Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Volume 6, Issue 43

Expand Messages
  • John N. Lupia
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2006
      Roman Catholic News

      Volume 6, Issue 43

      THURSDAY 30 MARCH 2006

      * * *


      * * *


      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, MAR 30, 2006 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received a group of representatives from the European parliamentary group of the Popular Party on the occasion of the Study Days on Europe, an initiative organized by the group.

      The Pope began his English-language address to the parliamentarians by recalling how "Roman Pontiffs have always devoted particular attention to this continent; today's audience is a case in point, and it takes its place in the long series of meetings between my predecessors and political movements of Christian inspiration."

      "At present, Europe has to address complex issues of great importance, such as the growth and development of European integration, the increasingly precise definition of neighborhood policy within the Union and the debate over its social model. In order to attain these goals, it will be important to draw inspiration, with creative fidelity, from the Christian heritage which has made such a particular contribution to forging the identity of this continent.

      "By valuing its Christian roots," said the Holy Father, "Europe will be able to give a secure direction to the choices of its citizens and peoples, it will strengthen their awareness of belonging to a common civilization and it will nourish the commitment of all to address the challenges of the present for the sake of a better future."

      The Pope then expressed his appreciation for the Popular Party's "recognition of Europe's Christian heritage" which, he said, "offers valuable ethical guidelines in the search for a social model that responds adequately to the demands of an already globalized economy, ... assuring growth and employment, protection of the family, equal opportunities for education of the young and solicitude for the poor.

      "Your support for the Christian heritage, moreover, can contribute significantly to the defeat of a culture that is now fairly widespread in Europe, which relegates to the private and subjective sphere the manifestation of one's own religious convictions. Policies built on this foundation not only entail the repudiation of Christianity's public role; more generally, they exclude engagement with Europe's religious tradition, which is so clear, despite its denominational variations, thereby threatening democracy itself, whose strength depends on the values that it promotes."

      To oppose or ignore the European Christian tradition "would be a sign of immaturity, if not indeed weakness. ... In this context one has to recognize that a certain secular intransigence shows itself to be the enemy of tolerance and of a sound secular vision of State and society."

      The Pope then expressed his pleasure "that the European Union's constitutional treaty envisages a structured and ongoing relationship with religious communities, recognizing their identity and their specific contribution. Above all, I trust that the effective and correct implementation of this relationship will start now, with the cooperation of all political movements irrespective of party alignments.

      "It must not be forgotten," he stressed, "that when Churches or ecclesial communities intervene in public debate, expressing reservations or recalling various principles, this does not constitute a form of intolerance or interference, since such interventions are aimed solely at enlightening consciences, enabling them to act freely and responsibly, according to the true demands of justice, even when this should conflict with situations of power and personal interest."

      The main area of the Catholic Church's interventions in the public sphere, said Benedict XVI, "is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable." Among these principles he listed: "Protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family, as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage, and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role; and the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.

      "These principles are not truths of faith, even though they receive further light and confirmation from faith; they are inscribed in human nature itself and therefore they are common to all humanity. The Church's action in promoting them is therefore not confessional in character, but is addressed to all people, irrespective of any religious affiliation they may have."

      The Holy Father closed his address by calling on the parliamentarians "to be credible and consistent witnesses of these basic truths through your political activity, and more fundamentally through your commitment to live authentic and consistent lives."

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, MAR 30, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was the Holy Father's Message for the 43rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which is due to be celebrated on May 7, fourth Sunday of Easter, on the theme: "Vocation in the mystery of the Church."

      "The weight of two millennia of history makes it difficult to perceive the novelty of the fascinating mystery of divine adoption which lies at the center of St. Paul's teaching," writes the Holy Father in his Message, which is dated March 5. "We are called to live as brothers and sisters of Christ, to consider ourselves as sons and daughters of the same Father. This a gift that overturns all exclusively human ideas and projects."

      "What, then, must we say," Benedict XVI asks, "of the temptation, so strongly felt in our own time, to think ourselves so self-sufficient as to shut ourselves off from the mysterious plan God has for us? The love of the Father, revealed in the person of Christ, calls out to us."

