Easter 'Urbi et Orbi' Message of Pope Francis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, a Happy and Holy Easter!
The Church throughout the world echoes the angel’s message to the women: “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised… Come, see the place where he lay” ( Mt 28:5-6).
Click here for the full text and video.
Referring to the day’s second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, which recounts how Jesus “humbled himself” by taking on human form, the Pope said that “these words show us God’s way and the way of Christians: it is humility.”
Humility, he said, is “a way which constantly amazes and disturbs us: we will never get used to a humble God!”
As the Church sets out on the path of Holy Week that leads us to Easter, “we will take this path of Jesus’ own humiliation. Only in this way will this week be holy for us too!” Francis explained.
Pope Francis spoke to the thousands of pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square for his March 29 Palm Sunday Mass, which the Church celebrates in recollection of how the inhabitants of Jerusalem laid palms along the road where Jesus entered on a donkey, hailing him as king the week before he was killed.
After processing to the altar with his own palm in hand, the Pope blessed those the pilgrims were holding, and participated in the reading of Jesus’ entire Passion and death, taken from the Gospel of Mark.
In his homily Francis focused on how Jesus’ incarnation and death serve as strong examples of God’s humility, which he shows to his people even when they disobey and complain to him.
Despite the shame Jesus faced, “this is God’s way, the way of humility. It is the way of Jesus; there is no other. And there can be no humility without humiliation,” Francis said.
By taking on the “form of a slave,” Jesus shows us that true humility is expressed in service to others, and consists of stripping and emptying oneself of worldliness so as to make room for God, he said.
“This is the greatest humiliation of all,” the Pope noted, and warned against taking that path of the world, which tempts us with “vanity, pride, success,” just like the devil did with Jesus during his 40 days in the desert.
However, Jesus “immediately rejected” this temptation, he said, explaining that “with him, we too can overcome this temptation, not only at significant moments, but in daily life as well.”
He encouraged attendees to follow Jesus on his path of “humiliation” during Holy Week, and noted how throughout the course of the next week, the Church will participate in Jesus’ suffering in a concrete way.
“We will feel the contempt of the leaders of his people and their attempts to trip him up. We will be there at the betrayal of Judas, one of the Twelve, who will sell him for thirty pieces of silver. We will see the Lord arrested and carried off like a criminal; abandoned by his disciples, dragged before the Sanhedrin, condemned to death, beaten and insulted,” he said.
In addition, we will also hear how Peter, the “rock” among the disciples, denies Jesus three times and will hear how the crowds, urged by their leaders, call for Barabas to be freed and Jesus crucified.
Jesus will be “mocked by the soldiers, robed in purple and crowned with thorns. And then, as he makes his sorrowful way beneath the cross, we will hear the jeering of the people and their leaders, who scoff at his being King and Son of God,” the Pope explained.
He closed his homily by recognizing the many who selflessly give themselves in hidden service to others, and by praying for those who are persecuted “because they are Christians.”
Referring to them as the “martyrs of our own time,” Francis said these people refuse to deny Jesus and therefore endure “insult and injury with dignity.”
He prayed that as the Church sets out on the path of Holy Week, faithful would commit to following Jesus’ way of humility with determination and “immense love” for him, saying that it is this love which “will guide us and give us strength.”
After Mass the Pope led pilgrims in the recitation of the traditional Angelus prayer, and noted in comments after how Palm Sunday also marked the 30th World Youth Day, which was established by St. John Paul II in 1984.
This year's theme – the second in a series on the beatitudes – is “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” while last year’s was “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Next year’s theme for the international gathering in Krakow, Poland, will be “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”
The Pope also prayed for the 150 victims of the Germanwings Airbus plane crash in the French Alps earlier this week, which included a group of German students, and entrusted them to the intercession of Mary.
Francis’ slate of activities for Holy Week includes a Chrism Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Thursday, as well as a visit to a Roman prison later that evening, where he will wash the feet of inmates and celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
The next day, Good Friday, the Pope will keep in line with papal tradition and celebrate a service for the Passion of Our Lord in St. Peter’s Basilica before heading to the Colosseum, where he will lead thousands in the traditional prayer of the Stations of the Cross.
The Roman tradition of holding the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum on Good Friday goes back to the pontificate of Benedict XIV, who died in 1758.
On Holy Saturday Francis will preside over the Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica starting at 8:30 p.m., during which he will administer the sacrament of baptism to certain individuals.
