- Fear God, Not Rome --Advice to the US Bishops (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- St. Peter Basilica Website (by laptop)
- Litany of Humility (under the Praying Hands at end)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Bury the Dead
" So he called his son Tobiah; and when he came, he said to him:
"My son, when I die, give me a decent burial." (Tobit 4:3).
Today we perform the work of mercy of burying the dead by attending wakes and Funeral Masses. When our loved ones die, to fulfill this we make sure that they have a Funeral Mass offered for them and that their bodies are buried in blessed ground (ground that has been blessed by prayer and holy water).
While the Church does allow cremation for those who do not use it to deny the resurrection of the body, the Church requires that the cremated remains of loved ones are buried in ground that is blessed. The cremated mortal remains of our loved ones are not to be kept as if we could ever possess them, or to be distributed or spread over an area even if they request it. The reason is that we belong to God, we did not create ourselves, so while we have the power, we do not have the authority to ever misuse the body, alive or dead.
Try to attend parish funerals, especially if you do not think many people will attend, and see that the dead receive a proper burial. The dead need your prayers and this work of mercy, as you and I will when the Lord calls us from this life!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. Check the green sections in this e-weekly for the exact words of the Church concerning this.
P.S.S. This Sunday is 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time. >>> Readings
(Latin corporale "of the body" + Greek ergon "activity, work"+ from Latin merces "price paid" = "price paid work of the body")
- bodily deeds of compassion toward others mandated by Christ
[The seven practices of charity, based on Christ's prediction of the Last Judgment (Matthew 5:3-10) that will determine each person's final destiny. They are: 1. to feed the hungry; 2. to give drink to the thirsty; 3. to clothe the naked; 4. to shelter the homeless; 5. to visit the sick; 6. to visit those in prison; and 7. to bury the dead.]
The Path of Virtue
A virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good. A virtue is a holy habit that leads us to God. The goal of a virtuous life is union with God.
Take some time to read a little on virtue (Colossians 3:12-15) and reflect on what it means to live the virtues in your marriage?
Commonly referred to as CFLs, compact fluorescent lamps or compact fluorescent light bulbs, the energy-saving bulbs have escaped the stereotype of buzzing, flickery, washed-out lights to become one of the poster children for consumers taking action in the modern green movement. The bulbs, which can replace incandescent, halogen and other electric lights around your house, use between 60% and 80% less energy than their incandescent counterparts, making them an increasingly popular way to cut energy use without having to make any radical changes, like replace your lighting fixtures or rewire your house, in many cases.
Dimmable compact fluorescent light bulbs
In addition to using a fraction of the energy, compact fluorescent light bulbs have a much longer usable life than incandescents, typically lasting between 6,000 and 15,000 hours, compared to 1,000 hours or so for incandescent bulbs. Recent improvements in technology have improved both the light quality and versatility of CFLs -- many now emit a more pleasant "soft white" light and work in dimmable and three-way fixtures. All of this adds up to a bulb that can save the user upwards of $30 over its life and save 2000 times its own weight in greenhouse gas emissions.
Respect for the dead
2299 The dying should be given attention and care to help them live their last moments in dignity and peace. They will be helped by the prayer of their relatives, who must see to it that the sick receive at the proper time the sacraments that prepare them to meet the living God.
2300 The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy;92 it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.
2301 Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious.
The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2299-2301
This extensive site covers the art, history and architecture of the Vatican Basilica. It includes numerous pictures, an interactive floor plan map and the entire text of several books and scholarly articles. If you have ever wondered which saint was on top of the Colonnade or are doing historical research, St. Peter's Basilica.org is the place to visit for this and much more.
St. Peter's is not only home to the Pope, but is our spiritual home, where the Church has nurtured and raised Christians through her two thousand year history. However, for many of us St. Peter's is too far away to visit. This website is a wonderful way to experience her beauty and richness from your own home.
A former senior staffer at the USCCB wrote Friday to the country's bishops ahead of their general assembly, urging them to deal with the sexual abuse not out of fear, but by demanding an open investigation of the McCarrick case.
He wrote that the impact upon his young children's lives by the decisions to be made at the general assembly is what compelled him to write “about the critical moment we face in the Church.”
“The revelations of Archbishop McCarrick’s horrid behavior, its long-term cover-up, and the failure to hold accountable those who empowered him could cause the faithful to distrust all bishops,” Henricks said.
