1. Felicific Forest
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    13 Mar '06 19:34
    HUMAN LIFE, A JOURNEY OF FAITH BETWEEN LIGHT AND SHADOW



    VATICAN CITY, MAR 12, 2006 (VIS) - At midday today, following a week dedicated to the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.



    Commenting on the recently-concluded spiritual retreat, the Pope said: "They were days completely dedicated to listening to the Lord, Who always speaks to us, and who expects us to pay the greatest attention, especially in this period of Lent."



    The Holy Father then went on to refer to today's Gospel text on the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor, explaining that "when we have the grace of undergoing a profound experience of God, it as if we experienced something similar to what happened to the disciples during the Transfiguration: for a moment we enjoy a foretaste of what will be the joy of heaven.



    "These," he continued, "are usually brief experiences that God sometimes grants, especially prior to severe trials. However, it is given to no one to live 'upon Tabor' while they are on this earth. Human life is, in fact, a journey of faith and, as such, progresses more in the shadows than in full light, and is not without moments of obscurity or even of complete blackness. As long as we live in the world, our relationship with God consists more in listening than in seeing; and even contemplation comes about, so to say, with eyes closed and thanks to the inner light lit within us by the Word of God."



    Benedict XVI recalled that the Virgin Mary "advanced in her own pilgrimage of faith day after day," meditating upon the Word of God, both through the Scriptures and through the events in the life of her Son "in which she recognized and accepted the mysterious voice of the Lord.



    "This, then," the Pope concluded "is the commitment of each of us during Lent: to listen to Christ as Mary did. To listen to Him in His Word, conserved in Holy Scripture. To listen to it in the events of our own lives, seeking to read therein the messages of Providence. Finally, to listen to it in our brothers and sisters, especially in the smallest and the poorest, towards whom Jesus Himself calls for a concrete display of our love. Listening to Christ and obeying His voice: this is the Way, the one Way that leads to the fullness of joy and of love."

    ANG/LENT/... VIS 060313 (430)
  2. Joined
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    13 Mar '06 22:13
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    HUMAN LIFE, A JOURNEY OF FAITH BETWEEN LIGHT AND SHADOW



    VATICAN CITY, MAR 12, 2006 (VIS) - At midday today, following a week dedicated to the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.



    Commenting on the recently ...[text shortened]... VIS 060313 (430)
    Its amazing how easy intelligent people (like the pope) can delude themselves. It reminds me of the people from Douglas Adams' hitch hikers guide to the galaxy , who lived in constant fear of the giant hankerchief. They [the vatican] can expound in such intimate detail on events which porbably never happened (or at least can't be sure did), and then develop a whole system of belief which is trivial. Then they waste their entire old age discussing the subject of transubstantiation. You just want to tell them to get a life!
  3. Joined
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    13 Mar '06 23:11
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    Its amazing how easy intelligent people (like the pope) can delude themselves. It reminds me of the people from Douglas Adams' hitch hikers guide to the galaxy , who lived in constant fear of the giant hankerchief. They [the vatican] can expound in such intimate detail on events which porbably never happened (or at least can't be sure did), and then ...[text shortened]... ld age discussing the subject of transubstantiation. You just want to tell them to get a life!
    It is rather humorous to see how passionate minds try to cope with the unknown. They create vague and yet intricate notions of heaven, hell, gods, and whatnot. I guess it is not good enough for life to be just plain absurd; it must be rigorously absurd.

    I had a chance to visit St. Peter's Basilica last summer. I think they shot for 'godly' but missed the mark and ended up with 'gaudy'. Obscene, really, in a brute force sort of way. Apparently they also have a history of taking time out of their walks with God to chisel markings on the floor, demarcating where the boundaries of other well-known cathedrals around the world would lie in comparison. That way, one can point and laugh at how the other cathedrals are so much smaller and less worthy than St. Peters. And laughter makes God happy.

    The Pieta was altogether lovely, though. So too were the ceiling and walls of the Sistine.
  4. Standard memberEAPOE
    Earl of Rochester
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    13 Mar '06 23:59
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    HUMAN LIFE, A JOURNEY OF FAITH BETWEEN LIGHT AND SHADOW



    VATICAN CITY, MAR 12, 2006 (VIS) - At midday today, following a week dedicated to the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.



    Commenting on the recently ...[text shortened]... VIS 060313 (430)
    What are you giving up for lent?
  5. Felicific Forest
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    14 Mar '06 00:02
    Gospel
    Mk 9:2-10

    Jesus took Peter, James, and John
    and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
    And he was transfigured before them,
    and his clothes became dazzling white,
    such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
    Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
    and they were conversing with Jesus.
    Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
    “Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
    Let us make three tents:
    one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
    He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
    Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
    from the cloud came a voice,
    “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
    Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
    but Jesus alone with them.

