SAINT OF THE DAY: 30 MAY, 2014

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Saint Joan of Arc
Virgin, Martyr
(1412-1431)

Who today does not know the history of the Maid of Orleans, who saved France from the foreign domination of the English, only to be betrayed by the legitimate prince whom her efforts had crowned at Rheims, then burnt at the stake on May 30, 1431?

Both in the French and English languages, many books and articles have honored her since her canonization in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.

The Holy Father spoke before the bishop of Orleans and others present for the reading of the decree which approved her two final great miracles, needed to proceed with the canonization.

He said, We find the memory of Joan of Arc so apt to enkindle love in the French people for their mother country, that we regret being French only in our heart! Many others could say the same, and confirm the exactitude of the proverb: Every Christian has two mother countries — the one where he or she first saw the light of day, and France!

Two years later, Pope Pius XI declared Saint Joan patroness of France with the Most Blessed Virgin, placing her second only to the Mother of God. In that year Monsignor Baudrillart, French historian, wrote that Saint Joan of Arc may be proposed as an example to all young children by her perfect piety; as a model of fidelity to the call of heaven, to all young persons.

For artisans, scholars, writers, teachers, she gives excellent example by her respect for truth and her remarkable prudence. Those dedicated to the works of mercy should find inspiration in her charity, visible when she consoled and wept for her wounded and dying enemies.

All agricultural workers can invoke her with confidence, for when Joan, with the archbishop of Rheims, rode through the rich fields in the month of August and saw the reapers at work, she expressed a wish, despite the honors she then enjoyed, to die in the midst of the country-folk of France whom she loved.

Her illness in prison, her martyrdom in the flames, recommend her intercession to the sick, as also to all who pray for loved ones in purgatory.

Finally, Monsignor Baudrillart concluded, we pray our new Patroness to intercede unceasingly with God and the Most Blessed Virgin that France, its thoughts turned towards the true liberty of God’s children and its own ancient dignity, may truly be today as before, the firstborn daughter of the Church.

For centuries that title — conferred because of the early conversion of King Clovis and three thousand of his noble soldiers, baptized on Christmas day of 496 — was the glory of Christian France.

It was later magnificently renewed and embellished by the heroic virgin, Joan of Arc.

(SOURCE: Almanach Catholique français pour 1923 (Librairie Bloud et Gay: Paris, 1923).)

READING OF THE DAY: 30 MAY, 2014

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“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.

When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.

So you also are now in anguish.

But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.

On that day you will not question me about anything.

Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” -John 16:20-23a.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 29 MAY, 2014

Santa_Urszula-Orsola-Ledochowska

St. Mother. Orsola (Giulia) Ledóchowska
Religious
(1865-1939)

“If only I knew how to love, to burn and consume oneself in love” – so the 24 year old Giulia Ledóchowska wrote before taking religious vows, novice in the Ursuline convent of Krakow. On the day of the religious profession she took the name ‘Maria Ursula of Jesus’, and the words stated above became the guide lines of her entire life.

In her mothers’ family (of Swiss nationality and of the dynasty of the Salis), as well as in her fathers’ (an old Polish family) there were many politicians, military men, ecclesiastics and consecrated people, who were involved in the history of Europe and of the Church.

She was raised in a family of numerous brothers and sisters where affectionate and disciplined love was dominant.

The first three children, including M. Ursula, chose the consecrated life: Maria Teresa (beatified in 1975) founded the future ‘Society of S. Peter Claver’ and the younger brother Vladimiro became the general Preposito of the Jesuits.

M. Ursula lived in the convent at Krakow for 21 years. Her love for the Lord, her educational talent and sensibility towards the needs of youngsters in the changing social, political and moral conditions of those times put her at the centre of attention.

When women earned the right to study in Universities, she succeeded in organising the first boarding-house in Poland for female students where they not only found a safe place to live and study, but also received a solid religious preparation.

This passion, together with the blessing of Pope Pio X, gave her the strength to move into the heart of Russia which was hostile towards the Church.

When, in civilian dress, she left with another Sister for Petersburg (where religious life was prohibited) she did not know that she was headed towards an unknown destination and that the Holy Spirit would lead her upon roads she had not foreseen.

