Thoughts for the Feast of St Catherine of Siena from Fr Willie Doyle

 

What is it to be a saint? Does it mean that we must macerate this flesh of ours with cruel austerities, such as we read of in the life-story of some of God’s great heroes?

Does it mean the bloody scourge, the painful vigil and sleepless night, that crucifying of the flesh in even its most innocent enjoyment? No, no, the hand of God does not lead us all by that stern path of awful heroism to our reward above. He does not ask from all of us the holy thirst for suffering, in its highest form, of a Teresa or a Catherine of Siena. But sweetly and gently would He lead us along the way of holiness by our constant unswerving faithfulness to our duty, duty accepted, duty done for His dear sake.

COMMENT: Today is the feast of St Catherine of Siena. Catherine is one of the greatest saints in the Church – she was a phenomenon in her own time and is a Doctor of the Church and one of the patron saints of Europe. She is also surely one of the great women of history.

St Catherine crammed so much into her short life. She was a tireless worker for the poor, an advisor to popes, a diplomat and peacemaker and a profound mystic. Her impact on those she met on her travels was such that the Dominicans had to appoint priests to accompany her in order to hear the numerous Confessions on the part of those who converted upon meeting her. The Church was in a state of crisis in Catherine’s day, and it could be said that Catherine saved the Church from many of the dangers it faced. And she did all of this as a young, uneducated, sick laywoman who died at 33 years of age. When crises threaten the Church, God empowers saints who are equal to the task of the reform needed, and He does so with such humanly weak instruments that we are left with no doubt that it is God at work.

There are two points that we might usefully ponder today. The first relates to Fr Doyle’s quote above. Holiness involves faithfulness to duty and is not dependent on great penances or indeed on mystical phenomena or the great achievements we find in the lives of some saints like Catherine. In fact, St Catherine teaches us a wonderful way of performing our duties well. She was somewhat mistreated by her parents as a teenager – she wanted to live in solitude and prayer but her parents would not allow this. She was forced to work in the house and serve them, even though she didn’t want to do so. In order to overcome her dislike of this task, when serving them at table she would imagine that her father was Jesus, that her mother was Mary and that her brothers were the Apostles. This helped to inspire in her the charity that she did not naturally feel at that time.

The second relates to Catherine’s great love of the Pope. She defended the papacy against anti-popes, and she worked to ensure that the papacy returned to Rome from Avignon. Let us therefore turn to St Catherine today, asking her to pray for the problems of the Church at this point of history.

We shall conclude today with some quotes from Catherine on diverse subjects.

On finding God in the midst of a busy life:

Build an inner cell in your soul and never leave it.

Faithfulness to duty:

Let all do the work which God has given them, and not bury their talent, for that is also a sin deserving severe punishment. It is necessary to work always and everywhere for all God’s creatures.

To Pope Gregory XI, who was weak and indecisive:

You can do what he (Pope Gregory the Great) did, for he was a man as you are, and God is always the same as he was. The only thing we lack is hunger for the salvation of our neighbour, and courage.

To a cardinal, on the need for courage:

A soul which is full of slavish fear cannot achieve anything which is right, whatever the circumstances may be, whether it concern small or great things. It will always be shipwrecked and never complete what it has begun. How dangerous this fear is! It makes holy desire powerless, it blinds a man so that he can neither see not understand the truth. This fear is born of the blindness of self-love, for as soon as a man loves himself with the self-love of the senses he learns fear, and the reason for this fear is that it has given its hope and love to fragile things which have neither substance or being and vanish like the wind.

To her spiritual director Blessed Raymond of Capua, on courage:

(I long) to see you grow out of your childhood and become a grown man…For an infant who lives on milk is not able to fight on the battlefield; he only wants to play with other children. So a man who is wrapped in love for himself only wishes to taste the milk of spiritual and temporal consolation; like a child he wants to be with others of its kind. But when he becomes a grown man he leaves behind this sensitive self love…He has become strong, he is firm, serious and thoughtful, he hastens to the battlefield and his only wish is to fight for the truth.

To those who think the Church’s day has come to an end:

If you reply that it looks as though the Church must surrender, for it is impossible for it to save itself and its children, I say to you that it is not so. The outward appearance deceives, but look at the inward, and you will find that it possesses a power that its enemies can never possess.

