Sunday reading

Reading for pleasure, but if I learn something along the way, that's gravy...

Christ The Teacher: The Sermon On The Mount

In the early Church, which was largely Jewish in composition, the attitude of Jesus to the Law was of paramount importance.

In Jesus’s time, the Law had a sacredness and a saving value.

For most Jews, it was the definitive revelation of God. The main promoters of this point of view were the Scribes and Pharisees. Read more »

Church Celebrates The Birth Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Catholic Church celebrates today the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on its traditional fixed date of September 8, nine months after the December 8 celebration of her Immaculate Conception as the child of Saints Joachim and Anne.

The circumstances of the Virgin Mary's infancy and early life are not directly recorded in the Bible, but other documents and traditions describing the circumstances of her birth are cited by some of the earliest Christian writers from the first centuries of the Church. Read more »

Pope Francis Appoints New Secretary Of State

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Pietro Parolin, apostolic nuncio to Venezuela, as his new Secretary of State.

While accepting the resignation of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who is 78, the Pope asked Cardinal Bertone to remain in his position until October 15 “with all the faculties proper to the office”, according to the Holy See Press Office.

During that time Archbishop Parolin will be able to move from Caracas to Rome. Read more »

Pope Asks Mary, Queen Of Peace, To Bring Calm To Egypt

As the official death toll rose from clashes Aug. 14 in Egypt and as the damage done to Christian churches was being assessed, Pope Francis invoked Mary, queen of peace, to bring calm to the country.

In light of the "painful news" coming from Egypt Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption of Mary, Pope Francis said he was praying for "all the victims and their families, for the injured and those who are suffering." Read more »

Church Remembers Saint Maximilian Kolbe – Patron Saint Of Our Difficult Century

St Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan who volunteered to die in the place of a stranger at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Rajmund Kolbe was born in 1894 in the Polish town of Zduńska Wola which at that time was part of Russian Empire.

His father was German and his mother Polish. In 1907 Maximilian and his elder brother Francis decided to join the Franciscans. He professed his first vows in 1911, adopting the name Maximilian. Read more »

Church Celebrates The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

Today, Catholics and many other Christians celebrate the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This significant feast day recalls the spiritual and physical departure of the mother of Jesus Christ from the earth, when both her soul and her resurrected body were taken into the presence of God.

Venerable Pope Pius XII confirmed this belief about the Virgin Mary as the perennial teaching of the Church when he defined it formally as a dogma of Catholic faith in 1950. Read more »

Church Honours Saint Dominic Guzman – Founder And Patron of Astronomers, Scientists And Falsely Accused People

We know little of the early life of Dominic, and that little is the stuff of legend. It is believed his mother had a dream in which a dog holding a firebrand ran hither and thither setting the world on fire.

The child born was called Dominic, “belonging to the Lord”, and though of noble lineage, wealth and power meant little to him.

Dominic, born in Calaruega, central Spain, in 1170, joined the Benedictine order as a young man. Read more »

Church Celebrates The Dedication of The Basilica Of Saint Mary Major

The liturgical calendar includes four feasts of dedication: two universal dates, those of the Basilicas of Saint John Lateran and Saint Mary Major at Rome; a date proper to each diocese, that of the dedication of its cathedral and, in each city or village, the dedication of the parish church.

On those dates, the faithful recall the day those buildings were consecrated to God and dedicated to this or that Saint.

The choice of those four feasts of dedication is not the fruit of a logical construction, but is rich in meaning. Read more »

Gospel Story: Beheading Of John The Baptist

Most prophets come to untimely ends. This as true today as it was in the days of the Bible.

For the prophet is a spokesman for God and his commandments, one who “speaks the truth to power” as the modern expression has it; and those who indulge in games of power have no desire to hear the truth.

As the popularity of Jesus grew, and as the curiosity about who he really was intensified, rumours started circulating that he was John the Baptist “come back to life”. Read more »

Church Honours Saint Alphonsus Liguori – Bishop And Doctor Of The Church

Alphonsus Liguori was born into an aristocratic family at the turn of the 17th century in Naples, Italy.

A well educated young man, he opted to become a lawyer.

However, after just a few years, the deceit and manipulation he encountered in the profession made him give up law and decide to become a priest instead. Read more »

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