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Volume 3, Issue 215

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  • John N. Lupia
    ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS Volume 3, Issue 215 THURSDAY 13 November 2003 Feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini * * * WEAR THE BROWN SCAPULAR OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 12, 2003
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      Volume 3, Issue 215

      THURSDAY 13 November 2003

      Feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

      * * *


      * * *

      • Reflection on Psalm 141(142)
      • John Paul II Condemns Attacks in Iraq
      • Carmelite Hopes the Year of the Rosary Is Just a Start
      • Mental Depression to Be Focus of Conference at Vatican
      • Justice Isn't Enough, Says Cardinal Sodano
      • Missionary Institute's AsiaNews Goes Online

      * * *

      Reflection on Psalm 141(142)

      God Is Man's Refuge, Says John Paul II

      VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II's address at today's general audience, which he dedicated to comment on Psalm 141(142).

      1. On the evening of Oct. 3, 1226, St. Francis of Assisi was dying: His last prayer was, precisely, the recitation of Psalm 141[142], which we have just heard. St. Bonaventure recalls that Francis "exclaimed with the Psalm: 'I cry with my voice to the Lord, with my voice I make supplication to the Lord' and he recited it to the last verse: 'The righteous will surround me; for thou wilt deal bountifully with me'" ("Legenda Maggiore" [Major Reading], XIV, 5, in: Franciscan Sources, Padua-Assisi, 1980, p. 958).

      The Psalm is an intense supplication, dotted with a series of verbs of imploration addressed to the Lord: "I cry […]," "I beseech the Lord," "I pour out my complaint, lay bare my distress" (verses 2-3). The central part of the Psalm is dominated by trust in God who is not indifferent to the suffering of the faithful one (see verses 4-8). With this attitude, St. Francis faced death.

      2. God is addressed with a [familiar] "you," as a person who gives security: "You are my refuge" (verse 6). "You know my path," that is, the course of my life, a course marked by the option for justice. On that path, however, the wicked have set a trap (see verse 4): It is the typical image taken from a hunting scene, and frequent in the supplications of the Psalms, to indicate the dangers and snares to which the just man is subjected.

      Before this nightmare, the Psalmist hurls a sign of alarm so that God will see his situation and intervene: "I look to my right hand" (verse 5). According to Eastern custom, to the right of a person was his defender or favorable witness in a court; or, in the case of war, his bodyguard. The faithful one, then, is alone and abandoned, "no friend is there." Because of this, he expresses an anguished fact: "There is no escape for me; no one cares for me" (verse 5).

      3. Immediately after, a cry reveals the hope that dwells in the heart of the man of prayer. In such a situation, the only protection and effective company is that of God: "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living" (verse 6). In biblical language, the "lot" or "portion" is the gift of the Promised Land, sign of divine love in the vicissitudes of his people. The Lord now remains the last and sole foundation on which to base oneself, the only possibility of life, the supreme hope.

      The Psalmist invokes him with insistence, because he is "brought very low" (verse 7). He entreats him to intervene to break the chains of his prison of solitude and hostility (see verse 8) and to bring him out of the abyss of trial.

      4. As in other Psalms of supplication, the final aspect is that of thanksgiving, which will be offered to God after being heard: "Lead me out of my prison, that I may give thanks to your name" (ibid.). When he is saved, the faithful one will go to thank the Lord in the midst of the liturgical assembly (ibid.). He is surrounded by the just, who will regard the salvation of their brother as a gift made also to them.

      This atmosphere should also pervade Christian celebrations. The pain of the individual should find echo in the hearts of all; equally the joy of each should be lived by the entire praying community. In fact, it is "good and pleasant when brothers dwell in unity" (Psalm 132[133]:1) and the Lord Jesus said: "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20).

      5. Christian tradition has applied Psalm 141(142) to the suffering and persecuted Christ. In this perspective, the luminous goal of the Psalm's supplication is transfigured in a paschal sign, which is based on the glorious outcome of the life of Christ and of our destiny of resurrection with him. It is affirmed by St. Hilary of Poitiers, famous doctor of the Church of the fourth century, in his "Treatise on the Psalms."

