- The Saint and the Synod - Pope St. John Paul II (Diocesan News and Beyond)
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- Pope and Cardinals Speak About Kneeling (Catholic Websites of the Week under laptop)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying,
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done."
When one is at the Holy Mass, they kneel from the conclusion of the Holy, Holy, Holy to the conclusion of the Great Amen and after the Lamb of God. This has been given by the Pope and received by the U.S. Bishops in the 2007 directives for the Mass (IGRM #43).
Why do we do this and why do we sometimes kneel when we privately pray? Let Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explain it:
“Kneeling does not come from any culture — it comes from the Bible and its knowledge of God. The central importance of kneeling in the Bible can be seen in a very concrete way. The word proskynein alone occurs fifty-nine times in the New Testament, twenty-four of which are in the Apocalypse, the book of the heavenly Liturgy, which is presented to the Church as the standard for her own Liturgy.” - The Spirit of the Liturgy
So kneeling comes to us from God by way of revelation in the Sacred Scripures (Holy Bible). But why is it so important? The Pope Emeritus continues:
“The two aspects are united in the one word, because in a very profound way they belong together. When kneeling becomes merely external, a merely physical act, it becomes meaningless. On the other hand, when someone tries to take worship back into the purely spiritual realm and refuses to give it embodied form, the act of worship evaporates, for what is purely spiritual is inappropriate to the nature of man. Worship is one of those fundamental acts that affect the whole man. That is why bending the knee before the presence of the living God is something we cannot abandon.” - The Spirit of the Liturgy
So he highlights that for worship to be real it must be on our hearts spiritually AND reflected in our bodies physically, in this case, by kneeling.
Jesus Himself prayed kneeling before His Father:
After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done." -Luke 22:41-42
May these truths and realities make our next time of prayer on our knees more real and more life-changing!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. Today is the Memorial of Pope St. John Paul II. The readings can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/102215.cfm
P.S.S. More than a few are trying to change this authentic develop in the history of the Church. The Pope warns:
There are groups, of no small influence, who are trying to talk us out of kneeling. "It doesn't suit our culture", they say (which culture?) "It's not right for a grown man to do this — he should face God on his feet". Or again: "It's not appropriate for redeemed man — he has been set free by Christ and doesn't need to kneel any more". - The Spirit of the Liturgy
Do not receive false talk or thinking as St. Paul warns. If interested check out the website section (below) for more foundation of kneeling from history and Church documents.
Kneeling (from Middle English knelen “knee”)
- to fall or rest on both knees
This is truly FREE directory assistance. Call this number, listen to a short ad, and then via automated system you can get almost any listed phone number anywhere in US for FREE.
No one, whether shepherd or wise man, can approach God here below except by kneeling before the manger at Bethlehem and adoring him hidden in the weakness of a new-born child. -Catechism of the Catholic Church #563
> The Theology Of Kneeling - More from Pope Benedict XVI <
> Stand Up For Kneeling <
"Why don't they want us to kneel at Mass?"
> Reference for kneeling from the Holy Bible <
“The teaching of the magisterium of the Church and of John Paul II is always current,” said Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv.
He told CNA that the words and writings of St. John Paul II are being frequently invoked by bishops at the synod who are defending the Church’s teachings on marriage.
Responding to calls for the Church to permit the divorced-and-remarried to receive Communion, he said, “many bishops have recalled the great teaching of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI which they expressed clearly, that it would be against the doctrine of the Church, against the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrament of Penance, against grace.”
Archbishop Mokrzycki, who is the president of the Ukrainian Bishops Conference, is among the synod fathers gathered in Rome for the Oct. 4-25 Synod on the Family, which gathers bishops from around the world to discuss issues relating to families in the Church today.
But many remember Archbishop Mokrzycki for another role – one of John Paul II’s two personal secretaries during the last nine years of his life.
