Tag Archives: Conversion

St. Paul Street Evangelization — Cave Junction, Or. Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church

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EDITORS NOTE: Welcome to St. Paul Street Evangelization, Cave Junction, Or. Chapter!  If you have any questions concerning the faith or your journey home, you may e-mail me (Jimmy Evans) at Jamestevans0@yahoo.com 

Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church

Rome is Where the Heart is

If you once were a practicing Catholic and have been away from the Catholic Church for a while — no matter how long — you’re always welcome back. Your companion in this journey is our Lord Jesus Christ. He will walk alongside and guide you. Place your trust in Him; He will lead you home.

1. Reconciliation (Confession)

If you’re thinking about coming back, it’s very important to go to Confession (the “Sacrament of Reconciliation” or “Penance”). Jesus Christ Himself instituted Confession and He desired that His followers have a place to go to be absolved of their sins. He, in turn, gave authority to men to forgive sins.

“Jesus … said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (Jn 20:21–23).

All parishes around the world have set times for Confession, and finding out these times is a Google search away. You also have the right under Canon Law to ask the parish priest for an appointment for Confession. You should explain to the priest prior to your confession that you haven’t been to church for a while and haven’t been attending Confession. If you need a refresher, the priest will happily guide you through the steps of Confession.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9).

2. The Communion of Saints

You may remember from your childhood that if you lost something, you’d pray to St. Anthony of Padua. If you were studying for a test, you’d pray to St. Joseph of Cupertino or St. Thomas Aquinas. Whatever your intention is, there is a saint to call on to pray with you.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (Heb 12:1).

This “cloud of witnesses” cheers us on as we walk with Christ. The faithfully departed — the Church in Heaven — are ever concerned about the Church on earth.

“Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. … They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], 956).

The communion of saints helps us by praying for us for we are joined in Christ’s Body, the Church, and it is our joy to bear one another’s burdens (cf. Gal 6:2) and to encourage one another (cf. 1 Thess 5:11).

3. The Eucharist

The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1324). The Eucharist is Jesus Christ: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

At the Last Supper, the final meal Christ shared with His beloved disciples, He left them the means in which He would be physically present in the world.

“When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ’s Passover, and it is made present: the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present. ‘As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which “Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed” is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out’” (CCC 1364).

The Mass makes present the one sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. As He took bread and gave thanks, He said, “This is my body which is given for you” (Lk 22:19). Jesus speaks of the same Body in John 6: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:56). The sacrifice of Calvary and the sacrifice of the Mass are one and the same sacrifice; only the manner in which they are offered differs.

Therefore, weekly Mass attendance is important. As outlined in CCC 2042, the three precepts of the Church are:

1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.

2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.

3. You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.

One must be in a state of grace in order to receive the Eucharist. This means we must not have any unconfessed mortal sin. The Eucharist is participation in Christ’s Body and Blood (cf. 1 Cor 10:16). To receive Holy Communion in such an unworthy manner is to profane against the Body and Blood of Christ (cf. 1 Cor 11:23–29) and is objectively a mortal sin, as is deliberately not attending Mass.

“Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance” (CCC 1415).

“The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin” (CCC 2181).

The Eucharist is food for the journey, through which grace is conferred. Through the Eucharist, we are also physically united with Christ. Therefore, we must walk and grow in holiness in order to become vessels that give a witness of Christ to the world.

4. The Joy of Salvation

The mission of the Catholic Church is to bring the reality of God and salvation to all.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (Jn 3:16–17).

The Catholic Church offers to all the means of salvation, and the fullness of faith. She also unites the faithful with Christ. God’s gift is freely offered to us; we don’t deserve it, yet it is offered anyway. We must respond accordingly, in faith, to His free grace, so that we can be led by Him, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, to walk in faith and to do the will of God, so that we may be perfected by Him (cf. Mt 7:21; Jas 2:14–26; Mt 5:48).

“In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ’s gift, so that … doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor” (CCC 2013).

When Christ ascended into heaven, He left His disciples a final instruction.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:19–20).

No matter what you’ve done (provided you truly repent of it, confess, and receive absolution), you have a home in the Catholic Church. By Christ’s work on the Cross and through the Sacraments that Christ Himself instituted, your heart will be made new.

“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17).

“For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God” (CCC 816).

“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future” (Oscar Wilde).

5. The One True Church

What is it that sets the Catholic Church apart? Why not just go to the non-denominational church nearby? The answer is simple: no other church in the world (though they may possess much truth and a share of God’s grace) can claim that their founder is God: Jesus Christ Himself.

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:18–19).

Jesus declared here with divine authority that the Catholic Church would teach all nations the Good News and would bring the hope of salvation to all. The Church would be a visible sign to the world that Christ remains with the world until the end of the age. When the Catholic Church teaches and speaks, it does so with the authority of Jesus Christ.

Christ bestowed upon St. Peter the authority to lead the visible church (thus setting in motion the office of the papacy), and the authority to (preeminently) “bind” and “loose.” These ancient rabbinical terms mean to “forbid” and “permit,” that is, to interpret the Law in special circumstances. Jesus, in John 20:22–23 extended the Church’s authority to include absolving sins or issuing penance for them.

The Church is known as the “pillar and bulwark of truth” (1 Tim 3:15) because the Holy Spirit guides it into all truth (cf. Jn 14:26; 16:13). When the Church teaches, it does so because the Holy Spirit has enabled it to. Not all Christians have this special protection, and some are even counterfeit “Christians.”

“Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers’” (Mt 7:21–23).

So why should you consider returning to the Catholic Church? The Catholic Church is built on a rock-solid foundation and Christ Himself promised, “the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

“Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Mt 7:24–25).

Author bio

Stephen Spiteri is a happily married and proud Catholic husband and father. He currently teaches Religious Education at Irene McCormack Catholic College (Perth, Western Australia), sharing his knowledge and love for Christ and the Catholic Church. Stephen Spiteri is also the founder and author of the apologetics blog ‘The Spirit Magnus’ and has been answering questions and helping people learn more about the Catholic faith online in this way since late 2008. He has been a guest speaker at Catholic conferences, speaking on the topic of apologetics: defending the Catholic faith. Stephen Spiteri also taught a course on apologetics at the ‘Acts 2 Come’ Catholic Bible College in 2012. He is currently working on other projects that will help bring the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith to those interested in learning more about Catholicism.

Written by: Stephen Spiteri

Edited by: Dave Armstrong

Further Reading:

Biblical Evidence for the Communion of Saints
Biblical Catholic Eucharistic Theology
Biblical Catholic Salvation: “Faith Working Through Love”
Biblical Proofs for an Infallible Church and Papacy

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You were made for heaven — Fr Raniero Cantalamessa

Human beings were created for eternal life, and Christians need to get over their timidity and bring this certainty to the modern world, the Pope’s preacher has told him.

“The force that this truth possesses answers to the deepest, but often repressed, desire of the human heart,” said Fr Raniero Cantalamessa in an address to Pope Benedict and his household.

He was speaking on the Christian response to secularism, which he described as “an ensemble of attitudes contrary to religion and to faith,” and “the reduction of what is real to the earthly dimension.”

The loss of the sense of eternal life, he said, “has the effect on Christian life of sand thrown on a flame: it suffocates it, extinguishes it.”

The preacher recalled that in the ancient world few pagans came to belief in an after-life. Rather, the conviction that true life ends with death persisted among the masses.

“One can understand with this background,” he said, “what impact the Christian proclamation must have had, the news of a life after death infinitely more full and joyful than the earthly.

“One can also understand why the idea and the symbols highlighting eternal life are so frequent in the Christian burial chambers of the catacombs.”

The Christian notion of resurrection, he said, prevailed over the pagan expectation of “darkness beyond death”, eventually permeating all aspects of life during the Middle Ages.

But from the 1800s on, influential figures like Hegel, Marx and Freud began once again to deny the existence of God and an after-life, settling instead for the notion that they would survive in the species or in the future society.

“Little by little, suspicion, forgetfulness and silence fell on the word ‘eternity’,” said Fr Raniero. “Materialism and consumerism did the rest, making it seem inconvenient to still speak of eternity among educated persons.”

As a result, “the faith of believers became, on this point, timid and reticent,” with even priests unwilling to preach about it, even at funerals.

But the desire for eternal life remains. The renowned Spanish writer, Miguel de Unamuno, for example, was criticised by a friend because of his hope in eternal life. Unamuno responded:

“I do not say that we merit a beyond, or that logic demonstrates it; I say that we have need of it, whether or not we merit it, and that’s all.

“I say that what passes does not satisfy me, that I have thirst of eternity, and that without it nothing matters to me. I have need of it! Without it there is no more joy in living and the joy of living no longer has anything to give me.

“It is too easy to say: ‘One must be content with life.’ What of those that are not content with it?”

Fr Raniero noted that, like all people since time began, people today still ask, “Who are we? From whence do we come? Where are we going?”

The Christian faith, he believed, may return to Europe for the same reason if was first welcomed: “as the only faith that has a sure answer to give to the great questions of earthly life.”

SOURCE: ALIVE!

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Feels Like: Wake up and live Wednesday — More bat-shit crazies from the U.K.

Survival (Bob Marley & The Wailers album)
Image via Wikipedia

 

More bat-shit crazies from the U.K.

It’s been reported that before his death Bob Marley converted to Christianity. I hope so. In one of my favorite Wailer’s songs, “Wake Up and Live”, the song begins with these words: “Life is one big road with lots of signs, So when you riding through the ruts, don’t you complicate your mind.”

Yes. life is one big road with lots of signs, and unfortunately, my generation–in too many ways–became a sign and instrument of the culture of death. Take for instance, Virginia Ironside, a columnist for the U.K.’s Independent newspaper, who has caused public outrage by saying that she, like all “good mothers”, would put a pillow over the head of her baby if it was suffering from a disability and would have a poor quality of life:

Virginia, Virginia, Virginia… Convert to life, and above all, wake up and live…

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Going to confession on the Feast of the Assumption of my spiritual mother into heaven

Today is the Feast of the Assumption of the Mother of God into heaven, body and soul and I’m going to confession at Our Lady Star of the Sea, in Brookings. My soul must really need a thorough washing as it just this moment began raining outside as I write this… A gentle reminder of an already predisposed need.  

On this post yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI declared this about today’s feast and the reality of heaven:

Today’s feast impels us to lift our gaze to Heaven; not to a heaven consisting of abstract ideas or even an imaginary heaven created by art, but the Heaven of true reality which is God himself. God is Heaven. He is our destination, the destination and the eternal dwelling place from which we come and for which we are striving.

Sacred scripture supports the notion that God is Heaven. Every Christian is bound to proclaim Jesus Christ as God incarnate in the flesh. And so His own words on earth take on substantial meaning: “The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel.” Again, John the Baptist preaching in the desert of Judea, prior to pointing out Jesus to his own followers on the banks of the Jordan: “Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

All this has to do with what I teach my CCD students about the meaning of their lives–which is to: Come to know, love, and serve God in this life, and be with Him forever in the next.

And this is exactly the role the Mother of God plays within the spiritual lives of all people’s destined for salvation in and through Her Son.

To Jesus Through Mary is no singular Catholic Doctrinal truth. It is a spiritual reality discovered within the Holy Spirit…

Today is a good day for a visitation by Mary in the power of the spirit, it leads to our own assumption in the end: Read this prayerfully… [CLICK HERE] More below…

CNA STAFF, Aug 15, 2010 / 05:11 am (CNA).- Today, Catholics and many other Christians will celebrate the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The significant feast day recalls the spiritual and physical departure of the mother of Jesus Christ from the earth, when both her soul and her resurrected body were taken into the presence of God.

Venerable Pope Pius XII confirmed this belief about the Virgin Mary as the perennial teaching of the Church when he defined it formally as a dogma of Catholic faith in 1950, invoking papal infallibility to proclaim, “that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”

His Apostolic Constitution “Munificentissimus Deus” (Most Bountiful God), which defined the dogma,

contained the Pontiff’s accounts of many longstanding traditions by which the Church has celebrated the Assumption throughout its history.

The constitution also cited testimonies from the early Church fathers on the subject, and described the history of theological reflection on many Biblical passages which are seen as indicating that Mary was assumed into heaven following her death.

Although the bodily assumption of Mary is not explicitly recorded in Scripture, Catholic tradition identifies her with the “woman clothed with the sun” who is described in the 12th chapter of the Book of Revelation.

The passage calls that woman’s appearance “a great sign” which “appeared in heaven,” indicating that she is the mother of the Jewish Messiah and has “the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Accordingly, Catholic iconography of the Western tradition often depicts the Virgin Mary’s assumption into heaven in this manner.

Eastern Christians have also traditionally held Mary’s assumption into heaven as an essential component of their faith. Pius XII cited several early Byzantine liturgical texts, as well as the eighth-century Arab Christian theologian St. John of Damascus, in his own authoritative definition of her assumption.

“It was fitting,” St. John of Damascus wrote in a sermon on the assumption, “that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death,” and “that she, who had carried the creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles.”

In Eastern Christian tradition, the same feast is celebrated on the same calendar date, although typically known as the Dormition (falling asleep) of Mary. Eastern Catholic celebration of the Dormition is preceded by a two-week period of fasting which is similar to Lent. Pius XII, in “Munificentissimus Deus,” mentioned this same fasting period as belonging to the traditional patrimony of Western Christians as well.

The feast of the Assumption is always a Holy Day of Obligation for both Roman and Eastern-rite Catholics, on which they are obliged to attend Mass or Divine Liturgy. In 2010, however, it falls on a Sunday.

Our job as Christians

 

Our work as Christians is to direct souls to the “Garden of God…”

Christian families too… We all know a family member, child or friend who’ve walked away from the truth of their life. Today I am offering my prayers at Holy Mass for one such family…

O Jesus, through the immaculate heart of Mary, I offer Thee my prayers, works, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Thy Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the intentions of all our associates, and in particular for the intention recommended this month by the Holy Father.

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The Virgin Mary came from heaven to remind us of Gospel truths

From “Ireland’s Biggest FREE Newspaper” ALIVE!

Again and again on his recent trip to Portugal Pope Benedict tried to waken up Catholics to God’s call to them to proclaim Christian hope in today’s secularist world. And to not be afraid of criticism or ridicule.

“The faith,” he said, “needs to come alive in each one of us. A vast effort at every level is required if every Christian is to be transformed into a witness capable of giving an account to all of the hope that inspires him.”

Benedict remarked that “the Virgin Mary came from heaven to remind us of Gospel truths that are the source of hope for a humanity so lacking in love and without hope for salvation.”

And he described Fatima as being “like a window of hope that God opens when man closes the door to him.”

Speaking to artists Benedict explained that the Church’s “key mission in today’s culture is to keep alive the search for truth, and thus for God; to bring people to look beyond penultimate realities and to seek those that are ultimate.”

It is sometimes assumed that Benedict accepts the idea of a smaller Church with a strong identity. “But he made it clear in Portugal that ‘pruning back’ is not his strategic goal,” said one reporter.

Rather, the Holy Father encouraged young people to bear witness to all their contemporaries to the joy that Christ’s strong, gentle presence evokes.

“Tell them that it is beautiful to be a friend of Jesus and that it is well worth following him,” he said.

“Show, with your enthusiasm, that, among all the different ways of life which the world offers us, the only way in which we find the true meaning of life and hence true and lasting joy, is by following Jesus.”

The Pope noted that the Church “has some quarrelsome and even rebellious sons and daughters,” but it is in the saints that she recognises “her most characteristic features, it is in them that she tastes her deepest joy.”

Benedict was in Portugal for the 10th anniversary of the beatification of the two youngest visionaries, Francesco Marto (aged 10 when he died in 1919) and his sister Jacinta (aged 9 when she died in 1920).

He was concerned that individuals and agencies could go on thinking they were Catholic when, in fact they had lost the faith and their very identity.

Catholic agencies need to make sure they protect their Catholic identity and keep “a proper synthesis of spiritual life and apostolic activity,” said the Pope.

“Pressure from today’s culture, which constantly holds up a lifestyle based on the law of the stronger, on easy and attractive gain, ends up influencing our ways of thinking, our projects and the goals of our service,” he cautioned.

It also “risks emptying them of the motivation of faith and Christian hope which had originally inspired them,” he told a gathering of Catholic helpers and volunteers.

Benedict has spoken a number of times about the danger of groups losing their Catholic identity, as happened with several groups in Ireland.

The Holy Father is expected to announce shortly that he is creating a special ‘Council for New Evangelisation’ aimed at promoting a stronger missionary outreach in once Christian countries.

Hat Tip/ALIVE!

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Prayer request for a journey of conversion

I’m off to Sacred Heart in Medford and will be offering Holy Mass for a family member and her journey of conversion. Please, I ask your prayers of supplication for the same… 

A little on what a litany is, followed by text of the Litany of Saints:

Litany

(Latin litania, letania, from Greek lite, prayer or supplication)

A litany is a well-known and much appreciated form of responsive petition, used in public liturgical services, and in private devotions, for common necessities of the Church, or in calamities — to implore God’s aid or to appease His just wrath. This form of prayer finds its model in Psalm cxxxv: “Praise the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Praise ye the God of gods . . . the Lord of lords . . . Who alone doth great wonders . . . Who made the heavens”, etc., with the concluding words in each verse, “for his mercy endureth for ever.” Similar is the canticle of praise by the youths in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:57-87), with the response, “praise and exalt him above all for ever.” In the Mass of the Oriental Church we find several litanies in use even at the present day. Towards the end of the Mass of the catechumens the deacon asks all to pray; he formulates the petitions, and all answer “Kyrie Eleison”. When the catechumens have departed, the deacon asks the prayers: for the peace and welfare of the world, for the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, for the bishops and priests, for the sick, for those who have gone astray, etc., to each of which petitions the faithful answer “Kyrie Eleison”, or “Grant us, 0 Lord”, or “We beseech Thee.” The litany is concluded by the words, “Save us, restore us again, 0 Lord, by Thy mercy.” The last petitions in our Litany of the Saints, with the responses “Deliver us, 0 Lord” and “We beseech Thee hear us”, show a great resemblance to the Mass Litany of the Greek Church. In the Ambrosian or Milanese Rite two litanies are recited on the Sundays of Lent instead of the “Gloria in excelsis”. In the Stowe Missal a litany is inserted between the Epistle and Gospel (Duchesne, “Christian Worship”, London, 1904, 199). The Roman Missal has retained the prayers for all classes of people in the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday, a full litany on Holy Saturday, and the triple repetition of “Kyrie Eleison”, “Christe Eleison”, “Kyrie Eleison”, in every Mass. The frequent repetition of the “Kyrie” was probably the original form of the Litany, and was in use in Asia and in Rome at a very early date. The Council of Vaison in 529 passed the decree: “Let that beautiful custom of all the provinces of the East and of Italy be kept up, viz., that of singing with great effect and compunction the “Kyrie Eleison” at Mass, Matins, and Vespers, because so sweet and pleasing a chant, even though continued day and night without interruption, could never produce disgust or weariness”. The number of repetitions depended upon the celebrant. This litany is prescribed in the Roman Breviary at the “Preces Feriales” and in the Monastic Breviary for every “Hora” (Rule of St. Benedict, ix, 17). The continuous repetition of the “Kyrie” is used today at the consecration of a church, while the relics to be placed in the altar are carried in procession around the church. Because the “Kyrie” and other petitions were said once or oftener, litanies were called planœ, ternœ, quinœ, septenœ.

When peace was granted to the Church after three centuries of bloody persecution, public devotions became common and processions were frequently held, with preference for days which the heathens had held sacred. These processions were called litanies, and in them pictures and other religious emblems were carried. In Rome, pope and people would go in procession each day, especially in Lent, to a different church, to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries. Thus originated the Roman “Stations”, and what was called the “Litania Major”, or “Romana”. It was held on 25 April, on which day the heathens had celebrated the festival of Robigalia, the principal feature of which was a procession. The Christian litany which replaced it set out from the church of S. Lorenzo in Lucina, held a station at S. Valentino Outside the Walls, and then at the Milvian Bridge. From thence, instead of proceeding on the Claudian Way, as the heathens had done, it turned to the left towards the Vatican, stopped at a cross, of which the site is not given, and again in the paradise or atrium of St. Peter’s, and finally in the basilica itself, where the station was held (Duchesne, 288). In 590, when a pestilence caused by an overflow of the Tiber was ravaging Rome, Gregory the Great commanded a litany which is called “Septiformis”; on the preceding day he exhorted the people to fervent prayer, and arranged the order to be observed in the procession, viz, that the clergy from S. Giovanni Battista, the men from S. Marcello, the monks from SS. Giovanni e Paolo, the unmarried women from SS. Cosma e Damiano, the married women from San Stefano, the widows from S. Vitale, the poor and the children from S. Cæcilia, were all to meet at S. Maria Maggiore. The “Litania Minor”, or “Gallicana”, on the Rogation Days before Ascension, was introduced (477) by St. Mamertus, Bishop of Vienne, on account of the earthquakes and other calamities then prevalent. It was prescribed for the whole of Frankish Gaul, in 511, by the Council of Orléans (can. xxvii). For Rome it was ordered by Leo III, in 799. In the Ambrosian Rite this litany was celebrated on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after Ascension. In Spain we find a similar litany from Thursday to Saturday after Whitsuntide, another from the first to third of November, ordered by the Council of Gerunda in 517, and still another for December, commanded by the synod of Toledo in 638. In England the Litany of Rogation Days (Gang-Days) was known in the earliest periods. In Germany it was ordered by a Synod of Mainz in 813. Owing to the fact that the Mass Litany became popular through its use in processions, numberless varieties were soon made, especially in the Middle Ages. Litanies appeared in honour of God the Father, of God the Son, of God the Holy Ghost, of the Precious Blood, of the Blessed Virgin, of the Immaculate Conception, of each of the saints honoured in different countries, for the souls in Purgatory, etc. In 1601 Baronius wrote that about eighty forms were in circulation. To prevent abuse, Pope Clement VIII, by decree of the Inquisition of 6 Sept., 1601, forbade the publication of any litany, except that of the saints as found in the liturgical books and that of Loreto. Today the litanies approved for public recitation are: of All Saints, of Loreto, of the Holy Name, of the Sacred Heart, and of St. Joseph.

Litany of the Saints

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
 
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, 
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, 
God the Holy Spirit, 
Holy Trinity, one God,
 
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, 
Holy Mother of God, 
Holy Virgin of virgins,
St. Michael, 
St. Gabriel, 
St. Raphael, 
All you Holy Angels and Archangels, 
St. John the Baptist, 
St. Joseph, 
All you Holy Patriarchs and Prophets,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
St. Peter, 
St. Paul, 
St. Andrew, 
St. James, 
St. John, 
St. Thomas, 
St. James,
St. Philip, 
St. Bartholomew, 
St. Matthew,
St. Simon,
St. Jude,
St. Matthias,
St. Barnabas,
St. Luke,
St. Mark,
All you holy Apostles and Evangelists, 
All you holy Disciples of the Lord, 
All you holy Innocents,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
St. Stephen, 
St. Lawrence,
St. Vincent, 
Sts. Fabian and Sebastian, 
Sts. John and Paul, 
Sts. Cosmos and Damian, 
All you holy Martyrs,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
St. Sylvester, 
St. Gregory, 
St. Ambrose, 
St. Augustine, 
St. Jerome, 
St. Martin, 
St. Nicholas, 
All you holy Bishops and Confessors,
All you holy Doctors,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
St. Anthony, 
St. Benedict, 
St. Bernard, 
St. Dominic,  
St. Francis, 
All you holy Priests and Levites, 
All you holy Monks and Hermits,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
St. Mary Magdalene, 
St. Agatha, 
St. Lucy, 
St. Agnes, 
St. Cecilia, 
St. Anastasia,
St. Catherine, 
St. Clare,
All you holy Virgins and Widows,
All you holy Saints of God, 
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
Lord, be merciful, 
From all evil, 
From all sin, 
From your wrath, 
From a sudden and unprovided death, 
From the snares of the devil, 
From anger, hatred, and all ill-will, 
From the spirit of uncleanness, 
From lightning and tempest, 
From the scourge of earthquake, 
From plague, famine, and war, 
From everlasting death, 
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
By the mystery of your holy Incarnation,
By your Coming, 
By your Birth, 
By your Baptism and holy fasting, 
By your Cross and Passion, 
By your Death and Burial, 
By your holy Resurrection, 
By your wonderful Ascension, 
By the coming of the Holy Spirit,
On the day of judgment, 
 
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Be merciful to us sinners, Lord, hear our prayer.
That you will spare us, 
That you will pardon us,
That it may please you to bring us to true
     penance, 
Guide and protect your holy Church, 
Preserve in holy religion the Pope, and all
     those in holy Orders,
Humble the enemies of holy Church, 
Give peace and unity to the whole Christian
     people,  
Bring back to the unity of the Church all
     those who are straying, and bring all
     unbelievers to the light of the Gospel, 
Strengthen and preserve us in your holy
     service,
Raise our minds to desire the things of
     heaven, 
Reward all our benefactors with eternal
     blessings, 
Deliver our souls from eternal damnation,
     and the souls of our brethren, relatives,
     and benefactors,
Give and preserve the fruits of the earth, 
Grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed,
That it may please You to hear and heed
     us, Jesus, Son of the Living God,
 