“This is a tragedy,” he said, noting that the bishops are “faithful men who give your lives to the Church out of your love for Jesus.”
“There is, however, something wrong with how the body of bishops functions as an assembly and how bishops relate to and interact with one another. Far too often, fear appears to govern what is done or not done by you as a body. There is the fear of disunity, fear of conflict, fear of disrupting a superficial collegiality, and today, more than ever, fear of Rome.”
While the bishops face intense pressure, “the bottom line is that it sometimes appears that many of you are governed by fear of each other and of the institutional order more than by the fear of God.”
Hendricks also observed that “your work as an association of bishops leads many of you to value the appearance of unity over adherence to principle,” which leads to “patterns of conflict avoidance.”
He wrote that this can at times be charitable, but “far too often … I watched good men back away from conflict when what was needed was confrontation and forthright debate.”
“This culture of fear enabled the likes of Theodore McCarrick to attain power and to scheme and maneuver at the highest ecclesial and political levels.”
At least in the US, Hendricks said, bishops are divided into two dominant camps: one which sees the Church “as a platform for political interests,” which “includes key authorities in Rome,” and the other, which see the Church “as a pastoral reality.”
However, this second group “is reluctant to address critical issues if doing so would entail conflict with Rome.”
“The curial advisors of the Holy Father have failed to understand the nature of the present crisis,” Hendricks wrote. “They have chosen a path that only exacerbates it.”
“They have failed to undertake a swift and full investigation of the McCarrick case. The Vatican’s failure to act is now aggravating the real harm done to the Church. In the end, however, the faithful in the United States will hold you—and not the curial officials—responsible for what does or does not happen in the wake of the most recent scandals.”
Henricks stated: “I urge you to petition forcefully for an open investigation led by the laity. Do not allow a false notion of unity to prevail, a false unity in which your integrity as bishops is sacrificed to expediency.”
He said he understands, “as a former Church bureaucrat … the instinct to do whatever Rome asks.”
“I implore you, nonetheless, to state publicly what most of you know needs to be done so that the corruption within the Church is brought into the light and eradicated.”
“Only if the evil is exposed can the Church be healed,” Henricks wrote. “If you do not pursue this course, the faithful will blame you for the next scandal, which is sure to come, and their distrust will surpass that of the present moment. The result will be that more parishes and schools will close, and less charitable work will be available to the poor and the marginalized. Most damaging of all, fewer people will avail themselves of the grace of the sacraments. The losses will be eternal.”
If the USCCB speaks to the crisis and demands an open investigation, “then you will begin to regain the trust of the faithful,” he stated.
Henricks said his children “need strong ecclesial leadership as they face the strengthening winds of secularism.”
“Without your witness of standing up to misguided ecclesiastical powers, without your fatherly care for the Church and the faithful, I cannot point to Church leadership as a model for their faith.”
“I beg you not to allow fear to rule the day,” Henricks concluded.
“Please govern as fathers, stay true to Jesus Christ, and proclaim the truth, in season and out of season, regardless of the cost. Be assured of my prayers and the prayers of so many of the faithful as you execute your solemn responsibilities.”
By Hannah Brockhaus
The future of the Church and the world is dependent on the good of the family, said Pope Francis in a video message Saturday.
“The love between a man and woman is one of the most generative human experiences, it is the ferment of the culture of encounter and brings to the present world an injection of sociality,” the Pope said.
“The family born of marriage creates fruitful bonds, which reveal themselves to be the most effective antidote against the individualism that currently runs rampant.”
Quoting his 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia, he emphasized, “Indeed the good of the family is decisive for the future of the world and of the Church.”
The Pope sent a video message to participants in the third international symposium on Amoris laetitia, organized by the Italian bishops’ conference. Taking place in Rome Nov. 11, the theme of the meeting was: “The Gospel of love between conscience and norm.”
Speaking about the role of the properly formed conscience, Francis warned against the temptation to turn to a sort of egoism or “cult of self.”
“The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which is always to be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of the individual in relation to the relationships he lives,” he said.
This is why, he said, there is a need to form consciences – not substitute them – and to accompany spouses and parents in learning to “apply the Gospel to the concreteness of life.”
In the reality of the family and of marital love, there may come situations which require “arduous choices,” he continued, and these should be made “with righteousness.” Therefore, divine grace, “which illuminates and strengthens married love and parental mission,” is absolutely necessary for spouses and the family.
