Monday, February 27, 2012

LENT: PRAYER, PENANCE AND CHARITY TO RENEW OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Dear Pauline Family and Friends,

This Lent we are so fortunate to learn from the life of Jesus Christ Our Lord who underwent temptation in the wilderness to defend us with His help and to instruct us with His example (according to St. Leo the Great).  

Might we have the capacity to strive daily to put God in the center of our lives, obey His laws and accept His will, invoke Divine Providence in order to overcome any tendencies to fall into the tragic trap of temptation & its dangers?  His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI illuminates the way forward -- path to take this Lent.  The Holy Father presents man's situation and points us to Jesus Christ, Our Lord, the Way, Truth and Life. The Holy Father stated that: "the temptation to remove God, to regulate ourselves and the world counting only on our own abilities, has always been present in the history of man."   He said, "man is never free from temptation, but we can become stronger than any enemy 'by following the Lord every day with patience and humility, learning to build our lives not without Him or as if He did not exist, but in Him and with Him, because He is the source of true life."   See full VIS article below:


QUOTE

LENT: PRAYER, PENANCE AND CHARITY TO RENEW OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Vatican City, 26 February 2012 (VIS) - In his reflections before praying the Angelus this morning with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI commented on the Gospel reading from this Sunday's liturgy, St. Mark's narrative of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.

"The Lord chose to undergo the attack of the tempter so as to defend us with His help and instruct us with His example", said the Holy Father quoting a text written by St. Leo the Great. This episode teaches us that man is never free from temptation, but we can become stronger than any enemy "by following the Lord every day with patience and humility, learning to build our lives not without Him or as if He did not exist, but in Him and with Him, because He is the source of true life. The temptation to remove God, to regulate ourselves and the world counting only on our own abilities, has always been present in the history of man", the Pope said.

In Christ, God addresses man "in an unexpected way, with a closeness that is unique, tangible and full of love. God became incarnate and entered man's world in order to take sin upon Himself, to overcome evil and to bring man back into God's world. But His announcement was accompanied by a request to respond to such a great gift. Indeed, Jesus said "repent, and believe in the good news'. This is an invitation to have faith in God and to convert every day of our lives to His will, orienting our every action and our every thought towards what is good. The period of Lent is a good time to renew and strengthen our relationship with God through daily prayer, acts of penance and works of fraternal charity".

Following the Angelus the Pope greeted pilgrims in a number of different languages, asking them to pray for him as he and the Roman Curia retire for their Lenten spiritual exercises, which begin this evening.

UNQUOTE

May God bless us with the temporal and spiritual graces to walk in the path of prayer, penance and charity to renew our relationship with God this Lent.   Amen.

Let us continue to integrate in our daily lives the practice of Lectio Divina, a prayerful reading of the Sacred Scriptures which nourishes our souls.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

Friday, February 24, 2012

REMEMBERING OUR MORTALITY, WELCOMING GOD AND HOPING FOR THE RESURRECTION (VIS article)

Dear Pauline Friends & Family,

Peace!  As we make preparations at the start of our Lenten journey, let us read and ruminate on His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI's Ash Wednesday homily, as contained in the following VIS article.

QUOTE

REMEMBERING OUR MORTALITY, WELCOMING GOD AND HOPING FOR THE RESURRECTION
Vatican City, 23 February 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, Ash Wednesday, Benedict XVI presided over the traditional penitential procession from the church of St. Anselm on Rome's Aventine Hill to the nearby basilica of Santa Sabina where he celebrated Mass. Cardinals, archbishops, bishops, the Benedictine monks of St. Anselm, the Dominican Fathers of Santa Sabina and lay faithful participated in the event.

Following the procession, Benedict XVI celebrated the Eucharist and the rite of the imposition of the ashes. He received ashes from Cardinal Jozef Tomko, titular of the basilica, then distributed ashes to the cardinals and bishops present, as well as to various members of the faithful. Following the Gospel reading the Pope pronounced his homily, explaining that ashes are "an element of nature which through the liturgy become a sacred symbol, one of great importance on this day which marks the beginning of the Lenten journey".

"Ashes are one of those material signs which bring the cosmos into the liturgy", he said. "Although they are not a sacramental sign, they are nonetheless associated with prayer and the sanctification of Christian people". In fact, before imposing them on the heads of the faithful, the priest blesses the ashes, and one of the formulae he may use to do so refers to a passage from Genesis: "You are dust and to dust you shall return", the words with which God concludes His judgement after the original sin.

Because of that sin, God cursed the earth whence Adam had come. Indeed, following the creation of the world, God had "formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being". Thus, the Holy Father explained, "the sign of the ashes leads us into the great narrative of the creation in which, through the image of the dust of the earth moulded by God and animated by His breath, it is recounted that human beings are a unique combination of matter and divine breath. ... In the narrative of Genesis, we see how the symbol of dust undergoes a negative transformation because of sin. Before the fall, the earth had a potential which was entirely good", recalling "God's creative act which was entirely open to life". Following sin and the subsequent divine curse, "it became a sign of the inexorable destiny of death: 'You are dust and to dust you shall return'".

