"The human mind and human language are inadequate to explain the relation that exists between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nonetheless the Fathers of the Church sought to explain the mystery of the One and Triune God by putting it into practice with profound faith in their own lives. The Blessed Trinity comes to dwell in us on the day of Baptism", and each time we make the sign of the cross we remember the name of God in which we were baptised. ... The sign of the cross and the name of the living God contain, then, the announcement that generates faith and inspires prayer. And what Jesus promises the Apostles in the Gospel ('when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth'), comes about in the Sunday liturgy when, week after week, priests dispense the bread of the Word and the Eucharist." Benedict XVI
Prayer of St. Hilary of Poitiers:
"Keep, I pray, this my pious faith undefiled, and even till my spirit departs, grant that this may be the utterance of my convictions: so that I may ever hold fast that which I professed in the creed of my regeneration, when I was baptised in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit".
There is no Church without Pentecost. And, I would like to add, there is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary. So it was at the beginning, in the Cenacle. ... So it is always, in all places and times. I myself witnessed as much a few days ago in Fatima, Portugal. What did that immense multitude experience on the esplanade of the shrine, if not a renewed Pentecost?". Pope Benedict XVI
“The first devotion that we find in the Church,” Blessed James Alberione loved to say, “is the devotion is the devotion to the Queen of the Apostles, as portrayed in the Cenacle.” Noting that this devotion had “diminished and been neglected in the past” his exhortation was: “Yours is the sweet task of rallying the faithful around Mary Queen of the Apostles; yours, to re-awaken this devotion; yours, to carry out this most pleasant office in the Church.” This means “to reawaken apostolates, stir up vocations.” And he concluded forcefully: “Let us return to the source. At the source we shall find Mary, Queen of the Apostles.”
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddg9bd5k_5fx3r94hca reflection on New Apostles, New Pentecost, New Evangelization
The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) is a growing initiative to offer adult religious education and faith formation anytime and anywhere via the internet. The goal is to support the church's professional ministry of religious education and faith formation in cyberspace.
The VLCFF is coordinated and sponsored by the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives (IPI) at the University of Dayton - a Catholic Marianist Institution.
Our mission is to mobilize the resources of the University of Dayton for partnerships with the Church that create and implement innovative pastoral initiatives designed to meet the needs of the Church and to articulate faith within the context of contemporary culture.
Instead of a paperback missalette, there’s iMissal. Instead of prayer cards, there’s a touch screen Saint A Day. Instead of randomly jotting down prayer requests, there’s a digitally organized list in PrayerSteward.
These three apps (as in, “The Catholic Faith: There’s an app for that”) only scratch the surface of faith-related digital materials available in Apple’s App Store and, to a lesser extent, the Android Market and Palm Pre App Catalog. With these digital Catholic resources comes the undeniable convenience of modern-day prayer.
Hitting the road and want to pray to St. What’s-His-Name for a safe trip? Grab your phone and access not only St. Christopher’s name, but also his biography, a daily meditation and a few prayer ideas. Want to take advantage of a quiet lunch and skim today’s liturgical readings (or tomorrow’s or next year’s)? IMissal can make it happen at the touch of a button. Forgot the Hail, Holy Queen or the Apostles Creed while praying the rosary? Quickly look up the prayers in the Daughters of St. Paul’s Rosary Miracle Prayer App. Or, even better, pray the rosary along with the sisters’ audio recording.
“I know people who before they even get out of bed they have their iPod Touch or their iPhone in their hand,” said Sister Kathryn James Hermes, a Daughter of St. Paul and director of digital publishing for Pauline Books and Media, in a recent interview. “You could be looking at the psalms or the morning meditation.”
Read the whole article here:
Arlington Catholic Herald - Church ascends into digital age - catholicherald.com
Holy Rosary - How to Pray the Rosary Prayers and mediation on the beads of the rosary with the mysteries of the life of Jesus for each day of the week.
http://www.comepraytherosary.org/ Prayer the rosary with a worldwide community while viewing video of the HolyLand for each mystery.
http://www.virtualrosary.org/ A virtual rosary: Pray for the world and ask the world to pray for you! This is the goal of PrayerCast, to gather together a global prayer network.
http://www.rosaryprayerguide.com/ How to prepare for and pray with the rosary.
VATICAN CITY, 13 MAY 2010 (VIS) - At 10 a.m. today, liturgical memory of Our Lady of Fatima and the tenth anniversary of the beatification of the shepherd children Francisco and Jacinta, the Pope celebrated the Eucharist on the esplanade of the shrine of Fatima in the presence of 500,000 people.
In his homily the Holy Father made it clear that he had "come to Fatima to rejoice in Mary's presence and maternal protection; ... to pray, in union with Mary and so many pilgrims, for our human family, afflicted as it is by various ills and sufferings; ... to entrust to Mary's maternal protection priests, consecrated men and women, missionaries and all those who [who do] good works".
Referring then to "mystical confidences of the shepherd children", the Holy Father noted how "one might look at them with a touch of envy for what they were able to see, or with the disappointed resignation of someone who was not so fortunate, yet still demands to see".
But "the Scriptures invite us to believe", he explained. "God can come to us, and show Himself to the eyes of our heart. Moreover, that Light deep within the shepherd children, which comes from the future of God, is the same Light which was manifested in the fullness of time and came for us all: the Son of God made man. ... Henceforth our hope has a real foundation: ... Jesus of Nazareth".
