Tuesday, April 30, 2019

In honor of St. Joseph the Litany of the Work

The Litany of Work

We give thanks, O God, for the work of our lives.  We praise you, God For the work of our hands, We praise you, God. For the work of our minds, We praise you, God For the work of our hearts, We praise you, God
Response to all:  We praise you, God. For the enlightening work of teachers, librarians, students and coaches, For the healing work of doctors, nurses and counselors, For the creative work of artists, musicians, painters and sculptors, For the precise work of engineers, scientists and computer specialists, For the nurturing work of homemakers, parents and guardians, For the wise work of retirees and grandparents, For the proclaiming work of writers, photographers, editors and publishers, For the trustworthy work of accountants, bankers, lawyers, politicians and salespeople, For the faith-filled work of ordained, religious and lay ministers, For the protective work of police, firefighters and military personnel, For the dedicated work of secretaries, receptionists and bookkeepers, For the compassionate work of volunteers, For the judicious work of managers, administrators, directors and supervisors, For the fruitful work of farmers, fishers, growers and gardeners, For the steadfast work of those who manufacture products, For the constructive work of builders, surveyors, architects, masons and carpenters, For the efficient work of those who transport people and things by bus, train, plane, taxi, truck and boat, For the hospitable work of cooks, waiters, and waitresses, cashiers, hotel and motel workers, For the faithful work of all those keeping store shelves stocked and making things we use to meet our daily needs, For the clarifying work of television, radio and news media workers, For the dependable work of telephone and postal workers, For the good of all other workers, For our work that sheds light on the darkness, We praise you, God. For our work that creates order from chaos, We praise you, God. For our work that builds peace out of hostility, We praise you, God. For our work that helps others, We praise you, God For our work that serves others, We praise you, God. For our work that empowers others, We praise you, God. For our work that inspires others, We praise you, God.
For our work that enriches and ennobles all creation, We praise you, God.

May 1st is the great Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

Feast of St Joseph the Worker: Affirming the Dignity of All Work

On the Feast of Joseph the Worker, let us seek the intercession of the Patron of the Universal Church and follow his example, recognizing that all human work participates in the workshop of Nazareth. A Catholic vision views work through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. God Incarnate became a worker! The dignity of this God become Man elevates the basic goodness of all human work.

St. Joseph the Worker

P>CHESAPEAKE, VA. (Catholic Online) - During an apostolic visit to Africa in 2009 Pope Benedict XVI reflected on St. Joseph and what he teaches us. He often uses the Patron of the Universal Church - his namesake (Joseph Ratzinger) - as an example. He told the faithful gathered in the Basilica of Mary Queen of Apostles in Cameroon:
"I ... encourage you to look to Saint Joseph. When Mary received the visit of the angel at the Annunciation, she was already betrothed to Joseph. In addressing Mary personally, the Lord already closely associates Joseph to the mystery of the Incarnation. Joseph agreed to be part of the great events which God was beginning to bring about in the womb of his spouse."

"He took Mary into his home. He welcomed the mystery that was in Mary and the mystery that was Mary herself. He loved her with great respect, which is the mark of all authentic love. Joseph teaches us that it is possible to love without possessing. In contemplating Joseph, all men and women can, by God's grace, come to experience healing from their emotional wounds, if only they embrace the plan that God has begun to bring about in those close to him, just as Joseph entered into the work of redemption through Mary and as a result of what God had already done in her."

"Joseph was caught up at every moment by the mystery of the Incarnation. Not only physically, but in his heart as well, Joseph reveals to us the secret of a humanity which dwells in the presence of mystery and is open to that mystery at every moment of everyday life. In Joseph, faith is not separated from action. His faith had a decisive effect on his actions. Paradoxically, it was by acting, by carrying out his responsibilities, that he stepped aside and left God free to act, placing no obstacles in his way. Joseph is a "just man" (Mt 1:19) because his existence is "ad-justed" to the word of God."

On May 1 the Universal Church honors this Patron for his witness to the dignity of human work. During the last years of his service, Blessed John Paul II addressed leaders of the "Catholic Action" movement in Italy on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. He used a poignant expression, the "Gospel of Work". In explaining what he meant he developed a theme deeply rooted in the Sacred Scriptures, expounded upon in the Christian Tradition and desperately needed in this age. In 1981 he had authored an Encyclical letter entitled "On Human Work" which presented the Christian vision of the dignity and meaning of human work.

In the industrial age men and women were often reduced to instruments in a society that emphasized "productivity" over the dignity of the worker. The technological age promised something different but failed to deliver. Human beings are still reduced to human doings rather than human beings. To come to a new understanding of the dignity of human labor requires what St Paul rightly called a "renewal of the mind" (See, Romans 12:2).

