July 22, 2006

Over 150 parishioners trapped in Lebanon

San Diego's St. Ephrem Maronite Catholic Church has more than 150 parishioners trapped by the unrest in Lebanon (the homeland of the Maronite Catholic Church).

Their priest, Fr. Nabil Mouannes, is asking that people pray for his flock.

He will be appearing in a taped interview on EWTN. The interview will describe the Maronite Catholic Church, and will be broadcast several times:
July 24, 25 and 26-- at 3:30 PM and at Midnight, Pacific Time.

St. Ephrem Maronite Catholic Church has a website.
Click HERE for it.

MEANDERING AND NAMEDROPPING


Last night I was the dinner guest of one of the world's most famous Catholic bloggers, "Gerald Augustinus" of "The Cafeteria Is Closed" (but the restaurant is open-- "Kaiserhof" in San Diego).

He has blogged about the event under the headline "Vatican III", second session.
Click HERE for it.

An invitation from the Pope for this Sunday, July 23: DAY OF PRAYER AND PENANCE FOR PEACE IN MIDDLE EAST

[From the Vatican website]

VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2006 (Vatican Information Service) - Faced with worsening situation in the Middle East, the Holy See Press Office has been directed to communicate the following:

The Holy Father is following with great concern the destinies of all the peoples involved and has proclaimed this Sunday, July 23, as a special day of prayer and penance, inviting the pastors and faithful of all the particular Churches, and all believers of the world, to implore from God the precious gift of peace.

In particular, the Supreme Pontiff hopes that prayers will be raised to the Lord for an immediate cease-fire between the sides, for humanitarian corridors to be opened in order to bring help to the suffering peoples, and for reasonable and responsible negotiations to begin to put an end to objective situations of injustice that exist in that region; as already indicated by Pope Benedict XVI at the Angelus last Sunday, July 16.

In reality, the Lebanese have the right to see the integrity and sovereignty of their country respected, the Israelis the right to live in peace in their State, and the Palestinians have the right to have their own free and sovereign homeland.

At this sorrowful moment, His Holiness also makes an appeal to charitable organizations to help all the people struck by this pitiless conflict.


July 21, 2006

The Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene, July 22

THE REAL GOSPEL OF SAINT MARY MAGDALENE— ALL OF IT


Luke 8:1-3
Soon afterward he [Jesus] went on through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some WOMEN WHO HAD BEEN HEALED OF EVIL SPIRITS AND INFIRMITIES: MARY, CALLED MAGDALENE, FROM WHOM SEVEN DEMONS HAD GONE OUT, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, WHO PROVIDED FOR THEM [for Jesus and the twelve] OUT OF THEIR MEANS .

[So Mary Magdalene and these women were more than sufficiently well off.]

John 19:25
. . . . BUT STANDING BY THE CROSS OF JESUS were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and MARY MAGDALENE.

Matthew 27:55-61
There were also MANY WOMEN THERE [where Jesus was crucified], LOOKING ON FROM AFAR, WHO HAD FOLLOWED JESUS FROM GALILEE, MINISTERING TO HIM; AMONG WHOM WERE MARY MAGDALENE, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. MARY MAGDALENE AND THE OTHER MARY WERE THERE, SITTING OPPOSITE THE SEPULCHRE.

Mark 15:40-47
THERE WERE ALSO WOMEN LOOKING ON FROM AFAR, AMONG WHOM WERE MARY MAGDALENE, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome, WHO, WHEN HE WAS IN GALILEE, FOLLOWED HIM, AND MINISTERED TO HIM; and also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. MARY MAGDALENE and Mary the mother of Joses SAW WHERE HE WAS LAID.

Luke 23:55-56
THE WOMEN WHO HAD COME WITH HIM FROM GALILEE FOLLOWED, AND SAW THE TOMB, AND HOW HIS BODY WAS LAID; THEN THEY RETURNED, AND PREPARED SPICES AND OINTMENTS.
ON THE SABBATH THEY RESTED ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT.


