Papa Farewell

Our Gratitude- Letter to Our Most Holy Father

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

The Apostolic Palace

The Vatican City State

February 25, 2013

Most Holy Father,

Even as we are saddened by your departure from the throne of Saint Peter, we trust your judgment and have complete assurance that you are acting for the good of the Church. At this moment we wish to express our gratitude for your self-sacrificing ministry as the Chief Shepherd of the Church, and for your entire life of service to God’s People.

Tomorrow night we will gather as a parish to offer a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for your ministry as Supreme Pontiff. To this Mass we add our personal prayers and Lenten penances for your intentions. We beg the heavenly Father to grant you health, long life, and a peaceful conclusion to your remaining years on earth.

Even as we now begin to pray that the Holy Spirit may guide the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church in their supreme duty of choosing a worthy successor to your Holiness, we renew our love and obedience to you, the Vicar of Christ on earth, and beg you, of your paternal goodness, in these final hours of your Pontificate, to grant the members of our parish your Apostolic Blessing. On behalf of all my parishioners, with filial affection, I remain,

Your obedient son in Christ,

(The Rev. Msgr.) Douglas A. Raun

Pastor

St. Thomas Aquinas Parish

Rio Rancho, N.M.

Speak the Perfect One in Me

You spoke
And matter came to be.
Beauty and wisdom
Reigned over form,
And substance served
Your Thought.

You ruled the spheres and firmament
To create both void and fullness.
Your creation dawned in darkness,
And You let there be light.

First and last and all in between
Found a  place in Time.
You spoke forth Man
And, in my time, me.

You said,
"Be perfect
As I am perfect,"
And set free the human heart,
That it might know,
And love,
And serve Thee.
Yet will resisted service
And loved naught but itself.
"Tortuous and beyond remedy",
We hid from Thee.

In Time, You spoke, the Cure.
Announcing to the Virgin,
And by a Star
And angels herald,
Saving throughout creation,
Twisted hearts.
Jordan’s waters, purifying
By the Holy to make men holy,
Love made manifest
By descending Dove
Again You spoke,
"This is my Son."

Now, bowing will,
Longing in Your Christ,
Receive me as  son to Thee,
Anoint with Healing Balm,
Redeeming accursed Fall,
That perfect I, too,
May, please Thee, be.

When You speak
Life comes to be.
Speak now, the Perfect,
That I may perfect be
And, at long last, love Thee.

©2013 Joann Nelander

The Fear of the Lord”

From a treatise on the psalms by Saint Hilary, bishop


The meaning of “the fear of the Lord”

Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. Notice that when Scripture speaks of the fear of the Lord it does not leave the phrase in isolation, as if it were a complete summary of faith. No, many things are added to it, or are presupposed by it. From these we may learn its meaning and excellence. In the book of Proverbs Solomon tells us: If you cry out for wisdom and raise your voice for understanding, if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord. We see here the difficult journey we must undertake before we can arrive at the fear of the Lord.

We must begin by crying out for wisdom. We must hand over to our intellect the duty of making every decision. We must look for wisdom and search for it. Then we must understand the fear of the Lord.

“Fear” is not to be taken in the sense that common usage gives it. Fear in this ordinary sense is the trepidation our weak humanity feels when it is afraid of suffering something it does not want to happen. We are afraid, or made afraid, because of a guilty conscience, the rights of someone more powerful, an attack from one who is stronger, sickness, encountering a wild beast, suffering evil in any form. This kind of fear is not taught: it happens because we are weak. We do not have to learn what we should fear: objects of fear bring their own terror with them.

But of the fear of the Lord this is what is written: Come, my children, listen to me, I shall teach you the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord has then to be learned because it can be taught. It does not lie in terror, but in something that can be taught. It does not arise from the fearfulness of our nature; it has to be acquired by obedience to the commandments, by holiness of life and by knowledge of the truth.

For us the fear of God consists wholly in love, and perfect love of God brings our fear of him to its perfection. Our love for God is entrusted with its own responsibility: to observe his counsels, to obey his laws, to trust his promises. Let us hear what Scripture says: And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord your God and walk in his ways and love him and keep his commandments with your whole heart and your whole soul, so that it may be well for you?

The ways of the Lord are many, though he is himself the way. When he speaks of himself he calls himself the way and shows us the reason why he called himself the way: No one can come to the Father except through me.