John Paul told those assembled that because work "has been profaned by sin and contaminated by egoism" it is an activity that "needs to be redeemed." He reminded them that "Jesus was a man of work and that work enabled him to develop his humanity". He emphasized that "the work of Nazareth constituted for Jesus a way to dedicate himself to the 'affairs of the Father,' witnessing that "the work of the Creator is prolonged" through work and that therefore ".according to God's providential plan, man, by working, realizes his own humanity and that of others: In fact, work 'forms man and, in a certain sense, creates him.."

He called them to be rescued "from the logic of profit, from the lack of solidarity, from the fever of earning ever more, from the desire to accumulate and consume." When the focus of work becomes subjected to what he called "inhuman wealth" it becomes a "seductive and merciless idol." That rescue occurs when we "return to the austere words of the Divine Master: 'For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?'"
Finally, he proclaimed that the "divine Worker of Nazareth" also "reminds us that 'life is more than food' and that work is for man, not man for work. What makes a life great is not the entity of gain, nor the type of profession, or the level of the career. Man is worth infinitely more than the goods he produces or possesses."

This "Gospel of Work" needs to be proclaimed anew in an age reeling from the near collapse of a banking system corrupted by greed and the rejection of the dignity of every human person. On Friday, April 30, 2010, Pope Benedict, mindful of the pending Feast of Joseph the Worker, addressed a Vatican conference on the theme "Crisis in a Global Economy. Re-planning the Journey."
He explained  the Social teaching of the Catholic Church that the dignity of human work derives from its relationship to the human person. He affirmed that economies should be at the service of the person, the family and the common good. His treatment of these themes in "Caritas in Veritate" (Charity in Truth) must be seriously examined by Catholics who hope to inform their thinking on economic issues, first, with the teaching of the Church.

The Catholic Catechism reminds us: "Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. Hence work is a duty: "If any one will not work, let him not eat." Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish."

"Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ. In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work. Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and beneficiary. By means of his labor man participates in the work of creation. Work united to Christ can be redemptive."

A Catholic vision views work through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. God Incarnate became a worker! The dignity of this God become Man elevates the basic goodness of all human work. The early Church Father and Bishop Irenaeus expressed the profundity of this all when he said: "Whatever was not assumed was not healed!"
Because the entire human experience was assumed by Jesus, work was transformed by Christ the worker! As a child, Jesus learned from Joseph the Worker how to work with wood. He would later climb upon a wooden cross to re-create all humanity in the great work of redemption. All of the work undertaken by Jesus was joined to His Heavenly Father's work. That is the same relationship we have with the Father now through Him.

Though there is biblical support that the toil and drudgery or "sweat" of work is connected to the fracture in the order of the universe which was occasioned by sin (see Gen 3:19) work itself is not the punishment for sin. Rather, for the Christian, work can become a participation in the continuing redemptive work of Jesus. He was always doing the "work" of the One who sent Him (John 9:3-4) and we are invited by grace to now do the same.

The early Christians' worship became known as "liturgy" which meant the "work" of the Church. For them the world was not a place to be avoided but their workshop! They were there to bring all to Baptism and inclusion in Christ and to prepare the world for His return. The "Paschal mystery" began a process of transformation not only in the followers of Jesus but also in the very cosmos created through Him and for Him. It is now being recreated in Him. The work of Jesus continues now through His Body, the Church, placed in that creation as a seed of its transfiguration.

All things were created in Christ (see Col 1:15-20) and are being re-created as His work continues through His Body, the Church of which we are members. The unfolding of all of this is a what St. Paul calls a "plan" and a "mystery", to bring all things together under heaven and on earth in Him (e.g. Eph 1: 9-10).For the Christian work is an invitation to participate in that plan. No matter what we are doing as work we are to "do it as unto the Lord" (see Col 3). That choice enables it to change the world both within us and around us.

This plan includes all work - not just what is often called the "spiritual stuff." God Incarnate, Jesus, did not just do what is too often called the "spiritual stuff." All human work sanctifies us and changes the world. St. Paul captures the hope of all creation when, in the eighth chapter of his letter to the Romans he reminds us that all of creation "groans" for the full revelation of the sons and daughters of God.
We can have a new relationship to the entire created order beginning now because we live in the Son, through whom and for whom, it was all created and is being re-created. That is why these insights from John Paul II and Benedict are so important. There truly is a "Gospel of Work" we experience when we embrace our work with a mind renewed by the Holy Spirit.

I am old enough to remember the days when on May 1st Communist Nations paraded their weapons of destruction through the streets of major cities promising a workers' paradise through their counterfeit ideology. It was during this time that the Church first set aside this Feast of Joseph to make a prophetic cultural statement.

She proclaimed a different way, the Gospel of Jesus Christ with its "Gospel of Work". On this Feast of St. Joseph the Worker we must once again take up this task. Let us rediscover the creative and redemptive value of all human work when it is joined to the continuing work of the Gospel. Let us proclaim again in our time the "Gospel of Work."

We need to turn to the teaching of the Church on the dignity of work - and the worker- as we consider all of the implications of this important policy concern as a Nation. On this Feast of Joseph the Worker, let us seek the intercession of Patron of the Universal Church and follow his example, recognizing that all human work participates in the workshop of Nazareth. Let us reflect on Pope Benedict's words "In Joseph, faith is not separated from action. His faith had a decisive effect on his actions." Let the same be said of each of us.

Tuesday Morning Papal Preaching

© Vatican Media

Santa Marta: ‘You Must be Born From Above’

Turn Away from Sin with Help of Holy Spirit

Pope Francis spoke on the third chapter of the Gospel of John on April 30, 2019, quoting the remarkable words of Jesus to Nicodemus: “You must be born from above”.
The Holy Father’s comments came during his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. His words were reported by Vatican News.
Linking his message to Easter and the Lord’s Resurrection, the Pope recalled the fact that in the first apparition of Jesus to the apostles, on the Sunday of the Resurrection, the Lord breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
“This is our strength! We cannot do anything without the Spirit”, Francis said. Reminding those present that Christian life is not only about behaving well and doing the right things, the Pope said we can write our lives in “flourishing penmanship” but we are reborn only from the Spirit, therefore we must make room for it.
“It is the Spirit that allows us to rise from our limitations, from our deaths, because there are so many necroses in our life and in our soul”, he said. “A life, that may call itself Christian, but that leaves no room for the Spirit and does not allow itself to be carried forward by the Spirit, is a pagan life, disguised as Christian”.
The Pope explained that the Holy Spirit is the “protagonist of Christian life”. It is the Holy Spirit, he said, who accompanies us, transforms us, and overcomes sin with us.
“No one has ever ascended to heaven except He who descended from heaven: Jesus. He came down from heaven, and at the moment of the resurrection, he said to us ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’, the companion of Christian life”, Francis continued. “One cannot walk the path of a Christian life without the Holy Spirit”.

These are becoming all too numerous

Head of US Bishops Offers Prayers for Victims of Synagogue Shooting Near San Diego

‘This attack joins an all too long list of attacks against innocent people, people of all faiths, who only want to gather and to pray.’

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued on April 28, 2019, the following statement on the deadly shooting that has taken place at Chabad of Poway Synagogue near San Diego.
Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:
“I, along with my brother bishops, am greatly saddened and deeply concerned over the news that another house of worship has been subjected to violence.  This assault, which occurred on the last day of Passover, is the second shooting in a U.S. synagogue within six months.  Our country should be better than this; our world should be beyond such acts of hatred and anti-Semitism. This attack joins an all too long list of attacks against innocent people, people of all faiths, who only want to gather and to pray. It is a contradiction, a perverting of their teachings to believe that Christianity, Judaism, or Islam would condone such violence.  Unfortunately, both in the past and today, too many preach such hatred in the name of God. This cannot be abided; it must end.
“Our prayers today are for the victims of this shooting, and for the Jewish community of Poway, California, placing our trust and our hope in ‘the Lord [who] is close to the brokenhearted and saves those whose spirit is crushed’” (Ps 34:19).

May starts tomorrow; here is the prayer intention of the Holy Father


The Church in Africa, a Seed of Unity

That the Church in Africa, through the commitment of its members, may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for this continent.

Monday, April 29, 2019

The Pope of the Catholic Reformation!