      Down the centuries, the Pope writes, many men and women, "transformed by divine love, have consecrated their lives to the cause of the Kingdom," and "through Christ have known the mystery of the Father's love." These people, the Pope goes on, "represent the multiplicity of vocations that have always been present in the Church."

      Referring then to Vatican Council II's universal call to sanctity, the Holy Father affirms that, in each generation, Christ "calls individuals to take care of His people; in particular He calls men to the priestly ministry to exercise a paternal function. ... The priest's mission in the Church is irreplaceable. Therefore, even though some areas suffer a shortage of clergy, we must not lose the conviction that Christ continues to call men" to the priesthood.

      "Another special vocation occupying a place of honor in the Church is the call to consecrated life. ... Although they undertake various forms of service in the field of human formation and care for the poor, in education and in assistance to the sick, [consecrated people] do not consider these activities as the principle aim of their lives because, as the Code of Canon Law says: 'Contemplation of divine things and assiduous union with God in prayer is to be the first and foremost duty of all religious'."

      Benedict XVI concludes his Message with a call to pray "for vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life. ... The Church's sanctity depends essentially on her union with Christ and her openness to the mystery of grace at work in the hearts of believers. For this reason, I would like to invite all the faithful to cultivate an intimate relationship with Christ, Master and Pastor of His people, imitating Mary who guarded the divine mysteries in her heart and contemplated them assiduously."

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, MAR 30, 2006 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning, a press conference was held to present a seminar on the Bologna Process. The seminar, organized by the Congregation for Catholic Education in collaboration with UNESCO-CEPES, is being held in the Vatican's New Synod Hall from March 30 to April 1.

      In his contribution Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, explained how canon law distinguishes between ecclesiastical universities and faculties, and Catholic universities and faculties, "although it would be more accurate to say that they are all Catholic, and that those Catholic universities and faculties we call ecclesiastical have a particular role and specific regulations."

      Msgr. Angelo Vincenzo Zani, under-secretary of the same congregation, recalled how the Holy See "adhered to the Bologna Process on the occasion of the ministerial summit held in Berlin in 2003. Since then, the Congregation for Catholic Education has followed the various stages of the process ... with the help of a specially-created commission, which assists ecclesiastical faculties in Europe to implement the relative guidelines."

      For his part, Archbishop Michael J. Miller C.S.B., secretary of the congregation, explained the program of the seminar, which has as its theme: "The cultural heritage and academic values of European universities, and the attraction of European institutions of higher education."

      Representatives from 42 countries are due to attend the meeting, said the archbishop, "most of them from Europe, but also from the Americas, Asia and the East." They include "ministers of education from the various countries, government officials, university rectors and representatives from European and international organizations."

      Among the themes to be debated during the seminar, the secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education highlighted the following: "European cultural heritage: identity and challenges. ... The academic values and contemporary significance of European universities. ... European universities: their cultural responsibility and role in the construction of Europe." Discussion groups will also tackle such subjects as: "fundamental values and academic freedom; foundations for interdisciplinary dialogue; inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue; and scientific research and ethical responsibility." The seminar will conclude on Saturday with a papal audience.

      Next to speak was Jan Sadlak, director of UNESCO's European Center for Higher Education (CEPES). Speaking English, he affirmed that Europe could be proud of its diversity, the source of inspiration in so many fields: "culture, ethnicity, and also religion. ... In order to preserve and nourish those various diversities we must have a solid set of values and core of common goals which can preserve us from those forces which brought to Europe two world wars and various kinds of totalitarian regimes. And here we need to point out the role of the university which, in its modern form, is a European creation with almost a thousand-year history in which the Roman Catholic Church has played an important role. This needs to be recognized."

      The last to speak was Sjur Bergan, head of the Department of Higher Education and History Teaching at the Council of Europe. "The topic of this conference," he said, "is essentially how our academic heritage and values make European higher education attractive both for our own students and for students and higher education partners in other parts of the world."