We must ask for these many ways, we must travel along these many ways, to find the one that is good. That is, we shall find the one way of eternal life through the guidance of many teachers. These ways are found in the law, in the prophets, in the gospels, in the writings of the apostles, in the different good works by which we fulfill the commandments. Blessed are those who walk these ways in the fear of the Lord.

– See more at: http://divineoffice.org/#sthash.tNk2UOJN.dpuf

Pope Benedict XVI -His Final Sunday Blessing in St. Peter’s Square:

As I Am, Lord–MP3-Fr. Raymond

Because I am obnoxious, forgive me Lord.
Because I am dishonest, forgive me Lord.
Because I am egotistical, forgive me Lord.
Because I am undisciplined, forgive me Lord.
Because I am weak, forgive me Lord.
Because I am impure, forgive me Lord.
Because I am arrogant, forgive me Lord.
Because I am self-centered, forgive me Lord,
Because I am pompous, forgive me Lord.
Because I am insincere, forgive me Lord.
Because I am unchaste, forgive me Lord.
Because I am grasping, forgive me Lord.
Because I am judgmental, forgive me Lord.
Because I am impatient, forgive me Lord.
Because I am shallow, forgive me Lord.
Because I am inconsistent, forgive me Lord.
Because I am unfaithful, forgive me Lord.
Because I am immoral, forgive me Lord.
Because I am ungrateful, forgive me Lord.
Because I am disobedient, forgive me Lord.
Because I am selfish, forgive me Lord.
Because I am lukewarm, forgive me Lord.
Because I am slothful, forgive me Lord.
Because I am unloving, forgive me Lord.
Because I am uncommitted, forgive me Lord.
Because I am sinful, forgive me Lord.

Because I am loved by You, thank you Lord!

By Father Raymond A. Pavlick, Paterson, N.J.

As I Am. Lord MP3 recording by Richard Garnaut.

Jesus of the Cross,

Jesus of the Cross,
Jesus of the Suffering,
Jesus of the Dying,
Hanging from Your Cross
Before our eyes,
Hanging in Your Suffering,
Bleeding out Your Love,
Hanging in Your Dying
Above the world,
First Born Son and New beginning,
Birthing in the hearts of the Children of Man,
Children for God.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander All rights reserved

Eclipse of Reason- Video-Charlton Heston Introduction

Eclipse of Reason- Video-Charlton Heston Introduction

To Your Silence

Here I am Lord
I have brought the world and my day with me
What a motley crew arrayed before You
But not in vain.

We come with a clatter
My noise, our noise,
To the Silence.
The deafening roar
To the hallowed stillness.

Whisper in the chamber of our meeting
Where we tent with You,
Hope for the dying,
Faith to the listening,
Love to the willing.

Rend Your Heart and Not Your Garments

“Today, in fact, many are ready to “rend their garments” over scandals and injustices – which are of course caused by others – but few seem willing to act according to their own “heart”, their own conscience and their own intentions, by allowing the Lord transform, renew and convert them.

This “return to me with all your heart,” then, is a reminder that not only involves the individual but the entire community. Again we heard in the first reading: “Blow the horn in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly! Gather the people, sanctify the congregation; Assemble the elderly; gather the children, even infants nursing at the breast; Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her bridal tent (vv.  15-16).

The community dimension is an essential element in faith and Christian life. Christ came “to gather the children of God who are scattered into one” (Jn. 11:52). The “we” of the Church is the community in which Jesus brings us together (cf. Jn. 12:32), faith is necessarily ecclesial. And it is important to remember and to live this during Lent: each person must be aware that the penitential journey cannot be faced alone, but together with many brothers and sisters in the Church…”

 

“The Christian life consists in continuously scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back down, bearing the love and strength drawn from him, so as to serve our brothers and sisters with God’s own love.”

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS
BENEDICT XVI
FOR LENT 2013

From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council

From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council

Man’s deeper questionings

The world of today reveals itself as at once powerful and weak, capable of achieving the best or the worst. There lies open before it the way to freedom or slavery, progress or regression, brotherhood or hatred. In addition, man is becoming aware that it is for himself to give the right direction to forces that he himself has awakened, forces that can be his master or his servant. He therefore puts questions to himself.

The tensions disturbing the world of today are in fact related to a more fundamental tension rooted in the human heart. In man himself many elements are in conflict with each other. On one side, he has experience of his many limitations as a creature. On the other, he knows that there is no limit to his aspirations, and that he is called to a higher kind of life.