Matthew 28:1-10
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, MARY MAGDALENE and the other Mary WENT TO SEE THE SEPULCHER. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said TO THE WOMEN, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you." SO THEY DEPARTED QUICKLY FROM THE TOMB WITH FEAR AND GREAT JOY, AND RAN TO TELL HIS DISCIPLES. AND BEHOLD, JESUS MET THEM and said, "Hail!" AND THEY CAME UP AND TOOK HOLD OF HIS FEET AND WORSHIPPED HIM. THEN JESUS SAID TO THEM, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."

Mark 16:1-11
And when the Sabbath was past, MARY MAGDALENE, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, BOUGHT SPICES, SO THAT THEY MIGHT GO AND ANOINT HIM. AND VERY EARLY ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK THEY WENT TO THE TOMB WHEN THE SUN HAD RISEN. AND THEY WERE SAYING TO ONE ANOTHER, "WHO WILL ROLL AWAY THE STONE FOR US FROM THE DOOR OF THE TOMB?" AND LOOKING UP, THEY SAW that the stone was rolled back; it was very large. AND ENTERING THE TOMB, THEY SAW A YOUNG MAN SITTING ON THE RIGHT SIDE, dressed in a white robe; AND THEY WERE AMAZED. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." AND THEY WENT OUT AND FLED FROM THE TOMB; FOR TREMBLING AND ASTONISHMENT HAD COME UPON THEM; AND THEY SAID NOTHING TO ANY ONE, FOR THEY WERE AFRAID.
Now when he {Jesus] rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to MARY MAGDALENE, FROM WHOM HE HAD CAST OUT SEVEN DEMONS. SHE WENT AND TOLD THOSE WHO HAD BEEN WITH HIM, AS THEY MOURNED AND WEPT. BUT WHEN THEY HEARD THAT HE WAS ALIVE AND HAD BEEN SEEN BY HER, THEY WOULD NOT BELIEVE IT.

Luke 24:1-11
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, THEY [the women— including MARY MAGDALENEwho had come with Jesus from Galilee] WENT TO THE TOMB, TAKING THE SPICES WHICH THEY HAD PREPARED. AND THEY FOUND THE STONE ROLLED AWAY FROM THE TOMB, BUT WHEN THEY WENT IN THEY DID NOT FIND THE BODY. WHILE THEY WERE PERPLEXED ABOUT THIS, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as THEY [the women] WERE FRIGHTENED AND BOWED THEIR FACES TO THE GROUND, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen." "Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise." And THEY [the women] REMEMBERED HIS WORDS, AND RETURNING FROM THE TOMB THEY TOLD ALL THIS TO THE ELEVEN AND TO ALL THE REST. NOW IT WAS MARY MAGDALENE and Jo-anna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who TOLD THIS TO THE APOSTLES; but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.

John 20:1-18
Now on the first day of the week MARY MAGDALENE CAME to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and SAW that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So SHE RAN, and WENT to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and SAID to them, "THEY HAVE TAKEN THE LORD OUT OF THE TOMB, AND WE DO NOT KNOW WHERE THEY HAVE LAID HIM." Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.
BUT MARY STOOD WEEPING OUTSIDE THE TOMB, AND AS SHE WEPT SHE STOOPED TO LOOK INTO THE TOMB; AND SHE SAW two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to HER, "Woman, why are you weeping?" SHE SAID TO THEM, "BECAUSE THEY HAVE TAKEN AWAY MY LORD, AND I DO NOT KNOW WHERE THEY HAVE LAID HIM." SAYING THIS, SHE TURNED ROUND AND SAW JESUS STANDING, BUT SHE DID NOT KNOW THAT IT WAS JESUS. JESUS SAID TO HER, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" SUPPOSING HIM TO BE THE GARDENER, SHE SAID TO HIM, "SIR, IF YOU HAVE CARRIED HIM AWAY, TELL ME WHERE YOU HAVE LAID HIM, AND I WILL TAKE HIM AWAY."
JESUS SAID TO HER,
"MARY."
SHE TURNED AND SAID TO HIM IN HEBREW,
"RAB-BONI!"
(WHICH MEANS TEACHER).

