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Monthly Archives: May 2013

TODAY’S BIBLE READING (ECCLESIASTICUS 42:15-25)

THE WORK OF THE LORD IS FULL OF HIS GLORY.

Next, I will remind you of the works of the Lord,
and tell of what I have seen.
By the words of the Lord his works come into being
and all creation obeys his will.
As the sun in shining looks on all things,
so the work of the Lord is full of his glory.
The Lord has not granted to the holy ones
to tell of all his marvels
which the Almighty Lord has solidly constructed
for the universe to stand firm in his glory.

He has fathomed the deep and the heart,
and seen into their devious ways:
for the Most High knows all knowledge there is,
and has observed the signs of the times.
He declares what is past and what will be,
and uncovers the traces of hidden things.
Not a thought escapes him,
not a single word is hidden from him.
He has imposed an order on the magnificent works of his wisdom,
he is from everlasting to everlasting,
nothing can be added to him, nothing taken away,
he needs no one’s advice.

How desirable are all his works,
how dazzling to the eye!
They all live and last for ever,
whatever the circumstances all obey him.
All things go in pairs, by opposites,
and he has made nothing defective;
the one consolidates the excellence of the other,
who could ever be sated with gazing at his glory?

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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AS CHRISTIANS, WE NEED TO COMPENSATE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE FOR OUR NEIGHBOUR’S LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

A CERTAIN MISSIONARY SORROW

“These encounters teach us to be dumbstruck by grace. They then lead us to live in the state of soul of a neophyte, which we too rarely realise we are. They reveal to us a depth of thanksgiving that we would never have known without them. As a rule, if they lead us into the inside of a certain anxiety or a certain missionary sorrow, they illuminate the true foundations of Christian joy.

GETTING TO KNOW GOD

For the faith that we have received from Jesus Christ enables us to love God because it enables us to know him. But because we often tend to live our Christianity like a habit, we do not make use of this ability, or at least we do not make sufficient use of it. We love God only with a mediocre love because our knowledge of him is mediocre. Now, it would therefore follow that the first of our tasks in time is to know God as much as possible, in order to glorify him as much as possible and to compensate as much as possible for our neighbour’s lack of knowledge of him.

‘WITHOUT UNBALANCING OUR SUPERNATURAL LIFE’

If we are fully convinced of this first temporal duty, I think we will be able to confront all the rest of our temporal duties without unbalancing our supernatural life: for these duties carry us implacably deeper into the first and second commandments that the Lord gave us.”
– Servant of God Madeleine Delbrel (capital headings added)

 

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DAILY ACT OF REPARATION FOR OUR COUNTRY

Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we humbly implore You to have mercy on the people of our country. We confess our neglect of Your holy Commandments and deeply repent of our failure to love as You called us to. So many of our people do not know You. We are sorry and ask for Your forgiveness.

Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer, hear and accept our prayer of Reparation and by the light of Your Holy Spirit lead us into the way of peace and firm faith in You. Amen.

(Please pray 5 decades of the Rosary.)

 

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ACTS OF FAITH AND ADORATION AFTER HOLY COMMUNION

ACT OF FAITH:

Dear Jesus,
I firmly believe that You are present within me
as God and Man,
to enrich my soul with graces
and to fill my heart
with happiness of the blessed.
I believe that You are the Christ,
the Son of the living God.
Amen.

ACT OF ADORATION:

With deepest humility,
I adore You
my Lord and my God;
You have made my soul Your dwelling place.
I adore You as my Creator
from Whose hands I came
and with Whom I am to be happy forever.

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (MARK 10:32-45)

NOW WE ARE GOING UP TO JERUSALEM AND THE SON OF MAN IS ABOUT TO BE HANDED OVER.

They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ahead of them; they were in a daze, and those who followed were apprehensive. Once more taking the Twelve aside he began to tell them what was going to happen to him: “Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans, who will mock him and spit at him and scourge him and put him to death; and after three days he will rise again.”

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him. “Master,” they said to him “we want you to do us a favour.” He said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.” “You don’t know what you are asking” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?” They replied, “We can.” Jesus said to them, “The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.