      He comments on the Latin translation of the last verse of the Psalm, which speaks of the recompense for the man of prayer and the expectation of being with the just. "Me expectant iusti, donec retribuas mihi." St. Hilary explains: "The Apostle shows us the recompense that the Father has given Christ: 'God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father' (Philippians 2:9-11). This is the recompense: to the body, which has ascended, is given the eternity of the glory of the Father.

      "What then is the expectation of the just, which the same Apostle teaches, saying: 'Our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to conform it to his own glorious body' (Philippians 3:20-21). The just, in fact, await him so that he will recompense them, rendering them in conformity to the glory of his body, who is blessed for ever. Amen" (PL 9, 833-837).

      [Translation by ZENIT]

      [At the end of the audience, the Holy Father gave this summary in English:]

      Dear Brothers and Sisters,

      The Psalm we have just heard was the last prayer recited by Francis of Assisi on the night of his death in 1226. It is an intense supplication to the Lord, who is the sure refuge of those who place their trust in him. The assembly of the just gives thanks to God for his gift of salvation. Christian tradition sees in this Psalm a reference to the persecuted and suffering Christ, whose resurrection has become the foundation and goal of our hope, the gift of eternal life in the glory of our God forever.

      I offer special greetings today to the participants in the NATO Defense College: May you ever be strengthened in your commitment to build peace and increase stability in the world. Upon all the English-speaking visitors present, especially those from England, Malawi and the United States of America, I invoke the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus.

      * * *

      John Paul II Condemns Attacks in Iraq

      Suicide Bomber Hits Italian Military Base

      VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II condemned the attacks occurring in Iraq, including today's suicide bombing at an Italian paramilitary base in Nassiriya.

      "I express the firmest condemnation of this new act of violence which, added to other ferocious gestures that have taken place in that tormented country, does not help its pacification and resurgence," the Pope said.

      At least 26 were reported killed, including 18 Italians, in the attack. The Vatican press office made public the papal telegram addressed to Italian President Carlo Ciampi.

      "In raising my fervent prayer for the victims, I ask the Lord for Christian consolation for the relatives of those to whom I feel particularly close to at this time of great sadness," the papal message stated.

      The Pope asked the president to convey his feeling of solidarity to "the military men and civilians engaged in the arduous task of service to that population that has suffered so much."

      In separate attacks, an American soldier was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near the town of Taji, northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. A soldier died of wounds suffered in a roadside bombing in Baghdad on Tuesday, the military added.

      * * *

      Carmelite Hopes the Year of the Rosary Is Just a Start

      Theologian Says Riches of Papal Letter Must Be Cultivated

      ROME, NOV. 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- A Vatican consultor and theologian evaluated the recently ended Year of the Rosary and says, "A year is not sufficient."

      Twelve months after the Pope signed the apostolic letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae," Father Jesús Castellano Cervera said that it was "accepted, lived and appreciated, especially for its theological-spiritual approach, which makes the document a kind of continuation of 'Novo Millennio Ineunte.'"

      Father Castellano, a Discalced Carmelite and professor of theology, liturgy and spirituality at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum, talked to ZENIT about the letter on the rosary.

      He said he was very taken by the fact that "the Pope was so keen on giving a theological and spiritual approach to the rosary, an approach that is at the same time Christological and Trinitarian, and Mary is situated there, in the Christological mystery."

      The papal letter was a "very strong appeal to the rosary as a means of holiness, especially by contemplating the face of Christ and the mysteries of Christ's whole life," the priest said.

      "The rosary is a viaticum of spiritual life through the mysteries of Christ and the mysteries of Marian life," Father Castellano said.

      "The Pope has called us to pray and has emphasized a prayer that becomes contemplation and, therefore, a synthesis between faith and life, between the mind and the heart," he added.

      Moreover, the novelty of the luminous mysteries "has been welcomed with enthusiasm," the Carmelite said.

      This is because it "fills a lacuna and proposes the possibility of entering into Christ's mystery through baptism; the transfiguration -- extolled in Western and Eastern preaching; the wedding at Cana -- one of the mysteries where Mary is present; [and] the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist, a sign of great intensity on the part of Jesus, where his whole life is recapitulated before going to his passion and resurrection," Father Castellano said.

      All these contributions mean that a year is not sufficient time to accept "a document of this kind," he said.

      "This acceptance of the letter and its transmission to new generations must be cultivated," the Carmelite scholar noted. He added that "to thoroughly understand this text, one must place oneself before the face of Christ and contemplate him with Mary's eyes and those of the Church."

      He concluded with a suggestion. "There have been very numerous publications of the rosary letter, and very many texts issued to recite the Marian prayer better," he said. "However, a visible manifestation has been lacking that would give weight to the Holy Father's initiative."

      "In Rome, for example, there have been no Marian congresses that has focused on the rosary," the priest observed. "There have been many local manifestations, but no important scientific congresses."

      * * *

      Mental Depression to Be Focus of Conference at Vatican

      Seeking an Answer That Goes Beyond Medicines

      VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- A three-day Vatican conference starting Thursday will focus on mental depression, a problem that plagues 340 million people and can lead to suicide.

      The conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers aims to "shed light on one of the most serious illnesses of our day," Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán told a press conference today. He is president of the pontifical council.

      Noting that depression is described as a principal "killer" of our time, the cardinal said the reason is that "postmodern culture is a culture devoid of values, based on well-being and pleasure, where the supreme goal is economic gain."

      "The World Health Organization speaks of medicines for its treatment," the cardinal told Vatican Radio. "We maintain that the medicines are good, but that, in the final analysis, depression is nothing other than fear."

      "Postmodern man has become fearful," he continued. And one of the most important causes of depression, "if not the most important … is the absence of values and fear of death."

      Thus, "we must give a unique answer which in no way denies the validity of medicines, but goes beyond these," the cardinal said.

      "We don't have an invention or a theory, but a historical fact, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And we affirm that the only way to defeat death is our resurrection in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit," he explained.

      Hence, in living the resurrection of the Lord "lies the greatest, most effective remedy against depression," contended the cardinal.

      Speakers will include Cardinal Lozano Barragán; Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes; Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; and Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, India. Psychiatrists, professors and bishops will be among those attending the event.

      At today's press conference, Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls, himself a psychiatrist, pointed out the "vulnerability that some persons have, given certain styles of life."

      "The doctor can analyze this in the patient, but it is not just cured with Prozac, serotonin or purely biological elements," he said.

      On Friday, John Paul II is scheduled to receive in audience the 600 or so participants in the conference.

      * * *

      Justice Isn't Enough, Says Cardinal Sodano

      ROME, NOV. 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Is justice alone enough to guarantee peace and development?

      Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano posed that question Tuesday when he opened the academic year at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

      Quoting John Paul II's encyclical "Dives in Misericordia," the cardinal answered: "Historical experience and that of our time demonstrate that justice alone is not enough."

      "What is more, it can lead to the negation and annihilation of itself, if that far more profound force, love, is not allowed to suffuse human life in its different dimensions," he added.

      "Love is the form of God's relation with man and vice versa. Therefore, it is the loftiest and most noble relation, able to fulfill man," the cardinal said. "Love that is revealed this way illuminates all the sectors of human life, beginning with out relations with our fellow men."

      "If it was lacking in an obvious way and for a long time, the consequences would be very negative for man," he warned. "Therefore, the civilization of love must be the great commitment of the Church for the third millennium."

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, NOV 12, 2003 (VIS) – Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau, S.J.,
      secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, spoke on behalf
      of the Holy See Delegation in the twenty-first Session of the Conference of
      > European Ministers of Education, celebrated in Athens, Greece on
      November 10-12.

      In his speech, the archbishop underscored that the session, which is on
      “Intercultural Education: managing diversity, strengthening democracy, has
      never been more relevant. The beginning of this new millennium is characterized by the colossal occurrence of human mobility and emigration, which makes our European societies ever more multiethnic and multicultural.”

      The prelate recognized the success of efforts to foster inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue which “allows us to anticipate a vision of unity in diversity” and gives us “hope for the future.”

      “It is important,” he went on, “to know how to appreciate the values of one’s own culture; but it is also necessary to avoid transforming one’s sense of cultural belonging into a barricade against others. A necessary antidote to this danger is the serene knowledge of other cultures, which is not conditioned by negative prejudices.”

      The Holy See delegate emphasized the responsibility of educators to
      teach the “respect for other cultures, and encourage people to discover the
      richness of the history and values of others. … This inter-cultural perspective brings with it a real paradigmatic shift on the pedagogical level, passing from more or less successful models of integration and respect for diversity, to the search for living in a harmony of differences.”

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, NOV 12, 2003 (VIS) – The Holy Father:

      - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Vicaria,
      Brazil, presented by Bishop Orlando Octacilio Dotti, O.F.M.Cap., in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law. Coadjutor Bishop Pedro Sbalchiero Neto, M.S. succeeds him.

      - Appointed Fr. Luis Morao, O.F.M., apostolic administrator “sede vacante
      et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of the Military Ordinate for El Salvador, as auxiliary bishop of Santa Ana (area 3,272, population 950,840, Catholics
      821,565, priests 75, permanent deacons 1, religious 182), El Salvador. The bishop-elect was born in Treviso, Italy in 1939 and was ordained a priest in 1966.

      - Appointed Fr. Jacinto Inacio Flach, spiritual director of the Major Seminary in Viamao, Brazil, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Porto Alegre (area 18,598, population 3,304,054, Catholics 2,990,500, priests 448, permanent deacons 16, religious 2,562),), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in 1952 in Bom Principio, Brazil and was ordained a priest in 1988.

      - Appointed Fr. Fabio Reynaldo Colindres Abarca, vicar general of the Military Ordinate for El Salvador, as apostolic administer “sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of the same military ordinate.

      * * *

      Missionary Institute's AsiaNews Goes Online

      ROME, NOV. 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions now has an online edition of its AsiaNews service.

      The agency, which has been publishing social, cultural and religious news on Asia since 1986, started the online edition Nov. 1.

      Directed by Father Bernardo Cervellera, an expert in Chinese affairs, this PIME agency offers daily news on the Asian continent, in Italian (see http://www.asianews.it). Plans call for editions in English and Chinese.

      In response to long-standing requests from many bishops in Asia, the agency's directors will include contents of the Church's social doctrine on their Web site.

      * * *


      Chapter Five (continued)

      Lectio divina like monastic exegesis is literal and mystical in nature. Its literal aspects have already been discussed: the application of grammar, auditory memory, religious psychology with its myriad of associations formed from reminiscences, and the concordance of word links and their signification. The mystical aspect is found in its contents providing the reader with the "science of salvation". "Each word it contains is thought of as a word addressed by God to each reader for his salvation. Everything then has a personal, immediate value for present life and for the obtaining of eternal life." (100).

      The Old and New Testaments are the Word of one and the same God -- revealing to us the message of salvation in its promise and fulfilment in the Person of Jesus Christ, God Himself made manifest to the world in the flesh for the sake of sanctifying and saving all of humanity through the supreme sacrifice on the cross. Both the Old and New Testaments speak to the People of God, the Church, taking root in the fertile soil of Israel and growing like the mustard seed into the largest of trees filling the whole world. The Bible as a whole is not two collections of books but one continuous story of God's salvation for the world being revealed through two epics of time: tempus legis is the period of the law when God revealed His salvation to Israel and, tempus gratiae the period of grace when Jesus Christ, God in the flesh spoke immiately and directly to Israel no longer needing a prophet as mediator. Jesus Christ Himself is the mediator of salvation not only for Israel but for every single human being.

      Jean Leclercq, O.S.B., The Love of Learning and the Desire For God. A
      Study of Monastic Culture. (NY: Fordham University Press, 1961, 1974)
      ISBN 0-8232-0406-5

      * * *


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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text

      Biblica Online

      * * *




      Monks of Adoration:

      * * *

      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

      * * *



      Our Father Movie

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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)

      Need a Miracle?

      Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili (1892-1985)


      The Mama Gili Guild was established several years ago to gather,
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      * * *


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      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."

      * * *

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