Tag Archives: Eucharist

The Eucharist teaches us to care for the weakest of society, Pope Francis says :: Catholic News (The Eucharist is a “school of charity and solidarity,” the Pope said. “Whoever is nourished by the Bread of Christ cannot remain indifferent to those who do not have bread daily.”)Agency (CNA)


Vatican City, Jun 7, 2015 / 08:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis focused on the recent feast of Corpus Christi, saying the Eucharist is a “school of solidarity and charity,” which inspires us to care for the most vulnerable.

This feast, the Roman Pontiff said June 7 at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, “evokes this message of solidarity, and pushes us to welcome the intimate invitation to conversion and to service, to love and to forgiveness.”

In our daily lives, we encounter Christ, who nourishes us in the Eucharist, in the poor, the suffering, our brothers, and “in every human being, even the smallest and most defenseless.”

The roman Pontiff reflected on the feast’s Gospel, which recounts the institution of the Eucharist during Christ’s Last Supper before his crucifixion.

That night, Christ said that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will “remain in me and I in him,” and will have eternal life.

“With this gesture and with these words, he gives bread a function that is no longer simply physical nourishment, but that which makes present his Person amid the community of believers.”

The Pope added that the Last Supper marks the end of Christ’s life, looking ahead to his death on the Cross, but also to the synthesis of “a life offered for the salvation of humanity.”

For this reason, it is not enough to affirm Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, the Pope said, but recognize it as “the presence of a life given, and take part.”

By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, taking part in his life and entering into communion with him, we in turn are called to promote unity among ourselves, transforming “our life into a gift,” especially to a poor.

The Eucharist is a “school of charity and solidarity,” the Pope said. “Whoever is nourished by the Bread of Christ cannot remain indifferent to those who do not have bread daily.”

Despite efforts by the international community, this is an increasing problem, and requires proposals to resolve its causes, he said.

The Pope concluded his address by invoking the intercession of Mary, that she may “awaken in everyone the joy in participating in the Mass, especially on Sunday, and the joyful courage to give witness to the charity of Christ.”

After leading the crowds in the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis spoke of his apostolic visit to Sarajevo the previous day.

Once described as the “Jerusalem of the West” owing to the coexistence of various peoples and religious, the recent past has made it into a “symbol of destruction and war,” he said.

Acknowledging the efforts toward reconciliation, Pope Francis encouraged “this journey toward of peaceful coexistence between diverse peoples; a hard, difficult, yet possible journey!”

Pope Francis’ visit on Saturday marked the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the signing of the Dayton Agreement which brought an end to the Bosnian War.

After the breakup of Yugoslavia, some 100,000 combatants and civilians were killed and a million more displaced during the war, which lasted between 1992-1995. The fighting split largely along ethnic lines, among the predominantly Orthodox Serbs, the predominantly Catholic Croats, and the predominantly Muslim Bosniaks.

“May the Lord bless Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.”

Tags: Corpus Christi

via The Eucharist teaches us to care for the weakest of society, Pope Francis says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Mass for the Solemn Feast of Corpus Christi – 2015.06.04


Mass for the Solemn Feast of Corpus Christi – 2015.06.04

Pope Francis sends a hug to moms worldwide for Mother’s Day :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

Pope Francis greets pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square, Jan. 8, 2014. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.

Vatican City, May 10, 2015 / 09:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday, Pope Francis extended a special greeting to all those around the world who are celebrating Mother’s Day, after offering advice on loving to the point of laying down one’s life.

“We remember all mothers with gratitude and affection,” the Pope said to the crowds gathered in Saint Peter’s Square under the hot sun for the recitation of the Regina Caeli prayer May 10.

Speaking to the mothers after granting the apostolic blessing to those present, he noted that the applause from the crowd embraced all mothers: “those who live with us physically, but also those who live with us spiritually.”

The Pope also greeted those who were beginning to gather around the Vatican to take part in the March for Life. “It is important to collaborate together in order to defend and promote life,” he said.

In his address before the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis recounted Christ‘s words during the Last Supper: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Christ says he loves us even though we have not merited this love, the Pope said. “In this way, Jesus shows us the path for following him, the path of love.”

Pope Francis explained that Christ’s command to love and to lay down one’s life for friends is new, insofar as it was he who first fulfilled it.

“The law of love is written once and for all in the heart of man” he said, “written with the fire of the Holy Spirit.”

“And with this same Spirit, which Jesus gives us, we too can walk along this path!”

Pope Francis’ reflection comes two weeks before Pentecost, on which the Church celebrates the Holy Spirit coming down upon the Apostles 50 days after Christ’s resurrection.

The path which leads us out of ourselves toward others is concrete, the Pope said.

“Jesus showed us that love for God puts into effect the love for others,” he added, explaining that these two loves go together.

There are many examples of this love throughout the Gospels: “adults and children, educated and ignorant, rich and poor, righteous and sinners, were welcomed in the heart of Christ.”

