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Journey of a Soul ~ Tradidi quod et accepi ~
A wandering soul in a barren wasteland
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Don't fall in love with a dreamer....how many times I have been thinking to myself that this song is extremely appropriate for me..especially when someone thinks that love is what that person feels for me... and I shy away....and before I get phone calls..let me go further into this article.

Have we ever been a situation where we start to figure out that things are just going a little too well in a relationship that we start to wait for the other (bad) shoe to drop?

Don't you get the feeling that thing is going to well, the promises made are happening, the little quirks are changing and you really start to mean what you say and vice versa to the other person and being pessimistic, you start to get a little worried...

Maybe I am starting to get worried that this is all turning into a fantasy and combined with the fact that its moving far too fast for it to be realistic..(in my sense of realism that is) and this is where we create obstacles for ourselves..barriers..more like it..in this kind of situations to make the relationship work harder (or to be more blunt..more unrealistic in its goals) so as to ensure that it is not a fantasy..

So, why the song....well, maybe I feel that the song entitled Don't fall in love with a dreamer is rather apt in some situation more than none, especially when we analyse the lyrics even more thoroughly and we discover that in actual fact, it seems to portray  the possibility that sometimes, its far easier to just say things that our partner wants to hear and eventually in reality, we do not really mean it.

How many times have we said things that we know that they want to hear, but we know that we are not able to handle or cope with it later?? Is this an easy way out from trouble or further disagreement?  How healthy is this in the long run of the relationship with each other?  Mind you, this does not only apply to a relationship with a partner, but it applies in all matters, family to work to social friends.

Have we ever been truly honest with those around us?  When we say "I Love you" do we really mean it, or is that a conditional love, which goes..."I love you...but...." 

Have we ever asked ourselves, what is this thing called love? (yes, it seems my writting today seems to be a touch melodic today...lets pray I don't break out into broadway tunes later :P )  and to qoute further from another song.. Love is a many splendoured thing, love lifts us up to where we belong..all we need is love.. (oh God! I'm turning corny..someone's bad influence..) 

Anyway, back to the topic of conversation, what is this thing called love?  Is it something that we profess to another person?  But what does it mean?  

- Love...it can be broken down into Eros and Agape.  
 - What is eros..eros is basically lust, this is the love where we tell the significant other..I love you.. because I'm crazy about your body or I'm just damn horny or any physical connotations to it...but what is Agape? 
  -Agape transcends the lust and its a union of not only body, but also, soul.  Its the love that binds and its the love that all humanity should strive to achieve for, but is that possible?  Good question,especially in this situation.

How does one transform Eros into Agape?  It is only through the parting of the veil (and please..no corny jokes on this....reason I highlight that, is partly due to the fact, I have one coming up in my mind) of Eros, that we can reach Agape.  The ability to see beyond the physical and look into the spiritual and emotional of the person.  The beauty of Agape is that, it can be truly called "True Love" if such a term exist..where we recognise and accept each other's faults, mistakes and God knows whatever peccadiloes significant others may have without reservation and without prejudice and most importantly, without the intention of transforming that person.

Another point to highlight, is that before we are able to recognise and accept another person's faults et al, we have, first and foremost, recognise and accept our own faults.  It is only when we recognise our our faults and accept it, then the relationship will be able to work....Reason I stress this point is that, it is far to easy to recognise other person's fault and accepting it, rather than recognising our own faults.  

Another point of the beauty of Agape, is the inherent fact, that when we enter into this stage in the relationship, this is the time, that we realise that we do not have the ability to transform or change that person's faults et al.  If we feel that we can..then its not Agape, but eros...its lust and lust makes us believe in far too unrealistic things.  

So, why this mindless ramblings about love....maybe I am in a stage where I am uncertain how to react when someone say's "I Love you" and yet you know that there's something else to it.. it feels that there's a "I love you, but..." or maybe I'm just taking everything with a pinch of salt and being overly cynical over how things goes.....

Why am I so wary of this crazy thing called love??  Once bitten twice shy? perhaps, or because I know in my idealisitic and realisitc mind, it can't really work......and therefore, I just can't allow myself to be swept into the fantasy of allowing my mind to accept it....

Perhaps, I should stop being so cynical and stop creating barriers for myself and just accept it as it is and see where it flows from here......(in this case, ladies and gentleman, please get ready your shoulder for my tears...hoo boy..cynicism again, even before it all begins...okay..not entirely true...it has begun, but its in its early stage and I can still stop it....or can I?  That's another question but i think its another topic for another time)

So...am I in love?  What is love? I repeat myself.......but that's life....

anyway.............I just got a text while writing this..and maybe it could be the answer to all this mindless ramblings....

"the greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return"...and no..its not by Christian of Moulin Rouge but actually from a song by Nat King Cole entitled Nature Boy, written by Eden Ahbez.
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ENCYCLICAL LETTER

SPE SALVI

OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF

BENEDICT XVI

TO THE BISHOPS
PRIESTS AND DEACONS
MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS
AND ALL THE LAY FAITHFUL

ON CHRISTIAN HOPE


SPE SALVI facti sumus”—in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us (Rom 8:24). According to the Christian faith, “redemption”—salvation—is not simply a given. Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey. Now the question immediately arises: what sort of hope could ever justify the statement that, on the basis of that hope and simply because it exists, we are redeemed? And what sort of certainty is involved here?...


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The Holy Father Benedict XVI addressed bishops and all the faithful with a letter on the occasion of the 16th Centenary of the death of St. John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor of the Church. The Letter was released for the opening of the International Conference on St. John Chrysostom 1600th anniversary of his death, which took place at the Patristic Institute “Augustinianum” in Rome, from 8-10 November 2007.

Venerable brothers in the episcopate and priesthood,
dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

1. Introduction


The sixteenth centenary of the death of St John Chrysostom, the great Father of the Church whom Christians of all times venerate, is being observed this year. John Chrysostom is distinguished in the ancient Church for having promoted that “fruitful encounter between the Christian message and Hellenic culture” which “made a lasting impact on both Eastern and Western Churches”.i The life and magisterial teachings of this Holy Bishop and Teacher resound in every century and even today elicit universal admiration. The Roman Pontiffs have always recognized in him a living source of wisdom for the Church, and their attention to his teaching has become even more acute in the last century. One hundred years ago, St Pius X commemorated the fifteenth centenary of the death of St John by inviting the Church to imitate his virtues.ii Pope Pius XII brought attention to the great value of St John’s contribution to the history of the interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures with his theory of “condescension” or synkatábasis. Through it Chrysostom recognized that “the words of God, expressed in human language, become similar to human speech.iii The Second Vatican Council incorporated this observation into the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum on Divine Revelation.iv Blessed John XXIII underscored Chrysostom’s deep understanding of the intimate connection between the eucharistic liturgy and solicitude for the universal Church.v The Servant of God Paul VI emphasized the way in which he “treated the Mystery of the Eucharist in such eloquent language and with such insight born of devotion”.vi I wish to recall the solemn gesture with which my most beloved predecessor, the Servant of God John Paul II, handed over important relics of Saints John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzen to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. The Pontiff noted how this gesture was truly for the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches “a blessed occasion for purifying our wounded memories, for strengthening our pathway to reconciliation.”vii During my apostolic journey in Turkey, while in the Cathedral of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, I had occasion to recall “the important saints and pastors who have kept watch over the See of Constantinople, among them Saint Gregory of Nazianzus and Saint John Chrysostom, whom the West also venerate as Doctors of the Church. Truly they are worthy intercessors for us before the Lord.”viii For this reason I am pleased that the sixteenth centenary of the death of Saint John offers me the opportunity to call to mind once again his luminous person and to propose it to the universal Church for our common edification

