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Volume 5, Issue 126

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  • John N. Lupia
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2005
      Roman Catholic News

      Volume 5, Issue 126


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      * * *

      . Commentary on Psalm 126(127)
      . Papal Telegram on Behalf of Hurricane Victims

      * * *

      VATICAN CITY, SEP 1, 2005 (VIS) - Given below is the text of the telegram of condolence sent by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, in the Pope's name, to Archbishop Fernando Filoni, apostolic nuncio to Iraq, for the numerous pilgrims who died yesterday in a stampede on a bridge in Baghdad:
        "Deeply saddened by news of the terrible tragedy in Baghdad, near the Shiite mosque of al-Kazimiyah, which caused numerous victims among the pilgrims gathered for a commemorative celebration, the Supreme Pontiff charges Your Excellency to express to the civil and religious authorities, as well as to the families of the victims and the entire population, his feelings of sincere condolence. In entrusting to Divine Mercy those who died so dramatically, the Holy Father gives assurances of his prayers that a climate of reconciliation and reciprocal trust may finally be instated in that country, and he hopes that all believers in the One God will unite in deploring all forms of violence and cooperate for the return of harmony to the tormented land of Iraq."

      * * *

      VATICAN CITY, SEP 1, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for the month of September is: "That the right to religious freedom may be respected by the governments of all peoples."
        His mission intention is: "That the proclamation of the Christian message in the new Churches may ensure its thorough insertion into the existing cultures."

      * * *

      VATICAN CITY, SEP 1, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences ten prelates from the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate, on their "ad limina" visit:
          - Archbishop Jose Fernandez Arteaga of Chihuahua.
          - Bishop Renato Ascencio Leon of Ciudad Juarez.
          - Bishop Gerardo de Jesus Rojas Lopez of Nuevo Casas Grandes, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Hilario Chavez Joya M.N.M.
          - Bishop Jose Andres Corral Arredondo of Parral.
          - Bishop Rafael Sandoval Sandoval of Tarahumara
          - Archbishop Hector Gonzalez Martinez of Durango, accompanied by Archbishop emeritus Jose Trinidad Medel Perez.
          - Bishop Benjamin Jimenez Hernandez of Culiacan.
          - Bishop Mario Espinosa Contreras of Mazatlan.

      * * *

      VATICAN CITY, SEP 1, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Sivagangai, India, presented by Bishop Edward Francis, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Jebamalai Susaimanickam.

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      Commentary on Psalm 126(127)
      "Without the Lord, All Our Efforts Will Ultimately Fail"

      VATICAN CITY, AUG. 31, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave at today's general audience, which he dedicated to a reflection on Psalm 126(127).

      1. Psalm 126(127), just proclaimed, presents before our eyes a spectacle in movement: a house under construction, the city with its watchmen, family life, night watches, daily work, the little and great secrets of life. However, over all rises a decisive presence: that of the Lord who watches over the works of man, as the incisive beginning of the psalm suggests: "Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build" (verse 1).

      A solid society is born, indeed, from the commitment of all its members, but it has need of the blessing and support of that God who, unfortunately, is often excluded and ignored. The Book of Proverbs underlines the primacy of divine action for the well-being of a community and it does so in a radical way, affirming that "the blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it" (Proverbs 10:22).

      2. This sapiential psalm, fruit of meditation on the reality of everyday life, is built essentially on a contrast: without the Lord, in vain does one seek to erect a stable house, to build a secure city, to have one's labor fructify (see Psalm 126[127]:1-2). With the Lord, instead, one has prosperity and fruitfulness, a family rich in children and serene, a city well supplied and defended, free of constant worry and insecurity (see verses 3-5).

      The text begins with a reference to the Lord, portrayed as the builder of the house and watchman who watches over the city (see Psalm 120[121]:1-8). Man goes out in the morning to be diligent in his work to support his family and to serve the development of society. It is work that consumes his energies, making his brow sweat (see Genesis 3:19) the whole day (see Psalm 126[127]:2).