Easter morning, April 5, he will celebrate the Mass of Our Lord’s Resurrection in St. Peter’s Square before giving his 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing – which goes out to the city of Rome and to the world – from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Newman Club is sponsoring a well known speaker, Russ Breault to campus for a big screen experience, Shroud Encounter. Explore the mystery of the Shroud of Turin by coming to this wonderful event. Click here to find out more!
If you’re tired of giving up whatever it is you usually give up, then you’re in luck! I scoured the Internet looking for ideas, removed all the ones that were either adding something for Lent (a good idea, but you must give up something as well) or giving up something sinful (always a good idea, and a good idea to focus on during Lent, but not something that qualifies as self-denial or penance because those require a gift back to God of something that’s good in and of itself).
If you’re stuck, have you thought of:
· Giving up the snooze button?
· Using the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator?
· Giving away any money you find?
· Turning off the car radio, or just music, or just talk radio, or your iPod while you walk?
· Restricting Internet time?
· Leaving the last bite of your food uneaten?
· Parking at the very back of the parking lot?
· Giving up texting and calling the person instead?
· Wearing the same 4 outfits for all of Lent?
· Skipping meat an extra day (or two) a week?
· Letting someone else have the first place in line?
· Not saying “Just five minutes more” (when they keep you from family)?
· Giving up 1400 characters (or a day without tweeting)?
· Passing up on a second helping?
· Not staying up for Jimmy Fallon’s opening sketch (or whatever kept you from turning off the TV and going to bed last night)?
“The Church fasts; the world diets. Materially there is no difference, for a person can lose twenty pounds one way as well as the other. But the difference is in the intention.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
VATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis met before Christmas with Vatican employees, mostly lay people with families, he asked them to do 10 things. The list sounded remarkably like suggestions for New Year’s resolutions:
– “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”
– “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”
– “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”
– “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.”
– “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”
– “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”
– “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”
– “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”
– “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”
– Making sure your Christmas is about Jesus and not about shopping.
Throughout the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, which concluded on October 19, there appeared a fair amount of hysteria. Some read the Synod as "an earthquake" while others bewailed it as a deep betrayal of Church teaching. In actuality, everyone should take a deep breath and allow the Holy Spirit to work in his preferred, often messy fashion.
I once asked a class of college students to rate their spiritual lives on a scale of 1 to 10. Most were very hard on themselves and gave themselves a 5 or less. I then asked "how would you describe your relationship with God?" and again, most were not very positive. These were good Catholics.
"With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit." - Ephesians 6:18
"The Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings." - Romans 8: 26-27
"he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary." -Luke 18:1
Busy Student Retreat
Mark your calendars now for the upcoming Busy Student Retreat. The retreat allows participants to take the focus off of the daily pressures and anxieties of academic life and to take time to deepen their relationship with God through prayer and meditation. Retreatants go to work and class as normal, but meet once a day with a spiritual director for thirty minutes, and spend another thirty minutes in meditation and prayer on their own. In addition to the times for prayer and fellowship, Mass and Confession (30 minutes before Mass) will be offered daily at 9pm. Please sign up on the Activity Board or through Flocknote by Wednesday, October 22nd. The retreat will begin Sunday October 26th with a meal and presentation following the 6pm Sunday evening Mass.
10 - Get answers to questions. You might have questions and you are bound to run into other students who have questions about the Catholic Church. Campus ministries can help you find the answers to the big questions in life and some smaller ones too!
9 - Make good friends for life. A real friend is someone who will look out for your best interests. You definitely need friends who will support you in growing in faith and respect you as a person. Many good friends in college will be friends for life.
8 - Help when you need to make better decisions. If college has a reputation for anything, it is bad decisions. Finding a place that will help you make wiser decisions is a must. Start by asking "what kind of person do I want to be?" and then act like you already are that person.
7 - Discover your path in life. Choosing a career, figuring out your vocation, etc - many things are figured out in college. For life's big steps you might need help and you can get it in campus ministries.
6 - Give back! College is a time to start to think more about others. The majority of college students are mostly on their own. It is time to start to think about how you can give back to God and others. Remember, if you graduate with a college degree, you will be more educated than the vast majority of others on this planet and that is a privilege and responsibility.
5 - Have fun without the guilt! Campus ministries can provide a great way to have a ton of fun, with great people, without all the guilt that goes along with partying and the other trappings of college life.