Many things compete for his attention, but he is always compelled to make a choice among them. and to renounce some. What is more, in his weakness and sinfulness he often does what he does not want to do, and fails to do what he would like to do. In consequence, he suffers from a conflict within himself, and this in turn gives rise to so many great tensions in society.

Very many people, infected as they are with a materialistic way of life, cannot see this dramatic state of affairs in all its clarity, or at least are prevented from giving thought to it because of the unhappiness that they themselves experience.

Many think that they can find peace in the different philosophies that are proposed.

Some look for complete and genuine liberation for man from man’s efforts alone. They are convinced that the coming kingdom of man on earth will satisfy all the desires of his heart.

There are those who despair of finding any meaning in life: they commend the boldness of those who deny all significance to human existence in itself, and seek to impose a total meaning on it only from within themselves.

But in the face of the way the world is developing today, there is an ever increasing number of people who are asking the most fundamental questions or are seeing them with a keener awareness: What is man? What is the meaning of pain, of evil, of death, which still persist in spite of such great progress? What is the use of those successes, achieved at such a cost? What can man contribute to society, what can he expect from society? What will come after this life on earth?

The Church believes that Christ died and rose for all, and can give man light and strength through his Spirit to fulfill his highest calling; his is the only name under heaven in which men can be saved.

So too the Church believes that the center and goal of all human history is found in her Lord and Master.

The Church also affirms that underlying all changes there are many things that do not change; they have their ultimate foundation in Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and for ever.

Father Fessio’s Pope Benedict | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Father Fessio’s Pope Benedict XVI

A Way With Words

Father Fessio soon learned that the same luminous clarity enlivened Father Ratzinger’s published works.

“Back in 1968, when he published the Introduction to Christianity, the prose was already there,” said Father Fessio, referring to a work that remains a key textbook for graduate theological studies.

When the Catechism of the Catholic Church was completed in 1992, during the pontificate of Blessed John Paul II, Father Fessio reviewed the text and immediately noticed that it bore signs of Joseph Ratzinger’s distinctive ability to synthesize challenging material. At the time, then-Cardinal Ratzinger was the president of the catechism’s Preparatory Commission, which worked for six years to complete the project.

“When I first received the Catechism, I spent a whole retreat meditating on the Table of Contents — it was so beautiful. The Catechism wasn’t just a summary or a book of lists, it presented the faith as an organic whole,” said Father Fessio.

After his mentor was elected pope, Catholics across the globe had their first taste of Benedict’s literary gifts.

“Love is possible, and we are able to practice it because we are created in the image of God. To experience love and in this way to cause the light of God to enter into the world — this is the invitation I would like to extend with the present encyclical,” wrote Pope Benedict XVI in Deus Caritas Est, his first encyclical.

“He is like a painter using his palette to produce a portrait,” said Father Fessio, noting that the Pope also managed to work his magic in collaborative synodal documents as well as his encyclicals.

“He uses simple images — light and dark. You notice the same thing when you open up The Lord of the Rings and begin reading a paragraph: The majority of words are one syllable, and they convey profound thoughts and emotions.”

Thus, when Pope Benedict was enthroned in 2005, “he talked about the pallium, and, when he spoke to the cardinals, he noted that red is for martyrdom.”

Same Man, Different Settings

Over the course of more than 40 years, Father Fessio has stayed in touch with his former professor, meeting with other students from Regensburg for annual gatherings and collaborating on a variety of projects. During that time, the priest said, he has witnessed very little change in the man who will resign from the Petrine office on Feb. 28.

“He was always a theologian of the Church,” he said. “I saw the same man doing the same thing in different settings. He is a faithful servant, and Blessed John Paul II relied on him a good deal.

“But look how the liturgy changed as soon as Benedict was made pope. Chant was introduced. It means that he was not in favor of the kind of liturgies that Pope John Paul II celebrated, but he accepted it. And when he was pope, he acted differently.”

Indeed, while media commentators still dredge up Cardinal Ratzinger’s nickname of “God’s Rottweiler” from his days as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Father Fessio has “never heard him raise his voice. He was always a listener, even at the CDF.”

“I wouldn’t call him shy; I would call him reserved. He is not someone who would enjoy a cocktail party,” said Father Fessio.

“Yes, he is firm. He has tremendous confidence because he has confidence in Christ. Friendship in Christ: It is the bass note in all his work.”