The earth, then, shares man's destiny and only concedes him its fruits in exchange for much "toil" and "the sweat of his brow". Nonetheless, "this curse of the earth has a medicinal function for man, whom the earth’s recalcitrance helps to maintain within his own limits, to recognise his own nature. ... This means that God's intentions, which are always benign, are more profound that any curse. The curse, in fact, was due not to God but to sin; yet God could not but inflict it because He respects man's freedom and its consequences, even its negative consequences". However the Lord, along with "just punishment, also wished to announce the way of salvation, which passed by way of the earth, by way of that 'dust', that 'flesh' which was assumed by the Word".

The liturgy of Ash Wednesday uses the words of Genesis in this perspective of salvation, "as an invitation to penance and humility, to remember our own mortality; not so as to give way to desperation but to accept, as part of that mortality, the inconceivable closeness of God Who, beyond death, opens the way to resurrection, to heaven finally and ultimately rediscovered".

"The possibility we have for divine forgiveness essentially depends on the fact that God Himself, in the person of His Son, chose to share our condition, but not the corruption of sin. God caused His Son to rise again with the power of the Holy Spirit and Jesus, the new Adam, became ... the first fruit of the new creation".

"The God Who drove our first ancestors from the Garden of Eden", Benedict XVI affirmed in conclusion, "sent His Son to our earth devastated by sin, ... so that we, prodigal children, might return to our true homeland, penitent and redeemed by His mercy. Thus may it be for each of us, for all believers, for all men and women who humbly recognise their need for salvation".
UNQUOTE


May God abundantly grant his blessings upon His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, and the bishops and priests, who shepherd us all during this solemn Lenten season to be not afraid to live with a penitent and humble heart because Jesus Christ is with us now and forever.  Amen.   May God grant us all fortitude, mercy and peace as we make our approach to meditate, contemplate, pray with the Sacred Scriptures & recall the passion, crucifixion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ and look forward to celebrate His glorious resurrection on Easter. Amen

Jesus Christ, Divine Master, Way, Truth and Life, have mercy on us.
Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Blessed James Alberione, pray for us.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

LENT, A TIME TO SHOULDER OUR CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITIES (VIS article)

Dear Pauline Family & Friends,

Today Ash Wednesday, we are reminded:  "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."  Let us give thanks to God for the life that we have all received.  May God grant us the grace to help us reach the transformation we seek, in order to follow Jesus Christ, Our Divine Master, Way, Truth and Life.  During our Lenten journey let us bring to the altar our prayers for God's mercy and the sanctification of humanity.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI leads us to our trajectory, as he explained about:  "The time leading up to Easter is a time of 'metanoia', a time of change and penance, a time which identifies our human lives and our entire history as a process of conversion, which begins to move now in order to meet the Lord at the end of time".  (See VIS article below.)

QUOTE
LENT, A TIME TO SHOULDER OUR CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITIES
Vatican City, 22 February 2012 (VIS) - During his general audience this morning, the Holy Father dedicated his catechesis to the subject of Lent (which begins today, Ash Wednesday), the period of forty days leading up to the Easter Triduum, memorial of the passion, death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Benedict XVI reminded the 7,500 pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI Hall that, in the early days of the Church, Lent was a time in which catechumens began their journey of faith and conversion prior to receiving Baptism. Later, all the faithful were invited to participate in this period of spiritual renewal. Thus "the participation of the whole community in the various stages of the Lenten journey underlines an important dimension of Christian spirituality: the fact that redemption is available not just for the few, but for everyone, thanks to Christ's death and resurrection".

"The time leading up to Easter is a time of 'metanoia', a time of change and penance, a time which identifies our human lives and our entire history as a process of conversion, which begins to move now in order to meet the Lord at the end of time".

The Church calls this period "Quadragesima", a period of forty days which has precise references in Holy Scripture. Indeed, "forty is the symbolic number with which the Old and New Testaments represent the most important moments of the People of God's experience of faith. It is a figure which expresses a time of expectation, purification, return to the Lord, awareness that God is faithful to His promises; ... a time within which we must make our choice, shoulder our responsibilities without further delay. It is a time for mature decisions".

Noah spent forty days in the Ark during the Flood, then had to wait forty days more before he could return to dry land. Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai to collect the Commandments. The Jewish People spent forty years wandering in the desert, then enjoyed forty years of peace under the government of the Judges. The inhabitants of Niniveh made forty days penance to obtain God's forgiveness. The reigns of Saul, David and Solomon, the first kings of Israel, lasted forty years each. In the New Testament, Jesus spent forty days praying in the wilderness before beginning His public life and, following the resurrection, He spent forty days instructing His disciples before ascending to heaven.

