Pope Francis in Angelus: Retaliation does not solve conflicts and is not Christian
February 20, 2017. He called the international community not to forget countries at war like the Central African Republic.
Pope in Rome parish: How many families are destroyed by hatred over inheritance!
“The desire for revenge, the ‘you’ll pay for this,’ is not Christian.”
Pope Francis made this strong statement during his visit to a parish on the outskirts of the city of Rome, the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 19, the second visit of this type since the end of the Jubilee of Mercy, and the 13th visit of this nature.
The parish of Saint Mary Josephine of the Heart of Jesus in Castelverde di Lunghezza, is six kilometers east of the circular highway around Rome.
Path to Sanctity
The Pope presided over Mass in the church and improvised his homily, recalling that, as opposed to the law of retaliation, the Gospel invites faithful to turn the other cheek.
“Be holy as God is holy, perfect as your Father is perfect, who makes the sun shine over the good and the bad, and the rain fall over the just and the unjust,” he said, reminding those present that seeking revenge is not Christian.
“That ‘he did it to me’ … must be forgiven in the heart; this is the path to sanctity and this does away with wars. If all men and women of the world learned this, there wouldn’t be wars,” he continued.
“War begins here (he pointed to the heart), the desire for vengeance destroys families, neighborhoods, so much, so much …”
“Someone might ask: What should be done? Jesus’ says it, I don’t say it … love your enemies.
“Do I have to love this person?
After giving this advice, Francis reminded those present to “pray for the one who persecutes you and does you harm, for him to change his life, so that the Lord will forgive him.”
The ‘Medicine’ to Cure Hatred, Vengeance
“This is the magnanimity of God, who forgives everything,” the Pope stressed.
Pope Francis concluded, asking: “Are you merciful with people that have harmed you or don’t like you?” and stressing that prayer is the antidote, “the only way out and the medicine to cure hatred and vengeance.”
The Pontiff, who had arrived at the parish shortly before 3:30 p.m., was received at the entrance of the church by Vicar of Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, and by parish priest, Father Francesco Rondinelli.
As usual, the Holy Father greeted the people who were behind the barriers and shook many hands, blessing the children and the elderly and even allowing some individuals to have a “selfie” taken with him.
After meeting with children and young people, including their youth group, Francis also greeted the sick and the elderly, parents who baptized their children in the last few months, and with families helped by the parish Caritas, including workers and volunteers. The Jesuit Pontiff also heard some parishioners’ confessions.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Pope’s Words to Various Groups at Parish: to be made available shortly
Below is a Zenit working translation of Pope Francis’ homily during his visit to a parish on the outskirts of the city of Rome, the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 19, the second of this type since the end of the Jubilee of Mercy, and the 13th visit of this nature. The parish of Saint Mary Josephine of the Heart of Jesus in Castelverde di Lunghezza, is six kilometers east of the circular highway around Rome:
* * *
Today, there is what I would call a unique message in the Readings. In the first Reading there is the Word of the Lord who says to us: “Be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” Leviticus 19:2). God the Father says this to us. And the Gospel ends with that Word of Jesus: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”(Matthew 5:48) – the same thing. This is the program of life. Be holy, for He is holy; be perfect, for He is perfect. And you can ask me: But, Father, what is the way to holiness, what is the path to become saints?” Jesus explains it well in the Gospel: He explains it with concrete things.
First of all: “It was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil” (Matthew 5:38-39), namely, no revenge. If I have rancor in my heart for something that someone did to me and I want to revenge myself, this moves me away from the path to sanctity. No revenge. “You did it to me, you’ll pay for it!” Is this Christian? No. “You will pay for it” does not enter the language of a Christian. No revenge. No rancor. “But he makes my life impossible! …” That neighbor speaks badly about me every day! I also speak badly about her …” No. What does the Lord say? “Pray for her” – “But must I pray for her?” – “Yes, pray for her.” It’s the path of forgiveness, of forgetting offenses. You are slapped on the right cheek? Give the other too. Evil is overcome by good, sin is overcome with this generosity, with this strength. Rancor is awful. We all know it’s not a small thing. The great wars – we see it on the TV news, in the newspapers, this massacre of people, of children … How much hatred there is! But it is the same hatred, the same hatred you have in your heart for this man, for that woman, or for that relative or that mother-in-law, or for that other one, it’s the same. It’s greater, but it’s the same. Rancor, the desire to vindicate myself: “You’ll pay for it!” this isn’t Christian.
“Be holy as God is holy”; “be perfect as your Father is perfect,” who makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). He is good. God gives His goods to all. “But if he speaks badly of me, if he has done a bad thing to me, if he has …” Forgive, in your heart. This is the path of sanctity; and this dispels wars. If all the men and women of the world learnt this, there wouldn’t be wars, there wouldn’t be. War begins here, in bitterness, in rancor, in the desire for vengeance, to make one pay. But this destroys families, destroys friendships, destroys neighborhoods, destroys so much, so much …. “And what must I do, Father, when I feel this?” Jesus says it, I don’t say it: “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). “Must I love that person?” – Yes – “I can’t” – Pray so that you can –. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Ibid.). “Must I pray for one who does me harm?” – Yes, so that he changes his life , so that the Lord forgives him. This is the magnanimity of God, the magnanimous God, the God of a great heart, who forgives everything, who is merciful. “It’s true, Father, God is merciful.” And you, are you merciful with persons who have harmed you? Or who do not love you? If He is merciful, if He is holy, if He is perfect, we must be merciful, holy and perfect like Him.
This is holiness. A man or a woman who does this merits to be canonized: they become saints. Christian life is that simple. I suggest that you begin somewhat. We all have enemies; we all know that he or she speaks badly of me; we all know it. And we all know that he or she hates me. We all know it. And we begin a little. “But I know he’s calumniated me, he has said awful things about me.” I suggest to you: take a minute, turn to God the Father: “He or she is your child, she is your daughter: change her heart. Bless him, bless her.” This is called praying for those who don’t love you, for enemies. It can be done with simplicity. Perhaps rancor remains; perhaps rancor remains in us, but we are making the effort to go on the path of this God who is so good, merciful, holy and perfect; who has the sun rise on the evil and on the good: He is for all, He is good to all. We must be good to all, and we must pray for those who aren’t good – for all.
Do we pray for those who kill children in war? It’s difficult, it’s very far away, but we must learn to do so, so that they convert. Do we pray for those persons who are closest to us and hate us or do us harm? Ah, Father, it’s difficult. I would like to ring his neck!” – Pray, pray so that the Lord changes their life. Prayer is an antidote against hatred, against wars, these wars that begin at home, that begin in the neighborhood, that begin in families. Think only of the wars in families over inheritance: how many families are destroyed, hate one another over inheritance. Pray so that there is peace. And if I know that someone wishes me evil, doesn’t love me, I must pray especially for him. Prayer is powerful, prayer overcomes evil; prayer brings peace.
The Gospel, God’s Word today is simple. This advice: “Be holy for I, the Lord your God am holy.” And then: “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Therefore, we must ask for the grace not to remain in rancor, the grace to pray for enemies, to pray for people who don’t love us, for the grace of peace.
I ask you, please, to have this experience: a prayer every day. ”Oh, he doesn’t love me, but Lord, I ask you …” One a day, thus one overcomes, thus we’ll go on this path of holiness and of perfection. So be it.
POPE AND CLERGY OFFER REMARKS AT MARXIST-INSPIRED EVENT
“Conferences like these are a replaying of the trial of Our Blessed Lord, where the crowd called for Barabbas, rather than Christ”
MODESTO, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) – Various Catholics offered remarks at the February 16 –19 Marxist-inspired World Meeting of Popular Movements in Modesto, California.
The focus of the event was domus, terra and labor (housing, land and work) and was represented by known Marxist front groups like theGamaliel Foundation, PICO National Network and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, offered comments for the events in a letter titled “Message of His Holiness Pope Francis on the Occasion of the World Meetings of Popular Movements.”
In the letter he said, ” It makes me very happy to see you working together towards social justice! How I wish that such constructive energy would spread to all dioceses, because it builds bridges between peoples and individuals. These are bridges that can overcome the walls of exclusion, indifference, racism and intolerance.”
Hichborn remarked, “Considering the presence of Marxists and population-control enthusiasts at the Pontifical Academy of Social Science, I think the timing of this event in California and the population control meeting taking place in Rome at the end of the month is not a coincidence.”
While these movements appear to be Catholic-friendly, Hichborn clarified that they arise from a spirit of rebellion: “So-called ‘popular movements,’ which are rooted in materialist revolutionist ideals, have no concern for the salvation of souls, but seek to create chaos, division, confusion, and ultimately, violence,” he said. “By agitating poor and uneducated people with speeches and marches about inequality, these movements water the seeds of pride, envy and wrath.”
At the event, the well-known liberal leader of San Diego, Bp. Robert McElroy, said, “President Trump was the candidate of disruption. Well now, we must all become disrupters.”
McElroy made headlines in November when he encouraged the divorced and remarried, as well as those living in gay relationships, to “utilize the internal forum of conscience” when it comes to receiving the Eucharist.
Speaking about communist groups that take on Catholic names, the famous Marxist community organizer Saul Alinsky said, “These two elemental social institutions are, first, the Catholic Church and second, organized labor.”
Joseph Stalin once said, “We have fashioned a number of organizations without which we could not wage war on capitalism: trade unions, cooperatives, workshop committees, labor parties, women’s associations, a labor press, educational leagues, youth societies.”
Hichborn revealed, “Now, as Communist front groups work to promote their philosophies without tipping their hand too much to what their true intentions are, they will lie and lie and lie in order to maintain their cover.”
Alinsky used the Campaign for Human Development — which later morphed into the Catholic Campaign for Human Development — to procure $150,000 from the archdiocese of Chicago to push Marxist ideology and community organizing.
Bishop McElroy was interrupted with applause on Saturday as he added, “We must make the issues of jobs, housing, immigration, economic disparities and the environment foundations for common efforts rather than of division. We must seek prophetic words and prophetic actions which produce unity and cohesion, and we must do so in a spirit of hope, which is realistic.”
Hichborn told Church Militant, “These social justice warriors are fanning the flames of rebellion, and the more power they gain, the more they will persecute those remaining faithful to the Church’s teachings. Conferences like these are a replaying of the trial of Our Blessed Lord, where the crowd called for Barabbas, rather than Christ. ”
Maxwell Douglas is a member of the PAUSE Program and a staff writer for ChurchMilitant.com.
