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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 03-06-09
USCCB,org/New American Bible ^ | 03-06-09 | New American Bible

Posted on 03/05/2009 11:14:30 PM PST by Salvation

March 6, 2009

                                Friday of the First Week in Lent
 
 
 
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Gospel

Reading 1
Ez 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced.
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
says the Lord GOD.
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
that he may live?

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,
the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
because he has broken faith and committed sin;
because of this, he shall die.
You say, "The LORD’s way is not fair!"
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.


Responsorial Psalm
Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8

R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
Let Israel wait for the LORD.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?


Gospel
Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you,
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."




TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; lent
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 03/05/2009 11:14:31 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
King of Endless Glory Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the King of Endless Glory Ping List.

2 posted on 03/05/2009 11:16:18 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]
History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)

Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
At Lent, let us pray for the Pope (Muslim converts ask us to pray for the pope)
Daily Lenten Reflections 2009
LENTEN STATIONS [Stational Churches for Lent] (Catholic Caucus)

40 Days for Life campaign is now under way (February 25 - April 5]
This Lent, live as if Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of your life
Reconciliation, forgiveness, hope – and Lent
Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)

40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
Getting Serious About Lent
Lent Overview

Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [Devotional]
On Lent... and Lourdes (Benedict XVI's Angelus address)
Lent for Newbies
Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself

Lenten Workshop [lots of ideas for all]
Lent and Reality
Forty Days (of Lent) [Devotional/Reflections]
Pope Benedict takes his own advice, plans to go on retreat for Lent
GUIDE FOR LENT - What the Catholic Church Says

Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2008
40 Days for Life: 2008 Campaigns [Lent Registration this week]
Vatican Web Site Focuses on Lent
Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]

Feasting on Purple [Lent]
Lent: A Time for Prayer, Reflection and Giving
Denver Archbishop’s Lenten Message: “Restore us as a culture of Life”
Where does Ash Wednesday get its ashes?
Catholic Caucus: Daily Rosary Prayer for Lent

On the 40 Days of Lent General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI
Lenten Stations -- Stational Churches - visit each with us during Lent {Catholic Caucus}
Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
Lent 2007: The Love Letter Written by Pope Benedict

Pre-Lent through Easter Prayer and Reflections -- 2007
Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving

Why We Need Lent
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR LENT 2006
Lent a Time for Renewal, Says Benedict XVI
Why You Should Celebrate Lent
Getting the Most Out of Lent

Lent: A Time to Fast From Media and Criticism Says President of Pontifical Liturgical Institute
Give it up (making a Lenten sacrifice)
The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross

Lent and Fasting
Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]
Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children
Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

3 posted on 03/05/2009 11:17:24 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

4 posted on 03/05/2009 11:18:54 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

5 posted on 03/05/2009 11:19:46 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Change Worth Praying For
6 posted on 03/05/2009 11:21:12 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
 
 
March Devotion: Saint Joseph

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to the solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. "It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself." --Pope Leo XIII

FOR OUR WORK
Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

OFFERING TO SAINT JOSEPH
O great Saint Joseph, thou generous depositary and dispenser of immortal riches, behold us prostrate at thy feet, imploring thee to receive us as thy servants and as thy children. Next to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, of which thou art the faithful copy, we acknowledge that there is no heart more tender, more compassionate than thine.

What, then, have we to fear, or, rather, for what should we not hope, if thou dost deign to be our benefactor, our master, our model, our father and our mediator? Refuse not, then, this favor, O powerful protector! We ask it of thee by the love thou hast for Jesus and Mary. Into thy hands we commit our souls and bodies, but above all the last moments of our lives.

May we, after having honored, imitated, and served thee on earth, eternally sing with thee the mercies of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

FOR THE INTERCESSION OF SAINT JOSEPH
O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

St. Joseph
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.

The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.

Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.

At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.

Things to Do:

Prayer to St. Joseph

Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.

 

Another prayer to St. Joseph:
To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we fly in our tribulation, and, having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy holy patronage also. Through that charity which bound thee to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and through the paternal love with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we humbly beseech the graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by His Blood, and with thy power and strength aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving Father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us, and from Heaven assist us in this our struggle against the power of darkness; and as once thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from death, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of Her enemies and from all adversity.

Shield too, each one of us by thy constant protection, so that, supported by thine example and strengthened by thine aid, we may be able to live a holy life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in Heaven. Amen.

St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus

St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus

Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (An Evangelical Minister preaches on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders

St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence
St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
The Heart of St. Joseph
MORE THAN PATRON OF HOMES, IT'S TIME FOR ST. JOSEPH TO GAIN HIGHEST OF RECOGNITION [Fatherhood]

The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph

7 posted on 03/05/2009 11:22:52 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

Holy Father's Prayer Intentions For March 2009

General: That the role of women may be more appreciated and used to good advantage in every country in the world.

Mission: That in the light of the letter addressed to them by Pope Benedict XVI, the Bishops, priests, consecrated persons, and lay faithful of the Catholic Church in the Popular Republic of China may commit themselves to being the sign and instrument of unity, communion and peace.


8 posted on 03/05/2009 11:23:47 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

From: Ezekiel 18:21-28

The Good Effects of Conversion


[21] But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed
and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live;
he shall not die. [22] None of the transgressions which he has committed shall
be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall
live. [23] Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the LORD God,
and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? [24] But when a righ-
teous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does
the same abominable things that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of
the righteous deeds which he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery
of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, he shall die.

[25] ”Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel:
Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? [26] When a righteous
man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it;
for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die. [27] Again, when a wicked
man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful
and right, he shall save his life. [28] Because he considered and turned away
from all the transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live, he
shall not die.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

18:21-32. These verses reply to a question that may arise from the doctrine of
personal retribution: If the sinner must live with the consequences of his sins,
what is the purpose of repentance? Ezekiel takes the question very much to
heart, and his reply includes one of the most beautiful summaries of divine mer-
cy: “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked..., and not rather that he
should turn from his way and live?’ (v. 23; cf. 33:11). It is true that the explana-
tion of divine justice and punishment develops over a long period until the New
Testament is reached; even so, from the very beginning of divine Revelation,
there is never any doubt but that God is always ready to forgive. Over the cen-
turies, Christian spirituality has written beautiful pages filled to overflowing with
heartfelt trust in God’s mercy. As an example, we will quote a prayer by a Chris-
tian writer of the Armenian Church: “You are the Lord of Mercy. Have mercy on
me, a sinner, who beseeches you with sighs and tears. [...] O kind and merciful
ord! You are patient with sinners, for you have said: “if a wicked man turns away
from all his sins which he has committed none of the transgressions which he
has committed shall be remembered against him” (Ezek 18:21-22). Look, see
how I have come before you and fallen at your feet: your guilty servant pleads
for your mercy. Do not recall my sins, nor spurn me because of my wickedness
[...] You are the Lord of goodness and mercy; you forgive all sin” (John Manda-
kuni, “Oratio”, 2-3).

Of course, God’s forgiveness is closely interwoven with personal conversion.
Therefore, it is not surprising to find these verses of Ezekiel being quoted in
connection with the need for the sacrament of penance: “at all times, the prac-
tice of penance in order to obtain grace and attain righteousness was necessary
for all those who fell into mortal sin, even those who sought to be washed clean
by the waters of baptism, so that, when sinfulness had been purged and set to
rights, they would detest any offense against God through their hatred of sin and
the sorrow of their souls. Thus says the Prophet: ‘Repent and turn from all your
transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin’ (Ezek 18:30)” (Council of Trent, Ses-
sion 14, 1). There is also a need for genuine contrition: “Contrition, which is the
most important element of penance, is a sorrow of the soul, a hatred of all the
sins that have been committed, and a desire not to sin again in the future. This
sense of contrition has always been a fundamental condition of forgiveness; the
man who falls into sin after his baptism can only receive pardon if he is contrite,
trusts in the mercy of God, and fulfills all the other conditions that are binding
in this sacrament. This Council declares that contrition encompasses not only
the end of sin and the beginning of new life, but the reparation of the old, sinful
life, as it was written: ‘Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have
committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!’ (Ezek
18:31)” (Council of Trent Session 14,4).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


9 posted on 03/05/2009 11:24:46 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

From: Matthew 5:20-26

Jesus and His Teaching, the Fulfillment of the Law (Continuation)


(Jesus said to His disciples,) [20] “For I tell you, unless your righteousness
exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom
of Heaven.

[21] “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not kill; and
whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ [22] But I say to you that every one
who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his
brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!’ shall be liable
to the hell of fire. [23] So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remem-
ber that your brother has something against you, [24] leave your gift there before
the altar and go; first to be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer
your gift. [25] Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with
him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the
guard, and you be put in prison; [26] truly, I say to you, you will never get out till
you have paid the last penny.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

20. “Righteousness”: see the note on Matthew 5:6 (see below). This verse
clarifies the meaning of the preceding verses. The scribes and Pharisees had
distorted the spirit of the Law, putting the whole emphasis on its external, ritual
observance. For them exact and hyper-detailed but external fulfillment of the
precepts of the Law was a guarantee of a person’s salvation: “If I fulfill this I am
righteous, I am holy and God is duty bound to save me.” For someone with this
approach to sanctification it is really not God who saves: man saves himself
through external works of the Law. That this approach is quite mistaken is ob-
vious from what Christ says here; in effect what He is saying is: to enter the
Kingdom of God the notion of righteousness or salvation developed by the
scribes and Pharisees must be rejected. In other words, justification or sancti-
fication is a grace from God; man’s role is one of cooperating with that grace by
being faithful to it. Elsewhere Jesus gives the same teaching in an even clearer
way (cf. Luke 18:9-14, the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector). It was
also the origin of one of St. Paul’s great battles with the “Judaizers” (see Gala-
tians 3 and Romans 2-5).