Archbishop Mokrzycki spoke to CNA’s sister agency, ACI Stampa Oct. 22, the feast day of St. John Paul II. He discussed the Pope’s legacy, relevance to the synod, and what it was like to live beside a saint. The full transcript of the interview is below:
Q: Your Excellency, today – Oct. 22, the feast of St. John Paul II – is a special day for you personally and for the universal Church. It might be difficult for you to explain how you feel, but maybe we can try?
It is a great joy for us, and I don't only mean the Polish people, but for the entire Church, to think about the day of the election of John Paul II, who after his election won over the whole world, particularly the Italians, because he said those beautiful and famous words: “I don't know if I can explain myself well in your – in our – Italian language. If I make a mistake, correct me.” And from then on, all the children of Italy when they met him said: you asked us to correct you, so say it right!
It was a special day for the entire Church, and we saw it for the entirety of his long pontificate, he was an extraordinary man.
Q: What was it like to live with a saint? Was it more joy, or work?
Both – joy and fatigue, because John Paul II was a very strong man with himself and with others. We worked a lot and made others work a lot. And this is also why we saw that his pontificate was very interesting and very rich.
Q: What has he taught you as a bishop and as a pastor that is useful for your mission today?
The Holy Father was not only the head of the universal Church, not only the head of the Vatican State, but was above all a pastor, the bishop of the diocese of Rome, and he underlined this a lot during his pontificate. He wanted to visit all the parishes of the diocese. And at the end when we saw that he had so much fatigue and couldn’t visit the parishes anymore, about 20 parishes remained and he wanted to meet them just them same, and so he invited all the parishes that he still hadn’t visited to the Paul VI Hall. And we saw that the Romans were very grateful for this great gesture of love, because they saw that the Pope didn’t neglect them, he didn’t forget them, and even if he couldn’t go, he invited them to his house. And so also for me.
He was a great pastor. I was able to learn from him a vision of pastoral life, of concern for all levels, of love for one’s neighbor, of charity and of bringing people to salvation. The great ones, the poor, the little ones; I saw how with great love he embraced each and every one.
Q: Of the magisterium of John Paul II, a large part was dedicated to the family. Right now you are busy with the synod on the family. How does this magisterium enter into the synodal debate?
During the pontificate of John Paul II, above all in the years in which I was with him, the Pope didn’t speak a lot about his family. He sometimes spoke about his father, sometimes about his sister that he lost as a child and his brother who was a doctor that died young. But he made it visible that around him was a great family of friends, a great family of the Church. And then I saw that in the years I was with him many families came to find him from different parts of the world: from Poland, from Italy, from the United States. He had the capacity of maintaining contact with many people, with many families and not only Christians. Also and above all with many Jewish families. And in this I saw the importance of contact with the family, and as the Pope he underlined the role of the family in the life of the Church and in the life of society.
From the beginning of his pontificate, he placed a lot of focus on the great role of the family. He dedicated a cycle of catechesis in the Wednesday audiences to the passage in Genesis which says: male and female I created them. And then there is the apostolic letter to the family, Familiaris Consortio. He was very committed in the development of this theme and was close to the family, to emphasize the great importance of the family in daily life, and the necessity of being close to the family in order to live better the vocation of each one. Because every person has a vocation, to be a religious sister, a priest, a doctor. But to be a family is a great beauty, but also a committed vocation that requires responsibility, and is also difficult to live. Because of this, John Paul II wanted to help this vocation to grow.
Q: Now 10 years after John Paul II’s death, what is his legacy today?
The teaching of the magisterium of the Church and of John Paul II is always current. Of course society has changed a bit, because culture changes, circumstances change. Also during this synod the bishops have brought different problems and family difficulties. Some wanted to be a little bit “progressive” and offer Communion to the divorced-and-remarried, but many bishops have recalled the great teaching of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI which they expressed clearly, that it would be against the doctrine of the Church, against the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrament of Penance, against grace. Certainly the teaching of John Paul II was perhaps very demanding, but real. If we want our faith to have value, we must bear some sort of difficulty, because only then are we faithful to the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Q: What does your diocese bring to the synod?
For me, it was a great experience, because I was able to hear testimonies and the vision of life and of the Church throughout the world on the different continents. But I want to say above all that we bishops are very close to families, we want to help people grow in the vocation of being in a marriage, a family. And we know that this vocation is very beautiful, very important, but we also want to help families realize their vocation and their commitment.
Elderly Priests, Sisters are 'true shrines of holiness,' Pope Says
VATICAN CITY, October 18 (CNA/EWTN News) .- During his daily Mass homily Pope Francis reflected on various biblical figures who experienced difficulty in their old age, and encouraged those present not to forget the elderly.
The Pope directed his reflections to those gathered in the Santa Marta guesthouse of the Vatican on Oct. 18 for his daily Mass, centering his thoughts upon the latter lives of Moses, John the Baptist and Saint Paul.
These three figures, he noted, remind him of "the shrines of holiness which are the nursing homes of elderly priests and religious sisters."
Pope Francis recalled the excitement and enthusiasm displayed by all three men in their youth, and contrasted it to isolation and pain they suffered at the end of their lives, stressing that although none of them were spared suffering in their old age, the Lord never abandoned them.
Noting that the apostle Paul "has a joyful and enthusiastic beginning," the Pope recalled that he experienced a decline in the latter years of his life, and both Moses and John the Baptist shared a similar experience.
"Moses, when young," stressed the pontiff, was "the courageous leader of the People of God who fought against his enemies" in order to save his people, however at the end of his life "he is alone on Mount Nebo, looking at the promised land" but is unable to enter it.
Saint John the Baptist, noted the Pope, in his later life was tormented by anguish, and "finished under the power of a weak, corrupt and drunken ruler who in turn was under the power of an adulteress' jealousy and the capricious wishes of a dancer."
Turning his thoughts back to Saint Paul, Pope Francis stressed that the apostle endured a similar experience, speaking in his letters of those who abandoned him and rejected his teachings.
However, the Pope clarified that although Paul wrote about his great sufferings, he also wrote that "the Lord was close to him and gave him the strength to complete his mission of announcing the Gospel."
Pope Francis concluded his reflections by stressing that the situations of the three biblical characters in their old age reminded him of those elderly priests and religious sisters in nursing homes.
Referring to them as a "shrine of holiness," he urged the guests present not to forget the elderly, and to visit them, because "bearing the burden of solitude, these priests and sisters are waiting for the Lord to knock at the door of their hearts."
In the liturgy of the New Covenant every liturgical action, especially the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments, is an encounter between Christ and the Church. The liturgical assembly derives its unity from the "communion of the Holy Spirit" who gathers the children of God into the one Body of Christ. This assembly transcends racial, cultural, social - indeed, all human affinities.
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #1097
There was a teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put his boots on. He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn't want to go on.
When the second boot was finally on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, "Teacher, they're on the wrong feet." She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on -- this time on the right feet.
He then announced, "These aren't my boots." She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, "Why didn't you say so?" like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off.
He then said, "They're my brother's boots. My Mom made me wear them." The teacher didn't know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots on his feet again.
She said, "Now, where are your mittens?" He said, "I stuffed them in the toes of my boots."
TIME TO PRAY
A pastor asked a little boy if he said his prayers every night. 'Yes, sir.' the boy replied.
'And, do you always say them in the morning, too?' the pastor asked..
'No sir,' the boy replied. 'I ain't scared in the daytime.'
WHY GO TO CHURCH?
One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church,
to which he replied, "I'm not going."
"Why not?" she asked.
I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "(1), I'm tired, and (2), I don't fell like it."
His mother replied, "I'll give you two good reasons why you SHOULD go to church:
(1) You're 59 years old, and (2) you're the pastor!"
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because they offend You, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.
The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #1377