Author: FrancisMary

Filipino Catholics Join Muslims in Ramadan Fast

Filipino Catholics Join Muslims in Ramadan Fast

The Church in the war-torn city of Marawi called on Catholics to begin the month as Muslims do — with prayer, fasting, and serving the poor.

In a gesture of solidarity, Filipino Catholics joined Muslims in the war-torn city of Marawi to kick off the start of Ramadan this week.

About a thousand Christians and Muslims participated in the annual “Duyog Ramadan” celebration which was spearheaded by the Catholic prelature in Marawi, according to a report in UCANews.

Since 1979 the Church, has encouraged Christian families to “accompany” Muslim residents of the city, by fasting, praying, and serving the poor.

This year’s event comes at a very difficult time for both Muslims and Christians in Marawi. A five-month conflict between pro-Islamic State terrorists and government forces that left destruction in its wake and displaced 400,000 Muslims and Christians from Marawi, the only majority-Muslim city in the Philippines.
“After the destruction of the city, Catholics need to show more solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters,” Father Gary Alvarado, head of the group Duyog Marawi, told UCANews.

Reynaldo Barnido, executive secretary of the group, said that the event helps reinforce the bond between followers of the two religions.

“This year’s Ramadan is a celebration of victory against individuals and groups who intended to destroy the unity we’re forging between Christians and Muslims,” Barnido. told UCANEWS.

Sultan Abdul Hamidullah Atar of Marawi hailed fasting as a way to “the transformation of the inner self of every person.”

“Let Ramadan be our guide towards reconciliation and peace,” the Muslim leader told UCANews.

Six months after Marawi was liberated, displaced Christians have been slow to return to a city where so much has been destroyed, according to an article at ReliefWeb.

Barnido told ReliefWeb that until last year Muslims had co-exited peacefully with Christians in the city. The 84-year old St. Mary’s Cathedral was among the buildings destroyed by military bombs during the city’s liberation.

Catholic bishops who visited the heavily damaged cathedral in March determined that it would have to be demolished.

“One of the bishops knelt on the ground. It was very sad to see what happened to the church,” Barnido said.

Liturgy of the Memorial of Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church (Monday after Pentecost Sunday)

Liturgy of the Memorial of Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church (Monday after Pentecost Sunday)

On Saturday 3rd March 2018, the Vatican announced Pope Francis’ decision that the Church celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as “Mother of the Church” every year on the Monday after Pentecost, as a way to foster Marian piety and the maternal sense of the Church.

The decree establishing the memorial was published March 3 in a letter from Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

As Sarah explained, Pope Francis added the memorial to the Roman Calendar after carefully considering how the promotion of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under this particular title might encourage growth in “the maternal sense of the Church” and in “genuine Marian piety.”

“This celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the Mystery of the Cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed,” Sarah wrote.

The Cardinal noted that the “joyous veneration given to the Mother of God by the contemporary Church, in light of reflection on the mystery of Christ and on his nature, cannot ignore the figure of a woman, the Virgin Mary, who is both the Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church.”

The memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, has been added to the General Roman Calendar, the Roman Missal, and the Liturgy of the Hours. The Latin text has been published though we have not received it yet, the translations is expected to be prepared by the bishops conference and approved by the congregation. Usually the International Commission on English in Liturgy (ICEL) prepares the English translation which will be sent to CBCN for vetting, observations and comments. After that, it will be sent to the Congregation for Divine Worship for confirmation.

Please note that this year 2018, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, will be celebrated on Monday, May 21st.

The Mass is “Our Lady, Mother of the Church” NUMBER B (on pages 1155 – 1157), in the Roman Missal. It has its own Preface.

The readings and Gospel acclamation are as follows:

First Reading (from common of Blessed Virgin Mary no. 707 (1) in the Lectionary)

Genesis 3: 9-15, 20 (Mother of all the living) or

Acts 1:12-14 (From common of Blessed Virgin Mary no. 708 (1) in the Lectionary)

(All devoted themselves with one accord to prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus)

Responsorial Psalm. Psalm 87: 1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7

Response: Glorious things are told of you, O city of God

Gospel Acclamation

O happy Virgin, you gave birth to the Lord, Blessed Mother of the Church, you warm our hearts with the spirit of your Son Jesus Christ.

Gospel Reading

John 19: 25-34 (Extended version of no 712 (12) from the common of the BVM)

(Behold your son, behold your Mother)

The Colour of the vestment is White

Liturgy of the Hours

The proper texts for the liturgy of the hours are being translated by the International Commission on English in Liturgy. After the translation, it will be presented to CBCN for approval before being sent to the Holy See for confirmation. Meanwhile, the Psalmody and other elements are from the Psalms of the day and the common of the Blessed Virgin Mary except the following;

Prayer

O God, Father of mercies,
whose Only Begotten Son, as he hung upon the Cross,
chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother,
to be our Mother also,
grant, we pray, that with her loving help
your Church may be more fruitful day by day
and, exulting in the holiness of her children,
may draw to her embrace all the families of the peoples.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Kindly help to spread this information around.
+ Most Rev. E.A. Badejo
Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Oyo.