In Petersburg the Mother with the steadily growing community of nuns (soon established as an autonomous structure of the Ursulines) lived secretly, and even though under constant surveillance by the secret police, they brought forward an intense educational and religious project which was also directed towards the encouragement of relationships between Polish and Russians.

When war broke out starts in 1914, M. Ursula had to leave Russia. She headed for Stockholm and during her Scandinavian travels (Sweden, Denmark, Norway) her activity concentrated not only on education, but also on the life of the local Church, on giving aid to the war victims and on ecumenical work.

The house where she lived with her nuns became a point of reference for people of different political and religious orientation.

Her strong love for her country was the same as her tolerance towards ‘diversity’ and towards others. Once asked to speak of her political orientation, she promptly answered ‘My policy is love’.

In 1920 M. Ursula, her sisters and a vast number of orphan children of immigrants returned to Poland. The Apostolic Headquarters transforms its autonomous convent of the ‘Ursulines of the Sacred Agonising Heart of Jesus’

The spirituality of the congregation is concentrated on the contemplation of the salvific love of Christ and participation in His mission by means of educational projects and service to others, particularly to the suffering, the lonely and the abandoned who were searching for the meaning of life.

M. Ursula educated her sisters to love God above everything else and to find God in every human being and in all Creation. She gave a particularly credible testimony to the personal bond with Christ and to being an efficient instrument of both Evangelical and educational influence by means of her smile and serenity of soul. Her humility and capacity to live the ordinary everyday routine as a privileged road towards holiness made her a clear example of this life style.

The congregation developed quickly. The communities of the Ursuline nuns in Poland and on the eastern frontiers of the country which were poor, multinational and multi-confessional were established. In 1928 the Generalate was established in Rome along with a boarding-house for girls who were economically less well-off, in order to give them the possibility to come into contact with the spiritual and religious richness of the heart of the Church and of European civilisation.

The Sisters began to work in the poor suburbs of Rome. In 1930 the nuns accompanied girls in search of work and established themselves in France.

Wherever possible M.Ursula founded educational and instructional work centres. She sent the nuns to Catechise and to work in the poor parts of town. She wrote books and articles for children and youngsters.

She initiated and sustained ecclesiastical organisations for children (Eucharistic Movement), for youngsters and for women. She actively participated in the life of the Church and State thus receiving great acknowledgement and decorations from both the State and the Church.

When her laborious and not easy life came to an end in Rome on May 29, 1939, people said of her: “She died a saint”.

John Paul II beatified M. Ursula on June 20, 1983 in Poznan and canonized her on May 18, 2003 at Rome.

(SOURCE: Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

READING OF THE DAY: 29 MAY, 2014

Godlovesyou

“The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.

When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”” -Matthew 28:16-20.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 27 MAY, 2014

st melangell

Saint Melangell was an Irish princess who left her native land over 1,400 years ago and came, no doubt with her companions and servants, to Britain and to the Tanat valley, seeking and finding a place to live her life in quiet prayer and devotion to God.

Her legend (translated from a 17th Century manuscript by Professor Oliver Davies of Saint David’s College, Lampeter) tells of the illustrious Prince Brychwel Ysgithrog of Pengwern Powys who in AD 604 whilst hunting in a place called Pennant started a hare and with his hounds gave chase.

They came to a thicket of brambles and thorns wherein he found a beautiful maiden, given up to divine contemplation, with the hare lying boldly under the hem of her garments.

Moved by her piety and her serenity the prince endowed Melangell, daughter of King Jowchel of Ireland, with land and built for her a place of sanctuary for the service of God that it may be a ‘perpetual asylum, refuge and defence’, saying unto her: “O most worthy Melangell, I perceive that thou art the handmaiden of the true God. Because it hath pleased Him for thy merits to give protection to this little wild hare from the attack and pursuit of the ravening hounds, I give and present to thee with willing mind these my lands for the service of God, to be a perpetual asylum and refuge. If any men or women flee hither to seek thy protection, provided they do not pollute thy sanctuary, let no prince or chieftain be so rash towards God as to attempt to drag them forth.”

Melangell passed the rest of her days in this lonely place, sleeping on bare rock. Many were the miracles which she wrought for those who sought refuge in her sanctuary with pure hearts.

To this day, in honour of Saint Melangell, the hares are respected by the local hunters of Cwm Pennant and are never ever shot!