"Faith in God opens before us the horizon of a sure hope, one which does not disappoint; it indicates a solid foundation on which to base one's life without fear; it demands a faith-filled surrender into the hands of the Love which sustains the world", he said.
The shepherd children "offered their whole lives to God and shared them fully with others for love of God", said the Holy Father, highlighting how "we would be mistaken to think that Fatima's prophetic mission is complete. ... Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end. In Sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and He does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: 'Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which He will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?'.
"At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart", he added.
Benedict concluded his homily by expressing the hope that "the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions" may "hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity".
At the end of the Mass, the Holy Father addressed some words to the sick people present, and to those following the event by radio and television.
"In all human suffering", he said, "we are joined by One Who experiences and carries that suffering with us". In other words, it is possible to "overcome the feeling of the uselessness of suffering which consumes a person from within and makes him feel a burden to those around him when, in reality, suffering which is lived with Jesus assists in the salvation of your brethren".
"The divine Master, instead of explaining the reasons for suffering, preferred to call everyone to follow Him, saying: 'Take up your cross and follow me'. Come with me. With your suffering, take part in the work of salvation which is realised through my suffering, by means of my cross. As you gradually embrace your own cross, uniting yourself spiritually to my cross, the salvific meaning of suffering will be revealed to you. In suffering, you will discover an interior peace and even spiritual joy".
The Holy Father invited the sick to welcome the call of Jesus "and entrust to Him every setback and pain that you face, so that they become - according to His design; a means of redemption for the whole world. You will be redeemers with the Redeemer, just as you are sons in the Son. At the cross stands the Mother of Jesus, our Mother".
click here: Prayer for Our Church
Pauline Books and Media has provided resources for parish and private prayer and reflection for people during these difficult days in the Church. The recent resurgence of allegations, the situation in the Church in Ireland, and media articles focusing on clerical sexual abuse can raise personal struggles of faith, memories of past abuse, disillusionment, and anger and confusion. Among the resources are downloadable prayers for parish and private use, a litany of deliverance, reflective prayers for those who have experienced sexual abuse, and a prayer for one who desires to remain in the Church. Praying with Our Church in Difficult Times can be found at www.pauline.org.
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – The word "enthusiasm" comes from the Greek ἐνθουσιασμός, and has several genres or meanings. One of these genres refers to the prophets, who were "full of God," inspired by Him when they spoke on His behalf. In a way, when we say that a person is enthusiastic, we are saying that "he is full of God," and we feel moved by a great zeal and courage in his words and his actions. This enthusiasm is like a fire that consumes all in its path with its flames.
In order for ordained ministers, religious men and women, and lay people to be able to convey enthusiasm, they must themselves be enthusiastic for their own vocation, their life, and especially enthusiastic about Christ, in love with Christ. Those who come to Jesus with faith, in quiet listening to His Word, in Eucharistic adoration, in the sacramental reception of His Body, feel the fire of His presence burning in their hearts. The disciples of Emmaus experienced that their hearts burned within them as they listened to the Lord. They recognized Him in the breaking of the bread and immediately returned to Jerusalem to tell the Eleven that they had seen the Risen Christ (cf. Lk 24, 33). Whoever meets Christ truly becomes a missionary, because he cannot contain the love that burns inside him.
Similar is the experience of St. Paul. As a persecutor, the Risen Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Since then, his life took a radical departure. From that moment, for him, his "life is Christ" (Phil 1:21), and this conviction makes him exclaim: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel" (1 Cor 9:16). Pope Benedict XVI presents him as a model of an evangelizer full of enthusiasm: “Let us look at this great evangelizer, who with bold enthusiasm and apostolic zeal brought the Gospel to many different peoples in the world of that time. His teaching and example inspire us to go in search of the Lord Jesus. They encourage us to trust him, because that sense of emptiness, which tends to intoxicate humanity, has been overcome by the light and the hope that emanate from the resurrection” (Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter 2009).
Youth is the age of enthusiasm, but we must not think only in physical youthfulness. When we lack the enthusiasm of faith, it means that we have prematurely "aged,” that we are on our way to death. Although from a biological standpoint, the years roll by inexorably, we must live a constant spiritual rejuvenation, growing in love for Christ and enthusiasm to bring Him to everyone. St. Paul said: "Although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day" (2 Cor 4:16).
Let us contemplate the story of a young woman who is full of God: Mary. She received the announcement of the angel Gabriel and agreed with docility and obedience to what God asked. Through Her Fiat, the Word of God became flesh in Her virginal womb. The young woman, who was "enthusiastic" - literally "full of God" - "got up and went with haste to the mountain, to a city of Judah" (Luke 1:39). Goodness and love spread themselves, they contain within their very essence this need of being conveyed. Mary brings Jesus in Her womb. She cannot keep the love that has taken on flesh in Her flesh, to herself. She feels the need to bring Elizabeth the great news of Christ's presence in the world.
This May, we ask Mary to renew the enthusiasm and joy of the faith in our hearts, along with the certainty of the victory of the Risen Christ and His love for mankind. May She also bring consolation to our fellow missionaries who often suffer from loneliness and discouragement for a lack of results. Mary makes us understand that the branch cannot bear fruit unless it is attached to the vine (cf. Jn 15:4) and that we cannot convey enthusiasm if we do not live with enthusiasm. (Agenzia Fides 04/29/2010)