    As they were coming down from the mountain,
    he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
    except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
    So they kept the matter to themselves,
    questioning what rising from the dead meant.
  6. Felicific Forest
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    14 Mar '06 00:03
    Monday of the Second Week of Lent


    Psalm: Monday 14

    Reading I
    Dn 9:4b-10

    “Lord, great and awesome God,
    you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you
    and observe your commandments!
    We have sinned, been wicked and done evil;
    we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws.
    We have not obeyed your servants the prophets,
    who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes,
    our fathers, and all the people of the land.
    Justice, O Lord, is on your side;
    we are shamefaced even to this day:
    we, the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem,
    and all Israel, near and far,
    in all the countries to which you have scattered them
    because of their treachery toward you.
    O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers,
    for having sinned against you.
    But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!
    Yet we rebelled against you
    and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God,
    to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets.”

    Responsorial Psalm
    Ps 79:8, 9, 11 and 13

    R. (see 103:10a) Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
    Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
    may your compassion quickly come to us,
    for we are brought very low.
    R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
    Help us, O God our savior,
    because of the glory of your name;
    Deliver us and pardon our sins
    for your name’s sake.
    R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
    Let the prisoners’ sighing come before you;
    with your great power free those doomed to death.
    Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
    will give thanks to you forever;
    through all generations we will declare your praise.
    R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.

    Gospel
    Lk 6:36-38

    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

    “Stop judging and you will not be judged.
    Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
    Forgive and you will be forgiven.
    Give and gifts will be given to you;
    a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
    will be poured into your lap.
    For the measure with which you measure
    will in return be measured out to you.”
  7. Felicific Forest
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    14 Mar '06 00:04
    Originally posted by EAPOE
    What are you giving up for lent?
    Why do you ask ?
  8. Standard memberEAPOE
    Earl of Rochester
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    14 Mar '06 00:05
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    Why do you ask ?
    Hey no need to be so defensive I was just curious.
  9. Felicific Forest
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    14 Mar '06 00:071 edit
    Originally posted by EAPOE
    Hey no need to be so defensive I was just curious.
    I see .... good question by the way ..... please read below ...
  10. Felicific Forest
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    14 Mar '06 00:41
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/lent/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20050929_lent-2006_en.html

    MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS
    BENEDICT XVI
    FOR LENT 2006



    “Jesus, at the sight of the crowds, was moved with pity” (Mt 9:36)

    Dear Brothers and Sisters!

    Lent is a privileged time of interior pilgrimage towards Him Who is the fount of mercy. It is a pilgrimage in which He Himself accompanies us through the desert of our poverty, sustaining us on our way towards the intense joy of Easter. Even in the “valley of darkness” of which the Psalmist speaks (Ps 23:4), while the tempter prompts us to despair or to place a vain hope in the work of our own hands, God is there to guard us and sustain us. Yes, even today the Lord hears the cry of the multitudes longing for joy, peace, and love. As in every age, they feel abandoned. Yet, even in the desolation of misery, loneliness, violence and hunger that indiscriminately afflict children, adults, and the elderly, God does not allow darkness to prevail. In fact, in the words of my beloved Predecessor, Pope John Paul II, there is a “divine limit imposed upon evil”, namely, mercy (Memory and Identity, pp. 19ff.). It is with these thoughts in mind that I have chosen as my theme for this Message the Gospel text: “Jesus, at the sight of the crowds, was moved with pity” (Mt 9:36).

    In this light, I would like to pause and reflect upon an issue much debated today: the question of development. Even now, the compassionate “gaze” of Christ continues to fall upon individuals and peoples. He watches them, knowing that the divine “plan” includes their call to salvation. Jesus knows the perils that put this plan at risk, and He is moved with pity for the crowds. He chooses to defend them from the wolves even at the cost of His own life. The gaze of Jesus embraces individuals and multitudes, and he brings them all before the Father, offering Himself as a sacrifice of expiation.

