Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Thalassocracy, Psalm 100:1-5, Luke 7:11-17, St. Joseph of Cupertino, Order friars Minor Capuchin

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: 
Thalassocracy, Psalm 100:1-5, Luke 7:11-17, St. Joseph of Cupertino, Order friars Minor Capuchin

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

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'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:  thalassocracy  thal·as·soc·ra·cy  [thal-uh-sok-ruh-see]

Origin:  1840- 50: from Attic Greek thalassocratia,  from thalassa  sea + -cracy ]


  1. the government of a nation having dominion over large expanses of the seas

Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 100:1-5

1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence with songs of joy!
3 Be sure that Yahweh is God, he made us, we belong to him, his people, the flock of his sheepfold.
4 Come within his gates giving thanks, to his courts singing praise, give thanks to him and bless his name!
5 For Yahweh is good, his faithful love is everlasting, his constancy from age to age.


Today's Gospel Reading -   Luke 7:11-17

It happened that soon afterwards Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. Now when he was near the gate of the town there was a dead man being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople was with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her and said to her, ‘Don’t cry.’ Then he went up and touched the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you: get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and glorified God saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us; God has visited his people.’ And this view of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

• Today’s Gospel presents the episode of the resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain. The literary context of this episode of the VII chapter of Luke helps one to understand. The Evangelist wants to show that Jesus opens the road, revealing the novelty of God which is presented to us in the announcement of the Good News. And in this way the transformation and openness take place: Jesus accepts the request of a foreigner, a non Jew (Lk 7, 1-10) and resurrects the son of a widow (Lk 7, 11-17). The way in which Jesus reveals the Kingdom surprises the Jewish brothers who were not accustomed to such great openness. Even John the Baptist is surprised and orders to go and ask: “Are you the one who is to come or are we to expect someone else?” (Lk 7, 18-30). Jesus denounces the incoherence of his patricians: “They are like children shouting to one another without knowing what they want!” (Lk 7, 31-35). And finally, there is the openness of Jesus toward women (7, 36-50).

Luke 7, 11-12: The meeting of the two processions. “Jesus went to a town called Nain. His disciples and a great crowd were going with him. When he was close to the gate of the town, there was a dead man being carried out to the cemetery, the only son of his mother and she was a widow.” Luke is like a painter. With few words he succeeds to paint a very beautiful picture on the encounter of the two processions: the procession of death which is going out of the city and accompanies the widow who is taking her only son towards the cemetery; the procession of life which enters the city and accompanies Jesus. The two meet in the small square at the side of the gate of the town of Nain.

Luke 7,13: Compassion begins to act here. “When the Lord saw her, he felt sorry for her and said to her: “Do not cry!” It is compassion which moves Jesus to speak and to act. Compassion signifies literally: “to suffer with”, to assume or make ours the suffering of the other person, identifying oneself with the person, feeling the pain, the suffering. It is compassion which puts into action the power of Jesus, the power of life over death, the creative power.

Luke 7,14-15: “Young man, I tell you, get up!” Jesus gets near the bier and says: “Young men, I tell you, get up!” And the dead man sat up and began to talk; and Jesus gave him to his mother”. Sometimes, at the moment of a great sorrow caused by the death of a loved person, people say: “In Jesus’ time, when he walked on this earth there was hope not to lose a loved person because Jesus could resurrect her”. These persons consider the episode of the resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain as an event of the past which arouses nostalgia and also certain envy. The intention of the Gospel, instead, is not, that of arousing nostalgia or envy, but rather of helping us to experience better the living presence of Jesus in our midst. It is the same Jesus, who continues alive in our midst, capable of overcoming death and the sorrow of death. He is with us today, and in the face of the problems of sorrow which strike us, he tells us: “I tell you, get up!”

Luke 7, 16-17: The repercussion. “Everyone was filled with awe and glorified God saying: ‘A great prophet has risen up among us; God has visited his people”. The fame of these events spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside”. It is the prophet who was announced by Moses (Dt 18, 15). It is God who comes to visit us and the “Father of orphans and protector of the widows” (Ps 68, 6: Judith 9, 11).

Personal questions
Compassion moves Jesus to resurrect the son of the widow. Does the suffering, the sorrow of others produce in me the same compassion? What do I do to help the others to overcome the sorrow and to create a new life?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St. Joseph of Cupertino

Feast Day: September 18
Patron Saint: Aviators, Flying & Studying

St. Joseph of Cupertino
St. Joseph was born at Cupertino, in the diocese of Nardo in the Kingdom of Naples, in 1603. After spending his childhood and adolescence in simplicity and innocence, he finally joined the Franciscan Friars Minor Conventual. After his ordination to the holy priesthood, he gave himself up entirely to a life of humiliation, mortification, and obedience. He was most devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and promoted devotion to her among all classes of people. 

His mother considered him a nuisance and treated him harshly. Joseph soon became very slow and absent-minded. He would wander around, going nowhere, his mouth gaping open. But he had a bad temper, too, and so, he was not at all popular. He tried to learn the trade of shoemaking, but failed. He asked to become a Franciscan, but they would not accept him. Next, he joined the Capuchins, but eight months later, they sent him away because he could not seem to do anything right. He dropped piles of dishes and kept forgetting to do what he was told. His mother was not at all pleased to have the eighteen-year-old Joseph back home again, so she finally got him accepted as a servant at the Franciscan monastery. He was given the monks habit and put to hard work taking care of the horses. About this time, Joseph began to change. He grew more humble and gentle, more careful and successful at his work. He also began to do more penance. Now, it was decided that he could become a real member of the Order and start studying for the priesthood. Although he was very good, he still had a hard time with studies. The examiner happened to ask him to explain the only thing he knew well, and so he was made a deacon, and later a priest. After this, God began to work many amazing miracles through St. Joseph. Over seventy times, people saw him rise from the ground while saying mass or praying. Often he went into ecstasy and would be completely rapt up in talking with God. He became so holy that everything he saw made him think of God, and he said that all the troubles of this world were nothing but the "play" battles children have with popguns. St. Joseph became so famous for the miracles that he was kept hidden, but he was happy for the chance to be alone with his beloved Lord. On His part, Jesus never left him alone and one day came to bring him to Heaven. Pope Clement XIII canonized him in 1767. He is the patron saint of air travelers and pilots. 

It is said that the life of this saint was marked by ecstasies and levitations. The mere mention of God or a spiritual matter was enough to take him out of his senses; at Mass he frequently floated in the air in rapture. Once as Christmas carols were being sung, he soared to the high altar and knelt in the air, rapted in prayer. On another occasion he ferried a cross thirty-six feet high through the air to the top of a Calvary group as easily as one might carry a straw. 

The people flocked to him in droves seeking help and advice in the confessional, and he converted many to a truly Christian life. However, this humble man had to endure many severe trials and terrible temptations throughout his life. He died on September 18, 1663.


  • Courtesy of Catholic Online. http:/

Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


Today's Snippet I:  Order of Friars Minor Capuchin

Matteo Bassi (1495-1552), co-founder.
The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (O.F.M. Cap.) is an Order of friars in the Roman Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans. The worldwide head of the Order, called the Minister General, is currently Father Mauro Jöhri.

The Order arose in 1520 when Matteo da Bascio, an Observant Franciscan friar native to the Italian region of the Marches, said he had been inspired by God with the idea that the manner of life led by the friars of his day was not the one which their founder, St. Francis of Assisi, had envisaged. He sought to return to the primitive way of life of solitude and penance as practiced by the founder of their Order.

His religious superiors tried to suppress these innovations, and Friar Matteo and his first companions were forced into hiding from Church authorities, who sought to arrest them for having abandoned their religious duties. They were given refuge by the Camaldolese monks, in gratitude for which they later adopted the hood (or cappuccio) worn by that Order - which was the mark of a hermit in that region of Italy - and the practice of wearing a beard. The popular name of their Order originates from this feature of their religious habit.

In 1528, Friar Matteo obtained the approval of Pope Clement VII and was given permission to live as a hermit and to go about everywhere preaching to the poor. These permissions were not only for himself, but for all such as might join him in the attempt to restore the most literal observance possible of the Rule of St. Francis. Matteo and the original band were soon joined by others. Matteo and his companions were formed into a separate province, called the Hermit Friars Minor, as a branch of the Conventual Franciscans, but with a Vicar Provincial of their own, subject to the jurisdiction of the Minister General of the Conventuals. The Observants, the other branch of the Franciscan Order at that time, continued to oppose the movement.

The Order's rules

In 1529, they had four houses and held their first General Chapter, at which their particular rules were drawn up. The eremitical idea was abandoned, but the life was to be one of extreme austerity, simplicity and poverty—in all things as near an approach to St Francis' ideals as was practicable. Neither the monasteries nor the Province should possess anything, nor were any loopholes to be resorted to for evading this law. No large provision against temporal wants should be made, and the supplies in the house should never exceed what was necessary for a few days. Everything was to be obtained by begging, and the friars were not allowed even to touch money.

The communities were to be small, eight being fixed as the normal number and twelve as the limit. In furniture and clothing extreme simplicity was enjoined and the friars were discalced, required to go bare-footed—without even sandals. Like the Observants, the Capuchins wore a brown habit. Their form, however, was to be of the most simple form, i.e. only of a tunic, with the distinctive large, pointed hood reaching to the waist attached to it, girdled by the traditional woolen cord with three knots. By visual analogy, the Capuchin monkey and the cappuccino style of coffee are both named after the shade of brown used for their habit.