Jesus said to her,
"Do not hold me,
for I have not yet ascended to the Father;
but go to my brethren and say to them,
I am ascending to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God." MARY MAGDALENE WENT AND SAID TO THE DISCIPLES,
"I HAVE SEEN THE LORD";
AND SHE TOLD THEM THAT HE HAD SAID THESE THINGS TO HER.



I have posted a homily for the Church's July 22 Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene.
Click HERE for it.

“Liturgy either dies at the hands of the Trendy, or it slays them”

Read the entire, worthy excerpt.
Click HERE for it.

July 20, 2006

July 20 (though not well known) on the Church’s calendar: St. Elijah the Slayer of False Prophets


1 Kings 18:40
Elijah said,
"Seize the prophets of Baal—
let none of them escape!"
They were seized,
and Elijah had them brought down to the brook Kishon
and there he slit their throats
Four hundred and fifty throats!


July 19, 2006

"I'm not a person who thinks the world would be entirely different if it was run by women. If you think that, you've forgotten what high school was like."
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, former U.S. Secretary of State, on women in leadership, July 12, 2006, at the Women's National Basketball Association luncheon in New York City


JESUS IS A MARRIED MAN

[The following is “out of season”— liturgically speaking. However, it celebrates a reality that we always eat and drink in the Eucharist.]

Being both True God and True Man, Jesus Christ is the marriage of divinity with humanity. He is the marriage in person.

In the Eastern Churches, The first days of Holy Week each have a service called “The Bridegroom Matins” at which the priest carries the icon of "Jesus Christ the Bridegroom" through the church.

As the priest carries the icon, the following chant accompanies.
Behold the Bridegroom comes in the midst of the night;
and blessed is the servant, whom He shall find vigilant;
and unworthy is he whom he shall find heedless.
Beware, therefore, O my soul,
that you will not be overcome by sleep,
lest you be given up to death,
and be shut out from the Kingdom.
Wherefore, rouse yourself, crying out:
"Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, our God;
… save us."
In this icon Christ is wearing the purple cloak, crown of thorns and reed the Roman guards used in mocking him before his crucifixion. His hands are bound loosely, signifying that He bore the humiliation willingly.

All of Lent and Holy Week look forward to Easter— the celebration of the Bridegroom arriving at midnight— of Christ’s arrival in the victory of his resurrection in which the flesh of humanity is married to the glory of God.

All of Christian history awaits the same.


July 18, 2006

In Spain, 1936 to 1939: the martyrdom of more than 6,800 bishops, priests and male and female members of religious orders

TODAY, 18 JULY A.D. 2006, IS THE SEVENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OUTBREAK OF CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN,
so I am re-posting the following.

In Spain, historically one of Europe’s most staunchly Catholic countries, large numbers of Catholics were butchered during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War solely for being Catholic. Unlike the martyrdoms in most parts of the world, whole sectors of the religious community were liquidated. More than 6,800 bishops, priests, male and female members of religious were martyred. Many were tortured and mutilated before execution. Entire convents were raped. Devout Catholic lay men and women also suffered horrendously. In the 20th century, probably no country witnessed so much bloodshed among its clergy and religious as Spain.

Here is an eyewitness account of the martrydom of the Benedictine monks of El Pueyo in 1936.
Click HERE for it.

July 16, 2006

On 16 July A.D. 1769 . . . .

. . . the Franciscan priest Blessed Junípero Serra founded the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church in California. This cross marks the place.

It is in Presidio Park in San Diego. On this hill, on 16 July A.D. 1769, he celebrated the Mass to initiate the mission system in California with Misión San Diego de Alcalá and the new settlement named for the same saint. Today, therefore, is also the anniversary of the founding of the city of San Diego.

In 1913, the city put up a cross to commemorate the place and event. You can see it still veiled in the following photo of the ceremony.


The cross is made of tiles dug up from the ruins of buildings the Spanish built on the same hill.


Today I'm going to make a pilgrimage there to recite the Nicene Creed and ask the intercession of St. Diego and Blessed Junípero.