      He mentioned the four main purposes of higher education, as identified by the Council of Europe: "preparation for the labor market; preparation for life as active citizens in democratic societies; personal development; and the development and maintenance of a broad, advanced knowledge base." Highlighting the inadequacy of a purely economic evaluation of the advantages of higher education he added: "Academic heritage is of great importance to the Bologna Process both because of its intrinsic value and because it provides us with a broader perspective on higher education reform. Reform is part and parcel of our heritage: the universities, along with the Church and the parliament, are the oldest continuously existing institutions in Europe. I think it is important to underline that universities have survived precisely because they have been able to reform. Had they not been able to change, they would not have survived."

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, MAR 30, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences eight prelates from the Episcopal Conference of the Ivory Coast, on their "ad limina" visit:

      - Cardinal Bernard Agre, archbishop of Abidjan, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ake.

      - Bishop Paul Dacoury-Tabley of Grande-Bassam.

      - Bishop Laurent Akran Mandjo of Yopougon.

      - Archbishop Vital Komenan Yao of Bouake, accompanied by Coadjutor Archbishop Paul-Simeon Ahouanan Djro O.F.M., apostolic administrator of Yamoussoukro.

      - Bishop Jean-Jacques Koffi Oi Koffi of Abengourou, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Bruno Kouame.

      * * *


      Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

      We read today from the Book of Wisdom why Jesus is opposed.

      The wicked do not like to be contradicted.

      The wicked do not like it when their views are refuted and shown to be wrong and filled with error.

      The wicked see those who oppose them as obnoxious.

      The wicked do not like to be judged debased, but prefer flattery.

      The wicked despise those who live clean lives that are just and good.

      They persecute, torture and kill the just man with absurd philosophies that ridiculously claim: For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes.

      How convenient of the wicked to blame God and the just ones for their own death.

      They think to themselves that if the just are truly good men God would have saved them from our hands.

      This is the way of the wicked.

      This is what the wicked Jews did in crucifying Jesus when they yelled as he hung upon the cross: If you are the Holy One of God He shall save you.

      Is not this the same reasoning and abominable behavior as the tyrants of the world who go about annihilating people -- stealing their land, money, natural resources, destroying nations, and engaging in genocide and ethnic cleansing?

      The wicked are the children of the devil who act like him.

      Jesus tells us that the devil goes about like a roaring lion to see whom he may devour.

      The wicked do the same.

      Be sober and alert in prayer, ever vigilant to avoid evil and impure thoughts and behavior.

      Be people of prayer and good deeds.

      Be people of God who shine forth their light dispelling darkness and causing the children of darkness to flee with fear and trembling!

      Through prayer, the Rosary and Mass, sacrifices and good works sow the seeds of goodness and light in the world.

      Encourage and inspire everyone to do good.

      Pray for those who are weak and needful of God’s grace.

      Build them up with praise and encouragement.

      Support one another with full support that people need, not just words.

      What good is it to your neighbor who is hungry when you say I wish you well?

      Do good to those who are downtrodden and give to those who are needy.

      Take on the image of Christ and be the light to the world.

      Do not fear the contradiction of the wicked.

      Be prepared to suffer as Christ.

      Martyrdom is a calling given to all the children of the Church.

      The word martyr comes from the Greek meaning to bear witness and testimony.

      Every member of the Church is morally bound and required to bear witness and testimony to Christ.

      Each one of us is called to be a martyr for Christ.

      There are three forms that holy martyrdom takes:

      First, there are the many who suffer long hard years, a form of martyrdom that is life-long, silently suffering with Christ hardships of one form or another or from illness sent by God.

      Second, are those who suffer the martyrdom of desire -- working with passion driven energy by thirsting for justice and God’s glory in the missionary field for Christ each day.

      Third, are those who suffer the martyrdom of death with their blood shed for Christ witnessing to a world blinded by darkness, sin and death.

      Not all are called to lay down their life by the martyrdom of death.

      But the majority of us are called to endure the holy martyrdom of long-suffering or the martyrdom of desire by living lives animated by energy spent in God’s service seeking His honor and glory.

      Most people do this remarkable and extraordinary calling to martyrdom for Christ by doing the ordinary, every-day activities in service to our families, friends, neighbors and communities the best way we know how.