21. Verses 21-26 gives us a concrete example of the way that Jesus Christ
brought the Law of Moses to its fulfillment, by explaining the deeper meaning
of the commandments of that Law.

22. By speaking in the first person (”but I say to you”) Jesus shows that His
authority is above that of Moses and the prophets; that is to say, He has divine
authority. No mere man could claim such authority.

“Insults”: practically all translations of this passage transcribe the original Ara-
maic word, “raca” (cf. RSV note below). It is not an easy word to translate. It
means “foolish, stupid, crazy”. The Jews used it to indicate utter contempt;
often, instead of verbal abuse they would show their feelings by spitting on the
ground.

“Fool” translates an ever stronger term of abuse than “raca”—implying that a per-
son has lost all moral and religious sense, to the point of apostasy.

In this passage our Lord points to three faults which we commit against charity,
moving from internal irritation to showing total contempt. St. Augustine comments
that three degrees of faults and punishments are to be noted. The first is the fault
of feeling angry; to this corresponds the punishment of “judgment”. The second
is that of passing an insulting remark, which merits the punishment of “the coun-
cil”. The third arises when anger quite blinds us: this is punished by “the hell of
fire” (cf. “De Serm. Dom. in Monte”, II, 9).

“The hell of fire”: literally, “Gehenna of fire”, meaning, in the Jewish language of
the time, eternal punishment.

This shows the gravity of external sins against charity—gossip, backbiting, ca-
lumny, etc. However, we should remember that these sins stem from the heart;
our Lord focuses our attention, first, on internal sins—resentment, hatred, etc.—
to make us realize that that is where the root lies and that it is important to nip
anger in the bud.

23-24. Here our Lord deals with certain Jewish practices of His time, and in doing
so gives us perennial moral teaching of the highest order. Christians, of course,
do not follow these Jewish ritual practices; to keep our Lord’s commandment we
have ways and means given us by Christ Himself. Specifically, in the New and
definitive Covenant founded by Christ, being reconciled involves going to the
Sacrament of Penance. In this Sacrament the faithful “obtain pardon from God’s
mercy for the offense committed against Him, and are, at the same time, recon-
ciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins”(”Lumen Gentium”,
11).

In the New Testament, the greatest of all offerings is the Eucharist. Although one
has a duty to go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, an essential
condition before receiving Holy Communion is that one be in the state of grace.

It is not our Lord’s intention here to give love of neighbor priority over love of God.
There is an order of charity: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul and with all your strength. This is the great and first command-
ment” (Matthew 22:37-38). Love of one’s neighbor, which is the second com-
mandment in order of importance (cf. Matthew 22:39), derives its meaning from
the first. Brotherhood without parenthood is inconceivable. An offense against
charity is, above all, an offense against God.

[The note on Matthew 5:6 states:

6. The notion of righteousness (or justice) in Holy Scripture is an essentially re-
ligious one (cf. notes on Matthew 1:19 and 3:15; Romans 1:17; 1:18-32; 3:21-22
and 24). A righteous person is one who sincerely strives to do the Will of God,
which is discovered in the commandments, in one’s duties of state in life and
through one’s life of prayer. Thus, righteousness, in the language of the Bible,
is the same as what nowadays is usually called “holiness” (1 John 2:29; 3:7-10;
Revelations 22:11; Genesis 15:6; Deuteronomy 9:4).]

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


10 posted on 03/05/2009 11:26:07 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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href="http://www.universalis.com/20050822/mass.htm">Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

First reading Ezekiel 18:21-28 ©
Thus says the Lord:
  ‘If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised. What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
  ‘But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die. But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust.” Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.’
Psalm or canticle: Psalm 129:1-8
Gospel Matthew 5:20-26 ©
Jesus said to his disciples, If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
  ‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’

11 posted on 03/05/2009 11:31:20 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Friday, March 6, 2009
Lenten Weekday (Total Consecration - Day 15)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130:1-8
Matthew 5:20-26

The Church herself is a field, within which seeds and weeds, the good and the wicked, grow together, a place where there is room to grow, to be converted and above all to imitate God's patience. The wicked exist in this world either to be converted or that through them the good may exercise patience.

-- St. Augustine


12 posted on 03/05/2009 11:33:30 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


13 posted on 03/05/2009 11:34:50 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Please Pray for the Unborn
 
Pray for those who have suffered abortions and their spouses.  Also pray for the conversion of the abortionists.

14 posted on 03/05/2009 11:37:01 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Office of Readings and Invitatory Psalm

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.


A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 34 (35)
The Lord, a saviour in time of persecution
Lord, rise up and defend me.
Judge, Lord, those who are judging me:
  attack those who are attacking me.
Take up your shield and come out to defend me.
  Brandish your spear and hold back my pursuers.
Say to my soul, “I am your deliverance.”
Let them be thrown into confusion,
  those who are after my life.
Let them be weakened and put to flight,
  those who plan harm to me.
Let them be like chaff blowing in the wind,
  when the angel of the Lord scatters them.
Let their paths be dark and slippery,
  when the angel of the Lord harries them.
For it was without cause that they spread out their nets to ensnare me,
  without cause that they dug a pit to take my life.
Let death come upon them suddenly,
  may they be entangled in their own nets.
But my soul will exult in the Lord
  and rejoice in his aid.
My bones themselves will say
  “Lord, who is your equal?”
You snatch the poor man
  from the hand of the strong,
the needy and weak
  from those who would destroy them.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Lord, rise up and defend me.

Psalm 34 (35)
Judge my case, Lord: defend me, for you are strong.
Lying witnesses rose up against me;
  they asked me questions I could not answer.
They paid me back evil for the good I did,
  my soul is desolation.
Yet I – when they were ill, I put on sackcloth,
  I mortified my soul with fasting,
  I prayed for them from the depths of my heart.
I walked in sadness as for a close friend, for a brother;
  I was bowed down with grief as if mourning my own mother.
But they – when I was unsteady, they rejoiced and gathered together.
  They gathered and beat me: I did not know why.
They were tearing me to pieces, there was no end to it:
  they teased me, heaped derision on me, they ground their teeth at me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Judge my case, Lord: defend me, for you are strong.

Psalm 34 (35)
All day my tongue will ponder your justice and utter your praise.
Lord, how long will you wait?
  Rescue my life from their attacks,
  my only life from the lions.
I will proclaim you in the great assembly,
  in the throng of people I will praise you.
Let not my lying enemies triumph over me,
  those who hate me for no reason,
who conspire against me by secret signs,
  who do not speak of peace,
  who plan crimes against the innocent,
who cry out slanders against me,
  saying “Yes! Yes! We saw it ourselves!”
You see them, Lord, do not stay silent:
  Lord, do not leave me.
Rise up and keep watch at my trial:
  my God and my Lord, watch over my case.
Judge me according to your justice,
  Lord: my God, let them not rejoice over me!
Let them not think to themselves,
  “Yes! We have what we wanted!”
Let them not say,
  “We have swallowed him up.”
But let those who support my cause rejoice,
  let them say always “How great is the Lord,
  who takes care of his servant’s welfare.”
And my tongue too will ponder your justice,
  and praise you all day long.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
All day my tongue will ponder your justice and utter your praise.

Turn back to the Lord your God,
because he is tenderness and compassion.

Reading Exodus 12:21-36 ©
Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go and choose animals from the flock on behalf of your families, and kill the Passover victim. Then take a spray of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and with the blood from the basin touch the lintel and the two doorposts. Let none of you venture out of the house till morning. Then, when the Lord goes through Egypt to strike it, and sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, he will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to enter your homes and strike. You must keep these rules as an ordinance for all time for you and your children. When you enter the land that the Lord is giving you, as he promised, you must keep to this ritual. And when your children ask you, “What does this ritual mean?” you will tell them, “It is the sacrifice of the Passover in honour of the Lord who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt, and struck Egypt but spared our houses.”’ And the people bowed down and worshipped. The sons of Israel then departed, and they obeyed. They carried out the orders the Lord had given to Moses and Aaron.
  And at midnight the Lord struck down all the first-born in the land of Egypt: the first-born of Pharaoh, heir to his throne, the first-born of the prisoner in his dungeon, and the first-born of all the cattle. Pharaoh and all his courtiers and all the Egyptians got up in the night, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without its dead. And it was night when Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. ‘Get up,’ he said ‘you and the sons of Israel, and get away from my people. Go and offer worship to the Lord as you have asked and, as you have asked, take your flocks and herds, and go. And also ask a blessing on me.’ The Egyptians urged the people to hurry up and leave the land because, they said, ‘Otherwise we shall all be dead.’ So the people carried off their dough, still unleavened, on their shoulders, their kneading bowls wrapped in their cloaks.
  The sons of Israel did as Moses had told them and asked the Egyptians for silver ornaments and gold, and for clothing. The Lord gave the people such prestige in the eyes of the Egyptians, that they gave them what they asked. So they plundered the Egyptians.

