Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time & St. John XXIII, October 11,2014

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time & St. John XXIII, October 11,2014

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Opening Prayer

“Lord, my heart is restless until it rests in you. Let me know the joy of your presence and increase my hunger for your word. May I always prefer your will over my will and seek to please you in all things.” Amen.

Reading 1
Gal 3:22-29

Brothers and sisters:
Scripture confined all things under the power of sin,
that through faith in Jesus Christ
the promise might be given to those who believe. read more

Pope Francis’ Mass: Do I allow demons in my heart?

Pope Francis’ Mass: Do I allow demons in my heart?

Published on Oct 10, 2014

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During his daily morning Mass, Pope Francis talked about the examination of conscience. He explained that the devil is never tired of tempting, and so Christians must examine themselves at the end of day. POPE FRANCIS “‘What happened today in my heart? Did anyone I don’t know enter? Is the key in its place?’ This will help us to defend ourselves from so much wickedness, even from that which we could do if these demons, who are very clever and at the end would cheat all of us, even if they enter.” Pope Francis asked Christians to check if their hearts looks like a public square full of noise or a quiet place of encounter with Christ. EXCERPTS OF THE POPE’S HOMILY (Source: Vatican Radio) “After the temptations, in the desert, when Jesus was tempted by the devil, in Luke’s version it says that the devil left Him for a time, but during the life of Jesus he returned again and again: when they put Him to the test, when they tried to trap Him, in the Passion, finally on the Cross. ‘But if you are the Son of God… but you come, you come from us, so we cannot believe.’ And we all know that these words touch the heart: ‘But can you do it? Let me see! No, you can’t.’ That’s how the devil even to the end [dealt] with Jesus… and likewise with us.” “And Jesus says something else here – doesn’t He? – that sounds a little strange: ‘He who does not gather with me scatters.’ He uses the word ‘to gather.’ To have a gathering heart, a heart in which we know what happens, and here and there you can perform a practice as old as the Church, but good: the examination of conscience. Who of us, at night, at the end of the day, remains by himself, by herself, and asks the question: what happened today in my heart? What happened? What things have passed through my heart? If we don’t do this, we have truly failed to know how to watch and guard [our hearts] well.” “We know – Jesus says clearly – that the devil always returns. Even at the end of life, He, Jesus, gives us an example of this. And to guard, to watch, so that the demons don’t enter in, we must be able to gather ourselves, that is, to stand in silence before ourselves and before God, and at the end of the day ask ourselves: ‘What happened today in my heart? Did anyone I don’t know enter? Is the key in its place?’ And this will help us to defend ourselves from so much wickedness, even from that which we could do if these demons, who are very clever and at the end would cheat all of us, even if they enter.”

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15 Catholic Quotes on ISIS, Islam, War, & the Persecuted Church

15 Catholic Quotes on ISIS, Islam, War, & the Persecuted Church

by on

1. Christians are Peace-Loving Citizens

“Excellency, we Christians are peace-loving citizens caught up in the middle of a clash between Sunnis and Shiites, as well as attacks from Military groups. Our community has suffered a disproportionate share of hardship caused by sectarian conflicts, terrorist attacks, migration and now even ethnic cleansing: the militants want to wipe out the Christian community… We urge the United Nations to develop a plan or strategy to protect and preserve our heritage, looted and burned by the militants. They continue to burn churches and ancient monasteries. The old churches and monasteries will be difficult to rebuild.” read more

Let Us Talk About Sex: What is Wrong if Everyone is Doing It?

Let Us Talk About Sex: What is Wrong if Everyone is Doing It?

By Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB

Read the source: http://www.courageouspriest.com/talk-sex

The Cohabiting Facade

This is a topic that is long overdue. It deals with a problem that is all too prevalent among Catholic young couples today, and that is the problem of cohabitation. It is estimated nationwide that 80 percent of young couples who ask to be married within the Church are already living together. There are still others cohabitating who never ask to be married.

This is not God’s plan for young couple; far from it. Young couples feel strong pressures from their peers and from the dominant culture to begin their sex lives early. Some say they did not intend for this to happen, but they were caught in the current that pulled them in this direction. That is where they drifted. read more

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time October 10,2014

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time October 10,2014

When Christ expels evil, contemptuous people presume that it happens through the power of Satan. They exhibit the disorder of self-conceit, forgetful that God alone sweeps away spirits from us. Christ ransomed us from this curse of presumption. We live the graced order that he puts in us as a mercy.

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Opening Prayer

“Lord Jesus, be the ruler of my heart and the master of my home. May there be nothing in my life that is not under your lordship.” In your Name, I pray. Amen. read more

Patriarch Laham Responds to Kidnapping of Franciscan Friar in Syria

Patriarch Laham Responds to Kidnapping of Franciscan Friar in Syria

Says Muslims and Christians Must Strongly Condemn Islamist Violence

Damascus, (Zenit.org) Staff Reporter

“The world must be against these extremists who commit violence and are a threat to everyone. Muslims and Christians must show a strong condemnation. A unity of purpose with Islam and the Arab world is essential.”

The words of Gregorios III Laham, Greek-Melkite Patriarch of Antioch, commenting on the kidnapping of Franciscan Friar Jallouf Hanna, 52, and a score of faithful Christians. The abductions occurred on the night of 5 and 6 October in the Syrian village of al-Nusra Knayeh, in the valley of the Orontes, in the north of the country, near the border with Turkey. read more

Pope Francis and peace: 5 key quotes and gestures

Pope Francis and peace: 5 key quotes and gestures

Since his election to the papacy, Pope Francis passionately called for peace in Syria, Iraq Gaza and Ukraine. On September 2013, he gathered thousands in St. Peter’s Square to pray for peace in Syria. POPE FRANCIS September 7, 2013 “Forgiveness, dialogue, reconciliation – these are the words of peace, in beloved Syria, in the Middle East, in all the world” Months later, during his historic visit to the Holy Land, the Pope denounced the causes that fuel war around the world as well as in the Middle East. POPE FRANCIS May 24, 2014 “These are roots of all evil, hatred and greed, for money, for the construction and for the sale of weapons. This should make us all think, who is behind it all?” However, the Pope delivered his strongest rejection of war during a Sunday Angelus. Visibly moved, Pope Francis prayed for an end to war in the name of the weakest. POPE FRANCIS July 27, 2014 “Dear Brothers and Sisters, Never resort to war! Never war! Above all, I think of all the children who are robbed of their hope for a better life and a decent future. Killed children, wounded children, mutilated children, orphans, children who play with remnants of war, instead of toys. Children who don’t know how to smile. Please stop! I ask you with all my heart. It’s time to stop. Stop it please!” With the rise of the Islamic State, Pope Francis stressed that religions can coexist peacefully. During his trip to Albania, the Pope made it clear that no war can be justified by God. POPE FRANCIS September 21, 2014 “No one must use the name of God to commit violence. To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman.” Lastly, when he commemorated the outbreak of World War I at a famed military cemetery, he noted that the same amount of conflicts existed then as they do now. POPE FRANCIS September  13, 2014 “Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought in pieces, with crimes, massacres, destruction…” Pope Francis’ rejection of war goes beyond words. With this gesture, he showed that dialogue is possible. Along with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, he joined the presidents of Israel and Palestine to pray for peace and planted an olive tree with the hope that will bear lasting fruit.