Pope Francis stressed this call to love one another, even when we don’t understand each other, or when we don’t get along: “It is here that one sees Christian love.”

This love is greater than differences of opinion or disposition, the Roman Pontiff said.

A love which has been “freed from selfishness,” it gives joy to our hearts.

Pope Francis spoke of the small gestures of closeness shown every day: given to an elderly person, a child, one who is sick, a person alone and in difficulty, without home or job, an immigrant, a refugee.

“The love which Christ has taught us is made manifest in these gestures,” he said.

Tags: Regina Caeli

via Pope Francis sends a hug to moms worldwide for Mother’s Day :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Pope Francis, the Eucharist, and the Culture of Mate | First Thoughts | First Things


mate2In the midst of political, religious, national, and personal battles, there is one thing that unites all Argentines: Mate.

Mate (pronounced máh-teh), despite what you may have heard, is not an herbal green tea. That makes it sound sissy. It is a tea-like drink made from a green-colored yerba (herb), but it is much more robust than tea. For Argentines,

via Pope Francis, the Eucharist, and the Culture of Mate | First Thoughts | First Things.

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Saint of the Day MAY 17 : St. Paschal Baylon – Franciscan lay brother and mystic


Saint of the Day

Image of St. Paschal Baylon

St. Paschal Baylon

Franciscan lay brother and mystic. Born to a peasant family at Torre Hermosa, in Aragon, on Whitsunday, he was christened Pascua in honor of the feast. According to accounts of his early life, … continue reading

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TODAY’S SAINT: St. Polycarp


St. Polycarp

St. Polycarp

Feastday: February 23

Imagine being able to sit at the feet of the apostles and hear their stories of life with Jesus from their own lips. Imagine walking with those who had walked with Jesus, seen him, and touched him. That was what Polycarp was able to do as a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist.Feastday: February 23
But being part of the second generation of Church leaders had challenges that the first generation could not teach about. What did you do when those eyewitnesses were gone? How do you carry on the correct teachings of Jesus? How do you answer new questions that never came up before?

With the apostles gone, heresies sprang up pretending to be true teaching, persecution was strong, and controversies arose over how to celebrate liturgy that Jesus never laid down rules for.

Polycarp, as a holy man and bishop of Smyrna, found there was only one answer — to be true to the life of Jesus and imitate that life. Saint Ignatius of Antioch told Polycarp “your mind is grounded in God as on an immovable rock.”

When faced with heresy, he showed the “candid face” that Ignatius admired and that imitated Jesus’ response to the Pharisees. Marcion, the leader of the Marcionites who followed a dualistic heresy, confronted Polycarp and demanded respect by saying, “Recognize us, Polycarp.” Polycarp responded, “I recognize you, yes, I recognize the son of Satan.”

On the other hand when faced with Christian disagreements he was all forgiveness and respect. One of the controversies of the timecame over the celebration of Easter. The East, where Polycarp was from, celebrated the Passover as the Passion of Christ followed by a Eucharist on the following day. The West celebrated Easter on the Sunday of the week following Passover. When Polycarp went to Rome to discuss the difference with Pope Anicetus, they could not agree on this issue. But they found no difference in their Christian beliefs. And Anicetus asked Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in his own papal chapel.

Polycarp faced persecution the way Christ did. His own church admired him for following the “gospel model” — not chasing after martyrdom as some did, but avoiding it until it was God’s will as Jesus did. They considered it “a sign of love to desire not to save oneself alone, but to save also all the Christian brothers and sisters.”

One day, during a bloody martyrdom when Christians were attacked by wild animals in the arena, the crowd became so mad that they demanded more blood by crying, “Down with the atheists; let Polycarp be found.” (They considered Christians “atheists” because they didn’t believe in their pantheon of gods.) Since Polycarp was not only known as a leader but as someone holy “even before his grey hair appeared”, this was a horrible demand.

Polycarp was calm but others persuaded him to leave the city and hide at a nearby farm. He spent his time inprayer for people he knew and for the Church. During his prayer he saw a vision of his pillow turned to fire and announced to his friends that the dream meant he would be burned alive.

As the search closed in, he moved to another farm, but the police discovered he was there by torturing two boys. He had a little warning since he was upstairs in the house but he decided to stay, saying, “God’s will be done.”

Then he went downstairs, talked to his captors and fed them a meal. All he asked of them was that they give him an hour to pray. He spent two hours praying for everyone he had every known and for the Church, “remembering all who had at any time come his way — small folk and great folk, distinguished and undistinguished, and the wholeCatholic Church throughout the world.” Many of his captors started to wonder why they were arresting this holy, eighty-six-year-old bishop.

But that didn’t stop them from taking him into the arena on the Sabbath. As he entered the arena, the crowd roared like the animals they cheered. Those around Polycarp heard a voice from heaven above the crowd, “Be brave, Polycarp, and act like a man.”

The proconsul begged the eighty-six-year-old bishop to give in because of his age. “Say ‘Away with the atheists'” the proconsul urged. Polycarp calmly turned to the face the crowd, looked straight at them, and said, “Away with the atheists.” The proconsul continued to plead with him. When he asked Polycarp to swear by Caesar to save himself, Polycarp answered, “If you imagine that I will swear by Caesar, you do not know who I am. Let me tell you plainly, I am a Christian.” Finally, when all else failed the proconsul reminded Polycarp that he would be thrown to the wild animals unless he changed his mind. Polycarp answered, “Change of mind from better to worse is not a change allowed to us.”

Because of Polycarp’s lack of fear, the proconsul told him he would be burned alive but Polycarp knew that the fire that burned for an hour was better than eternal fire.

When he was tied up to be burned, Polycarp prayed, “Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed SonJesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creationand of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you, for having made me worthy of this day and hour, I bless you, because I may have a part, along with the martyrs, in the chalice of your Christ, to resurrection in eternal life, resurrection both of soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. May I be received today, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, among those who are in you presence, as you have prepared and foretold and fulfilled, God who is faithful and true. For this and for all benefits I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be to you with him and the Holy Spirit glory, now and for all the ages to come. Amen.”

The fire was lit as Polycarp said Amen and then the eyewitnesses who reported said they saw a miracle. The fire burst up in an arch around Polycarp, the flames surrounding him like sails, and instead of being burned he seemed to glow like bread baking, or gold being melted in a furnace. When the captors saw he wasn’t being burned, they stabbed him. The blood that flowed put the fire out.

The proconsul wouldn’t let the Christians have the body because he was afraid they would worship Polycarp. The witnesses reported this with scorn for the lack of understanding of Christian faith: “They did not know that we can never abandon the innocent Christ who suffered on behalf of sinners for the salvation of those in this world.” After the body was burned, they stole the bones in order to celebrate the memory of his martyrdom and prepare others for persecution. The date was about February 23, 156.

In His Footsteps:

When faced with challenges to your Christian life, try a version of Polycarp’s prayer of martyrdom: “Lord GodAlmighty, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creation and of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you, for having made me worthy of this day and hour, I bless you, because I may have a part, along with the martyrs, in the chalice of your Christ, to resurrection in eternal life, resurrection both of soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. For this and for all benefits I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be to you with him and the Holy Spirit glory, now and for all the ages to come. Amen.”

Prayer:

Saint Polycarp, sometimes Christ seems so far away from us. Centuries have passed since he and the apostles walk the earth. Help us to see that he is close to us always and that we can keep him near by imitating his life as you did.Amen

 

 

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TODAY’S SAINT: St. Margaret of Cortona Feastday – February 22


St. Margaret of CortonaFeastday: February 22
1247 – 1297
Margaret of Cortona, penitent, was born in Loviana in Tuscany in 1247. Her father was a small farmer. Margaret’s mother died when she was seven years old. Her stepmother had little care for her high-spirited daughter. Rejected at home, Margaret eloped with a youth from Montepulciano and bore him a son out of wedlock. After nine years, her lover was murdered without warning. Margaret left Montpulciano and returned as a penitent to her father’s house. When her father refused to accept her and her son, she went to the Friars Minor at Cortona where she received asylum. Yet Maragaret had difficulty overcoming temptations of the flesh. One Sunday she returned to Loviana with a cord around her neck. At Mass, she asked pardon for her past scandal. She attempted to mutilate her face, but was restrained by Friar Giunta. Margaret earned a living by nursing sick ladies. Later she gave this up to serve the sick poor without recompense, subsisting only on alms. Evenually, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, and her son also joined the Franciscans a few years later. Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was said to be in direct contact with Jesus, as exemplified by frequent ecstacies. Friar Giunta recorded some of the messages she received from God. Not all related to herself, and she courageously presented messages to others. In 1286, Margaret was granted a charter allowing her to work for the sick poor on a permanent basis. Others joined with personal help, and some with financial assistance. Margaret formed her group into tertiaries, and later they were given special status as a congregation which was called The Poverelle (“Poor Ones”). She also founded a hospital at Cortona and the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy. Some in Cortona turned on Margaret, even accusing her of illicit relations with Friar Giunta. All the while, Margaret continued to preach against vice and many, through her, returned to the sacraments. She also showed extraordinary love for the mysteries of the Eucharist and the Passion of Jesus Christ. Divinely warned of the day and hour of her death, she died on February 22, 1297, having spent twenty-nine years performing acts of penance. She was canonized in 1728. Her feast day is February 22nd.

 

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Sacraments


Sacraments

A sacrament is a religious symbol or rite that is believed to transfer spiritual power to the participant. Today, sacraments are primarily associated with Christianity, which holds that they consist of visible signs of invisible grace and derive from practices instituted by Jesus. Christian churches, however, are divided with regard to the number and operation of sacraments. In most Protestant churches, only baptism and communion are recognized. What are the 7 sacraments of Roman Catholicism? More… Discuss