St. Pius V, Pope
Image of St. Pius V, Pope

Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost leaders of the Catholic Reformation. Born Antonio Ghislieri in Bosco, Italy, to a poor family, he labored as a shepherd until the age of fourteen and then joined the Dominicans, being ordained in 1528. Called Brother Michele, he studied at Bologna and Genoa, and then taught theology and philosophy for sixteen years before holding the posts of master of novices and prior for several Dominican houses. Named inquisitor for Como and Bergamo, he was so capable in the fulfillment of his office that by 1551, and at the urging of the powerful Cardinal Carafa, he was named by Pope Julius III commissary general of the Inquisition. In 1555, Carafa was elected Pope Paul IV and was responsible for Ghislieri's swift rise as a bishop of Nepi and Sutri in 1556, cardinal in 1557, and grand inquisitor in 1558. While out of favor for a time under Pope Pius IV who disliked his reputation for excessive zeal, Ghislieri was unanimously elected a pope in succession to Pius on January 7, 1566. As pope, Pius saw his main objective as the continuation of the massive program of reform for the Church, in particular the full implementation of the decrees of the Council of Trent. He published the Roman Catechism, the revised Roman Breviary, and the Roman Missal; he also declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church, commanded a new edition of the works of Thomas Aquinas, and created a commission to revise the Vulgate. The decrees of Trent were published throughout all Catholic lands, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the New World, and the pontiff insisted on their strict adherence. In 1571, Pius created the Congregation of the Index to give strength to the Church's resistance to Protestant and heretical writings, and he used the Inquisition to prevent any Protestant ideas from gaining a foot hold in Italy. In dealing with the threat of the Ottoman Turks who were advancing steadily across the Mediterranean, Pius organized a formidable alliance between Venice and Spain, culminating in the Battle of Lepanto, which was a complete and shattering triumph over the Turks. The day of the victory was declared the Feast Day of Our Lady of Victory in recognition of Our Lady's intercession in answer to the saying of the Rosary all over Catholic Europe. Pius also spurred the reforms of the Church by example. He insisted upon wearing his coarse Dominican robes, even beneath the magnificent vestments worn by the popes, and was wholeheartedly devoted to the religious life. His reign was blemished only by the continuing oppression of the Inquisition; the often brutal treatment of the Jews of Rome; and the ill advised decision to excommunicate Queen Elizabeth I of England  in February 1570, an act which also declared her deposed and which only worsened the plight of English Catholics. These were overshadowed in the view of later generations by his contributions to the Catholic Reformation. Pope Clement beatified him on May 1, 1672, and Pope Clement XI canonized him on May 22, 1712.

From Wyoming to Alaska and now to Seattle; a U.S. Bishop on the move

Archbishop Etienne

US: Pope Francis Appoints Coadjutor Archbishop of Seattle

Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, Currently Archbishop of Anchorage

Pope Francis has appointed as coadjutor archbishop of Seattle, Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, currently archbishop of Anchorage. Archbishop Etienne was born on June 15, 1959, in Tell City, Indiana. He attended the North American College in Rome and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 1992.
Archbishop Etienne holds a bachelors and licentiate of theology from the Gregorian University in Rome. After ordination, he served in several Indianapolis parishes and was the director of vocations for the archdiocese. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI named him bishop of Cheyenne where he was ordained as bishop on December 14, 2009. Archbishop Etienne was named Archbishop of Anchorage on October 4, 2016, by Pope Francis and was installed, November 9, 2016.
Archbishop Etienne currently serves as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on National Collections.
The Archdiocese of Seattle comprises of 64,269 square miles and has a total population of 5,501,540 of which 863,000 or 15.7 percent, are Catholic. The Most Reverend James Peter Sartain is the fifth and current Archbishop of Seattle.

ICYMI: Argentine Martyrs declared Blesseds

Pope Francis Applauds News Blesseds in Argentina

Four Martyred While Defending Human Rights

Pope Francs noted the beatification of four Martyrs in Argentina in ceremonies April 27, 2019. His remarks came after reciting the Regina Coeli April 28 with the crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
“Proclaimed Blesseds yesterday in La Rioja, Argentina, were Enrique Angel Angelelli, diocesan Bishop; Carlos de Dios Murias, Conventual Franciscan; Gabriel Longueville, fidei donum priest, and Wenceslao Pedernera, catechist, father of a family,” Francis said. “These martyrs of the faith were persecuted for the cause of justice and evangelical charity. May their example and intercession support, in particular, all those who work for a more just and solidary society. One of them was French; he went to Argentina as a missionary. The other three were Argentines. Let us applaud all the new Blesseds!”
Angelelli, who was part of a group of bishops who denounced human rights violations committed during the dictatorship, died on August 4, 1976, after the car he was driving overturned on a highway in La Rioja. At the time of his death, Angelelli, who was 53 years old, was drafting a report regarding the investigation into the murder of Murias and Longueville by the army. The military regime had tried to make believe that the Bishop’s death was due to injuries caused in the alleged car accident near the city of Punta de Los Llanos, but then justice showed that the accident had been caused by another car and that the bishop died due to a blow inflicted on his neck.
Murias and Longueville had been kidnapped, tortured and shot on July 18, 1976, in Chamical, while the lay Pedernera was murdered in the district of Chilecito, also in Rioja a week later.