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October 22, 2012

Memorial of Blessed John Paul II added to U.S.A Calendar! & JPII "The Spark from Poland"

Memorial of Blessed John Paul II Added To U.S. Liturgical Calendar 
US Bishops Receives Approval from Congregation for Divine Worship
WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 22, 2012 
(Zenit.org).- The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship has approved insertion of the optional memorial of Blessed John Paul II in the proper calendar of the dioceses of the United States. It also has provided the proper liturgical texts for observance of the Memorial in the Mass and Divine Office.
The U.S. bishops last November voted overwhelmingly to request the addition of the popular pope, who reigned for 27 years, into the U.S. liturgical calendar.
The Office of Readings includes an excerpt from Pope John Paul's homily at his inauguration as pope in 1978, when he stressed "Do not be afraid, Open, I say open wide the doors for Christ." The message became one of the signature statements of his papacy.

The biographical piece in the Divine Office highlights the pope's pastoral visits around the world, his participation in the Second Vatican Council, and his zeal for families, young people and the sick. It also noted his promotion of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the new Code of Canon Law. ....Entire Zenit Article....

For the Liturgical prayers and readings for the Feast of Blessed John Paul II, go to http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/pope-john-paul-ii/memorial-of-blessed-john-paul-ii.cfm

Beatification  of Bl. John Paul II
 A Joyful Event for the Church 
and All Who Loved Him!

Bl.  John Paul II  the Fatima Pope was Beatified on May 1, 2011 which also was the first Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday.  Benedict XVI explained that the date was chosen for the beatification because it was on the eve of Mercy Sunday that his earthly life ended. "Those who knew him, those who esteemed and loved him, cannot but rejoice with the Church for this event."  In St. Peter's basilica,the tomb for Bl. John Paul II is set in one of the altars, in the chapel of St. Sebastian where his mortal remains are reposed today. 

Pope John Paul II alluded at the consecration of the Shrine of Merciful Love in 1981  making note of  the "special task" assigned to him by God" in the present situation of man, the Church and the world."  He urged us "to implore God's mercy for humanity in this hour of history ... to beg for it at this difficult, critical phase of the history of the Church and of the world as we approach the end of the second millennium." (Rich in Mercy 15)
The "Spark from Poland" 
that will prepare the World 
for my Final Coming!

We are all worried about our country especially now when we face such a critical election with concerns for our economy and for the erosion of our  religious freedoms. St. Faustina  also worried and prayed for Poland: "Jesus, I beg You for my homeland; protect it against the assaults of its enemies" (Diary of St. Faustina, 119).  

Jesus responds to 
St. Faustina prayer:
"I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming" (Diary, 1732).   

At the time it seemed as though this prayer of hers had failed.  Poland was conquered, fractured by the Nazi regime and later she was swallowed up by Communism.  It seemed her prayer to Our Lord was not answered.  However, the beginning of  the answer to her prayer and Poland’s  deliverance from Communism began on October 16, 1978. Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, Archbishop of Kraków was elected Pope, taking the name John Paul II.  

This event had an electrifying  unifying effect  for Poland.  Even under Communist rule, Poland  was one of the most devoutly Catholic nations in Europe. The election of a Polish pope the spark from Poland? (Diary, 1732).  

It was the beginning of her political  freedom. God has honored Poland by lighting on her soil “the spark" giving us Bl. John Paul II  who  traversed the entire globe building up the kingdom of God so that it was preached in every land and nation!

Divine Mercy and the End Time

The exact timing is the Lord's But of that day and hour no one knows, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone  Mat. 24:36   It seems that we have reached a certain critical phase of the end times that  had its beginnings with the Church.

It's  ironic that many of the most religious people of Christ's time  who were actively practicing their religion and  even though they awaited the promised Messiah  they were not able to recognize Him when He came. They even condemned him to death on the cross.  The Pharisees, devoted to their rules, and rituals that over the years, had become so important that their real meaning had been lost. They talked a lot of about God, but none of it had touched their hearts.  They were not living the way He wanted them to live.  “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Is 29:13).  

Mary Mother of Mercy 

Mary Mother of all graces and Mother of Divine Mercy, Defend us from our enemies and receive us at the hour of our death. O Mary Mother of Mercy, Implore for us the Mercy of your Son! 
Our Lady also spoke to St. Faustina: “You have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge.  Oh how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for granting mercy. (Diary 635).

The Words of the Our Lady to St Faustina are similar to the Fatima Message.  There is a sense urgency in them.  Like the message of Fatima, it is the same urgency of the Gospel, "The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel.” Mark1:15

"If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world."