The resulting spiritual serenity sustained him amid the tumultuous decades following the Second Vatican Council, when the German cardinal sparked animosity by insisting that the Council did not constitute a break with the continuity of Catholic Tradition.

Father Fessio recalled a remark the Pope made during a meeting some time after his election.

Another Catholic publisher asked the Holy Father why only Ignatius Press was publishing his works. Father Fessio recalled  that the Pope calmly responded, “Because when no one else cared, they published my works.’”

When Father Fessio learned that the Pope would resign during Lent, he quickly grasped the significance of his timing.

“He was born during Holy Week,” he said. “And I am confident he chose the time for his resignation because he wanted the next pope as an ‘Easter’ pope, with time for reflection.”

Added Father Fessio, “His life begins and ends with the Paschal mystery.”

Joan Frawley Desmond is the Register’s senior editor.

Read more: Pope Benedict | Daily News | NCRegister.com.

Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet

 

BY Matthew Archbold

Composer Gavin Bryars was living in London working on a documentary about
people living in poverty. During the recording, a number of people being
interviewed broke into drunken maudlin ballads and even loud opera. But one
old man, who, according to Bryars, was not drinking, sang a small verse of a
religious song called "Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet."

He sang it without irony. He sang it seemingly in childlike faith despite
his dire circumstances.

The recording of the old man was never used in the film and it was returned
to Bryars. When Bryars listened to it at home he found something beautiful
in the old man’s singing. He improvised a simple accompaniment to the verse
that built around the man’s singing. Shortly after that he took the tape to
the recording studio where he worked. He copied the loop of song onto a
continuous reel. Knowing this would take time he left the studio with the
song playing to grab a cup of coffee.

Out into the studio floated the old man’s words, haunting
and faith-filled:

Jesus blood never failed me yet-

never failed me yet

Jesus blood never failed me yet –

there’s one thing I know

because he loves me so

Jesus blood never failed me yet –

When Bryars returned he noticed something odd. "When I came back I found
the normally lively room unnaturally subdued," said Bryars. "People were
moving about much more slowly than usual and a few were sitting alone,
quietly weeping."

He didn’t understand why until he realized the tape had been playing the
entire time he’d been gone and was causing a strong reaction in people.
"This convinced me of the emotional power of the music and of the
possibilities offered by adding a simple, though gradually evolving,
orchestral accompaniment that respected the tramp’s nobility and simple
faith," he said.

Bryars added a swelling orchestral accompaniment around the man’s voice and
recorded it on Brian Eno’s label in 1975. Since then, the song has moved
millions. Including me.

I can tell you that the first time I heard it I was picking up my brother
Kevin from the train station. Going through chemo at the time and suffering
seizures at odd times he wasn’t able to drive so the family would drive him
in to work or the train on a daily basis. As I lived in Philadelphia and
only came up during the summers, I was glad to help when I could.

So there I was waiting for him and flipping through radio stations when I
heard this old man’s warbling voice. In the beginning I couldn’t even
understand what he was saying but it soon had me transfixed. My brother came
off the train and climbed in the car. Normally, he launched right in with
jokes but he heard the song. We both sat in the car for twenty minutes
listening. We didn’t talk. We didn’t drive. We just listened. We shared that
moment.

So now I share it with you.

A sad note, the tramp (as he came to be known) died before he could hear
what Bryars had done with his singing. I find it beautiful as millions of
others have. I’ll let you decide.

The first three minutes are completely without music and then the
orchestration slowly builds around it.

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/the-true-story-behind-one-of-the-strangest-and-most-beautiful-hymns-ive-eve/

Faces and places of the papal transition

Longest Round of Applause in History–video

For the Pope – Longest Round of Applause in History

Group to honor Pope Benedict with longest round of applause in history

– An Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

iPieta- An Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

An Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus O divine Heart of Jesus, grant, I beseech Thee, eternal rest to the souls in purgatory, final grace to all who are to die today, true repentance to sinners, the light of faith to pagans, Thy blessing to me and to all who are mine. To Thee, O most loving Heart of Jesus, do I therefore commend all these souls, and for them I offer all Thy merits, together with the merits of the most Blessed Mother and of all the saints and angels, and also together with all the Sacrifices of the Mass, the Holy Communions, the prayers and good works that are made today throughout the entire Christian world.

