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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 [GIRM] #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. This Sunday is the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time. >>> Readings
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.
a) because Jesus brings us to the Father
b) because of the beauty of our prayer
c) we cannot because the distance between God and us, the creature, is infinite
d) we cannot because we do not have the power or authority to do so
583. How is it possible to address God as “Father”? (CCC 2779-2785, 2789, 2798-2800)
a) because Jesus reveals the Father to us
b) because the Holy Spirit makes Him known to us
c) because it awakens in us the desire to act as His children
d) all of the above
584. Why do we say “our” Father? (CCC 2786-2790, 2801)
a) because He is our own possession
b) because it expresses a totally new relationship with God
c) because we can have God any way we want Him
d) none of the above
Kneeling (from Middle English knelen “knee”)
- to fall or rest on both knees
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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
Some Articles and Church References for Kneeling
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
OFFER RESOURCES FOR THE DAILY MASS READINGS/MEDITATION AT CHURCH
Parish can purchase and offer booklets of meditations on Daily Mass Readings.
You can get quality Catholic resources in the hands of parishioners assisting and helping them to pray and take time everyday to meditate on the Sacred Scriptures.
Talk to your Parish Priest and ask if some quality resources offering meditations or Daily Readings with meditations can be purchased and offered near the bulletins for people to partake of. Some concrete resources are Word Among Us, Magnificat, Give Us This Day, etc. If that is not possible, a donor might be sought or come forward who could help the parish offer it.
The powerful family faith story continues in today’s generation.
Victor GaetanEditor’s note: The reorganization of Europe following World War I had a profound impact on many Catholic communities and on one pillar of European Catholicism in particular: the Habsburg family. Victor Gaetan’s interview with His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Rudolf of Austria is the first in a series of articles exploring the legacy of this legendary dynasty, which was founded in the 11th century.
Archduke Rudolf of Austria, 69, is a very busy man. Having worked in the financial sector for decades, he now concentrates on holiness: promoting the cause for beatification of his grandmother, Servant of God Zita, the last empress of Austria; monitoring progress toward sainthood of his grandfather, Blessed Charles I (or Karl), the last emperor of Austria and the last king of Hungary (who reigned from Nov. 21, 1916-Nov. 11, 1918); being a father to eight children, including four in religious life; and supporting favorite charities, including sitting on the board of directors of the U.S. Magnificat Foundation and co-founding the Zermatt Summit, dedicated to “humanizing globalization” and projecting the Catholic Church’s social teaching as an antidote to the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland.
In a rare interview, senior international correspondent Victor Gaetan spoke to the humble paterfamilias to learn more about the enduring devotion of this legendary Catholic family, a pillar of European civilization, the Habsburgs. For the first time, the archduke, the son of Archduke Carl Ludwig of Austria (1918-2007), also reminisces about the relationship between Emperor Charles and Miklos Horthy (the Hungarian statesman who sent Blessed Charles into forced exile following World War I); the lost chance of Hungary’s return to constitutional monarchy in 1990; and the meeting of Empress Zita and Cardinal József Mindszenty in Switzerland in 1972.
Your grandfather, Emperor Charles I of Austria and king of Hungary, who reigned from 1916 to 1918, was well-known for his devotion to God, to the Church and to his family. As a condition of ending World War I, President Woodrow Wilson demanded the empire be dissolved and your grandparents were exiled. Yet they bore this pain with dignity. Charles is the only 20th-century ruler to be beatified — by Pope St. John Paul II in 2004. How is Blessed Charles’ cause for sainthood progressing?
The greatest work to establish sainthood is done before beatification. The positio is compiled, a whole 2,000-page history proving his life was heroic, and a miracle is identified. In 1960, a Polish nun living in Brazil was completely healed — she was bedridden, but after praying for my grandfather’s intercession one night, she woke up and could walk. This was the first miracle.
The next step is canonization, and what is needed is a second miracle; only two or three are analyzed by the postulator, Andrea Ambrosi, who is in Rome. He is hopeful regarding one potential miracle in particular, but it takes some time to make sure everything is absolutely correct before you close the file. The Church, of course, has time, so everything goes quite slowly, but it is better not to make a mistake.
We had another miracle, but, sadly enough, it was a case of terminal cancer; and although the person healed totally, the individual died four years later from another cause. The Vatican wants the person to survive five years, so it could not count in the end.
