Thursday, 28 February 2013

Month of March dedicated to Saint Joseph - Pope Emeritus

The Pope left the Vatican in a motorcade before boarding a helicopter to the papal retreat

News for Pope Benedict XVI, to Castel Gandolfo News

  1. Benedict XVI leaves Vatican on final day as Pope

    BBC News ‎- 3 hours ago
    Benedict XVI leaves the Vatican on his final day as Pope, saying he "will... by helicopter to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome.
March is dedicated to Saint Joseph      
"Of all the people I have known with a true devotion and particular veneration for St. Joseph, not one has failed to advance in virtue; he helps those who turn to him to make real progress. For several years now, I believe, I have always made some request to him on his feast day, and it was always been granted; and when my request is not quite what it ought to be, he puts it right for my greater benefit."— St. Teresa of Avila

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(click on the text of the intentions to go to the comment)

Lent 2nd Thursday - Dives and Lazarus

It is interesting to find the Online 'Cornelius A Lapide'. The Latin version volumes are missing from the Library. This Commentary on 'Dives Lazarus' sample in Link below.

---- Forwarded Message -----
From: Nivard ...
Sent: Thursday, 28 February 2013, 8:19
Subject: Lent 2nd Thursday - Dives and Lazarus

Magnificat Adapted, Thur. (28 Feb 28):
“If they will not listen to Moses ...”
Scripture:  Luke 16:19-31
   Today Jesus tells us the story of the rich man and Lazarus.
   “The heart is more devious than any other thing.”
   What the rich man was looking for in fine garments and sumptuous dining, he was meant to find in the beggar on his doorstep.
   For every person that God puts on our path becomes the way to the fulfilment we seek.
  Jeremiah warns, “A curse on the man ... who turns his face from the Lord.” – that is, the one who refuses the unexpected ways God makes himself present in our life.
  Father, have mercy on us, because not in gold, not in honour, not in wealth  - but in you alone we  put our trust, through Christ our Lord."


  Douay Rheims Version
Luke 16: 19-31
The parable of the unjust steward and of the rich man and Lazarus.                                                                                
29. And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them. 
30. But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. 
31. And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead.29. And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them. 
30. But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. 
31. And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead.
Ver. 29.—Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the Prophets, i.e. the writings of Moses and the Prophets, which the Scribes and Pharisees read and expound in their synagogues.
Ver. 30.—And he said, Nay, Father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. He is speaking of his own experience. For as he had been affected, so does he think it will be with his brethren.  S. Chrysostom. Titus more clearly writes, “Why does the rich man say this but because he himself had heard the prophets to little purpose, and had looked upon their teaching as untrue? Therefore he conjectures that his brethren similarly regarded them. He as much as says, ‘They argue as I once argued. Who has ever given any description of hell—who has ever returned thence? But if any one were sent to them from the dead, they would believe him, and give diligent heed to what he had to say.’”
Ver. 31.—And he said unto him, &c. They will say that Lazarus is a phantom, sent by the spirits of evil to deceive; whereas the writings of Moses and the prophets are inspired, are accepted by the Jews at the rule of faith, according to that which is written, “We have now a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.” 2 S. Peter 1. 19.
The truth of the Patriarch’s answer is proved by the conduct of the Jews, who spoke against the raising of the other Lazarus, and the resurrection of Christ Himself, and refused to believe in Him.
So also Peter, who three years after death was recalled to life by S. Stanislaus, Bishop of Cracow, to testify concerning some land which had been sold by the king, replied to those who asked him concerning the other world, no more than this, “Ye have Moses and the prophets. I have been sent to bear witness, not to preach.”
Dives therefore obtained none of his requests, because it is written, “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.” Prov. xxi. 13.