To us all:

If you are what you are meant to be, you will set the world on fire.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts for the Feast of St Catherine of Siena from Fr Willie Doyle

  1. April 30 – St Catherine of Siena, Virgin
    7h ago
    AgnesAprilBlessed MotherCatharineCatherine
    Catherine of Siena by ClementedeTorres
    The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine

    The Dominican Order, which, yesterday, presented a rose to our Risen Jesus, now offers him a lily of surpassing beauty. Catharine of Siena follows Peter the Martyr:—it is a coincidence willed by Providence, to give fresh beauty to this season of grandest Mysteries. Our Divine King deserves everything we can offer him; and our hearts are never so eager to give him every possible tribute of homage, as during these last days of his sojourn among us. See how Nature is all flower and fragrance at this loveliest of her Seasons! The spiritual world harmonizes with the visible, and now yields her noblest and richest works in honor of her Lord—the author of Grace.

    How grand is the Saint whose Feast comes gladdening us today! She is one of the most favored of the holy Spouses of the Incarnate Word. She was his, wholly and unreservedly, almost from her very childhood. Though thus consecrated to him by the vow of holy Virginity, she had a mission given to her by divine Providence which required her living in the world. But God would have her to be one of the glories of the Religious State; he therefore inspired her to join the Third Order of St. Dominic. Accordingly, she wore the Habit and fervently practiced, during her whole life, the holy exercises of a Tertiary.

    From the very commencement, there was a something heavenly about this admirable servant of God, which we fancy existing in an angel who had been sent from heaven to live in a human body. Her longing after God gave one an idea of the vehemence wherewith the Blessed embrace the Sovereign Good on their first entrance into heaven. In vain did the body threaten to impede the soaring of this earthly Seraph; she subdued it by penance, and made it obedient to the spirit. Her body seemed to be transformed, so as to have no life of its own, but only that of the soul. The Blessed Sacrament was frequently the only food she took for weeks together. So complete was her union with Christ that she received the impress of the sacred Stigmata, and, with them, the most excruciating pain.

    And yet, in the midst of all these supernatural favors, Catharine felt the keenest interest in the necessities of others. Her zeal for their spiritual advantage was intense, while her compassion for them, in their corporal sufferings, was that of a most loving mother. God had given her the gift of Miracles, and she was lavish in using it for the benefit of her fellow creatures. Sickness and death itself were obedient to her command; and the prodigies witnessed at the beginning of the Church were again wrought by the humble Saint of Siena.

    Her communings with God began when she was quite a child, and her ecstasies were almost without interruption. She frequently saw our Risen Jesus, who never left her without having honored her, either with a great consolation, or with a heavy cross. A profound knowledge of the mysteries of our holy faith was another of the extraordinary graces bestowed upon her. So eminent, indeed, was the heavenly wisdom granted her by God that she, who had received no education, used to dictate the most sublime writings, wherein she treats of spiritual things with a clearness and eloquence which human genius could never attain to, and with a certain indescribable unction which no reader can resist.

    But God would not permit such a treasure as this to lie buried in a little town of Italy. The Saints are the supports of the Church; and though their influence be generally hidden, yet, at times, it is open and visible, and men then learn what the instruments are which God uses for imparting blessings to a world that would seem to deserve little else besides chastisement. The great question, at the close of the 14th Century was the restoring to the Holy City the privilege of having within its walls the Vicar of Christ, who, for sixty years, had been absent from his See. One saintly soul, by merits and prayers known to heaven alone, might have brought about this happy event, after which the whole Church was longing; but God would have it done by a visible agency, and in the most public manner. In the name of the widowed Rome—in the name of her own and the Church’s Spouse—Catharine crossed the Alps, and sought an interview with the Pontiff, who had not so much as seen Rome. The Prophetess respectfully reminded him of his duty; and in proof of her mission being from God, she tells him of a secret which was known to himself alone. Gregory XI could no longer resist; and the Eternal City welcomed its Pastor and Father. But at the Pontiff’s death, a frightful schism, the forerunner of greater evils to follow, broke out in the Church. Catharine, even to her last hour, was untiring in her endeavors to quell the storm. Having lived the same number of years as our Savior had done, she breathed forth her most pure soul into the hands of her God, and went to continue, in heaven, her ministry of intercession for the Church she had loved so much on earth, and for souls redeemed in the precious Blood of her Divine Spouse.