What to Do When You Get Pulled Over by the Police | The Art of M

What to Do When You Get Pulled Over by the Police | The Art of M

pulledover

What to Do When You Get Pulled Over by the Police

Acknowledge the officer by turning on flashers. To let the officer know that you’ve seen his lights and that you plan on pulling over, turn on your emergency flashers. Phil recommends you do this if you think you’ll need to drive a distance before you can find a safe place to pull over.

Pull over to a safe area. Typically, you want to pull over to the right side of the road. When looking for a spot to pull over to, think “safety first” for both you and the officer. Phil recommends looking for an area with a wide shoulder so passing traffic isn’t a hazard. If it’s nighttime, look for place that’s well lit if possible. That will help put the officer at ease. Parking lots and well-lit side streets are other safe places to pull over to.

“If you need to travel a short distance to pull over, do so at a slower pace than you normally drive,” Phil recommends. You don’t want the officer to think you’re trying to make a getaway. Also, if you need to cross multiple lanes to pull over to the right-hand side of the road, do so safely.

Stay in the car. If you get out of the car as soon as you stop, it may give the impression to the officer that you’re going to be aggressive or you have something to hide in the car. Just keep your bum in your seat.

Turn off engine, roll down window, and turn on your dome lights. As soon as you come to a stop, turn off your engine and roll down your window. If it’s dark out, turn on your dome light so the officer can see what’s going on inside the vehicle as he approaches.

Stay calm. It’s common to get amped up whenever you get pulled over. Take some deep breaths and relax. Unless you’ve done something outright criminal (i.e. driving intoxicated, possessing illegal drugs, etc.) there’s nothing to be nervous about. The worst that can happen during a routine traffic stop is that you’ll have to pay a fine. Oh, and your insurance will probably go up. Pretty sucky, but not the end of the world.  If it helps, it’s good to remind yourself that the officer is probably nervous too.

Stay still and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Keep your hands resting on the wheel and remain still as the officer approaches your vehicle. You don’t want to give him or her any reason to believe you’re a threat.

If you plan on fighting your ticket, keep answers short and don’t directly admit wrongdoing. Everything you say to an officer is admissible in court, so if you plan on fighting your ticket, Andy suggests not saying anything that indicates you are guilty. Officers will typically ask questions to get some sort of admission out of you when they first walk up to your window. For example, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” Don’t say, “I was speeding, sir.” Simply say, “No” or, “I don’t know.”

But sometimes, saying “I’m sorry” works. However, Andy states that sometimes it doesn’t pay to be coy like this with the officer, and that it’s better to just fess up and apologize. “If you accidentally roll through a stop sign and immediately apologize, they may let you off with a warning.” If you don’t plan on fighting your ticket, just say, “I’m sorry, officer. I was imagining Teddy Roosevelt with Sasquatch in a headlock. I’ll pay more attention next time.” I’ve gotten off with just a warning a few times by saying those words, showing the officer some courtesies, and being polite

Wait for the officer to ask for your documents. Don’t try to expedite the process by getting your license and registration ready while the officer approaches your car. For all he knows you could be reaching for a gun or trying to hide some sort of incriminating evidence. Wait until he or she gets to the window and asks for your documents.

Move deliberately. When you do reach to get your license and registration, do so deliberately. “A quick reach into the glove compartment for your insurance paperwork looks the same as a quick reach into your glove compartment for a weapon,” says Phil. If your wallet is in a gym bag in your backseat, let the officer know before you turn around and rummage for it. Quick Tip: Try to keep your glove compartment relatively organized, and your documents together, so that when you pull the box open, you don’t have to frantically sort through 20-year-old maps and wads of receipts to find your registration.

If you’re carrying a gun, let the officer know. Some states have laws that require concealed carry owners to inform officers that they’re carrying a gun anytime they get pulled over. These are called “must inform” states. Officers are allowed to ask for and hold the weapon for the duration of the stop.

Even if you don’t live in a “must inform” state, as a courtesy to the officer, you might want to disclose the fact that you’re carrying. Nothing puts an officer on red alert like seeing a “print” of a gun through a motorist’s clothes.

Return hands to the steering wheel. After you’ve handed the officer your paperwork, return your hands to the steering wheel. “It keeps them visible to the officer,” says Phil.