II. The Life and Ministry of Saint John

Saint John was born in at Antioch in Syria in the middle of the fourth century. He was schooled in the liberal arts in the traditional manner of his time, becoming especially well-trained in art of public speaking. Following his studies and while still a young man, he sought baptism and accepted the invitation of his bishop, Meletius, to serve as a lector in the local Church.ix At that time Christianity was divided over controversies concerning the divinity of Christ. John had aligned himself with those orthodox believers who, in harmony with the Nicene Council, confessed the full divinity of Christ, even though, in doing so, he and other orthodox Christians did not enjoy the favor of the imperial government at Antioch.x Following his baptism, John adopted the ascetical life as a layman. Under the influence of his teacher, Diodore of Tarsos, he opted to remain celibate for life and gave himself over to prayer, severe fasting and study of the Sacred Scriptures.xi He withdrew from Antioch for six years while pursuing the ascetical life as a hermit in the Syrian wilderness, at which time he began to write treatises on the spiritual life.xii He then returned to Antioch where he served the Church once again as a lector and later as a deacon for five years. Called to the priesthood by the bishop of Antioch, Flavian, in 386, he added the ministry of preaching the Word of God to that of prayer and writing.xiii


During these twelve years of priesthood in the service of the Antiochene church, John distinguished himself as a preacher. In this role, he intended primarily to interpret the Sacred Scriptures in a clear manner to the faithful. In his preaching, he fervently sought to strengthen Christian unity by reinforcing Christian identity at a time when that identity was threatened from inside and outside the Church. He rightly perceived that unity among Christians depends principally upon a true understanding of the central mysteries of the Church’s faith concerning the Most Holy Trinity and the Incarnation. Deeply aware of the complexity of the questions arising from these mysteries, John was nevertheless determined to make the Church’s teaching accessible to the ordinary people among his congregation, both at Antioch and later at Constantinople.xiv He also reached out to dissenters, favouring patience over aggressiveness in their regard, because he believed that in overcoming theological error, “nothing is more effective than moderation and gentleness.”xv

John’s strong faith and acute preaching skills enabled him to pacify the Antiochenes at a time when, early in his priesthood, the Emperor increased the city’s taxes. A riot took place in response, in which public monuments were destroyed. Following the riot, the people feared the Emperor’s wrath, and they crowded into the church, anxious to hear John’s words of Christian hope and consolation: “For if we were not to comfort you, where else could you obtain consolation?”xvi In his preaching throughout the weeks of Lent during the year 387, John reviewed the events surrounding the insurrection, and reminded his hearers of those attitudes which should characterize Christians in society.xvii He thus exhorted the faithful to reject violent means for promoting political change.xviii In order to build a more just city, he urged the wealthy among the faithful to practice charity toward the poor, while he counselled that those advanced in learning should serve as teachers, and that all Christians should assemble in churches in order to bear one another’s burdens.xix He consoled his listeners with hope and encouraged them to trust in God for both their temporal and eternal salvation,xx reminding them with St Paul that “tribulation works patience, and patience probation, and probation hope”.xxi

After serving the Antiochene church as priest and preacher for twelve years, John was consecrated bishop of Constantinople in 398, a position which he held for five and a half years. In this capacity, he oversaw the reform of the diocesan clergy, urging his priests through word and example to live in a manner conforming to the Gospel.xxii He defended monks living in the city and provided for their material needs, but he also sought to reform their lifestyle, insisting that they dedicate themselves exclusively to prayer and solitude.xxiii Careful to eschew ostentatious luxury and to adopt a modest lifestyle, even though he was bishop of a capital city, he was nonetheless generous in almsgiving to the poor. John dedicated himself to preaching every Sunday and on major feast-days. He took care not to allow the applause he frequently received as a preacher to cause him to mollify the message of the Gospel that he preached. He thus grieved on occasion that too often the same congregation which applauds his homilies ignores their admonitions to live an authentically Christian life.xxiv He was tireless in lamenting the contrast in the city between the outlandish consumption of its wealthy members and the destitution of its poor, at one time suggesting that the wealthy should take the homeless into their houses.xxv He saw Christ in the poor and invited his hearers to do the same.xxvi So constant was his defense of the poor and derision of the excessively wealthy that his preaching encouraged displeasure and even hostility toward him on the part of some among the wealthy and politically powerful of the city.xxvii

Among bishops of his day, John was outstanding for his missionary zeal in sending teachers to spread the Gospel to peoples who had not yet heard it.xxviii He built hospitals for the care of the sick.xxix Preaching in Constantinople, he affirmed that the Church’s material assistance to the poor ought to be extended to all the needy, regardless of religious belief: “He belongs to God, whether pagan or Jew. If he is also an unbeliever, he deserves help.”xxx

John’s position as bishop of the capital city of the Eastern Empire required him to manage delicate relations between the Church and the imperial court. He often found himself the object of hostility on the part of many imperial officials, in part because of his steadfastness in criticizing the excessive luxury with which they surrounded themselves. At the same time, his position as metropolitan archbishop of Constantinople, pre-eminent among the Sees in the Christian Orient, placed him in the difficult and delicate position of having to negotiate a number of ecclesial questions involving other bishops and other sees. On account of intrigues against him fostered by powerful opponents, both ecclesiastical and imperial, he was twice condemned by the emperor to exile far from his city. He died 1,600 years ago on September 14 at Comana while en route to the final place of his second exile, distant from his beloved flock at Constantinople.

III. The Teaching of Saint John

From the fifth century onward, Saint John has justly been venerated by the whole Christian Church, East and West, because of his courageous witness in defense of the faith of the Church and because of the magnificence of his contributions to the pastoral life of the Church. His teaching and preaching along with his solicitude for the Sacred Liturgy earned for him early recognition as a Father of the Church and Doctor of the Church. His renown for preaching earned him from the sixth century onward the designation “Golden Mouth” or “Chrysostomos”. About him Saint Augustine wrote to Julian, “Look around at whose company I have introduced you. Here is Ambrose of Milan, … here is John of Constantinople, … here is Basil, …here are the others whose great consensus should move you. ... They shone in the Catholic Church with the study of sound doctrine, protected and girded with spiritual arms they waged bitter war against the heretics, and having fulfilled faithfully the works intended for them by God, they slept in the abode of peace. … Behold now where I have led you, into the company of the saints, not just a multitude of the people; for they were not only sons, they were the Fathers of the Church.”xxxi

In view of the ecumenical progress made between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches since the Second Vatican Council and especially in recent years, we wish to recall the outstanding efforts that St John Chrysostom made in his day in promoting reconciliation and full communion between Eastern and Western Churches. Singular among these achievements was his contribution in ending the schism which separated the See of Antioch from the See of Rome and other western churches. At the time of his consecration as Archbishop of Constantinople, John sent a delegation to Pope Siricius at Rome. He also won in advance of this mission the crucial collaboration of the Archbishop of Alexandria in Egypt for his plan to end the schism. Pope Siricius responded favorably to John’s diplomatic initiative, and the schism was peacefully resolved so that full communion between the churches was restored.