Morally, we learn from this parable or rather from this history,

1. That God has appointed to each his lot, and has made some rich, some poor. Let each one therefore be content with that station which God has allotted him. Let the poor, by patient endurance of want, and the rich, by the liberal relief of the poor, seek for life and happiness in the world to come. For Christ seems to have spoken this parable to enforce His teaching, “Make to yourselves fiends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” The rich man was not compassionate, and therefore he was rejected by Abraham and Lazarus.
2. That we must not despise the poor and afflicted, but on the contrary render all the assistance which lies in our power. For S. Gregory (Hom. 40) says, “The medicine of poverty heals those whom moral infirmity wounds, and often a pearl lies hidden in a dunghill, i.e. holiness and virtue often lie hid in an unclean body, and in abject poverty. And so S. Romula, dying of poverty and paralysis, was carried to heaven by a chorus of angels. He adds, “We find a Lazarus every day if we seek him, and even if we seek him not, we see him. Behold how importunately the poor present themselves, and make demands on us, in their turn to intercede on our behalf. We ought certainly to ask of them, yet they ask of us. Consider, whether we ought to refuse what is demanded of us when those who ask are our patrons.”
3. That the rich ought not to boast themselves in their riches, for riches endure but for a time, and death deprives men of their all. Wherefore let them not set their hearts upon their riches, but on God; and let them for the love of God use that wherewith He has prospered them for the benefit of the needy and poor.

Soliloquy COMMENT: St. Teresa’s ‘Soliloquies’

 A Word In Season , Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours, Augustine Press 2001

St. Teresa of Avila: Why you can't seem to progress in the spiritual life?

In our Night Office Second Reading (Alternative), Lent 2nd Week, Wednesday, brought up an introduction to St. Teresa’s ‘Soliloquies’.
This soliloquy escaped my hearing, another reading stayed opaque. After the evening, St. Teresa could not ring a bell with me. Next morning, after the Mass, the soliloquy at last made the perfect sense; as 'on different days according in the spirit our Lord gave her after Communion.'
References edited in.
The experiment proves to be an experience, an encounter with the live Teresa.
The translator, Kieran Kavanough, OCD, comments on the Soliloquies, “The style of these meditations, however, greatly resembles that found in the solilies that come down to us under that found under the name of St. Augustine.”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
soliloquy (from Latin: "talking by oneself") is a device often used in drama when a character speaks to himself or herself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience. Other characters, however, are not aware of what is being said.[1][2] A soliloquy is distinct from a monologue or an aside: a monologue is a speech where one character addresses other characters; an aside is a (usually short) comment by one character towards the audience.

Alternative Reading
From the writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus (Collected Works, Vol 1, Institute of Carmeite Studies, Washington. D.C.1987, Soliloquy 8, pp. 450-451)
We are your handiwork
O Lord, my God, how you possess the words of eternal life,*Jn. 6:67-68, where all mortals will find what they desire if they want to seek it! But what a strange thing, my God, that we forget your words in the madness and sickness our evil deeds cause! O my God, God, God, author of all creation! And what is creation if you, Lord, should desire to create more? You are almighty; your works are incomprehensible. *Rm. 11:33;Jb. 9:10. Bring it about, then, Lord, that my thoughts not withdraw from your words.
2. You say: Come to me, all who labour and are burdened, for I will comfort you.*Mt. 11:28 What more do we want, Lord? What are we asking for? What do we seek? Why are those in the world so unhappy if not because of seeking rest: God, help me! Oh, God, help me! What is this, Lord? Oh, what a pity! Oh, what great blindness that we seek rest where it is impossible to find it! Have mercy, creator, on these your creatures. Behold, we do not understand or know what we desire, nor how we obtain what we ask for. Lord, give us light; behold, the need is greater than with the man born blind, for he wanted to see the light and could not.*4 Now, Lord, there is no desire to see. Oh, how incurable an illness! Here, my God, is where your power must be demonstrated; here, your mercy.
3. Oh, what a difficult thing I ask you, my true God: that you love someone who does not love you, that you open to one who does not knock, that you give health to one who likes to be sick and goes about looking for sickness. You say, my Lord, that you come to seek sinners;*Pr. 8:17; Mt. 7:7; 9:13, these, Lord, are real sinners. Do not look at our blindness, my God, but at all the blood your Son shed for us. Let your mercy shine upon evil that has so increased; behold, Lord, we are your handiwork. May your goodness and mercy help us.
                                                                         Responsory         Ps 68:26; 96:1
Bless God in your assemblies; + all you people of Israel, praise the Lord. V/ Sing to the Lord a new song; let all the earth sing to the Lord: + All you people ...