      3. Well, the psalmist does not hesitate to affirm that all this labor is useless if God is not beside the one who labors. And he affirms, on the contrary, that God even rewards his friends' sleep. So the psalmist wishes to exalt the primacy of divine grace, which gives consistency and value to human action, even though characterized by limitations and transience. In serene and faithful abandonment of our freedom to the Lord, our works also become solid, capable of lasting fruit. So our "sleep" becomes a blessed, God-given rest, destined to seal an activity that has meaning and consistency.

      4. At this point we move to the other scene outlined by our psalm. The Lord gives the gift of children, seen as a blessing and grace, a sign of life that continues and of the history of salvation moving toward new stages (see verse 3). The psalmist exalts, in particular, "the children born in one's youth": The father who has had children in his youth not only will see them in all their vigor, but they will also be his support in old age. So he will be able to face the future with security, having become like a warrior, armed with those sharp and victorious "arrows" that are his sons.

      The purpose of the image, taken from the culture of the time, is to celebrate security, stability, the strength of a numerous family, as is repeated in the subsequent Psalm 127(128), in which the portrait of a happy family is sketched.

      The last image portrays a father surrounded by his children, who is greeted with respect at the gate of the city, seat of public life. Procreation is, therefore, a gift bearing life and well-being for society. We are aware of it in our days in the face of nations that are deprived, by the demographic loss, of freshness, vitality and the future incarnated in children. Over all, however, rises the blessed presence of God, source of life and hope.

      5. Psalm 126(127) was often used by spiritual authors precisely to exalt this divine presence, decisive to proceed on the path of goodness and of the Kingdom of God. Thus the monk Isaiah (who died in Gaza in 491), recalling in his "Asceticon" (Logos 4,118) the example of the ancient patriarchs and prophets, teaches: "They placed themselves under the protection of God, imploring his assistance, without placing their trust in some work they accomplished. And God's protection was for them a fortified city, because they knew that without God's help they were impotent and their humility made them say with the Psalmist: 'Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain'" ("Recueil Ascétique," Abbey of Bellefontaine, 1976, pp. 74-75).

      [At the end of the audience, the Holy Father read the following summary in English:]

      Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

      Today I would like to reflect with you on Psalm 126, which reminds us that whatever we do or undertake can only bear fruit if it has God's blessing. Without the Lord, all our efforts will ultimately fail. With the Lord, we will find prosperity and happiness, our labors will bear fruit, and our lives will be secure.

      The Psalmist also reminds us that the gift of children is a particular blessing from God, a source of joy and a support, especially in old age. Children are also a blessing for society, giving it a special freshness and future. We can easily think of those societies today that are lacking in energy and hope because of the declining birth-rate. May the Lord's blessing bring them new life, new hope! And may we all recognize that only with God's help can our work succeed, for "if the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labor."

      [The Pope then greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

      I offer my heartfelt greetings to all the English-speaking visitors present in today's audience, including pilgrims from Malawi, Ireland, Malta, Australia and the United States of America. I extend a special welcome to the altar servers who have come from Malta with their families, to assist in St. Peter's Basilica. May your pilgrimage strengthen your faith and renew your love for the Lord, and may God's blessing be upon you all!

      * * *

      Papal Telegram on Behalf of Hurricane Victims

      VATICAN CITY, AUG. 31, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is the telegram of sympathy, for the victims of Hurricane Katrina that hit the Gulf Coast of the United States, sent by Benedict XVI through Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, to the country's civil and ecclesiastical authorities.

      Deeply saddened by the tragic consequences of the recent hurricane in the United States of America, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI assures all those affected of his closeness in prayer. The Holy Father commends the deceased to the loving mercy of Almighty God, and upon their grieving families he invokes divine blessings of strength and consolation. His Holiness likewise prays for the rescue workers and all involved in providing assistance to the victims of this disaster, encouraging them to persevere in their efforts to bring relief and support.