Later, toward the end of his life, following his return to Constantinople after his first exile, John wrote to Pope Innocent at Rome as well as to bishops Venerius of Milan and Chromatius of Aquileia. He appealed for their assistance in his effort to restore order in the Church at Constantinople which continued to suffer ecclesial divisions spawned by the injustice committed against him. John asked Pope Innocent and the other western bishops for a compassionate response, one which “confers a favor not upon ourselves alone but also upon the Church at large.”xxxii In fact it is clear in John’s thinking that when one part of the Church suffers injury, the whole Church suffers the same injury. Pope Innocent defended John in letters to Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria.xxxiii The Pope maintained full communion with him, thus ignoring a deposition which he regarded as unlawful.xxxiv He wrote to John in order to console him,xxxv and he wrote to the Constantinopolitan clergy and faithful who were loyal to John to express his full support of their lawful bishop. “John, your bishop, has unjustly suffered,” the Pope wrote to John’s followers.xxxvi Moreover, Pope Innocent convened a synod of Italian and eastern bishops in order to seek justice for the beleaguered bishop.xxxvii With the western emperor’s support, the Pope sent a delegation of western and eastern bishops to the eastern emperor at Constantinople to defend John and to demand that an ecumenical synod of bishops be convened to seek justice on his behalf.xxxviii When, shortly before John’s death in exile, these measures failed, John wrote to Pope Innocent to thank him for “the great consolation” he received from having his support.xxxix In this letter John insisted that although he was separated from the Pope by the great distance of his exile, he was nevertheless in “daily communion” with him. Aware of the Pope’s efforts on his behalf, John wrote to him, “You have surpassed even affectionate parents in your good will and zeal concerning us.” John urged the Pope to continue with this zeal to seek justice on behalf of himself and the Church at Constantinople, because “the contest now before you has to be fought on behalf of nearly the whole world, on behalf of Churches humbled to the ground, of people dispersed, of clergy assaulted, of bishops sent into exile, of ancestral laws violated.” John also wrote to other western bishops to thank them for their support,xl among them Chromatius of Aquileia,xli Venerius of Milanxlii and Gaudentius of Brescia.xliii

Both at Antioch and at Constantinople John spoke passionately about the unity of the Church throughout the world. He observed that “the faithful in Rome consider those in India as members of their own body.”xliv He insisted that there is no place for division in the Church. “The Church,” John exclaimed, “exists not in order that we who come together might be divided, but that they who are divided might be joined.”xlv He found divine authority for this ecclesial unity in the Sacred Scriptures. Preaching on Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians, John reminded his hearers that “Paul refers to the Church as ‘the Church of God’xlvi showing that it ought to be united. For if it is ‘of God,’ it is united; and it is one, not only in Corinth, but also throughout the world. For the Church’s name is not a name of separation, but of unity and concord.”xlvii

For John, the Church’s unity is founded in Christ, the Divine Word, who through his Incarnation unites Himself to the Church as the head of his own body.xlviii “For where the head is, there is the body also,” John proclaimed, so that “there is no separation between the head and the body.”xlix John understood that in the Incarnation, the Divine Word not only became man, he united Himself to us in his own body. “For neither was it enough for Him to be made man, to be beaten and slaughtered, but He also commingles Himself with us, and not by faith only, but also in very deed makes us His body.”l Commenting on the Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians: “He has put everything under Christ’s dominion, and made him the head to which the whole Church is joined, so that the Church is his body, the completion of him who everywhere and in all things is complete,”li John teaches that “the head is, as it were, filled up by the body, because the body is composed and made up of all its several parts. It is by all then that His body is filled up. Then is the head filled up, then is the body rendered perfect, when we are all knit together and united.”lii John thus concludes that Christ unites all the members of His Church to Himself and to each other. Our faith in Christ requires that we work for an effective, sacramental unity between the members of the Church; such faith seeks to put an end to divisions in the Church.

Nowhere for St John is this ecclesial unity through Christ witnessed more powerfully than in the Divine Liturgy. He teaches that this sacramental unity of the Eucharist forms the basis for ecclesial unity in and through Christ. “For indeed there are many things to bind us together. One table is set before all ... the same drink has been given to all; or rather not only the same drink but also the same cup. For our Father, desiring to lead us to a kindly affection, has devised this also, that we should drink out of one cup; a thing which belongs to intense love.”liii Reflecting on the words of St Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, “The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the Body of Christ?”,liv John reminds his hearers that the Apostle “intended to point out how close was the union, in that we communicate not only by participating and taking part, but also by being united. For as that body is united to Christ, so also are we united to him by this bread.”lv Reflecting further on the significance of St Paul’s words, “For we, who are many, are one bread, one body,”lvi St John insists that our union with Christ through the Eucharist also binds us to one another in charity. “For what is the bread? The Body of Christ. And what do they become who eat it? The Body of Christ: not many bodies, but one body. For as the bread consisting of many grains is made one ... so are we conjoined both with each other and with Christ. ... Now if we are all nourished of the same and all become the same, why do we not also show forth the same love, and become also in this respect one?”lvii

St John’s faith in the mystery of the love that binds believers to Christ and to one another led him to express a profound reverence for the Eucharist, a reverence that he fostered in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, as is demonstrated by the fact that one of the richest expressions of eastern liturgy bears his name to this day. St John understood that the Divine Liturgy situated the believer spiritually between his life on earth and the heavenly reality which was promised to him by the Lord. He expressed his awe at celebrating these sacred mysteries to St Basil the Great in these words: “For when you see the Lord sacrificed, and laid upon the altar, and the priest standing and praying over the victim, ... can you then think that you are still among men, standing upon the earth? Are you not, on the contrary, straightway transported to heaven ...?” These sacred rites, says St John, “are not only marvelous to behold, but transcendent in awe. There stands the priest ... bringing down the Holy Spirit, and he prays at length ... that grace descending on the sacrifice may thereby enlighten the minds of all and render them more resplendent than silver purified by fire. Who can despise this most awesome mystery?lviii St John urged this same sense of reverence before the eucharistic mystery on those who heard his preaching: “Reverence now this table from which we all are partakers, Christ, who was slain for us, the victim that is placed thereon.”lix John spoke movingly of the sacramental effects of Holy Communion upon believers. “Christ’s blood causes the image of our King to be fresh within us, produces unspeakable beauty, and does not permit the nobleness of our souls to waste away, but waters it continually, and nourishes it.”lx For this reason, St John, echoing the Holy Scriptures, insistently and frequently exhorted the faithful to approach the altar of the Lord worthily, “not lightly and ... out of custom and form,” but with “sincerity and purity of soul”.lxi He insisted that interior preparation for Holy Communion should include repentance for one’s sins and gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice on behalf of our salvation. He thus urged the lay faithful to participate fully and devoutly in the rites of the Divine Liturgy and, with this same disposition, to receive Holy Communion. “Let us not, I beg you, slay ourselves by our irreverence, but with awe and purity draw near to it; and when you see it set before you, say to yourself: «Because of this Body am I no longer earth and ashes, no longer a prisoner, but free: because of this I hope for heaven, and to receive the good things therein, immortal life, the portion of angels, to converse with Christ».”lxii

St John reminded his hearers that their communion with the body and blood of Christ obliges them to provide material assistance for the poor and hungry in their midst.lxiii The Lord’s table is the place where believers recognize the poor and needy, whom they may not have previously known.lxiv St John urged the faithful to look beyond the altar on which the eucharistic sacrifice was offered and to see in it Christ in the person of the poor. By helping the poor they make a sacrifice on the altar of Christ that is acceptable to God.lxv

IV. Conclusion

Each time we encounter these Fathers of ours – Pope John Paul II wrote in reference to another great Father and Doctor, St Basil – “we are confirmed in faith and encouraged in hope.”lxvi The sixteenth centenary of the death of Saint John Chrysostom offers an auspicious occasion for advancing studies about him, returning to his teachings, and encouraging devotion toward him. I shall be spiritually present with my heart full of thanks and good wishes in each and every project and celebration undertaken on the occasion of this sixteenth centenary. I also wish to express my ardent desire that the Fathers of the Church, “in whose voice echoes the constant Christian Tradition”lxvii become ever more a fixed point of reference for all theologians of the Church. Turning to the Fathers signifies returning to the sources of Christian experience in order to taste its freshness and genuineness. Therefore, what greater wish could I express to theologians than for their renewed commitment to recover the sapiential patrimony of the Holy Fathers? It cannot but produce a precious enrichment for their reflection, even on the problems of our times.