    Our Risen Jesus, who took her to her eternal reward during the Season of Easter, granted her while she was living on earth, a favor, which we mention here, as being appropriate to the mystery we are now celebrating. He, one day, appeared to her, having with him his Blessed Mother. Mary Magdalene—she that announced the Resurrection to the Apostles—accompanied the Son and the Mother. Catharine’s heart was overpowered with emotion at this visit. After looking for some time upon Jesus and his holy Mother, her eyes rested on Magdalene, whose happiness she both saw and envied. Jesus spoke these words to her: “My beloved! I give her to thee, to be thy mother. Address thyself to her, henceforth, with all confidence. I give her special charge of thee.” From that day forward, Catharine had the most filial love for Magdalene, and called her by no other name than that of Mother.

    Let us now read the beautiful, but too brief, account of our Saint’s Life, as given in the Liturgy.

    Catharine, a Virgin of Siena, was born of pious parents. She asked for and obtained the Dominican habit, such as it is worn by the Sisters of Penance. Her abstinence was extraordinary, and her manner of living most mortified. She was once known to have fasted, without receiving anything but the Blessed Sacrament, from Ash Wednesday to Ascension Day. She had very frequent contests with the wicked spirits, who attacked her in divers ways. She suffered much from fever, and other bodily ailments. Her reputation for sanctity was so great, that there were brought to her, from all parts, persons who were sick or tormented by the devil. She, in the name of Christ, healed such as were afflicted with malady or fever, and drove the devils from the bodies of them that were possessed.

    Being once at Pisa, on a Sunday, and having received the Bread of heaven, she was rapt in an ecstasy. She saw our crucified Lord approaching to her. He was encircled with a great light, and from his five Wounds there came rays, which fell upon the five corresponding parts of Catharine’s body. Being aware of the favor bestowed upon her, she besought our Lord that the stigmata might not be visible. The rays immediately changed from the color of blood into one of gold, and passed, under the form of a bright light, to the hands, feet, and heart of the Saint. So violent was the pain left by the wounds, that it seemed to her as though she must soon have died, had not God diminished it. Thus our most loving Lord added favor to favor, by permitting her to feel the smart of the wounds, and yet removing their appearance. The servant of God related what had happened to her to Raymund, her Confessor. Hence, when the devotion of the Faithful gave a representation of this miracle, they painted, on the pictures of St. Catharine, bright rays coming from the five stigmata she received.

    Her learning was not acquired, but infused. Theologians proposed to her the most difficult questions of divinity, and received satisfactory answers. No one ever approached her, who did not go away a better man. She reconciled many that were at deadly enmity with one another. She visited Pope Gregory XI (who was then at Avignon), in order to bring about the reconciliation of the Florentines, who were under an interdict on account of their having formed a league against the Holy See. She told the Pontiff that there had been revealed to her the vow which he, Gregory, had made of going to Rome—a vow which was known to God alone. It was through her entreaty, that the Pope began to plan measures for taking possession of his See of Rome, which he did soon after. Such was the esteem in which she was held by Gregory, and by Urban VI, his successor, that she was sent by them on several embassies. At length, after a life spent in the exercise of the sublimest virtues, and after gaining great reputation on account of her prophecies and many miracles, she passed hence to her divine Spouse, when she was about the age of three and thirty. She was canonized by Pius II.

    Pope Pius II, one of the glories of Siena, composed the two following Hymns, in honor of his saintly and illustrious fellow-citizen. They form part of the Office of St. Catharine of Siena, in the Dominican Breviary.

    HYMN

    Carry up to heaven, O holy virgin Catharine! these canticles of praise, which we, gladdened as we are by thy feast, sing thus in thine honor.

    If they are unworthy of thine acceptance, pardon us, we beseech thee. Nay, we own, O glorious Saint! that we are not equal to the task we have undertaken.

    But who is he, that could worthily praise such a Saint as this? Is there, in the wide world, a poet that could write an ode immortal enough for this heroine, whom no enemy could vanquish.

    O Catharine! illustrious example of all that is noble! thou wast rich in virtue and wisdom; and with the riches of thy temperance, fortitude, piety, justice and prudence, thou ascendedst into heaven.

    Who has not heard of thy glorious virtues and deeds, which were never surpassed in this world? Thy compassions for the sufferings of Christ stamped thee with the impress of his wounds.