Reading From the Mirror of Love by Saint Aelred, abbot
Christ, the model of brotherly love
The perfection of brotherly love lies in the love of one’s enemies. We can find no greater inspiration for this than grateful remembrance of the wonderful patience of Christ. He who is more fair than all the sons of men offered his fair face to be spat upon by sinful men; he allowed those eyes that rule the universe to be blindfolded by wicked men; he bared his back to the scourges; he submitted that head which strikes terror in principalities and powers to the sharpness of the thorns; he gave himself up to be mocked and reviled, and at the end endured the cross, the nails, the lance, the gall, the vinegar, remaining always gentle, meek and full of peace.
  In short, he was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb before the shearers he kept silent, and did not open his mouth.
  Who could listen to that wonderful prayer, so full of warmth, of love, of unshakeable serenity – Father, forgive them – and hesitate to embrace his enemies with overflowing love? Father, he says, forgive them. Is any gentleness, any love, lacking in this prayer?
  Yet he put into it something more. It was not enough to pray for them: he wanted also to make excuses for them. Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. They are great sinners, yes, but they have little judgement; therefore, Father, forgive them. They are nailing me to the cross, but they do not know who it is that they are nailing to the cross: if they had known, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory; therefore, Father, forgive them. They think it is a lawbreaker, an impostor claiming to be God, a seducer of the people. I have hidden my face from them, and they do not recognise my glory; therefore, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
  If someone wishes to love himself he must not allow himself to be corrupted by indulging his sinful nature. If he wishes to resist the promptings of his sinful nature he must enlarge the whole horizon of his love to contemplate the loving gentleness of the humanity of the Lord. Further, if he wishes to savour the joy of brotherly love with greater perfection and delight, he must extend even to his enemies the embrace of true love.
  But if he wishes to prevent this fire of divine love from growing cold because of injuries received, let him keep the eyes of his soul always fixed on the serene patience of his beloved Lord and Saviour.

Concluding Prayer
Lord, make your faithful servants ready to celebrate the paschal festival:
  may the bodily denial we have solemnly undertaken
  bear good fruit for our souls.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

15 posted on 03/06/2009 8:10:29 AM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Catholic Culture

Daily Readings (on USCCB site):
» March 06, 2009
(will open a new window)

Collect: Lord, may our observance of Lent help to renew us and prepare us to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Month Year Season
« March 06, 2009 »

Friday of the First Week of Lent
Old Calendar: Sts. Perpetua and Felicitas, martyrs #cal_links li { padding: 0px; }

 

"If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20)." The need to make reparation is a vital, inescapable urge of a free person. His very nature cries out for order and peace. His reason tells him that where an order has been violated, the order must be repaired; and the higher the order, the greater must be the reparation. To be free at all, is to accept the responsibility for atonement. Sin is a violation of God's order. Sin demands reparation — the reparation of personal penance, personal prayer, personal charity to all. Part of our atonement to God is made by serving our fellow men. — Daily Missal of the Mystical Body

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of Sts. Perpetua and Felicitas. Their feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on March 7.

Stational Church


Lent a Great Spiritual Retreat
As he places the Ashes on the person's forehead the celebrant says "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (cf. Gn 3: 19), or he repeats Jesus' exhortation, "Repent, and believe in the Gospel" (cf. Mk 1: 15). Both formulas are a reminder of the truth about human life: we are limited creatures, sinners always in need of repentance and conversion. How important it is to listen to and accept this reminder in our time! When contemporary man proclaims his total autonomy from God, he enslaves himself and often finds himself in comfortless loneliness. The invitation to conversion, therefore, is an incentive to return to the embrace of God, the tender and merciful Father, to entrust oneself to him, to entrust oneself to him as adoptive sons, regenerated by his love. With wise pedagogy the Church repeats that conversion is first and foremost a grace, a gift that opens the heart to God's infinite goodness. He himself anticipates with his grace our desire for conversion and accompanies our efforts for full adherence to his saving will. Therefore, to convert is to let oneself be won over by Jesus (cf. Phil 3: 12) and "to return" with him to the Father. . . . ( more)— Benedict XVI

Today's station is at the Church of the Twelve Apostles. Traditionally, this is the place where the Romans choose their candidates for priesthood (Rite of Election). It was erected by Julius I (337-352) over the barracks of ancient Rome's firemen and entrusted since 1463 to the Conventual Franciscans. Originally dedicated to the Apostles St. James and St. Philip, it was rededicated to all the Apostles in the 16th century.


16 posted on 03/06/2009 8:23:59 AM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Lauds -- Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.


A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 50 (51)
God, have mercy on me
Lord, you will accept lawful sacrifice on your altar.
Take pity on me, Lord, in your mercy;
  in your abundance of mercy wipe out my guilt.
Wash me ever more from my guilt
  and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know how guilty I am:
  my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone have I sinned,
  and I have done evil in your sight.
Know this, so that you may give just sentence
  and an unbiased judgement.
See, I was conceived in guilt,
  in sin my mother conceived me;
but you love truth in the heart,
  and deep within me you have shown me your wisdom.
You will sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be made clean;
  you will wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
You will make me hear the sound of joy and gladness;
  the bones you have crushed will rejoice.
Turn your face away from my sins
  and wipe out all my transgressions;
create a pure heart in me, God,
  put a steadfast spirit into me.
Do not send me away from your presence,
  or withdraw your holy spirit from me;
give me again the joy of your salvation,
  and be ready to strengthen me with your spirit.
I will teach the unjust your ways,
  and the impious will return to you.
Free me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, God my saviour,
  and my voice will glory in your justice.
Open my lips, Lord,
  and my mouth will proclaim your praise;
for you do not delight in sacrifices:
  if I offered you a burnt offering, it would not please you.
The true sacrifice is a broken spirit:
  a contrite and humble heart, O God, you will not refuse.
Be pleased, Lord, to look kindly on Zion,
  so that the walls of Jerusalem can be rebuilt,
Then indeed you will accept the proper sacrifices, gifts and burnt offerings;
  then indeed will bullocks be laid upon your altar.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Lord, you will accept lawful sacrifice on your altar.

Canticle Isaiah 45
All peoples, turn to the Lord
In the Lord all descendants of Israel will receive justice and glory.
In truth you are a hidden God,
  the God and Saviour of Israel.
They were dismayed and ashamed, all the makers of idols,
  all of them fled in dismay.
Israel has been saved by the Lord, saved for ever;
  you will not be dismayed or ashamed,
  to the end of time.
For thus says the Lord, the God
  who made the heavens,
  who made the earth, shaped it, set it firm –
he did not make it to be empty,
  but to be full of life –
“I am the Lord, there is no other.
  I have not spoken secretly,
  in some dark corner of the earth.
I have not said to the children of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain.’
  I am the Lord who speaks justice, who proclaims uprightness.
“Gather together, come, approach me
  all you who have been rescued from the Gentiles.
They were ignorant, who raised up wooden idols
  and begged favours of a god without power.
Announce it – come, ponder it together –
  who was saying this from the beginning, who foretold this from the start?
Am I not the Lord?
  Is there any other God but me?
  Do you seek a just God who will save you? There is no other.
“Turn to me and you will be saved, all you ends of the earth;
  for I am God, there is no other.
“I have sworn by my own being,
  I have decreed a judgement that will not be revoked;
for every knee will bend to me,
  every tongue swear by my name.”
“Only in the Lord,” they will say,
  “are there justice and strength!”
All who resisted him will come to him, and be dismayed;
  but in the Lord all descendants of Israel
  will receive justice and glory.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
In the Lord all descendants of Israel will receive justice and glory.

Psalm 99 (100)
Enter the Temple with joy
Come in triumph before the face of the Lord.
Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
  and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.
Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
 – his people, the sheep of his flock.
Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
  fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
  for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
  his faithfulness through all the ages.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Come in triumph before the face of the Lord.

Short reading Isaiah 53:11-12 ©
By his sufferings shall my servant justify many, taking their faults on himself. Hence I will grant whole hordes for his tribute, he shall divide the spoil with the mighty, for surrendering himself to death and letting himself be taken for a sinner, while he was bearing the faults of many and praying all the time for sinners.

Canticle Benedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
  for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation
  in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones,
  his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies
  and all who hate us,
to take pity on our fathers,
  to remember his holy covenant
and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
  that he would give himself to us,
that we could serve him without fear
 – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him,
  for all of our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High:
  for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation,
  so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God,
  one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness,
  who live in the shadow of death;
  to lead our feet in the path of peace.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

Prayers and Intercessions ?
Let us give thanks to Christ the Lord, who by dying on the Cross conferred life on us. From the depths of our hearts let us pray:
By your death give us life.
Our Master and our Saviour, you have given us proof of your faith and you have renewed us by your glorious passion:
  let us not grow old in sin.
By your death give us life.
Grant that we may fast our well-fed bodies today,
  and give help to our poor and hungry brethren.
By your death give us life.
May we devoutly receive from you the gift of this Lenten day:
  may we consecrate it to you with acts of compassion.
By your death give us life.
Discipline our rebellious minds:
  make us great in spirit.
By your death give us life.