I am pleased to conclude this writing with a final word from the great Teacher, in which he invites his faithful – and naturally ourselves – to reflect on eternal values. “For how long shall we be nailed to present things? How long shall it be before we rouse ourselves? How long shall we neglect our own salvation? Let us bear in mind of what things Christ has deemed us worthy, let us give thanks, let us glorify Him, not by our faith alone, but also by our very works, that we may obtain the good things that are to come, through the grace and loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, now and ever and world without end. Amen.”lxviii

I bless you all!

From Castel Gandolfo, 10 August 2007, the third of my Pontificate.

Benedictus p.p. XVI

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i Cf. Benedictus XVI, Discorso nella Chiesa Patriarcale di San Giorgio al Fanar, Istanbul, 29 novembre 2006.

ii Cf. Pius X, Epistola venerabili Vincentio S.R.E. Card. Vannutelli (22 Iulii 1907): Acta Sanctae Sedis, Ephemerides Romanae, 40 (1907) 453-455.

iii Cf. Pius XII, Litt. Enc. Divino afflante spiritu (30 settembre 1943): AAS 35 (1943) 316.

iv Cf. Concilium Vaticanum II, Dei Verbum, n. 13, 18 novembre 1965. Cf. Paulus VI, Discorso ai professori italiani di Sacra Scrittura in occasione del XXII settimana biblica nazionale, 29 settembre 1972.

v Cf. Ioannes XXIII, Litt. Enc. Princeps pastorum (28 novembre 1959): AAS 51 (1959) 846-847.

vi Cf. Paulus VI, Litt. Enc. Mysterium fidei, n. 17 (3 settembre 1965): AAS 57 (1965) 756. Cf. Benedictus XVI, Discorso durante la recita del Angelus, Castel Gandolfo, 18 settembre 2005; id., Sacramentum caritatis, n. 13, 22 febbraio 2007.

vii Cf. Ioannes Paulus II, Lettera al Patriarca ecumenico di Costantinopoli, Sua Santità Bartolomeo I, 27 novembre 2004.

viii Cf. Benedictus XVI, Discorso nella Chiesa Patriarcale di San Giorgio al Fanar, Istanbul, 29 novembre 2006.

ix Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, De sacerdotio 1,1-3 (SCh 272,60-76); Palladius, Dialogus de vita Joannis Chrysostomi 5 (SCh 341,104-110).

x Cf. Theodoretus Cyrrhensis, Historia religiosa 2,15; 8,5-8 (SCh 234, 226-8; 382-92).

xi Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Laus Diodori episcopi (PG 52,761-766); Socrates, Historia ecclesiastica 6,3 (GCS, n.f. 1,313-315); Sozomenus, Historia ecclesiastica 8,2 (GCS 50,350-351).

xii Cf. Palladius, Dialogus de vita Joannis Chrysostomi 5 (SCh 341,108-110).

xiii Cf. Palladius, Dialogus de vita Joannis Chrysostomi 5 (SCh 341,110-112).

xivCf. Johannes Chrysostomus, De incomprehensibili dei natura, (SCh 28bis, 93-322). Cf. id., In illud: Pater meus usque modo operatur (PG 63,511-516); id., In illud: Filius ex se nihil facit (PG 56,247-256).

xv Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, De incomprehensibili dei natura 1,352-353 (SCh 28bis, 132).

xvi Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Ad populum Antiochenum 6,1 (PG 49,81).

xvii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Ad populum Antiochenum 2-21 (PG 49,33-222); Id., Ad illuminandos catecheses 2 (PG 49,231-240).

xviii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Ad populum Antiochenum 2,1-3 (PG 49,33-38).

xix Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Ad populum Antiochenum ­2,5; 12,2; 17,2 (PG 49,40. 129. 180).



xx Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Ad populum Antiochenum 3,2; 16,5 (PG 49,49-50; 168-169).

xxi Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Ad populum Antiochenum 4,1 (PG 49,62), citing Rm 5:4.

xxii Cf. Socrates, Historia ecclesiastica 6,4 (GCS, n.f. 1,315-316); Sozomenus, Historia ecclesiastica 8,3 (GCS 50,352-353); Palladius, Dialogus de vita Joannis Chrysostomi 5 (SCh 341,112).

xxiii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, De Lazaro 3,1 (PG 48,932).

xxiv Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In illud: Pater meus usque modo operatur (PG 63,511-516); Id., In Acta apostolorum 30,4 (PG 60,226-228); Id., Contra ludos et theatra (PG 56,263-270).

xxv Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In Acta apostolorum 35,5; 45,3-4 (PG 60,252; 318-319). Cf. Palladius, Dialogus de vita Joannis Chrysostomi 5 (SCh 341,124).

xxvi Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam ad Colossenses 1,4 (PG 62,304-305).

xxvii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Cum Saturninus et Aurelianus 2 (PG 52,415-416).

xxviii Cf. Theodoretus Cyrrhensis, Historia religiosa 5,31 (GCS 44,330-331); Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Epistulae ad Olimpiadem 9,5 (SCh 13bis, 236-238).

xxix Cf. Palladius, Dialogus de vita Joannis Chrysostomi 5 (SCh 341,122).

xxx Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam ad Hebraeos 10,4 (PG 63,88).

xxxi Cf. Augustinus Hipponensis, Contra Iulianum libri sex, 1,7,30-31 (PL 44,661-662).

xxxii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Epistula ad Innocentium papam 1 (SCh 342,93).

xxxiii Cf. Palladius, Dialogus de vita Joannis Chrysostomi 3 (SCh 341,64-68); Innocentius I, Epistula 5 (PL 20,493-495).

xxxiv Cf. Palladius, Dialogus de vita Joannis Chrysostomi 3 (SCh 341,66-68).

xxxv Cf. Sozomenus, Historia ecclesiastica 8,26 (GCS 50,384-385).

xxxvi Cf. Sozomenus, Historia ecclesiastica 8,26 (GCS 50,385-387).

xxxvii Cf. Palladius, Dialogus de vita Joannis Chrysostomi 4 (SCh 341,84).

xxxviii Cf. Palladius, Dialogus de vita Joannis Chrysostomi 3-4 (SCh 341,80-86).

xxxix Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Epistula ad Innocentium papam II (PG 52,535-536).

xl Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Epistulae 157-161 (PG 52,703-706).