When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John, so Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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TODAY’S RESPONSORIAL PSALM (PSALM 78)

R. Have mercy on us, Lord,
and look on us.

1. Do not hold the guilt of our fathers against us.
Let your compassion hasten to meet us
for we are in the depths of distress. (R.)

2. O God our saviour, come to our help,
come for the sake of the glory of your name.
O Lord our God, forgive us our sins;
rescue us for the sake of your name. (R.)

3. Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
let your strong arm reprieve those condemned to die.
But we, your people, the flock of your pasture,
will give you thanks for ever and ever.
We will tell your praise from age to age. (R.)

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia!
When anyone obeys what Christ has said,
God’s love comes to perfection in him.
Alleluia!

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (ECCLESIASTICUS 36:1, 4-5, 10-17)

LET THE NATIONS KNOW THAT THERE IS NO GOD BUT YOU, LORD.

Have mercy on us, Master, Lord of all, and look on us,
cast the fear of yourself over every nation.
Let them acknowledge you, just as we have acknowledged
that there is no God but you, Lord.
Send new portents, do fresh wonders,
win glory for your hand and your right arm.
Gather together all the tribes of Jacob,
restore them their inheritance as in the beginning.

Have mercy, Lord, on the people who have invoked your name,
on Israel whom you have treated as a first-born.
Show compassion on your holy city,
on Jerusalem the place of your rest.
Fill Zion with songs of your praise,
and your sanctuary with your glory.
Bear witness to those you created in the beginning,
and bring about what has been prophesied in your name.
Give those who wait for you their reward,
and let your prophets be proved worthy of belief.

Grant, Lord, the prayer of your servants,
in accordance with Aaron’s blessing on your people,
so that all the earth’s inhabitants may acknowledge
that you are the Lord, the everlasting God.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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ISN’T IT INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE MAYOR TO TRY TO BURY KING RICHARD III IN A NON-CATHOLIC CHURCH NOW?

AN ASTONISHING DISCOVERY

“King Richard III is one of the most maligned characters in English history. Shakespeare portrayed him as an evil scheming hunchback who murdered his own nephews. Every English student knows Laurence Olivier’s gruesome depiction of him in the 1955 classic film. In recent years however, historians have begun to revise their opinions, and an astonishing discovery last summer has reawakened widespread interest in the man and his life. Rather than revealing a wicked tyrant, fresh research seems to show he was a brave, dutiful young man, and a devout Catholic ¬†with links to the Franciscan Greyfriars.

Richard, the last of the Plantagenets, had one of the shortest reigns in English history. Killed, aged 32, at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, which left the way clear for Henry VII to take power, it seems he was hurriedly buried in a Franciscan church in Leicester. Known as the Church of the Greyfriars, the structure was completely destroyed 50 years later at the Reformation. While the true whereabouts of his grave was forgotten, rumours spread that his body had been dug up and thrown into a river. From the time of his death, the Tudor propaganda machine began spreading defamatory stories about him that echo to the present day.

A POPULAR LEADER

Not everyone, however, was convinced of these. There is a good deal of contemporary evidence to show that he was a just and popular leader. Cambridge University bravely held a Requiem Mass for him for about 80 years after his death. The Richard III Society have held annual Requiem Masses for him since the 1920s. The Society has long campaigned to restore his reputation, and searched for years to discover where he was buried. Last August, an archaeological excavation by the University of Leicester, discovered the location of a Franciscan Friary (on Friary Street!) in Leicester, under a car park. Philippa Langley from the Society was convinced Richard was there. Amazingly, in the first trench they dug, a skeleton was discovered. ‘It’s almost as if he wanted us to find him,’ said Philippa.

The bones were those of a man about 30 years old. His spine showed signs of a quite severe spinal scoliosis (curved spine), which doctors think would have begun when he was about 12. They said it might not have been very visible if someone was clothed, but it could have been quite painful. There was also evidence of a number of battle injuries, including a large gash on his skull which was probably the blow that killed him.

On 4 February 2013, the University of Leicester confirmed that the skeleton was beyond reasonable doubt that of Richard III. This conclusion was based on mitochondrial DNA evidence; historian Dr. John Ashdown-Hill discovered it was an exact match to a living descendant of the king’s sister; soil analysis, and dental tests. The physical characteristics of the skeleton were also highly consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard’s appearance.