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The True and False Meaning of “Social Justice” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/30/the-true-and-false-meaning-of-social-justice/
Unmasking Saul Alinsky, a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/26/unmasking-saul-alinsky-a-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing/
Love Your Enemy, But Know Him Too http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/10/10/love-your-enemy-but-know-him-too/
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“A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable. The disordered desire for money cannot but produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the many conflicts which disturb the social order. A system that ‘subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production’ is contrary to human dignity. Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. ‘You cannot serve God and mammon’”(CCC: 2424).
“The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modern times with ‘communism’ or ‘socialism’. She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of ‘capitalism,’ individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for ‘there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market.’ Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended” (CCC:2425).
DOWNLOAD: THE CATHOLIC FRINGE – FEBRUARY 20,2017
The world doesn’t get it.
February 20, 2017
The world doesn’t get it.
CHURCH MILITANT HEADLINES, FEBRUARY 20, 2017
Get briefed on today’s top stories with Christine Niles.
February 20, 2017
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THE VORTEX: DRAIN THE CLERICAL SWAMP http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/02/20/the-vortex-drain-the-clerical-swamp/
Read the source: http://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/news-2017-02-20
THE VORTEX: DRAIN THE CLERICAL SWAMP
Until things change, nothing will change.
February 20, 2017
Last week, in Friday’s Vortex, we asked the question directly to Fr. James Martin: Do you identify as a homosexual? Yes or no?
There are many reasons for that question to be asked, and those reasons criss-cross over theological, spiritual and political lines. Let’s begin our further examination of this question about Fr. Martin with the understanding that there are many priests and bishops and even cardinals who are either secret homosexuals, or at least way too friendly to that agenda. Pope Benedict said so. Pope Francis has said so, and the raw facts of the state of the Church these days say so, not to mention the gigantic homosexual priest sex abuse scandal that cost the Church in the U.S. nearly $3 billion.
Men who identify as homosexuals who go on to get ordained are an extreme danger to the Church and the average Catholic. It’s why the Church forbids them from being ordained in the first place — a rule that many liberal and Church of Nice bishops simply ignore — and they were doing it long before Pope Francis arrived on the scene.
Many bishops today still seem unconcerned about ordaining a man who identifies as homosexual — perhaps because they feel an affinity with them — as long as that man doesn’t appear to display traits which might make him a financial or legal liability down the road for abusing altar boys.
For the man who sees himself, his sexuality, as homosexual, something that needs to be incorporated into his spirituality as a priest, such a man is lying to himself. And he will substitute in a heartbeat Church teaching as a result of his own deep, inordinate desire to be accepted.
Father Martin claims that priests who are homosexual are more fit and able to identify with those who suffer. They may feel more at home with them — probably true — but they are considerably less likely, because of their own psychological illness and perhaps guilty consciences, to instruct them in the hard truths of the Church.
In fact, priests who self-identify as homosexual have created a virtual cottage industry of actually undermining those hard truths of the Church. They see the Church and Her teachings as oppressive, hurtful, marginalizing and all that — the very way they feel all the time, precisely because they identify as gay. Their entire self-perception is wrapped up in their homosexuality, and in that great interior struggle which comes from their own longsuffering, they are quick to reject the hard truths because they create a scenario in their minds that these hard truths make them more of a victim class.
So they tell young men in confession that masturbation is okay. They tell other homosexual travelers that sex between them is okay as long as it’s monogamous. And they get into positions of power and influence in the Church and rain down terror on anyone who promotes authentic Catholic teaching. And they feel completely justified in doing so because the pain of their past and present needs to find an enemy on which to seek revenge.
Martin paints the ordained homosexual as approaching sanctity. He conveniently never addresses the vindictiveness present in the homosexual subculture — the personal pettiness and jealousy and rage. Nor does he ever approach the topic of promiscuity present among those who identify as homosexual males.
For a man who spends so much time cheerleading for homosexuality to be accepted in the Church, it’s odd that he almost never mentions these aspects of life in the homosexual world, aspects which are very present on that scene. Men like Martin and many others — so many that the average Catholic would be revulsed if they knew the reality — go about their insidious work not because they care about the “other,” but because they care about themselves and want to be relieved of the desperate guilt and anxiety they feel.
They have this affliction and never moved beyond it. They will not preach the hard truths because what the man who self-identifies as homosexual fears more than anything on earth is rejection. They don’t really accept themselves, and if others reject them, a psychological tailspin of grief and despair sets in that it is nearly impossible to pull out of.
So the self-identifying homosexual priest (whether he is sexually active or not) will want to be crowd-pleaser. The Mass becomes a grand stage for him to be “accepted” by the “audience” in the pews — not the Sacrifice of the Son to the Father. Even those who cannot overcome their personal shyness and be great performers still suffer from the affliction of needing acceptance.
If they can’t get the crowd to applaud them and give them a false sense of self-worth, they can always have security in not offending so as not to be rejected. This particular strategy is a favorite among self-identifying homosexual prelates. Never offend, or at least do everything in your power to give as little offense as possible so nobody rejects you, even if they don’t really applaud you.
What a woeful, crippling platform from which to govern as a successor of the Apostles.
They heard in seminaries — all on the quiet, of course — that it’s okay to have gay sexual partners, as long as they are other priests, that they should never go outside the clerical state to relieve themselves sexually — too much chance of the reality getting known. This has been the standard in at least the American priesthood for decades now.
The priestly ministry has been crippled in its exercise because of the intrinsic disorder of the homosexual priest. The priesthood, which is intrinsically “other”-related, has become largely a “me” experience. Self-identifying homosexual priests, because they suffer from a deep psychological disorder, are not capable of being “Father.” They are only capable of being hurt and deeply wounded son. And because of this, they will throw aside Holy Mother Church any time they perceive a contest between themselves and the teaching.
The priesthood for these men is not a place where, as Abp. Sheen described it, the man burns himself out like a candle for the good of his spiritual children, but rather a place where they can nourish their own hurts at the expense of their spiritual children. And those of them that do ascend to the office of bishop — the destruction to the Faith is multiplied a thousand times over.
Until this ecclesiastical swamp is drained, little is going to change in the Church. There is too much overlooking and embracing of homosexuality in the ranks of Catholic priests and bishops.
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Here-under are some articles about family and marriage for you to read or watch:
- Getting to know you, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=284
- Be Positive, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=288
- Love and Marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=292
- Endless Love – Marriage after all, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=294
- Say it with love, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=298
- Quality family moments, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=300
- Secret of successful marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=302
- The vocation of marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1968
- Marriage as Covenant, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1974
- Humility: Foundation for Marital Happiness, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1986
- Gratitude: Foundation for marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1980
- True Meaning of marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1972
- Marriage and incompatibility, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2112
- Love is a garden, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2116
- Three kinds of love, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2095
The Beauty of Marriage from a Biblical Perspective http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/02/12/the-beauty-of-marriage-from-a-biblical-perspective/
Wives, Be Subordinate to Your Husbands? – John Paul II on Ephesians 5:21-33 http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/12/wives-be-subordinate-to-your-husbands-john-paul-ii-on-ephesians-521-33/
Reflections on the Indissolubility of Marriage and the Trinity http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/12/reflections-on-the-indissolubility-of-marriage-and-the-trinity/
Why Is Marriage Indissoluble? “The first natural tie of human society is man and wife.” St. Augustine http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/14/why-is-marriage-indissoluble-the-first-natural-tie-of-human-society-is-man-and-wife-st-augustine/
Bishop Olmsted Calls Men Into the Breach http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/05/bishop-olmsted-calls-men-into-the-breach/
THIS EUROPEAN NATION JUST FOUGHT THE GAY AGENDA AND WON – Pope Francis lent a hand http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/23/this-european-nation-just-fought-the-gay-agenda-and-won-pope-francis-lent-a-hand/
Never Date a Feminist: 12 Warning Signs for Young Men http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/never-date-a-feminist-12-warning-signs-for-young-men/
Keeping sex for marriage helps marriages last the distance http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/15/keeping-sex-for-marriage-helps-marriages-last-the-distance/
Pope Francis: Most Catholic marriages are null, some ‘cohabitations’ are ‘real marriage’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/19/pope-francis-most-catholic-marriages-are-null-some-cohabitations-are-real-marriage/
Why Christ Will Never Let His Bride Redefine Marriage? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/19/why-christ-will-never-let-his-bride-redefine-marriage/
Gay ‘marriage’: It’s not gay, and it’s not marriage – G.K. Chesterton http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/14/gay-marriage-its-not-gay-and-its-not-marriage-g-k-chesterton/
Church’s Teaching on Marriage Comes From Author of Creation, Say Bishops http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/16/churchs-teaching-on-marriage-comes-from-author-of-creation-say-bishops/
The family in the era of soulmate marriage http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/29/the-family-in-the-era-of-soulmate-marriage/
Why millenials don’t want kids… Are their reasons good enough? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/29/why-millenials-dont-want-kids-are-their-reasons-good-enough/
Real insights about porn and marriage http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/10/28/real-insights-about-porn-and-marriage/
10 Issues You Should Discuss Before You Get Married (otherwise your marriage could be invalid!) http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/12/10-issues-you-should-discuss-before-you-get-married-otherwise-your-marriage-could-be-invalid/
Engaged Couple’s Spiritual Checklist http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/13/engaged-couples-spiritual-checklist/
Should You Get Married in the Church? 7 Couples Share Their Experience http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/13/should-you-get-married-in-the-church-7-couples-share-their-experience/
Must Catholics Marry in a Church? Must Catholics Have Their Wedding in a Church? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/13/must-catholics-marry-in-a-church-must-catholics-have-their-wedding-in-a-church/
Last Video Released in Series on Marriage http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/12/21/last-video-released-in-series-on-marriage/
For Catholics A Woman’s Place is in the Home http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/01/20/for-catholics-a-womans-place-is-in-the-home/
Real Women- The Catholic View Marriage and Family http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/01/20/real-women-the-catholic-view-marriage-and-family/
Real Women- Feminine Virtue and the Moral Life http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/01/20/real-women-feminine-virtue-and-the-moral-life/
The Human Person Is a Bioethical Word http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/01/20/the-human-person-is-a-bioethical-word/
“God himself is the author of marriage” (GS 48:1). The vocation of marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes (CCC:1603)
FBI Homosexuality click below:
Many believe the Freemasons are simply a centuries-old charitable fraternity. However, the Catholic Church has consistently condemned Freemasonry more than any other error in its history because it promotes indifferentism, naturalism, communism, and other dangerous philosophies.