xli Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Epistula 155 (PG 52,702-703).

xlii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Epistula 182 (PG 52,714-715).

xliii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, Epistula 184 (PG 52,715-716).

xliv Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In Joannem 65,1 (PG 59,361-362).

xlv Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam i ad Corinthos 27,3 (PG 61,228).

xlvi 1 Cor 1,2.

xlvii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam i ad Corinthos 1,1 (PG 61,13).

xlviii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam i ad Corinthos 30,1 (PG 61,249-251); id., In epistulam ad Colossenses 3,2-3 (PG 62,320); id., In epistulam ad Ephesios 3,2 (PG 62,26).

xlix Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam ad Ephesios 3,2 (PG 62,26).

l Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In Matthaeum 82,5 (PG 58,743).

li Ef 1,22-23.

lii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam ad Ephesios 3,2 (PG 62,26). Cf. ibid. 20,4 (PG 62,140-141).

liii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In Matthaeum 32,7 (PG 57,386).

liv 1 Cor 10,16.

lv Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam i ad Corinthos 24,2 (PG 61,200). Cf. id., In Ioannem 46,3 (PG 63, 260-261); id., In epistulam ad Ephesios 3,4 (PG 62,28-29).

lvi 1 Cor 10,17.

lvii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam i ad Corinthos 24,2 (PG 61,200).

lviii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, De sacerdotio 3,4 (SCh 272,142-146).

lix Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam ad Romanos 8,8 (PG 60,465).

lx Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In Ioannem 46,3 (PG 63,261).

lxi Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam ad Ephesios 3,4 (PG 62,28). Cf. id., In epistulam i ad Corinthos 24 (PG 61,197-206); id., In epistulam i ad Corinthos 27,4 (PG 61,229-230); id., In epistulam i ad Timotheum 15,4 (PG 62,583-586); id., In Matthaeum 82,6 (PG 58,744-746)

lxii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam i ad Corinthos 24,4 (PG 61,203).

lxiii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam i ad Corinthos 27,5 (PG 61,230-231), id., In Genesim 5,3 (PG 54,602-603).

lxiv Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam i ad Corinthos 27,5 (PG 61,230).

lxv Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In epistulam ii ad Corinthos 20,3 (PG 61,540). Cf. id., In epistulam ad Romanos 21,2-4 (PG 60,603-607).

lxvi Cf. Ioannes Paulus II, Patres Ecclesiae, n. 1 (2 gennaio 1980).

lxvii Cf. Benedictus XVI, Discorso durante l’Udienza generale, 9 novembre 2005.

lxviii Cf. Johannes Chrysostomus, In Ioannem 46,4 (PG 63,262).

 
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A little six-year-old Protestant boy had often heard his Catholic companions reciting the prayer "Hail Mary." He liked it so much that he copied it, memorized it and would recite it every day. "Look, Mommy, what a beautiful prayer," he said to his mother one day.

"Never again say it," answered the mother. "It is a superstitious prayer of Catholics who adore idols and think Mary a goddess. After all, she is a woman like any other. Come on, take this Bible and read it. It contains everything that we are bound to do and have to do." From that day on the little boy discontinued his daily "Hail Mary" and gave himself more time to reading the Bible instead.

One day, while reading the Gospel, he came across the passage about the Annunciation of the Angel to Our Lady. Full of joy, the little boy ran to his mother and said: "Mommy, I have found the 'Hail Mary' in the Bible which says: 'Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women.' Why do you call it a superstitious prayer?"

On another occasion he found that beautiful Salutation of St. Elizabeth to the Virgin Mary and the wonderful canticle MAGNIFICAT in which Mary foretold that "the generations would call her blessed."

He said no more about it to his mother but started to recite the "Hail Mary" every day as before. He felt pleasure in addressing those charming words to the Mother of Jesus, our Savior.

When he was fourteen, he one day heard a discussion on Our Lady among the members of his family. Every one said that Mary was a common woman like any other woman. The boy, after listening to their erroneous reasoning could not bear it any longer, and full of indignation, he interrupted them, saying:

"Mary is not like any other children of Adam, stained with sin. No! The Angel called her FULL OF GRACE AND BLESSED AMONGST WOMEN. Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ and consequently Mother of God. There is no higher dignity to which a creature can be raised. The Gospel says that the generations will proclaim her blessed and you are trying to despise her and look down on her. Your spirit is not the spirit of the Gospel or of the Bible which you proclaim to be the foundation of the Christian religion."

So deep was the impression which the boy's talk had made that his mother many times cried out sorrowfully: "Oh my God! I fear that this son of mine will one day join the Catholic religion, the religion of Popes!" And indeed, not very long afterwards, having made a serious study of both Protestantism and Catholicism, the boy found the latter to be the only true religion and embraced it and became one of its most ardent apostles.

Some time after his conversion, he met his married sister who rebuked him and said indignantly: "You little know how much I love my children. Should any one of them desire to become a Catholic, I would sooner pierce his heart with a dagger than allow him to embrace the religion of the Popes!"

Her anger and temper were as furious as those of St. Paul before his conversion. However, she would change her ways, just as St. Paul did on his way to Damascus. It so happened that one of her sons fell dangerously ill and the doctors gave up hope of recovery. Her brother then approached her and spoke to her affectionately, saying:

"My dear sister, you naturally wish to have your child cured. Very well, then, do what I ask you to do. Follow me, let us pray one 'Hail Mary' and promise God that, if your son recovers his health, you would seriously study the Catholic doctrine, and should you come to the conclusion that Catholicism is the only true religion, you would embrace it no matter what the sacrifices may be."

His sister was somewhat reluctant at the beginning, but as she wished for her son's recovery, she accepted her brother's proposal and recited the "Hail Mary" together with him. The next day her son was completely cured. The mother fulfilled her promise and she studied the Catholic doctrine. After long preparation she received Baptism together with her whole family, thanking her brother for being an apostle to her.

The story was related during a sermon given by the Rev. Fr. Tuckwell. "Brethren," he went on and said, "the boy who became a Catholic and converted his sister to Catholicism dedicated his whole life to the service of God. He is the priest who is speaking to you now! What I am I owe to Our Lady. You, too, my dear brethren, be entirely dedicated also to Our Lady and never let a day pass without saying the beautiful prayer, 'Hail Mary', and your Rosary. Ask her to enlighten the minds of Protestants who are separated from the true Church of Christ founded on the Rock (Peter) and 'against whom the gates of hell shall never prevail.'
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Have you ever felt like you had to do something, but you don't know how or even why? Have you ever looked inside yourself, and flowed so fast that you can't even begin to capture what's inside?

To unlock what is there..to begin to explain.

And there are those who would cause me to fear..to cause me to play these games, to think I can hide- to feel secure.

But they already know more than I do, and so in that fear I only hide this from those who need to hear it all along..The fear is only there to keep me in darkness away from those who could benefit from the information- from the secrets.

I don't want to hide. I don't. I wish I could be the man I have to be, but I fail, because I'm so tired.

Should I go back to sleep?

Fairy tales disbelieved- enhanced reality. Mending pain, open veins- calling out for peace.
What's in just a little bit of history?

Ignore the smoke..ignore the smoke...

They feed on you..when you fail to see- Like a vitamin prolonging them, fending off their disease..yet inevitability..why won't they see? All things must come to an end. Adjoin to reality.

Fading dreams. I would live there forever..if only you were real. So beautiful..my desire..poison...

Stop.

Think.

