- Traveling soon? Check out www.MassTimes.org for the nearest Catholic Church to where you will be (Catholic Website -by the laptop computer)
- French Nun's Miracle Cure Astounds Medical Experts, Lourdes (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Surviving a Stroke or Helping Others to Do So (Helpful Hints for Life)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Praying Together, Staying Together
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20
Most of us pray. We talk to God throughout the day. We pray when we get up of a morning or before we go to bed. Many of us go to Mass. God and I may even take those “10 minutes a day in the classroom of silence.” But do we pray with one another? Are we able to pray with someone else?
“Those that pray together, stay together.” “The family that prays together stays together.” After we pray by ourselves, the very next thing you and I must do is pray with others. Why? So that we know Jesus is there and that His power may reach us there in our relationships and unions with others. Couples must pray together. Families must pray together. Brothers and sisters must pray together. Friends must pray together. Why? So that they stay together!
Prayer is humbling because it makes us realize that we must depend upon someone greater than ourselves or our problems. Prayer brings us the power of God and helps us to receive it. Just think when two or more do this together. They humble themselves before God and one another. Then God comes to strengthen, heal, and move those that pray together to stay together, which is what they truly desire. [Couples, are you praying with each other? Dads, do you call the family together for prayer?]
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. The homily below goes into more detail on the above.
P.S.S. This coming Sunday is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. >> Readings
P.S.S.S. At the end of the e-mail is the Sunday Readings also with reflections and questions.
prayer (from Latin precârius “obtained by entreaty”)
-the raising of one’s mind and heart to God
[This voluntary response may be an acknowledgment of God's greatness and of a person's total dependence on him (adoration), or gratitude for his benefits to oneself and others (thanksgiving), or sorrow for sins committed and begging for mercy (expiation), or asking for graces needed (petition), or affection for God, who is all good (love).]
Surviving a Stroke or helping another to do so
Most experts agree that if you can get treatment for a stroke in the first 3 hours, there is a very good chance of reversing it. Key signs (S T R)to notice are:
S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
T * Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE
(Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today.)
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other then that is also an indication of a stroke. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
All gather together. Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At its head is Christ himself, the principal agent of the Eucharist. He is high priest of the New Covenant; it is he himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration. It is in representing him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis) presides over the assembly, speaks after the readings, receives the offerings, and says the Eucharistic Prayer. All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose "Amen" manifests their participation. -Catechism of the Catholic Church #1348
Website contains news, commentary, a Catholic Encyclopedia of terms, the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas (one the Church's greatest theologians), writings of the Fathers of the Church, the Holy Bible and much more.
[For those traveling this summer and needing to get to the Holy Mass.]
MASS TIMES AND CATHOLIC CHURCHES throughout the US
May 10, 2021
When Franciscan Oblate Sister of the Sacred Heart Bernadette Moriau made the roundtrip journey for her 2008 Lourdes pilgrimage, she was transported from her French convent in an “ambulance” train car designated for the sick visiting the Marian shrine where the Blessed Virgin appeared in 1858.
Nights on the train were spent in agony, getting little rest as she lay on a narrow upper bunk. For 42 years, a painful degenerative disease of the spine had slowly taken control of Sister Bernadette’s body. And by 2008, the woman who had dreamed of bringing God’s love to the needy and trained as a nurse had been reduced to a state of powerlessness by an illness that left her dependent on others.
Mincing no words in her newly-released memoir, My Life is a Miracle, which traces the astonishing events that brought her case to the world’s attention as the 70th miracle effected at Lourdes, she describes her left foot as almost completely twisted in a “backward position.” And her “back, spine, and pelvis were like jelly,” supported by a “rigid cervical-lumbar corset.” Day and night her body ached, even as electric shocks rippled through her legs.
A steady supply of morphine made “the burning of these invisible thorns” just bearable, but impaired her cognitive functioning. And a “spinal neurostimulator had been implanted under the skis to ease the excruciating pain.”