4 - Live a life of purpose and avoid the college trend of losing faith. There are all kinds of bad stats which show that college is a time of losing faith (one shows that only 25% of young adults attend church weekly). Don't be one of the college students that loses what is most important in life! Find out how to live a live of true purpose.
3 - Learn what is most important. If your classes teach you anything, it is that you don't know everything. The same goes for your Catholic faith. You should learn what the Church teaches on an adult level and most campus ministries provide classes and opportunities to learn more. Having the knowledge of a 15 year old won't cut it for a Catholic adult.
2 - Find out what prayer really is. College is a time for trying new things. Trying a kind of prayer you haven't really done is also important, in order to widen your horizons. It could be attending daily Mass everyday, an hour of adoration every week, a daily rosary, meeting with a spiritual director, etc. Whatever you try, don't ever stop praying. Prayer is the foundation for a relationship with Jesus -> which leads us to #1...
1 - Jesus Christ. What good is your time in college if you don't leave college with a closer relationship to Christ than you did when you entered college? Catholic campus ministry can provide you with the chance to grow in faith. Ultimately - what good is college without it???
Walk for Charity
Date: Saturday, September 6, 2014
Time: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. *Registration begins at 8:00 am
Location: St. Mary's Colgan Track (212 E. 9th St., Pittsburg, KS 66762)
The primary authors are the Apostles of the Interior Life.
A RULE OF LIFE FOR SUMMER
Summer can be a very good time for relaxation and rest, compared to the hectic life of the year, but it can also be a very fruitful time for spiritual growth.
“In this oasis of quiet, before the wonderful spectacle of nature, one easily experiences how profitable silence is, a good that today is ever rarer. The many opportunities of relation and information that modern society offers sometimes run the risk of robbing time for recollection, to the point of rendering persons incapable of reflecting and praying. In reality, only in silence does man succeed in hearing in the depth of his conscience the voice of God, which really makes him free. And vacations can help us rediscover and cultivate this indispensable interior dimension of human life” -JPII, Angelus, July 11, 2004.
It is important to enter summer with a “plan” for your spiritual life. Otherwise it is so easy to drift away even from the prayer commitment that you had during the year.
Many people go to Mass with the expectation that they are supposed to "get" a lot out of it. But, what you get out of Mass is dependent on what kind of changes you are willing to make in your efforts before, during and after Mass, because what you put into Mass determines what you get out of it.
1 - Properly prepare for Mass.
2 - Make sure your attitude is adjusted properly
3 - Participate
4 -Listen to the Word and be open to it changing you
5 - Know, understand, and proclaim your Faith
6 - Tithe
7 - When you receive Jesus in the Eucharist - understand what it is you are doing
8 - Tell other people about Him
"If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy." - Saint Jean Vianney
Fortnight for Freedom
June 21-July 4th
For the Litany for Freedom, events and more ideas, click here.
At this morning’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square Pope Francis urged faithful to use their moments of prayer to ask God for advice. He said they could even do so during silent prayer in the street or on the bus. Or pray to the Virgin Mary like a young man covered in tattoos and piercings did when he went to confess to Bergoglio in the Argentinian Shrine of Lujan.
With today’s teaching about “counsel” the Pope continued his series of catecheses on the gifts of the Holy Spirit: “I bless the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart exhorts me. I keep the LORD always before me; with him at my right hand, I shall never be shaken". May the Spirit can always instil in our hearts and fill us with the certainty of his consolation and peace! Always seek the gift of counsel.” “We know how important it is, especially in the most delicate moments, to be able to count on the advice of wise people who love us. Now, through the gift of counsel, it is God himself, with his Spirit who enlightens our hearts, so as to help us understand the proper way to speak and behave and the path to follow,” Francis said.