The liturgy of Lent, the Pope explained, "has the aim of facilitating our journey of spiritual renewal in the light of this long biblical experience. Above all, it helps us to imitate Jesus Who, in the forty days He spent in the wilderness, taught us to overcome temptation through the Word of God. ... Jesus went into the wilderness in order to be in profound contact with the Father. This was a constant aspect of Christ's earthly life. He always sought out moments of solitude to pray to His Father and abide in intimate and exclusive communion with Him, before retuning among mankind. But in the 'wilderness' ... Jesus was beset by temptation and the seduction of the Evil One, who suggested a messianic path, a path which was far from God's plans because it involved power, success and dominion, not love and the total gift of self on the Cross".

Benedict XVI went on to suggest that the Church herself is a pilgrim in the "wilderness" of the world and history. This wilderness is made up of "the aridity and poverty of words, life and values, of secularism and the culture of materialism which enclose people within a worldly horizon and detach them from any reference to transcendence. In such an atmosphere the sky above us is dark, because veiled with clouds of selfishness, misunderstanding and deceit. Nonetheless, even for the Church today, the wilderness can become a period of grace, because we have the certainty that even from the hardest rock God can cause the living water to gush forth, water which quenches thirst and restores strength".

"During Lent", said the Holy Father in conclusion, "may we discover fresh courage to accept situations of difficulty, affliction and suffering with patience and faith, aware that, from the darkness, the Lord will cause a new day to shine forth. And if we have been faithful to Jesus, following Him on the way of the Cross, the luminous world of God, the world of light, truth and joy, will be ours again".

At the end of the catechesis Benedict XVI greeted pilgrims in various languages. Speaking Polish he highlighted how "fasting and prayer, penance and works of mercy" are the principal means of preparation for Easter.
The Pope also addressed a special greeting to faithful of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, who were present in the Paul VI Hall. The ordinariate was set up a little over a year ago for groups of Anglican clergy and faithful wishing to enter into full visible communion with the Catholic Church. The general audience ended with the apostolic blessing.

UNQUOTE 

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

JESUS' PRAYER BEFORE DYING (VIS article)

Dear Pauline Family & Friends,

As we approach Lent, on the eve of Ash Wednesday 2012, I wish for us to revisit a VIS article (Feb. 8, 2012) on Jesus' Prayer Before Dying from which we could learn from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI about God's great love.

Let us join in prayer with our dear Pope Benedict XVI.  The Holy Father said, "In our prayers, let us bring God our daily crosses, in the certainty that He is present and listens to us. The cry of Jesus reminds us that in prayer we must cross the barrier of 'self' and our own problems, and open ourselves to the needs and sufferings of others. May the prayer of the dying Jesus on the cross teach us to pray with love for so many brothers and sisters who feel the burden of daily life, who are experiencing moments of difficulty, who suffer and hear no words of comfort, that they may feel the love of God Who never abandons us." 

VIS article of Feb. 8, 2012 follows:

QUOTE

JESUS' PRAYER BEFORE DYING
Vatican City, (VIS) - The prayer of Jesus at the moment of His death, as narrated by St. Mark and St. Matthew was the theme of Benedict XVI's catechesis during his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall.

"In the structure of the narrative", the Pope said, "Jesus' cry rises at the end of three hours of darkness, which had descended upon the earth from midday to three o'clock in the afternoon. Those three hours of darkness were, in their turn, the continuation of an earlier period which also lasted three hours and began with the crucifixion. ... In biblical tradition darkness has an ambivalent meaning: it is a sign of the presence and action of evil, but also of the mysterious presence and action of God Who is capable of vanquishing all darkness. ... In the scene of Jesus' crucifixion darkness envelops the earth, the darkness of death in which the Son of God immerses Himself, in order bring life with His act of love".

"Insulted by various categories of people, surrounded by a darkness covering everything, at the very moment in which He is facing death Jesus' cry shows that, along with His burden of suffering and death apparently accompanied by abandonment and the absence of God, He is entirely certain of the closeness of the Father, Who approves this supreme act of love and of total giving of Self, although we do not hear His voice from on high as we did in earlier moments".

Yet, the Holy Father asked, "what is the meaning of Jesus' prayer? The cry addressed to the Father: 'my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" He explained that "the words Jesus addresses to the Father are the beginning of Psalm 22, in which the Psalmist expresses the tension between, on the one hand, being left alone and, on the other, the certain knowledge of God's presence amongst His people. ... The Psalmist speaks of a 'cry' to express all the suffering of his prayer before the apparently absent God. At moments of anguish prayer becomes a cry.

"This also happens in our own relationship with the Lord", the Pope added. "In the face of difficult and painful situations, when it seems that God does not hear, we must not be afraid to entrust Him with the burden we are carrying in our hearts, we must not be afraid to cry out to Him in our suffering".

"Jesus prays at the moment of ultimate rejection by man, at the moment of abandonment. However, He is aware that God the Father is present even at the instant in which He is experiencing the human drama of death. Yet nonetheless, a question arises in our hearts: how is it possible that such a powerful God does not intervene to save His Son from this terrible trial?"