The Person of the Holy Spirit as Most Abused

The Person of the Holy Spirit as Most Abused

Do you know that you have the Holy Spirit in you? Are you able to say with conviction that he is working in your life?

Ephesians 1: 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

He is the difference between the productive and unproductive Christian. Look at the Apostles. Jesus himself told them to wait for the Holy Spirit before they start work. They were so scared that they locked their door. But when the spirit came all that changed. Fearless Christians are spirit filled Christians.

LET US PRAY

Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of thy faithful…

At our third priestly anniversary at St Michael Anguldi hated by Father Timothy there was a question and answer session and someone asked: why is there no Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church?

Permit to respond in an elementary way:

The Eucharist is the greatest sacrifice and worship which Jesus himself has instituted but it is not possible without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is responsible for the transubstantiation. We start our prayers and liturgy in the name of the Trinity. No Church professes the prayer (Glory be…). The creed which is used by all Christians even though they don’t know the implication is the product of our faith. It says: “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” In the whole of Christian practice there is no place where a feast is dedicated to the events of Pentecost which is the feast of the Holy Spirit with a complete and elaborate Novena akin to the waiting by the Apostles in the upper room. The life in the spirit seminar has been effective in introducing people into living by the power of the spirit. Unfortunately only CCRN and CBM members take it serious.

In all humility, if truth be told, this accusation should not be ignored because it bothers on the integrity of the Church and is one of the reasons our members are deceived to leave the faith and join the bandwagon.

The fact is while others make the noise about scripture and God, we do the commands of scripture and God. We practicalize the Bible.

REAL PURPOSE OF PENTECOST

We must be careful at Pentecost not to give the impression that it is time of waiting on the Holy Spirit. The Apostles did wait as Jesus commanded. And since then the Holy Spirit has been with the Church as promised by Jesus. In our own case we received the Holy Spirit at Baptism and it is commissioned in us at confirmation.

We commemorate Pentecost to:
. Celebrate the birthday of the Church
• “Recall the powerful event that took place when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples.”
• “Revive our life in the Holy Spirit”
• “Pray for the renewal of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives.”
• “Ask God to renew again the Church and the face of the earth.”
. ToCrown and conclude the Easter celebration.
. Celebrate the third person of the Blessed Trinity.

SOME MODERN DAY ABUSES OF THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

TRUE AND FALSE SPIRITS

I John 4:1 says dear friends do not believe anyone who claims to speak by the spirit. (Meaning people can claim to speak by the spirit) but test the spirit to see if it comes from God.

In Nigeria, the easiest way to cheat people and deceive people be it in business or politics and even religion is to say ‘the spirit ministered to me’ or ‘the Lord spoke to me’ or ‘God revealed to me’ or ‘I saw a vision.’

No wonder we have gifts of the spirit(The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD) but no fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).
This because these gifts are no longer gifts since we have established schools to how to have and manifest these gifts especially of tongues, prophecy and healing. A boy came from the village to serve his uncle. He could not speak in tongues and this got him a reprimand from his master. The boy decided to speak in tongues too by learning one of the tongues spoken in the house. When next the boy started, the master had to shut him up because he was speaking his wive’s tongue which he learned since she spoke it everyday at prayer.

THE ‘HOLY GHOST FIRE’ PHENOMENON

The tongues of fire that came on the disciples at Pentecost are the fire of love and not hatred and malice or revenge. When God says he is a consuming fire (Deut. 4:24; Heb 12:29) and is a jealous God, he means that we should worship him alone and offer him pleasing sacrifice of our lives not to call on him to burn our enemies. In any case, it is the same God who says vengeance is mine. (Deut. 32:35 and Rom. 12:17) The same God who rebuked the disciples in Luke 9:55 when they wanted to call down fire from heaven upon their enemies. “He said you do not realize what kind of spirit you are made of.”

THE RAMPANT BELIEVE IN ANCESTRAL SPIRITS AND GENERATIONAL CURSES

It must be acknowledged that evil exist. But those who believe that ancestral spirits and generational or whatever curses control their lives are yet to be born in Christ. The Holy Spirit is yet to take roots in their life. 2 Cor. 5:17 says those who are in Christ are a new creation. Old things have passed away. To be baptized is to be forgiven the debt of sins you owe since the time of Adam not just the sins of your ancestors who are even more recent after the coming of Christ.