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of
     the world,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of
     the world,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of
     the world,
Spare us, O Lord!Graciously hear us, O Lord!Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us,
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, graciously hear us
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

HT/EWTNNew Advent

END OF POST

Pope Benedict XVI — Lent 2010

 “May this penitential season be for every Christian a time of authentic conversion and intense knowledge of the mystery of Christ, who came to fulfill every justice…”

Pope Benedict XVI –Lent 2010

The justice of God has been manifested through faith in Jesus Christ

by Benedict XVI

Dear brothers and sisters, each year, on the occasion of Lent, the Church invites us to a sincere review of our life in light of the teachings of the Gospel. This year, I would like to offer you some reflections on the great theme of justice, beginning from the Pauline affirmation: The justice of God has been manifested through faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Rm 3, 21-22).

Justice: dare cuique suum

First of all, I want to consider the meaning of the term justice, which in common usage implies to render to every man his due, according to the famous expression of Ulpian, a Roman jurist of the third century. In reality, however, this classical definition does not specify what due is to be rendered to each person. What man needs most cannot be guaranteed to him by law. In order to live life to the full, something more intimate is necessary that can be granted only as a gift: we could say that man lives by that love which only God can communicate since He created the human person in His image and likeness. Material goods are certainly useful and required indeed Jesus Himself was concerned to heal the sick, feed the crowds that followed Him and surely condemns the indifference that even today forces hundreds of millions into death through lack of food, water and medicine yet distributive justice does not render to the human being the totality of his due. Just as man needs bread, so does man have even more need of God. Saint Augustine notes: if justice is that virtue which gives every one his due … where, then, is the justice of man, when he deserts the true God? (De civitate Dei, XIX, 21).

What is the cause of injustice?

The Evangelist Mark reports the following words of Jesus, which are inserted within the debate at that time regarding what is pure and impure: There is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him… What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts (Mk 7, 14-15, 20-21). Beyond the immediate question concerning food, we can detect in the reaction of the Pharisees a permanent temptation within man: to situate the origin of evil in an exterior cause. Many modern ideologies deep down have this presupposition: since injustice comes from outside, in order for justice to reign, it is sufficient to remove the exterior causes that prevent it being achieved. This way of thinking Jesus warns is ingenuous and shortsighted. Injustice, the fruit of evil, does not have exclusively external roots; its origin lies in the human heart, where the seeds are found of a mysterious cooperation with evil. With bitterness the Psalmist recognises this: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me (Ps 51,7). Indeed, man is weakened by an intense influence, which wounds his capacity to enter into communion with the other. By nature, he is open to sharing freely, but he finds in his being a strange force of gravity that makes him turn in and affirm himself above and against others: this is egoism, the result of original sin. Adam and Eve, seduced by Satans lie, snatching the mysterious fruit against the divine command, replaced the logic of trusting in Love with that of suspicion and competition; the logic of receiving and trustfully expecting from the Other with anxiously seizing and doing on ones own (cf. Gn 3, 1-6), experiencing, as a consequence, a sense of disquiet and uncertainty. How can man free himself from this selfish influence and open himself to love?

Justice and “sedaqah”

At the heart of the wisdom of Israel, we find a profound link between faith in God who lifts the needy from the ash heap (Ps 113,7) and justice towards ones neighbor. The Hebrew word itself that indicates the virtue of justice, “sedaqah,” expresses this well. “Sedaqah,” in fact, signifies on the one hand full acceptance of the will of the God of Israel; on the other hand, equity in relation to ones neighbour (cf. Ex 20, 12-17), especially the poor, the stranger, the orphan and the widow (cf. Dt 10, 18-19). But the two meanings are linked because giving to the poor for the Israelite is none other than restoring what is owed to God, who had pity on the misery of His people. It was not by chance that the gift to Moses of the tablets of the Law on Mount Sinai took place after the crossing of the Red Sea. Listening to the Law presupposes faith in God who first heard the cry of His people and came down to deliver them out of hand of the Egyptians (cf. Ex 3,8). God is attentive to the cry of the poor and in return asks to be listened to: He asks for justice towards the poor (cf. Sir 4,4-5, 8-9), the stranger (cf. Ex 22,20), the slave (cf. Dt 15, 12-18). In order to enter into justice, it is thus necessary to leave that illusion of self-sufficiency, the profound state of closure, which is the very origin of injustice. In other words, what is needed is an even deeper exodus than that accomplished by God with Moses, a liberation of the heart, which the Law on its own is powerless to realize. Does man have any hope of justice then?