Teresa of Avila
(c) A link to the text of Volume 1 of Peers' Complete Works of Saint Teresa of Jesus, ...16 "exclamations" (the Soliloquies); 7 meditations ("conceptions") on some ...
You visited this page on 28/02/13.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Lent: February 28th Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square
during his final general audience on February 27, 2013 in Vatican City,
Credit: Getty Images


From the treatise on the psalms by Saint Hilary of Poitiers, bishop
(Ps. 127, 1-3: CSEL 24, 628-630)

The meaning of "the fear of the Lord"

Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. Notice that when Scripture speaks of the fear of the Lord it does not leave the phrase in isolation, as if it were a complete summary of faith. No, many things are added to it, or are presupposed by it. From these we may learn its meaning and excellence. In the book of Proverbs Solomon tells us: If you cry out for wisdom and raise your voice for understanding, if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord. We see here the difficult journey we must undertake before we can arrive at the fear of the Lord.

We must begin by crying out for wisdom. We must hand over to our intellect the duty of making every decision. We must look for wisdom and search for it. Then we must understand the fear of the Lord.

“Fear” is not to be taken in the sense that common usage gives it. Fear in this ordinary sense is the trepidation our weak humanity feels when it is afraid of suffering something it does not want to happen. We are afraid, or are made afraid, because of a guilty conscience, the rights of someone more powerful, an attack from one who is stronger, sickness, encountering a wild beast, suffering evil in any form. This kind of fear is not taught: it happens because we are weak. We do not have to learn what we should fear: objects of fear bring their own terror with them.

But of the fear of the Lord this is what is written: Come, my children, listen to me, I shall teach you the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord has then to be learned because it can be taught. It does not lie in terror, but in something that can be taught. It does not arise from the fearfulness of our nature; it has to be acquired by obedience to the commandments, by holiness of life and by knowledge of the truth.

For us the fear of God consists wholly in love, and perfect love of God brings our fear of him to its perfection. Our love for God is entrusted with its own responsibility: to observe his counsels, to obey his laws, to trust his promises. Let us hear what Scripture says: And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord your God and walk in all his ways and love him and keep his commandments, with your whole heart and your whole soul, so that it may be well for you?

The ways of the Lord are many, though he is himself the way. When he speaks of himself he calls himself the way and shows us the reason why he called himself the way: No one can come to the Father except through me.

We must ask for these many ways, to find the one that is good. That is, we shall find the one way of eternal life through the guidance of many teachers. These ways are found in the law, in the prophets, in the gospels, in the writings of the apostles, in the different good works by which we fulfill the commandments. Blessed are those who walk these ways in the fear of the Lord.

Sirach 2:19; Luke 1:50
Those who fear the Lord do their best to please him;
 those who love him are mindful of his law.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
 Those who love him are mindful of his law.

The Station for today is in the celebrated basilica, St. Maria in Trastevere. It was consecrated in the third century, under the pontificate of St. Callixtus, and was the first church built in Rome in honor of our Blessed Lady.