Pope Francis’ video message echoed his recent keynote address to a major conference on the future of the European Union, in which he spoke out against abortion and said the Christian understanding of the family can serve as a model on which the European continent can base its identity as it faces a changing and uncertain future.
In the family, “diversity is valued and at the same time brought into unity,” Francis said Oct. 28, explaining that the family “is the harmonious union of the differences between man and woman, which becomes stronger and more authentic to the extent that it is fruitful, capable of opening itself to life and to others.”
Before examining this issue in depth, the Holy Father recalled that the recently concluded assembly of the Synod of Bishops had reflected at length on the vocation and mission of the family in the life of the Church and in contemporary society. “It was an event of grace. At the end the Synod Fathers submitted to me the text containing their conclusions. I wanted this text to be published, so that everyone could participate in the work we have been devoted to together for two years. This is not the moment to examine the conclusions, on which I myself have to reflect”.
“In the meantime, however, life does not come to a halt, and in particular the live of families does not stop! You, dear families, are always journeying. And you already continually write in the pages of concrete life the beauty of the Gospel of the family. In a world that at times becomes arid of life and love, every day you speak of the great gift that is marriage and the family”.
The Pope went on to introduce the central theme of his catechesis, reciting the words of the Lord's Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. “It is not possible to live without forgiveness, or at least you cannot live well, especially in the family. Every day we wrong each other. We must take account of these errors that we make due to our fragility and our selfishness. However, what is required of us is to heal the wounds we make straight away, to immediately weave again the threads we have broken. If we wait too long, it all becomes more difficult. And there is a simple secret for healing wounds and undoing accusations: never let the day finish without apologising. … If we learn to say we are sorry immediately and to offer mutual forgiveness, the wounds are healed, the marriage is strengthened, and the family becomes an increasingly solid home, that resists the shocks of our evils, great and small”.
“If we learn to live this way within the family, we will also do so outside, wherever we find ourselves. It is easy to be sceptical about this. Many – Christians included – think it is an exaggeration. … But thanks to God this is not the case. Indeed, it is precisely by receiving God's forgiveness that, in turn, we are able to forgive others. … And it is essential that, in an at times pitiless society, there be places such as the family where we can learn to forgive each other”.
“The Synod also revived our hope in this regard: the capacity to forgive others and oneself forms part of the vocation and mission of the family. … The Church, dear families, is always beside you to help you build your home on the rock Jesus spoke of”, exclaimed Francis. “And I assure you that if you are capable of journeying ever more decisively along the path of the Beatitudes, learning and teaching to forgive each other, then in all the great family of the Church the capacity to bear witness to the renewing power of God's forgiveness will grow”.
“Otherwise, we will give beautiful sermons and perhaps even cast out the odd demon, but in the end the Lord will not recognise us as His disciples, as we have not been able to forgive or to allow ourselves to be forgiven. Christian families can truly do much for today's society, and also for the Church. … Let us pray that families may be increasingly able to live and build concrete roads to reconciliation, where no-one feels abandoned to the burden of his own trespasses”.
Finally the Pope, accompanied by the with the thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, repeated the phrase from the Lord's Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”.
“Not only has this program saved the lives of countless unborn children, but it has saved many mothers – and fathers – from a lifetime of regret,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said Nov. 4.
Anderson and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, the fraternal order’s supreme chaplain, presented the program’s 500th ultrasound machine to the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns for use at its facility in Dundalk, Md.
The presentation took place at the Baltimore Hilton during an annual meeting of the order’s leaders from around the world.
Anderson credited the program’s success to “the generosity of brother knights from coast to coast.”
The Catholic fraternal order began the ultrasound program in 2009, encouraging state and local councils to fund half the cost of ultrasound machines for qualified pregnancy resource centers. The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council’s Culture of Life Fund then provided matching funds to buy the machines, which can cost over $20,000 each.
The organization has now purchased machines in all 50 U.S. states, Jamaica and Canada. The machines’ collective value is almost $26 million. The program has also begun to fund mobile ultrasound machines that can be used in multiple communities.
Knights of Columbus groups in Texas have funded the most ultrasound machine purchases of any state, totaling 40, followed by Missouri, Florida, California and Michigan.
The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal order, was founded in New Haven, Conn., in 1882 by Venerable Michael J. McGivney, a parish priest. It has 1.8 million members worldwide who perform volunteer service and works of charity and fraternity.