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
  hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
  thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
  and forgive us our trespasses
  as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.

Lord, make your faithful servants ready to celebrate the paschal festival:
  may the bodily denial we have solemnly undertaken
  bear good fruit for our souls.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.
A M E N

17 posted on 03/06/2009 6:30:08 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 5:20-26

 For the faithful Jew at the time of Christ, the Law of Moses was seen as the best way they could show the world that they belonged to God’s holy people.

It was the best way they could express their covenant relationship with the God who rescued their ancestors and who continued to guard and protect them. Because of their dedication to the Law, the Pharisees came to be seen as its authoritative interpreters, and many of the people looked up to them as truly righteous men.

Today’s Gospel reading seems somewhat out of step with this view, doesn’t it? Jesus is telling us that our righteousness needs to surpass even these men who had devoted their whole lives to understanding and fulfilling the law. How is that possible?

First, it’s important to see that Jesus wasn’t saying that the Pharisees’ approach was bad. Rather, it wasn’t enough. It is right to try our hardest to uphold God’s laws and to encourage others to do the same. But there is another side to this equation, which many of the Pharisees seemed to have put aside: Righteousness has to do with love and mercy as well as diligent obedience.

Rather than focus on a definition of righteousness that is based solely on whether we have fulfilled our obligations, Jesus is asking us to display the same righteousness he displayed—a righteousness that shows itself in love, compassion, and faithfulness. This was supposed to be at the heart of the Law, but some of the Pharisees, trying to preserve Judaism against foreign threats, dug their heels in and focused more on the externals of the Law—on the things that set them apart as Jews.

What about us? It can be very tempting to settle for a Christianity defined by rules and regulations. But that’s not what Jesus came to give us—and it’s certainly not why he offered his life for us on the cross. He came to give us a righteousness that flows from a relationship with him, a righteousness based on love and humility. And he wants us to treat each other accordingly. He wants us to embrace each other, not judge. He wants us to serve one another, not focus on each other’s faults. If we can do that, then we have definitely surpassed the scribes and Pharisees!

“Father, teach me the righteousness of Christ and lead me in it today.”

Ezekiel 18:21-28; Psalm 130:1-8


18 posted on 03/06/2009 6:32:23 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]

As a New Year Begins Chance to Start 2006 with 'First Friday' Devotions

19 posted on 03/06/2009 6:35:43 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The best, the surest , and the most effective way of establishing everlasting peace on the face of the earth is through the great power of perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament." -- Pope John Paul II

IMITATION OF JESUS CHRIST

"Could you not watch one hour?" -- Mark 14:37

I am happy to testify that many young people are discovering the beauty of adoration, whether personal or in community. I invite priests to encourage youth groups in this, but also to accompany them to ensure that the forms of adoration are appropriate and dignified, with sufficient times for silence and listening to the word of God. In life today, which is often noisy and scattered, it is more important than ever to recover the capacity for interior silence and recollection: Eucharistic adoration permits one to do this not only within one's "I" but rather in the company of that "You" full of love who is Jesus Christ, "the God who is near us."
 
~Pope Benedict XVI


20 posted on 03/06/2009 6:37:27 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The Core of Monasticism Is Adoration [Catholic Caucus](Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday

Why Eucharistic Adoration?(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

The Real Presence and Perpetual Adoration(Catholic Caucus)

A Shepherd Speaks (Eucharistic Adoration) -- Bishop Edward J. Slattery [Catholic Caucus]

21 posted on 03/06/2009 6:40:19 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
On Fridays, many Catholic Churches have the Stations of the Cross (Way of the Cross), a devotional in the evening.

The Cross as a Journey: The Stations of the Cross for Protestant Worship (Christian Caucus)

Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross

A Few of FR's Finest...Every Day...The Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

The Way of The Cross - a devotional reflection on Christ's Passion

Stations of the Cross - In the Light of the Shroud (extremely powerful!)

(Then) Cardinal Ratzinger's Meditations for the Stations of the Cross

WAY OF THE CROSS COLOSEUM PART 1 [2006]

"WAY OF THE CROSS" AT COLOSSEUM (Part 2)

Thousands contemplate the saving power of the Cross during Way of the Cross in Rome

The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross

22 posted on 03/06/2009 6:45:03 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

The Sin That Voids Every Virtue

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Friday of the First Week of Lent

Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 129:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8
Matthew 5:20-26

Anger

Today Our Lord addresses the sin of anger. "I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment" (Mt 5:22). The law of the Gospel is more exacting by far than the law of old which said, "Whoever kills shall be liable to judgment" (Mt 5:21). Jesus uncovers the root of the killer's sin: anger. Anger goes by any number of names: among them are resentment, rage, exasperation, bile, spleen, belligerence, and wrath.

Unidentified and Unconfessed

The sin of anger often goes unidentified and unconfessed because it lies below the surface like a great fault-line or like the seething entrails of a volcano. We delude ourselves into thinking that we have no sin because the sin has not surfaced. "I haven't thrown a pot, a pan, a book, or a brick. I haven't kicked, or shoved anyone. I haven't let go with any hugely inappropriate words or slammed any doors."

An Invisible Killer

Reasoning thus, we conclude that the sin of anger has no hold over us. Jesus would have us understand, however, that the anger locked up inside us is in every way as poisonous as the anger we let out. One must not think that because one has kept a lid on the boiling cauldron of one's anger, one is without sin. Hidden anger, or the anger we think we succeed in keeping hidden, is as sinful as the anger that comes out in harsh words and hurtful actions. Hidden anger is an invisible killer. That is why, for Our Lord, the angry man falls under the same judgment as the murderer.

Anger Voids Every Virtue

The sin of anger voids every virtue in the sight of God. It is an ugly splotch spoiling even our good deeds. Abba Agathon says that, "a man who is angry, even if he were to raise the dead, is not acceptable to God." The struggle against the sin of anger is long and hard. Abba Ammonas said, "I have spent fourteen years in Scetis asking God night and day to grant me the victory over anger."

Holding On and Letting Go

Our capacity for holding on to anger is astonishing. People in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties sometimes go around still angry over things that happened twenty, thirty, forty, and fifty years ago. Angry over circumstances: "I missed out on so much. I never really had a chance. I was overlooked." Angry with one's family: "If only Dad had said this or done that. If only Mom hadn't been that way. If only, if only. . . . Angry with one's superiors: "She never really understood me. He never had time for me. She misjudged me. He hurt me when he said that. She ruined my life."

It Makes One Sick

Holding on to anger is bad for one's physical, mental, and spiritual health. Anger can literally make one sick. Pent-up anger mutates into depression. Anger sucks the spiritual energy out of the soul, making it difficult or impossible to pray.

Hidden Anger

Some people think that if they keep their anger stored in boxes in the attic or hidden in the closets or basement of their house, life will go on as usual in the kitchen, bedroom, dining room --or refectory, choir, and community room -- and elsewhere. They are wrong. Anger stored in the attic or hidden away in the basement poisons the whole house. It is like lead paint or asbestos. It is like an invisible odorless toxic gas causing headaches, stomach aches, and heartaches. Living in a house with anger in the attic, anger in the closets, and anger in the basement, changes one's face. A mask of resentment distorts one's features. There is a hardening of the countenance. Anger is hard to hide.

Forgiveness

Our Lord teaches us that one thing alone is victorious over anger and that one thing is forgiveness. Therapy is helpful insofar as it allows one to identify pent-up anger, but only forgiveness can bring healing and lasting change. If anger has become a habit, a pattern of sin, it can be driven out only by another habit, that of forgiveness. If you would be able to forgive in great things, forgive in little things, forgive in every little thing. Forgive, not only after every offense, real or imagined, but forgive in advance, forgive ahead of time. And to be able to forgive, go humbly to the mysteries of Our Lord's Body and Blood.

The Eucharistic Antidote

He who taught forgiveness from the cross at the hour of His bitter sufferings and death, infuses us with the spirit of forgiveness in every Holy Mass provided, of course, that we approach the altar, having shaken off the anger that clings to us and holding no anger in reserve. He who approaches the Body and Blood of Christ in state of anger makes a mockery of the mystery of the Cross. We may not be able to free ourselves from every trace of the secret anger hidden deep inside; we can, at least, approach the altar, hating anger as we should hate all sin, and begging God to take it from us. "A pure heart create for me, O God" (Ps 50:12).