It is interesting: One of the potential miracles is a breast-cancer survivor, and that person is not a believer, does not have the faith. People around that person prayed for the healing and obtained it. So a question is: Will that person find the faith or not?
No one is born a saint. It is a work in progress, your whole life. My grandfather for sure, he was always, always deeply Christian. Even as a child, he gave away things to the poor. He was already involved in his faith and in the action linked to faith.
Blessed Charles and his wife, your grandmother, Empress Zita, were a very close, loving couple. His feast day is Oct. 21, the anniversary date of their marriage in 1911. What is the status of her cause?
For the last 10 years, on behalf of my family, I’ve been working on the process of beatification for my grandmother. It is moving quite nicely. One miracle is being analyzed, and the lifetime research is finished. A total of 36 people testified about her. I was one. I was sworn in and had to answer 276 questions — 18 hours of interrogation. It is a very serious process.
At your talk at University of Notre Dame six years ago, you told a fascinating story about Pope Pius X’s prophesy that your grandfather would become the emperor when he was not a direct successor at the time. Did Empress Zita tell you that story herself, or did you read it?
Both. I knew her very well because she was not only my grandmother but also my godmother. We had a close relationship.
Between the two wars, she testified for the beatification of Pius X, and one of the accounts she shared was this: In 1911, she visited the Pope to receive a blessing for her upcoming marriage.
The Holy Father said, “When you and Charles become emperor and empress, you will have to do whatever you can to make peace in Europe.” He added, “Charles is the present from God to Austria and your family for being faithful to the Church and the faith.”
Yet in 1911, Emperor Franz Josef was on the throne and his nephew Franz Ferdinand, the heir, was still alive. His assassination in 1914, which triggered World War I, put your grandfather in the line of succession. So the Pope gave your grandmother a mission, an assignment that was puzzling to her.
Absolutely, and devotion to peace was their way of life, so it was not a problem.
But at the time, when she walked out of the Vatican with her mother, the duchess of Bourbon-Palma, she turned to her mother, and said, “Thank God he is not infallible in matters of politics,” because she didn’t quite believe his message. It was only after the assassination of Prince Ferdinand that she realized the truth of the whole thing, you see.
Your grandfather died tragically at the age of 35 of pneumonia in 1922, leaving your grandmother to raise eight children in exile, with few resources. Yet she never lost faith and lived a long life. She died in 1989, at age 96. How did she explain why God allowed the evil that invaded Europe in the 20th century, such as communism?
She followed very closely what happened with the Church, and she knew very well about Fatima since 1917 [which occurred while her husband was emperor].
One of the mysteries of Fatima was that if the world did not convert, the communists would spread their bad ideology throughout the world, until Russia was consecrated to the Holy Virgin Mary. Finally, it was Pope John Paul II who did that. And then, obviously, communism fell.
Please don’t quote her because she did not say this specifically, but knowing her, she knew very well: If you obey what God tells you, even through children [as in Fatima], you are on the right way; but if you don’t, the consequences are the ones you chose because you did not follow the will of God.
Empress Zita died in spring 1989, at age 96, in Vienna, Austria, before the fall of the Berlin Wall. With tens of thousands of Soviet troops in Hungary, the country’s communist government allowed about 50,000 Hungarians to cross the border into Austria for Zita’s funeral in Vienna. Some 250,000 people participated in the funeral. What did her funeral say about the way your family is perceived in Hungary?
They absolutely realized that our family tried to stop the war [World War I] to help them and to do what we could as king and queen, because [being] queen and king is a holy service to a country. It’s not ruling only; it is a service to a country and its people. So I think people realized that, but it did not translate into a movement either religious or political. The family is still very respected.
Yes. A majority of the parliamentarians who wanted him were from the Smallholders Party, I think, and some conservative groups. They asked my uncle Otto if he would accept to be elected president. And he said No, not unless he is called back because he should be king. And that ended that. I know many people were a little bit sad that he didn’t say Yes, because probably the next step would have been to change the constitution to a kingdom again. This was in 1990.
Yet his devotion to Hungary was so strong, he asked that his heart be interred at the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, outside Budapest, while his body is buried in the Habsburg family crypt in Vienna.
Yes, and the hearts of Emperor Karl and Empress Zita are enshrined together in the Loreto Chapel at Muri Abbey, Switzerland.
I read that Cardinal József Mindszenty met with your grandmother, Empress Zita, after his departure from Hungary in 1971. Did you ever meet Cardinal Mindszenty?