Our Enemy is not the Evil Around us,
Our Real enemy is  the Sin Within us!

Are we not faced with a similar circumstances as we await the final coming of the Lord?  Paul writes in second Thessalonians: “The coming of the lawless one whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. In order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness" 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
      The Church's Final Trial                

 675Before  Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.” Read more: Catechism of the Catholic Church and the last days                                
Unceasingly the Church Implores
 God's  Mercy for Everyone!
April 30, 2000 View of  St. Peter's Square Institution of Feast of  Divine Mercy

Speak to the world about My mercy ... It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (Diary 848)  Read more
Words of Blessed John Paul II: “At no time and in no historical period -- especially at a moment as critical as our own -- can the Church forget the prayer that is a cry for the mercy of God amid the many forms of evil which weigh upon humanity and threaten it. "The more the human conscience succumbs to secularization, loses its sense of the very meaning of the word "mercy," moves away from God, and distances itself from the mystery of mercy, the more the Church has the right and the duty to appeal to the God of mercy with loud cries!”  June 7, 1977  Divine Mercy Shrine in Lagiewniki, Poland .(Dives in Misericordia, n. 15).

John Paul II--You Live On! You Live On!

October 11, 2012

The Year of Faith--Togethor Let us seek the Face of Christ!

Pope inaugurates Year of Faith 
and invites all to rediscover 
the Second Vatican Council!

The Opening Mass of Year of Faith

If today the Church proposes a new Year of Faith and a new evangelization, it is not to honour an anniversary, but because there is more need of it, even more than there was fifty years ago! And the reply to be given to this need is the one desired by the Popes, by the Council Fathers and contained in its documents. Even the initiative to create a Pontifical Council for the promotion of the new evangelization, which I thank for its special effort for the Year of Faith, is to be understood in this context. Recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual "desertification". In the Council’s time it was already possible from a few tragic pages of history to know what a life or a world without God looked like, but now we see it every day around us. This void has spread. But it is in starting from the experience of this desert, from this void, that we can again discover the joy of believing, its vital importance for us, men and women. In the desert we rediscover the value of what is essential for living; thus in today’s world there are innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. 

"The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism (cf. Rom 6:4), through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory (cf. Jn 17:22). To profess faith in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is to believe in one God who is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8): the Father, who in the fullness of time sent his Son for our salvation; Jesus Christ, who in the mystery of his death and resurrection redeemed the world; the Holy Spirit, who leads the Church across the centuries as we await the Lord’s glorious return."  Porta Fidei,1

The Year of Faith and Vatican II

Benedict XVI, in Porta Fide also commented on the Year of Faith and the Second Vatican Council. "In some respects, my venerable predecessor saw this Year as a “consequence and a necessity of the post -conciliar period”  fully conscious of the grave difficulties of the time, especially with regard to the profession of the true faith and correct interpretation. It seemed to me that timing the launch of the Year of Faith to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council would provide a good opportunity to help people understand that the texts bequeathed by the Council Fathers, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, “have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church's Tradition ... I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the Council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning. I would also like to emphasize strongly what I had occasion to say concerning the Council a few months after my election as Successor of Peter:'if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church.' " Porta Fidei,5
The Year of Faith
 Seeking the Face of Christ

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek. Psalm 27:7-8

Today is the first day of the Year of Faith, and also is the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. . . (Vatican II) and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. During the Year of Faith, Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.

The Year of Faith is a year of Grace concept which is inspired and based upon the Apostolic Letter ‘Novo Millenio Ineunte’ by the late Blessed Pope John Paul II—recalling the events in Rome during the Jubilee Year of 2000 and his challenge to the whole Church to “contemplate the face of Christ” and to “start afresh” from Christ.

Benedict XVI in his Apostolic letter, Porta Fidei elaborates on this theme: "During this time we will need to keep our gaze fixed upon Jesus Christ, the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2): in him, all the anguish and all the longing of the human heart finds fulfillment. The joy of love, the answer to the drama of suffering and pain, the power of forgiveness in the face of an offense received and the victory of life over the emptiness of death: all this finds fulfillment in the mystery of his Incarnation, in his becoming man, in his sharing our human weakness so as to transform it by the power of his resurrection. In him who died and rose again for our salvation, the examples of faith that have marked these two thousand years of our salvation history are brought into the fullness of light." Porta Fidei,13

October 4, 2012

Plenary indulgence announced for the Year of Faith. Make sure you take part often in this act of mercy from the Church!

- The Holy See announced Oct. 5 that Pope Benedict XVI has granted a plenary indulgence for the Year of Faith, which will last from Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013.

The decree announcing the indulgence was signed Sept. 14 by Cardinal Manuel de Castro, Major Penitentiary, and Bishop Kryzsztof Nykiel, Regent, of the Apostolic Penitentiary. The penitentiary is the part of the Roman Curia responsible for indulgences and governing the sacrament of confession.

One plenary indulgence per day may be gained by an individual, which they can use for themselves or apply to a soul in purgatory. The indulgence remits the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.
During the Year of Faith, there are four means of gaining an indulgence.
Click for entire story
The Pope also requested the faithful for Prayer at the start of his pilgrimage to Loreto October 4th. The pope said he was following in the footsteps of Bl. John XXIII, who entrusted Vatican II to Our Lady at the Shrine of Loreto on October 4th, in 1962!

Benedict XVI's pilgrimage to Loreto marks the 50th anniversary of that journey and the opening of the Council. The Pope asked everyone in Wednesday's General Audience to join his prayers "entrusting to the Mother of God the main ecclesial events we are preparing to experience: the Year of Faith, and the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization."

Below are excerpts taken from his Homily given at the shrine....
Click for entire text of the Pope's Homily....

Blessed John XXIII's 
Act of entrustment of 
Vatican Council II

"On October 4, 1962, Blessed John XXIII also came as a pilgrim to this Shrine to entrust to the Virgin Mary the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, due to begin a week later. On that occasion, with deep filial devotion to the Mother of God, he addressed her in these words: “Again today, and in the name of the entire episcopate, "I ask you, sweetest Mother, as Help of Bishops, to intercede for me as Bishop of Rome and for all the bishops of the world, to obtain for us the grace to enter the Council Hall of Saint Peter’s Basilica, as the Apostles and the first disciples of Jesus entered the Upper Room: with one heart, one heartbeat of love for Christ and for souls, with one purpose only, to live and to sacrifice ourselves for the salvation of individuals and peoples. Thus, by your maternal intercession, in the years and the centuries to come, may it be said that the grace of God prepared, accompanied and crowned the twenty-first Ecumenical Council, filling all the children of the holy Church with a new fervor, a new impulse to generosity, and a renewed firmness of purpose” (AAS 54 [1962], 727).

Benedict XVI continues:
"Fifty years later, having been called by divine Providence to succeed that unforgettable Pope to the See of Peter, I too have come on pilgrimage to entrust to the Mother of God two important ecclesial initiatives: the Year of Faith, which will begin in a week, on 11 October, on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which I have convened this October with the theme “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”.

 "We must return to God, so that man 
may return to being man" Pope Benedict XVI

This Shrine of Loretto, built around Mary's earthly home, preserves the memory of the moment when an angel of Lord came to Mary with     the great announcement of the Incarnation, and she gave her reply. This home is a physical, tangible witness to the greatest event in our history, the Incarnation; the Word became flesh and Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, is the privileged channel through which God came to dwell among us!"
Here at Loreto fifty years ago, Blessed John XXIII issued an invitation to contemplate this mystery, to “reflect on that union of heaven and earth, which is the purpose of the Incarnation and Redemption”, and he went on to affirm that the aim of the Council itself was to spread ever wider the beneficent impact of the Incarnation and Redemption on all spheres of life (cf. AAS 54 [1962], 724). This invitation resounds today with particular urgency. In the present crisis affecting not only the economy but also many sectors of society, the Incarnation of the Son of God speaks to us of how important man is to God, and God to man. Without God, man ultimately chooses selfishness over solidarity and love, material things over values, having over being. We must return to God, so that man may return to being man.

With God, even in difficult times or moments of crisis, there is always a horizon of hope: the Incarnation tells us that we are never alone, that God has come to humanity and that he accompanies us!
Dear brothers and sisters, on this pilgrimage in the footsteps of Blessed John XXIII – and which comes, providentially, on the day in which the Church remembers Saint Francis of Assisi, a veritable “living Gospel” – I wish to entrust to the Most Holy Mother of God all the difficulties affecting our world as it seeks serenity and peace, the problems of the many families who look anxiously to the future, the aspirations of young people at the start of their lives, the suffering of those awaiting signs or decisions of solidarity and love. I also wish to place in the hands of the Mother of God this special time of grace for the Church, now opening up before us. Mother of the “yes”, you who heard Jesus, speak to us of him; tell us of your journey, that we may follow him on the path of faith; help us to proclaim him, that each person may welcome him and become the dwelling place of God. Amen! Click for entire text of the Pope's Homily....