More than once, the harrowing daily struggle had brought her to the brink of despair, but she had long since made her peace with her condition. At Lourdes, she did not pray for her own recovery, but her spirits were fortified as she took part in the daily processions and bathed in the waters of the grotto. There where Mary and her Son preside, and space and time stand still, the values of the world are held at bay and the radiant dignity of each person created in God’s image is made manifest.
So as Sister Bernadette made the agonizing return trip, she channeled what energy she possessed into petitions for the healing of her fellow pilgrims. And as the creaking ambulance train was sidelined to allow high-speed trains to move more quickly to their destination, she was briefly reminded that she had left the grotto behind. “They shoot past without giving us a look,” she thought of the speeding trains rushing by the ambulance cars. “That’s life.”
But life, as she knew it, would soon change radically. Within days of her return from Lourdes, Sister Bernadette experienced a sudden cessation of pain and a complete healing of her body, or — as she calls it — a “re-creation.” Her twisted foot had been straightened, and her back was strong. She cast off her corset and walked freely.
The degenerative disease that had defined her life for four decades had itself been rendered powerless through a miracle.
Weeping tears of joy, she rushed to share the news with the other sisters, who joined her in prayers of gratitude for God’s gratuitous love and mercy.
The flood of joy, she explains, “had nothing to do with a feeling of victory. For, though I had battled this disease, the healing had been granted by pure grace.”
On Feb. 11, 2018, the date marking the 160th anniversary of the apparition, Sister Bernadette’s healing was declared the 70th official miracle effected at Lourdes.
The extraordinary healing, the years of pain and struggle that preceded it, and the decade-long medical and ecclesiastical investigations that followed are the subject of her story, told by a woman of faith who has long pondered the problem of suffering as well as the mystery of her recovery.
“To embrace total thanksgiving is not to be dismissive of those who have not received the same grace, or forgetful of the suffering and misery of others,” she writes.
“I survived a forty-two-year struggle. But that was a sign from God, a visible sign of his love for all of us.”
Her story thus serves as an invitation for her audience to draw close to the beating heart of the Savior who makes all things new. Likewise, she offers a window into a lonely and hidden place: the daily battles of those burdened by chronic illness and disabilities and who subsist on hope alone.
She has not forgotten what it is like to be consumed with agony, to visit a pain clinic for relief only to receive confirmation that one’s condition has worsened. And though she is a spirited woman, she conveys the sting of feeling invisible in culture that moves too quickly and is too impatient to accompany the weak and the infirm.
The book also traces the Lourdes Office of Medical Assessments’ confidential and thorough investigation of Sister Bernadette’s case, with her own doctor and other medical specialists testifying to the inexplicable and permanent nature of her recovery.
As she acknowledges with characteristically blunt humor, the medical community was asked to engage in an “odd kind of diagnosis” — not to effect a cure, but to “prove why they had nothing to do” with her healing.
The extensive inquiry was shrouded in secrecy until the miracle was formally confirmed by Church authorities, after a period of discernment, and publicly announced in 2018.
Since then, Sister Bernadette has become something of a celebrity, even for France’s mostly secularized media. She has offered her testimony for reporters and youth groups. And though the public has latched onto the extraordinary nature of the miracle itself, and the scientific process of verification, Sister Bernadette has sought to fulfill what she understands to be the Lord’s purpose in bringing her into the spotlight.
The story “within my story,” she writes, is that “faith, hope, and charity are the core that had always been burning in my former life, that fuels my present life, and will, I hope, assure my future life and my eternal life in heaven.”
The language of faith shocks most of her French countrymen, and the author reminds her audience that she had already warned them of her supposedly outdated Christian beliefs and values.
But to those who suffer, to those struggling to keep the flame of hope alive, to those consumed with self-hatred or doubts about the meaning of life itself, she is the Lord’s emissary.
The healing that changed her life, she says, is a “sign of the mad love of the Creator for his creation.”
This God is not “vengeful or manipulative.” The loving Father who re-created her seeks to wash each of us in his ocean of mercy. He is “restorative … loving, begging, assisting, humble in his grandeur, powerful in his love, and above all faithful.”
Offering talks, one-on-one conversations, and job training, these “godmothers” help vulnerable moms face their pregnancies with dignity and hope, and not to see abortion as the only way out of their situation.
