy is the LORD, our God.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.

Gospel             MT 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

8 NEW STATUES OF FEMALE SAINTS IN ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL IN AUSTRALIA

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
29 Jul 2013
Eight statues of female saints realisation of William Wardell's vision for St Mary's Cathedral
Hand-crafted meticulously sculpted statues of eight female saints will take pride of place in the Lady Chapel of St Mary's Cathedral fulfilling architect William Wardell's original vision for the Cathedral.
Earlier this year, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell commissioned the world renown Spanish company Talleres de Arte Granda, to create sculptures of the eight female saints. This important commission follows the 16 specially-sculpted statues of the Apostles, St Paul, St John the Baptist and the prophets, Elijah and Moses which were also created by the Talleres de Arte Granda and installed in the ornate marble reredos behind the Cathedral's main altar earlier this year.
When Wardell designed the reredos 133 years ago 17 niches were designed to hold statue replicas of the 12 Apostles, St Paul and St John the Baptist, the prophets and at the centre a sculpture of Our Lady Help of Christians, patron saint of Australia.
The statue of Our Lady was installed almost immediately but for almost one and a half centuries the other 16 niches remained empty.
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop
The foresight of His Eminence helped correct this and now Wardell's plans for the Cathedral will be further fulfilled when the statues of eight female saints are completed and installed in the Lady Chapel early next year.
However unlike the saints installed in the reredos this will be the first time artisans at the 120-year-old Talleres de Arte Granda have tackled sculptures of so many female saints who will take pride of place in the Lady Chapel. Currrently, the company's expert carvers, painters and ecclesiastical experts are involved in research, pouring over paintings of the female saints, and for the more recently canonised saints, studying any existing photographs to ensure their depiction as accurate as possible.
The eight female saints commissioned by His Eminence include St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, or Mother Teresa as she is still popularly known. Three great Doctors of the Church will also be among the statues created by the famous Spanish workshops: St Catherine of Siena, St Hildegarde of Bingen and St Teresa of Avila.
The remaining three statues are perhaps less well known but no less important.
St Teresia Benedicta of the Cross was a Jewish convert who became a nun and died at Auschwitz in 1942
These statues will be of St Monica of Hippo, the fourth century mother of St Augustine and patron saint of married women, housewives, mothers, widows, victims of domestic abuse and victims of adultery and unfaithfulness; St Maria Goretti, the nineteenth century's Italian 11-year-old virgin-martyr and now patron saint of chastity, rape victims, youth, teenage girls, purity and forgiveness; and the Jewish-born Catholic convert and religious, St Teresia Benedicta of the Cross who died at Auschwitz in 1942. Canonised by Blessed John Paul II in 1998 she is now one of the six patron saints of Europe.
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of St Mary's Cathedral, funds needed to create seven of the eight saints have already been raised.
"We're still looking for a sponsor for the statue of St Teresia Benedicta or St Edith Stein as many still refer to her," says Helen Hofman, House and Events Manager at St Mary's Cathedral, and a member of the Friends of the Cathedral.
St Teresia Benedicta was born Edith Stein, the daughter of a Jewish family in Breslau, Germany. Exceptionally gifted as child with a love of learning, by her teenage years she had repudiated Judaism and had declared herself an atheist.
Awarded a doctor of philosophy at just 25, her life changed forever five years later after spending part of the summer in 1921 reading St Teresa of Avila's autobiography. The impact was instant and profound and she not only rediscovered her belief in God but made the decision to become a Roman Catholic.
St Teresa of Avila will be one of the eight female saints represented in the Lady Chapel
Baptised into the faith on 1 January, 1922, St Teresia resigned from her research role at Freiburg University and became a teacher at the Dominicans nuns' school in Speyer, Germany. During her time there she translated Thomas Aquinas' De Veritate into German and developed a deep knowledge of Roman Catholic teachings and philosophy.
By 1933 the Nazis' increasing power and anti-Semitic legislation had forced her to give up her position with Germany's Institute of Pedagogy. The legislation and rise of Hitler appalled her and in a letter to His Holiness Pope Pius XI she asked him to publicly denounce the Nazi regime and "put a stop to this abuse of Christ's name."
A short time later that same year, she entered the Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Cologne and after taking her vows, took the name Teresia Benedicta of the Cross.
Although St Teresia did not receive an answer to her letter, and it not known if the Pontiff even saw it, by 1937 Pope Pius XI had issued an encyclical written in German in which he harshly criticised Nazism, listed breaches of the concord signed between Germany and the Church and condemned anti-Semitism.
Germany took no notice and the Nazi threat against Jews continued to escalate with hundreds of  thousands across Europe rounded up and sent to concentration camps.
St Catherine of Siena one of the great Doctors of the Church
In a bid to keep St Teresia safe, the Discalced Carmelites arranged for her to be transferred to a monastery in the Netherlands. But by then nowhere in Europe was safe either for Jews or for those who had converted to other faiths.
In July 1942 St Teresia and her sister Rosa, who was also a convert to Catholicism, were arrested and deported to Auschwitz. Less than a month later, St Teresia and her sister were herded into the gas chambers where they were exterminated on 9 August 1942.
St Teresia was just 50 years old.
Anyone wishing to donate funds to help sponsor the eighth and final statue commissioned for the Lady Chapel should contact Dieter Koch, Property Manager for the Archdiocese of Sydney by emailing Dieter.Koch@sydneycatholic.org or by contacting St Mary's Cathedral by phoning 02 9220 0400.
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