    Bravely despising the vain grandeurs of this short, mournful, and miserable life, which abounds with every evil, thy ambition was for heaven alone.

    Let us all give infinite thanks to the Son ever blessed of the Eternal Father! let us give glory to the Holy Ghost! to the Three, one equal praise! Amen.

    HYMN

    Well indeed may we sing thy praise, Catharine! for, by thy wondrous virtues, thou receivedst a triumphant welcome from heaven itself.

    Yes, it is in heaven alone, where thou art enriched with all good things, that thou receivedst the reward of thy holy life, and the recompense of thy grand virtue.

    Great was thy veneration for the Patriarch of Preachers, that perfect model of every virtue; thou enteredst his Order, and art one of its brightest glories.

    Joys of earth, vanity of dress, beauty of body, none had charms for thee. Sin, the injustice offered to God by his creature, oh! this thou couldst not brook.

    To reduce thy body to subjection, and to atone for the sins of men, oft didst thou severely scourge thyself, till thine innocent blood would flow in streams on the ground.

    Thou hadst compassion on all that were suffering, no matter where they might be, or what their misfortune. Thy sympathy was ever ready for them, too, that were a prey to care.

    But our hymn would never end, were we to tell all thy praises, O Catharine! whose sanctity far surpassed that of other mortals.

    The savage soldiers and leaders, who were threatening the people of Siena with death, withdrew at thy word.

    Oft was thy mind applied, with all its power, to the study of sacred things: and thy letters, teeming with wisdom and elegance, are still treasured in some of our richest cities.

    Thou excelledst in the power of reclaiming sinners, and persuading all to follow what was right. Thus didst thou speak to them: “Virtue alone can make man happy.”

    Far from fearing, thou hadst a brave contempt for the dread claims of death, which thou wast wont to call the recompense of life.

    When, therefore, the time came for thee to leave thy sacred body to the tomb, and ascend into heaven, thou gavest lessons of consolation to them that stood weeping around thee.

    And having adored the Body of Christ, and received, amidst abundant tears of devotion, the saving Host, thy last words were instructions to all how to lead a holy life.

    Let us all give infinite thanks to the Son ever blessed of the Eternal Father! let us give glory to the Holy Ghost! to the Three, one equal praise! Amen.

    Holy Church, filled as she now is with the joy of her Jesus’ Resurrection, addresses herself to thee, O Catharine, who followest the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. (Apocalypse 14:4) Living in this exile, where it is only at intervals that she enjoys his presence, she says to thee: Hast thou seen Him, whom my soul loveth? (Song of Solomon 3:3) Thou art his Spouse; so is she: but there are no veils, no separation, for thee; whereas, for her, the enjoyment is at rare and brief periods, and, even so, there are clouds that dim the lovely Light. What a life was thine, O Catharine! uniting in itself the keenest compassion for the Sufferings of Jesus, and an intense happiness by the share he gave thee of his glorified life. We might take thee as our guide both to the mournful mysteries of Calvary, and to the glad splendors of the Resurrection. It is these second that we are now respectfully celebrating: oh! speak to us of our Risen Jesus. Is it not He that gave thee the nuptial ring, with its matchless diamond set amidst four precious gems? The bright rays, which gleam from thy stigmata, tell us, that when he espoused thee to himself, thou sawest him all resplendent with the beauty of his glorious Wounds. Daughter of Magdalene! like her, thou art a messenger of the Resurrection; and when thy last Pasch comes — the Pasch of thy thirty-third year — thou goest to heaven, to keep it for eternity. O zealous lover of souls! love them more than ever, now that thou art in the palace of the King, our God. We, too, are in the Pasch, in the New Life; intercede for us, that the life of Jesus may never die within us, but may go on, strengthening its power and growth, by our loving him with an ardor like thine own.

    Obtain for us, great Saint, something of the filial devotedness thou hadst for holy Mother Church, and which prompted thee to do such glorious things! Her sorrows and her joys were thine; for there can be no love for Jesus, where there is none for his Spouse: and is it not through her that he gives us all his gifts? Oh, yes! we, too, wish to love this Mother of ours; we will never be ashamed to own ourselves as her children! we will defend her against her enemies; we will do everything that lies in our power to win others to acknowledge, love, and be devoted to her.