Being chosen as a godparent is a significant honor in Latin America, where godparents are typically highly involved in the lives of their godchildren, which gives the group’s name a special meaning.
The organization has its origins in 2000 at Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Marta Grego and her husband traveled from Uruguay to visit the shrine where they experienced in prayer what they described as “Our Lady of Guadalupe's call” to dedicate themselves to the cause of life.
Marta felt in her heart that God was asking her to fight abortion and save babies when she got back to Uruguay. However, she did not see a clear path forward at the time, because she was working and supporting her family. Nevertheless, she felt God telling her, “You take care of my things and I'll take care of yours.”
When the couple returned to Uruguay, a pregnant woman rang their doorbell asking for food. She had made up her mind to get an abortion. That encounter was how Godmothers for Life got its start, with Marta Grego as its founder and director.
Although the original purpose of the organization was to help women decide to keep their babies, Teresa Rodriguez, the group’s current president, explained that they eventually saw “that besides the girls who wanted to abort, there were pregnant girls who were not thinking of aborting but were in a very vulnerable situation.”
In response, the group expanded its work by providing free job training courses and workshops on Christian and human formation, “always focusing on the mom and her baby, helping her to value motherhood, but also helping the family,” so they can find their way out of poverty. Currently, Godmothers for Life is serving about 60 at-risk women in Montevideo, relying solely on donations for their work.
“A bond is created between us and the mothers which is not based on dependency but on affection. We are one big family,” Rodriguez said.
In addition to their main location in Montevideo, Godmothers for Life has a place at Saint Eugene Chapel in the administrative district, where they care for an additional 60 women. They hope to extend the project to other areas of Uruguay. They have already begun plans in several other districts.
One of those miracles came Aug. 7, 2010, when the then-cardinal Bergoglio was accompanied by his press secretary, Federico Wals, to celebrate Mass honoring St. Cajetan on his feast day.
The cardinal was set to celebrate a Mass at the saint’s shrine in Buenos Aires and then walk to greet a long line of pilgrims, as he did every year.
“When leaving he told me that he had already asked Santa Teresita (St. Therese of Liseux) to send him a sign,” Wals said in an interview with Bolivian newspaper “El Deber” published May 31.
“When he told me this I was very skeptical and asked myself ‘A sign?’”
The former press secretary for Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio – now Pope Francis – gave an interview to El Deber in which he detailed personal stories and memories from his time working with the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Located on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, the Shrine of St. Cajetan draws thousands of pilgrims each year on the feast of his death.
Mass is celebrated each hour on the Aug. 7 feast, and after attending faithful queue and wait as long as 10 hours to pass in front of a small statue of the saint and kiss the glass separating it from them.
As archbishop of Buenos Aires then-cardinal Bergoglio would preside over a Mass himself, and then walk down the line of pilgrims – which sometimes extended 15 blocks – to greet people, speak with them and bless the children.
That day in 2010 “he didn't feel very well, but we were going to go anyway,” Wals said, explaining that Bergoglio had asked St. Therese to send him a sign as to whether to go all the way or not, since after the Mass he had to walk 15 blocks down the line of faithful.
After celebrating Mass the cardinal was in too much pain to walk the whole distance, and decided to go just two blocks before heading back to the center of Buenos Aires, Wals recalled.
However, as they reached the second block Wals said they came across a man “taller than (the cardinal), dressed with a black overcoat and he had his right hand inside the coat.”
Before they could blink the man “pulled out a white rose,” he said, explaining that Bergoglio was “surprised,” blessed the rose and tried to move out of the way.
At that moment the man told the future Pope “you don't understand anything: this is the sign that you are waiting for.” He then smiled and handed Bergoglio the rose.
Once Bergoglio heard what the man said he immediately grabbed the rose, Wals said. The cardinal then told him, “Federico, Santa Teresita did not abandon me, I'm going to walk until the end of the line (of faithful).”
“At that moment the man disappeared, we never saw each other again. Bergoglio's countenance changed, he was radiant and continued until the end.”
