Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 02-11-05, Optional, Our Lady of Lourdes
Posted on 02/11/2005 8:32:05 AM PST by Salvation
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From: Matthew 9:14-15
The Call of Matthew (Continuation)
Question from Adam on 06-23-2003:
|Dear Mr. Bunson, What are some of the approved Marian apparitions? Adam|
|Answer by Matthew Bunson on 06-25-2003:|
|The Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared throughout the world and throughout history. The seven best-known Marian apparitions are:
Banneux, near Liège, Belgium, in 1933. She appeared to an 11-year-old peasant girl, Mariette Beco, in a garden behind the family cottage in Banneux. She called herself the Virgin of the Poor, and has since been venerated as Our Lady of the Poor, the Sick, and the Indifferent.
Beauraing, Belgium, in 1932 and 1933. She appeared to five children in the garden of a convent school in Beauraing.
Fátima, Portugal, in 1917; one of the most famous of apparitions. Our Lady appeared to three children (Lucia dos Santos, 10, who is now a Carmelite nun; Francisco Marto, 9, who died in 1919; and his sister Jacinta, 7, who died in 1920; Jacinta and Francisco were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000) in a field called Cova da Iria near Fátima.
Guadalupe, Mexico, in 1531. Our Lady appeared to an Indian, Juan Diego (declared Blessed in 1990 and canonized in 2002), on Tepeyac hill outside of Mexico City.
La Salette, France, in 1846. Mary appeared as a sorrowing and weeping figure to two peasant children, Melanie Matthieu, 15, and Maximin Giraud, 11, at La Salette.
Lourdes, France, in 1858. Mary, identifying herself as the Immaculate Conception, appeared 18 times to 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous (canonized in 1933) at the grotto of Massabielle near Lourdes.
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, France, in 1830. Mary appeared three times to Catherine Labouré (canonized in 1947) in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Rue de Bac, Paris.
Finally, mention should be made of the alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to six young people of Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The apparitions were first reported in June 1981, initially in the neighboring hillside field, subsequently in the village church of St. James and even distant places. In 1987, the bishops of Yugoslavia declared: On the basis of research conducted so far, one cannot affirm that supernatural apparitions are involved at Medjugorje. Currently, the events remain under on-going investigation by the Holy See to determine their authenticity. Nevertheless, the site of Medjugorje remains a popular destination for Catholic pilgrims from Europe and the United States.
|Friday, February 11, 2005
Our Lady of Lourdes (Commemoration)
|February 11, 2005
Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes
Old Calendar: Apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes
The many miracles which have been performed through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin at Lourdes prompted the Church to institute a special commemorative feast, the "Apparition of the Immaculate Virgin Mary." The Office gives the historical background. Four years after the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (1854), the Blessed Virgin appeared a number of times to a very poor and holy girl named Bernadette. The actual spot was in a grotto on the bank of the Gave River near Lourdes.
The Immaculate Conception had a youthful appearance and was clothed in a pure white gown and mantle, with an azure blue girdle. A golden rose adorned each of her bare feet. On her first apparition, February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin bade the girl make the sign of the Cross piously and say the rosary with her. Bernadette saw her take the rosary that was hanging from her arms into her hands. This was repeated in subsequent apparitions.
With childlike simplicity Bernadette once sprinkled holy water on the vision, fearing that it was a deception of the evil spirit; but the Blessed Virgin smiled pleasantly, and her face became even more lovely. The third time Mary appeared she invited the girl to come to the grotto daily for two weeks. Now she frequently spoke to Bernadette. On one occasion she ordered her to tell the ecclesiastical authorities to build a church on the spot and to organize processions. Bernadette also was told to drink and wash at the spring still hidden under the sand.
Finally on the feast of the Annunciation, the beautiful Lady announced her name, "I am the Immaculate Conception."
The report of cures occurring at the grotto spread quickly and the more it spread, the greater the number of Christians who visited the hallowed place. The publicity given these miraculous events on the one hand and the seeming sincerity and innocence of the girl on the other made it necessary for the bishop of Tarbes to institute a judicial inquiry. Four years later he declared the apparitions to be supernatural and permitted the public veneration of the Immaculate Conception in the grotto. Soon a chapel was erected, and since that time numberless pilgrims come every year to Lourdes to fulfill promises or to beg graces. The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
February 11 was proclaimed World Day of the Sick by Pope John Paul II. Therefore, it would be appropriate to celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick on this day during a Mass or Liturgy of the Word. (The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is only to be given to "those of the faithful whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age", Roman Ritual. This Sacrament must not be given indiscriminately to all who take part in Masses for the sick.)
Patron: Bodily ills.
Symbols: The Blessed Virgin ("The Immaculate Conception") who wears a white dress, blue belt, and a rose on each foot.
Things to Do:
"(under the current discipline in America, fish, eggs, milk products, and condiments or foods made using animal fat are permitted in the Western Rite of the Church, though not in the Eastern Rites.)"
Sissies! And only on Fridays? :) You guys have a blessed Great Lent. You'll be done just about when we start this year!
Isaiah 58:1-9; Matthew 9:14-15
Until the mid-1960s, the time of Vatican Council II, we Catholics fasted six days out of seven for the whole six weeks of Lent. How we looked forward to Sundays! And then the discipline of the Church changed to what is now the practice: fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and abstaining from meat on the Fridays of Lent.
Has the Church gotten soft? Is that whats going on? I dont think so. I think there was something more subtle and wise behind the decision to change, and that is the recognition that we can get so caught up in the externals that we can miss or bypass the real point. Its so easy to say something like, Ive had a very successful Lent because Ive kept the fasting rule perfectly every single day without exception. To think or say that would, of course, be a joke. But the speaker might well not know it.
Todays Old Testament reading tells us what the Lord wants us to accomplish in Lent. The fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, setting free the oppressed, sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless, clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.
God is summoning us to do more than play at being Christian. He wants to help us change our hearts, and only the works of love can do that.
Love in deed, and your heart will change and grow very full indeed!
Friday February 11, 2005 Friday After Ash Wednesday
Reading (Isaiah 58:1-9a) Gospel (St. Matthew 9:14-15)
In both of the readings today, we hear about fasting. Now fasting is critically important for our spiritual lives; it goes hand in hand with the prayer and the almsgiving. If we really want to grow in prayer, it is going to require self-denial. As we hunger for the food that we are lacking, it leads us then to a greater spiritual hunger if we can take that hunger and translate it into a spiritual means; but, at the same time, it needs to end in something that is even greater in the way that we live our lives.
We hear in the first reading about the kind of fasting that was being done by some of the Israelites. They are wondering why, if they sit there in sackcloth and ashes, God was not hearing their prayers; and the Lord says, It is because of the way that you act when you fast. If you are driving your laborers, if you are striking people, if you are angry, if you are being mean, if you are being selfish, what good is fasting? If it is leading you to be uncharitable and more selfish then it is having exactly the opposite effect of what it is supposed to do. The idea of fasting is self-denial. The idea of fasting is hungering for God. If what it is doing instead is making us edgy and angry and mean and selfish, then it is doing exactly the opposite of what was intended.
The Lord is telling us that we need to fast, but that it needs to be in the proper manner. If we are going to be fasting, it needs to end up in greater virtue. That is what we have to focus on. If all we focus on is the fasting, then we are going to think we are doing something heroic just because we are allowing ourselves to feel hunger. And if that is all we are focused on, it is not going to come out in a good way. But if our focus is on the Lord, then the fasting will actually have a greater effect. The fasting is not an end in itself; it is merely a means to something else. So what we need to look at is not merely the fasting, which is a very easy thing to do. When you are feeling hungry, it is very easy to focus on your own self; it is very easy, of course, to focus specifically on the belly; and as Saint Paul comments to some, Their gods are their bellies and their glory is in their shame. That is not what we want. What we want is for the focus not to be on the belly but on the heart, to be on the Lord not on the self, and to be on virtue rather than on any kind of vice.
And so if we are going to be fasting, which the Lord tells us we need to do the Bridegroom has been taken from us, so we need to fast; this is not something which is merely optional to us our fasting needs to have a proper focus, it has to have a right purpose, and it has to end in greater holiness. That is something all of us can look at, and I suspect we will see quite easily how it is being done. Is our fasting ending up in being angry? in being mean? in ripping into people? in being more selfish? Or is our fasting ending up in deeper prayer? in greater virtue? in more charity? in a more profound holiness? The Lord is looking for the good to come out of fasting, so if we are focused merely on our own bellies, or if we are focused merely on the fasting as an end in itself, then it is going to end in something that is not good. But if we are focused on why we are fasting we are offering it to the Lord and we are seeking Him then our fasting is going to have a very good end. That will be very evident in our own lives, not only to ourselves but especially to the people around us. I am sure if you are married that your spouse will be very quick to help you see whether or not your fasting is having a proper end because it is the people right around you who will notice most easily how you are acting and whether there is greater charity or not. That is the way we need to be able to gauge the quality of our fasting. The Lord makes very clear in Isaiah that the kind of fasting He wishes is to get rid of injustice and any lack of charity, and if we are not then our fasting is not going to be pleasing to the Lord because it is either being done for the wrong reason or because our focus is not where it belongs. So our focus in fasting needs to remain on Christ, on a spiritual hunger more than on a physical hunger, and uniting ourselves to Christ through greater prayer and virtue.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.
February 11, 2005
Our Lady of Lourdes
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than three years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: I am the Immaculate Conception.
Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: O Mary conceived without sin.
During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. It was something white in the shape of a girl. She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning this thing. It was a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm. Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand. Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous). The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity.
Through that humble girl, Mary revitalized and continues to revitalize the faith of millions of people. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.
|14||Then came to him the disciples of John, saying: Why do we and the Pharisees, fast often, but thy disciples do not fast?||tunc accesserunt ad eum discipuli Iohannis dicentes quare nos et Pharisaei ieiunamus frequenter discipuli autem tui non ieiunant|
|15||And Jesus said to them: Can the children of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast.||et ait illis Iesus numquid possunt filii sponsi lugere quamdiu cum illis est sponsus venient autem dies cum auferetur ab eis sponsus et tunc ieiunabunt|
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