    Our God used thee as his instrument, O humble Virgin, for bringing back the Roman Pontiff to his See. Thou wast stronger than the powers of this earth, which would fain have prolonged an absence disastrous to the Church. The relics of Peter in the Vatican, of Paul on the Ostian Way, of Lawrence and Sebastian, of Cecily and Agnes, exulted in their glorious Tombs, when Gregory entered with triumph into the Holy City. It was through thee, O Catharine, that a ruinous captivity of seventy years’ duration was brought, on that day, to a close, and that Rome recovered her glory and her life. In these our days, hell has changed its plan of destruction: men are striving to deprive of its Pontiff-King the City, which was chosen by Peter as the See where the Vicar of Christ should reign to the end of the world. Is this design of God, this design which was so dear to thee, O Catharine! — is it now to be frustrated? Oh! beseech him to forbid a sacrilege, which would scandalize the weak, and make the impious blaspheme in their success. Come speedily to our aid! — and through thy Divine Spouse, in his just anger, permit us to suffer these humiliations, pray that, at least they may be shortened.

    Pray, too, for unhappy Italy, which was so dear to thee, and which is so justly proud of its Saint of Siena. Impiety and heresy are now permitted to run wild through the land; the name of thy Spouse is blasphemed; the people are taught to love error, and to hate what they had hitherto venerated; the Church is insulted and robbed; Faith has long since been weakened, but now its very existence is imperilled. Intercede for thy unfortunate country, dear Saint! oh! surely, it is time to come to her assistance, and rescue her from the hands of her enemies. The whole Church hopes in thy effecting the deliverance of this her illustrious province: delay not, but calm the storm which seems to threaten a universal wreck!

    =======

    This text is taken from The Liturgical Year, authored by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

    Dom Gueranger
    Dom Gueranger

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    samo lucija
    2m ago
    Here you have the prayers, Readings, and everything else you need to celebrate with God’s Word
    In the days and weeks to come, many of us will be legitimately prevented from participating in Sunday Mass. Therefore, Aleteia is mobilizing to propose to you, with the help of Magnificat magazine, to sanctify this 5th Sunday of Lent with a celebration of the Word of God.

    How to use it:

    If you’re alone, it is better to simply read the readings and prayers of this Sunday’s Mass in your missal and/or to follow the Mass on television.
    This celebration requires the presence of at least two people.
    It can take place from Saturday evening (Sunday vigil) to Sunday evening. However, Sunday morning remains the most appropriate time.
    This celebration is particularly suitable for use with family, friends and neighbors. However, in order to respect quarantine measures, you should verify whether it is allowed to invite neighbors or friends. In any event, if you do so, you should ensure that all safety guidelines are strictly followed.
    Set up the needed number of chairs in front of a prayer corner, respecting the distance of one yard between each.
    A simple cross or crucifix must always be visible in the background.
    Light one or more candles, placing them on non-flammable stands (such as candlesticks or small porcelain plates). Don’t forget to blow them out at the end of the celebration.
    Flowers are not used to adorn the prayer corner. It will give us all the more joy to put them back on the Vigil of Easter.
    Designate a person to lead the prayer. In order of priority, they could be: a deacon, an instituted lay person (lector, etc.), or the father or mother of the family.
    The leader also determines the length of the moments of silence.
    Designate various readers for the readings.
    Prepare the Universal Prayer (see a model below) in advance and select someone to lead it.
    You may also prepare appropriate songs.
    5th Sunday of Lent

    Celebration of the Word

    “I am the resurrection and the Life. Do you believe this?”

    All are seated. The leader of the celebration reads:

    Brothers and sisters,

    This [morning], on this 5th Sunday of Lent, containment measures prevent us from participating in the celebration of the Eucharist. Nevertheless, we know well that when we gather to pray in His name, Christ Jesus is present in our midst. We believe that when we read Scripture in the Church, it is the Word of God itself that speaks to us. His Word is then real food for our lives. That is why, coming together, in communion with the whole Church, we listen to His Word.

    Pause

    This 5th Sunday of Lent already gives us a glimpse of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. In these days of the pandemic, when we hear news of all the sick, of all the dead, among our relatives, our friends, our neighbors, and those close to us, Lord, we are in tears!

    At the announcement of the death of your friend Lazarus, you too burst into tears. So much so, that the witnesses exclaimed: “See how he loved him!”