Wals has met with Bergoglio since his election as Bishop of Rome, and said that as Pope, other similar things have happened.
One of them took place in January while the Pope was on his way to the Philippines. During his flight from Sri Lanka to Manila Pope Francis received a bas-relief, or carving, of St. Therese from French journalist Caroline Pigozzi.
After receiving the image, Francis told other journalists present that “I have the habit, when I don't know how things will go, to ask St. Therese the little child, St. Therese of Jesus, to ask her if she takes a problem in hand, some thing, that she send me a rose.”
“I asked also for this trip, that she'd take it in hand and that she would send me a rose. But instead of a rose she came herself to greet me,” he said.
Pigozzi spoke with EWTN News later, saying that she had originally found the image in a Paris flea market, and had polished it herself to give to the Pope as part of a set for Christmas and for his Dec. 17 birthday.
ITALIAN NUN SAYS RELIGIOUS LIFE IS HER FIRST LOVE
After winning a televised nationwide singing competition, an Italian nun has announced that she will “return to my priorities, which are prayer, getting ...up early and teaching at my school.”
Sister Cristina Scuccia, whose performance of pop songs on the show “The Voice” made her an international sensation, said that she was not sure what she would do about the recording contract that was part of her prize for victory. “I’ll discuss everything with my superiors,” she said.
Sister Scuccia explained her participation in the televised competition as a form of evangelization. “I have a gift and God gave me that gift and I have used it to say that God has taken nothing away from me,” she explained. Upon being named the winner of the contest, she asked the audience to join here in the Lord’s Prayer.
SINGING NUN TO RETURN TO PRAYER AFTER WINNING THE VOICE
A young singing nun, Sister Cristina Scuccia, has vowed to return to her life of prayer, school-teaching and preaching after winning Italy's version of the popular TV talent show The Voice.
The 25-year-old nun thanked God after prevailing in the final of the show on State broadcaster Rai, which ended early on Friday.
"My presence here is not down to me, it's thanks to the man upstairs," said the Sicilian nun, known as Suor Cristina after becoming a household name in Italy.
"My aim was to say that I have met Jesus. I have a gift and God gave me that gift and I have used it to say that God has taken nothing away from me.
"Now I want to return to my priorities, which are prayer, getting up early and teaching at my school. I will never give up on my vows and the greatest love of my life for a singing career".
Scuccia became an Internet sensation after winning over the judges at a blind audition in March with her version of Alicia Keys' No One - the clip of which has received more than 50 million hits on YouTube.
After crushing her nearest rival by claiming 62% of the popular vote in the final, she led the audience in reciting the Lord's Prayer.
Her victory gives her a recording contract with Universal.
"I'll discuss everything with my superiors," Scuccia said.
"Nothing is ruled out in evangelization and we'll take our message out on the streets if necessary. "When I make a disc of my songs, they will be about love and real situations, with language that communicates to everyone".
http://www.ansa.it/english/news/lifestyle/arts/2014/06/06/singing-nun-to-return-to-prayer_47cd2573-f0f2-4716-8b8f-7af7b0166fe7.html See More
In order to gather together scattered humanity God calls Abram from his country, his kindred and his father's house, and makes him Abraham, that is, "the father of a multitude of nations". "In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #59
A bit of humor…
How To Translate Work Emails
I have a question. = I have 18 questions.
I’ll look into it. = I’ve already forgotten about it.
I tried my best. = I did the bare minimum.
Happy to discuss further. = Don’t ask me about this again.
No worries. = You really messed up this time.
Take care. = This is the last you’ll ever hear from me.
The Problem With Scooby-Doo
Every Scooby-Doo episode would literally be two minutes long if the gang went to the mask store first and asked a few questions.
Have You Ever Been Insulted And Complimented At The Same Time?
It’s amazing how a person can compliment and insult you at the same time. Recently, when I greeted my coworker, she said, “You look so gorgeous, I didn’t recognize you.”
Signs and Sayings...
On a Fence:
"Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!"
At a Car Dealership:
"The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment."
In a Podiatrist's (foot doctor) office
Time wounds all heels."