Be civil. Be polite and respectful in your communications with the officer. Yes, it sucks to get a ticket, but calling the officer names, threatening him, and being rude won’t get you anywhere. In fact, it could make things worse. If the officer happens to be a woman, refer to her as “officer” or “ma’am,” not “sweetheart” or “honey.” She’s an officer of the law, show some respect.

You don’t have to consent to a search. In order to search your vehicle without your consent, an officer needs probable cause – maybe he smells something in the car or sees a bottle on your seat. If he doesn’t have probable cause but wants to search your car anyway, he’ll need your consent and may ask you something like, “You don’t mind me taking a look in your car, do you?” Even if you haven’t done anything illegal, it’s usually a good idea to exercise your Fourth Amendment right in this situation and decline the search. “While you may believe you have nothing to hide, you never know what could come up.  Maybe a friend left an empty beer can in your back seat during a tailgate party, and the officer will charge you with an open container violation,” Andy explains. Politely decline the search by saying, “I don’t consent to a search, officer,” loud enough so it gets on the police recorder. That’s it.

Don’t argue. “The side of the road is not the place to argue a charge,” says Phil. If you want to contest the ticket, you can do so in court and in front of a judge.

Sign the citation. If the officer decides to issue a citation, he’ll ask you to sign it. Sign it. It’s not an admission of guilt, it’s just recognition that you’ve received the citation and that you promise to either 1) pay the fine or 2) show up to court on the designated date. “A signature on a citation in most jurisdictions is in lieu of you posting a cash bond. Posting a cash bond generally consists of a trip to the nearest jail or judge and may include a booking process and fingerprinting. It is always easier to sign the ticket,” says Phil.

Be safe when merging back into traffic. Phil recommends taking your time to store your belongings before you re-enter traffic. “If you’re upset, collect yourself before driving away.” When you’re ready, turn on your signal and merge back into traffic. This time, avoid any mental fight simulations involving Teddy Roosevelt and Sasquatch until you get home and are safely ensconced in your man chair. Stay safe out there.

Got any traffic stop stories? Any other tips you should follow when getting pulled over by the police? Share them with us in the comments!

Thank you to Phil and Andy for offering their advice for this article.anliness. READ MORE…….

Whispers in the Loggia: At B16′s Window, A Big “Thank You”… While Behind the Walls, The “Showcase” Begins

 

Whispers in the Loggia: At B16′s Window, A Big “Thank You”… While Behind the Walls, The “Showcase” Begins.

Drawing a crowd at least four or five times its normal size, a throng estimated at well over 100,000 people swarmed St Peter’s Square today for the Pope’s noontime Angelus – the next-to-last Sunday greeting from B16 before his resignation takes effect in 11 days.

Unlike the Wednesday Audience, no tickets are required for the pontiff’s weekly appearance at his study window. It was reported yesterday that the lone remaining mid-week gathering – on the 27th – has already seen 35,000 requests for tickets, and will be moved into the Square from its usual winter venue inside the 7,000-seat Paul VI Hall.

(On-demand video of the gathering is available through the Holy See’s streaming HD player.)

Keeping his usual focus on the day’s Gospel, the departing Popespoke of this First Sunday of Lent’s traditional account of Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the desert.

Quoting his favorite saint – Augustine, the subject of his doctoral dissertation in theology as a young priest, and a figure on whom he’s sought to model himself – Benedict reminded the crowd that “Jesus took our temptations on himself to give us his victory over them.”read more………..

A spotlight on ‘the most interesting man in the church’ | National Catholic Reporter

A spotlight on ‘the most interesting man in the church’ | National Catholic Reporter.

While working on his doctorate at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Ravasi spent time in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Jordan on archeological digs, and later served as prefect of the prestigious Ambrosian Library in Milan. Among those who know Ravasi, his penchant for literary allusion is legendary; rarely can he talk for more than five minutes without citing wildly diverse sources such as St. Augustine, Isaac Newton, Vladimir Nabakov, and the Russian Orthodox liturgy.

Despite his prodigious learning, Ravasi has a strong popular touch. On Friday night in Rome he delivered some reflections on Albert Camus at the Jesuit-run Church of Gesù, which struggled to contain an overflow crowd.

Ravasi was scheduled to lead this week’s retreat, delivering a series of spiritual reflections on the Psalms, long before Benedict announced his historic decision to renounce the papacy. The timing, however, means that Ravasi now has a rare opportunity to make a final impression on the other cardinals of the Roman Curia, who are certain to be among the kingmakers in the impending conclave. Moreover, his words will certainly make the rounds in the form of written summaries and rebroadcasts on Vatican Radio, giving the whole world an indirect week-long look at the man who could be pope.

