In fact, the scholars of the law in Jesus’ day were so wrapped up in doctrine as an end in itself, they were unable to see that Jesus was leading people down a new and surprising path toward his glory, the pope said Oct. 13 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

Jesus did “strange things,” like “walk with sinners, eat with tax collectors” — things the scholars of the law “did not like; doctrine was in danger, that doctrine of the law” that they and the “theologians had created over the centuries,” he said, according to Vatican Radio.

The scholars were safeguarding the law “out of love, to be faithful to God,” the pope said, but “they were closed up right there,” and forgot all the ways God has acted in history.

“They forgot that God is the God of the law, but is also the God of surprises,” he said.

“God is always new; he never denies himself, he never says that what he had said is wrong, but he always surprises us,” the pope said.

The scholars of the law had forgotten how many times God surprised his people, like when he freed them from slavery in Egypt, he said. They were too wrapped up in their perfect system of laws — “a masterpiece” where everyone knew exactly what he or she was supposed to do; “it was all settled. And they felt very secure there,” he said.

They couldn’t see beyond “this system made with lots of good will,” and they could not read the “signs of the times,” the pope said.

They couldn’t see that what Jesus was doing was a sign indicating “that the time was ripe,” he said. This is why in the day’s Gospel reading (Lk 11:29-32) Jesus said, “This generation is an evil generation,” because it sought the wrong kind of sign, the pope said.

The scholars of the law also forgot that the people of God are a people on a journey, “and when you journey, you always find new things, things you never knew before,” he said. But the journey, like the law, is not an end in itself; they are a path, “a pedagogy,” toward “the ultimate manifestation of the Lord. Life is a journey toward the fullness of Jesus Christ, when he will come again.”

The law teaches the way to Christ, and “if the law does not lead to Jesus Christ,” he said, “and if it doesn’t get us closer to Jesus Christ, it is dead.”

Pope Francis asked people to reflect, “Am I attached to my things, my ideas. Am I closed?”

“Am I at a standstill or am I a person on a journey? Do I believe in Jesus Christ, in what Jesus did,” dying for humanity’s sins and rising again? he asked.

“Am I able to understand the signs of the times and be faithful to the voice of the Lord that is manifested in them?” he asked.

Pope Francis urged people to pray to be able to walk “toward maturity, toward the manifestation of the glory of the Lord” and to have a heart “that loves the law, because the law is God’s.”

But may people also be able to “love God’s surprises and to know that this holy law is not an end in itself,” he said.

from catholicnews.com

Posted on Pope Francis Support

 

The Rosary is a school of prayer. the Rosary is a school of faith!

from Catholic News Agency facebook page

Posted on Pope Francis Support

 

Here is a riddle for you: I am always with you, but you never see me. I am not God, but I was created by God. I protect and guide you. Who am I?

Guardian AngelsGod gave us guardian angels to protect and guide us. Saint Jerome wrote that the human soul is so valuable in heaven that every human person has a guardian angel from the moment the person comes into being. These pure spirits, which we can neither see nor feel, play an important role in our lives. Jesus refers to them when he says, “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).

Angels are messengers from God. The word angel comes from the Greek word for “messenger.” In a very real way, these powerful spirits point out to us the ways of God. Guardian angels assist us in work or study. In times of temptation, these spiritual beings direct us to do good. Thomas Aquinas said that angels are the most excellent of creatures because they have the greatest intelligence next to God.

Perhaps the guardian angels are best known for protecting us from physical danger, but their main role is to care for the salvation of our souls. It is wonderful to know that God has promised to love, protect, and be with us always. One way he does this is through the care of the angels. Whenever you meet with danger or discouragement, your guardian angel is your personal, heavenly bodyguard. The angels also offer prayers to God for us. Because angels always see and hear God, they can intercede for us. We should love our guardian angels, respect them, and pray to them.

In early Christianity there was no feast for the guardian angels, just one for the archangels. But in the 15th and 16th centuries, the feast of the Guardian Angels was unofficially celebrated in Austria, Spain, and Portugal. In 1608 Pope Paul V made it a universal feast. In doing so, he helped to make us aware of the guardian angels, not just one day in October, but every day of our lives.

from loyolapress.com

Posted on Ave Maria

 

Do not despise these little ones

Usually the daily noon Mass on campus is attended by the familiar dozen or so faculty and staff and students and neighbors; but today, to my amazement, there are 4-year-old twin boys in front of me, complete with parents, the father immensely tall and the mother adamantly not.