    Enlightened by this Paschal truth, the Church knows that if we are to promote development in its fulness, our own “gaze” upon mankind has to be measured against that of Christ. In fact, it is quite impossible to separate the response to people’s material and social needs from the fulfilment of the profound desires of their hearts. This has to be emphasized all the more in today’s rapidly changing world, in which our responsibility towards the poor emerges with ever greater clarity and urgency. My venerable Predecessor, Pope Paul VI, accurately described the scandal of underdevelopment as an outrage against humanity. In this sense, in the Encyclical Populorum Progressio, he denounced “the lack of material necessities for those who are without the minimum essential for life, the moral deficiencies of those who are mutilated by selfishness” and “oppressive social structures, whether due to the abuses of ownership or to the abuses of power, to the exploitation of workers or to unjust transactions” (ibid., 21). As the antidote to such evil, Paul VI suggested not only “increased esteem for the dignity of others, the turning towards the spirit of poverty, cooperation for the common good, the will and desire for peace”, but also “the acknowledgement by man of supreme values, and of God, their source and their finality” (ibid.). In this vein, the Pope went on to propose that, finally and above all, there is “faith, a gift of God accepted by the good will of man, and unity in the charity of Christ” (ibid.). Thus, the “gaze” of Christ upon the crowd impels us to affirm the true content of this “complete humanism” that, according to Paul VI, consists in the “fully-rounded development of the whole man and of all men” (ibid., 42). For this reason, the primary contribution that the Church offers to the development of mankind and peoples does not consist merely in material means or technical solutions. Rather, it involves the proclamation of the truth of Christ, Who educates consciences and teaches the authentic dignity of the person and of work; it means the promotion of a culture that truly responds to all the questions of humanity.

    In the face of the terrible challenge of poverty afflicting so much of the world’s population, indifference and self-centered isolation stand in stark contrast to the “gaze” of Christ. Fasting and almsgiving, which, together with prayer, the Church proposes in a special way during the Lenten Season, are suitable means for us to become conformed to this “gaze”. The examples of the saints and the long history of the Church’s missionary activity provide invaluable indications of the most effective ways to support development. Even in this era of global interdependence, it is clear that no economic, social, or political project can replace that gift of self to another through which charity is expressed. Those who act according to the logic of the Gospel live the faith as friendship with God Incarnate and, like Him, bear the burden of the material and spiritual needs of their neighbours. They see it as an inexhaustible mystery, worthy of infinite care and attention. They know that he who does not give God gives too little; as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta frequently observed, the worst poverty is not to know Christ. Therefore, we must help others to find God in the merciful face of Christ. Without this perspective, civilization lacks a solid foundation.

    Thanks to men and women obedient to the Holy Spirit, many forms of charitable work intended to promote development have arisen in the Church: hospitals, universities, professional formation schools, and small businesses. Such initiatives demonstrate the genuine humanitarian concern of those moved by the Gospel message, far in advance of other forms of social welfare. These charitable activities point out the way to achieve a globalization that is focused upon the true good of mankind and, hence, the path towards authentic peace. Moved like Jesus with compassion for the crowds, the Church today considers it her duty to ask political leaders and those with economic and financial power to promote development based on respect for the dignity of every man and woman. An important litmus test for the success of their efforts is religious liberty, understood not simply as the freedom to proclaim and celebrate Christ, but also the opportunity to contribute to the building of a world enlivened by charity. These efforts have to include a recognition of the central role of authentic religious values in responding to man’s deepest concerns, and in supplying the ethical motivation for his personal and social responsibilities. These are the criteria by which Christians should assess the political programmes of their leaders.

    We cannot ignore the fact that many mistakes have been made in the course of history by those who claimed to be disciples of Jesus. Very often, when having to address grave problems, they have thought that they should first improve this world and only afterwards turn their minds to the next. The temptation was to believe that, in the face of urgent needs, the first imperative was to change external structures. The consequence, for some, was that Christianity became a kind of moralism, ‘believing’ was replaced with ‘doing’. Rightly, therefore, my Predecessor, Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, observed: “The temptation today is to reduce Christianity to merely human wisdom, a pseudo-science of well-being. In our heavily secularized world, a ‘gradual secularization of salvation’ has taken place, so that people strive for the good of man, but man who is truncated…We know, however, that Jesus came to bring integral salvation” (Redemptoris Missio, 11).

    It is this integral salvation that Lent puts before us, pointing towards the victory of Christ over every evil that oppresses us. In turning to the Divine Master, in being converted to Him, in experiencing His mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we will discover a “gaze” that searches us profoundly and gives new life to the crowds and to each one of us. It restores trust to those who do not succumb to scepticism, opening up before them the perspective of eternal beatitude. Throughout history, even when hate seems to prevail, the luminous testimony of His love is never lacking. To Mary, “the living fount of hope” (Dante Alighieri, Paradiso, XXXIII, 12), we entrust our Lenten journey, so that she may lead us to her Son. I commend to her in particular the multitudes who suffer poverty and cry out for help, support, and understanding. With these sentiments, I cordially impart to all of you a special Apostolic Blessing.

    From the Vatican, 29 September, 2005.

    BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
  11. Standard memberscottishinnz
    Kichigai!
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    14 Mar '06 00:47
    Originally posted by EAPOE
    What are you giving up for lent?
    Ivanhoe IS NOT giving up copy'n'paste for lent.
  12. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
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    14 Mar '06 05:40
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    Ivanhoe IS NOT giving up copy'n'paste for lent.
    He's giving up playing with his winky.
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