Pope's Final General Audience Address. Feb 27 2013

Pope's Final General Audience Address


"I am not abandoning the cross, but remain in a new way with the Crucified Lord"
VATICAN CITY, February 27, 2013 ( - Here is the translation of the address Pope Benedict gave this morning during the general audience, the last of his pontificate, held today in St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood!
Distinguished Authorities!
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Thank you for coming in such large numbers to this last General Audience of my pontificate.
A heartfelt thanks! I am truly moved! And I see the Church alive! And I think we should also thank the Creator for the beautiful weather that He is giving us today while we’re still in winter.
As the Apostle Paul in the biblical text that we have heard, I too feel in my heart that I must above all thank God, who guides and builds up the Church, who sows his Word and thus nourishes the faith in his People. At this moment my heart expands to embrace the whole Church throughout the world, and I thank God for the "news" that in these years in the Petrine ministry I have been able to receive about the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love that circulates in the Body of the Church and makes it live in love, and about the hope that opens us and directs us towards the fullness of life, towards the heavenly homeland.
I feel that I carry everyone in prayer, in a present that is God’s, where I recall every meeting, every trip, every pastoral visit. I gather everyone in prayer to entrust them to the Lord, so that we may have full knowledge of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and so that we may comport ourselves in a manner worthy of Him, of His love, bearing fruit in every good work (cf. Col 1:9-10).
At this time, I feel great trust, because I know, all of us know, that the Word of the truth of the Gospel is the strength of the Church, it is its life. The Gospel purifies and renews, it bears fruit, wherever the community of believers listens and receives the grace of God in truth and lives in charity. This is my trust, this is my joy.
When, on April 19 almost eight years ago, I agreed to take on the Petrine ministry, I felt this certainty firmly, and it has always accompanied me. At that moment, as I have already stated several times, the words that resounded in my heart were: Lord, why are you asking this of me and what are you asking of me? It is a great weight you are placing on my shoulders, but if this is what You ask, at your word I will let down the nets, confident that You will guide me, even with my weaknesses. And eight years later I can say that the Lord has truly guided me, He has been close to me, I could feel His presence every day. It has been a stretch of the Church's journey, which has had moments of joy and light, but also difficult moments; I felt like St. Peter and the Apostles in the boat on the Sea of ​​Galilee: the Lord has given us many days of sunshine and gentle breeze, days when the fishing has been plentiful, and there were also times when the water was rough and the wind against us, as in the whole history of the Church, and the Lord seemed to sleep. But I always knew that the Lord is in the boat, and I always knew that the boat of the Church is not mine, not ours, but it is His. And He will not let her sink, it is He who leads it, certainly also through the men he has chosen, because so He has willed it. This was and is a certainty, that nothing can obscure. And that is why today my heart is filled with gratitude to God because He has never left me or the Church without His consolation, His light, His love.
We are in the Year of Faith, which I wanted to strengthen our faith in God in a context that seems to put it more and more into the background. I would like to invite everyone to renew their firm trust in the Lord, to trust like children in the arms of God, certain that those arms support us always and are what allow us to walk every day, even when fatigued. I would like everyone to feel loved by that God who gave his Son for us and has shown us his boundless love. I want everyone to feel the joy of being Christian. A beautiful prayer to be recited daily in the morning says: "I adore you, my God, I love you with all my heart. Thank you for having created me, for having made me Christian..." Yes, we are happy for the gift of faith; it is the most precious thing, that no one can take from us! We thank God for this every day, with prayer and with a coherent Christian life. God loves us, but expects that we too love Him!
But it is not only God that I want to thank at this time. A Pope is not alone in guiding the barque of Peter, even if the primary responsibility is his; and I have never felt alone in carrying the joy and weight of the Petrine ministry; the Lord has put next to me many people, with generosity and love for God and the Church, they have helped me and have been close to me. First of all you, dear Brother Cardinals: your wisdom, your advice, your friendship has been precious to me; my collaborators, starting with my Secretary of State who has accompanied me faithfully over the years, the Secretary of State and the whole of the Roman Curia, as well as all those who, in various fields, give their service to the Holy See: there are many faces who do not appear, they remain in the shadow, but precisely in this silence, in their daily work, in a spirit of faith and humility, they have been a solid and reliable support for me. A special thought to the Church of Rome, my diocese! I cannot forget the Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood, consecrated persons and the entire People of God: in the pastoral visits, in encounters, in the audences, in my travels, I have always perceived great care and deep affection, but I also have loved each and every one, without exception, with that pastoral charity which is the heart of every pastor, especially the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of the Apostle Peter. Every day I have remembered each of you in my prayers, with a father's heart.
I would like my greetings and my thanks, then, to reach everyone: the heart of a Pope extends to the whole world. And I would like to express my gratitude to the Diplomatic Corps at the Holy See, which makes present the great family of nations. Here I also think of all those who work for a good communication and I thank them for their important service.