      Cardinal Angelo Sodano
      Secretary of State

      * * *

      VATICAN CITY, SEP 1, 2005 (VIS) - Following is a list of Pope Benedict's activities during the month of August. It includes the Angelus, general and private audiences, other pontifical acts, letters, messages, telegrams and other news. All activities are presented in chronological order under their respective headings.
      - 7: From Castelgandolfo, the Pope affirmed that thousands of young people were about to leave for, or were already on their way to, Cologne, Germany, to participate in the 20th World Youth Day, the theme of which is "We have come to worship Him." The Holy Father pointed out that with the forthcoming meeting in Cologne, the Church wished to re-propose sanctity to all young people of the third millennium.
      - 14: The Holy Father invited people not to be discouraged during life's harshest trials, and to rely with faith on divine assistance, following the example of the saints and learning from the witness of the martyrs.
      - 15: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Holy Father highlighted how this solemnity "represents for all believers a useful moment to meditate upon the true meaning and value of human existence, in the perspective of eternity." The Pope also expressed his spiritual closeness to "the dear people of Cyprus, particularly afflicted by the air accident which caused 121 deaths," including those of 48 children.
      - 28: In this last Angelus of the month of August, Benedict XVI affirmed that World Youth Day in Cologne "was truly an extraordinary ecclesial experience" and "a providential event of grace for the entire Church." The Pope also stressed that "where God does not occupy the first place and is not recognized and adored as the Supreme Good, the dignity of human beings is in danger."
      - 3: The Pope continued his catechesis on the Psalms and the Canticles. This Wednesday he commented on Psalm 124, "The Lord looks after His people."
      - 10: The Holy Father's catechesis was dedicated to Psalm 130, "Trust in God as a child trusts in its mother."
      - 17: The Holy Father spoke on Psalm 125, "The Lord, our joy and our hope."
      - 24: In today's general audience, the Pope recalled his recent apostolic trip to Cologne (August 18-21) for the 20th World Youth Day. Before concluding, he expressed his closeness to the people of central Europe, affected by various natural catastrophes.
      - 31: In his address in Italian, Benedict XVI resumed the cycle of catechesis on the Psalms and the Canticles, speaking on Psalm 126, "All labor is in vain without the Lord."
      - 1: Message to Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, Brazil, for the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the proclamation of "Nossa Senhora Aparecida" as patroness of Brazil.
      - 6: Letter to Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, for the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination.
      - 17: Telegram of condolence to Archbishop Francisco Perez Gonzalez, military ordinary of Spain, for the 17 officers and enlisted men of the Spanish Army who died in an air accident in Afghanistan.
      - 18: Telegram of condolence to Brother Aloys, leader of the Taize community, for the murder of the founder of the community, Brother Roger Schutz.
      - 18: Telegram of condolence to Archbishop Michel Meranville of Fort-de-France for the hundreds of victims of the crash in Venezuela of a plane travelling from Panama to Martinique.
      - 24: Telegram of condolence to Bishop Juan Luis Martin Buisson P.M.E., apostolic vicar of Pucallpa, Peru, for the victims of a plane crash in that country.
      - 27: Telegram of condolence to Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, France, for the victims, the majority of them children, of a fire in a building occupied by African immigrants.
      - 31: Telegram of condolence to the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of the U.S.A. for the victims of Hurricane Katrina which struck the southern area of the country.
      - 31: Letter to Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland, the Pope's special envoy to celebrations taking place in Gdansk, Poland, for the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the "Solidarnosc" trade union.
      - 15: Mass in the pontifical parish church of St. Thomas of Villanova in Castelgandolfo for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
      - 18: Apostolic trip (August 18-21) to Cologne, Germany, for the 20th World Youth Day (WYD).
      - 20: Message from young people of Baghdad to the Holy Father for WYD. More than 1,000 young Catholics of various rites, and a number of Orthodox, celebrating WYD in Baghdad, sent a message to the Pope.
      - 25: Presentation of letters of credence of Ivan Guillermo Rincon Urdaneta, new ambassador of Venezuela to the Holy See.
      - 26: Presentation of letters of credence of Geronimo Narvaez Torres, new ambassador of Paraguay to the Holy See.
      - 29: Presentation of letters of credence of Francisco Salazar Alvarado, new ambassador of Ecuador to the Holy See.
      - 24: In separate audiences at Castelgandolfo: Archbishop Francesco Canalini, apostolic nuncio to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein; Archbishop Ramiro Moliner Ingles, apostolic nuncio to Ethiopia and Djibouti, apostolic delegate to Somalia, and Holy See special representative to the African Union; Archbishop Luigi Ventura, apostolic nuncio to Canada; Archbishop Celestino Maggiore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York; Archbisop Luigi Pezzuto, apostolic nuncio to El Salvador and Belize; Archbishop Janusz Bolonek, apostolic nuncio to Uruguay; Archbishop Renzo Fratini, apostolic nuncio to Nigeria.