On a Plumber's truck:
"We repair what your husband fixed."
On a Church's Billboard:
"7 days without God makes one weak."
At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee :
"Invite us to your next blowout."
In a Nonsmoking Area:
"If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."
"When we ask to be delivered from the Evil One, we pray as well to be freed from all evils, present, past, and future, of which he is the author or instigator. In this final petition, the Church brings before the Father all the distress of the world. Along with deliverance from the evils that overwhelm humanity, she implores the precious gift of peace and the grace of perseverance in expectation of Christ's return By praying in this way, she anticipates in humility of faith the gathering together of everyone and everything in him who has "the keys of Death and Hades," who "is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
Deliver us, Lord, we beseech you, from every evil and grant us peace in our day, so that aided by your mercy we might be ever free from sin and protected from all anxiety, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #2854
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
Solemnity of the Ascension Sunday of Easter – Sunday, May 16, 2021
The First Reading - Acts 1:1-11
In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for “the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
Most English translations do not adequately translate the Greek word sunalizomenos in verse 4. Above it is rendered “while meeting with them,” but literally it is “while taking salt with them,” which is a Greek idiom meaning “sharing a meal.” This is the usual meaning of sunalizomenos; the only justification really given for rendering it “spending time with” rather than “eating with” is that “eating with” supposedly doesn’t make sense in the context of Acts 1:4. On the contrary, many scholars say it makes a lot of sense, and is in fact theologically significant in light of Luke 22:16,18, which seem to suggest that Jesus will not eat or drink again until the Kingdom comes. The fact that he is eating and drinking with them here, is an indication of the arrival of the Kingdom (see also Acts 10:41).
Adults - Do you think of the Church as the literal kingdom of God?
Teens - How does the Kingdom of God fit into the whole story of salvation history?
Kids - What does it mean that Jesus is our king?
Responsorial- Psalm 47: 2-3, 6-7, 8-9
R.God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
The Church sees this Psalm fulfilled, of course, in the Ascension of the Christ and his session “at the right hand of God” (Acts 2:33). Be sure you are incorporating praise into your prayer this week!
The Second Reading- Ephesians 1:17-23
Brothers and sisters: May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
Reflection - The “principalities, authorities, powers, and dominions” and “names that are named” referred to above indicate spiritual powers, i.e. angels and demons. Christ has been placed over the entire spiritual hierarchy. St. Paul says, “he put everything under his feet,” applying Psalm 8:6 to Jesus and providing one of the earliest witnesses to the messianic reading of this important Psalm. It is Christ’s session above the spiritual hierarchy that gives the co-seated Church (Eph 2:6) power over the demonic realm, exercised quite dramatically in the rite of exorcism but no less powerfully in the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Confession, which has great power for spiritual deliverance. Christians are not meant to be pawns of the devil; the devil cannot “make me do it.” We are to be victorious by wielding the sword of the Spirit of the Risen One.
-Do you ever consider that the Church battles in spiritual warfare?
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 16: 15-20
Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
When Mark talks about the Ascension, he focuses on the mission that he left for the early Church. He tells them to be apostles—to go out to the whole world and share the good news of the Resurrection, bringing healing and proof with them of God’s power. We are sent, too, and we know that, like the early Church, we don’t go alone—Jesus is with us every step of the way. In fact, the Gospel says that, “… the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.” Jesus continues to work with and through us.
Adults - What are some ways that you make disciples for Jesus? What are some practical ways that your family can bring the Gospel to every nation?
Teens - Do you think that Christians still have the ability to drive out demons, heal people, and be saved from deadly things? Do you think it’s tempting God to go out of your way to do dangerous things like handling deadly snakes?
Kids - What do you think is your most important job to do for Jesus? How does Jesus help you to do it?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! – “Look up to heaven today. See Christ ascending to his Father and our Father. Say : Thank you, God, for creating me, and for giving me, through the Incarnation of your beloved Son, the possibility and the assurance that if I do my part here, when death comes it will not be an enemy but a friend, to speed me on my way to the true, supernatural life which you have, in your love, planned and prepared for me.” - Excepted from The Sunday Readings, Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.