    O Jesus, by raising your friend from the dead, you want to convince us that love is stronger than sickness and death; you will soon give us invincible proof of this truth, by your passion and resurrection.

    Pause

    Brothers and sisters, in the midst of our tribulations, in the depths of our trials, the Church invites us to discover, step by step leading up to Easter, that God loves humanity so much that he offered himself, that all may share in the blessed resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ our Savior.

    Let us now prepare to open our hearts by being silent.

    After a real time of silence, all rise and make the Sign of the Cross, saying:

    In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    The leader continues:

    To prepare ourselves to receive God’s Word and in order for it to heal us, we recognize ourselves as sinners.

    The penitential rite follows. For example:

    Have mercy on us, O Lord.
    For we have sinned against you.
    Show us, O Lord, your mercy.
    And grant us your salvation.
    May Almighty God have mercy on us; forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
    Amen.

    We say or sing:

    Lord, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.

    Christ, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy.

    Lord, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.

    The leader says the following prayer:

    By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, your Son handed himself over to death. 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.

    Amen.

    The readings are taken from the Mass on this 4th Sunday of Lent.

    The reader of the first reading stays standing while the others sit down.

    FIRST READING

    A reading the book of the prophet Ezekiel (37: 12-14)

    Thus says the Lord God:
    O my people, I will open your graves
    and have you rise from them,
    and bring you back to the land of Israel.
    Then you shall know that I am the Lord,
    when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
    O my people!
    I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
    and I will settle you upon your land;
    thus you shall know that I am the Lord.
    I have promised, and I will do it, says the Lord.

    The word of the Lord.

    Thanks be to God.

    The reader of the psalm stands, while the others remain seated. If possible, it is better if the psalm is sung. When the celebration is held by a family, the response may be simply said or sung after the Reader has read the stanza.

    PSALM 130 (1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8)
    R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

    Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord;
    Lord, hear my voice!
    Let your ears be attentive
    to my voice in supplication. R/

    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities,
    Lord, who can stand?
    But with you is forgiveness,
    that you may be revered. R/

    I trust in the Lord;
    my soul trusts in his word.
    More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
    let Israel wait for the Lord. R/

    For with the Lord is kindness
    and with him is plenteous redemption;
    And he will redeem Israel
    from all their iniquities. R/

    Whoever leads the prayer stands up and says:

    God of love and forgiveness, you have made the dawn of salvation rise upon your people sending your Word into the world. Don’t abandon us now to the depths where our faults have plunged us: listen to your Church’s cry and fulfill its expectation granting us full deliverance.

    The reader of the second reading stands while the rest remain seated.

    SECOND READING

    A reading of the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (8:8-11)

    Brothers and sisters:
    Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    But you are not in the flesh;
    on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
    if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
    Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
    But if Christ is in you,
    although the body is dead because of sin,
    the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
    If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
    the one who raised Christ from the dead
    will give life to your mortal bodies also,
    through his Spirit dwelling in you.

    The word of the Lord.
    Thanks be to God.

    All rise and say or sing the acclamation of the gospel.

    Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ!

    I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;
    whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will never die.

    Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ!

    GOSPEL

    The Gospel is not proclaimed, but merely read with simplicity. If there are young children present, they may be seated.

    A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (11:1-45)

    Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
    the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
    Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
    and dried his feet with her hair;
    it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.

    So the sisters sent word to him saying,
    “Master, the one you love is ill.”
    When Jesus heard this he said,
    “This illness is not to end in death,
    but is for the glory of God,
    that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
    Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
    So when he heard that he was ill,
    he remained for two days in the place where he was.
    Then after this he said to his disciples,
    “Let us go back to Judea.”
    The disciples said to him,
    “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
    and you want to go back there?”
    Jesus answered,
    “Are there not twelve hours in a day?
    If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
    because he sees the light of this world.
    But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
    because the light is not in him.”
    He said this, and then told them,
    “Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
    but I am going to awaken him.”
    So the disciples said to him,
    “Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
    But Jesus was talking about his death,
    while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
    So then Jesus said to them clearly,
    “Lazarus has died.
    And I am glad for you that I was not there,
    that you may believe.
    Let us go to him.”
    So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
    “Let us also go to die with him.”