Can. 1176 §1. Deceased members of the Christian faithful must be given ecclesiastical funerals according to the norm of law.
§2. Ecclesiastical funerals, by which the Church seeks spiritual support for the deceased, honors their bodies, and at the same time brings the solace of hope to the living, must be celebrated according to the norm of the liturgical laws.
§3. The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.
-I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
-My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.
- Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
- I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, “I’m going to mop the floor with your face.” I said, “You’ll be sorry.” He said, “Oh, yeah? Why?” I said, “Well, you won’t be able to get into the corners very well.”
A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.
After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said; "I'm sorry, your duck (Cuddles) has passed away." The distressed woman wailed; "Are you sure?" "Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead." replied the vet. "How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."
The vet rolled his eyes, turned around, and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table, and sniffed the duck from top to bottom.
He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot.
The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly, and strolled out of the room. The vet looked at the woman and said; "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck." The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.
The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried; "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!?" The vet shrugged; "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but... with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150."
A little boy was overheard praying: 'Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am.'
A father as at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand. 'Daddy, what happened to him?' the son asked. 'He died and went to Heaven,' the Dad replied. The boy thought a moment and then said, 'Did God throw him back down?'
One particular four-year-old prayed, 'And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.'
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…
The King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws. One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #992
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - November 11th, 2018
The First Reading- 1 Kings 17:10-16
In those days, Elijah the prophet went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her, "Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink." She left to get it, and he called out after her, "Please bring along a bit of bread." She answered, "As the LORD, your God, lives, I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug. Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die." Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid. Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son. For the LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'" She left and did as Elijah had said. She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well; the jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.
Last week’s readings were about how we should love God with our whole selves, and love one another as ourselves. This week, the theme is expanded and made more concrete as it speaks directly to our response to those experiencing material need. Our first reading is a story about Elijah, the greatest prophet in Hebrew tradition, who was in exile and danger from King Ahab and his pagan wife, Jezebel. There was a three-year drought at the time, brought on by Ahab’s disobedience to God. Ahab allowed Jezebel to worship false gods in the Temple, and was killing the prophets and priests of the God of Israel. The drought was a warning to straighten up and fly right. She didn’t heed it and came to a bad end. In the meantime, everyone else was suffering. Elijah asked a poor widow who was down to her last meal for herself and her son to share their food with him. She, even in her fear and poverty, did share with him. As a result, her food never ran out, and she and her son were cared for throughout the drought.
Adults - God provided exactly what was needed to Elijah, the widow, and her son. Can you think of a time that God gave you exactly what you needed?
Teens - God is clearly at work in this reading. Where do you see God at work today?
Kids - How did the widow show her trust in God?
Responsorial- Psalm 146: 7, 8-9, 9-10
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
-Say a prayer of praise each evening before you go to bed this week - even if it’s a simple thank you to God.
The Second Reading- Hebrews 9:24-28
Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf. Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment, so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.
We receive the most perfect sacrifice in the offering that Jesus made of himself on the cross. He sacrificed his safety and and life for us, and he got eternal glory, honor and authority back. He promises that our sacrifices will be rewarded, too.
Jesus made a perfect sacrifice, taking the priestly role out of the temple and onto the cross. What is the most perfect sacrifice you can make in your life? What are the most profound sacrifices others have made for you.
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 12:38-44
In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds, "Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation." He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood."
The Gospel contains a warning and an example. Jesus was warning his disciples about those who use their position to gain honor for themselves and to take advantage of the poor to “devour the houses of widows.” While he was talking, a widow walked by the Temple and put a tiny bit of change into the collection. Jesus remarks that her offering meant more than the bags of money the rich people put in because it came from her poverty, rather than her excess. This is what we are called to do. We are urged to share from our poverty, whether that’s poverty of material wealth, time, energy … whatever we have to offer. We trust that whatever we give, God will take care of us as he did the widow of Zarephath and will honor our gifts as he did the widow in the Temple.
Adults - Do you know someone with the faith of the widow? How do you see them live their faith?
Teens - The widow in the first reading shared her very last food with Elijah, trusting in God. The widow from the Gospel shared her last money with the people of God, also trusting in God. These were vulnerable women — the ones that Jewish law said should be taken care of by the community — not the other way around. Would you be so courageous to share the last of your goods with someone who needs it? Would you consider that to be a foolish thing? If you could relate the last bit of flour or the last two coins to what you have, what would it be?
Kids -How do you share with your neighbors?