A Rose by any other name would be as sweet. I can't protect you from this dream. Wake up, sleeping beauty. Wake up and see!

Fight, from wake to sleep..we fight just to live, or not, and fall to their will once again...Never stop fighting..never stop..breathe.

Love..life..this mystery.
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Independent, innovative, logical and driven by the inner world of ideas and possibilities, he often appears to others as a quietly self-confident (and sometimes stubborn) critic of the status quo, convinced that reality can be altered, the future reshaped. Wherever there is a need for change in systems, programs, concepts or theories, will be working behind the scenes to reorganize and revise. This his focused attention to the personal mission may be inspiring or frankly obsessive, depending on peoples viewpoints. Places trust in logical analysis and intuition to guide his thoughts and decisions. More feeling types may find him chilly, and more practical types accuse them of being unrealistic, but take their cues mostly from those he recognizes as intelligent. Often attracted to theoretical, analytical and methodological areas of inquiry, Can succeed in a wide variety of fields, from ones heavily dependent on mathematics and science to more philosophical, literary or applied disciplines.

He lives in the world of ideas and strategic planning. He values intelligence, knowledge, and competence, and typically have high standards in these regards, which he continuously strive to fulfill. To a somewhat lesser extent, he has similar expectations of others.

Focusing his energy on observing the world, and generating ideas and possibilities. His mind constantly gathers information and makes associations about it. He is tremendously insightful and usually are very quick to understand new ideas. However, his primary interest is not in understanding a concept, but rather applying that concept in a useful way. Unlike some people, he does not always follow an idea as far as he possibly can, seeking only to understand it fully. He is driven to come to conclusions about ideas. His need for closure and organization usually requires that he takes some action.

He can give gifts to society by putting their ideas into a useful form for others to follow. It is not easy for him to express his internal images, insights, and abstractions. The internal form of his thoughts and concepts is highly individualized, and is not readily translatable into a form that others will understand. However, he is driven to translate their ideas into a plan or system that is usually readily explainable, rather than to do a direct translation of their thoughts. He usually don't see the value of a direct transaction, and will also have difficulty expressing his ideas, which are non-linear. However, his extreme respect of knowledge and intelligence will motivate him to explain himselve to another person who he feel is deserving of the effort.

He spends a lot of time inside his own mind, and may have little interest in the other people's thoughts or feelings. Unless his Feeling side is developed, he'll continue having problems giving other people the level of intimacy that is needed. Unless his Sensing side is developed, he may have a tendency to ignore details which are necessary for implementing their ideas.

He needs to remember to express himself sufficiently, so as to avoid difficulties with people misunderstandings. In the absence of properly developing (IMHO) his communication abilities, he may become abrupt and short with people.

In conclusion, he has a tremendous amount of ability to accomplish great things. He -HAS- insight into the Big Picture, and -IS- driven to synthesize concepts into solid plans of action. His reasoning skills gives him the means to accomplish that. He can be quite competent, and should not have too big of a difficluty meeting your "work" or "educational" goals. He has the capability to make great strides in these arenas. On a personal level, if he practices tolerances and puts effort into effectively communicating his insights to others has everything in his power to lead a rich and rewarding life.
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Remember always that in time of strive, when nations fight against nations, when neighbours against neighbours. There was once an Ideal, to create a country of one people, but today, it is still torn apart.

To the People of Burma, my thoughts and prayers with you and to Israel, the land of Hope, how we always hope that one day, all may be free!!
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Yes, I know that this is mainly for the TLM or the Mass of John XXIII that has been universally approved by Pope Benedict XVI (yet to reach the ears of the Bishop's of Malaysia) but we can always adapt it for use at the N.O. Mass which we attend here in Malaysia.  It brings us closer to the true meaning of the Mass, which is the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary and understand what the Mass is really about..which is..as I repeat...the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary and not some Memorial Meal or something we have to attend.

We must always remember that when we attend Mass, we are witnessing right before us, the same steps that Christ took to save the world.  The Passion and Death on the Cross is before our eyes in the Mass.  This is the Source and Summit of our Catholic Faith and that is why we attend Mass, not to fulfill some obligation but because of our Desire to be Saved by Christ and to witness HIS Dying for us.  SO, excuses that we are tired or exhausted after a days work or a weeks work and that we deserve a little lie in is rather insipid of our faith.  Lets put this into perspective, how would you feel, that when you die, God says...hoo hum..I'm so tired..let me sleep in today and let this soul go to hell or stay a few millenium in Purgotary?  Would you like that?  

So stop giving excuses that you are too tired or need a lie in on Sunday and skip Mass.  there is no excuse for Missing the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  He gave us the Eucharist to remember Him of his Passion and Death for our Salvation, can't we at least spend an hour or more just by being actively meditating and participating at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass once a week?

When the priest goes to the foot of the Altar

Jesus enters the garden

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Who wast pleased voluntarily to endure mortal terror and anguish at the view of Thine approaching passion, give me grace henceforth to consecrate all my sorrows to Thee. O God of my heart! Assist me to support my trials in union with Thine agony, that through the merits of Thy Passion they may become profitable to my soul.

At the Beginning of Mass
Prayer of Jesus in the garden

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Who wast pleased to be comforted by an angel in Thy dreadful agony, grant through the merits of Thy prayer in the garden that Thy consoling angel may ever assist me in mine.

At the Confiteor
Jesus prostrated in the garden

Lord Jesus Christ, Who in the excess of Thine anguish, wast bathed in a sweat of blood while praying to Thy Father in the Garden of Olives, grant that I may participate in Thy sorrows by sympathy, and unite bitter tears of repentance with Thy tears of blood.

The Priest kisses the Altar

Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst submit to the embrace of Judas, preserve me by Thy grace, from misfortune of ever betraying Thee, and assist me to repay calumny and injustice with cordial charity and active kindness.

The priest goes to the Epistle side
Jesus is dragged to prison

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst submit to be bound with ropes by the hands of wicked men, break, I beseech Thee, the chains of my sinsand attach the powers of my soul and body closely to Thee bybonds of charity, that they may never escape from the salutaryrestraint of perfect submission to Thy Divine Will.

At the Introit
Jesus receives a blow

Lord Jesus Christ, Who wast conducted as a criminal to the house of Annas, grant that I may never suffer myself to be led into sin by temptations of the evil spirit, or the evil suggestions of my fellow creatures, but that I may be securely guided by the Divine Spirit in the perfect accomplishment of Thy holy ordinances.

At the Kyrie Eleison
Jesus is thrice denied by Peter

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst submit to be thrice denied in the house of Caiphas, by the head and prince of the apostles preserve me from the danger of evil company, that I may not be exposed to the misfortune of separation from Thee.

At the Dominus Vobiscum
Jesus looks at Peter and touches his heart

Lord Jesus Christ, who by one glance of love didst melt the heart of St. Peter into a fountain of penitential tears, grant by Thy mercy that I may weep for my sins and never by word or deed deny Thee, who art my lord and my God.

At the Epistle
Jesus is conducted to the house of Pilate

Lord Jesus Christ, Who wast pleased to be led before Pilate, and there falsely accused, teach me to avoid the deceits of the wicked, and to profess my faith by the constant practice of good works.

At the Munda Cor Meum
Jesus is led to Herod

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst silently endure to be again falsely accused before Herod, grant me patience under calumny, and silence under outrages.