I met Cardinal Mindszenty once at the 80th birthday of my grandmother in 1972, in Switzerland. We celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost and always had a bishop or a priest attending her birthday celebrations. That year Cardinal Mindszenty came. I remember my grandmother speaking with him in fluent Hungarian. She was happy, and he was happy. He was a very young chaplain and participated in the crowning in 1916, so they had a lot of common memories.
I don’t know because my grandmother was always very discreet. I think if she spoke to the cardinal — both of them, without even making a deal, knew that they would not tell other people what was said, so they could talk freely. What I know is that the regent, Miklos Horthy, who had betrayed his king [my grandparents], came to Brussels to ask my grandmother to pardon him, and she did it.
When was that, approximately?
I don’t know when exactly. All I know is my father told me that story because he was living in Brussels at the time. I suppose it was after he [Horthy] was overthrown by the Nazi regime in 1944.
Had Emperor Karl stayed in power, it was his intention to implement the following reforms: Develop the ministries of social affairs and of health; develop his monarchy into a federal state; implement agrarian reform for Bohemia and Hungary; create social-assistance programs and medical insurance; protect youth from vulgar literature; and grant autonomy to the different nationalities. My grandfather discussed autonomy with Archduke Franz-Ferdinand [the heir to the Habsburg throne whose assassination in Serbia led to World War], and they both agreed to implement this reform after the death of Emperor Franz Joseph.
In the second part, the modest former banker talks about marriage, family and raising children in the faith. Four of his eight children are members of a religious order, the Eucharistein Fraternity, founded in 1996 in the French Alps by a Swiss priest, Father Nicolas Buttet.
Did you pray for a vocation in your family?
My grandmother, Empress Zita [currently considered for beatification], always prayed that one of her children would join the Church. Then she prayed for her 33 grandchildren, that one be with the Church, and it did not happen. Yet prayers always last …
My wife and I also prayed for such a gift. We never thought that we would have four children asked by Jesus to follow him, but they said Yes, and so it happened.
Where are they now?
All four are in this new order, devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and Franciscan in its spirituality. Eucharistein reflects that the Eucharist is at the center of their life.
Our son Johannes made his perpetual vows on June 22, the same day his younger brother, Thomas, “received the clothing,” as we say in French, prendre la vie, at the main house in Epinassey, Switzerland.
Johannes has been based at a house in St.-Jeoire, France, not far from Geneva, in the Haute-Savoie region. Our daughter, Marie-des-Neiges, took her perpetual vows last year. She is in St. Jeoire, as well.
And Joseph, our youngest child, who is 28 years old, lives in a Eucharistein house in Chêatau Rima, north of Grasse, lost in the mountains.
It is a beautiful place. They rebuilt an old convent, and now there are people buying land, building houses nearby, to be close to the monks like in the Middle Ages. It is truly fantastic.
Tell me a bit about the charism of the order. What occupies the community?
They are very poor. For example, they never buy food, so if they don’t get food, from neighbors or their own labor on the land, they don’t eat. Although, it always comes.
They allow the poor people of our times — meaning those who live in the streets, those who drink or take drugs, things like that — they can come whenever they want. They only have to agree to work with their hands with the monks and the sisters, and they are fed and have a roof, then. They go to the Holy Mass every day, and they can leave when they want.
The community has the formal prayers which monks have: early in the morning. Of course, the Holy Mass, the Rosary, adoration, then in the evening again. The practice is ora et labora, prayer and work, so they also have handwork and agriculture at the monastery.
Everything has been built over the last 20 years. Now, the Definitive Rules have been recognized by the Vatican, so that is very good news.
How did you and your wife raise your children in the faith to receive such a bounty of vocations? First, how did you approach the task?
It’s an important question! We gave a talk in Montreal on the transmission of faith two years ago. As we explained, my family has been Catholic for as long as we go back in history: 1,400 years. From one generation to the next, we transmitted more or less successfully the most precious of these presents, which is faith.
The principle vector or instrument for transmitting the faith is obviously the family.
My wife and I were engaged for two years. This long period allowed us to prepare our marriage.
To what can we compare a marriage? A priest once told me, we can compare a marriage to a ladder. There are two vertical pillars, the man and the woman, who look at each other, and they love each other. There are also the steps, which serve to climb and turn toward a third person, God, of course, and the children who come.
From the beginning, my wife and I made a decision to try to live our life in accordance with what we believe. So as the children grew, we took a lot of time to explain the faith and the liturgy to them.