Christ, the justice of God

The Christian Good News responds positively to mans thirst for justice, as Saint Paul affirms in the Letter to the Romans: But now the justice of God has been manifested apart from law the justice of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith (3, 21-25).

What then is the justice of Christ? Above all, it is the justice that comes from grace, where it is not man who makes amends, heals himself and others. The fact that expiation flows from the blood of Christ signifies that it is not mans sacrifices that free him from the weight of his faults, but the loving act of God who opens Himself in the extreme, even to the point of bearing in Himself the curse due to man so as to give in return the blessing due to God (cf. Gal 3, 13-14). But this raises an immediate objection: what kind of justice is this where the just man dies for the guilty and the guilty receives in return the blessing due to the just one? Would this not mean that each one receives the contrary of his due? In reality, here we discover divine justice, which is so profoundly different from its human counterpart. God has paid for us the price of the exchange in His Son, a price that is truly exorbitant. Before the justice of the Cross, man may rebel for this reveals how man is not a self-sufficient being, but in need of Another in order to realize himself fully. Conversion to Christ, believing in the Gospel, ultimately means this: to exit the illusion of self-sufficiency in order to discover and accept ones own need the need of others and God, the need of His forgiveness and His friendship.

So we understand how faith is altogether different from a natural, good-feeling, obvious fact: humility is required to accept that I need Another to free me from what is mine, to give me gratuitously what is His. This happens especially in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Thanks to Christs action, we may enter into the greatest justice, which is that of love (cf. Rm 13, 8-10), the justice that recognises itself in every case more a debtor than a creditor, because it has received more than could ever have been expected.

Strengthened by this very experience, the Christian is moved to contribute to creating just societies, where all receive what is necessary to live according to the dignity proper to the human person and where justice is enlivened by love.

Dear brothers and sisters, Lent culminates in the Paschal Triduum, in which this year, too, we shall celebrate divine justice the fullness of charity, gift, salvation. May this penitential season be for every Christian a time of authentic conversion and intense knowledge of the mystery of Christ, who came to fulfill every justice. With these sentiments, I cordially impart to all of you my Apostolic Blessing.

LarryD’s coming out party…

FILED UNDER: Suspicious conversions…

For those of you who’ve never actually seen LarryD, He’s the guy on the stilts training this pack of ACC types in the ways of hatred…

Editor Note: It’s a slow process.

END OF POST

St. Maximilian Kolbe: On the Apparitions of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes–Place your Prayer Petitions Here.

maximilian2.jpg

Ever since Original Sin was committed, human intelligence has remained darkened so that it cannot rise to the knowledge of causes of everything. Our first parents in Eden understood everything very well; their intelligence was clear and lively; but after they sinned, all that was changed. For this reason, when God wishes to make himself known to men he gives them signs and works miracles. We find many miracles in the Old Testament, and even more in the New. When Jesus was in the world he said: “Even if you do not believe in me, believe in my works.” (Jn. 10, 38)

            The miracle of the Resurrection is the foundation of our faith. The disciples of Jesus were weak; even though they had seen many miracles, at the time of his arrest they all abandoned him. Only when Jesus had risen was their faith confirmed, and were they given the courage to endure suffering and persecution.

            Since Christ’s resurrection, from time to time miracles happen, to reinforce our faith; such were the apparations at Lourdes… There the Immaculata chose a weak instrument to manifest her power. There were many objections; people said, “It isn’t true.” But all the while the miraculous fountain was flowing,  and many miracles and conversion took place. What did the the Most Blessed Virgin then do, after establishing her credibility by the miracles? In public before the whole crowd of people she said who she was, confirming the dogma of the Immaculate Conception which had been defined in 1854. She said of herself, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” If she is indeed the Immaculate Conception, then everything which serves as a foundation for this truth is also true. Hence the apparitions at Lourdes are a confirmation of the entire Catholic faith. This is why these apparitions of the Most Blessed Virgin at Lourdes are so important.”

St. Maximilian Kolbe Feb. 11, 1938 (Conference)

If you would like to place your prayer petitions for healing, faith, or conversion within the Holy Mass at the Grotto of Lourdes click here. You may also leave your requests below within the comment box and I will do so for you combined with my own daily prayers for your needs…

Peace to you and yours,

James Mary Evans