Why Homosexuality is a Natural Law Issue? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/14/why-homosexuality-is-a-natural-law-issue/
PRIEST SEX ABUSE IS ALL ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/14/priest-sex-abuse-is-all-about-homosexuality/
THE VORTEX: BLACKMAIL? COVER-UP? Did the New York archdiocese buy Fr. Miqueli’s silence? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/16/the-vortex-blackmail-cover-up-the-vortex-blackmail-cover-up-did-the-new-york-archdiocese-buy-fr-miquelis-silence/
THE VORTEX: HIDING GAY PRIESTS http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/14/the-vortex-hiding-gay-priests/
NEARLY 50 SEX ABUSE CLAIMS FILED IN NEW YORK ARCHDIOCESE http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/12/14/nearly-50-sex-abuse-claims-filed-in-new-york-archdiocese/
THE VORTEX: DAMAGE CONTROL TIME – This could be the end for Cardinal Dolan http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/15/the-vortex-damage-control-time-this-could-be-the-end-for-cardinal-dolan/
THE VORTEX: HALF OF PRIESTS AND BISHOPS ARE GAY http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/11/the-vortex-half-of-priests-and-bishops-are-gay/
THE VORTEX: NEW YORK DOUBLES – The blockbuster insider interview! Investigation of Fr. Peter Miqueli sex and embezzlement case http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/04/the-vortex-new-york-doubles-the-blockbuster-insider-interview-investigation-of-fr-peter-miqueli-sex-and-embezzlement-case/
EXCLUSIVE TELL-ALL INTERVIEW—NEW YORK CITY GAY PRIEST EMBEZZLEMENT SCANDAL http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/04/exclusive-tell-all-interview-new-york-city-gay-priest-embezzlement-scandal/
WATCH—NEW YORK’S HOMOSEXUAL PRIEST MAFIA EXPOSED http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/07/watch-new-yorks-homosexual-priest-mafia-exposed/
PRIEST CAUGHT IN GAY SEX STING PROMOTED TO HEAD OF NEW YORK ARCHDIOCESAN TV http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/09/priest-caught-in-gay-sex-sting-promoted-to-head-of-new-york-archdiocesan-tv/
NEW YORK VICAR GENERAL LINKED TO AWOL PRIEST: Msgr. Greg Mustaciuolo allegedly tied to fleeing priest Msgr. Michael Hull http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/14/new-york-vicar-general-linked-to-awol-priest-msgr-greg-mustaciuolo-allegedly-tied-to-fleeing-priest-msgr-michael-hull/
COMPLETE COVERAGE—NEW YORK GAY PRIEST EMBEZZLEMENT SCANDAL http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/16/complete-coverage-new-york-gay-priest-embezzlement-scandal/
SUICIDE, SEX ABUSE AND CRIMINAL CHARGES: Protection of homosexual Franciscan latest revelation in ongoing Pennsylvania scandal http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/16/suicide-sex-abuse-and-criminal-charges-protection-of-homosexual-franciscan-latest-revelation-in-ongoing-pennsylvania-scandal/
THE VORTEX: HOW IT ALL WORKS – There is a homosexual network in the Church http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/23/the-vortex-how-it-all-works-there-is-a-homosexual-network-in-the-church/
TWIN CITIES ARCHBISHOP HAD SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CONVICTED PRIEST: Evidence suggests homosexual relations between Abp. John Nienstedt and Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/22/twin-cities-archbishop-had-social-relationship-with-convicted-priest-evidence-suggests-homosexual-relations-between-abp-john-nienstedt-and-fr-curtis-wehmeyer/
THE VORTEX: SIFT THEM LIKE WHEAT- Satan has attacked the priesthood and episcopacy with homosexuality http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/12/the-vortex-sift-them-like-wheat-satan-has-attacked-the-priesthood-and-episcopacy-with-homosexuality/
MIC’D UP: SHOULD HOMOSEXUALS BE PRIESTS? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/19/micd-up-should-homosexuals-be-priests/
HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST TO SPEAK AT SAN FRANCISCO PARISH http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/02/homosexual-activist-to-speak-at-san-francisco-parish/
ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART MUZZLES PRO-GAY SPEAKER: Melbourne archbishop disallows pro-LGBT politician from speaking at Catholic event
WATCH: U.S. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz push for gay ‘equality’ will ‘destroy everything Christian’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/06/watch-u-s-bishop-fabian-bruskewitz-push-for-gay-equality-will-destroy-everything-christian/
PICTURE JESUS AS A HOMOSEXUAL: Fr. Donal Godfrey: “God is in some sense queer” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/15/picture-jesus-as-a-homosexual-fr-donal-godfrey-god-is-in-some-sense-queer/
PENNSYLVANIA HOMOSEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL CROSSES STATE LINES http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/18/pennsylvania-homosexual-abuse-scandal-crosses-state-lines/
COMPLETE COVERAGE—PENNSYLVANIA HOMOSEXUAL CLERGY COVER-UP http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/30/complete-coverage-pennsylvania-homosexual-clergy-cover-up/
HUNDREDS OF SEX ABUSE TIPS RECEIVED IN PENNSYLVANIA HOMOSEXUAL CLERGY COVER-UP http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/31/hundreds-of-sex-abuse-tips-received-in-pennsylvania-homosexual-clergy-cover-up/
THE VORTEX: I ANSWER ONLY TO GOD – A new culture is forming in the Church on Homosexual Clergy http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/31/the-vortex-i-answer-only-to-god-a-new-culture-is-forming-in-the-church-on-homosexual-clergy/
REV. MARTIN BOYLAN: SCRANTON PRIEST SUSPENDED PENDING INVESTIGATION http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/04/rev-martin-boylan-scranton-priest-suspended-pending-investigation-allegations-of-pedophila-is-enough-to-have-priests-faculties-removed-in-scranton-diocese/
ORGANIZED CRIME IN PENNSYLVANIA DIOCESE: Federal authorities seeking racketeering charges over actions of two former bishops http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/04/organized-crime-in-pennsylvania-diocese-federal-authorities-seeking-racketeering-charges-over-actions-of-two-former-bishops/
SUPERIOR OF LAY APOSTOLATE DECLARES FOUNDER GUILTY OF SEX ABUSE: The community of Sodalitium Christianae Vitae has systemic problems http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/06/superior-of-lay-apostolate-declares-founder-guilty-of-sex-abuse-the-community-of-sodalitium-christianae-vitae-has-systemic-problems/
Cardinal Theodore Adrien Sarr: Africans will not accept Western push for gay ‘marriage’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/06/cardinal-theodore-adrien-sarr-africans-will-not-accept-western-push-for-gay-marriage/
PENNSYLVANIA REFORMING SEX ABUSE LAW AMID HOMOSEXUAL ABUSE CRISIS: Legislators seek abolition of statute of limitations http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/06/pennsylvania-reforming-sex-abuse-law-amid-homosexual-abuse-crisis-legislators-seek-abolition-of-statute-of-limitations/
COLOMBIANS MARCH AGAINST GENDER IDEOLOGY FOLLOWING POPE FRANCIS’ COMMENTS http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/14/colombians-march-against-gender-ideology-following-pope-francis-comments/
HEAD OF US BISHOPS’ NEWS AGENCY PROMOTES LGBT ‘RIGHTS’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/12/head-of-us-bishops-news-agency-promotes-lgbt-rights/
HEAD OF BISHOPS’ NEWS OUTFIT RESIGNS AMID CONTROVERSY: Bishops ask Tony Spence to step down after reports of pro-gay activism http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/14/head-of-bishops-news-outfit-resigns-amid-controversy-bishops-ask-tony-spence-to-step-down-after-reports-of-pro-gay-activism/
VATICAN BANS ARCHBISHOP JULIUSZ PAETZ FROM POLAND’S CELEBRATIONS http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/14/vatican-bans-archbishop-juliusz-paetz-from-polands-celebrations/
Michael Voris’s Stunning & Admirable Broken-Hearted Confession http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/22/michael-voriss-stunning-admirable-broken-hearted-confession/
MASCULINITY AND CATHOLICISM: True masculinity involves courage, sacrifice and love of God http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/23/masculinity-and-catholicism-true-masculinity-involves-courage-sacrifice-and-love-of-god/
THE VORTEX: LIMITING GOD – We must not seek to limit God http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/21/the-vortex-limiting-god-we-must-not-seek-to-limit-god/
THREE FRIARS TO STAND TRIAL FOR PROTECTING HOMOSEXUAL ABUSIVE BROTHER http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/29/three-friars-to-stand-trial-for-protecting-homosexual-abusive-brother/
SETTLEMENT REACHED IN PA HOMOSEXUAL BROTHER ABUSE CASE http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/14/settlement-reached-in-pa-homosexual-brother-abuse-case/
THIRD CLERIC CONVICTED IN GAY PRIEST NETWORK IN BRINDISI, ITALY http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/19/third-cleric-convicted-in-gay-priest-network-in-brindisi-italy/
Can You Be Gay and Christian? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/29/can-you-be-gay-and-christian/
EX-GAY CHRISTOPHER SALE RESCUED BY THE POWER OF THE CROSS http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/03/ex-gay-christopher-sale-rescued-by-the-power-of-the-cross/
THE DOWNLOAD: NOT BORN THAT WAY – Interview with Christopher Sale http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/03/the-download-not-born-that-way-interview-with-christopher-sale/
DARTMOUTH COURSE: ORLANDO MASSACRE RESULT OF ‘MASCULINITY, CONSERVATISM’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/03/dartmouth-course-orlando-massacre-result-of-masculinity-conservatism/
STOCKTON DIOCESE VICAR GENERAL CAUGHT IN SEXTING SCANDAL http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/15/stockton-diocese-vicar-general-caught-in-sexting-scandal/
STUDY: NO ONE IS BORN GAY http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/28/study-no-one-is-born-gay/
THE VORTEX: WHAT GIVES? – Playing pattycake with homo-Catholics http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/19/the-vortex-what-gives-playing-pattycake-with-homo-catholics/
CONNECTICUT DIOCESE FIGHTS TO KEEP SEX ABUSE FILES SECRET http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/22/connecticut-diocese-fights-to-keep-sex-abuse-files-secret/
History of the False Ideas Leading to Same-Sex “Marriage” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/03/history-of-the-false-ideas-leading-to-same-sex-marriage/
Why America Has It Wrong About Homosexuality http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/03/why-america-has-it-wrong-about-homosexuality/
CM EXCLUSIVE: FR. DARIUSZ OKO ON THE HOMOHERESY – About the plague of homosexual clergy in the Church http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/01/18/cm-exclusive-fr-dariusz-oko-on-the-homoheresy-about-the-plague-of-homosexual-clergy-in-the-church/
THE DOWNLOAD: BISHOP ROBERT BARRON ON ‘PELVIC ISSUES’ – HE WOULDN’T REVERSE “GAY MARRIAGE” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/02/02/the-download-bishop-robert-barron-on-pelvic-issues/
Homosexuality, the Grave Evil Presented as Good with Q & A, Part 1 & 2
Homosexuals and Freemasons inside the Church
“The Rite of Sodomy” Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Church
Mic’d Up “Pink Money and the Homosexual Mafia”
Michael Voris gives a series of short talks, answering questions coming in response to his talk on homosexuality in Nigeria.