At the Gospel
Jesus is mocked as a fool and sent back to Pilate

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst submit to be sent as a fool by Herod to Pilate, who though enemies before, then became friends, strengthen me so powerfully by Thy grace, that instead of apprehending the machinations of the wicked, I may learn to bear their malice as Thou didst and thus render their injustice profitable to my soul.

The Priest uncovers the Chalice
Jesus is stripped of His garments

Lord Jesus Christ, Who wast pleased to be despoiled of Thy garments and most inhumanly scourged for love of me, grant me grace to lay aside the burden of my sins by a good confession, and never to appear before Thee despoiled of the virtues of a Christian.

At the Offertory
Jesus is scourged

Lord Jesus Christ, Who wast pleased to be fastened to the pillar and torn with stripes, grant me grace to patiently endure the scourges of Thy paternal correction and never more to grieve Thy Heart with my sins.

The Priest offers the Chalice
Jesus is crowned with thorns

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst submit, through love for me, to be crowned with thorns, grant that my heart may be so penetrated with the thorns of repentance in this world, that I may deserve to be hereafter crowned with Thee in glory.

The priest washes his fingers
Pilate washes his hands

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who, although declared innocent by Pilate wast subjected to the insults and outrages of the Jews, grant me the grace to lead an irreproachable life and at the same time to maintain a holy indifference to the opinions of men.

At the Orate Fratres
Pilate says to the Jews, “Behold the Man”

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst submit to the derision of the Jews, and voluntarily wear the badges of their insolent mockery, grant that I may faithfully resist all emotions of vainglory and appear before Thee on the day of judgment clothed in the sacred garment of Thy humility.

At the Preface
Jesus is condemned to death

Lord Jesus Christ, Who, though the God of all sanctity, didst submit through love for me to a most ignominious condemnation, grant me grace to avoid rash judgments and strengthen me to bear with patience, the injustice of men.

At the Momento for the living
Jesus carries His Cross

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst carry thy heavy Cross for my salvation, grant that I may voluntarily embrace the cross of mortification and carry it daily for Thy love.

At the Communicantes
Veronica wipes with a linen cloth the Face of Jesus

Lord Jesus Christ, Who on Thy way to Calvary, didst say to the holy women that wept for the love of Thee: "Weep not for me but for yourselves;” give me the grace to weep for my sins with tears of holy contrition and love that will render me agreeable to Thy Divine Majesty.

Consecration of the Bread and Wine
Jesus is nailed to the Cross

Lord Jesus Christ, Who wast nailed to the Cross for my redemption, attaching to it through Thy Sacred Flesh, my sins, and the eternal punishment due to them, grant me Thy saving fear, that resolutely observing Thy Holy precepts, I may ever be attached to the Cross with Thee.

At the Elevation of the Host

The Cross of Jesus is elevated between Heaven and earth.

Lord Jesus Christ, Who wast pleased to be elevated on the Cross and exalted above the earth for the love of me, detach my heart, I beseech Thee, from all terrestrial affections and elevate my understanding to the consideration of Heavenly things.

At the Elevation of the Chalice

The Blood of Jesus flows from His wounds.

Lord Jesus Christ, Thy sacred wounds are the inexhaustible source of all grace; grant then, that Thy Precious Blood may purify my soul from all evil thoughts and prove a salutary remedy for all my spiritual miseries.

At the Momento for the dead

Jesus prays for all men

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst pray on the Cross for all men, even for Thine executioners, grant me the spirit of meekness and patience, that according to Thy precepts and example I may love my enemies and cordially return good for evil.

At the Nobis Quoque Peccatoribus
The conversion of the thief (St. Dismas)

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst promise the joys of Heaven to the penitent thief, look on me with eyes of compassion and say to my soul at the last moment of my life: “This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.”

At the Pater Noster
The seven words of Christ

Lord Jesus Christ, Who from the cross didst recommend Thy Blessed Mother to the beloved disciple, and the disciple to Thy Mother, receive me, I beseech Thee, under Thy protection, and grant that amidst the snares and perils of this world I may never lose the treasure of thy friendship.

At the division of the Host
Jesus expires of the Cross

Lord Jesus Christ, Who before expiring on the Cross didst commend Thy Soul to Thy Father, grant that I may die spiritually with Thee now, and so confide my eternal destiny with confidence to Thy hands at the hour of my death.

The Priest puts a particle of the Host into the Chalice
The Soul of Jesus descends into limbo

Lord Jesus Christ, who after overthrowing the empire of Satan didst descend into limbo to liberate the souls imprisoned there ; apply, I beseech Thee, the merits of Thy Blood and Passion to the suffering souls in Purgatory, that, being absolved from their sins, they may be received into Thy bosom, and enjoy eternal peace.

At the Agnus Dei
The conversion of sinners

Lord Jesus Christ, the contemplation of Thy torments has excited repentance in many hearts; grant me, through the efficacy of Thy painful sufferings and ignominious death, perfect contrition for my past offenses, and the grace to avoid all willful sin.

At the Communion
Jesus is buried

Lord Jesus Christ, Who wast pleased to be buried in a new monument, give me a new heart, so that being buried with Thee, I may attain to the glory of Thy resurrection.

At the Ablution
Jesus is embalmed

Lord Jesus Christ, who wast pleased to be embalmed and wrapped in a clean linen cloth by Joseph and Nicodemus, give me the grace to receive most worthily, Thy Precious Body and Blood in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, with a heart embalmed with the precious ointment of Thy virtues.

After the Communion
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst triumphantly issue from the fast sealed monument, grant that, rising from the tomb of my sins, I may walk in newness of life so that when Thou shalt appear in glory I may merit also to appear with Thee.

At the Dominus Vobiscum
Jesus appears to His disciples

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst gladden the hearts of Thy Blessed Mother and Thine apostles by manifesting Thyself to them after Thy Resurrection, grant that, since I cannot be so happy as to behold Thee in this mortal life, I may hereafter enjoy the unclouded vision of Thy glory.

At the Post Communion
Jesus converses for forty days with His disciples

Lord Jesus Christ, Who after Thy Resurrection deign to converse for forty days with Thy disciples, instructing them in the mysteries of our faith, increase, I beseech Thee, my knowledge of those Divine Truths, and confirm my belief in them.

The last Dominus Vobiscum
Jesus ascends to Heaven

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst ascend gloriously into Heaven in the presence of Thy disciples, grant me so to love Thee that I may desire none but eternal joys, and aspire to the possession of Thee as the first and best of all blessings.

At the Priest’s blessing
The descent of the Holy Ghost

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst send the Holy Ghost on Thine apostles, while engaged in unanimous and persevering prayer, purify my soul, I beseech Thee, that the Paraclete, finding therein a dwelling well pleasing to Him, may adorn it with His gifts andreplenish it with His consolations
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As we get closer to All Soul's Day, in the next month and a half, I will probably post some things on Purgatory and the importance of praying for the dead. In my own experience, prayer for the dead is something that is not emphasized as much as it probably should be within the Church.

Some quotes on Purgatory and praying for the dead:



Purgatory is a state of purification, where the soul that has fully repented of its sins but has not fully expiated them has removed from itself the last elements of uncleanliness. In purgatory all remaining love of self is transformed into love of God. At death one's soul goes to heaven, if it is completely fit for heaven; to purgatory, if it is not quite fit for heaven, but not worthy of condemnation; or to hell, if it is completely unfit for heaven. Purgatory is a temporary state. Everyone who enters it will get to heaven, and, after the last soul leaves purgatory for heaven, purgatory will cease to exist.