Please give our readers some examples of how you and your wife bolstered the children in faith.
We took them to Mass often, even during the week. We made sure they went to holy confession. In our days, you can’t say, “Children: Go to church!” You have to say, “Come with us to church.” It is not the way it was 50 or 60 years ago.
We made pilgrimages with them, for example, to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina and to Częstochowa in Poland. A present given to a child is often quickly forgotten, but having common activity, the good influence lasts much longer. So we did several pilgrimages together, because pilgrimages within a family last for your whole life.
We gave them the right books to read. When they were smaller especially, we took care to introduce them to good books that would elevate their souls and their spirits and keep their consciences straight. In the evening, it was important to review these readings at home.
We were also very attentive to how our children were choosing their friends.
And we tried to avoid the internet, explaining how it could destroy them. Things like that. This is very big work.
Absolutely, right! With your wisdom, knowledge of history and faith, 100 years after the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a century marked by destruction: What are the dangers facing us today?
Today? This is my own feeling. I read a lot. I pray a lot. I discuss a lot. Basically, we must be close to the years of the anti-Christ, because everything is in a horrible state. Look at how the population and the people live: The materialism, which is one of the main dangers, has become the master of most of the souls of the world. This is a terrible thing!
Basically, I have the feeling that the devil is working now, if I can say it, like hell on the world, to destroy the Church. And, obviously, he is helped by some people in the Church, also, which is very sad. We have to pray a lot and help the priests and the Church to change now and to become really Christian, in a way.
And I think this Pope is doing his best to move the whole thing in the right direction, but I would hate to be in his place because it must be so tough.
The Saint and the Synod – Pope St. John Paul II’s Legacy Still Seen in Church TeachingBy Angela AmbrogettiVatican City, Oct 22 / 04:55 pm (EWTN News/CNA) - Though it has been more than 10 years since the death of Pope John Paul II, the saint’s impact can still be seen in those working to uphold Church teaching at the Synod on the Family, said his former secretary.
“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
Teacher: "Why are you praying in class little Johnny?” Little Johnny: “My mom taught me to always pray before going to sleep."
Little Johnny, why does your little sister cry? Because I helped her. But that is a good thing! What did you help her with? I helped her eat her gummy bears.
Wife: “Oh the weather is lovely today. Shall we go out for a quick jog?“ - Husband: “Hahaha, I love the way you pronounce ‘Shall we go out and have a cake’!”
Optimist: The glass is half full. Pessimist: The glass is half empty. Mother: Why didn’t you use a coaster!
My girlfriend and I often laugh about how competitive we are. But I laugh more.
Dating a Hoarder
I used to date a hoarder, and she broke up with me. That stings extra hard—I’m like the one thing she can get rid of.
A Teacher Tries
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."
Jesus and Satan were having an argument as to who was the better programmer. This went on for a few hours until they agreed to hold a contest with God the Father as the judge. They sat at their computers and began. They typed furiously for several hours, lines of code streaming up on the screen. Seconds before the end of the competition, a bolt of lightning struck, taking out the electricity. Moments later, the power was restored, and God the Father announced that the contest was over. He asked Satan to show what he had come up with. Satan was visibly upset and cried, "I have nothing. I lost it all when the power went out." "Very well, then," God the Father said, "Let us see if Jesus did any better." Jesus entered a command and the screen came to life in vivid display, the voice of an angelic choir poured forth from the speakers. Satan was astonished. "But how? I lost everything, yet Jesus' program was intact. How did he do it?" God chuckled, "Jesus saves!"
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
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time - October 20th, 2019
The First Reading- Exodus 17:8-13
In those days, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, "Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand." So Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. Moses' hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
We should recall the context here. After the ten plagues and the Passover, Israel has left Egypt a few weeks ago, crossed the Red Sea, and now entered into the Sinai Peninsula, a vast, rocky, mountainous desert. Amalek was a nation of nomads that controlled the northeastern part of the Sinai Peninsula. The Amalekites are not happy to have the Israelites moving through the outskirts of the their territory, and they sent bands of scouts to trail them. Now on their way to Mount Sinai, the Israelites are attacked outright by the bulk of the Amalekite forces, and they are forced to respond, despite the fact that they are not military men but former slaves, and have few if any proper weapons. The young man Joshua goes out to lead those forces the Israelites could muster, while Moses goes to the mountain top to beseech God in prayer. The moral sense of this text is a good example of the complementarity of prayer and action, of ora et labora (pray and work). The people fight and pray: both are necessary, for the same reason that faith and works operate together. How curious that Moses’ prayers are necessary! Why doesn’t God just send victory without them? Surely he could! Yet this is the mystery of God’s will: that he chooses to incorporate our participation in the fulfillment of his plans (See Thomas, Summa Q. 83). He ordains to grant victory to Israel through Moses’ intercession. Prayer is a cooperation with God’s will for us.