At this point I would like to thank from my heart all the many people around the world who in recent weeks have sent me touching tokens of attention, friendship and prayer. Yes, the Pope is never alone, now I experience this again in so great a way that it touches my heart. The Pope belongs to everyone and many people feel very close to him. It is true that I receive letters from the great ones of the world - from Heads of State, religious leaders, representatives of the world of culture and so on. But I also receive many letters from ordinary people who write to me simply from their heart and make me feel their affection, born from being together with Christ Jesus, in the Church. These people do not write to me the way one writes, for instance, to a prince or a to great person that one does not know. They write to me as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, with the sense of a very affectionate family tie. Here one can touch firsthand what the Church is - not an organization, not an association for religious or humanitarian purposes, but a living body, a community of brothers and sisters in the Body of Jesus Christ, who unites us all. To experience the Church in this way and to be able almost to touch with your hands the power of its truth and its love, is a source of joy, in a time when many speak of its decline. But we see how the Church is alive today!
In recent months, I felt that my strength had decreased, and I asked God earnestly in prayer to enlighten me with His light to make me take the right decision not for my sake, but for the good of the Church. I have taken this step in full awareness of its seriousness and also its novelty, but with profound peace of mind. Loving the Church also means having the courage to make tough choices, difficult ones, having always before oneself the good of the Church and not oneself.
Here allow me to return once again to April 19, 2005. The seriousness of the decision also lay precisely in the fact that from that moment on I was busy always and forever with the Lord. Always - whoever assumes the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and totally to everyone, to the whole Church. His life is, so to speak, totally deprived of its private dimension. I experienced, and I am experiencing it now, that one receives life when one gives it. I said before that many people who love the Lord also love the Successor of Saint Peter and are fond of him, that the Pope truly has brothers and sisters, sons and daughters all over the world, and that he feels safe in the embrace of their communion; because he no longer belongs to himself, he belongs to all and all belong to him.
The "always" is also a "forever" - there is no return to the private sphere. My decision to forgo the exercise of active ministry, does not revoke this. I will not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but remain in a new way with the Crucified Lord. I no longer carry the power of the office for the government of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, within St. Peter's bounds. St. Benedict, whose name I bear as Pope, will be for me a great example in this. He showed us the way to a life which, active or passive, belongs wholly to the work of God.
I thank each and everyone for the respect and understanding with which you have accepted this important decision. I will continue to accompany the journey of the Church through prayer and reflection, with the dedication to the Lord and to His Spouse, with which I have tried to live every day until now and with which I want to live forever. I ask you to remember me before God, and above all to pray for the Cardinals, who are called to so important a task, and for the new Successor of Peter: may the Lord accompany him with the light and the power of his Spirit.
Let us invoke the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, that she accompany each of us and the whole ecclesial community; we entrust ourselves to Her, with deep confidence.
Dear friends! God guides His Church, he sustaines her always, and especially in difficult times. Let us never lose this vision of faith, which is the only true vision of the Church and the world. In our heart, in the heart of each of you, may there always be the joyous certainty that the Lord is near us, he does not abandon us, he is near us and surrounds us with his love. Thank you!
[Translation by Peter Waymel/ZENIT News Agency]
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I offer a warm and affectionate greeting to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors who have joined me for this, my last General Audience. Like Saint Paul, whose words we heard earlier, my heart is filled with thanksgiving to God who ever watches over his Church and her growth in faith and love, and I embrace all of you with joy and gratitude.
During this Year of Faith, we have been called to renew our joyful trust in the Lord’s presence in our lives and in the life of the Church. I am personally grateful for his unfailing love and guidance in the eight years since I accepted his call to serve as the Successor of Peter. I am also deeply grateful for the understanding, support and prayers of so many of you, not only here in Rome, but also throughout the world.
The decision I have made, after much prayer, is the fruit of a serene trust in God’s will and a deep love of Christ’s Church. I will continue to accompany the Church with my prayers, and I ask each of you to pray for me and for the new Pope. In union with Mary and all the saints, let us entrust ourselves in faith and hope to God, who continues to watch over our lives and to guide the journey of the Church and our world along the paths of history.
I commend all of you, with great affection, to his loving care, asking him to strengthen you in the hope which opens our hearts to the fullness of life that he alone can give. To you and your families, I impart my blessing. Thank you!
[Original text: English]
© Copyright 2012 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana 
* * *
I extend a cordial welcome to all the Italian-speaking pilgrims. Thank you for your love and affection. Thank you! Dear friends, thank you for the past eight years among you and thank you for your participation in such great numbers at this gathering, as well as for your love and for the joy of your faith. They are feelings that I warmly reciprocate, assuring you of my prayers for you here present, for your families, for your loved ones, for beloved Italy and Rome.
My thought goes finally to the young people, the sick and the newlyweds. May the Lord fill the heart of each of you with His love, dear young people, so that you may be prepared to follow him with enthusiasm; may He sustain you, dear sick people, so that you can accept with serenity the burden of suffering, and guide you, dear newlyweds, so that you make your families grow in holiness.
[Translation by Peter Waymel/ZENIT News Agency]