The Holy Father explained that "it is important to understand that the prayer of Jesus is not the cry of a person who meets death with desperation, nor that of a person who knows he has been abandoned. At that moment Jesus appropriates Psalm 22, the Psalm of the suffering people of Israel, at that moment He takes upon Himself not only the suffering of His people, but also that of all men and women oppressed by evil. ... And He takes all this to the heart of God in the certainty that His cry will be heard in the resurrection. ... His is a suffering in communion with us and for us, it derives from love and carries within itself redemption and the victory of love.

"The people at the foot of Jesus' cross were unable to understand, they thought His cry was a supplication to Elijah. ... We likewise find ourselves, ever and anew, facing the 'today' of suffering, the silence of God - many times we say as much in our prayers - but we also find ourselves facing the 'today' of the Resurrection, of the response of God Who took our sufferings upon Himself, to carry them with us and give us the certain hope that they will be overcome".

"In our prayers", the Holy Father concluded, "let us bring God our daily crosses, in the certainty that He is present and listens to us. The cry of Jesus reminds us that in prayer we must cross the barrier of 'self' and our own problems, and open ourselves to the needs and sufferings of others. May the prayer of the dying Jesus on the cross teach us to pray with love for so many brothers and sisters who feel the burden of daily life, who are experiencing moments of difficulty, who suffer and hear no words of comfort, that they may feel the love of God Who never abandons us."

UNQUOTE

May God grant and sustain you with special blessings as we enter Lent 2012.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

Monday, February 20, 2012

CATHEDRA OF PETER IS A SIGN OF CHRIST'S AUTHORITY, BASED ON FAITH AND LOVE (VIS article)

Dear Pauline Family and Friends,

Let us join in prayer of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in entrusting himself and the new cardinals to the protection of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Church, that she might "help me and my collaborators to work tirelessly for the unity of the People of God, and to announce the message of salvation to all people, humbly and courageously performing the service of truth in charity".

QUOTE
CATHEDRA OF PETER IS A SIGN OF CHRIST'S AUTHORITY, BASED ON FAITH AND LOVE
 
Vatican City, 19 February 2012 (VIS) - Following this morning's concelebration of the Eucharist with the twenty-two cardinals created in Saturday's consistory, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Before the Marian prayer, the Holy Father reminded people that "this Sunday is a particularly joyful one here in the Vatican, because of yesterday's consistory in which I created twenty-two new cardinals. This morning I had the joy of concelebrating the Eucharist with them in St. Peter's Basilica, over the tomb of the Apostle whom Jesus called to be the 'rock' upon which to build His Church. I therefore invite you all to pray for these our venerable brothers, who are now more deeply committed to collaborating with me in guiding the universal Church, and to bearing witness to the Gospel even unto the sacrifice of their lives. This is the significance of their red garments: the colour of blood and of love".

Benedict XVI also recalled the fact that yesterday's consistory took place against the backdrop of the Feast of the Cathedra of St. Peter, which had been brought forward to this Sunday to ensure it did not coincide with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. The cathedra, the Pope explained, "is the seat reserved for the bishop. ... The Cathedra of St. Peter ... is the symbol of the special mission that Peter and his successors have to feed the flock of Christ and to keep it united in faith and charity. ... This particular duty devolves upon the community of Rome and its Bishop because it was in this city that the Apostles Peter and Paul spilt their blood, along with many other martyrs. Thus we return to the witness of blood and charity. The Cathedra of Peter is a sign of authority: the authority of Christ which is founded upon faith and love".

In conclusion, the Holy Father entrusted the new cardinals to the protection of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Church, that she might "help me and my collaborators to work tirelessly for the unity of the People of God, and to announce the message of salvation to all people, humbly and courageously performing the service of truth in charity".

UNQUOTE

Many thanks.  Best regards.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

Sunday, February 19, 2012

BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO CARDINAL TIMOTHY MICHAEL DOLAN OF NEW YORK

Dear Pauline Family & Friends,

On behalf of Pauline Cooperators, we have the honor in New York to join you all in offering our best wishes to and prayers for Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan on the occasion of his elevation by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

We still recall the great visitation of Cardinal Dolan who graced us with his presence and brought us so much joy when he bestowed blessings to the Daughters of St. Paul's (www.pauline.org) Pauline Books and Media Center in Manhattan on 12 March 2010. Click the link below to view the grace-filled event.


Long live Pope Benedict XVI!  Long live Cardinal Dolan!

Respectfully,
Marie-Louise Handal & Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperators - New York City

Saturday, February 18, 2012

EVANGELISATION, YEAR OF FAITH, ECUMENISM: CENTRAL THEMES OF CARDINALS' DAY OF REFLECTION AND PRAYER (VIS article)

Dear Pauline Family & Friends,

A million thanks to God for the wonderful themes of the Cardinals' Day of Reflection & Prayer on Evangelisation, Year of Faith & Ecumenism.

Please see VIS article below containing text of a communique released yesterday evening by the Holy See Press Office.

QUOTE

EVANGELISATION, YEAR OF FAITH, ECUMENISM: CENTRAL THEMES OF CARDINALS' DAY OF REFLECTION AND PRAYER
 
Vatican City, 18 February 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique released yesterday evening by the Holy See Press Office at the end of the day of reflection and prayer which brought together the members of the College of Cardinals in preparation for today's consistory.