      - 25: Hoshyar Zebari, foreign minister of the Republic of Iraq, accompanied by an entourage; Kathryn Frances Colvin, ambassador of Great Britain, on a farewell visit; Bishop Vincenzo Paglia of Terni-Narni-Amelia, Italy, accompanied by Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio; Ivan Guillermo Rincon Urdaneta, ambassador of Venezuela, for the presentation of his letters of credence.
      - 26: Geronimo Narvaez Torres, ambassador of Paraguay, for the presentation of his letters of credence; Bishop Francesco Lambiasi, emeritus of Anagni-Alatri, Italy, general ecclesiastical assistant of Italian Catholic Action, accompanied by Luigi Alici, national president of the same association; Fr. Julian Carron, president of the Community and Liberation association.
      - 29: Francisco Salazar Alvarado, ambassador of Ecuador, for the presentation of his letters of credence; Bishop Juan Guillermo Lopez Soto of Cuauhtemoc-Madera, Mexico, on his "ad limina" visit.
      - 3: Resignation of Bishop Affonso Felippe Gregory of Imperatriz, Brazil, upon having reached the age limit. Appointment of his successor, Fr. Gilberto Pastana de Oliveira, pastor of the parish of Nossa Senhora de Fatima in the diocese of Santarem, Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Boim, Brazil, in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1985. Appointment of Fr. Mario Lucunde, rector of the major seminary of Benguela, Angola, as bishop of Menongue, Angola. The bishop-elect was born in Caimbambo, Angola, in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1985.
      - 4: Appointment of Msgr. George Antonysamy, counsellor at the apostolic nunciature to Jordan, as apostolic nuncio to Guinea, Liberia and Gambia, at the same time elevated to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Tiruchy, India, in 1952 and ordained to the priesthood in 1980.
      - 5: Appointment of Fr. Ramon Alfredo Dus, rector of the major seminary of Parana, Argentina, as auxiliary of Reconquista, Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in San Lorenzo, Argentina, in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1980.
      - 10: Appointment of Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland, as special papal envoy to celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the founding of the "Solidarnosc" trade union, in Gdansk, Poland, on August 31, 2005.
      - 19: Resignation of Bishop Juan Carlos Maccarone of Santiago del Estero, Argentina, in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law.
      - 22: Appointment of Fr. Jean Legrez O.P., prior of the Dominican convent of Marseille, France, as bishop of Saint-Claude, France. The bishop-elect was born in Paris, France, in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1976.
      - 24: Resignation of Bishop Natalino Pescarolo of Cuneo and of Fossano, Italy, upon having reached the age limit. Appointment of Fr. Giuseppe Cavallotto, rector of the Pontifical Urban University, as bishop of Cuneo and of Fossano, combined "in persona Episcopi." The bishop-elect was born in Noche di Vinchio, Italy, in 1940 and ordained to the priesthood in 1964. Resignation of Bishop Agostinho Jose Sartori O.F.M. Cap. of Palmas-Francesco Beltrao, Brazil, upon having reached the age limit. Appointment of his successor, Fr. Jose Antonio Peruzzo, pastor of the cathedral of Cascavel, Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Cascavel in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1985. Appointment of Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Tot, apostolic nuncio to Benin and Togo, as apostolic nuncio to Chad. Appointment of Fr. Michael A. Blume S.V.D., under-secretary at the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, as apostolic nuncio to Benin and Togo, at the same time elevated to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in South Bend, U.S.A., in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1972. Appointment of Archbishop William Joseph Levada, emeritus of San Francisco, U.S.A., and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as member of the Congregation for Bishops.
      - 25: Resignation of Bishop Magnus Mwalunyungu of Tunduru-Masasi, Tanzania, upon having reached the age limit. Succession of Coadjutor Bishop Paul Msemwa.
      - 27: Resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Johannes Antonius de Kok O.F.M. of Utrecht, Netherlands, upon having reached the age limit. Resignation of Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea, apostolic nuncio to Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen and Qatar, and apostolic delegate to the Arabian Peninsula, upon having reached the age limit. Appointment of Bishop Mounged el-Hachem of Baalbek - Deir el-Ahmar of the Maronites, Lebanon, as apostolic nuncio to Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen and Qatar, and apostolic delegate to the Arabian Peninsula, at the same time elevated to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in el-Akoura, Lebanon, in 1934, ordained a priest in 1959 and appointed a bishop in 1995. Appointment of Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, apostolic nuncio to Paraguay, as apostolic nuncio to Turkey and Turkmenistan.

      * * *


      CHAPTER 5: Immediate Renunciation (pages 16-21)

      "Thus whether the summons to holiness demands a change of state or not, the demand to mortify the natural man is absolute." (page 17)

      Dom Hubert van Zeller points out our need to resolve abandoning occupations that do not help us advance or progress in the spiritual life towards God and holiness. Indulgence in earthly pleasure is not evil in itself. One can attain holiness living in the world properly focused on Christ. The unbridled "need" to indulge in earthly pleasures is a sign that the soul is in serious need to mortify his senses rather than be ruled or controlled by them. Over indulgence of life's pleasures takes us out of focus and fills us with distraction in addition to consuming our time and spiritual energy on frivolous things that do not advance toward Christ, but rather, draw us away.

      "The world supplies, and religious rorders supply, a rich variety of recreations. It is for the soul to find out which, for him, are necessary and which are idle. The test will lie in his honest reading of the word 're-creation'. Recreations which do not meana renewal of spiritual energy are dissipations. If the object is to re-create, it is no compensation to re-distribute. By a false use of recreation, interests and appetites which have been mortified at the first conversion are found to revive and multiply: they become newly directed towards a variety of secondary ends." (page 18)

      "To be pledged to the service of God is to be pledged to simplicity of life. If those who so pledge themselves neglect to canalize their interests, they must inevitably feel the need for frivolous indulgence. Human nature, never quite sure about happiness, craves anyway to be entertained. We are prepared to shelve the question of true joy so long as we can be kept amused. But if the supply of entertainment is cutt off, we find that human nature is quite satisfied to get along with the more lasting satisfactions provided by work. It is for the man of prayer to discover interests which will act as substitutes for amusements." (page 19)

      Keeping our eyes fixed on Christ we learn that indulging in work and prayer should be our main meat of the day rather than amusements and earthly pleasures. Once we have spent and consumed ourselves for Christ, a little rest and relaxion honoring Him will transform simple pleasures into positive recreation renewing us to serve Him better the following day.

      Dom Hubert van Zeller, OSB, The Choice of God. (Springfield, Illinois:
      Templegate, reprint 1963) ISBN : 87243-047-2

      * * *


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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text
      <http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/090105.htm> (English)

      <http://www.alingilalyawmi.org> (Arabic)

      Biblica Online

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      Monks of Adoration:

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      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

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      Color Photograph of Mama Gili, Biography and Prayers

      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 1)

      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 2)

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      10. Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ. English Trans. Online

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      * * *


      When the Eucharistic host is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary,
      I offer you the crucified Body of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus
      Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for
      the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

      When the Eucharistic chalice is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary,
      I offer you the precious Blood of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus
      Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for
      the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

      * * *


      "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium
      approaches unity among all Christians of the various confessions will
      increase until they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio
      Millennio Adveniente, 16

      "Keep close to the Mother of God as if you were the child Jesus
      clinging to her robes while walking down a dusty and busy crowded
      street and you'll always be safe."

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