Philippa Langley said, ‘When Richard fell in the battle, he was stripped naked and his scoliosis became known and was used to denigrate him. Today, we find the idea of using physical disability against a person as abhorrent. Let this now be a break from the Tudor medieval mindset.’

INAPPROPRIATE FUNERAL

On 5 February, Professor Caroline Wilkinson of the University of Dundee constructed a forensic facial reconstruction of Richard, based on 3D mappings of his skull. It bears a strong resemblance to a contemporary painting of him. She described the face as warm, young, earnest and rather serious.’

Following the discovery, the Mayor of Leicester announced that the king’s skeleton would be re-interred at Leicester (Anglican) Cathedral in early 2014, and by the same date a Richard III museum will be opened in the Victorian school buildings next to the grave site.

While campaigners welcome plans for the museum many are also calling for the last of the Plantagenet Kings to be given a Catholic funeral and burial.

A petition has now been set up, which reads: ‘The remains of Richard III have been discovered and exhumed. The suggestion is that he will be buried in Leicester Cathedral. However, it seems wholly inappropriate and disrespectful to bury the former Monarch in the grounds of a church of which he never was a member, and which was created by the son of the man responsible for his death and ingnominious burial. I am not petitioning on religious or sectarian grounds, but I believe the dead of any persuasion have a right to be interred in a place appropriate to their beliefs.’ To see the petition go to: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38533

Dr Ashdown-Hill said, ‘Having played a major role in the recovery of Richard III’s remains (by finding the living DNA link which proved his identity, and as a Catholic who, for many years organised annual Requiem Masses for Richard III and his family, I’d like to support the idea that Richard’s remains should now be given a Catholic reburial. He was a sincerely religious man, and I believe this is what he would have wanted.’

FRANCISCAN LINK

Richard III appears to have had links with the Franciscans. Dr. Ashdown-Hill said, ‘We don’t know why he was buried at the Franciscan friary in Leicester. There were many religious houses there at the time. We don’t know if they were asked or offered to take him. But we know historically that the friary did support his family’s cause. We know Richard III had a Franciscan Friar as his chaplain.

‘Another thing which is intriguing, is that Richard’s sister, Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy, chose to be buried in the Franciscan Friary at Michelin in Belgium. Her instructions were rather strange. She asked to be buried under the steps leading to the choir. This is exactly where we found Richard III at the Friary in Leicester – under steps leading to the choir.’

DEFAMATORY STORIES

Dr. Ashdown-Hill doubted that the story of Richard III killing his nephews (the Princes in the Tower) is true. The Princes in the Tower were Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York. Then 12 and 9 years old, they were lodged in the Tower of London by Richard himself, who was then the Lord Protector, the Duke of Gloucester. This was supposed to be in preparation for Edward V’s coronation as king. After Richard became king, it is assumed that they were murdered. This may have occurred some time around 1483, but apart from their disappearance, the only evidence is circumstantial.

However, the historian added, ‘There were many other people who would have benefited from their deaths, and the case for their being murdered at all is very shaky. There are accounts of a physician visiting the Tower, and there are also medieval records of Edward (the eldest child) dying of an illness.’

Dr. Ashdown-Hill continued, ‘Richard III’s name has been blackened. But it is completely overlooked that the man who took the crown from him, Henry VII, systematically killed all his opponents.’

The historian went on to say, ‘Richard and his wife Anna were devout Catholics. They gave many chantry endowements (prayers for the dead). They endowed King’s College and Queens’ College at Cambridge University. Richard planned the establishment of a large chantry chapel in York Minster, with over 100 priests.’

PERSONAL PRAYERBOOK

Dr. John Ashdown-Hill, author of ‘The Last Days of Richard III’, revealed other fascinating details, ‘Richard’s prayerbook is at Lambeth Palace in London (the headquarters of the Archbishop of Canterbury). Many people had these beautiful illuminated Books of Hours – often they were like a modern coffee table book to browse into occasionally. But Richard III’s is not like that. He has added little prayers and notes of his own. That shows that he didn’t just have one, but that he used it. It’s interesting the way it has survived. Contemporary records say a prayerbook was found in his tent at the Battle of Bosworth. They say it was given to his sister Margaret. The one at Lambeth Palace has her name on it. So it’s likely that’s the one he used before the battle. It is also said that he owned a Bible in English. His sister was also very devout and, like her brother, a reformer aswell.’