23 posted on 03/06/2009 6:47:43 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Feast of the Via Crucis

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In the traditional Franciscan calendar, the First Friday of March is kept as the feast of the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross. The texts of the Proper Office for the feast are magnificent; most of them are taken from Isaiah 52:13 --53:12. I was especially pleased to note that in the Franciscan Breviary's Third Lesson at Matins of the feast, the sons of Saint Francis recognize the role played by Saint Bernard, the Abbot of Clairvaux, in the development of devotion to the Passion.

bernardo_ribalta.jpg

Saint Bernard, the "most contagious" abbot of the 12th century, had inflamed the hearts of his monks with love for the Suffering Christ. By means of his widely circulated sermons and other writings, Cistercian devotion to the Passion ran across Europe like a fire in stubble.

"My beloved is to me a little bundle of myrrh." From the early days of my conversion, conscious of my grave lack of merits, I made sure to gather for myself this little bundle of myrrh. It was culled from all the anxious hours and bitter experiences of my Lord. . . . there were the insults, the spitting, the blows, the mockery, the scorn, the nails, and similar torments, and all for the salvation of our race. Among the little branches of this perfumed myrrh I feel we must not forget the myrrh which He drank upon the cross and was used for His anointing at burial. In the first of these he took upon Himself the bitterness of my sins, in the second He affirmed the future incorruption of my body. As long as I live I shall proclaim the abounding goodness in these events; for all eternity I shall not forget these mercies, for in them I have found life. (Saint Bernard, On the Song of Songs, 43).

Following Saint Bernard and the other 12th century Cistercian authors, Saint Francis and his followers immersed themselves in the mystery of the Passion. Devotion to the suffering Christ is characteristic of the Franciscan spirit. Saint Bonaventure intensified this heritage and fostered its development by the Seraphic Order's best preachers. Meditation on the Lord's Passion found an effective and fruitful expression in the Way of the Cross, an exercise that allowed the faithful to follow in spirit the sorrowful way taken by Our Lord in Jerusalem. Saint Leonard of Port Maurice promoted the Way of the Cross. Stations of the Cross became a characteristic feature of the Catholic Churches. Through the ages the Popes have enriched the Way of the Cross with precious indulgences.

The antiphons at Vespers are full of compunction:

1. Christ suffered for our sakes, and left us his own example; we were to follow in his footsteps.

2. He did no wrong, no treachery was found on his lips.

3. He was ill spoken of, and spoke no evil in return, suffered, and did not threaten vengeance, gave himself up into the hands of injustice.

4. So, on the cross, his own body took the weight of our sins; we were to become dead to our sins, and live for holiness; it was his wounds that healed us.

5. Till then, we have been like sheep going astray; now, we have been brought back to him, our shepherd, who keeps watch over our souls.

The Little Chapter is drawn from Isaiah 53:6:

Strayed sheep all of us, each following his own path; and God lid on his shoulders our guilt, the guilt of us all.

Here is a strophe from the hymn:

Fill thou the weak with power from on high --
So may they tread the way of life undaunted,
So if they fall and sin again o'ertake them, --
Ever grant that they may promptly rise.

At the Magnificat:

Christ our King alone has taken pity on our sinfulness: obeying the Father he was led away as a lamb meek to be slaughtered.

And the Collect:

O God, who, by the glorious passion of thy Son,
has taught us to follow the way of the cross to attain to eternal glory,
grant in thy mercy that we may lovingly company with him to Calvary
and ever follow in his triumphant glory,
he who is God, living and reigning with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.

All texts taken from The Little Breviary, J.H. Gottmer, Haarlem --Antwerp, 1957


24 posted on 03/06/2009 6:51:07 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Mt 5:20-26
# Douay-Rheims Vulgate
20 For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. dico enim vobis quia nisi abundaverit iustitia vestra plus quam scribarum et Pharisaeorum non intrabitis in regnum caelorum
21 You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. audistis quia dictum est antiquis non occides qui autem occiderit reus erit iudicio
22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. ego autem dico vobis quia omnis qui irascitur fratri suo reus erit iudicio qui autem dixerit fratri suo racha reus erit concilio qui autem dixerit fatue reus erit gehennae ignis
23 If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee; si ergo offeres munus tuum ad altare et ibi recordatus fueris quia frater tuus habet aliquid adversum te
24 Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother, and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. relinque ibi munus tuum ante altare et vade prius reconciliare fratri tuo et tunc veniens offers munus tuum
25 Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. esto consentiens adversario tuo cito dum es in via cum eo ne forte tradat te adversarius iudici et iudex tradat te ministro et in carcerem mittaris
26 Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing. amen dico tibi non exies inde donec reddas novissimum quadrantem

25 posted on 03/06/2009 8:41:48 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
20. For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21. You have heard that it was said by them of old, You shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22. But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.

HILARY; Beautiful entrance He here makes to a teaching beyond the works of the Law, declaring to the Apostles that they should have no admission to the kingdom of heaven without a righteousness beyond that of Pharisees.

CHRYS. By righteousness is here meant universal virtue. But observe the superior power of grace, in that he requires of His disciples who were yet uninstructed to be better than those who were masters under the Old Testament. Thus He does not call the Scribes and Pharisees unrighteous, but speaks of their righteousness. And see how even herein he confirms the Old Testament that He compares it with the New, for the greater and the less are always of the same kind.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. The righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees are the commandments of Moses; but the commandments of Christ are the fulfillment of that Law. This then is His meaning; Whosoever in addition to the commandments of the Law shall not fulfill My commandments, shall not enter into to the kingdom of heaven. For those indeed save from the punishment due to transgressions of the Law, but do not bringing into the kingdom; but My commandments both deliver from punishment, and bring into the kingdom. But seeing that to break the least commandments and not to keep them are one and the same, why does He say above of him that breaks the commandments, that he shall be the least in the kingdom of heaven, and here of him who keeps them not, that he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven? See now to be these least into the kingdom is the same with not entering into the kingdom. For a man to be in the kingdom is not to reign with Christ, but only to be numbered among Christ's people; what he says then of him that breaks the commandments is, that he shall indeed be reckoned among Christians yet the least of them. But he who enters into the kingdom, becomes partaker of His kingdom with Christ. Therefore he who does not enter into the kingdom of heaven, shall not indeed have a part of Christ's glory, yet shall he be in the kingdom of heaven, that is, in the number of those over whom Christ reigns as King of heaven.

AUG. Otherwise, unless your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, that is, exceed that of those who break what themselves teach, as it is elsewhere said of them, they say, and do not; just as if he had said, Unless your righteousness exceed in this way that you do what you teach, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. We must therefore understand something other than usual by the kingdom of heaven here, in which are to be both he who breaks what he teaches, and he who does it, but the one least, the other great; this kingdom of heaven is the present Church. In another sense is the kingdom of heaven spoken of that place where none enters but he who does what he teaches, and this is the Church as it shall be hereafter. ID. This expression, the kingdom of heaven, so often used by our Lord, I know not whether anyone would find in the books of the Old Testament. It belongs properly to the New Testament revelation, kept for His mouth whom the Old Testament figured as a King that should come to reign over His servants. This end, to which its precepts were to be referred, was hidden in the Old Testament, though even that had its saints who looked forward to the revelation that should be made.

GLOSS. Or, we may explain by referring to the way in which the Scribes and Pharisees understood the Law, not to the actual contents of the Law.

AUG. For almost all the precepts which the Lord gave, saying, But I say to you, are found in those ancient books. But because they knew not of any murder, besides the destruction of the body, the Lord shows them that every evil thought to the hurt of a brother is to be held for a kind of murder.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. Christ willing to show that he is the same God who spoke of old in the Law, and who now gives commandments in grace, now puts first of all his commandments, that one which was the first in the Law, first, at least, of all those that forbade injury to our neighbor

AUG. We do not, because we have heard that, You shall not kill, deem it therefore unlawful to pluck a twig, according to the error of the Manichees, nor consider it to extend to irrational brutes; by the most righteous ordinance of the Creator their life and death is subservient to our needs. There remains, therefore, only man of whom we can understand it, and that not any other man, nor you only; for he who kills himself does nothing else but kill a man. Yet have not they in any way done contrary to this commandment who have waged wars under God's authority, or they who charged with the administration of civil power have by most just and reasonable orders inflicted death upon criminals. Also Abraham was not charged with cruelty, but even received the praise of piety, for that he was willing to obey God in slaying his son. Those are to be excepted from this command whom God commands to be put to death, either by general law given, or by particular admonition at any special time. For he is not the slayer who ministers to the command, like a hilt to one smiting with a sword, nor is Samson otherwise to be acquitted for destroying himself along with his enemies, than because he was so instructed privily of the Holy Spirit, who through him wrought the miracles.

CHRYS. This, it was said by then; of old time, shows that it was long ago that they had received this precept. He says this that he might rouse His sluggish hearers to proceed to more sublime precepts, as a teacher might say to an indolent boy, Know you not how long time you have spent already in merely learning to spell? In that, I say to you, mark the authority of the legislator, none of the old Prophets spoke thus; but rather, Thus said the Lord. They as servants repeated the commands of their Lord; He as a Son declared the will of His Father, which was also His own. They preached to their fellow servants; He as master ordained a law for his slaves.