Unjust Use of Force, Not Really A Choice | Faith Family and Freedom

Unjust Use of Force, Not Really A Choice | Faith Family and Freedom.

A pregnant 16 year old Texas teen has filed a law suit against her parents claiming they are verbally and physically threatening her to get an abortion.  ABC News reported that the Texas Center for Defense of Life filed a lawsuit on her behalf stating that her parents “are violating her federal constitutional rights to carry her child to term by coercing her to have an abortion with both verbal and physical threats and harassment.” 

“The Holy Spirit Doesn’t Go on Vacation”

Mercy Triumphs!–VIDEO

Mercy Triumphs! As seen on T.V. « Archdiocese of Washington.

Thus, in the commercial the man considers all Satan’s trinkets against the glories of mercy and he chooses mercy. He know the cost, but considers it acceptable if he can but have mercy for himself, without the Devil as a partner. How about you?

A final detail worth noting in the commercial: At the bottom of the proposed contract held out by Satan is a backward Chi Rho (The Greek abbreviation for “Christ”) and the Latin Inscription Sigilla posuere magister diabolus et daemones (Master seal of the Devil and demons. The backward initials recalls an image of the anti-Christ. And the Latin is more literally means “A seal to set the Devil and demons (as) Master.”

In the end that is the choice. You will have the master your choose. And of this the Lord reminds we must choose one and only one:

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matt 6:24)

Whose coins are in your pocket and whose seal is on them? The choice is yours. You are free to choose, but you are not free NOT to choose. You can have it all now, or store it up bravely for later:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt 6:19-21)

Why not be Benz (brave) and choose Mercedes (mercy)?

In the end the Scripture is fulfilled for the man which says, Resist the Devil and he will flee (James 4:2)

Lent

Lent is about Love
Recognizing our lack and need.
Lent is about Spring,
Becoming fertile ground for Christ’s seed.
Lent is about Life,
Allowing the sprout to be freed.
Lent is about creation,
Imaging Christ in love and deed.

©2013 Joann Nelander

Lenten Springtime

Enjoy the spring time of life
And live in wonder.
Enjoy in awe the Love
God lavishes upon the lowly.
Enjoy the ever fresh image of Christ
Imprinted in our souls.

It is Lent
Enjoy your food,
Receive it from the hand of God.
Abhor sin and cease to feed on fodder,
That you might have fullness
And your choice portion
At Heaven’s banquet.

©2013 Joann Nelander

Suddenly in Time

Eons marked in time, an ocean drop by drop
Faith tested to the nth, suddenly to be here
Sand through an hour glass, seeds promising the crop
Eons marked in time, an ocean drop by drop
Cathartic rhythms purging like the wild hop
You wanted wine, we gave you beer
Eons marked in time, an ocean drop by drop
Faith tested to the nth, suddenly to be here

©2013 Joann Nelander

Consolation of Eve

This painting is so consoling, I just have to share it again since Lent brings us closer to our Savior.  He comes to save Fallen Man, and with such a gentle hand.

“Virgin Mary Consoles Eve”


Crayon and pencil by Sr. Grace Remington, OCSO
Copyright 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey

Mother Eve, waiting long,
Your bones resting in the earth,
At Adam’s side,
From which you were taken,
Waiting, waiting for the Woman.

Sustained in weary life by a Promise.
Enduring the grave,
Counting the centuries,
Waiting for Good News.
The Virgin is with Child. Rejoice!

©2011 Joann Nelander All rights reserved

Free Speech, Censorship and American Democracy–Robert Spencer- Video

Lightning comes down from heaven.

The Sacred Page: Benedict XVI resigns and lightning comes down from heaven

The Sacred Page: Benedict XVI resigns and lightning comes down from heaven.

The Pope’s Decision – Peggy Noonan’s Blog – WSJ.

The Pope’s Decision – Peggy Noonan’s Blog – WSJ.

We will be hearing a great deal of speculation the coming weeks. We should keep in mind that it doesn’t matter all that much what insiders say about who might have an inside track. Nobody thought it would be Karol Wojtylwa in 1978, just as nobody thought his predecessor, John Paul I, would die 33 days into his papacy. Almost nobody thought Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—too old, too conservative—would succeed John Paul II in 2005.