Adults - Do you offer your work up as a prayer?
Teens - Do you make time for both work and prayer in your life?
Kids - Think of one chore you don’t enjoy doing. Offer that chore up as a prayer while you are doing it!
Responsorial- Psalm 121: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
I lift up my eyes toward the mountains;
whence shall help come to me?
My help is from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
May he not suffer your foot to slip;
may he slumber not who guards you:
indeed he neither slumbers nor sleeps,
the guardian of Israel.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade;
he is beside you at your right hand.
The sun shall not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The LORD will guard you from all evil;
he will guard your life.
The LORD will guard your coming and your going,
both now and forever.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
-Appropriately, the Lectionary follows the account of the life-or-death spiritual battle against Amalek with a spiritual warfare psalm, an ancient prayer that the people of Israel once took on their lips to invoke the protection of their God, the LORD, against the curses and evils of a violent pagan world. Do you ask God’s protection throughout the day?
The Second Reading- 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
Beloved: Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.
We could always do a better job of meditation on Scripture. To do so requires us not necessarily to add more things to our schedule, but just to pay more attention to the rhythm of prayer handed to us in the Church’s liturgy. There is plenty of Scripture in the Liturgy of the Hours and the Lectionary. Let’s be more attentive when we read it or hear it proclaimed. Do you take time to read Scripture every day? Try to start that habit this week!
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 18:1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.'" The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
As is his custom, Jesus uses an earthy, every-day-life example to teach spiritual lessons. Israelites were well-familiar with government corruption and local officials who looked out only for themselves. They could probably think of examples of civic judges, appointed by the Romans or some other authority, who had cared nothing for the widows, orphans, poor, and sick in their cities. Yet this persistent widow prevails over the unjust judge in Jesus parable. The judge concedes, lest “she finally come and strike me.” This last line is probably a mistranslation: the Greek verb rendered “strike me” is better translated “wear me out.” The judge is not worried about the old woman coming and hitting him with her cane, but just in become exhausted by her constant asking. The message is simple: if evil authorities concede to persistence, how much more a loving Father! So let us not give up persevering in prayer.
Adults - Is it easy for you to persevere in prayer? Do you get discouraged? How can you fight that discouragement?
Teens - What are you struggling with in your life that you can consistently take to God in prayer?
Kids - Think of something your struggling with, or that someone that you love is struggling with. Pray about that every day this week!
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - Our divine Lord teaches us, in this parable, the need for perseverance in prayer. This perseverance develops our trust and confidence in God. It helps us to become humble and to realize how weak we are when left to ourselves. It keeps us close to God, as we learn how dependent we are on His generosity. If we only would realize that God is perhaps never closer to us than when we think He is forgetting us! The trials of life, spiritual or temporal, which He allows us to suffer are not obstacles to our spiritual progress but rather stepping-stones without which we could not cross the rivers of life at all. — Excerpted from The Sunday Readings Cycle C, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.
582. Why can we dare to draw near to God in full confidence? a) because Jesus brings us to the Father: Because Jesus, our Redeemer, brings us into the Father’s presence and his Spirit makes us his children. We are thus able to pray the Our Father with simple and filial trust, with joyful assurance and humble boldness, with the certainty of being loved and heard.
583. How is it possible to address God as “Father”? d) all of the above:We can invoke the “Father” because the Son of God made man has revealed him to us and because his Spirit makes him known to us. The invocation, Father, lets us enter into his mystery with an ever new sense of wonder and awakens in us the desire to act as his children. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are therefore aware of our being sons of the Father in the Son.
584. Why do we say “our” Father? b) because it expresses a totally new relationship with God: “Our” expresses a totally new relationship with God. When we pray to the Father, we adore and glorify him with the Son and the Holy Spirit. In Christ we are “his” people and he is “our” God now and for eternity. In fact, we also say “our” Father because the Church of Christ is the communion of a multitude of brothers and sisters who have but “one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32).