AUG. There are two different opinions among philosophers concerning the passions of the mind: the Stoics do not allow that any passion is incident to the wise man; the Peripatetics affirm that they are incident to the wise man but in a moderate degree and subject to reason; as, for example, when mercy is shown in such a manner that justice is preserved. But in the Christian rule we do not inquire whether the mind is first affected with anger or with sorrow, but whence.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. He who is angry without cause shall be judged; but he who is angry with cause shall not be judged. For if there were no anger, neither teaching would profit, nor judgments hold, nor crimes be controlled. So that he who on just cause is not angry, is in sin; for an unreasonable patience sows vices, breeds carelessness, and invites the good as well as the bad to do evil.

JEROME; Some people add here the words, without cause; but by the true reading the precept is made unconditional, and anger altogether forbidden. For when we are told to pray for them that persecute us, all occasion of anger is taken away. The words without cause then must be erased, for the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. Yet that anger which arises from just cause is indeed not anger, but a sentence of judgment. For anger properly means a feeling of passion; but he whose anger arises from just cause does not suffer any passion, and is rightly said to sentence, not to be angry with.

AUG. This also we affirm should be taken into consideration, what is being angry with a brother; for he is not angry with a brother who is angry at his offense. He then it is who is angry without cause, who is angry with his brother, and not with the offense. ID. But to be angry with a brother to the end that he may be corrected, there is no man of sound mind who forbids. Such sort of motions as come of love of good and of holy charity, are not to be called vices when they follow right reason.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. But I think that Christ does not speak of anger of the flesh, but anger of the heart; for the flesh cannot be so disciplined as not to feel the passion. When then a man is angry but refrains from doing what his anger prompts him, his flesh is angry, but his heart is free from anger.

AUG. And there is this same distinction between the first case here put by the Savior and the second: in the first case there is one thing, the passion; in the second two, anger and speech following thereupon, He who says to his brother, Raca, is in danger of the council. Some seek the interpretation of this word in the Greek, and think that Raca means ragged, from the Greek paxos, a rag. But more probably it is not a word of any meaning, but a mere sound expressing the passion of the mind, which grammarians call an interjection, such as the cry of pain, 'heu.'

CHRYS. Or, Racha is a word signifying contempt and worthlessness. For where we in speaking to servants or children say, Go thou, or, Tell you him, in Syriac they would say Racha for 'thou.' For the Lord descends to the smallest trifles even of our behavior, and bids us treat one another with mutual respect.

JEROME; Or, Racha is a Hebrew word signifying, 'empty,' 'vain'; as we might say in the common phrase of reproach, 'empty-pate.' Observe that he says brother; for who is our brother, but he who has the same Father as ourselves?

PSEUDO- CHRYS. And it were an unworthy reproach to him who has in him the Holy Spirit to call him 'empty.'

AUG. In the third case are three things: anger, the voice expressive of anger, and a word of reproach, You fool. Thus here are three different degrees of sin; in the first when one is angry, but keeps the passion in his heart without giving any sign of it. If again he suffers any sound expressive of the passion to escape him, it is more than had he silently suppressed the rising anger; and if he speaks a word which conveys a direct reproach, it is a yet greater sin.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. But as none is empty who has the Holy Spirit, so none is a fool who has the knowledge of Christ; and if Racha signifies 'empty,' it is one and the same thing, as far as the meaning of the, word goes, to say Racha, or 'thou fool.' But there is a difference in the meaning of the speaker; for Racha was a word in common use among the Jews, not expressing wrath or hate, but rather in a light careless way expressing confident familiarity, not anger. But you will perhaps say, if Racha is not an expression of wrath, how is it then a sin? Because it is said for contention, not for edification; and if we ought not to speak even good words but for the sake of edification, how much more not such as are in themselves bad?

AUG .Here we have three arraignments: the judgment, the council, and hell-fire, being different stages ascending from the lesser to the greater. For in the judgment there is yet opportunity for defense; to the council belongs the respite of the sentence, what time the judges confer among themselves what sentence ought to be inflicted; in the third, hell-fire, condemnation is certain, and the punishment fixed. Hence is seen what a difference is between the righteousness of the Pharisees and Christ; in the first, murder subjects at man to judgment; in the second, anger alone, which is the least of the three degrees of sin.

RABAN. The Savior here names the torments of hell, Gehenna, a name thought to be derived from a valley consecrated to idols near Jerusalem, and filled of old with dead bodies, and defiled by Josiah, as we read in the Book of Kings.

CHRYS. This is the first mention of hell, though the kingdom of Heaven had been mentioned some time before, which shows that the gifts of the one comes of His love, the condemnation of the other of our sloth. Many thinking this a punishment too severe for a mere word, say that this was said figuratively. But I fear that if we thus cheat ourselves with words here, we shall suffer punishment in deed there. Think not then this too heavy a punishment, when so many sufferings and sins have their beginning in a word; a little word has often begotten a murder, and overturned whole cities. And yet it is not to be thought a little word that denies a brother reason and understanding by which we are men, and differ from the brutes.

PSEUDO- CHRYS. In danger of the council; that is (according to the interpretation given by the Apostles in their Constitutions), in danger of being one of that Council which condemned Christ.

HILARY; Or, he who reproaches with emptiness one full of the Holy Spirit, will be arraigned in the assembly of the Saints, and by their sentence will be punished for an affront against that Holy Spirit Himself.

AUG. Should any ask what greater punishment is reserved for murder, if evil-speaking is visited with hell-fire? This obliges us to understand, that there are degrees in hell.

CHRYS. Or, the judgment and the council denote punishment in this word: hell fire future punishment. He denounces punishment against anger, yet does not mention any special punishment , showing therein that it is not possible that a man should be altogether free from the passion. The Council here means the Jewish senate, for He would not seem to be always superseding all their established institutions, and introducing foreign.

AUG. In all these three sentences there are some words understood. In the first indeed, as many copies read without cause, there is nothing to be supplied. In the second, He who says to his brother, Racha, we must supply the words, without cause, and again, in He who says, You fool, two things are understood: to his brother, and, without cause. And this forms the defense of the Apostle, when he calls the Galatians fools, though he considers them his brethren; for he did it not without cause.

23. Therefore if you bring any gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you,
24. Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

AUG. If it be not lawful to be angry with a brother, or to say to him Racha, or You Fool, much less is it lawful to keep in the memory anything which might convert anger into hate.

JEROME; It is not, if you have anything against your brother, but, If your brother has anything against you, that the necessity of reconciliation may be more imperative.

AUG. And he has somewhat against us when we have wronged him; and we have somewhat against him when he has wronged us, in which case there were no need to go to be reconciled to him, seeing we had only to forgive him, as we desire the Lord to forgive us.

PSEUDO-CHRYS But if it is he that has done you the wrong, and yet you be the first to seek reconciliation, you shall have a great reward.

CHRYS. If love alone is not enough to induce us to be reconciled to our neighbor, the desire that our work should not remain imperfect, and especially in the holy place, should induce us.

GREG. Lo, He is not willing to accept sacrifice at the hands of those who are at variance. Hence then consider how great an evil is strife, which throws away what should be the means of remission of sin.

PSEUDO-CHRYS See the mercy of God, that He thinks rather of man's benefit than of His own honor; He loves concord in the faithful more than offerings at His altar; for so long as there are dissensions among the faithful, their gift is not looked upon, their prayer is not heard. For no one can be a true friend at the same time to two who are enemies to each other. In like manner, we do not keep our fealty to God, if we do not love His friends and hate His enemies. But such as was the offense, such should also be the reconciliation. If you have offended in thought, be reconciled in thought; if in words, be reconciled in words; if in deeds, in deeds be reconciled. For so it is in every sin, in whatsoever kind it was committed, in that kind is the penance done.

HILARY; He bids us when peace with our fellow men is restored, then to return to peace with God, passing from the love of men to the love of God; then go and offer your gift.

AUG. If this direction be taken literally, it might lead some to suppose that this ought indeed to be so done if our brother is present, for that no long time can be meant when we are bid to leave our offering there before the altar. For if he be absent, or possibly beyond sea, it is absurd to suppose that the offering must be left before the altar, to be offered after we have gone over land and sea to seek him. Wherefore we must embrace an inward, spiritual sense of the whole, if we would understand it without involving any absurdity. The gift which we offer to God, whether learning, or speech, or whatever it be, cannot be accepted of God unless it be supported by faith. If then we have in anything harmed a brother, we must go and be reconciled with him, not with the bodily feet, but in thoughts of the heart, when in humble contrition you may cast yourself at your brother's feet in sight of Him whose offering you are about to offer. For thus in the same manner as though He were present, you may with unfeigned heart seek His Forgiveness; and returning thence, that is, bringing back again your thoughts to what you had first begun to do, may make your offering.

25. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.
26. Verily I say to you, you shall by no means come out thence, till you have paid the uttermost farthing.

HILARY; The Lord suffers us at no time to be wanting in peaceableness of temper, and therefore bids us be reconciled to our adversary quickly, while on the road of life, lest we be cast into the season of death before peace be joined between us.

JEROME; The word here in our Latin books is 'consentiens,' in Greek, which means, 'kind,' 'benevolent.'

AUG. Let us see who this adversary is to whom we are bid to be benevolent. It may then be either the Devil or man or the flesh or God or His commandments. But I do not see how we can be bid be benevolent or agreeing with the Devil; for where there is good will, there is friendship, and no one will say that friendship should be made with the Devil, or that it is well to agree with him, having once proclaimed war against him when we renounced him; nor ought we to consent with him, with whom had we never consented, we had never come into such circumstances.

JEROME; Some, from that verse of Peter, Your adversary the Devil, &c. (1 Peter 5:8) will have the Savior's command to be, that we should be merciful to the Devil, not causing him to endure punishment for our sakes. For as he puts in our way the incentives to vice, if we yield to his suggestions, he will be tormented for our sakes. Some follow a more forced interpretation, that in baptism we have each of us made a compact with the Devil by renouncing him. If we observe this compact, then we are agreeing with our adversary, and shall not be cast into prison.

AUG. I do not see again how it can be understood of man. For how can man be said to deliver us to the Judge, when we know only Christ as the Judge, before whose tribunal all must be sisted. How then can he deliver to the Judge, who has himself to appear before Him? Moreover if any has sinned against any by killing him, he has no opportunity of agreeing with him in the way, that is in this life; and yet that hinders not but that he may be rescued from judgment by repentance Much less do I see how we can be bid be agreeing with the flesh; for they are sinners rather who agree with it; but they who it into subjection, do not agree with it, but compel it to agree with them.

JEROME. And how can the body be cast into prison if it agree not with the spirit, seeing soul and body must go together, and that the flesh can do nothing but what the soul shall command?

AUG. Perhaps then it is God with whom we are here enjoined to agree. He may be said too be our adversary, because we have departed from Him by sin, and He resists the proud. Whosoever then shall not have been reconciled in this life with God through the death of His Son, shall be by Him delivered to the Judge, that is, the Son, to whom He has committed all judgment. And man may be said to be in the way with God, because He is everywhere. But if we like not to say that the wicked are with God, who is everywhere present, as we do not say that the blind are with that light which is everywhere around them, there only remains the law of God which we can understand by our adversary. For this law is an adversary to such as love to sin, and is given us for this life that it may be with us in the way. To this we ought to agree quickly, by reaching, hearing, and bestowing on it the summit of authority, and that when we understand it, we hate it not because it opposes our sins, but rather love it because it corrects them; and when it is obscure, pray that we may understand it.

JEROME; But from the context the sense is manifest; the Lord is exhorting us to peace and concord with our neighbor; as it was said above, Go, be reconciled to your brother.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.The Lord is urgent with us to hasten to make friends with our enemies while we are yet in this life, knowing how dangerous for us that one of our enemies should die before peace is made with us. For if death bring us while yet at enmity to the Judge, he will deliver us to Christ, proving us guilty by His judgment. Our adversary also delivers us to the Judge, when he is the first to seek reconciliation; for he who first submits to his enemy, brings him in guilty before God.

HILARY; Or, the adversary delivers you to the Judge, when the abiding of your wrath towards him convicts you.

AUG. By the Judge I understand Christ, for the Father has committed all judgment to the Son; and by the officer or minister, an Angel, for, Angels came and ministered to Him; and we believe that He will come with His Angels to judge.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. The officer, that is, the ministering Angel of punishment, and he shall cast you into the prison of hell.

AUG. By the prison I understand the punishment of the darkness. And that none should despise that punishment, He adds, Verily I say to you, you shall not come out thence till you have paid the very last farthing.

JEROME; A farthing is a coin containing two mites. What He says then is, 'You shall not go forth thence till you have paid for the smallest sins.'

AUG. Or it is an expression to denote that there is nothing that shall go unpunished; as we say 'To the dregs,' when we are speaking of anything so emptied that nothing is left in it. Or by the last farthing may be denoted earthly sins. For the fourth and last element of this world is earth. Paid, that is in eternal punishment; and until used in the same sense as in that, Sit on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool; for He does not cease to reign when His enemies are put under His feet. So here, until you have paid, is as much as to say, you shall never come out thence, for that he is always paying the very last farthing while he is enduring the everlasting punishment of earthly sins.

PSEUDO-CHRYS Or, if you will make your peace yet in this world, you may receive pardon of even the heaviest offenses; but if once damned and cast into the prison of hell, punishment will be exacted of you not for grievous sins only, but for each idle word, which may be denoted by the very last farthing.

HILARY; For because charity covers a multitude of sins, we shall therefore pay the last farthing of punishment, unless by the expense of charity we redeem the fault of our sin.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.Or, the prison is worldly misfortune which God often sends upon sinners.

CHRYS. Or, He here speaks of the judges of this world, of the way which leads to this judgment, and of human prisons; thus not only employing future but present inducements, as those things which are before the eyes affect us most, as St. Paul also declares, If you do evil, fear the power, for He bears not the sword in vain.

Catena Aurea Matthew 5
26 posted on 03/06/2009 8:42:14 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


Christ Pantocrator

Detail of a mosaic icon of the Deisis.
XIIIth c.
Hagia Sophia, Constantinople

27 posted on 03/06/2009 8:42:43 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All
Vespers -- Evening Prayer

Vespers (Evening Prayer)

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.


A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 40 (41)
Prayer in time of sickness
Heal my soul, Lord, for I have sinned against you.
Blessed is he who takes thought for the helpless,
  for the Lord will keep him safe in time of trouble.
The Lord will guard him and give him life.
  He will give him good fortune on the earth,
  and not betray him into the power of his enemies.
The Lord will lend him strength on his bed of pain;
  you will transform all his sickness into health.
I said, “Lord, have mercy, heal my soul,
  for I have sinned against you.”
My enemies spoke against me, saying: “When will he die?
  When will his name perish?”
When one of them came to visit me, he talked of nothing,
  but stored up wickedness in his heart.
  He went out, and told tales against me.
All my enemies whispered together against me,
  imagined the worst:
“A plague has taken hold of him:
  he has lain down and will not rise.”
Even my dearest friend, in whom I put my trust, who had eaten my bread –
  even he trampled me down.
But you, Lord – have mercy on me,
  revive me, and I will pay them back.
This is how I know that I have your favour,
  when my enemy cannot triumph over me,
when you raise me up because of my innocence,
  and put me in your presence for all eternity.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
  from the beginning to the end of time.
  Amen! Amen!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Heal my soul, Lord, for I have sinned against you.

Psalm 45 (46)
God, our refuge and our strength
The Lord of might is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.
The Lord is our refuge and our strength,
  a true help in our troubles.
Therefore we do not fear,
  even when the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
the waves roar and foam
  and rise up to shake the mountains.
The streams of the river give joy to the city of God,
  the holy dwelling-place of the Most High.
God is within it, it will not be shaken;
  God will give help as the day dawns.
The nations are in turmoil and kingdoms totter:
  at the sound of his voice, the earth flows like water.
The Lord of strength is with us,
  the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come and see the works of the Lord,
  who has done wonders on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the world:
  he tramples the bow, shatters weapons, and burns the shields with fire.
Stop and see that I am God:
  I will be exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.
The Lord of strength is with us,
  the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Lord of might is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Canticle Apocalypse 15
A hymn of adoration
All nations will come and worship in your presence, O Lord.
Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God Almighty;
  just and true are your ways, King of all nations!
Who, Lord, will not revere and glorify your name?
  For you alone are holy.
All nations will come and worship in your presence,
  for your judgements have been seen by all.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
All nations will come and worship in your presence, O Lord.

Short reading James 5:16,19-20 ©
Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, and this will cure you: the heartfelt prayer of a good man works very powerfully. My brothers, if one of you strays away from the truth, and another brings him back to it, he may be sure that anyone who can bring back a sinner from the wrong way that he has taken will be saving a soul from death and covering up a great number of sins.

Canticle Magnificat
My soul rejoices in the Lord
If you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
  and my spirit rejoices in God, my salvation.
For he has shown me such favour –
  me, his lowly handmaiden.
Now all generations will call me blessed,
  because the mighty one has done great things for me.
His name is holy,
  his mercy lasts for generation after generation
  for those who revere him.
He has put forth his strength:
  he has scattered the proud and conceited,
  torn princes from their thrones;
  but lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
  the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
  he has remembered his mercy as he promised to our fathers,
  to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
If you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering.

Prayers and Intercessions ?
The Lord Jesus sanctified his people with his own blood. We pray to him:
Take pity on your people, Lord.
You are our redeemer and we believe in you. Through your Passion, make us more able to mortify our bodies; support us in our struggles against evil and adversity; and strengthen us with a firmer hope,
  make us eager to celebrate your resurrection.
Take pity on your people, Lord.
You have given Christians the gift of prophecy. Let them use it to spread news of you everywhere:
  give them burning faith, hope, and charity, to confirm the story they have to tell.
Take pity on your people, Lord.
Give your strength to all the afflicted,
  and make us fulfil our duty of care to them.
Take pity on your people, Lord.
Teach the faithful in adversity to share in your passion,
  and let the light of your salvation shine out through them.
Take pity on your people, Lord.
Source of all life, remember those who have left this life
  make a gift to them of the glory of your resurrection.
Take pity on your people, Lord.