PROGRESSIVE MONARCH

In his short reign, Richard achieved a number of progressive reforms. In 1483 he instituted what later became known as the Court of Requests, a court to which people who could not afford legal representation could apply for their grievances to be heard. He also introduced bail in January 1484 to protect suspected felons from imprisonment before trial and to protect their property from seizure during this time. He banned restrictionson the printing and the sale of books, and ordered the translation of written Laws and Statutes from the traditional French into English.

Philippa Langley is a writer and is currently working on a film script on the life of Richard III. Dr. Ashdown-Hill is writing a book about Richard’s sister Margaret, and he is also investigating the story of the Princes in the Tower. The scholar concluded, ‘What we have achieved is not the end. As a historian I’m concerned about finding the truth and respecting people’s reputations.'”
– This article by Josephine Siedlecka entitled “Villain or Hero?” was published in “Messenger of Saint Anthony”, issue May 2013. To subscribe, please contact: Messenger of Saint Anthony, Basilica del Santo, via Orto Botanico 11, 35123 Padua, Italy

 

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ST CHARLES LWANGA, CHRISTIAN MARTYR FOR SPEAKING UP AGAINST AND REFUSING GAY SEXUAL PRACTICES

ST CHARLES LWANGA AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS; MEMORIAL JUNE 3
The twenty-two martyrs of Uganda were put to death by the king, Mwanga, whose objections to their Christianity was reinforced by their resistance to his impure demands of them. Some were quite young boys; some were still catechumens, though St Charles Lwanga baptised these before their death. Even the youngest of all, Kizito, persevered to the end despite the entreaties of his family. All died with joy and faith that they were going to meet Christ their Lord.

PRAYER:

Father,
you have made the blood of the martyrs
the seed of Christians.
May the witness of Saint Charles and his companions
and their loyalty to Christ in the face of torture
inspire countless men and women
to live in the Christian faith.
Through Christ our Lord, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

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“EVIL IS SELF-DEFEATING; WE CANNOT TURN FROM GOD WITHOUT HURTING OURSELVES”

TRIALS AND CATASTROPHES IN EVIL TIMES ARE INTERRUPTIONS OF THEIR GODLESSNESS

“Because the signs of our times point to a struggle between absolutes we may expect the future a time of trials and catastrophes for two reasons: firstly, to stop disintegration. Godlessness would go on and on if there were no catastrophes.

WHAT DEATH IS TO A SINFUL PERSON, THAT CATASTROPHE IS TO AN EVIL CIVILISATION

What death is to a sinful person, that catastrophe is to an evil civilisation: the interruption of its godlessness. Why did God station an angel with a flaming sword at the Garden of Paradise after the Fall, if it were not to prevent our first parents from entering the garden and eating from the tree of life, which, if they ate, would have immortalised their evil?

GOD WILL NOT ALLOW UNRIGHTEOUSNESS TO BECOME ETERNAL

God will not allow unrighteousness to become eternal. Revolution, disintegration, chaos must be reminders that our thinking has been wrong, our dreams have been unholy. Moral truth is vindicated by the ruin that follows it when it is repudiated. The chaos of our times is the strongest negative argument that could ever be advanced for Christianity.

A TESTAMENT TO GOD’S POWER

Catastrophe becomes a testament to God’s power in a meaningless world, for by it God brings a meaningless existence to nought. The disintegration following an abandonment of God thus becomes a triumph of meaning, a reaffirmation of purpose.

THESE DISORDERED TIMES ARE THE WAGES OF SIN

Adversity is the expression of God’s condemnation of evil, the registering of Divine Judgment. As hell is not sin, but the effect of sin, so these disordered times are not sin, but the wages of sin. Catastrophe reveals that evil is self-defeating; we cannot turn from God without hurting ourselves.”
– Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Communism and the Conscience of the West, Chapter 1, ‘The Decline of Historical Liberalism’ (capital headings added).

 

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