The following delightful pun on her name was ancient even when it was recorded (in Welsh) in the registers of her little church in 1723:

Mil engyl a Melangell
Trechant lu fyddin y fall.

Melangell with a thousand angels
Triumphs over all the powers of evil.

Translated from the Welsh by The Revd Canon A.M. Allchin, Director of St. Theosevia’s Centre for Spirituality, Oxford, and Honorary Professor of Celtic Spirituality in The University of Wales, Bangor (from his inaugral lecture in 1993).

The beautifully restored church of Pennant Melangell (a regular place of worship for the local farming community from its first foundation, probably in the 7th century) containing possibly the oldest Romanesque shrine in Britain stands in Cwm Pennant. This is an arm of the Tanat valley, and the church is at the end of a two mile lane from Llangynog in Powys.

It is a haven of tranquillity and peace and once again a centre for quiet pilgrimage. It is visited by pilgrims of all nations and denominations. American and Russian, Welsh and English, Scots and Irish; Methodist and Anglican, Catholic and Lutheran, Baptist and Orthodox. All have found their way to Pennant Melangell and found themselves at home.

The Life of Melangell and the story of the restoration of her shrine and its recently re-established pilgrimage tradition is told in ‘Pennant Melangell Place of Pilgrimage’ by A.M. Allchin and published 1994 by Gwasg Santes Melangell, the shrine church of Pennant Melangell, Llangynog, Powys, North Wales SY10 0HQ (off the B4391 from Llanfyllin to Bala). St. Melangell’s church is open daily 10am to 4pm in summer.

Today, the ‘Journey to Pennant Melangell – Welcome for Pilgrims’ (also published by Gwasg Santes Melangell) writes thus of the story of the hare:

“It is a story which speaks to us about the clash between a violent and aggressive world and a way of life which puts all its trust in God. It is a way of life which is prayerful and quiet, full of compassionate care for all living things. It makes vivid something of early Celtic Christianity which greatly fascinates people today living in a word which is very different and yet strangely similar.”

From the same source comes the Pilgrim’s Prayer:

We thank you Lord God
for the life and prayer
of your servant Melangell.
May her care and compassion
for all your creatures
inspire us in our day
with the same concern
for all You have made.
May we with her learn
to find Your glory
In the world around us
and in all that
You give us to do.
We ask this through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

‘The Book of Saints’ Compiled by the Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate (sixth edition 1989/94) ISBN 0304343579 notes that her feast is May 27th and that she died c590. Others date her death to c607, c641 or even early 8th Century.

David Farmer includes Saint Melangell (for the first time) in the 4th edition (1997) of his ‘Oxford Dictionary of Saints’ (page 345) ISBN 0192800582 and notes that she and Saint Winifred are the only two Welsh female saints to claim the distinction of a mediaeval Latin biography.

READING OF THE DAY: 28 MAY, 2014

Jesus-and-disciples

“Jesus said to his disciples: I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.

But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.

He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.

He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.

Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” -John 16:12-15.

…THE HERETIC AND THE SINNER….

bible_open_lamp

So…I have been called both “Heretic” and “Sinner”….so in the interest of clearing the air a bit, let’s take a look at the definition of these two things and see if we can shed some light onto the recent cyber attacks against your’s truly, shall we?

Well, Webster’s Dictionary defines a Heretic thus:

her·e·tic noun \ˈher-ə-ˌtik, ˈhe-rə-\
: someone who believes or teaches something that goes against accepted or official beliefs
(other terms: nonconformist,apostate, defector, renegade)
Time of Origin: 14th century

Well THAT sounds like me…I mean, after all, I DO teach that which goes against accepted or official beliefs.

I teach TRUTH, not dogma or rhetoric. I do not interpret His Word…I GIVE IT AS IT IS GIVEN..WITHOUT using church laws or Canon Laws…

See, back in 325 when all of the then leaders of religious churches sat down at the command of Constantine the Emperor to join together all of the different churches teaching a belief in Christ, they decided to set down ‘rules’ or LAWS to govern how this newly formed ideology was to run.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states that: “Canon law is the body of laws and regulations made by or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. The word adopted is here used to point out the fact that there are certain elements in canon law borrowed by the Church from civil law or from the writings of private individuals, who as such had no authority in ecclesiastical society.”