The Lord speaks to us and offers us advice in two ways: through prayer and “through the voice and the testimony of others.” “Counsel, then, is the gift by which the Holy Spirit makes our conscience capable of making a concrete choice in communion with God, according to the logic of Jesus and of his Gospel. In this way, the Spirit helps us grow inwardly, helps us grow positively, helps us grow in communion and helps us to avoid being at the mercy of selfishness and our own way of seeing things. This is how the Spirit helps us grow and also live in communion.” “In intimacy with God and listening to His Word slowly we put aside our personal logic, dictated most of the time by our closure, our prejudices and our ambitions, and instead learn to ask the Lord, what is your wish?” “Prayer, praying is so important. Praying those prayers that we all know from childhood but also praying with our words, praying to the Lord: ‘Lord, help me, advise me, what should I do now?’ With prayer we make room for the Spirit to come and help us in that moment, he advises us all on what we must do. Prayer, never forget prayer, never. Nobody notices when we pray on the bus, on the streets, we pray in silence, with our hearts, take advantage of these moments to pray. Pray for the Spirit to give us this gift of counsel.” “It is the Spirit who counsels us but we have to make room for the Spirit to give us counsel and give space to prayer, prayer for Him to come and always help us. The Lord speaks to us not only in the intimacy of our heart, - He speaks to us, yes, but not only there - but also through the voice and the testimony of others. It really is a great gift to meet the men and women of faith who, especially in the most complicated and important moments of our lives, help us to shed light in our hearts and recognize the will of the Lord.”
At today’s Audience Bergoglio also shared a personal memory of his: I remember once, I was in the confessional, and there was a long queue in front of the Shrine of Lujan, the diocese of that bishop there, and there was a young man in the queue, all modern with tattoos And ... he came to tell me what was happening in his life. He had a big, difficult problem. ' And [he asked me] what would you do? So I told my mother about this and my mother said to me: ‘Go to the Virgin Mary and she will tell you what you must do.’ Here was a woman who had the gift of counsel. She did not know how to solve her son’s problems but she indicated the right way: ‘Go to Our Lady and she’ll tell you.’ This is the gift of counsel. Do not say, ‘Do this ...’. Let the Spirit speak. And that woman, humble, simple, gave her son the truest, most beautiful advice, because this young man said to me: ‘I looked upon Our Lady and I heard that I need to do this, this, this.’ I did not have to say a word. It all came from my mother, the Virgin Mary and the young man. This is the gift of counsel. You mothers who have this gift, ask for this gift for your children: the gift of being able to counsel your children. It is a gift from God.”
Remember - as long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools.
Here are some prayers for students who have finals coming up. St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron of students, so it is a common practice to ask for his intercession and use prayers that he wrote.
PRAYER OF ST. THOMASIneffable Creator, Who out of the treasures of Thy wisdom has appointed three hierarchies of Angels and set them in admirable order high above the heavens and hast disposed the divers portions of the universe in such marvellous array, Thou Who art called the True Source of Light and supereminent Principle of Wisdom, be pleased to cast a beam of Thy radiance upon the darkness of my mind and dispel from me the double darkness of sin and ignorance in which I have been born.
Thou Who makest eloquent the tongues of little children, fashion my words and pour upon my lips the grace of Thy benediction. Grant me penetration to understand, capacity to retain, method and facility in study, subtlety in interpretation and abundant grace of expression.Order the beginning, direct the progress and perfect the achievement of my work, Thou Who art true God and true Man and livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
Another from St. Thomas Aquinas - patron of students. We used this one in Grad. school frequently.
Grant, O merciful God, that I mayardently desire,prudently examine,truthfully acknowledge,and perfectly accomplishwhat is pleasing to You,for the praise and glory of Your Name. Amen.
A Prayer before studying for exams.“God of Wisdom, I thank you for the knowledge gained and the learning experiences of the semester. I come to you this day and ask you to illuminate my mind and heart. Let your Spirit be with me as I prepare for exams, guiding my studies, and giving me insight so that I can perform to the best of my ability. Please grant me the strength to handle the pressure during these final days of the semester, the confidence to feel secure in my knowledge, and the ability to keep an appropriate perspective through it all. Help me to keep in mind what is truly important, even as I focus my time and energy on these tests in the immediate future. Finally, may I sense your peace in knowing that I applied myself to the challenges of this day.”-Amen-
Two Prayers to St. Joseph of Cupertino - another patron of students:
1 - O Great St. Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing. In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
Through Christ our Lord.
St. Joseph of Cupertino, Pray for us.
2 - O St. Joseph of Cupertino who by your prayer obtained from God to be asked at your examination, the only preposition you knew. Grant that I may like you succeed in the (here mention the name of Examination) examination.
In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
O St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me
O Holy Ghost enlighten me
Our Lady of Good Studies pray for me
Sacred Head of Jesus, Seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me.