"This afternoon, following the celebration of Vespers, the cardinals present continued to make their contributions. Counting both the morning and afternoon sessions, a total of twenty-seven talks were given, touching upon a wide range of subjects associated with new evangelisation and the Year of Faith.

"Attention was given to the problems of evangelisation in various parts of the world and in different cultures: The increasing numbers of Christians in China despite difficulties; inter-religious dialogue and the struggle against poverty in India; the trials faced by Christians in the countries of the Middle East; the importance of popular religiosity for evangelisation in Latin America; the challenge of secularism which tends to marginalise religion from social life in the West; challenges and difficulties as well as encouraging prospects and events that are signs of hope, such as new and vivacious ecclesiastical experiences like World Youth Days and International Eucharistic Congresses.

"Discussion also focused on the educational emergency, the renewal of catechesis, the transmission of faith to young people, the formation of evangelisers (lay people, religious and priests), and the importance of a mature faith capable of witness and discernment before the realities of today's world.

"Suggestions were made for the forthcoming Year of Faith. These included in-depth analyses to accompany the various periods of the liturgical year, encouraging pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to Rome, and favouring new forms of popular mission.

"Emphasis was given to the ecumenical commitment of Christians in announcing their shared faith in Christ, the validity of Vatican Council II as a compass to guide the Church's journey today, the importance of bearing witness to Christian joy and sanctity, and the enduring fascination of the saints.

"Before praying the Angelus at around 7 p.m., the Holy Father concluded the session with some words of his own. He thanked the relators", cardinal-designate Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Archbishop Fisichella, "and all the participants. Their words had represented a 'broad mosaic of ideas and proposals', he said. The Pope also highlighted the importance Vatican Council II has for "rediscovering of the contemporary importance of Jesus and the faith". He underlined the need for an authentic renewal of catechesis in order to highlight its precious content of truth, and to react against what has been defined as 'religious illiteracy'. He reaffirmed the need for profound conviction of the truth of God's revelation in His Son Jesus Christ, because 'if there is no truth, we have no compass and do not know where to go', and 'only if there is truth can life be rich and beautiful". Without this conviction, 'we cannot re-evangelise humankind today'.

"Since God is love, truth is expressed in charity, and charity in turn "reveals the truth". The Pope concluded by saying that the motto of the Year of Faith could be summarised in the words: 'Living truth in charity'".


UNQUOTE

Jesus Divine Master, Way, Truth and Life, have mercy on us.  Mary Queen of Apostles, pray for us.  Sts. Peter and Paul, pray for us.

May God grant us many blessings to enable us all to keep engaged and to participate in the brilliant 'broad mosaic of ideas and proposals' as His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI moves forward with the Year of Faith.

Blessed Giacomo 'James' Alberione, pray for us.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

TITULAR AND DIACONATE CHURCHES OF THE NEW CARDINALS (VIS article)





TITULAR AND DIACONATE CHURCHES OF THE NEW CARDINALS
 
Vatican City, 18 February 2012 (VIS) - Following are the names of the twenty-two new cardinals created by Pope Benedict XVI in this morning's consistory, and the titular or diaconate churches he assigned to them:

Electors
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, diaconate of Nostra Signora di Coromoto in San Giovanni di Dio.
- Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, diaconate of San Domenico di Guzman.
- Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, diaconate of San Ponziano.
- Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, diaconate of San Cesareo in Palatio.
- Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, diaconate of Santi Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia.
- Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, diaconate of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami.
- Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, diaconate of Sant’Elena fuori Porta Prenestina.
- Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien, diaconate of San Sebastiano al Palatino.
- Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, diaconate of Annunciazione della Beata Vergine Maria a Via Ardeatina.
- Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, diaconate of Sacro Cuore di Gesu a Castro Pretorio.
- Cardinal George Alencherry, title of San Bernardo alle Terme.
- Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, title of San Patrizio.
- Cardinal Dominik Jaroslav Duka, O.P., title of Santi Marcellino e Pietro.
- Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, title of San Callisto.
- Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, title of San Marcello.
- Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, title of Nostra Signora di Guadalupe a Monte Mario.
- Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, title of San Giovanni Maria Vianney.
- Cardinal John Tong Hon, title of Regina Apostolorum.
Non electors:
- Cardinal Lucian Muresan, title of Sant’Atanasio.
- Cardinal Julien Ries, diaconate of Sant’Antonio di Padova a Circonvallazione Appia.
- Cardinal Prosper Grech, O.S.A., diaconate of Santa Maria Goretti.
- Cardinal Karl Josef Becker, S.J., diaconate of San Giuliano Martire.

NEW CARDINALS MUST LOVE GOD, THE CHURCH AND THEIR FELLOW MAN (VIS article)

Dear Pauline Family & Friends,

The Church rejoices today on the occasion of the creation of 22 new cardinals by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.  (See VIS article below).

May God be glorified today and forever.  Amen.

Congratulations to all the new Cardinals!  Long live Pope Benedict XVI!