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
  hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
  thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
  and forgive us our trespasses
  as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.

Lord, make your faithful servants ready to celebrate the paschal festival:
  may the bodily denial we have solemnly undertaken
  bear good fruit for our souls.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.
A M E N

28 posted on 03/06/2009 9:55:47 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Holiness and Personal Integrity
March 6, 2009
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Friday of the First Week of Lent

Father Thomas Berg, LC

Matthew 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples: "I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ´You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.´ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ´Raqa,´ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ´You fool,´ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for this time I can now spend with you. You constantly fill my life with so many blessings. How ungrateful I am at times! I wish to collaborate more perfectly in establishing your Kingdom on earth. I love you Lord, and with the help of your grace, I will strive to become someone to whom any soul can come in order to discover your truth, your life, your love. Take my life, take this day and make it yours. Amen.

Petition: Father, help me to shun hypocrisy and seek true holiness.

1. Beware of Subjective Impressions. How much righteousness would it take to surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees? Not much, we suspect. Theirs was holiness in appearance only, which is to say no holiness. And what would one discover on the “inside” of such a soul? Plenty of self-deception; plenty of self-indulgent complacency in a subjective impression of holiness; a repugnant holier-than-thou demeanor. It’s easy enough for us to read the Gospel and wrinkle our noses at those bad ol’ Pharisees. In fact, it’s about as easy as telling ourselves that we could never come under the spell of our own subjective impression of holiness. That is why we must always be ready to examine ourselves, before Christ, with an acute awareness of our misery and limitations. Do I live my life engaged in a genuine pursuit of holiness or in a genuine pursuit of my own vanity and self-glorification?

2. Holiness Is Incompatible with Pride Pride and personal holiness mix about as well as oil and water. Where our ego is, little if any room is left for God. What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ but to be someone who fills himself totally with God in order to bring him within the reach of everyone. But what union, grace or friendship with God can there be in a proud soul? What fervor, what degree of holiness? There is no possible compromise between God and a proud soul – either the soul would have to let go of itself, or God would have to stop being God.

3. Holiness and Integrity At the heart of genuine holiness is the virtue of integrity, a virtue rich in nuances and meaning. Integrity means being a person with only one face, a person who is the same on the inside and on the outside: “What you see is what you get”. Indeed, integrity is foundational for holiness, because it constitutes the very essence of personal honesty and sincerity, which are fundamental for the moral life and the seedbeds for a host of other virtues. In our pursuit of holiness, we should never tolerate duplicity of any kind in our behavior. We should avoid like the plague the least hint of ambivalence in our motivations, or incongruity between our thoughts, judgments, choices and actions. There can be no holiness without integrity. In fact, there can be no genuine human happiness unless it lies on the bedrock virtue of integrity.

Conversation with Christ:Lord Jesus, I want you to be the meaning and center of my entire life. Let me disappear and you appear more and more in my life so that, with a holiness that is genuine, humble and true, I will always be an instrument for the salvation of all people. Amen.

Resolution: I will take a hard look at my life to identify the areas where duplicity manifests itself and take a concrete step toward living with more integrity.


29 posted on 03/06/2009 10:12:25 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

Homily of the Day

Help Build God’s Family: Be a Reconciler

March 6th, 2009 by Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.

Ez 18:21-28 / Mt 5:20-26

On any given day almost all of us cross paths with a surprising number of people. Many of those encounters are brief and casual, in the supermarket, on the road, at the gas station, in church, on the sidewalk. Far more complex are the interchanges that occur at home, in the neighborhood, or at work. But wherever we go through the day, each of us carries our own baggage with us, our wounds, our prejudices, and our grievances. And inevitably that makes for trouble.

Mistakes will be made, hurts will be inflicted, injustices will be done, today, tomorrow, and always, till the end of time. So what are we to do? Despair? Flee to a remote island? Minimize the hurts by minimizing the contacts?

That’s not Jesus’ answer. His alternative is to become a reconciler, become a person who takes the initiative in healing hurts, correcting mistakes, and righting wrongs, no matter whether he was the victim or the culprit. Take the initiative. Name the sin, claim it, feel it, and fix it. And do it without delay.

Our church is ancient and very wise. And never is that more clear than in the Mass, which every day of the year begins with a rite of reconciliation, and which every day of the year is needed.

Being perfect and sinless is not an option in this life — we are so flawed. But being a humble and gracious reconciler is a noble and realistic option for us all. What better way to continue the work of building God’s people into a true family!


30 posted on 03/06/2009 10:16:00 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body


<< Friday, March 6, 2009 >>
Saint of the Day
 
Ezekiel 18:21-28
View Readings
Psalm 130 Matthew 5:20-26
 

UNFAIR?

 
"You say, 'The Lord's way is not fair!' Hear now, house of Israel: Is it My way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?" —Ezekiel 18:25
 

God, the perfectly just One, is often accused of not being fair by us who have done so many injustices. Evil people seem to get away with murder and even prosper (Mal 3:15), while good people suffer tragedy. It doesn't seem fair.

The Lord gives those who have worked for a few minutes a full day's pay — the same as those who worked the whole day (Mt 20:11ff). Is that fair?

The son who squandered his inheritance on dissolute living was honored with special gifts and a party when he returned home (Lk 15:22-23). The older son complained that it wasn't fair (Lk 15:28ff).

One of the criminals crucified with Jesus stopped blaspheming (Mk 15:32, Lk 23:39ff) long enough to repent. Then Jesus promised to take the man with Him to paradise that day (Lk 23:43). The thief lived a "hell of a life" and immediately went to heaven while many religious leaders did not enter God's kingdom (see Mt 5:20). Is that fair?

Jesus is not fair. If He were, we'd all be condemned to hell. Because He took on Himself the punishment for all our sins, Jesus doesn't have to be fair. He can be better than fair — that is, merciful — because He paid the price to redeem us.

 
Prayer: Jesus, innocent Victim and Victor, it wasn't fair that You died in my place for my sins to justify me. I thank and love You.
Promise: "If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift." —Mt 5:23-24
Praise: When they married, Elizabeth and James made a long-term commitment that lasted fifty years.
 
 

31 posted on 03/06/2009 10:18:32 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Compline -- Night Prayer

Compline (Night Prayer)

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.


This is an excellent moment for an examination of conscience. In a communal celebration of Compline, one of the penitential acts given in the Missal may be recited.

Hymn
Now that the daylight dies away,
By all thy grace and love,
Thee, Maker of the world, we pray
To watch our bed above.
Let dreams depart and phantoms fly,
The offspring of the night,
Keep us, like shrines, beneath thine eye,
Pure in our foe’s despite.
This grace on thy redeemed confer,
Father, co-equal Son,
And Holy Ghost, the Comforter,
Eternal Three in One.

Psalm 87 (88)
The prayer of one gravely ill
I cry out to you, Lord, by day and by night.
Lord God, my saviour,
  I have cried out to you by day and by night.
Let my prayer come before you:
  turn your ear to my request.
For my soul is full of evils,
  my life has come close to its end.
I am counted with those who go down to the pit:
  I am left without help.
I am one of the dead,
  like the murdered who sleep in their tombs,
who lie there forgotten,
  cut off from your care.
You have thrust me down into the pit,
  to the gloom and the shadow of death.
Your anger weighs heavy upon me;
  you have drowned me under your waves.
You have taken my friends away from me:
  you have made me hateful in their sight,
  I am shut in, I may not go out.
My eyes are weak from my sufferings.
I have called to you, Lord, all the day;
  I have stretched out my hands to you.
Is it for the dead that you perform your wonders?
  Will the ghosts rise up and proclaim you?
In the tomb, will they tell of your kindness?
  Will they tell of your faithfulness in the place of the lost?
Will your wonders be known in the darkness,
  or your righteousness in the land of oblivion?
And so I have called out to you, Lord,
  and in the morning my prayer will come before you.
With what purpose, Lord, do you reject my soul?
  Why do you hide your face from me?
I am poor; from my youth I have been dying;
  I have borne the terrors you sent, I am lost in confusion.
Your anger has overrun me, your terrors have broken me:
  they have flowed round me like water,
  they have besieged me all the day long.
You have taken my friends and those close to me:
  all I have left is shadows.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
I cry out to you, Lord, by day and by night.

Reading (Jeremiah 14:9)
You, Lord, are in our midst, and we are called by your name; therefore do not abandon us, Lord, our God.

Short Responsory ?
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
You have redeemed us, Lord, God of faithfulness.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Canticle Nunc Dimittis
Keep us safe, Lord, while we are awake, and guard us as we sleep, so that we can keep watch with Christ and rest in peace.
Now, Master, you let your servant go in peace.
  You have fulfilled your promise.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
  which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness;
  the glory of your people Israel.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Keep us safe, Lord, while we are awake, and guard us as we sleep, so that we can keep watch with Christ and rest in peace.

Prayer
Let us pray.
  Lord, let us be so united with your only Son that we become worthy to rise with him into new life, who lives and reigns for ever and ever, Amen.

May the almighty Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.
A M E N
An anthem to Our Lady should be recited here.

32 posted on 03/06/2009 10:21:27 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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