In this talk from Nigeria, Michael Voris speaks about the grave evil presented as good – homosexuality. Catechism of Catholic Church teaches that, “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (cf. Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10), tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” (CDF, Persona humana 8). They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC: 2357).
The Cost of Abortion & Contraception Deception click below:
RESEARCHERS CRITICIZE STUDY CLAIMING WOMEN BENEFIT ECONOMICALLY FROM ABORTION http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/22/researchers-criticize-study-claiming-women-benefit-economically-from-abortion/
Pope Francis Defends Life From Conception to Natural Death During Angelus – February 7,2016 http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/07/pope-francis-defends-life-from-conception-to-natural-death-during-angelus-february-72016/
Do Men Have a Duty to Have More than 2.1 Children? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/26/do-men-have-a-duty-to-have-more-than-2-1-children/
Fighting Poverty by Eliminating Children http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/10/fighting-poverty-by-eliminating-children/
He performed 1,200 abortions: In new videos, he wants you to see what abortion really looks like http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/24/he-performed-1200-abortions-in-new-videos-he-wants-you-to-see-what-abortion-really-looks-like/
Still think abortion is medically necessary? This abortionist begs to differ (video)
‘I freaked out’: clinic worker describes first time watching abortionist remove baby’s arms, legs http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/03/i-freaked-out-clinic-worker-describes-first-time-watching-abortionist-remove-babys-arms-legs/
US Congress Subpoenas StemExpress, Which Buys Fully Intact Aborted Babies From Planned Parenthood http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/30/us-congress-subpoenas-stemexpress-which-buys-fully-intact-aborted-babies-from-planned-parenthood/
Breastfeeding: A social justice issue http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/30/breastfeeding-a-social-justice-issue/
MRI Shows Breastfed Babies’ Brains Develop Better/Faster than Formula or Mixed-Fed Infants http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/18/mri-shows-breastfed-babies-brains-develop-betterfaster-than-formula-or-mixed-fed-infants/
US Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz backs personhood in powerful new video: “Defend the right to life of born and unborn”
Is Health Care a Pro Life Issue? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/14/is-health-care-a-pro-life-issue/
‘I made a huge mistake’ – Why one radical feminist changed her mind on abortion http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/06/i-made-a-huge-mistake-why-one-radical-feminist-changed-her-mind-on-abortion/
THE VORTEX: TIME BOMBS IN THE MARCH FOR LIFE – The March for Life has been hijacked by the Church of Nice http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/21/the-vortex-time-bombs-in-the-march-for-life-the-march-for-life-has-been-hijacked-by-the-church-of-nice/
MIC’D UP—PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S STRATEGY
12th Video Catches Planned Parenthood Aborting Intact Late-Term Babies to Sell as Parts http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/03/12th-video-catches-planned-parenthood-aborting-intact-late-term-babies-to-sell-as-parts/
Abby Johnson confessions of a former Planned Parenthood Director: Contraception access increases abortions. And here’s the proof http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/08/abby-johnson-confessions-of-a-former-planned-parenthood-director-contraception-access-increases-abortions-and-heres-the-proof/
Former abortionist: Abortion is never necessary to save a woman’s life http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/21/former-abortionist-abortion-is-never-necessary-to-save-a-womans-life/
Related Articles/ Videos on Euthanasia click below:
Michael Voris talks an in-depth discussion of the true, financial cost of abortion and its effects to the United States. Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death” (CDF, Donum vitae III; CCC: 2273).
Contraception & the New Dark Age, Part 1-4: Where we are & How we got here by Dr. Martin Brenner click below:
Is Contraception a Legitimate Response to the Zika Virus? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/04/is-contraception-a-legitimate-response-to-the-zika-virus/
Contraception gave us divorce and gay ‘marriage’ and will destroy us: here’s how http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/06/contraception-gave-us-divorce-and-gay-marriage-and-will-destroy-us-heres-how/
CIA: The Rockefeller Foundation – Actively Undermining the Catholic Church click below:
We are used to thinking of the Rockefellers as simply a byword for wealth, power and financial success. Perhaps we might think of them as determined businessmen or see them as great philanthropists. But the truth is far different; the Rockefeller Foundation is actively undermining the Catholic Church, and in the process, attempting to erase man’s natural orientation to the eternal.
Global Warming Unmasked click below:
Are the environmental movements and groups simply devoted to laudable, correct stewardship of God’s creation, or do they have a more sinister, hidden agenda? Is “global warming” being used as an excuse for something far darker? Is the final goal of the liberal elites behind the push of junk science population control, eugenics and Gaia worship?
Mic’d Up “Is Contraception Killing the Church?” click below:
This week on Mic’d Up we’ll be tackling the terrible scourge of Contraception on the Church. Michael Hichborn and Rey Flores from American Life League will join us to expose Catholic Relief Services complicity with Organizations who support contraception and to Discuss The Pill Kills Day of Action 2014. Also joining us will be Lynn Mills who will be discussing the continued prayer rally at Providence Park Hospital in the Archdiocese of Detroit because of their complicity in abortion, contraception and sterilization. Following that same thread we’ll break down the announcement from Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron concerning the crisis of parish closings facing Detroit. Also dropping by will be author James Kalb, to discuss the plague of pluralism on the Church’s Hierarchy.
Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of Seventh Week of Ordinary Time & Peter Damian, February 21,2017
Ecclesiastical abuses and political intrigues characterized the 11th– century milieu of Peter Damian. Having embraced a life of prayer and penance at the hermitage of Fonte Avellana in northern Italy, Peter nevertheless took public stands against simony, the practice of buying and selling ecclesiastical offices, and clerical marriage. In 1057 A.D. he was named cardinal and bishop of Ostia, Italy. Peter urged the secular clergy to embrace monastic poverty. His many writings include letters written to influential Medieval personages, recommending detachment from worldly goods. He died in 1072 A.D., and was named a Doctor of the Church in 1828 A.D.
“Lord, by your cross you have redeemed the world and revealed your glory and triumph over sin and death. May I never fail to see your glory and victory in the cross. Help me to conform my life to your will and to follow in your way of holiness.”
My son, when you come to serve the LORD,
stand in justice and fear,
prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast,
incline your ear and receive the word of understanding,
undisturbed in time of adversity.
Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, forsake him not;
thus will you be wise in all your ways.
Accept whatever befalls you,
when sorrowful, be steadfast,
and in crushing misfortune be patient;
For in fire gold and silver are tested,
and worthy people in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and God will help you;
trust in him, and he will direct your way;
keep his fear and grow old therein.
You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy,
turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him,
and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things,
for lasting joy and mercy.
You who fear the LORD, love him,
and your hearts will be enlightened.
Study the generations long past and understand;
has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed?
Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken?
has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the LORD;
he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble
and he is a protector to all who seek him in truth.
The word of the Lord.
Ps 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
R. (see 5) Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R. Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
They are not put to shame in an evil time;
in days of famine they have plenty.
R. Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones.
R. Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
For they had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection 1 – Anyone wishes to be the first
Today Jesus reveals to us that whoever receives a child in His Name, receives Him and the One Who sent Him. “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.” Jesus wants us to receive every man in love and never to judge anyone. We have to believe and act that we are all equal in the eyes of God and that we are no better than our neighbor. We should be able to welcome everyone into God’s fold especially those who have been separated from Him. We should care and love them in the Name of our Lord always trying to draw them closer to God. We are tasked to bring them back into the company of God’s people in love and mercy, not condescendingly judge and condemn them. “It is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” To further emphasize the need to love one another, Jesus said in today’s gospel: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all” implying the need for all to give more and more of self and to deny and empty one self.
Let me share a confession of Whittaker Chambers (a former Communist) in his book “Witness” about one of his heroes as a young man.
His hero was Felix Djerjinsky, a Pole who was ascetic, highly sensitive, intelligent. As a young man, Djerjinsky was a political prisoner in the Paviak Prison in Warsaw where he insisted on being given the task of cleaning the latrines of other prisoners as he had the belief and conviction that the most developed member of any community must take upon himself the lowliest tasks as an example to those who are less developed.
To be a true leader, one should be able to do the lowliest of jobs to set an example for the others to follow. Djerjinsky’s idea of leadership bring us to what Jesus has to say about leadership within the Church: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Jesus is the Head of the Body and as such He had to do the work the Father had for Him. He had to joyfully oblige to the Father’s will, pay for the ransom and die on the Cross! As His followers and workers, let us ask ourselves: How willing are we to serve rather than be served by others?
One of the obstacles to truly serving God’s people and be the last and servant of all is our PRIDE. Combined with covetousness and envy, we impede our service for the Lord. Instead of being fruitful for the Lord, we are lost in the mire of self and fail to see the beauty of one’s work for the Lord. We may become critical of the other person, to the eventual detriment of God’s flock. Our motive and attitude in serving God and His flock becomes so fleshy, so attached to the world such that our works become acts of selfishness, rivalry, dissension, factions and even outbursts of fury and hatred. “The works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
Regrettably, our yearning to be a selfless leader like Jesus, becomes a failed ministry, so dominant and controlling, whose focus would be power, authority and influence. We become God’s foe and an instrument of the evil one. “Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
Let us always be reminded that: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Let us then “submit ourselves to God, resist the devil…draw near to God, cleanse our hands, purify our hearts and humble ourselves before the Lord and he will exalt us!” James 4:7-11
Bring God’s Word to everyone. We have to receive in love our brothers and sisters no matter how unlovable and lowly they may be. Serve others anonymously without hoping for any credits.
Heavenly Father, give me the grace to draw people into your fold. Help me serve you and your people humbly and without any consideration for credit and honor. In Jesus, I pray and hope. Amen.
Reflection 2 – Who is the greatest in God’s kingdom?
Whose glory do you seek? There can be no share in God’s glory without the cross. When Jesus prophesied his own betrayal and crucifixion, it did not make any sense to his disciples because it did not fit their understanding of what the Messiah came to do. And they were afraid to ask further questions! Like a person who might receive a bad verdict from the doctor and then refuse to ask further questions, they, too, didn’t want to know any more. How often do we reject what we do not wish to see? We have heard the good news of God’s word and we know the consequences of accepting it or rejecting it. But do we give it our full allegiance and mold our lives according to it? Ask the Lord to fill you with his Holy Spirit and to inspire within you a reverence for his word and a readiness to obey it.
Do you compare yourself with others?
How ashamed the disciples must have been when Jesus overheard them arguing about who among them was the greatest! But aren’t we like the disciples? We compare ourselves with others and desire their praise. The appetite for glory and greatness seems to be inbred in us. Who doesn’t cherish the ambition to be “somebody” whom others admire rather than a “nobody”? Even the psalms speak about the glory God has destined for us. You have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5).
Jesus made a dramatic gesture by embracing a child to show his disciples who really is the greatest in the kingdom of God. What can a little child possibly teach us about greatness? Children in the ancient world had no rights, position, or privileges of their own. They were socially at the “bottom of the rung” and at the service of their parents, much like the household staff and domestic servants.
Who is the greatest in God’s kingdom?
What is the significance of Jesus’ gesture? Jesus elevated a little child in the presence of his disciples by placing the child in a privileged position of honor. It is customary, even today, to seat the guest of honor at the right side of the host. Who is the greatest in God’s kingdom? The one who is humble and lowly of heart – who instead of asserting their rights willingly empty themselves of pride and self-seeking glory by taking the lowly position of a servant or child.
Jesus, himself, is our model. He came not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). Paul the Apostle states that Jesus emptied himself and took the form of a servant (Philippians 2:7). Jesus lowered himself (he whose place is at the right hand of God the Father) and took on our lowly nature that he might raise us up and clothe us in his divine nature.
God wants to fill us with his own glory
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). If we want to be filled with God’s life and power, then we need to empty ourselves of everything which stands in the way – pride, self-seeking glory, vanity, etc. God wants empty vessels so he can fill them with his own glory, power, and love (2 Corinthians 4:7). Are you ready to humble yourself and to serve as Jesus did?
“Lord Jesus, by your cross you have redeemed the world and revealed your glory and triumph over sin and death. May I never fail to see your glory and victory in the cross. Help me to conform my life to your will and to follow in your way of holiness.” – Read the source: http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/feb21.htm
Reflection 3 – Is your love for God tried and true?
Have you experienced trials that challenge your trust in God? Of course you have! It’s very normal. As today’s first reading says, when we serve the Lord, we should prepare for trials. Why? Because we’re making a difference in the world — in people’s lives — and not everyone wants to accept this change. Therefore, our efforts cause persecution, rejection, and other opportunities for us to practice what we profess.
This point was driven home to me one day when I tried to minister to a woman in church who was shutting herself off from the community. It’s not so much her rejection of my outreach that challenged me, but my reaction to her judgmentalism. I became angry at her, and then God put me in the path of someone else who was angry. This challenged me to recognize my own unforgiveness.
The trials of this world expose us. Are we judgmental about those who are judgmental? Are we unforgiving toward those who are unforgiving? Are we unloving to those who don’t love us? Are we unkind to those who are unkind?
Having our sins exposed by the sins of others can be the most important trials of our lives! These are what stretch us, but only if we accept the challenge to grow. These are what purify us, like gold tested in fire, so that we are strengthened in holiness. These are what help us become faithful to the Lord whom we claim to love.
Are we truly sincere of heart and steadfast in our love for God? Times of adversity reveal the answer. It’s okay to feel sorrowful during hardships, but do we trust God enough to wait on him with patience? Do we cling to him instead of trying to solve problems with short-cuts and retaliation? Do we place whatever befalls us into the context of our love relationship with God, who assures us (see Romans 8:28) that he is going to turn everything into a blessing for us?
A deep relationship with God enables us to trust in his mercy and compassion, even while we cry on his shoulder and moan to him in the pain of our sufferings.
In a deep relationship with God, we’re not discouraged by what we see during the trial, because we remain certain that God is doing something wonderful that we cannot yet see.
In a deep relationship with God, understanding comes not in our minds but in our hearts, where love, not brain-power, helps us realize the help that he is giving.
Our love for God is deepened most when purified and strengthened by testing. – Read the source: http://gnm.org/good-news-reflections/?useDrDate=2017-02-21
Reflection 4 – Candidates For Humility
He who is least among you all will be great. –Luke 9:48
“What do you think of the candidates?” That’s what a reporter for a news magazine asked a young woman at Dartmouth University after a debate among presidential hopefuls. She didn’t say a word about their positions on the issues or their skill at debate. She simply remarked, “None of them seems to have any humility.”
Benjamin Franklin, the early American statesman, made a list of character qualities that he wanted to develop in his own life. When he mastered one virtue, he went on to the next. He did pretty well, he said, until he got to humility. Every time he thought he was making significant progress, he would be so pleased with himself that he became proud.
Humility is an elusive virtue. Even Jesus’ disciples struggled with it. When Jesus learned that they had been arguing about who was the greatest, He responded, “If anyone desires to be first, he should be last of all and servant of all” (Mk. 9:35). Then He took a little child in His arms and indicated that we need to humbly serve others as if we were serving Christ.
If a news reporter were to talk to our friends, neighbors, or fellow church members and ask them to describe us, would they use the word humble? — David C. Egner
True greatness does not lie with those
Who strive for worldly fame;
It lies instead with those who choose
To serve in Jesus’ name. –DJD
Humility can be sought but never celebrated (Source: Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries).
Reflection 5 – St. Peter Damian (1007-1072 A.D.)
Maybe because he was orphaned and had been treated shabbily by one of his brothers, Peter Damian was very good to the poor. It was the ordinary thing for him to have a poor person or two with him at table and he liked to minister personally to their needs.
Peter escaped poverty and the neglect of his own brother when his other brother, who was archpriest of Ravenna, took him under his wing. His brother sent him to good schools and Peter became a professor.
Already in those days Peter was very strict with himself. He wore a hair shirt under his clothes, fasted rigorously and spent many hours in prayer. Soon, he decided to leave his teaching and give himself completely to prayer with the Benedictines of the reform of St. Romuald (June 19) at Fonte Avellana. They lived two monks to a hermitage. Peter was so eager to pray and slept so little that he soon suffered from severe insomnia. He found he had to use some prudence in taking care of himself. When he was not praying, he studied the Bible.
The abbot commanded that when he died Peter should succeed him. Abbot Peter founded five other hermitages. He encouraged his brothers in a life of prayer and solitude and wanted nothing more for himself. The Holy See periodically called on him, however, to be a peacemaker or troubleshooter, between two abbeys in dispute or a cleric or government official in some disagreement with Rome.
Finally, Pope Stephen IX made Peter the cardinal-bishop of Ostia. He worked hard to wipe out simony (the buying of church offices), and encouraged his priests to observe celibacy and urged even the diocesan clergy to live together and maintain scheduled prayer and religious observance. He wished to restore primitive discipline among religious and priests, warning against needless travel, violations of poverty and too comfortable living. He even wrote to the bishop of Besancon, complaining that the canons there sat down when they were singing the psalms in the Divine Office.
He wrote many letters. Some 170 are extant. We also have 53 of his sermons and seven lives, or biographies, that he wrote. He preferred examples and stories rather than theory in his writings. The liturgical offices he wrote are evidence of his talent as a stylist in Latin.
He asked often to be allowed to retire as cardinal-bishop of Ostia, and finally Alexander II consented. Peter was happy to become once again just a monk, but he was still called to serve as a papal legate. When returning from such an assignment in Ravenna, he was overcome by a fever. With the monks gathered around him saying the Divine Office, he died on February 22, 1072.
In 1828 he was declared a Doctor of the Church.
Peter was a reformer and if he were alive today would no doubt encourage the renewal started by Vatican II. He would also applaud the greater emphasis on prayer that is shown by the growing number of priests, religious and laypersons who gather regularly for prayer, as well as the special houses of prayer recently established by many religious communities.
“…Let us faithfully transmit to posterity the example of virtue which we have received from our forefathers” (St. Peter Damian).
Read the source: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1298
SAINT OF THE DAY
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|SAINT PETER DAMIAN|
Bust of Peter Damian. Santa Maria degli Angeli, Florence.
|BISHOP, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH|
|DIED||22 February 1072 or 1073
|VENERATED IN||Roman Catholic Church|
earlier 23 February (General Roman Calendar, 1823-1969)
|ATTRIBUTES||represented as a cardinal bearing a knotted rope in his hand; also as apilgrim holding a papal Bull;Cardinal’s hat, Benedictine monk’s habit|
Saint Peter Damian (Latin: Petrus Damianus; Italian: Pietro or Pier Damiani; c. 1007 – 21 or 22 February 1072 or 1073) was a reformingBenedictine monk and cardinal in the circle of Pope Leo IX. Dante placed him in one of the highest circles of Paradiso as a great predecessor of Saint Francis of Assisi and he was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1828. His feast day is February 21.
Peter was born in Ravenna, Italy, around 1007, the youngest of a large noble, but poor family. Orphaned early, he was at first adopted by an elder brother, who ill-treated and under-fed him while employing him as a swineherd. After some years, another brother, Damianus, who was archpriest at Ravenna, had pity on him and took him away to be educated. Adding his brother’s name to his own, Peter made such rapid progress in his studies of theology andcanon law, first at Ravenna, then at Faenza, and finally at the University of Parma, that when about twenty-five years old he was already a famous teacher at Parma and Ravenna.
About 1035, however, he gave up his secular calling and, avoiding the compromised luxury of Cluniac monasteries, entered the isolated hermitage of Fonte Avellana, near Gubbio. Both as novice and as monk, his fervor was remarkable but led him to such extremes of self-mortification in penance that his health was affected, and he developed severe insomnia. On his recovery, he was appointed to lecture to his fellow monks. Then, at the request of Guy of Pomposa (Guido d’Arezzo) and other heads of neighboring monasteries, for two or three years he lectured to their brethren also, and (about 1042) wrote the life of St. Romuald for the monks of Pietrapertosa. Soon after his return to Fonte Avellana he was appointed economus(manager or housekeeper) of the house by the prior, who designated him as his successor. In 1043 he became prior of Fonte Avellana, and remained so until his death in February 1072.
Subject-hermitages were founded at San Severino, Gamogna, Acerreta, Murciana, San Salvatore, Sitria and Ocri. A zealot for monastic and clerical reform, he introduced a more-severe discipline, including the practice of flagellation (“thedisciplina“), into the house, which, under his rule, quickly attained celebrity, and became a model for other foundations, even the great abbey of Monte Cassino. There was much opposition outside his own circle to such extreme forms of penitence, but Peter’s persistent advocacy ensured its acceptance, to such an extent that he was obliged later to moderate the imprudent zeal of some of his own hermits. 
Another innovation was that of the daily siesta, to make up for the fatigue of the night office. During his tenure of the priorate a cloister was built, silver chalices and a silver processional cross were purchased, and many books were added to the library.
Although living in the seclusion of the cloister, Peter Damian closely watched the fortunes of the Church, and like his friend Hildebrand, the future Pope Gregory VII, he strove for reforms in a deplorable time. When Benedict IX resigned the pontificate into the hands of the archpriest John Gratian (Gregory VI) in 1045, Peter hailed the change with joy and wrote to the new pope, urging him to deal with the scandals of the church in Italy, singling out the wicked bishops of Pesaro, of Città di Castello and of Fano.
Extending the area of his activities, he entered into communication with the Emperor Henry III. He was present in Rome when Clement II crowned Henry III and his consort Agnes, and he also attended a synod held at the Lateran in the first days of 1047, in which decrees were passed against simony.
After this he returned to his hermitage. About 1050, during the pontificate of Pope Leo IX, Peter wrote a scathing treatise on the vices of the clergy, including sexual abuse of minors and actions by church superiors to hide the crimes. Liber Gomorrhianus was openly addressed to the pope. Meanwhile the question arose as to the validity of the ordinations of simoniacal clerics. Peter Damiani wrote (about 1053) a treatise, the Liber Gratissimus, in favor of their validity, a work which, though much combatted at the time, was potent in deciding the question in their favor before the end of the 12th century.
Peter often condemned philosophy. He claimed that the first grammarian was the Devil, who taught Adam to decline deus in the plural. He argued that monks should not have to study philosophy, because Jesus did not choose philosophers as disciples, and so philosophy is not necessary for salvation. But the idea (later attributed to Thomas Aquinas) that philosophy should serve theology as a servant serves her mistress originated with him. However, this apparent animosity may reflect his view that logic is only concerned with the validity of argument, rather than the nature of reality. Similar views are found in Al-Ghazali and Wittgenstein.
Damian’s tract De divina omnipotentia is frequently misunderstood. Damian’s purpose is to defend the “doctrine of omnipotence”, which he defines as the ability of God to do anything that is good, i.e., God cannot lie. Toivo J. Holopainen identifies De divina omnipotentia as “an interesting document related to the early developments of medieval discussion concerning modalities and divine omnipotence.”Peter also recognized that God can act outside time, as Gregory of Riminilater argued.
Papal envoy and Cardinal
During his illness the pope died, and Frédéric, abbot of Monte Cassino, was elected pope as Stephen IX. In the autumn of 1057, Stephen IX determined to make Damian a cardinal. For a long time Damian resisted the offer, for he was more at ease as an itinerant hermit-preacher than a reformer from within the Curia, but was finally forced to accept, and was consecrated Cardinal Bishop of Ostia on November 30, 1057. In addition he was appointed administrator of the Diocese of Gubbio. The new cardinal was impressed with the great responsibilities of his office and wrote a stirring letter to his brother-cardinals, exhorting them to shine by their example before all. Four months later Pope Stephen died at Florence, and the Church was once more distracted by schism. Peter was vigorous in his opposition to the antipope Benedict X, but force was on the side of the intruder and Damian retired temporarily to Fonte Avallana.
About the end of the year 1059 Peter was sent as legate to Milan by Pope Nicholas II. So bad was the state of things at Milan, that benefices (a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services) were openly bought and sold, and the clergy publicly married the women with whom they lived. The resistance of the clergy of Milan to the reform of Ariald the Deacon and Anselm, Bishop of Lucca rendered a contest so bitter that an appeal was made to theHoly See. Nicholas II sent Damian and the Bishop of Lucca as his legates. The party of the irregular clerics took alarm and raised the cry that Rome had no authority over Milan. Peter boldly confronted the rioters in the cathedral, he proved to them the authority of the Holy See with such effect that all parties submitted to his decision.
He exacted first a solemn oath from the archbishop and all his clergy that for the future no preferment should be paid for; then, imposing a penance on all who had been guilty, he reinstated in their benefices all who undertook to live in celibacy. This prudent decision was attacked by some of the rigorists at Rome, but was not reversed. Unfortunately, on the death of Nicholas II, the same disputes broke out; nor were they finally settled till after the martyrdom of St. Ariald in 1066. Meanwhile Peter was pleading in vain to be released from the cares of his office. Neither Nicholas II nor Hildebrand would consent to spare him.
He rendered valuable assistance to Pope Alexander II in his struggle with the antipope, Honorius II. In July 1061 the pope died and once more a schism ensued. Peter Damian used all his powers to persuade the antipope Cadalous to withdraw, but to no purpose. Finally Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne and acting regent in Germany, summoned a council at Augsburg at which a long argument by Peter Damian was read and greatly contributed to the decision in favor of Alexander II.
In 1063 the pope held a synod at Rome, at which Peter Damian was appointed legate to settle the dispute between the Abbey of Cluny and the Bishop of Mâcon. He proceeded to France, summoned a council at Chalon-sur-Saône, proved the justice of the contentions of Cluny, settled other questions at issue in the Church of France, and returned in the autumn to Fonte Avellana. While he was in France the antipope Cadalous had again become active in his attempts to gain Rome, and Peter Damian brought upon himself a sharp reproof from Alexander and Hildebrand for twice imprudently appealing to the royal power to judge the case anew. In 1067 the cardinal was sent to Florence to settle the dispute between the bishop and the monks of Vallombrosa, who accused the former of simony. His efforts, however, were not successful, largely because he misjudged the case and threw the weight of his authority on the side of the bishop. The matter was not settled until the following year by the pope in person.
Having served the papacy as legate to France and to Florence, he was allowed to resign his bishopric in 1067. After a period of retirement at Fonte Avellana, he proceeded in 1069 as papal legate to Germany, and persuaded the emperor Henry IV to give up his intention of divorcing his wife Bertha. This task he accomplished at a council in Frankfurt before returning to Fonte-Avellana.
Early in 1072 or 1073 he was sent to Ravenna to reconcile its inhabitants to the Holy See, they having been excommunicated for supporting their archbishop in his adhesion to the schism of Cadalous. On his return thence he was seized with fever near Faenza. He lay ill for a week at the monastery of Santa Maria degl’Angeli, now Santa Maria Vecchia. On the night preceding the feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch, he ordered the office of the feast to be recited and at the end of the Lauds he died. He was at once buried in the monastery church, lest others should claim his relics.
During his concluding years he was not altogether in accord with the political ideas of Hildebrand. He died the year before Hildebrand became pope, as Gregory VII. “It removed from the scene the one man who could have restrained Gregory”, Norman F. Cantor remarked (Civilization of the Middle Ages, p 251).
Peter Damian is a saint and was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XII in 1828 with a feast day celebrated on February 23.His body has been moved six times. Since 1898, Peter Damian has rested in a chapel dedicated to the saint in the cathedral of Faenza. No formal canonization ever took place, but his cult has existed since his death at Faenza, at Fonte-Avellana, at Monte Cassino, and at Cluny. In 1970 his feast was moved to 21 February.
Peter Damian’s voluminous writings, including treatises (67 survive), letters, sermons, prayers, hymns and liturgical texts (though, in a departure from many early medieval monks, no biblical commentaries) reflect the spiritual conditions of Italy: the groundswell of intense personal piety that would overflow in the First Crusade at the end of the century, and his Latinabounds in denunciatory epithets.
His works include:
- His most famous work is De Divina Omnipotentia, a long letter in which he discusses God’s power.
- In the short treatise Dominus vobiscum (The Book of “The Lord be with You”) (PL 145:231-252), he questions whether a hermit praying in solitude should use the plural; Damian concludes that the hermit should use the plural, since he is linked to the whole church by faith and fellowship.
- His Life of Romauld and his treatise The Eremitical Order demonstrate his continuing commitment to solitude and severe asceticism as the ultimate form of Christian life.
- He was especially devoted to the Virgin Mary, and wrote an Officium Beatae Virginis
- Howe, John (June 2010). “Did St. Peter Damian Die in 1073 ? A New Perspective on his Final Days”. Analecta Bollandiana128 (1): 67–86.
- Holopainen, Toivo J., “Peter Damian”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
- Toke, Leslie. “St. Peter Damian.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 31 Jan. 2015
- PL 145, p. 603, 1867
Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time & Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto, February 20,2017
A man face with an impossible problem – a possessed son whom even Christ’s disciples cannot liberate – refuses to give up. Instead, he goes to Jesus. “Everything is possible to the one who has faith.” There is a wisdom in the world greater than all the world’s agonies… and that Wisdom has become flesh. And God has lavished this wisdom upon his friends. Prayer is what unleashes it.
Dear Jesus, Help me with my unbelief! Enable me to humble myself to let me turn all of my apprehensions, all my fears, all my disappointments over to you. I beg you to give me the wisdom and the courage that I need so that I may have complete trust in You. Teach me to feel your presence deeply in my life so I can stop clinging to my intellect, my lack of courage and my fear. Let me release anything that holds me back from your love and make me embrace the life You have offered me. Lord, I know that if I only place my trust in You, I can do greater things for the Father’s greater glory. In your Mighty Name, I pray. Amen.
All wisdom comes from the LORD
and with him it remains forever, and is before all time
The sand of the seashore, the drops of rain,
the days of eternity: who can number these?
Heaven’s height, earth’s breadth,
the depths of the abyss: who can explore these?
Before all things else wisdom was created;
and prudent understanding, from eternity.
The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom
and her ways are everlasting.
To whom has wisdom’s root been revealed?
Who knows her subtleties?
To whom has the discipline of wisdom been revealed?
And who has understood the multiplicity of her ways ?
There is but one, wise and truly awe-inspiring,
seated upon his throne:
There is but one, Most High
all-powerful creator-king and truly awe-inspiring one,
seated upon his throne and he is the God of dominion.
It is the LORD; he created her through the Holy Spirit,
has seen her and taken note of her.
He has poured her forth upon all his works,
upon every living thing according to his bounty;
he has lavished her upon his friends.
The word of the Lord.
Ps 93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5
R. (1a) The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John
and approached the other disciples,
they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them.
Immediately on seeing him,
the whole crowd was utterly amazed.
They ran up to him and greeted him.
He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”
Someone from the crowd answered him,
“Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit.
Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down;
he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.
I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.”
He said to them in reply,
“O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.”
They brought the boy to him.
And when he saw him,
the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions.
As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around
and foam at the mouth.
Then he questioned his father,
“How long has this been happening to him?”
He replied, “Since childhood.
It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him.
But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering,
rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it,
“Mute and deaf spirit, I command you:
come out of him and never enter him again!”
Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out.
He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!”
But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.
When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private,
“Why could we not drive the spirit out?”
He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection 1 – Everything is possible to one who has faith
But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Our gospel for today focuses on a man’s need to have complete FAITH in Jesus. Our belief and conviction should be that Jesus could do anything and that He has the power to make things happen. Jesus cannot be shaken neither can He be intimidated. However, most often our faith is often weakened by our human mind. Doubt and hesitancy somehow bring us down.
One may assume that Jesus was not quite happy with His first disciples especially about their lack of faith. Yet despite this, one can see how patient Jesus was with them. This brings to light the kind of patience Jesus has with all of us especially with our sluggish faith. As a way of reminder Jesus is making us aware that we cannot take for granted the authority and the anointing He has given us to pursue our renewed life and the work that He wants us to pursue for Him. We must do everything in prayer and in total reliance upon our God. Our lives should be guided by “God’s wisdom as there is but one, wise and truly awe-inspiring Lord Who is seated upon His throne, has poured forth wisdom upon all His works and has lavished her upon his friends, upon every living thing according to his bounty.” Sirach 1:6-8
Jesus comes to us today and reveals that to strengthen our faith we should not look into the power and strength by which He does things. Instead we should be able to confidently proclaim the truth that we cannot do anything without Jesus. We should be able to affirm that, “I can’t but Jesus can.” We should always be guided by the truth that “Everything is possible to one who has faith” and we just need to place our TRUST in Jesus!
Today I place my total faith in our Lord and trust that His grace and blessings will lift me up from my concerns and burdens… that in His own perfect time, He will calm the storms of my life and bring me His peace and make me fruitful in my works not only for myself and those close to my heart but for others and all those whom He may bring into my life!
A man of faith is able to show “his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom that is from above which is first of all pure, peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity and cultivated in peace.”
Having a life of Faith can only bring us to a life of Prayer, which ultimately brings us His blessings and enables us to live according to the Spirit and do His work among His people! His disciples asked him in private, “why could we not drive the spirit out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
Faith and prayer mutually build each other up deep within everyone’ s being.
Our lives and our work for the Lord should be founded on faith and prayer, duly guided by the wisdom we derive from the Holy Scriptures.
Heavenly Father, perfect my faith and give me the grace to pursue my life and my ministry with total reliance on You. In prayer, I seek your anointing. Empower me as your vessel of love and healing. In Jesus I pray. Amen.
Reflection 2 – All things are possible to him who believes
What kind of faith does the Lord Jesus expect of us, especially when we meet challenges and difficulties? Inevitably there will be times when each of us cause disappointment to others. In this gospel incident the disciples of Jesus brought disappointment to a pleading father because they failed to heal his epileptic son. Jesus’ response seemed stern; but it was really tempered with love and compassion. We see at once both Jesus’ dismay with the disciples’ lack of faith and his concern to meet the need of this troubled boy and his anguished father. Jesus recognized the weakness of the father’s faith and at the same time challenged him to pray boldly with expectant faith: “All things are possible to him who believes!”
Prayer and faith go together
Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD), in his commentary on this passage, reminds us that prayer and faith go together: “Where faith fails, prayer perishes. For who prays for that in which he does not believe? ..So then in order that we may pray, let us believe, and let us pray that this same faith by which we pray may not falter.” The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit that we may have the confidence and boldness we need to ask our heavenly Father for his help and grace. Do you trust in God’s love and care for you and pray with expectant faith that he will give you what you need?
When Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, the boy at first seemed to get worse rather than better as he went into a fit of convulsion. Peter Chrysologus (400-450 AD), a renowned preacher and bishop of Ravena, reflects on this incident:
“Though it was the boy who fell on the ground, it was the devil in him who was in anguish. The possessed boy was merely convulsed, while the usurping spirit was being convicted by the awesome judge. The captive was detained, but the captor was punished. Through the wrenching of the human body, the punishment of the devil was made manifest.”
God promises each one of us freedom from oppression, especially from the oppression of sin and the evil one who tries to rob us of faith, hope, and peace with God. The Lord Jesus invites us, as he did this boy’s father, to pray with expectant faith. Do you trust in God’s unfailing love and mercy?
Faith and trust in God’s unfailing love and mercy
The mighty works and signs which Jesus did demonstrate that the kingdom of God is present in him. These signs attest that the Father has sent him as the promised Messiah. They invite belief in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world. The coming of God’s kingdom means defeat of Satan’s kingdom. Jesus’ exorcisms anticipate his great victory over “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). While Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and may cause grave injuries of a spiritual nature, and indirectly even of a physical nature, his power is nonetheless limited and permitted by divine providence (Romans 8:28). Jesus offers freedom from bondage to sin and Satan. There is no affliction he cannot deliver us from. Do you make full use of the protection and help he offers to those who seek him with faith and trust in his mercy?
“Lord Jesus, help my unbelief! Increase my faith and trust in your saving power. Give me confidence and perseverance, especially in prayer. And help me to bring your healing love and truth to those I meet”. – Read the source: http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/feb20.htm
Reflection 3 – The power of a prayerful life
In today’s Gospel reading, the disciples have failed in ministry, and the father of the possessed boy is wondering if Jesus can grant his request. Both situations are good examples of why our own faith wavers.
Like the disciples, we see failures as reason to doubt our ability to do the works of God. Like the father, we wonder if God really has enough power or enough compassion or even enough time to notice us and answer our prayers.
In the father’s response to Jesus, why did he say “if”? How often do we pray with an “if” attitude? Can Jesus help us whenever we ask him to? Of course he can – if what we seek is within God’s will. Ahh, but there’s another “if”! So let’s turn the “if” onto ourselves. IF we know God, we know his will (it’s clearly explained in the scriptures and Church teachings) and we only want what he wants. Right?
Do we doubt Christ’s compassion? Do we think he’s not kind and caring enough to answer our prayers? Of course he is: God is Love, and no matter how undeserving we are, he is good to us. It’s impossible for him to be uncaring. Even his discipline is good for us, although we might not think so at the time. Therefore, whenever we pray, we should say to him: “Thank you for being so good to me. I do believe; help me to overcome any unbelief that’s still within me.”
Whenever the “IF” word shows up in our prayers, we should ask ourselves why. Are we focused on the evidence of potential disaster or on the goodness of God? If our eyes are not on Jesus and all the good that he’s already done for us, our prayers will be answered in unexpected ways and we won’t realize what he’s done. We’ll miss his solutions to our problems! Or at least we’ll be miserable waiting for it to happen.
Understand what Jesus meant by: “This kind of spirit you can only drive out by prayer.” Surely the disciples had prayed as they tried to cast out the demon. Even a simple “Get out!” with the authority given to us by Jesus is a genuine prayer. What did the disciples do wrong?
Our prayers are merely noise if we’re disbelieving that God truly cares. To prevent wavering between belief and unbelief, our prayers must be more than words. Our prayers need to be a way of life.
We cannot spend a few minutes a day talking to God and then expect to feel his presence when a crisis hits. We have to remain consciously aware, moment by moment, of his constant love, his constant nearness, his constant guidance.
True prayer is a life lived connected to Jesus, imitating Jesus, and being the presence of Jesus for others. In a lifestyle of prayer, our hearts are constantly turning to God, even while our thoughts are busy with the tasks of the day.
To develop this lifestyle, pray each day: “Jesus, I do believe that you care about me; help me to keep my eyes on you.” (Source: Terry Modica, Good News Ministries http://gnm.org/good-news-reflections/?useDrDate=2017-02-20).
Reflection 4 – Jealousy versus prayer
The hermit St. Anthony while he lived deep in the Libyan Desert was tempted by Satan. So Satan decked himself out as a monk, with cowl and all. He approached Anthony with deep bow and with his arms across his heart like standard archangel, he whispered into Anthony’s ear, “Rejoice my brother, I bring good news. Your brother, whom you have left behind in the big bad city, a simple monk like you, has just been named Patriarch of Alexandria.”
On hearing that, immediately a dark frown crept over the usually sunny face of the hermit. For a split second, envy and jealousy almost curled his lips. And it was then that the master tempter gave this parting advice to his astounded charges, “Jealousy can lead the holiest people into temptation. It is your trump card.”
The Apostle James pointed out, “Where there are jealousy and strife, there also are all kinds of vile behavior. Wisdom from above is first of all innocent. It is also peaceable, lenient, docile, rich in sympathy and the kindly deeds that are its fruits, impartial and sincere. The harvest of justice is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace” (James 3:16-18). How do we drive out jealousy and envy?
Let us see what Jesus did. Jesus cured the possessed boy and the disciples asked him, “Why is it that we could not expel it?” He told them, “This kind you can drive out only by prayer” (Mk 9:28-29).
Prayer is a vital necessity against the temptation of jealousy and envy as used by Satan.. St. John Chrysostom said, “Nothing is equal to prayer; for what is impossible it makes possible, what is difficult, easy… For, it is impossible, utterly impossible, for the man who prays eagerly and invokes God ceaselessly ever to sin.” And St. Alfonsus Liguori said, “Those who pray are certainly saved; those who do not pray are certainly damned.” Origin said, “He who prays without ceasing unites prayer to good works and good works to prayer”.
Jesus assured us, “The Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. This, then, is what I command you: love one another” (Jn 15:16-17).
Reflection 5 – Everything is possible in faith
Jesus said, “Everything is possible to one who has faith.” And the father of the boy replied, “I do believe. Help my unbelief.” He believes in Jesus, but he knew his faith is not enough. So he prayed: “Help my unbelief.” That was enough for Jesus to do another miracle of casting out the evil spirit from the boy.
It is not necessary that we have great faith. Jesus said that if we have a faith the size of a mustard seed, we can command a mountain to move. But that has to be accompanied by a great deal of prayer. It is only by asking God to help us that our faith will be much stronger. This is what happened to the father of the boy.
In contrast, let us look at the disciples. They were trying to cast out the evil spirit from the boy, but they could not. Why? Jesus told them, “This kind could only come out through prayer.” In other words, they were not praying. They were trying to cast out the devil through their own power, without asking for God’s help.
It is only through prayer that our faith can grow stronger, and then everything becomes possible. I always like this quotation: “When man works, it is just man who works. But when man prays, God works.” Another quotation says: “The most powerful man on earth is the one who bends his knees and prays.”
Reflection 6 – Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto (1910-1920; 1908-1919 A.D.)
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three children, Portuguese shepherds from Aljustrel, received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. At that time, Europe was involved in an extremely bloody war. Portugal itself was in political turmoil, having overthrown its monarchy in 1910; the government disbanded religious organizations soon after.
At the first appearance, Mary asked the children to return to that spot on the thirteenth of each month for the next six months. She also asked them to learn to read and write and to pray the rosary “to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.” They were to pray for sinners and for the conversion of Russia, which had recently overthrown Czar Nicholas II and was soon to fall under communism. Up to 90,000 people gathered for Mary’s final apparition on October 13, 1917.
Less than two years later, Francisco died of influenza in his family home. He was buried in the parish cemetery and then re-buried in the Fatima basilica in 1952. Jacinta died of influenza in Lisbon, offering her suffering for the conversion of sinners, peace in the world and the Holy Father. She was re-buried in the Fatima basilica in 1951. Their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and was still living when Jacinta and Francisco were beatified in 2000. Sister Lucia died five years later. The shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is visited by up to 20 million people a year.
The Church is always very cautious about endorsing alleged apparitions, but it has seen benefits from people changing their lives because of the message of Our Lady of Fatima. Prayer for sinners, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and praying the rosary—all these reinforce the Good News Jesus came to preach.
In his homily at their beatification, Pope John Paul II recalled that shortly before Francisco died, Jacinta said to him, “Give my greetings to Our Lord and to Our Lady and tell them that I am enduring everything they want for the conversion of sinners.”
Read the source: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1297
SAINT OF THE DAY
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.
|JACINTA AND FRANCISCO MARTO|
Lúcia dos Santos (left) with fellow visionaries Jacinta and Francisco Marto.
|BORN||12 June 1908 (Francisco)
11 March 1910 (Jacinta)
Fátima, Kingdom of Portugal
|DIED||4 April 1919 (aged 10)
20 February 1920 (aged 9)
|VENERATED IN||Roman Catholic Church|
|BEATIFIED||May 13, 2000, Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Fátima, Portugal, by Pope John Paul II|
|MAJOR SHRINE||Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Fátima, Portugal|
|PATRONAGE||Bodily ills, captives, people ridiculed for their piety,prisoners, sick people, against sickness|
Francisco Marto (June 11, 1908 – April 4, 1919), his sister Jacinta Marto (March 11, 1910 – February 20, 1920), also known as Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto, and their cousin Lúcia Santos (1907–2005) were children from Aljustrel near Fátima, Portugal, who said they witnessed three apparitions of an angel in 1916 and several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. Mary was given the title Our Lady of Fátima as a result, and Fátima became a major centre of world Christian pilgrimage.
The youngest children of Manuel and Olimpia Marto, Francisco and Jacinta were typical of Portuguese village children of that time. They were illiterate but had a rich oral tradition.
According to Lúcia’s memoirs, Francisco had a placid disposition, was somewhat musically inclined, and liked to be by himself to think. Jacinta was affectionate if a bit spoiled. She had a sweet singing voice and a gift for dancing. Following their experiences, their fundamental personalities remained the same. Francisco preferred to pray alone, saying that this would “console Jesus for the sins of the world”. Jacinta said she was deeply affected by a terrifying vision of Hell shown to the children at the third apparition, and deeply convinced of the need to save sinners through penance and sacrifice as the Virgin had told the children to do. All three children, but particularly Francisco and Jacinta, practiced stringent self-mortifications to this end.
The brother and sister, who tended to their families’ sheep with their cousin Lucia in the fields of Fatima, Portugal, are said to have witnessed several apparitions of an angel in 1916. Lucia later recorded the words of several prayers she said they learned from this angel.
Lucia wrote in her memoirs that she and her cousins saw the first apparition of Mary on May 13, 1917. At the time of the apparition, Francisco was 9 years old, and Jacinta was 7.
During the first apparition, Mary is said to have asked the three children to say the Rosary and to make sacrifices, offering them for the conversion of sinners. She also asked them to return to that spot on the thirteenth of each month for the next six months.
Illness and death
The siblings were victims of the great 1918 influenza epidemic that swept through Europe that year. In October 1918, Mary supposedly appeared to them and said she would take them to heaven soon.Both lingered for many months, insisting on walking to church to make Eucharistic devotions and prostrating themselves to pray for hours, kneeling with their heads on the ground as they said the angel had instructed them to do.
Francisco declined hospital treatment on April 3, 1919, and died at home the next day. Jacinta was moved from one hospital to another in an attempt to save her life, which she insisted was futile. She developed purulent pleurisy and endured an operation in which two of her ribs were removed. Because of the condition of her heart, she could not be anesthetized and suffered terrible pain, which she said would help to convert many sinners. On February 19, 1920, Jacinta asked the hospital chaplain who heard her confession to bring her Holy Communion and give her the Anointing of the Sick because she was going to die “the next night”. He told her that her condition was not that serious and that he would return the next day. The next day Jacinta was dead; she had died, as she had often said she would, alone.
When you are to say this, don’t go and hide. Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; that people are to ask her for them; and that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at his side. Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God entrusted it to her.
In 1937 Pope Pius XI decided that causes for minors should not be accepted as they could not fully understand heroic virtue or practice it repeatedly, both of which are essential for canonization. For the next four decades, no sainthood processes for children were pursued. In 1979 the bishop of Leiria-Fatima asked all the world’s bishops to write to the Pope, petitioning him to make an exception for Francisco, who had died at age 10, and Jacinta, who had died at age 9. More than 300 bishops sent letters to the Pope, writing that “the children were known, admired and attracted people to the way of sanctity. Favors were received through their intercession.” The bishops also said that the children’s canonization was a pastoral necessity for the children and teenagers of the day.
In 1979 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints convened a general assembly. Cardinals, bishops, theologians and other experts debated whether it was possible for children to display heroic virtue. Eventually, they decided that, like the very few children who have a genius for music or mathematics, “in some supernatural way, some children could be spiritual prodigies.” They were declared venerable by Pope John Paul II in 1989.
In her biography of Jacinta, Lúcia said that Jacinta had told her of having had many personal visions outside of the Marian visitations; one involved a pope who prayed alone in a room while people outside shouted ugly things and threw rocks through the window. At another time, Jacinta said she saw a pope who had gathered a huge number of people together to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
When Pope John Paul II arrived in Fatima for the first time, in 1982, he said that he had come “because, on this exact date last year in St. Peter’s Square, in Rome, there was an attempt on the life of your Pope, which mysteriously coincided with the anniversary of the first vision at Fatima, that of 13 May 1917. The coincidence of these dates was so great that it seemed to be a special invitation for me to come here.”
Sister Lúcia, when questioned about the Third Secret, said that the three of them had been very sad about the suffering of the Pope, and that Jacinta kept saying:Coitadinho do Santo Padre, tenho muita pena dos pecadores! (“Poor Holy Father, I feel a lot of pity for the sinners!”)
Another miracle was found to have been attributed to their intercession and the process that investigated the presumed miracle was validated on 8 February 2013. Reports indicate the canonization could occur on the centenary of the apparitions in 2017.
- Santos, Lucia. Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, Memoir 2, p. 94, online, accessed 2011-06-21.
- “Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto”, FaithND, University of Notre Dame
- “Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto”, Catholic News Agency, February 20, 2014
- Foley O.F.M., Leonard. “Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto”, Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons and Feast, (revised by Pat McCloskey O.F.M.), Franciscan Media
- A detailed account of the lives, illnesses and deaths of both children is given in de Marchi, John, The True Story of Fatima, 1950 edition, entire text on line, found 2007-10-19.
- Madigan, Leo. The children of Fatima: Blessed Francisco & Blessed Jacinta Marto 2003 OSV Press ISBN 1-931709-57-2 page 248
- Madigan, Leo. 2003, The Children of Fatima, OSV Press ISBN 978-1-931709-57-6 page 271
- “On September 12, 1935, the mortal remains of Jacinta, who died in 1920, were exhumed. Her face was found to be incorrupt.” Solimeo, Luiz. Fatima: A Message More Urgent Than Ever. (2008) pg. 97. “Today, the remnants of both Francisco and Jacinta rest at the Basilica of Fátima.” pg. 99.
- Jacinta’s exhumation photo at Catholic Counter-Reformation, and Jacinta’s reburial photo at escuelacima.com. Pages found 2010-05-13. Archived October 29, 2007 at the Wayback Machine