Let us extend our co-operation to them through our prayers, our works, and our love for God .

Best regards.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC


NEW CARDINALS MUST LOVE GOD, THE CHURCH AND THEIR FELLOW MAN
Vatican City, 18 February 2012 (VIS) - In St. Peter's Basilica at 10.30 a.m. this morning, Benedict XVI celebrated the fourth ordinary public consistory of his pontificate, during which he created twenty-two new cardinals.

Following the opening prayer and the proclamation of the Gospel, the Holy Father pronounced his homily, extracts of which are given below:

"'Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam'. ... With these words the entrance hymn has led us into the solemn and evocative ritual of the ordinary public consistory. ... They are the efficacious words with which Jesus constituted Peter as the solid foundation of the Church. On such a foundation the faith represents the qualitative factor: Simon becomes Peter - the Rock - in as much as he professed his faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God".

"The words Jesus addressed to Peter highlight well the ecclesial character of today’s event. The new cardinals, in receiving the title of a church in this city or of a suburban diocese, are fully inserted in the Church of Rome led by the Successor of Peter, in order to cooperate closely with him in governing the universal Church. ... In carrying out their particular service in support of the Petrine ministry, the new cardinals will be called to consider and evaluate the events, the problems and the pastoral criteria which concern the mission of the entire Church. In this delicate task, the life and the death of the Prince of the Apostles, Who for love of Christ gave Himself even unto the ultimate sacrifice will be an example".

"It is with this meaning that the placing of the red biretta is also to be understood. The new cardinals are entrusted with the service of love: love for God, love for His Church, an absolute and unconditional love for his brothers and sisters, even unto shedding their blood, if necessary, as expressed in the words of placing the biretta and as indicated by the colour of their robes. Furthermore, they are asked to serve the Church with love and vigour, with the transparency and wisdom of teachers, with the energy and strength of shepherds, with the fidelity and courage of martyrs. They are to be eminent servants of the Church that finds in Peter the visible foundation of unity.
"In the Gospel we have just heard proclaimed there is offered a model to imitate and to follow. ... Serving God and others, self-giving: this is the logic which authentic faith imparts and develops in our daily lives and which is not the type of power and glory which belongs to this world".

Today's Gospel reading in which James and John asked Christ to be allowed to sit with Him in His glory, one on His right and one on His left, "gives Jesus a way to address each of the disciples and 'to call them to Himself', almost to pull them in, to form them into one indivisible body with Him, and to indicate which is the path to real glory, that of God: 'You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all'.

"Dominion and service, egoism and altruism, possession and gift, self-interest and gratuitousness: these profoundly contrasting approaches confront each other in every age and place. There is no doubt about the path chosen by Jesus: He does not merely indicate it with words to the disciples of then and of today, but He lives it in His own flesh. He explains, in fact, 'For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many'. These words shed light upon today’s public Consistory with a particular intensity. They resound in the depths of the soul and represent an invitation and a reminder, a commission and an encouragement especially for you, dear and venerable brothers who are about to be enrolled in the College of Cardinals.

"According to biblical tradition, the Son of man is the One Who receives power and dominion from God. Jesus interprets His mission on earth by combining the figure of the Son of man with that of the suffering servant, described in Isaiah. ... His service is realised in total faithfulness and complete responsibility towards mankind. In this way the free acceptance of His violent death becomes the price of freedom for many, it becomes the beginning and the foundation of the redemption of each person and of the entire human race.

"Dear Brothers who are to be enrolled in the College of Cardinals, may Christ’s total gift of self on the Cross be for you the foundation, stimulus and strength of a faith operative in charity. May your mission in the Church and the world always be 'in Christ' alone, responding to His logic and not that of the world, and may it be illumined by faith and animated by charity which comes to us from the glorious Cross of the Lord. On the ring which I will soon place on your finger, are represented Sts. Peter and Paul, and in the middle a star which evokes the Mother of God. Wearing this ring, you are reminded each day to remember the witness which these two Apostles gave to Christ even unto martyrdom here in Rome, their blood making the Church fruitful. The example of the Virgin Mother will always be for you an invitation to follow her who was strong in faith and a humble servant of the Lord".

"Dear brothers and sisters, pray that [the new cardinals'] lives will always reflect the Lord Jesus, our sole Shepherd and Teacher, Source of every hope, Who points out the path to everyone. And pray also for me, that I may continually offer to the People of God the witness of sound doctrine and guide holy Church with a firm and humble hand".

Following his homily the Pope pronounced the the formula of creation of the new cardinals, their names and the diaconate or presbyteral order to which they have been assigned. The new cardinals then recited the Creed and swore their faithfulness and obedience to the Pope and his successors. They then received their biretta and ring from the hands of the Pope who also assigned them their title or diaconate.

Following the ceremony Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, introduced the ordinary public consistory for the canonisation of the following blesseds: Jacques Berthieu, French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits); Pedro Calungsod, Filipino lay catechist and martyr; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the Congregation of the Humble Sister Servants of the Lord; Maria del Carmen (nee Maria Salles y Barangueras), Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching; Maria Anna Cope (nee Barbara), German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse U.S.A.; Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman, and Anna Schaffer, German laywoman. The Holy Father has decreed that the canonisation ceremony will take place on Sunday 21 October. The consistory concluded with the apostolic blessing.