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Lent: February 27th Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

The Station is at the church of St. Cecelia where the Saint lived and was martyred and where her body now rests. The first church on the site was built in the 3rd or 5th century, and the baptistery from this church was found during excavations, situated underneath the present Chapel of Relics. A house from the Imperial era was also found, and tradition claims that the church was built over the house in which St Cecilia lived. This house was one of the tituli, the first parish churches of Rome, known as the titulus Ceciliae

From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop and martyr
(Lib 4, 14, 2-3; 15, 1: SC 100, 542, 548)

Through foreshadowing of the future,  

Israel was learning reverence for God and perseverance in his service

From the beginning God created man out of his own generosity. He chose the patriarchs to give them salvation. He took his people in hand, teaching them, unteachable as they were, to follow him. He gave them prophets, accustoming man to bear his Spirit and to have communion with God on earth. He who stands in need of no one gave communion with himself to those who need him. Like an architect he outlined the plan of salvation to those who sought to please him. By his own hand he gave food in Egypt to those who did not see him. To those who were restless in the desert he gave a law perfectly suited to them. To those who entered the land of prosperity he gave a worthy inheritance. He killed the fatted calf for those who turned to him as Father, and clothed them with the finest garment. In so many ways he was training the human race to take part in the harmonious song of salvation.

For this reason John in the book of Revelation says: His voice was as the voice of many waters. The Spirit of God is indeed a multitude of waters, for the Father is rich and great. As the Word passed among all these people he provided help in generous measure for those who were obedient to him, by drawing up a law that was suitable and fitting for every circumstance.

He established a law for the people governing the construction of the tabernacle and the building of the temple, the choice of Levites, the sacrifices, the offerings, the rites of purification and the rest of what belonged to worship.

He himself needs none of these things. He is always filled with all that is good. Even before Moses existed he had within himself every fragrance of all that is pleasing. Yet he sought to teach his people, always ready though they were to return to their idols. Through many acts of indulgence he tried to prepare them for perseverance in his service. He kept calling them to what was primary by means of what was secondary, that is, through foreshadowings to the reality, through things of time to the things of eternity, through things of the flesh to the things of the spirit, through earthly things to the heavenly things. As he said to Moses: You will fashion all things according to the pattern that you saw on the mountain.

For forty days Moses was engaged in remembering the words of God, the heavenly patterns, the spiritual images, the foreshadowings of what was to come. Saint Paul says: They drank from the rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. After speaking of the things that are in the law he continues: All these things happened to them as symbols: they were written to instruct us, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Through foreshadowings of the future they were learning reverence for God and perseverance in his service. The law was therefore a school of instruction for them, and a prophecy of what was to come.

Galatians 3:24-25, 23

The law was our guardian until Christ came
and made it possible for us to be reconciled to God by faith.
 And now that the time of faith has come,
we are under that guardian no longer.

Before the time of faith came,
the law kept us strictly in check,
watching us closely until faith should be revealed.
– And now that the time of faith has come,
we are under that guardian no longer.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Lent: February 26th Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent

The façade of Santa Balbina
The Station today is at St. Balbina's, virgin and martyr (130), the daughter of the tribune and martyr, St. Quirinus. The church is ancient, and was probably built in the 4th century above the house of the consul Lucius Fabius Cilone. The first reference to it is found in a 6th century document, where it is referred to as Sanctae Balbinae, Aventine Hill. It was consecrated by Pope St. Gregory the Great.


Office of Readings

From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Ps. 140, 4-6: CCL 40, 2028-2029)
The passion of the whole body of Christ

Lord, I have cried to you, hear me. This is a prayer we can all say. This is not my prayer, but that of the whole body of Christ. Rather, it is said in the name of his body. When Christ was on earth he prayed in his human nature, and prayed to the Father in the name of his body, and when he prayed drops of blood flowed from his whole body. So it is written in the Gospel: Jesus prayed with earnest prayer, and sweated blood. What is this blood streaming from his whole body but the martyrdom of the whole Church?

Lord, I have cried to you, hear me; listen to the sound of my prayer, when I call upon you. Did you imagine that crying was over when you said: I have cried to you? You have cried out, but do not as yet feel free from care. If anguish is at an end, crying is at an end; but if the Church, the body of Christ, must suffer anguish until the end of time, it must not say only; I have cried to you, hear me; it must also say: Listen to the sound of my prayer, when I call upon you.

Let my prayer rise like incense in your sight; let the raising of my hands be an evening sacrifice.

This is generally understood of Christ, the head, as every Christian acknowledges. When day was fading into evening, the Lord laid down his life on the cross, to take it up again; he did not lose his life against his will. Here, too, we are symbolized. What part of him hung on the cross if not the part he had received from us? How could God the Father ever cast off and abandon his only Son, who is indeed one God with him? Yet Christ, nailing our weakness to the cross (where, as the Apostle says: Our old nature was nailed to the cross with him), cried out with the very voice of our humanity:My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

The evening sacrifice is then the passion of the Lord, the cross of the Lord, the oblation of the victim that brings salvation the holocaust acceptable to God. In his resurrection he made this evening sacrifice a morning sacrifice. Prayer offered in holiness from a faithful heart rises like incense from a holy altar. Nothing is more fragrant than the fragrance of the Lord. May all who believe share in this fragrance.

Therefore, our old nature, in the words of the Apostle, was nailed to the cross with him in orderas he says, to destroy our sinful body, so that we may be slaves to sin no longer.

Galatians 2:19-20

With Christ I have been nailed to the cross,
– and I live now no longer my own life,
but the life of Christ who lives in me.

I live by faith in the Son of God
who loved me and gave up his life for me.
– And I live now no longer my own life,
but the life of Christ who lives in me.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Pope Benedict XVI's final Angelus address 24 Feb. 2013

----- Forwarded Message -----
3 hours ago

From: Robert .....
Sent: Sunday, 24 February 2013, 14:03
Subject: Prayers for our Church

Dear Father Donald so much horrible news going around the media at the moment regarding our leaders its so upsetting i feel i need to ask you to pray hard for our church at this time i believe we are on the the way to some kind of cleansing of a size we have never seen before god help us               

 Pope Benedict XVI's final Angelus address delivered on Sunday to more than 200,000  thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square today

The world seen from Rome

Daily dispatch - February 24, 2013



    On the Transfiguration
    The Lord is Calling me to Scale the Mountain,
    By Junno Arocho Esteves
    VATICAN CITY, February 24, 2013 ( - Here is the translation of Pope Benedict XVI's final Angelus address delivered on Sunday to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square today
    * * *
    Dear brothers and sisters!
    Thank you for your affection!
    • Today, the second Sunday of Lent, we have a particularly beautiful Gospel, that of the Lord’s transfiguration. 
    • The evangelist Luke especially emphasizes the fact that Jesus is transfigured while he prays: Jesus’ is a profound experience of relationship with the Father during a kind of spiritual retreat on a high mountain together with Peter, James, and John, the 3 disciples who are always present in the moments of the Master’s divine manifestations (Luke 5:10, 8:51, 9:28). 
    • The Lord, who a short time ago foretold his death and resurrection (Luke 9:22), offers to his disciples an anticipation of his glory. And in the transfiguration too, as in the baptism, the voice of the heavenly Father resounds: “This is my Son, the chosen one. Listen to him!” (Luke 9:35). 
    • The presence then of Moses and Elijah, who represent the Law and the Prophets of the Old Covenant, is of great significance: the whole history of covenant is ordered to him, the Christ, who accomplishes a new “exodus” (Luke 9:31), not toward the promised land as in the time of Moses, but toward heaven. Peter’s words: “Master, how good it is for us to be here” (Luke 9:33), represent the impossible attempt to freeze such a mystical experience. St. Augustine comments: “[Peter] … on the mountain … had Christ as the food of his soul. Why should he want to come down to return to toil and suffering while there he was full of sentiments of a holy love for God that inspired him thus to holy actions?” (Sermon 78,3: PL 38,491).
    • Meditating on this passage of the Gospel, we can take from it a very important teaching. First of all, there is the primacy of prayer, without which all of the work of the apostolate and charity is reduced to activism. During Lent we learn to give the right amount of time to both personal and communal prayer, which gives breath to our spiritual life. Moreover, to pray is not to isolate oneself from the world and its contradictions, as Peter wished to do on Tabor. Prayer, rather, leads us back to the journey, to action. “The Christian life,” I wrote in my Message for this Lent, “consists in continuously scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back down, bearing the love and strength drawn from him, so as to serve our brothers and sisters with God’s own love” (n. 3).
    • Dear brothers and sisters, I hear this Word of God addressed to me in a special way during this moment of my life. Thank you! The Lord is calling me to “scale the mountain,” to dedicate myself still more to prayer and to meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church – on the contrary, if God asks this of me, it is to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have tried to do so hitherto, but in a way that is more adapted to my age and my strength.  
      Let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary: may she help us always to follow the Lord Jesus in prayer and in active charity.
    • [Following the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted those present in different languages. In Italian he said:]
      Dear brothers and sisters!
    • ... I thank everyone for the many expressions of gratitude, affection and closeness in prayer which I have received in these days. As we continue our Lenten journey towards Easter, may we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus the Redeemer, whose glory was revealed on the mount of the Transfiguration. Upon all of you I invoke God’s abundant blessings!  

    [Translation by Joseph Trabbic]