The noon Mass is legendary for starting on the button and never going more than 25 minutes because afternoon classes start at 12:30 p.m. and you want to give students a chance to make their flip-flopped sprint across campus. For the first five minutes the twins sit quietly and respectfully and perhaps even reverently, each in his seat between mom and dad. This does not last. At 12:07 p.m. I see the first flurry of fists and elbows as they jockey and joust. At 12:11 p.m. one of them, incredibly, pulls a bunch of grapes from his pocket and begins to eat some and to lose the rest on the floor. At 12:13 p.m. there are easily a dozen grapes and both boys under the chairs. At 12:15 p.m. the mom, clearly a veteran of these sorts of things, pulls two cookies from her pockets for the boys. At 12:20 p.m. the dad finally bends down from his great height and tersely reads his sons the riot act, a moment I have been waiting for with high fraternal glee, for I have been in his shoes. I have been at Mass in this very chapel with my small twin sons, who have dropped Cheerios from the balcony onto the bald spots of congregants below and stuck their arms into the baptistry just to see what it would feel like (it’s cold and wet, one son said, indignantly) and made barnyard noises at exactly the wrong moments and ran all around the chapel shaking sticky hands with startled, bemused congregants at the Sign of Peace.

After Mass I say to the celebrant with a smile that it is not every day we are graced by rambunctious ruffians who scatter grapes and crumbs on the floor and giggle and yawn and shimmy and snicker and lose their shoes and drop hymnals on the floor with a terrific bang and pay no attention whatsoever to the Gospel readings and the homily and the miracle of the Eucharist but rather gaze raptly at the life-size cedar crucifix and try to blow out a candle on the altar as their parents carry them up for a blessing and say Hi! to the grinning priest as he lays his hand upon their innocent brows and spend the last five minutes of Mass sitting in the same single seat trying to shove the other guy off but only using your butt and not your hands; and the priest, unforgettably, says this to me:

I love having little kids at Mass. I love it when they are bored and pay no attention and squirm. I love it when they get distracted by a moth and spend five minutes following the moth’s precarious voyage among the lights. It’s all good. They are being soaked in the Mass. They hear the words and feel the reverence and maybe they even sense the food of the experience, you know? Sometimes people complain and make veiled remarks about behavior and discipline and decorum and the rapid dissolution of morals today and stuff like that but I have no patience for it. For one thing they were little kids at Mass once, and for another if there are no little kids at Mass, pretty soon there won’t be any Masses. You have to let kids be kids.

I love having little kids at Mass. If you are distracted by a little kid being a little kid you are not focused on what’s holy. Little kids are holy. Let it be. My only rule is no extended fistfights. Other than that I don’t care about grapes and yawning. I think the cadence and the rhythm and the custom and the peace of the Mass soak into kids without them knowing it. That’s why a lot of the students here come back to Mass, I think—it sparks some emotional memory in them, and once they are back at Mass then they pay attention in new ways and find new food in it. It’s all good. The more the merrier. I don’t mind dogs when I celebrate Mass, either. For one thing they are generally better behaved than little kids, but for another I figure the Mass soaks into them too, and how could that be bad? You know what I mean?

I say I do know very well what he means and we shake hands and he heads to the sacristy to disrobe and I head back to work. But about halfway back to my office I feel awfully sad that I do not have grapes and cookies in my jacket pockets. I don’t even have remains of ancient Cheerios anymore, and there were years there when my pockets were so filled with brittle crumbs that birds followed me in rotation, sparrows in the morning and crows in the afternoon. For a minute I want to shuffle back to the chapel and catch that tiny mom and ask her for a cookie, just because, but then I realize that she will think I am a nut and I remember that I had my run as the dad of little kids squirming at Mass. It was a sweet glorious unforgettable run, too, and now it’s someone else’s turn, and how good and holy that is, that there are still little kids under the seats, paying no attention whatsoever.

But they will.

from americamagazine.org

Posted on Ave Maria

 

The Archangels Michael, Raphael, Gabriel

Heavenly King, You have given us archangels to assist us during our pilgrimage on earth.

Saint Michael is our protector; I ask him to come to my aid, fight for all my loved ones, and protect us from danger.

Saint Gabriel is a messenger of the Good News; I ask him to help me clearly hear Your voice and to teach me the truth.

Saint Raphael is the healing angel; I ask him to take my need for healing and that of everyone I know, lift it up to Your throne of grace and deliver back to us the gift of recovery.

Help us, O Lord, to realize more fully the reality of the archangels and their desire to serve us.
Holy angels, pray for us. Amen.

from Good News Ministries

Posted on Ave Maria

 

Theme of the Apostolic Visit: ‘Mercy and Compassion’Pope Francis will visit the Philippines primarily to comfort Filipinos devastated by the typhoon and the earthquake that hit the Visayas.

This visit calls to mind what Jesus did as recounted in the Gospel.  In Matthew 9:36, Jesus after “seeing the people, felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.”

And like the Good Shepherd of Whom he is the Vicar here on earth, the Holy Father saw the suffering of his flock. He felt compassion and comes to us bringing “the joy of the gospel” to revive our “drooping spirit” and to lead us to greener pastures (cf. Psalm 23).

The message the Holy Father brings with him challenges us to imitate Christ, the Good Shepherd, who is Mercy and Compassion.

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis proclaims that “the Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium 114). Thus, the Holy Father’s visit is to bring Christ’s compassion for our suffering people still struggling to rise from the devastations wrought by the earthquake and the typhoon that hit the Visayas last year.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president and Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, said the most distinctive way to prepare spiritually for the coming of Pope Francis is for the country to become “a people rich in mercy.”

“Our compassionate shepherd comes to show his deep concern for our people who have gone through devastating calamities, especially in the Visayas. He comes to confirm us in our faith as we face the challenges of witnessing the Joy of the Gospel in the midst of our trials. This is an eloquent way of showing mercy and compassion,” Archbishop Villegas said.

Filipinos as a preparation for the papal visit resolve to make an act of mercy everyday, such as giving food to the hungry, helping build homes for the disaster victims, visiting prisoners or patients in the charity ward of hospitals, drug rehabilitation centers, homes for the elderly, and orphanages.  It is a time to re-learn and live the Spiritual and Corporal Acts of Mercy.  Further, the bishops encourage us to meet Christ, Mercy Himself, in the Tribunal of Mercy, the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  There, in the person of the priest, He awaits us with open arms to show us His mercy, compassion and love.

“Let us make mercy our national identity. Trust in God’s mercy is part and parcel of our traditional Filipino Christian culture. Let us make the practice of mercy our gift to the pope when he comes to visit us,” the CBCP president said at that time.

visit the official website for news and updates

Posted on Ave Maria

 

We can say that we do not exalt just any cross or all crosses: we exalt the Cross of Jesus, because God’s love for humanity was revealed most in it. That’s what the Gospel of John reminds us in today’s liturgy: “God so loved the world that He gave only begotten Son” (3:16). The Father has “given” the Son to save us, and this has resulted in the death of Jesus and His death on the Cross. Why? Why was the Cross necessary? Because of the gravity of the evil which kept us slaves. The Cross of Jesus expresses both things: all the negative forces of evil, and all of the gentle omnipotence God’s mercy. The Cross would appear to declare Christ’s failure, but in reality marks His victory. On Calvary, those who mocked him said, “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross” (cf. Mt 27,40). But it was the opposite that was true: it was because Jesus was the Son of God, that He was there, on the Cross, faithful to the end to the loving plan of the Father. And for this reason God has “exalted” Jesus (Philippians 2.9), conferring universal kingship on Him.

Exaltation of the Holy CrossSo what do we see, when we look to the Cross where Jesus was nailed? We contemplate the sign of the infinite love of God for each of us and the source of our salvation. That Cross is the source of the mercy of God that embraces the whole world. Through the Cross of Christ the evil one is overcome, death is defeated, we are gifted life, hope is restored. This is important: Through the Cross of Christ hope is restored. The Cross of Jesus is our only true hope! That is why the Church “exalts” the Holy Cross, which is why we Christians bless ourselves with the sign of the cross. That is, we don’t exalt crosses any but the glorious Cross of Christ, a sign of God’s love, our salvation and journey towards the resurrection. This is our hope.