Friday, February 17, 2012

CARDINALS PREPARE FOR TOMORROW'S CONSISTORY (VIS article)


Dear Pauline Family and Friends,

Let us pray for Pope Benedict XVI and the upcoming Cardinals, especially our beloved cardinal-designate Archbishop Timothy Dolan.  We thank God for their loving devotion to the ministry entrusted by Our Lord Jesus Christ.  May God bless them with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in their leadership roles in the Church and may all their works bear abundant fruits, both temporal and spiritual, through Jesus Master, Way, Truth & Life.  Amen.

See VIS article below.

CARDINALS PREPARE FOR TOMORROW'S CONSISTORY
Vatican City, 17 February 2012 (VIS) - This morning, in preparation for tomorrow's consistory, the members of the College of Cardinals and the new cardinals-elect met in the Vatican's New Synod Hall for a day of reflection and prayer, presided by the Holy Father. Benedict XVI had called the day at the beginning of this month.

According to a communique made public today by the Holy See Press Office, the Day began with the celebration of Lauds, followed by an introductory address by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. The main theme of the day - "the announcement of the Gospel today, between 'missio ad gentes' and new evangelisation" - was introduced with a long talk by one of the cardinals-designate: Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. He was followed by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, who delivered a report on the forthcoming Year of Faith, and its significance in the light of the Apostolic Letter 'Porta fidei'. He also outlined a series of initiatives for the Year, currently being studied by various dicasteries.

The participants in the day of reflection and prayer then rose to speak and the morning session concluded with the praying of the Angelus guided by the Holy Father. The meeting will continue this afternoon, following the celebration of Vespers at 5 p.m.

Mary Queen of Apostles, pray for us.  St. Paul the Apostle, pray for us.  Blessed James Alberione, pray for us.  Mother Thecla Merlo, pray for us.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

Thursday, February 16, 2012

POPE WARNS AGAINST THE POWER OF FINANCE AND OF THE MEDIA (VIS news article)

Dear Pauline Family and Friends,

This week is so special that many are drawn to talk about the Church of Rome.  May the discussions center around our faith in Jesus, Divine Master, way, truth and life.

In the above-referenced VIS article which is quoted below, we are made aware of how today we could experience the oppressive power of finance vis-à-vis existence, and we are enjoined to find ways of supporting the latter-life.  Furthermore, the media would be of better service if we used it carefully to point to the Truth and not just keep up appearances.  Let us accept the invitation of St. Paul the Apostle, as communicated by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, "for the faithful not to conform to this world but to transform themselves and renew their minds in order to discern the will of God, 'the good and acceptable and perfect.'"  May we not fall as slaves to possessions and appearances, through the intercession of St. Paul the Apostle.  Amen.


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POPE WARNS AGAINST THE POWER OF FINANCE AND OF THE MEDIA
Vatican City, 16 February 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father visited the Major Seminary of Rome for the occasion of the feast of its patroness, Our Lady of Trust, which falls on Saturday. The Holy Father visited the chapel before going on to meet with auxiliary bishops of Rome, superiors of diocesan seminaries and 190 seminarians.

Following the reading of the Gospel, Benedict XVI pronounced a "lectio divina" on the passage from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans in which the Apostle invites the faithful not to conform to this world but to transform themselves and renew their minds in order to discern the will of God, "the good and acceptable and perfect".

"We can reflect upon the Church today", he said in his off-the-cuff remarks. "There is much talk about the Church of Rome, many things are said. Let us hope that people also talk about our faith. Let us pray to God that it may be so.."

The Pope then went on to refer to the force of evil which, in today's world, also emerges "in two great powers which are good and useful in themselves but easily open to abuse: the power of finance and the power of the media. Both are necessary, both are useful, but so subject to misuse that they often go against their true goals".

Today "we see how the world of finance can dominate mankind. Possession and appearance dominate and enslave the world. ... Finance is no longer a tool to promote well being and to support the life of man, but a force that oppresses him, one which almost has to be worshipped". The Pontiff called on his audience not to conform to this power. "Be non conformists. What counts is not possession but existence", he said. Christians must not bow to this power, but use it as "as a means, with the freedom of the children of God".

Turning then to consider the question of public opinion, Benedict XVI highlighted how "we have a great need of information, knowledge about the truth of the world; but there is a power of appearance which in the end counts even more than reality itself". Appearance "overlies the truth and becomes more important. Man no longer pursues the truth but wants above all to appear". Here too "there is a Christian non conformism. ... We want not appearance but truth, and this will give us true freedom".

"Christian non conformism redeems us and restores us to truth. Let us pray to the Lord that He may help us to be free in this non conformism, which is not against the world but is authentic love for the world".

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Jesus, Master, Way, Truth and Life, have mercy on us.



Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator-NYC

Friday, February 3, 2012

WE MUST LEARN TO HAVE GREATER TRUST IN DIVINE PROVIDENCE (VIS article)

Dear Pauline Friends & Family,

Peace be with you!

Let us learn from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI about Jesus Christ, His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and Our Lord's prayer, "Our Father."  His Holiness tells us about the relationship of Jesus Christ with "Abba", God the Father; about God's omnipotence, about entrusting our human will to the Divine will, and how humanity needs to say the Lord's prayer everyday.  He said, "This is a prayer we must repeat every day, because it is not always easy to entrust oneself to the will of God."  

May we strengthen our resolve to pray every day the Lord's prayer and may God's will be done for all of humanity.  Amen.

The above-reference VIS article follows:

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WE MUST LEARN TO HAVE GREATER TRUST IN DIVINE PROVIDENCE

VATICAN CITY, 1 FEB 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall the Holy Father received thousands of pilgrims from around the world in his weekly general audience. As part of a series of catecheses dedicated to the prayers pronounced by Christ, he focused his remarks on Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

  Mark the Evangelist narrates how, following the Last Supper, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives and readied Himself for personal prayer. "But this time", the Pope said, "something new occurred; it seemed that He did not want to remain alone. Many times in the past Jesus had moved away from the crowds, even from His own disciples. ... However, in Gethsemane he invited Peter, James and John to stay close by; the same disciples who had accompanied Him during the Transfiguration.

  "The proximity of these three during the prayer at Gethsemane is significant", Benedict XVI added. It represents "a request for solidarity at the moment in which He felt the approach of death. Above all it was a closeness in prayer, an expression of unity with Him at the moment in which He was preparing to accomplish the Father's will to the end, an invitation to all disciples to follow Him on the path of the Cross".

  Jesus' words to the three disciples - "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here and keep awake" - show that He was feeling "fear and anguish at that 'Hour', experiencing the ultimate profound solitude as God's plan was being accomplished. Jesus fear and anguish comprehend all the horror that man feels at the prospect of his own death, its inexorable certainty and the perception of the burden of evil which affects our lives".

  Having invited His disciples to keep awake, Jesus moved away from them. Referring to the Gospel of St. Mark, the Pope noted that Jesus "threw Himself to the ground: a position for prayer which expresses obedience to the Father's will, an abandonment of self with complete trust in Him". Jesus then asks the Father that, if possible, the hour might pass from Him. "This is not just the fear and anguish of man in the face of death", the Holy Father explained, "but the distress of the Son of God Who sees the terrible accumulation of evil He must take upon Himself, in order to overcome it and deprive it of power".

  In this context, Benedict XVI invited the faithful to pray to God, placing before Him "our fatigue, the suffering of certain situations and of certain days, our daily struggle to follow Him and to be Christians, and the burden of evil we see within and around us, that He may give us hope, make us aware of His closeness and give us a little light on life's journey".

  Returning then to Jesus' prayer, the Pope focused on "three revealing passages" in Christ's words: "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want but what you want". Firstly, Benedict XVI said, the Aramaic word "Abba" is used by children to address their fathers, "therefore it express Jesus relationship with God the Father, a relationship of tenderness, affection and trust". Secondly, Jesus' words contain an acknowledgment of the Father's omnipotence "introducing a request in which, once again, we see the drama of Jesus' human will in the face of death and evil. ... Yet the third expression ... is the decisive one, in which the human will adheres fully to the divine will. ... Jesus tells us that only by conforming their will to the divine will can human beings achieve their true stature and become 'divine'. ... This is what Jesus does in Gethsemane. By transferring human will to the divine will the true man is born and we are redeemed".

  When we pray the Our Father "we ask the Lord that 'your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven'. In other words, we recognise that God has a will for us and with us, that God has a will for our lives and, each day, this must increasingly become the reference point for our desires and our existence. We also recognise that ... 'earth' becomes 'heaven' - the place where love, goodness, truth and divine beauty are present - only if the will of God is done".

  In our prayers "we must learn to have greater trust in Divine Providence, to ask God for the strength to abandon our own selves in order to renew our 'yes', to repeat to Him 'your will be done', to conform our will to His. This is a prayer we must repeat every day, because it is not always easy to entrust oneself to the will of God".

  The Gospel says that the disciples were unable to remain awake for Christ, and Pope Benedict concluded his catechesis by saying: "Let us ask the Lord for the power to keep awake for Him in prayer, to follow the will of God every day even if He speaks of the Cross, to live in ever increasing intimacy with the Lord and bring a little of God's 'heaven' to this 'earth'".

  Following the catechesis the Holy Father delivered greetings in a number of languages to the pilgrims filling the Paul VI Hall. They included a group of British military chaplains, faithful from Hong Kong and South America, bishops friends of the Sant'Egidio Community from Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as young people and the sick.
AG/                                                                                                   VIS 20120201 (940)

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May God bless you as we us entrust ourselves to Divine Providence through Jesus, Our Divine Master, Way, Truth and Life.  Amen.

In Christ's peace,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC