Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog Credence, Mt 9:32-38, St. Perpetua and St Felicity, Psalm 115

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog

Credence, Mt 9:32-38, St. Perpetua and St Felicity, Psalm 115

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Wonderful Week!

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our Spirit...it's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Today's Word:  credence   cre·dence  [kreed-ns]

Origin:  1300–50;  < Middle English  < Middle French credence < < Medieval Latin crēdentia.


1. belief as to the truth of something: to give credence to a claim.
2. something giving a claim to belief or confidence: letter of credence.
3. Also called credence table, credenza. Ecclesiastical . a small side table, shelf, or niche for holding articles used in the Eucharist service.
4. Furniture . credenza ( def. 1 )


Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 9: 32-38

 A man was brought to Jesus, a dumb demoniac. And when the devil was driven out, the dumb man spoke and the people were amazed and said, 'Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.' But the Pharisees said, 'It is through the prince of devils that he drives out devils.' Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and all kinds of illness. And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers to his harvest.'


• Today’s Gospel presents two facts: (1) the cure of a possessed dumb person (Mt 9, 32-34) and (2) a summary of the activity of Jesus (Mt 9, 35-38).  These two episodes end the narrative part of chapters 8 and 9 of the Gospel of Matthew in which the Evangelist seeks to indicate how Jesus put into practice the teachings given in the Sermon on the Mountain (Mt 5 and 7).  In chapter 10, the meditation which begins in the Gospel of tomorrow, we see the second great discourse of Jesus: The Discourse of the Mission (Mt 10, 1-42).

• Matthew 9, 32-33a: The cure of a dumb.   In one only verse Matthew describes the arrival of the possessed person before Jesus, the expulsion of the demon and the attitude of Jesus, which in the fourth Gospel there is the attention and affection of Jesus with sick persons.  The illnesses were many, social security non existent. The illnesses were not only deficiencies of the body: deafness, blindness, paralysis, leprosy and so many other sicknesses. In fact, these illnesses were nothing else than a manifestation of a much deeper and vast evil which undermined the health of persons, and that is the total abandonment and the depressing and inhuman state in which they were obliged to live. The activity and the cures of Jesus were directed not only against physical sickness, but also and above all against this greater evil of material and spiritual abandonment, in which people were obliged to live the few years of life. Then, in addition to the economic exploitation which stole half of the family stipend, the official religion of that time, instead of helping people to find strength in God, to resist and have hope, taught that sickness was a punishment from God for sin. This increased in them the sentiment of exclusion and condemnation.  Jesus did all the contrary. The acceptance full of tenderness of Jesus and the cure of the sick form part of the effort to knit together again the human relationship among persons and to re-establish community and fraternal living in the villages of Galilee, his land. Matthew 9, 33b-34: The twofold interpretation of the cure of the dumb man. Before the cure of the possessed dumb man, the reaction of the people is one of admiration and of gratitude: “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!”  The reaction of the Pharisee is one of mistrust and malice: “It is through the prince of devils that he driver out devils!”  They were not able to deny the facts which cause admiration in the people, the only way which the Pharisees find to neutralize the influence of Jesus before the people is to attribute the expulsion to the power of the evil one. Mark presents an extensive argument of Jesus to demonstrate the lack of coherence and the malice of the interpretation given by the Pharisees (Mk 3, 22-27).  Matthew does not present any response of Jesus to the interpretation of the Pharisees, because when malice is evident, truth shines by itself.

• Matthew 9, 35: Tireless, Jesus goes through the villages. The description of the tireless activity of Jesus is beautiful, in which emerges the double concern to which we referred: the acceptance full of tenderness and the cure of the sick: “Jesus went through all the towns, teaching in their Synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and all kinds of illness”. In the previous chapters, Matthew had already referred several times to this itinerant activity of Jesus in the villages and towns of Galilee (Mt 4, 23-24; 8, 16).

• Matthew 9, 36: The compassion of Jesus. “Seeing the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd”. Those who should be shepherds were not shepherds; they did not take care of the flock. Jesus tries to be the shepherd (Jn 10,11-14). In this, Matthew sees the realization of the Prophecy of the Servant of Yahweh, who took upon himself our sickness, and bore our infirmities” (Mt 8, 17 and Is 53, 4). As it was for Jesus, the great concern of the Servant was “to find a word of comfort for those who were discouraged”. (Is 50, 4).  Jesus shows the same compassion toward the abandoned crowd, on the occasion of the multiplication of the loaves: they are like sheep without a shepherd (Mt 15, 32). The Gospel of Matthew has a constant concern in revealing to the converted Jews of the communities of Galilee and of Syria that Jesus is the Messiah announced by the Prophets.  For this reason, frequently, he shows that in Jesus’ activity the prophecies are fulfilled (cf. Mt 1, 23; 2, 5.15.17. 23; 3, 3; 4, 14-16; etc.).

• Matthew 9, 37-38: The harvest is rich, but the laborers are few. Jesus transmits to the disciples the concern and the compassion which are within him: “The harvest is rich, but the laborers are few! Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers to his harvest!” 

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites, www.ocarm.org.


Featured Items from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity - Martyrs

Feast Day: July 10
Died: 203 AD Carthage (Tunisia)

Patron Saints:  Mothers, Expectant Mothers, Ranchers, Butchers

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity
Perpetua and Felicity (believed to have died 7 March 203) are Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Perpetua (born around 181) was a 22-year old married noble and a nursing mother. Her co-martyr Felicity, an expectant mother, was her slave. They suffered together at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa.

*The Passion of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions is said to preserve the actual account of her arrest and imprisonment and her fellow martyr Saturus’s own account of his dreams (chapter ii and chapter xi). According to the Passion, a number of catechumens, were arrested for their faith and executed at the military games in celebration of the Emperor Geta's birthday (chapter ii). The group consisted of a slave named Revocatus, his fellow slave Felicitas, the two free men Saturninus and Seculdulus, and Perpetua (chapter ii).

With the lives of so many early martyrs shrouded in legend, we are fortunate to have the record of the courage of Perpetua and Felicity from the hand of Perpetua herself, her teacher Saturus, and others who knew them. This account, known as "The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity," was so popular in the early centuries that it was read during liturgies.

Summary of the Passio Text

In the year 203, Vibia Perpetua made the decision to become a Christian, although she knew it could mean her death during Septimus' persecution. Her surviving brother (another brother had died when he was seven) followed her leadership and became a catechumen as well.
Her father was frantic with worry and tried to talk her out of her decision. We can easily understand his concern. At 22 years old, this well-educated, high-spirited woman had every reason to want to live -- including a baby son who was still nursing. We know she was married, but since her husband is never mentioned, many historians assume she was a widow.
Perpetua's answer was simple and clear. Pointing to a water jug, she asked her father, "See that pot lying there? Can you call it by any other name than what it is?" Her father answered, "Of course not." Perpetua responded, "Neither can I call myself by any other name than what I am -- a Christian." This answer so upset her father that he attacked her. Perpetua reports that after that incident she was glad to be separated from him for a few days -- even though that separation was the result of her arrest and imprisonment.

Perpetua was arrested with four other catechumens including two slaves Felicity and Revocatus, and Saturninus and Secundulus. Their catechist, Saturus, had already been imprisoned before them.

She was baptized before taken to prison. Perpetua was known for her gift of "the Lord's speech" and receiving messages from God. She tells us that at the time of her baptism she was told to pray for nothing but endurance in the face of her trials.
The prison was so crowded with people that the heat was suffocating. There was no light anywhere and Perpetua "had never known such darkness." The soldiers who arrested and guarded them pushed and shoved them without any concern. Perpetua had no trouble admitting she was very afraid, but in the midst of all this horror her most excruciating pain came from being separated from her baby.
The young slave, Felicity was even worse off for Felicity suffered the stifling heat, overcrowding, and rough handling while being eight months pregnant.
Two deacons who ministered to the prisoners paid the guards so that the martyrs would be put in a better part of the prison. There her mother and brother were able to visit Perpetua and bring her baby to her. When she received permission for her baby to stay with her "my prison suddenly became a palace for me." Once more her father came to her, begging her to give in, kissing her hands, and throwing himself at her feet. She told him, "We lie not in our own power but in the power of God."
When she and the others were taken to be examined and sentenced, her father followed, pleading with her and the judge. The judge, out of pity, also tried to get Perpetua to change her mind, but when she stood fast, she was sentenced with the others to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena. Her father was so furious that he refused to send her baby back to Perpetua. Perpetua considered it a miracle that her breasts did not become inflamed from lack of nursing.
While praying in prison, she suddenly felt "gifted with the Lord's speech" and called out the name of her brother Dinocrates who had died at seven of gangrene of the face, a disease so disfiguring that those who should have comforted him left him alone. Now she saw a vision that he was even more alone, in a dark place, hot and thirsty -- not in the eternal joy she hoped for him. She began to pray for Dinocrates and though she was put in stocks every day, her thoughts were not on her own suffering but on her prayers to help her brother. Finally she had another vision in which she saw Dinocrates healed and clean, drinking from a golden bowl that never emptied.
Meanwhile Felicity was also in torment. It was against the law for pregnant women to be executed. To kill a child in the womb was shedding innocent and sacred blood. Felicity was afraid that she would not give birth before the day set for their martyrdom and her companions would go on their journey without her. Her friends also didn't want to leave so "good a comrade" behind.
Two days before the execution, Felicity went into a painful labor. The guards made fun of her, insulting her by saying, "If you think you suffer now, how will stand it when you face the wild beasts?" Felicity answered them calmly, "Now I'm the one who is suffering, but in the arena Another will be in me suffering for me because I will be suffering for him." She gave birth to a healthy girl who was adopted and raised by one of the Christian women of Carthage.
The officers of the prison began to recognize the power of the Christians and the strength and leadership of Perpetua. In some cases this helped the Christians: the warden let them have visitors -- and later became a believer. But in other cases it caused superstitious terror, as when one officer refused to let them get cleaned up on the day they were going to die for fear they'd try some sort of spell. Perpetua immediately spoke up, "We're supposed to die in honor of Ceasar's birthday. Wouldn't it look better for you if we looked better?" The officer blushed with shame at her reproach and started to treat them better.
There was a feast the day before the games so that the crowd could see the martyrs and make fun of them. But the martyrs turned this all around by laughing at the crowd for not being Christians and exhorting them to follow their example.
The four new Christians and their teacher went to the arena (the fifth, Secundulus, had died in prison) with joy and calm. Perpetua in usual high spirits met the eyes of everyone along the way. We are told she walked with "shining steps as the true wife of Christ, the darling of God."
When those at the arena tried to force Perpetua and the rest to dress in robes dedicated to their gods, Perpetua challenged her executioners. "We came to die out of our own free will so we wouldn't lose our freedom to worship our God. We gave you our lives so that we wouldn't have to worship your gods." She and the others were allowed to keep their clothes.
The men were attacked by bears, leopards, and wild boars. The women were stripped to face a rabid heifer. When the crowd, however, saw the two young women, one of whom had obviously just given birth, they were horrified and the women were removed and clothed again. Perpetua and Felicity were thrown back into the arena so roughly that they were bruised and hurt. Perpetua, though confused and distracted, still was thinking of others and went to help Felicity up. The two of them stood side by side as all five martyrs had their throats cut.  Perpetua's last words were to her brother: "Stand fast in the faith and love one another." 

In Their Footsteps:

Perpetua said that she couldn't call herself any other name but Christian. Write down a list of names and designations that people could call you. Is Christian high on that list? How can you help make your name as Christian be more important? Live today as if that was the only name you could be called by.

Saints Perpetua and Felicity, watch over all mothers and children who are separated from each other because of war or persecution. Show a special care to mothers who are imprisoned and guide them to follow your example of faith and courage. Amen


Croatian Mosaic of St Perpetua

**In Carthage a magnificent basilica was afterwards erected over the tomb of the martyrs, the Basilica Maiorum, where an ancient inscription bearing the names of Perpetua and Felicitas has been found.

Saints Felicitas and Perpetua (mentioned in that order) are two of seven women commemorated by name in the second part of the Canon of the Mass. The Blessed Virgin Mary is commemorated in the first part.

The feast day of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas, 7 March, was celebrated even outside Africa, and is entered in the Philocalian Calendar, the 4th-century calendar of martyrs venerated publicly at Rome. When Saint Thomas Aquinas's feast was inserted into the Roman calendar, for celebration on the same day, the two African saints were thenceforth only commemorated. This was the situation in the Tridentine Calendar established by Pope Pius V, and remained so until the year 1908, when Pope Pius X brought the date for celebrating them forward to 6 March. In the 1969 reform of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas was moved, and that of Saint Perpetua and Felicity was restored to their traditional 7 March date, but traditionalist Catholics continue to follow the 1908-1969 General Roman Calendar.

Other Churches, including the Lutheran Church and the Episcopal Church, commemorate these two martyrs on 7 March, never having altered the date to 6 March. The Anglican Church of Canada, however, commemorates them on 6 March (The Book of Common Prayer, 1962).

In the Eastern Orthodox Church the feast day of Saints Perpetua of Carthage and the catechumens Saturus, Revocatus, Saturninus, Secundulus, and Felicitas is February 1.

Suggested Videography

  • Perpetua: Early Church Martyr (2009) - documentary.
  • Torchlighters: The Perpetua Story (2009) - animated DVD for children ages 8–12.


  • *Courtesy of the Catholic Online
  • **Courtesy of Wikipedia
  • ***Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Sts. Felicitas and Perpetua." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 9 Jul. 2012 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06029a.htm>.


Today's Snippet:  Psalm 115

King David 1865 Leighton
The House of Israel Trusts in  the Lord

Not to us, LORD, not to us
but to your name give glory
because of your mercy and faithfulness.
2Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
3Our God is in heaven
and does whatever he wills.

4Their idols are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
5They have mouths but do not speak,
eyes but do not see.
6They have ears but do not hear,
noses but do not smell.
7They have hands but do not feel,
feet but do not walk;
they produce no sound from their throats.
8Their makers will be like them,
and anyone who trusts in them.


9The house of Israel trusts in the LORD,
who is their help and shield.
10The house of Aaron trusts in the LORD,
who is their help and shield.
11Those who fear the LORD trust in the LORD,
who is their help and shield.
12The LORD remembers us and will bless us,
will bless the house of Israel,
will bless the house of Aaron,
13Will bless those who fear the LORD,
small and great alike.
14May the LORD increase your number,
yours and your descendants.
15May you be blessed by the LORD,
maker of heaven and earth.
16The heavens belong to the LORD,
but he has given the earth to the children of Adam.
17The dead do not praise the LORD,
not all those go down into silence.i
18It is we who bless the LORD,
both now and forever.