Besides the canonical choral celebration of the Divine Office, a portion of which was recited at midnight, there were two hours of private prayer daily. The fasts and disciplines were rigorous and frequent. The great external work was preaching and spiritual ministrations among the poor. In theology the Capuchins abandoned the later Franciscan School of Scotus, and returned to the earlier school of St. Bonaventure.

Early setbacks

The movement at the outset of its history underwent a series of severe blows. Two of the founders left it: Matteo Serafini of Bascio (Matteo Bassi) to return to the Observants, while his first companion, on being replaced in the office of Vicar Provincial, became so insubordinate that he had to be expelled from the Order. Even more scandalously, the third Vicar General, Bernardino Ochino, left the Catholic faith in 1543 after fleeing to Switzerland, where he was welcomed by John Calvin, became a Calvinist pastor in Zurich and married. Years later, claims that he had written in favor of polygamy and Unitarianism caused him to be exiled from that city and he fled again, first to Poland and then to Slovakia, where he died. As a result, the whole province came under the suspicion of heretical tendencies and the Pope resolved to suppress it. He was dissuaded with difficulty, but the Capuchins were forbidden to preach.


Despite earlier setbacks, the authorities were eventually satisfied as to the soundness of the general body of Capuchin friars and the permission to preach was restored. The movement at once began to multiply rapidly, and by the end of the 16th century the Capuchins had spread all over the Catholic parts of Europe, so that in 1619 they were freed from their dependence on the Conventual Franciscans and became an independent Order. They are said to have had at that time 1500 houses divided into fifty provinces. They were one of the chief tools in the Catholic Counter-reformation, the aim of the order being to work among the poor, impressing the minds of the common people by the poverty and austerity of their life, and sometimes with sensationalist preaching, such as their use of the supposedly possessed Marthe Brossier to arouse the Paris mob against the Huguenots.

The activities of the Capuchins were not confined to Europe. From an early date they undertook missions to non-Catholics in America, Asia and Africa, and a College was founded in Rome for the purpose of preparing their members for foreign missions. Due to this strong missionary thrust, a large number of Capuchins have suffered martyrdom over the centuries. Activity in Europe and elsewhere continued until the close of the 18th century, when the number of Capuchin friars was estimated at 31,000.

Cimitero dei Cappuccini:The Capuchin Crypt

The remains of 4,000 friars adorn the ossuary of the Santa Maria della Concezione
The crypt is located just under the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione in Rome, a church commissioned by Pope Urban VIII in 1626. The pope's brother, Cardinal Antonio Barberini, who was of the Capuchin Order, in 1631 ordered the remains of thousands of Capuchin friars exhumed and transferred from the friary on the Via dei Lucchesi to the crypt. The bones were arranged along the walls in varied designs, and the friars began to bury their own dead here, as well as the bodies of poor Romans, whose tomb was under the floor of the present Mass chapel. Here the Capuchins would come to pray and reflect each evening before retiring for the night.

The crypt, or ossuary, now contains the remains of 4,000 friars buried between 1500–1870, during which time the Roman Catholic Church permitted burial in and under churches. The underground crypt is divided into five chapels, lit only by dim natural light seeping in through cracks, and small fluorescent lamps. The crypt walls are decorated with the remains in fantastic fashion, making this crypt a true work of art. Some of the skeletons are intact and draped with Franciscan habits, but for the most part, individual bones are used to create elaborate ornamental designs—as was popular at that period.

The modern era

Like all other Orders, the Capuchins suffered severely from the secularizations and revolutions of the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th; but they survived the strain, and during the latter part of the 19th century rapidly recovered ground. At the beginning of the 20th century there were fifty provinces with some 500 friaries and 300 hospices or lesser houses; and the number of Capuchin friars, including lay brothers, was reckoned at 9,500. The Capuchins still keep up their missionary work and have some 200 missionary stations in all parts of the world—notably India, Ethiopia, and parts of the former Turkish Empire. Though "the poorest of all Orders," it has attracted into its ranks an extraordinary number of the highest nobility and even of royalty. The celebrated Father Mathew, the apostle of Temperance in Ireland, was a Capuchin friar.

In the Imperial Crypt, underneath the Church of the Capuchins in Vienna, over 140 members of the Habsburg dynasty are buried. The most recent burial in the crypt was in 2011 for Otto von Habsburg, the last crown prince of Austria-Hungary and eldest son of the last Austrian Emperor, the Blessed Charles of Austria.

As of December 2009, the Capuchins were approximately 10,500 in number, of which 6,939 were priests, living and working in 103 countries around the world: Africa: 1,354; South America: 1,762; North America: 682; Asia-Oceania: 2196; West Europa: 3755; Central-East Europa: 770. In Great Britain there are currently five Capuchin friaries, and eight in Ireland.


  •  Fragaszy et al. (2004). The complete capuchin : the biology of the genus Cebus. Cambridge University Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-521-66116-4. OCLC 55875701