So…they took MAN’S law and decreed it to be GOD’S law…interesting, yes? When does MAN’S law come above GOD’S LAW where matters of FAITH come into play? THEY DO NOT. He gave it to us in plain BLACK AND WHITE.

Well, let’s see….what was the FIRST Canon Law established then?

I turn my gaze to the Vatican Archives where it says “Can. 1 The canons of this Code regard only the Latin Church.”

So…as I am NOT of The Latin Church (but DO use Latin in prayers as it gives a comforting feeling to those who read/hear it) this means I am NOT UNDER CANON LAW.

ERGO: If I am not Catholic, then Canon Law does not apply, therefore I am not a ‘Heretic’ of The Latin Faith…Let’s move on:

Webster’s states:
sin·ner noun \ˈsi-nər\
: someone who has done something wrong according to religious or moral law : someone who has sinned

Well…HAVE I done something wrong according to Religious or Moral law by preaching the Gospel, giving comfort to the grieving, or those in pain or need? I cannot see how…as it was HIS COMMAND to His servant to preach the Gospel to ALL creation, not JUST those of a certain religious belief system or church…

Let’s turn to the HIGHEST Lawgiver for the answer to that….

My Master (Jesus) said in His word: “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” -Mark 16:15

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” -John 13:34

I love those who look to me for spiritual advice, or prayer…and I DO preach The Gospel, sparing NO ONE it’s words when I post them…

And the BIGGIE…

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”” -Mark 12:28-31

Sorry again folks….looks like I am not understanding your anger at me again…it seems you read, but do not understand His word…here..let me try to explain… the BIGGEST one my Master gave to us…THE BIG LAW we are to live by…

“”Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” -Luke 6:37

Why is THIS one the BIG one? Well, there is only ONE Judge…and that is GOD. By attacking others you set yourself ABOVE God’s law..and that, in my simple mind, will just not do at all.

But you say to me “WE ARE SERVING GOD”

Do you really believe you serve God when you attack others who are not of your ‘religion’?

Does not HIS WORD say to “Love one another”?!?

(I COULD give the timeless classic of “The Straw and the Rafter” a go, but that would seem a bit overmuch.)

I can tell you where this anger comes from…PRIDE…yup…one of the “Seven deadly Sins”…

You go to church, you sing, you say”AMEN” and “HALLELUJAH”, and then you go home THINKING that you have served God, cleared of your sins for another week until you go back to a building to do it all over again. …are you really though? Do you think God only wants you to serve on SUNDAY alone?

Or are you, like me, serving God by serving His children 24-7-365…by strapping on a collar, taking Holy Vows and Ordination, and surrendering your LIFE (yes, without thought of the SELF) to follow His Word…?

Have YOU taken vows to serve God’s law and ONLY God’s law?

Have YOU given up EVERYTHING to help His children in need and follow Him?

Or do you simply drop some money in a plate and think that clears you…

Am I a ‘Sinner”? YES I AM…because I DO sin.

I sin sometimes in my thoughts, words, deeds…of course I do…SO DO YOU..SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE ON THIS PLANET…silly people…if I followed YOUR standards and not His does that mean by YOUR standard that I deserve to attack YOU for YOUR beliefs? You betcha

BUT I WON’T

I cannot…and you know why? It would mean I was JUDGING YOU. I do not judge…your belief is just that, YOUR belief..MINE is MINE… before you take up a cry and grab the torches and pitchforks look HARD at yourself…do YOU sin? (If you say ‘NO’ then you are a LIAR)

No…I will simply say this, in my Master’s own words:

“And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” -Mark 6:11

This is me shaking the dust of you off my sandals…for I do not serve a CHURCH, with laws made by MAN…I serve GOD…with laws set down by GOD AND GOD ALONE.

So it begs the question: where DOES this anger at someone preaching The Word other than what YOU were taught in church come from? I turn to James 4 to answer this…

“What causes fights and quarrels among you?
Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

You desire but do not have, so you kill.
You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.

You do not have because you do not ask God.

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people,a don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God?

Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Grieve, mourn and wail.
Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another.

Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it.

When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.

But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” -James 4:1-12

I cannot say it any more clearly than His word..and with that, I wish you peace.

(but this does not mean I will not DELETE you and BLOCK you from my social website page..it means that I deserve peace in both my parish, and in my heart, and I will no longer think on you AT ALL…)