It is dubious pastors and ignorant faithless Christians who carry the baggage of belief in ancestral spirits and generational curse. We have heard of charge and bail Pastors and prayer warriors who demand all sorts of amount to liberate families and entire communities from ancestral spirits and curses and all. We take our spirituality to ridiculous levels when we blame all our failures on generational curses. Let us be smart and hard working. Then let us love God and one another. The way it is, if all poverty and backwardness only is only explained by these problem of spirits and curses then the whole of Africa will need deliverance because we are all poor, backward and suffering. Thanks to our wicked hearts and failure of governments.

In Numbers 14:18-25 the lord is declared as slow to anger, abounding in love forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet not not declaring the guilty guiltless but punishing children to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their Fathers. God forgave that sin when Moses interceded but those who rebelled by doubting God to save them from the giants that Caleb and the rest saw when they went to spy where the ones to die. Paul has told us the wages of sin is dead. Why can’t we just live in obedience to God’s commands instead of obeying the devil and living in fear of his wicked evils.

How many of us keep our baptismal promises: do we even remember them?

TIPS TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT

THE SACRAMENTS OF BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION.

“On Pentecost day God formed a new Israel, a new community that was beyond the geographical confines of Israel. This time, He presented to this new community of believers, not the law but the Holy Spirit. God foretold this significant through the prophets, when he said, ‘Deep within their beings, I will implant my laws and write it in their hearts’ (Jeremiah 31:33). At the beginning of creation, Adam was born into natural life when God breathed into him; on the day of Pentecost the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary were reborn into supernatural life when Jesus breathed into them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).”

Likewise, this is what happens at Baptism and Confirmation. We read in Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

PRAY FOR IT

God is eager to give us the Holy Spirit. In Luke 11:13 Jesus asks if evil us know to give good things to our kids ‘How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who asked?’

Pray with Mary. Her intercession ensures the fulfillment of the promise to receive the holy spirit. On Pentecost day when the spirit came she was there praying for the disciples to receive the Holy Spirit she who had first received at the annunciation when the angel said in Luke 1:35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most Highwill overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin Mary too much. You can ever love her more than Jesus did.” (St. Maximillian Kolbe).

OBEDIENCE TO THE COMMANDMENTS

John 14:15-17 puts it simply. If you love me keep my commandments. And I will ask the father to give you another advocate, the spirit of truth who wil, teach you all things.

FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHERS

The account of the descent of the Holy Spirit said “they were all together in the upper room praying when the spirit came upon them.” 1 John 2:19 says 18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming,even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. Scott Han says: “when we see divisions in the church then we see a need for the Holy Spirit.” Stop doing TV and radio church and solo spirituality. It is satanic. Stan wants to isolate to deal with you.

SIGNS OF THE PRESENCE OF THE SPIRIT

Obviously we go straight to Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness
23 Humility, self control: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Jesus said in Luke 6:27-30 “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. Paul said in 2 Cor. 12:9 my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Pope Francis says there is no humility without humiliation.

FEARLESSNESS

The letter to the Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[a] And by him we cry, “Abba,[b] Father.”

LOVE OF GOD AND OTHERS

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen,cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. the greatest means to test the presence of the spirit. His parting instruction is by your love all men will know that you are my disciples, John 13:34-35. In Romans 13:8&9 Paul says love is the fulfillment of all the commandments.

SERENITY AND GRACEFULNESS IN TRIALS

Paul said in Philippians 4:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Job 8:7 says “Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will increase greatly. Remember the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter.

CONFIRMATION

Testimonies of answered prayers and light in the confusions and challenges of life. Jesus has said in John15:5I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.

LET US PRAY
Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of thy faithful…

Written By Rev. Fr. George Barde.

What Are The Four Dogmas of The Catholic Church?

What Are The Four Dogmas of The Catholic Church?

There are four dogmas stating Mary’s personal relationship with God and her role in human salvation

1) Divine Motherhood

Mary’s divine motherhood was proclaimed at the Council of Ephesus in 431.

Various names are used to describe Mary’s role as mother of Jesus. She is called “Mother of God” which translates the more accurately stated greek term “Theotokos” or “Birthgiver of God.”

The Council of Ephesus (431) attributed to Mary the title, Mother of God. This needs to be read against the Council’s declaration that in Christ there are two natures, one divine and one human, but only one person. Indeed, according to the Council the holy virgin is the Mother of God since she begot according to the flesh the Word of God made flesh. This decision was further explained by the Council of Chalcedon (451) which says with regard to Mary’s divine motherhood:

“…begotten from the Father before the ages as regards his godhead, and in the last days, the same, because of us and because of our salvation begotten from the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, as regards his manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten…”

Mary’s Divine Motherhood was not the object of an independent or exclusive dogmatic declaration. The statement is embedded in texts defining the person and natures of Jesus Christ. Thus, the dogma of Divine Motherhood becomes an integral part of the christological dogma. This does not diminish its definitive and binding character. The dogma of Divine Motherhood is generally accepted by all Christian denominations.