While we contemplate and celebrate the Holy Cross, we think emotionally of so many of our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted and killed because of their faith in Christ. This happens especially there where religious freedom is still not guaranteed or fully realized. It happens, however, even in well-to-do countries which, in principle, protect freedom and human rights, but where in practice believers, and especially Christians, encounter restrictions and discrimination. So today we remember them and pray especially for them.

On Calvary, at the foot of the Cross, there was the Virgin Mary (cf. Jn 19,25-27). She is the Virgin of Sorrows, whom we celebrate tomorrow in the liturgy. To Her I entrust the present and the future of the Church, so that we all may always know how to discover and accept the message of love and salvation of the Cross of Christ.

- Pope Francis, 14 September 2014 Angelus

Posted on Pope Francis Support

 

Thy birth, O Virgin Mother of God,
heralded joy to all the world.
For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice,
Christ our God.

Destroying the curse, He gave blessing;
and damning death, He bestowed on us
life everlasting.

Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
For from thou hast risen of Sun of justice,
Christ our God.

Posted on Ave Maria

 

“Thanks to magnanimity, we can always look at the horizon from the position where we are. That means being able to do the little things of every day with a big heart open to God and to others. That means being able to appreciate the small things inside large horizons, those of the kingdom of God.

This offers parameters to assume a correct position for discernment, in order to hear the things of God from God’s ‘point of view.’ … However the risk in seeking and finding God in all things, then, is the willingness to explain too much, to say with human certainty and arrogance: ‘God is here.’ We will find only a god that fits our measure. The correct attitude is that of St. Augustine: seek God to find him, and find God to keep searching for God forever.”

– Pope Francis

Posted on Pope Francis Support

 

By contemplating Mary in heavenly glory, we understand that the earth is not the definitive homeland for us either, and that if we live with our gaze fixed on eternal goods we will one day share in this same glory and the earth will become more beautiful.

Consequently, we must not lose our serenity and peace even amid the thousands of daily difficulties. The luminous sign of Our Lady taken up into Heaven shines out even more brightly when sad shadows of suffering and violence seem to loom on the horizon.

We may be sure of it: from on high, Mary follows our footsteps with gentle concern, dispels the gloom in moments of darkness and distress, reassures us with her motherly hand.

Supported by awareness of this, let us continue confidently on our path of Christian commitment wherever Providence may lead us. Let us forge ahead in our lives under Mary’s guidance.

- Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, August 16, 2006

Posted on Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

 

Ave Maria Online Magazine
Extravagant displays of devotion to Mary gets curtailed as world culture emphasizes the rational, scientific and technological aspects of life. There seems to be no more time for the more affective expressions of religion.

  Then, after a while, people get fed up with the absolutely rational and logical culture, and rediscover religion and the affective part of the human soul and its needs.

  And Mary is one of those.

Pledge to pray the rosary
For Our Lady of Fatima
How often will you pledge to pray the rosary?

(This is to validate if a human is making a pledge and not an e-spammer.)

Reload
Enter the code

Love and support for Pope Francis
The Church is certainly a human and historical institution with all that entails, yet her nature is not essentially political but spiritual: the Church is the People of God, Holy People of God making its way to encounter Jesus Christ. Only from this perspective can a satisfactory account be given of the Church's life and activity.

  Christ is the Church's Pastor, but his presence in history passes through the freedom of human beings; from their midst one is chosen to serve as his Vicar, the successor of the Apostle Peter.

  Yet Christ remains the center, not the Sucessor of Peter: Christ, Christ is the centre.

Pledge 3 Hail Marys for Pope Francis
3 Hail Marys for Pope Francis
Offer up 3 Hail Marys for Pope Francis today

(This is to validate if a human is making a pledge and not an e-spammer.)

Reload
Enter the code

2012-2013 The Year of Faith
May every Christian rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ.

Visit Year of Faith website

A Million Roses for the World
A gift of love, faith and goodwill from the people of the Philippines. Pope Pius IX once said: “Give me an army praying a million rosaries a day and we will conquer the world.” We are not out to conquer the world…but to save it for God to whom it rightly belongs.

Browse our archives