FBI ANNOUNCES RESCUE OF 105 CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL SLAVERY IN USA

UCAN/USA TODAY REPORT
Largest ever US law swoop on child sexual slavery
<p>Picture: USA Today/FBI</p>
Picture: USA Today/FBI
  • Kevin Johnson for USA Today
  • The FBI announced Monday the arrests of 159 people and recovery of 105 children involved in child prostitution rings across the country. The 76-city sweep, conducted in the past three days, represents the largest such law enforcement action focused on children forced into sexual slavery, federal authorities said.
Assistant FBI Director Ron Hosko, head of the bureau's criminal division, said the children ranged from 13 to 17 years old. The youngest of the victims was allegedly being offered up by her father, who also was allegedly involved in videotaping his daughter's sexual encounters.
"We have victims whose new normal is sexual abuse,'' Hosko said. "We are trying to take this crime out of the shadows and put a spotlight on it.''
In operations involving 230 separate law enforcement agencies, authorities either made arrests or child recoveries from Atlanta to Los Angeles. The weekend action, called Operation Cross Country, also is the latest in a national campaign that has helped recover 2,700 children since 2005.
Hosko said the children, generally recruited from foster care or group homes, were being offered up on Internet sites, at truck stops, casinos and street corners.
SHARED FROM UCAN/USA TODAY

PRIEST MISSING IN SYRIA - PRAYERS FOR FR. PAOLO DALL'OGLIO

ASIA NEWS REPORT
In Syria since the 1980s, where he established an Islamo-Christian monastic community, Fr. Paolo dall'Oglio had been expelled by Assad in 2012. He returned occasionally to rebel-controlled Syria where he had friends. News still being verified. The country is in chaos and few see "any light at the end of the tunnel."



Damascus (AsiaNews) - Shock, surprise and caution abound in the Vatican Nunciature in Damascus following reports - yet to be confirmed - of the kidnapping of the Jesuit Fr. Paolo dall'Oglio (see photo).

"Usually, when he is in Syria, we speak over the phone - Nuncio Msgr. Mario Zenari tells AsiaNews. "So far I haven't heard from him at all. I only learned the news this morning and I am shocked. We will have to wait to see if it is true" .

The Italian Foreign Ministry is also checking the news.

According to some agencies, Fr. Paolo entered Syria through the north, in an area controlled by the rebels and was kidnapped in Raqqa, by fundamentalist groups, part of the group for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, enemies of Assad.

"I'm surprised - adds the nuncio - that this happened to him. He is known in those areas, and enjoys some respect in rebel held areas."

Since 1982, the Roman born Jesuit of 58 has worked for the restoration of Catholic monastery Mar Musa (Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian), in the desert north of the Syrian capital, establishing a monastic community open to dialogue with Islam . At the outbreak of the so-called "Arab Spring" in Damascus, Fr. Dall'Oglio took a position that was critical of the Assad regime and so, in 2011, Damascus decreed his expulsion, which took place later in 2012. Since leaving the Country, Fr. Dall'Oglio has often returned to the north controlled by the Syrian rebels.

Archbishop Zenari pushes for caution: "Here in Syria news has often been reported that has later been proven false or inaccurate, such as the reports of three monks having been beheaded, they were not monks, or reports of the release of the two Orthodox bishops, also proven false."

"In the end - said the nuncio - nothing really surprises us anymore here in Syria, given the chaos that reigns. Earlier the situation was clear enough, but now is very complicated and the conflict has become incredibly interwoven. What is really shocking is the suffering of the poor, human rights violations.  We must try to understand the intentions of all parties involved, how they move, who is behind what, who is most in the right and who in the wrong and what their main aim is.  This is an immense task, and in the meantime the country is falling apart and we can no longer see a light at the end of the tunnel. "

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 30: ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS


St. Peter Chrysologus
BISHOP
Feast: July 30


Born at Imola, 406; died there, 450. His biography, first written by Agnellus (Liber pontificalis ecclesiæ Ravennatis) in the ninth century, gives but scanty information about him. He was baptised, educated, and ordained deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola, and was elevated to the Bishopric of Ravenna in 433. There are indications that Ravenna held the rank of metropolitan before this time. His piety and zeal won for him universal admiration, and his oratory merited for him the name Chrysologus. He shared the confidence of Leo the Great and enjoyed the patronage of the Empress Galla Placidia. After his condemnation by the Synod of Constantinople (448), the Monophysite Eutyches endeavoured to win the support of Peter, but without success.
A collection of his homilies, numbering 176, was made by Felix, Bishop of Ravenna (707-17). Some are interpolations, and several other homilies known to be written by the saint are included in other collections under different names. They are in a great measure explanatory of Biblical texts and are brief and concise. He has explained beautifully the mystery of the Incarnation, the heresies of Arius and Eutyches, and the Apostles' Creed, and he dedicated a series of homilies to the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Baptist. His works were first edited by Agapitus Vicentinus (Bologna, 1534), and later by D. Mita (Bolonga, 1634), and S. Pauli (Venice, 1775) — the latter collection having been reprinted in P.L., LII. Fr. Liverani ("Spicilegium Liberianum"), Florence, 1863, 125 seq.) edited nine new homilies and published from manuscripts in Italian libraries different readings of several other sermons. Several homilies were translated into German by M. Held (Kempten, 1874).