- Karl Keating

***

If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge will turn you over to the constable, and the constable throw you in into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

- Luke 12:58-59

***

No one can lay a foundation other than the one that has been laid, namely Jesus Christ. If different ones build on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw, the work of each will be made clear. The Day will disclose it. That day will make its appearance with fire, and fire will test the quality of each man's work. If the building a man has raised on this foundation still stands, he will receive his recompense; if a man's building burns, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as one fleeing through fire.

- 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

***

Either in this life or in the life to come, the soul that seeks union with God must be purged by 'The Fiery Love of God.' The holy souls are purged of all the rust and stains of sin which they have not rid themselves in this life. The fire of Purgatory is first of all The Fiery Love of God.

- St. Catherine of Genoa

***

The friars, as was customary, had come together to partake of their frugal meal, and Padre Pio, too, was nibbling on something. The lively chattering was abruptly cut off by a brusque movement on the part of Padre Pio. He suddenly darted to the door of the friary and started up a lively conversation with some people who, however, remained invisible to the other friars who had followed him. As they watched Padre Pio talking to what seemed to them to be nobody, the friars remarked to one another 'He has gone crazy!' However, they asked him whom he was talking to. Understanding their chagrin, he smiled and answered, 'Oh don't worry. I was talking to some souls who were on their way from Purgatory to Heaven. They stopped here to thank me because I remembered them in my Mass this morning.' With that, he returned to his place in the refectory as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

- Fr. Alessio Parente
on Padre Pio's special relationship with souls in Purgatory

***

A woman, after the death of her husband . . . prays for his soul and asks that he may, while waiting, find rest; and that he may share in the first resurrection. And each year, on the anniversary of his death, she offers the sacrifice.

- Tertullian
A.D. 211

***

Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next, we make mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep, and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep, for we believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn sacrifice is laid out.

- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

***************************************************************************************************************************

From a talk given by Fr. John Riccardo of the Archdiocese of Detroit from a few years ago.

He was asked the question "Can non-Christians go to Heaven?"

I have transcribed this from the CD of Fr. John's talk. I thought it was very helpful (to me at least) in getting a better understanding on this topic.

Fr. John Riccardo:

Can others go to Heaven? Absolutely. Let's put it this way: the ONLY way into Heaven is by Christ's atonement on the Cross. That's the ONLY way for anyone to get into Heaven.

You may or may not know that.

Or believe it.

And there may be lots of reasons for that.

It might be that I'm the only person you've ever met who's a Catholic or a Christian and I'm such a scandalous witness that you would find it unthinkable to become like me.

But if in fact, you are saved, you're saved by the blood of Christ which was shed on Calvary. And you WILL know that by the time you get into Heaven.

If that's the case then, why should we do evangelization? If it's not the case that you need to be an on-the-books member of St. Anastasia church? Or an on-the-books member of the Catholic Church in the world to be saved?

We've got lots of people who are members of this parish who aren't in the heart of the Church. Meaning, "I've got envelopes...but Jesus hasn't impacted my life at all."

The fact that they are "Catholic" at any parish means nothing.

Catholic isn't something I join as a club. Catholic is my life. Being Christian is my life. My whole life is conformed to Christ. Or I'm trying to conform it to Christ.

There are other people who are NOT members--visibly speaking--of this parish--or of a Catholic Church in the world--who actually live more in the heart of the church than people who are visibly members of this church. Make sense?

There are some people who don't accept the Resurrection...often because they've never thought about it. Or because they're scandalized. Or because they're so culturally brought up that it would be impossible for them to think about it. So, is it possible that the are, in fact, actually following their conscience, trying and aspiring to live a good life as they understand it--an objectively good life--not whatever makes me feel good--an objectively good life....and that they are more "Catholic" than the person who has envelopes, never goes to church, or goes at Christmas and Easter....never goes to confession...refuses and rejects everything that the Church teaches...which one is more Catholic?

This one--who's not a member.

I want them to BE Catholic. And I want THIS person to understand what the faith means.

I want them to be Catholic--even though they could be SAVED--even though it's by Christ's blood and they don't know it....NOW...I want to do evangelization NOW because to be in a relationship with God through His son Jesus is what we're MADE for.

Therefore, I don't want to simply evangelize you because of the end: Heaven. I want to evangelize you because of NOW. Happiness in THIS life comes NOW from being in a relationship with God. That's what we're made for. That will BE Heaven. Actually partaking of the Divine nature. That's what 2 Peter 1:4 tells us--that you and I were meant to share in the Divine nature. Nowhere on this earth do you and I share in the Divine nature more concretely than when we come to Mass and we actually partake of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus and put Him into our mouth. At that moment, I concretely and objectively partake of the Divine nature. I get a taste--literally--of the life of Heaven. And I want--in charity--everyone I know to experience that now. Because that's what we're made for.

What's happened, unfortunately, from some people in the Church...because we've understood this way of talking about people being saved without formally belonging to the Church...other people have thrown up their hands and said "Why even bother with evangelization?"

We still teach that there is no salvation ouside the Church.

We still teach that. But that doesn't mean that I formally belong to the Church. Vatican II has got some great stuff on this.

Is there salvation outside the Church? The answer to that is "no." Clearly not. But we have to correctly understand that.

Some people--for example--there was a priest in Boston named Feeny in the 1950s--who in proclaiming the Church's teaching that there was no salvation outside the Church taught it in such a way that was improper to Catholic teaching and got himself excommunicated, at which point, he had to hope he was wrong...because he was at that moment outside the Church....blessed be to God he got reconciled with the Church...but he thought it to mean a FORMAL membership in the Church. Which is not the case.

What it says is that...everything that God can give us--the fullness of the means of salvation--subsists in the Catholic Church. So, everything that God can give us--in its entirety--to be in relationship with Him--is found in the Catholic Church.

Scripture. Tradition. Sacraments. Lives of the saints. Moral teaching....magisterium...on and on and on.

In some places, that are not Catholic that are Christian, you'll find some of those things. You'll find great love of Scripture...you'll find some understanding of some of the Sacraments--at least baptism and often some understanding of Communion.....you'll find the moral teaching. So, do they have means of salvation? Yeah. But those belong to us. Therefore, they're saved through the Church even though they didn't know it.

Other monotheistic religions would share a belief in one God...a belief in one life and judgment at the end of life...a belief in having to live according to the dictates of my conscience...a belief that God acts in history...are those means of salvation for them? Yeah. They belong to us.

Others who are not even monotheistic who live with some understanding that I should conform my life to a real standard of good and evil, right and wrong....who are trying to live according to their conscience...who may understand that at the end of my life I'm going to have a judgment....are those means of salvation? Yeah. They belong here. In the Church. In the boat which is Peter's boat with Christ at the helm.

That’s how we understand salvation outside the Church.

There is none. Because all the means that God could give us subsist here.

Which is not a claim of arrogance. In doing evangelization we need to be firm and clear on this too. That’s not to say “Ha ha, I’m better than you, I have all this.” What it is to say is, “Oh no—I have all these means at my disposal to be Holy. Therefore, I have a greater demand on MY life to be Holy than someone who doesn’t have all of this. The fact that I’m NOT holier is a scandal.” So rather than a claim of superiority, like “Ha, we’ve got it all and you got nothing"...it’s a claim for the world to say “Then show it.”