2) Perpetual Virginity

The expression perpetual virginity, ever-virgin, or simply “Mary the Virgin” refers primarily to the conception and birth of Jesus. From the first formulations of faith, especially in baptismal formulas or professions of faith, the Church professed that Jesus Christ was conceived without human seed by the power of the Holy Spirit only. Here lies the decisive meaning of expressions such as “conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary,” “Mary’s virginal conception,” or “virgin birth.” The early baptismal formula (since the 3rd century) state Mary’s virginity without further explaining it, but there is no doubt about its physical meaning. Later statements are more explicit. Mary conceived “without any detriment to her virginity, which remained inviolate even after his birth” (Council of the Lateran, 649).

Although never explicated in detail, the Catholic Church holds as dogma that Mary was and is Virgin before, in and after Christ’s birth. It stresses thus the radical novelty of the Incarnation and Mary’s no less radical and exclusive dedication to her mission as mother of her Son, Jesus Christ. Vatican II reiterated the teaching about Mary, the Ever-Virgin, by stating that Christ’s birth did not diminish Mary’s virginal integrity but sanctified it . The Catechism of the Catholic Church ponders the deeper meaning of the virgin bride and perpetual virginity (499-507). It also maintains that Jesus Christ was Mary’s only child. The so-called “brothers and sisters” are close relations.

3) Immaculate Conception

The solemn definition of Mary’s Immaculate Conception is like Divine Motherhood and Perpetual Virginity part of the christological doctrine, but it was proclaimed as an independent dogma by Pope Pius IX in his Apostolic Constitution “Ineffabilis Deus” (December 8, 1854). Though highlighting a privilege of Mary it in fact stresses the dignity and holiness required to become “Mother of God.” The privilege of the Immaculate Conception is the source and basis for Mary’s all-holiness as Mother of God.

More specifically, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception states “that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege from Almighty God and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, was kept free of every stain of original sin.”

This dogma has both a “negative” and a “positive” meaning which complement each other. The “negative” meaning stresses Mary’s freedom from original sin thanks to the anticipated or retroactive (here called preventive) grace of Christ’s redemptive act. By the same token, the dogma suggests Mary’s all-holiness. This “positive” meaning is the consequence of the absence of original sin. Mary’s life is permanently and intimately related to God, and thus she is the all-holy.

Although difficult to explain, original sin provokes disorderliness in thought and behavior, especially with regard to the primacy of God’s presence in our life. Consequently, in declaring Mary immaculately conceived, the Church sees in Mary one who never denied God the least sign of love. Thus, the dogma declares that from her beginning Mary was exceptionally holy and in constant union with the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit.

4) The Assumption

This marian dogma was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950 on his Encyclical Munificentissimus Deus.

A distinction needs to be made between Ascension and Assumption. Jesus Christ, Son of God and Risen Lord, ascended into heaven, a sign of divine power. Mary, on the contrary, was elevated or assumed into heaven by the power and grace of God.

The dogma states that “Mary, Immaculate Mother of God ever Virgin, after finishing the course of her life on earth, was taken up in body and soul to heavenly glory.” This definition as well as that of the Immaculate Conception makes not only reference to the universal, certain and firm consent of the Magisterium but makes allusion to the concordant belief of the faithful. The Assumption had been a part of the Church’s spiritual and doctrinal patrimony for centuries. It had been part of theological reflection but also of the liturgy and was part of the sense of the faithful.

This dogma has no direct basis in scripture. It was nonetheless declared “divinely revealed,” meaning that it is contained implicitly in divine Revelation. It may be understood as the logical conclusion of Mary’s vocation on earth, and the way she lived her life in union with God and her mission. The assumption may be seen as a consequence of Divine Motherhood. Being through, with, and for her Son on earth, it would seem fitting for Mary to be through, with, and for her Son in heaven, too. She was on earth the generous associate of her Son. The Assumption tells us that this association continues in heaven. Mary is indissolubly linked to her Son on earth and in heaven.

In heaven, Mary’s active involvement in salvation history continues: “Taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside her salvific duty… By her maternal love she cares for the brothers and sisters of her Son who still journey on earth” (LG). Mary is the “eschatological icon of the Church” (CCC 972), meaning the Church contemplates in Mary her own end of times.

The definition of the dogma does not say how the transition from Mary’s earthly state to her heavenly state happened. Did Mary die? Was she assumed to heaven without prior separation of soul and body? The question remains open for discussion. However, the opinion that Mary passed through death as her Son did, has the stronger support in tradition.

Glorified in body and soul, Mary is already in the state that will be ours after the resurrection of the dead.

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