Monday, February 22, 2010

The Chair of Peter

Pope Benedict XVI
"Cathedra" literally means the established seat of the bishop, located in the mother church of a diocese, which for this reason is called "cathedral," and it is the symbol of the authority of the bishop and, in particular, of his "magisterium," that is, of the evangelical teaching that he, insofar as a successor of the apostles, is called to guard and transmit to the Christian community.

When the bishop takes possession of the local Church that is entrusted to him, he, bearing the miter and the shepherd's crosier, sits on the cathedra. From that seat he will guide, as teacher and shepherd, the journey of the faithful in faith, hope and charity.

Which was, then, the "cathedra" of St. Peter? He, chosen by Christ as "rock" on which to build the Church (cf. Matthew 16:18), began his ministry in Jerusalem, after the ascension of the Lord and Pentecost. The first "seat" of the Church was the Cenacle, and in all probability in that room, where Mary, the Mother of Jesus, also prayed with the disciples, a special place was reserved for Simon Peter. 

Pope Benedict on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter 2-23-06

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lenten Walk Towards Perfection

Vatican Council II
The Lord Jesus, the divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, preached holiness of life to each and everyone of His disciples of every condition. He Himself stands as the author and consumator of this holiness of life: "Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect".(216)(2*) Indeed He sent the Holy Spirit upon all men that He might move them inwardly to love God with their whole heart and their whole soul, with all their mind and all their strength(217) and that they might love each other as Christ loves them.(218) The followers of Christ are called by God, not because of their works, but according to His own purpose and grace. They are justified in the Lord Jesus, because in the baptism of faith they truly become sons of God and sharers in the divine nature. In this way they are really made holy. Then too, by God's gift, they must hold on to and complete in their lives this holiness they have received. They are warned by the Apostle to live "as becomes saints",(219) and to put on "as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience",(220) and to possess the fruit of the Spirit in holiness.(221) Since truly we all offend in many things (222) we all need God's mercies continually and we all must daily pray: "Forgive us our debts"(223)(3*)
Lumen Gentium No. 40

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Charity

Pope Benedict XVI
Charity is love received and given. It is “grace” (ch├íris). Its source is the wellspring of the Father's love for the Son, in the Holy Spirit. Love comes down to us from the Son. It is creative love, through which we have our being; it is redemptive love, through which we are recreated. Love is revealed and made present by Christ (cf. Jn 13:1) and “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5). As the objects of God's love, men and women become subjects of charity, they are called to make themselves instruments of grace, so as to pour forth God's charity and to weave networks of charity.

(CARITAS IN VERITATE No. 5)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Catholics Come Home

Catholics Come Home: "Coming home has never been easier. We are family. Welcome home."

Share in Suffering, Share in Joy

Saint James:
Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick?  He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.
(Jam 5:13-15)

Pope Benedict XVI 
"The maternity of the Church is a reflection of the solicitous love of God," he said. "[...] Like Mary, the Church bears within herself the tragedies of man, and the consolation of God, she keeps them together, in the course of her pilgrimage in history.

"Across the centuries, the Church shows the signs of the love of God, who continues to do great things in humble and simple people. Suffering that is accepted and offered, a sharing that is sincere and free, are these not, perhaps, miracles of love?"

The Holy Father reflected how "we live a joy that does not forget suffering, on the contrary, it includes it."

"In this way," he said, "the sick and all the suffering are in the Church not only recipients of attention and care, but first and above all, protagonists of the pilgrimage of faith and hope, witnesses of the prodigies of love, of the paschal joy that flowers from the cross and the resurrection of Christ."
Pope Says Suffering Need Not Exclude Joy

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We Follow Mary's Example of Holiness

 St. Paul:
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.(1Cor 1:2)

Catechism 
It is in the Church, in communion with all the baptized, that the Christian fulfills his vocation. From the Church he receives the Word of God containing the teachings of "the law of Christ." From the Church he receives the grace of the sacraments that sustains him on the "way." From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary; he discerns it in the authentic witness of those who live it; he discovers it in the spiritual tradition and long history of the saints who have gone before him and whom the liturgy celebrates in the rhythms of the sanctoral cycle.(CCC 2030)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Life and Death; Choose Life

Moses
"Here, then, I have today set before you life and prosperity, death and doom...I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.(Dt 30:15)

Pope John Paul II
The unconditional choice for life reaches its full religious and moral meaning when it flows from, is formed by and nourished by faith in Christ. Nothing helps us so much to face positively the conflict between death and life in which we are engaged as faith in the Son of God who became man and dwelt among men so "that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (Jn 10:10). It is a matter of faith in the Risen Lord, who has conquered death; faith in the blood of Christ "that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel" (Heb 12:24).
(Evangelium vitae No. 28)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes

Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy; Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us; Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven; Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world; Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit; Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God; Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary; Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God; Pray for us.
Mother of Christ; Pray for us.
Mother of our Savior; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of Christians; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, source of love; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the poor; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the handicapped; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of orphans; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all children; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all nations; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the Church; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, friend of the lonely; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of those who mourn; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, shelter of the homeless; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, guide of travelers; Pray for us.Our Lady of Lourdes, strength of the weak; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, refuge of sinners; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of the suffering; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of the dying; Pray for us.
Queen of heaven; Pray for us.
Queen of peace; Pray for us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Have mercy on us.
Christ hear us; Christ graciously hear us.

Let us pray:

Grant us, your servants, we pray you, Lord God, to enjoy perpetual health of mind and body. By the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, may we be delivered from present sorrows, and enjoy everlasting happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Rosary "A Christ Centered Prayer"

St. Luke:
...and blessed is the fruit of your womb. (LK 1:42)

Pope John Paul II:
Here the first thing to note is the way the beads converge upon the Crucifix, which both opens and closes the unfolding sequence of prayer. The life and prayer of believers is centred upon Christ. Everything begins from him, everything leads towards him, everything, through him, in the Holy Spirit, attains to the Father.
(Rosarium Virginis Mariae)

Pope Leo XIII:
Our need of divine help is as great today as when the great Dominic introduced the use of the Rosary of Mary as a balm for the wounds of his contemporaries.
That great saint indeed, divinely enlightened, perceived that no remedy would be more adapted to the evils of his time than that men should return to Christ, who "is the way, the truth, and the life," by frequent meditation on the salvation obtained for Us by Him, and should seek the intercession with God of that Virgin, to whom it is given to destroy all heresies.
(Supremi Apostolatus Officio)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Luminous Mystery (The Baptism in the Jordan)

St. Matthew:
After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."(Mt 3:16-17)

Pope John Paul II
The Baptism in the Jordan is first of all a mystery of light. Here, as Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became “sin” for our sake (cf. 2Cor 5:21), the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son (cf. Mt 3:17 and parallels), while the Spirit descends on him to invest him with the mission which he is to carry out. (Rosarium Virginis Mariae)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Faith and Hope

St. Luke:
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against  (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." (Lk 2:34-35)


Pope Paul VI
The feast of February 2, which has been given back its ancient name, the Presentation of the Lord, should also be considered as a joint commemoration of the Son and of the Mother, if we are fully to appreciate its rich content. It is the celebration of a mystery of salvation accomplished by Christ, a mystery with which the Blessed virgin was intimately associated as the Mother of the Suffering Servant of Yahweh, as the one who performs a mission belonging to ancient Israel, and as the model for the new People of God, which is ever being tested in its faith and hope by suffering and persecution (cf. Lk. 2:21-35). (Marialis Cultis)