Finally, here are two prayers from Catholic.org:
Under thy patronage, dear Mother, and calling on the mystery of thine Immaculate Conception, I desire to pursue my studies and my literary labors: I hereby solemnly declare that I am giving myself to these studies chiefly to the following end: that I may the better contribute to the glory of God and to the promotion of thy veneration among men. I pray thee, therefore, most loving Mother, who art the Seat of Wisdom, to bless my labors in thy loving-kindness. Moreover I promise with true affection and a willing spirit, as it is right that I should do, to ascribe all the good that shall come to me therefrom, wholly to thine intercession for me in God's holy presence. Amen.
Incomprehensible Creator, the true Fountain of light and only Author of all knowledge: deign, we beseech Thee, to enlighten our understanding, and to remove from us all darkness of sin and ignorance. Thou, who makest eloquent the tongues of those who lack utterance, direct our tongues, and pour on our lips the grace of thy blessing. Give us a diligent and obedient spirit, quickness of apprehension, capacity of retaining, and the powerful assistance of Thy holy grace; that what we hear or learn we may apply to Thy honor and the eternal salvation of our own souls. Amen.
Bishop-Elect Carl Kemme Ordination and Installation
May 1st, 2014 at 2:00pm
If you would like to join us in the St. Pius X Catholic Student Center Social Hall, we will be watching the live streaming of the event. If would like to watch it at a different location, you can find the link here.
Earlier this week "The Wichita Eagle" printed an article about the new leader of the Diocese. It can be found here.
Please keep Bishop-Elect Kemme in your prayers as he transitions into this new role the Lord has given to him.
Below is a video of Bishop-Elect Kemme greeting the people of the Diocese of Wichita
Mark Hart, Executive Vice President of Life Teen, shares the details of Jesus Christ's Resurrection from the Dead.
Fr. Robert Barron on The Meaning of Easter
John XXIII, John Paul II Linked by Love of Dialogue With World
Vatican City, Apr 17, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- John XXIII and John Paul II, who will be canonized April 27, are “bound together” by their love for addressing the world in conversation, a cardinal who worked with them both has said.
“Before John XXIII, the Pope was perceived as one who made pronouncements from on high; John XXIII was the first Pope speaking off the cuff, and he paved the way for a new style,” said Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, in an April 15 interview with CNA.
“And of course we all remember the spontaneous meetings John Paul II had, especially with young people.”
Cardinal Poupard worked at the Secretariat of State beginning in 1959, the second year of Angelo Roncalli’s papacy.
John Paul II appointed him head of the Secretariat for Non-Believers in 1980, and he was president of the Pontifical Council for Culture from 1988 to 2007.
Cardinal Poupard had the opportunity to spend time with both Popes, and saw that “during their meetings, both of them turned into, in a sense, who they had been before their election.”
He recalled his first meeting with John XXIII, when he, a 29-year-old priest of Paris, presented the Roman Pontiff with the book he published after his doctoral dissertation, about the appointments of bishops in France.
“The appointment of bishops! You wanted to work hard!,” John XXIII told Fr. Poupard, reminded of his own efforts in French bishop appointments.
Roncalli had been apostolic nuncio to France from 1944 to 1953.
“In the conversation, he turned into the apostolic nuncio again,” Cardinal Poupard reflected.
He then recounted that “when John Paul II spoke about the situation in Poland, he spoke such that he turned back to being the Bishop of Krakow, mentioning the Primate, Stefan Wyszynski.”
Cardinal Poupard said that “John XXIII was the first Pope ‘speaking off the cuff’”, and he also “introduced into the style of encyclicals, the reading of the signs of times.”
This style is peculiarly evident, he said, in Pacem in terris, John XXIII’s last encyclical and “his spiritual legacy, I would say, since he died some weeks after the encyclical had been issued.”
Cardinal Poupard explained that “every chapter of the encyclical starts with a statement dealing with an aspiration of men … to peace, to freedom, to dignity.”
This style of Pacem in terris was an inspiration for the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, which was something “new in the history of ecumenical councils.”
“Conciliar documents had always been based on God, on revelation … Gaudium et spes inaugurated a new way of addressing the world, an inductive method which began from the aspirations of the human being instead of a deductive method with a basis in revelation.”
He said John XXIII paved the way to a more spontaneous way of being Pope, upon which John Paul II built, citing in particular the Pole’s institution of World Youth Day.
John Paul II frequently engaged in conversation with the world through his trips to 129 countries, and his dialogue with other Christians and with the followers of other religions.