      By doing our best to the last drop of energy in service to God – the vast majority of the Church works hard in the vineyard laboring for Christ.

      Lent is a time when we are called to examine our lives -- to measure ourselves and see if we are holding up to our calling, or, to ask ourselves if we have slackened off and become lazy.

      [Print and distribute]

      * * *


      Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

      Chapter Five : (pages 42-45)

      Fr. Merton begins this chapter by citing a writing by a disciple of St. Anthony of the Desert, Ammonas:

      Behold, my beloved, I have shown you the power of silence, how thoroughly it heals and how fully pleasing it is to God. Wherefore I have written to you to show yourselves strong in this work you have undertaken, so that you may know that it is by silence that the saints grew, that it was because of silence that the power of God dwelt in them, because of silence that the mysteries of God were known to them. (18)

      Prayer of the heart is the silence of love, not with words but by affection of mind, heart, will and strength poured out for God.

      Prayer of the heart is contemplative prayer.

      Contemplative prayer is very different from meditative prayer.

      Meditation is based on logic, reasoning, rational thinking in words, ideas and concepts.

      Contemplative prayer does none of this but transcends from this.

      Lectio divina is broken down into steps -- lectio or reading, prayer with words and desires, meditation with reasoning, words and images, and affective prayer from the heart that transcends these things with a burning love and desire for God.

      For the advanced soul that has progressed way down the path on the spiritual pilgrimage to God learns that attachment to meditation can become a cross and hinderance to contemplative prayer.

      Fr. Merton, on this very point and issue, cites St. John of the Cross who counsels us:

      The more spiritual a thing is the more wearisome they find it, for as they seek to go about spiritual matters with complete freedom and according to the inclination of their will, it causes them sorrow and repugnance to enter upon the narrow way, which, says Christ, is the way of life. (19)

      Spiritual growth is the transition from following your will and impulse to following God's will and impulse.

      The spiritually advance must know when to let go and to allow God to control, direct, move and inspire the soul by the action of divine grace.

      The stubborn narure of fallen humanity fears letting go and distrusts allowing God to control them, probably since we have no knowledge and experience of this and are not sure how it is and how it works.

      Sticking to a method or system out of routine becoming a creature of habit is all we humans really know anything about.

      Our immediate impulse is to adhere to routine, keep up meditation and to avoid anything else.

      However, advanced along the way on the journey to God comes the transition to leave the ways known and enter the valley of darkness.

      The soul is offered a choice, so it thinks, to choose between the known route or go blind in the dark along the path to which it fears as uncertain.

      The discomfort and pain of suffering is inevitable no matter which path is chosen. The old path of familiarity, is of course the worse possible path, which St. John of the Cross makes perfectly clear:

      . . . wherein he weans from the breasts of these sweetnesses and pleasures, gives them pure aridities and inward darkness, takes from them all these superficialities and pureilities, and by very different means causes them to win the virtues. For however assiduously the beginner practices the mortification in himself of all these actions and passions of his, he can never completely succeed -- very far from it -- until God works in him passively by means of the purgation of the said night. (20)

      God puts the soul into a dark night so that it learns to see only by His holy light. However, it is this supernatural light of God that at first blinds and darkens the soul for its brilliance is far beyond the soul's capacity to bear it.

      For the soul, this excessive light of faith which is given it is thick darkness, for it overwhelms that which is great and it does away with that which is little, even as the light of the sun overwhelms all other lights whatsoever, so that when it shines and disables our power of vision they appear to be no lights at all. Even so the light of faith by its excessive greatness oppresses and disables that of the understanding; for the latter, of its own power, extends only to natural knowledge, although it has a faculty for the supernatural when Our Lord may be pleased to bring it to a supernatural action. (21)

      "The purpose of monastic prayer, psalmody, oratio, meditatio, in the sense of the prayer of the heart, and even lectio, is to prepare the way so that God's action may develop this "faculty for the supernatural," this capacity for inner illumination by faith and by the light of wisdom, in the loving contemplation of God.' (page 45)


      (18) Letter XII, P.O.XI, 606
      (19) Dark Night, I, vii, 4.
      (20) Dark Night, I, vii, 5.
      (21) Ascent of Mount Carmel, II, iii, I.

      Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer (Garden City, N.Y. : Image Books,
      Doubleday, 1971)

      * * *


      1. HOW TO USE LINKS -- RealPlayer

      Roman Catholic News is very happy to announce new exciting links
      available to you, our fine subscribers. Some links require Realplayer
      a software program that allows you to see live television and hear
      audio recordings as copy go to EWTN Live TV and Radio on the link
      below and scroll down until you find the Download Free RealPlayer
      link and click it on.

      2. Live EWTN TV and Radio


      Live EWTN TV - English EWTN AM/FM RADIO
      Live EWTN TV - Spanish Catholic World Today Radio
      Today's Homily (Video) Audio of Todays Homily
      Pope's Wednesday Audience Audio Radio Catolica Mundial
      EWTN's The World Over Mother Angelica Live Video
      Audio Library Life On The Rock (Video)
      The Journey Home (Video) EWTN Religious Catalogue

      Send EWTN donations online:

      * * *

      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text
      <http://www.usccb.org/nab/033006.shtml> (English)

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

      Biblica Online

      * * *




      Monks of Adoration:

      * * *

      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

      * * *



      * * *


      * * *


      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)

      Need a Miracle?

      Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili (1892-1985)


      The Mama Gili Guild was established several years ago to gather,
      collect, and publish information on Dolores Immacolata Gili (1892-
      1985) for an investigation into her cause as a Servant of God, as
      well as to promote her cause and toperpetuate her cult by directing
      prayer groups assembled in her honor. It has continuously enjoyed the
      ecclesiastical approval of Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, and the Most
      Reverend John Joseph Myers, Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

      Call or write today regarding favors granted through the intercession
      of Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili, or, for more information about the
      cause of her investigation for canonization to:

      Rev. Dante DiGirolamo, Director
      Mama Gili Guild
      P. O. Box 455
      Kearny, New Jersey 07032
      Phone (973) 412-1170
      Fax (973) 412-7011

      * * *


      The Benedictine monks of Abbaye Saint-Joseph de Clairval mail a free
      monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it. Also free of charge
      are: the tract about the divinity of Jesus Christ; tract about the
      Truths of the Catholic Religion; scapular of Our Lady of Mount
      Carmel, with explanatory notice; the promises of the Sacred Heart;
      the mysteries of the Rosary.

      Sample Newsletter

      language==EN >

      Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval


      Phone.: 03 80 96 22 31
      Fax: 03 80 96 25 29
      Email: <englishspoken@c...> or


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

      Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi. Latin Text Online

      * * *


      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."

      * * *

      To gain access to all of the Roman Catholic News archives go to the

      This will give you the archive of all of the articles in all issues.
      There are four ways to access archived articles: (1) Go to the Home
      Page panel on the far left and click on the word "Messages" just
      below the word "Home"; (2) then click on the articles posted by date;
      (3) or click on the blue Arabic numerals in the box for the month in
      the yearly calendar window at the bottom of the page;(4)or type in a
      keyword in the long rectangular white box alongside the long
      rectangular button that reads SEARCH ARCHIVE, and then click that

      Copyright 2006 John N. Lupia for Roman Catholic News at the URL:
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News>, unless specified
      otherwise. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it
      may be reproduced,distributed, performed or displayed in any medium,
      including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from
      the copyright owners. All articles from VIS, VID, Zenit , Associated
      Press (AP), Reuters, and Noticias Eclesiales are republished by
      approval and courtesy of these news agencies. We encourage our
      readers to send financial support to Zenit, a private news
      organization in Rome. Zenit (www.zenit.org), VIS (V.I.S. - Vatican
      Information Service) Zenit, Associated Press (AP), Reuters, (VID)
      Vidimus Dominum, and Noticias Eclesiales own the original copyright
      for their news releases as credited. All copyright materials copied
      in any form must include the appropriate copyright owner; for Roman
      Catholic News use our URL as follows:


      All correspondence should be sent to:
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.