    When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
    had already been in the tomb for four days.
    Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
    And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
    to comfort them about their brother.
    When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
    she went to meet him;
    but Mary sat at home.
    Martha said to Jesus,
    “Lord, if you had been here,
    my brother would not have died.
    But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
    God will give you.”
    Jesus said to her,

    “Your brother will rise.”
    Martha said to him,
    “I know he will rise,
    in the resurrection on the last day.”
    Jesus told her,
    “I am the resurrection and the life;
    whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
    and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
    Do you believe this?”
    She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
    I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
    the one who is coming into the world.”

    When she had said this,
    she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying,
    “The teacher is here and is asking for you.”
    As soon as she heard this,
    she rose quickly and went to him.
    For Jesus had not yet come into the village,
    but was still where Martha had met him.
    So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her
    saw Mary get up quickly and go out,
    they followed her,
    presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
    When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
    she fell at his feet and said to him,
    “Lord, if you had been here,
    my brother would not have died.”
    When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
    he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
    “Where have you laid him?”
    They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
    And Jesus wept.
    So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
    But some of them said,
    “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
    have done something so that this man would not have died?”

    So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
    It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
    Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
    Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
    “Lord, by now there will be a stench;
    he has been dead for four days.”
    Jesus said to her,
    “Did I not tell you that if you believe
    you will see the glory of God?”
    So they took away the stone.
    And Jesus raised his eyes and said,

    “Father, I thank you for hearing me.
    I know that you always hear me;
    but because of the crowd here I have said this,
    that they may believe that you sent me.”
    And when he had said this,
    He cried out in a loud voice,
    “Lazarus, come out!”
    The dead man came out,
    tied hand and foot with burial bands,
    and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
    So Jesus said to them,
    “Untie him and let him go.”

    Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
    and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

    No acclamation concludes the reading of the Gospel.

    All are seated.

    The leader repeats slowly, as if it were a deep and far-off echo:

    “I am the resurrection and the life;
    whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
    and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
    Do you believe this?”

    All observe five minutes of silence for silent personal meditation.

    Then, all rise and profess the faith of the Church by saying the Apostles’ Creed:

    I believe in God,
    the Father almighty,
    Creator of heaven and earth,
    and in Jesus Christ, his only Son,
    our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    born of the Virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died and was buried;
    he descended into hell;
    on the third day he rose again from the dead;
    he ascended into heaven,
    and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
    from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.
    Amen.

    UNIVERSAL PRAYER

    All remain standing for the universal prayer which has been prepared beforehand.

    Or, they may use the following intercessions, separating the intentions with an intervening moment of silence:

    Strengthened in our faith by Lazarus’ return to life, let us pray with confidence to the Father who hears the voice of his Son:

    R/ Lord, hear our prayer!

    That far from sinking, the ship of the Church may be a refuge for all.

    R/ Lord, hear our prayer!

    May catechumens let the desire for baptism grow in them.

    R/ Lord, hear our prayer!

    In their tribulations, may men and women of good will discover the meaning of their lives by listening to your Word.

    R/ Lord, hear our prayer!

    May our families be imbued with patience and tenderness.

    R/ Lord, hear our prayer!

    For all people for whom this isolation is a trial.

    R/ Lord, hear our prayer!

    May researchers, doctors and health care workers find the strength to continue their work with dedication.

    R/ Lord, hear our prayer!

    May all people in hospitals, and their families,

    overcome the ordeal of their illness.

    R/ Lord, hear our prayer!

    For the dead you call to resurrection.

    R/ Lord, hear our prayer!

    Each participant may freely add an intention, to which all respond:

    R/ Lord, hear our prayer!

    At the end, the leader introduces to the Lord’s Prayer:

    United in the Spirit and in the communion of the Church, we dare to pray as the Lord Jesus himself taught us:

    All say or sing the Our Father:

    Our Father…

    Continuing immediately with:
    For the kingdom…

    Then the leader invites those present to share a sign of peace:

    We have just joined our voices
    with that of the Lord Jesus to pray to the Father.
    We are sons and daughters in the Son.
    In the love that unites us with one another,
    renewed by the word of God,
    we can exchange a gesture of peace,
    a sign of the communion
    we receive from the Lord.

    All then exchange a greeting of peace from a distance: for example, by bowing deeply towards each other in turn; or, as a family, by blowing each other a kiss.

    All sit down.

    SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

    The leader says:

    When we can’t receive sacramental communion for lack of a Mass, Pope Francis urges us to practice spiritual communion, also called “communion of desire.” The Council of Trent reminds us that this “consists in an ardent desire to feed on the Heavenly Bread, with a living faith that acts through charity and that makes us participants in the fruits and graces of the Sacrament.” The value of our spiritual communion depends therefore on our faith in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist as a source of life, love and unity, and our desire to receive Communion in spite of our inability to do so.

    With that in mind, I now invite you to bow your head, to close your eyes and recollect yourselves.

    Silence

    Deep in our hearts, may a burning desire arise within us to unite ourselves with Jesus, in sacramental communion, and then to bring His love to life into our lives, loving others as He loved us.

    All remain in silence for 5 minutes for a heart-to-heart conversation with Jesus Christ.

    A hymn of thanksgiving may be sung.

    All stand.

    The leader says the closing prayer, in the name of all:

    Through the intercession of St. N. [patron saint of the parish, diocese or country] and of all the saints of God May the God of perseverance and courage grant us to manifest throughout our lives the spirit of sacrifice, compassion and love of Christ Jesus. Thus, in the communion of the Holy Spirit, we will give glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for ever and ever!
    Amen.

    FINAL BLESSING

    All together facing the cross, each with their hands joined in prayer, invoke the Lord’s Blessing:

    May the Lord let his face shine upon us and come and save us. Amen.

    All make the Sign of the Cross. Then parents may trace the Sign of the Cross on their children’s foreheads.

    To conclude the celebration, one of the following Marian antiphons may be sung, or some other familiar hymn to the Virgin Mary.

    Ave, Regina cælorum
    Ave, Domina Angelorum,
    Salve radix, salve, porta, Ex qua mundo lux est orta.
    Gaude, Vírgo gloriosa, Super omnes speciosa;
    Vale, o valde decora
    Et pro nobis Christum exora.

    Hail, Queen of Heaven!
    Hail, sovereign of the angels!
    Hail, root of Jesse!
    Hail, door through which the Light of the world arose.
    Rejoice, glorious Virgin, who prevails over all in beauty!
    Hail, O most beautiful one,
    and pray to Christ for us.

    *

    * *

    To continue to sanctify this Sunday, it would be good to reconnect with the venerable tradition of Sunday vespers by celebrating, towards the end of the afternoon, the office of the Liturgy of the Hours that you will find at here, or we can take this Sunday’s Evening Prayer, which can be found here.

    You can also take a quiet half-hour to meditate on this Sunday’s Gospel with Rembrandt.Read more:Seeing the Raising of Lazarus through Rembrandt’s own eyes

    For Palm Sunday and Holy Week, we will offer you increasingly rich formulas, to help you continue to celebrate, despite everything, the special seasons of our Christian life, for the glory of God and the salvation of the world.

    You can also find other resources for free on the Magnificat website

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    God won’t invade your heart
    1h ago
    Sunday ReadingsGod never forces himself, and yet Peter’s message pierced to the heart. What did he say?
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    TRUE neither shall we force faith to nonbelivers i write i say take it or leave it it is like go to a soccermatch if you dont understand is nothing given to you same with faith .Ti, što uskrsnu, usliši nas.Spomeni se, Kriste, svoje svete Crkve koju si sazdao na temelju apostola i proširio je po svem krugu zemaljskom,
    − i nek tvoj blagoslov bude nad svima koji u tebe vjeruju.
    Slabe pridigni i ojačaj,
    − i oslobodi ih svih muka i tjeskoba.
    Pomozi svima koji su potlačeni i utamničeni,
    − i pohiti u pomoć svima koji su u nevolji i nestašici.Ti si svojim križem i uskrsnućem svima osigurao besmrtni život;
    − našoj preminuloj braći udijeli radost svoga kraljevstva.Oče naš…Molitva
    Svemogući vječni Bože, u ove dane daješ nam da potpunije upoznamo tvoju dobrotu: udijeli nam da obilnije i postignemo. Oslobodio si nas lutanja po tami, daj da čvršće prionemo uz istinu tvoje riječi. Po Gospodinu.Blagoslovio nas svemogući Bog, sačuvao nas od svakoga zla
    i priveo nas u život vječni.
    O. Amen.Blagoslivljajmo Gospodina.
    O. Bogu hvala“O ženo! Velika je vjera tvoja! Neka ti bude kako želiš.” (Matej 15, 28)

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