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpeterchrysologus.asp#ixzz1TaskeI61

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : TUES. JULY 30, 2013

Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 402


Reading 1                   EX 33:7-11; 34:5B-9, 28

The tent, which was called the meeting tent,
Moses used to pitch at some distance away, outside the camp.
Anyone who wished to consult the LORD
would go to this meeting tent outside the camp.
Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all rise
and stand at the entrance of their own tents,
watching Moses until he entered the tent.
As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down
and stand at its entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses.
On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent,
all the people would rise and worship
at the entrance of their own tents.
The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face,
as one man speaks to another.
Moses would then return to the camp,
but his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun,
would not move out of the tent.

Moses stood there with the LORD and proclaimed his name, “LORD.”
Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out,
“The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity,
continuing his kindness for a thousand generations,
and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin;
yet not declaring the guilty guiltless,
but punishing children and grandchildren
to the third and fourth generation for their fathers’ wickedness!”
Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.
Then he said, “If I find favor with you, O LORD,
do come along in our company.
This is indeed a stiff-necked people;
yet pardon our wickedness and sins,
and receive us as your own.”

So Moses stayed there with the LORD for forty days and forty nights,
without eating any food or drinking any water,
and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant,
the ten commandments.

Responsorial Psalm                              PS 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
The LORD secures justice
and the rights of all the oppressed.
He has made known his ways to Moses,
and his deeds to the children of Israel.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Gospel                    MT 13:36-43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Monday, July 29, 2013

POPE FRANCIS "WHO I AM I TO JUDGE" - TALK TO REPORTERS ON CHURCH CONTROVERSIES

(Vatican Radio) From the future of the Vatican bank to the role of women in the Church, from Vatileaks to the highlights of his pontificate so far: on the flight back from Brazil to Rome Pope Francis gave journalists free rein to ask questions about the Church and about his own challenges as successor of St Peter. Philippa Hitchen takes a look at what the Holy Father had to say…..

In the impromptu press conference aboard the papal plane, journalists spent over an hour questioning the Pope about his recent visit to Brazil for World Youth Day, about plans for future foreign trips, about his ecumenical vision and about the day to day business of dealing with scandals and other obstacles within the Vatican walls.

Describing himself as tired, but spiritually renewed, the Pope talked about the very positive experience of meeting with three million young people in Brazil. He spoke of the security concerns, but stressed that it’s madness to try and separate a bishop from his people.

Discussing future papal journeys, he confirmed he’ll be travelling to Sardinia in September, to Assisi in October and said he hopes to visit his relatives in northern Italy because they’ve been asking to see him. He also spoke of plans for a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem, but said there was no definite decision yet. He also confirmed that former Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will be canonized at the same time, either this October or, most likely, the week after Easter next year.

Asked about relations with the Orthodox Church, Pope Francis spoke of the sense of beauty and adoration in the Eastern liturgies and how a consumerist mentality in the West has weakened our sense God. The author Dostoevsky, he added, should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the soul of Russia and its people.

Commenting on the Vatican bank, as the Institute for Works of Religion is commonly called, Pope Francis acknowledged the difficulties in deciding whether to change its status or close it altogether – he said he was relying on the advice of a commission of experts called in to promote ‘honesty and transparency’. 

Speaking of other problems within the administration of the Holy See, including rumours of a ‘gay lobby’ within the Vatican, Pope Francis said there are many saintly people working in the Curia but also those who are not so saintly and cause scandals which harm the Church. Quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, he said that people with homosexual tendencies must not be excluded but should be integrated into society. “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” he asked.

Questioned about the role of women in the Church, the Pope said the issue of ordination is ‘a closed door’ but he said he would like to see more women in leadership roles. Just as Mary was more important than the Apostles, he said, so women today are more important than bishops and priests and there is a great need for theology to explore and explain this better.

Finally on a very personal level, Pope Francis shared how he misses the freedom of being able to walk and meet people in the streets, how he lives in the Santa Martha guesthouse because he needs to talk to others and how he has always found pleasure as a priest, bishop and now pastor of the universal Church in following the Lord’s will.
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POPE FRANCIS LANDS SAFELY HOME IN VATICAN

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis landed at Rome’s Ciampino airport this morning, marking his return from World Youth Day 2013. 
The 12-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro marks the end of Pope Francis’ first overseas Apostolic Voyage. 

The weeklong youth event ended Sunday with Mass on Rio’s famous Copacabana beach, an liturgy attended by approximately three million people. 

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA