Monday, January 14, 2013

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Magisterium, Psalms 97, Hebrew 1:1-6, Mark 1:14-20, St Felix of Nola, Catholic Catechism Chapter 2:2-II The Relationship Between Tradition and Sacred Scripture

Monday, January 14, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Magisterium, Psalms 97, Hebrew 1:1-6, Mark 1:14-20, St Felix of Nola, Catholic Catechism Chapter 2:2-II The Relationship Between Tradition and Sacred Scripture

Good Day Bloggers!  Happy New Year, Bonne Annee!
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

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

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone 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 Purgatory and/or 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


January 02, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
 "Dear children, with much love and patience I strive to make your hearts like unto mine. I strive, by my example, to teach you humility, wisdom and love because I need you; I cannot do without you my children. According to God's will I am choosing you, by His strength I am strengthening you. Therefore, my children, do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. I will give them to my Son and in return, He will give you the gift of Divine peace. You will carry it to all those whom you meet, you will witness God's love with your life and you will give the gift of my Son through yourselves. Through reconciliation, fasting and prayer, I will lead you. Immeasurable is my love. Do not be afraid. My children, pray for the shepherds. May your lips be shut to every judgment, because do not forget that my Son has chosen them and only He has the right to judge. Thank you."

December 25, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
Our Lady came with little Jesus in her arms and she did not give a message, but little Jesus began to speak and said : “I am your peace, live my commandments.” With a sign of the cross, Our Lady and little Jesus blessed us together.

December 2, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
Dear children, with motherly love and motherly patience anew I call you to live according to my Son, to spread His peace and His love, so that, as my apostles, you may accept God's truth with all your heart and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you. Then you will be able to faithfully serve my Son, and show His love to others with your life. According to the love of my Son and my love, as a mother, I strive to bring all of my strayed children into my motherly embrace and to show them the way of faith. My children, help me in my motherly battle and pray with me that sinners may become aware of their sins and repent sincerely. Pray also for those whom my Son has chosen and consecrated in His name. Thank you." 


Today's Word:  magisterium   mag·is·te·ri·um  [maj-uh-steer-ee-uh m]

Origin: 1585–95;  < Latin: magistery

noun, Roman Catholic Church .
the authority and power of the church to teach religious truth.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 97:1-2, 6-7, 9

1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles be glad!
2 Cloud, black cloud enfolds him, saving justice and judgement the foundations of his throne.
6 The heavens proclaim his saving justice, all nations see his glory.
7 Shame on all who serve images, who pride themselves on their idols; bow down to him, all you gods!
9 For you are Yahweh, Most High over all the earth, far transcending all gods


Today's Epistle -   Hebrews 1:1-6

1 At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but
2 in our time, the final days, he has spoken to us in the person of his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the ages.
3 He is the reflection of God's glory and bears the impress of God's own being, sustaining all things by his powerful command; and now that he has purged sins away, he has taken his seat at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high.
4 So he is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than their own name.
5 To which of the angels, then, has God ever said: You are my Son, today I have fathered you, or: I shall be a father to him and he a son to me?
6 Again, when he brings the First-born into the world, he says: Let all the angels of God pay him homage.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Mark 1:14-20

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the gospel from God saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.' As he was walking along by the Lake of Galilee he saw Simon and Simon's brother Andrew casting a net in the lake -- for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, 'Come after me and I will make you into fishers of people.' And at once they left their nets and followed him. Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending the nets. At once he called them and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him. 

 • After John had been arrested, Jesus went to Galilee. There he proclaimed the Gospel of God. John was arrested by King Herod for having denounced the immoral behaviour of the King (Lk 3, 18-20). The imprisonment of John the Baptist did not frighten Jesus! On the contrary, all the opposite! In that he saw a symbol of the coming of the Kingdom. And today, would it be that we know how to read the facts of politics and of urban violence to announce or proclaim the Good News of God?

• Jesus proclaimed the Good News of God. The Good News is of God not only because it comes from God, but also and, above all, because God is its content. God, himself, is the greatest Good News for human life. He responds to the deepest aspiration of our heart. In Jesus we see what happens when a human person allows God to enter and to reign. This Good News of the Kingdom of God proclaimed by Jesus has four different aspects:

a) The time is fulfilled, has arrived. For the other Jews the time was not as yet fulfilled, had not arrived. There was still much missing for the coming of the Kingdom. For the Pharisees, for example, the Kingdom could be attained only when the observance of the Law would be perfect. Jesus had another way of reading the facts. He says that the time is fulfilled, it has arrived.

b) The Kingdom of God is close at hand! For the Pharisees the coming of the Kingdom depended on their efforts. It would have arrived only after they had observed the Law. Jesus says the contrary: “The Kingdom is close at hand”. It is already here! Independently of the efforts made! When Jesus says: “The Kingdom is close at hand”, he does not mean to say that the Kingdom has been reached only at that moment, but rather that it was already there. What everybody was expecting was already present in their life, and they did not know it, they did not perceive it (cf. Lk 17, 21). Jesus perceived it! Because he saw and read reality with a different look And it is in this hidden presence of the Kingdom in the midst of the people that Jesus reveals himself to the poor of his land. And this is the seed of the Kingdom which will receive the rain of his Word and the warmth of his love.

c) Convert yourselves! The exact meaning is change the way of thinking and of living. In order to be able to perceive the presence of the Kingdom in life, the person should begin to think and to live in a diverse way. The person should change way of life and find another way of living together with others! He/she should leave aside all legalism of the teaching of the Pharisees and allow the new experience of God to invade his/her life and give him/her a new way of looking so as to read and understand the facts in a new way.

d) To believe in the Good News! It was not easy to accept this message. It is not easy for us to begin to think in a different way from all that we have learnt, since we were small children. This is possible only through an act of faith. When someone give a diverse news, it is difficult to accept it, and it is accepted only if we trust the person who gives the news. And thus, you will say to others: “You can accept! I know this person! This person does not deceive! You can trust him/her! We can trust Jesus!

• The first objective of the proclamation of the Good News is that of forming a community. Jesus goes by, he sees and he calls. The first four who were called, Simon, Andrew, John and James, listen, abandon everything and follow Jesus in order to form a community with him. It seems to be love at first sight! According to Mark’s account, everything takes place in the first encounter with Jesus. Comparing with the other Gospels, people perceive that the four already knew Jesus (Jn 1, 39; Lk 5, 1-11). They had already had the opportunity to live with him, to see him help the people and to listen to him in the Synagogue. They knew how he lived and what he thought. The call was not something of one moment, but a question of repeated calls and invitations, of progressing and of retreating. The call begins and begins again always anew! In practice, it coincided with the living together with Jesus for two or three years, since the time of the Baptism until the moment when Jesus went to Heaven (Acts 1, 21-22). And then, why does Mark present this as something sudden, an act of love at first sight? Mark thinks in the ideal: the encounter with Jesus should bring about a radical change in our life! 

Personal questions
• A political fact, the imprisonment of John, led Jesus to begin the proclamation of the Good News of God. Today, do the facts of politics and of the police, exercise any influence in the proclamation of the Good News that we present to people?
• “Convert yourselves! Believe in the Good News!” How is this taking place in my own life? 

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


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Saint of the Day:  St  Felix of Nola

Feast DayJanuary 14
Patron Saint spider bite victims

St Felix of Nola
Saint Felix of Nola (d. ca. 250) was a Christian presbyter at Nola near Naples in Italy. He sold off his possessions in order to give to the poor, but was arrested and tortured for his Christian faith during the persecution of the Roman emperor Decius (r. 249-51). He was believed to have died a martyr's death during the persecution of Decius or Valentinian (ca. 253), but is now listed in the General Roman Calendar as a confessor of the faith, who survived his tortures.[1]


Felix was the elder son of Hermias, a Syrian soldier who had retired to Nola, Italy.

After his father's death Felix sold off most of his property and possessions, gave the proceeds to the poor, and pursued a clerical vocation. Felix was ordained by, and worked with, Saint Maximus of Nola.

When bishop Maximus fled to the mountains to escape the persecution of the Roman emperor Decius, Felix was arrested and beaten for his faith instead. He escaped prison, according to legend being freed by an angel, so that he could help bishop Maximus. Felix found Maximus alone, ill, and helpless, and hid him from soldiers in a vacant building. When the two were safely inside, a spider quickly spun a web over the door, fooling the imperial forces into thinking it was long abandoned, and they left without finding the Christians. A subsequent attempt to arrest Felix followed, which he avoided by hiding in a ruined building where again a spider's web spun across the entrance convinced the soldiers the building was abandoned. The two managed to hide from authorities until the persecution ended with the death of Emperor Decius in 251.

After Maximus's death, the people wanted Felix to be the next bishop of Nola, but he declined, favoring Quintus, a "senior" priest who had seven days more experience than Felix. Felix himself continued as a priest. He also continued to farm his remaining land, and gave most of the proceeds to people even poorer than himself.

Legend assigns to Felix a martyr's death either in the year 255 under Emperor Valerian (253-260) or, in another version, in the general persecution instigated by the Emperor Decius (249-251).


Burial place of Felix of Nola in Cimitile
Much of the little information we have about Felix comes from the letters and poetry of Saint Paulinus of Nola, who served at the door of a church dedicated to Saint Felix, and who gathered information about him from churchmen and pilgrims.

In time a new church in Nola was dedicated in the name of St Felix. People travelled from far away to see the burial place of this revered saint.

The Roman Martyrology gives 14 January as the feast day of "Saint Felix, presbyter, who, as reported by Saint Paulinus, was imprisoned at a time of furious persecutions and underwent harsh torture. When at length peace was obtained, he returned home and in poverty lived a withdrawn life until old age, an unconquered confessor of the faith".[2]

He should not be confused with another Saint Felix of Nola, of about a century later, whose feast is on 15 November.


  1. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 112
  2. "Sancti Felicis, presbyteri, qui, ut sanctus Paulinus refert, persecutionibus furentibus, in carcerem coniectus acerbissima sustinuit tormenta et, pace tandem conciliata, inter suos rediit in paupertate secedens senectm usque, confessor fidei invictur" (Martyrologium Romanum, Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)
  • Donald Attwater and Catherine Rachel John, "The Penguin Dictionary of Saints." 3rd edition, New York: Penguin Books, 1993, ISBN 0-14-051312-4.


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Today's Snippet I: Nola Italy

Cathedral of Nola, Italy
Nola is a city and comune of Campania, southern Italy, in the province of Naples, situated in the plain between Mount Vesuvius and the Apennines. It is served by the Circumvesuviana railway from Naples.

Nola Bronze Age settlement

Nola in Bronze Age times was the site of a settlement that has yielded evidence of the destructive power of an eruption by Mount Vesuvius between 1700 BC and 1600 BC (the Avellino eruption). Excavations revealed extensive evidence of a small village abandoned quickly by its occupants at the time of the eruption so that a wide range of pottery and other artifacts were left behind to survive with the imprint of buildings in the mud from the eruption.

Ancient era

Called Nuvlana on the most ancient coins, it was one of the oldest cities of Campania: it is said to have been founded by the Ausones. The latter were certainly in Nola about 560 BC. When it sent assistance to Naples against the Roman invasion (328 BC) it was probably occupied by the Oscans in alliance with the Samnites. In the Samnite War (311 BC) the town was taken by the Romans, while in the Second Punic War it thrice offered defiance to Hannibal (first, second, and third Battle of Nola) and on two occasions (215 and 214) it was defended by Marcellus. In the Social War it was given by treason into the hands of the Samnites, who kept it until Marius, with whom they had sided, was defeated by Sulla, who in 80 BC subjected it together with the rest of Samnium. Seven years later it was stormed by Spartacus, for which reason Augustus and Vespasian sent colonies there.

Nola, though losing much of its importance, remained a municipium with its own institutions and the use of the Oscan language. It became a Roman colony under Augustus, who died there in 14 AD. Later it became an important site of Christian pilgrimage and hospitality, after the Christian senator Paulinus relocated to the town, eventually becoming bishop.

Nola lay on the Via Popilia from Capua to Nocera Inferiore and the south, and a branch road ran from it to Abella and Avellino. Mommsen (Corp. inscr. Lat. X. 142) further states that roads must have run direct from Nola to Neapolis and Pompeii, but Kiepert's map annexed to the volume does not indicate this.

Middle Ages and Modern era

In 410 AD Nola was sacked by Alaric I, in 453 by Gaiseric and his Vandals, in 806 and again in 904 by the Saracens. Captured by Manfred of Sicily in the 13th century, from the time of Charles I of Anjou to the mid-15th century, Nola was first a feudal possession of Guy de Monfort and then of the Orsini baronial family whose heir married Guy's oldest daughter and heir. The battle of Nola (1459) is famous for the clever stratagem by which Stephen of Anjou defeated Alfonso of Aragon. Damaged by earthquakes in the 15th and centuries, Nola lost much of its importance. The revolution of 1820 under General Pepe began at Nola. The sculptor Giovanni Merliano was a native of the city; and some of his works are preserved in the cathedral.


Nola today is an important town close to Naples. However, most of its territory and economy are well under the control of the Camorra.

A major Camorra's activity is the illegal treatment of urban, chemical and industrial wastes in the countryside located in the region between Nola, Acerra and Marigliano. This formerly rich and green countryside is sometimes now called the "Death Triangle".

The scientific journal The Lancet Oncology published in 2004 a study by the Italian researcher Alfredo Mazza, a physiologist at the Italian CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche): this study revealed the terrible situation in the countryside around Marigliano and the negative impact on the people's health. He demonstrated that the deaths by cancer are much higher than average in that region compared to the European average.

Main sights and ancient findings

  • The ancient Gothic cathedral (restored in 1866, and again in 1870 after the interior was destroyed by fire), with its lofty tower.
  • Basilica di San Tommaso, built in the 3rd century but renovated. It has frescoes from the 9th-11th centuries depicting stories of Christ.
  • Basilica of SS. Apostoli, built, according to tradition, in 95 AD. Rebuilt in 1190, it was the city's cathedral until 1593. It was decorated in Baroque style in the 1740s.
  • Palazzo Orsini (built in 1470, although modified later).
  • The Late-Renaissance church of San Biagio, decorated with polychrome marbles and paintings from some of the most renowned 17th century Neapolitan painters.
  • The seminary in which are preserved the famous Oscan inscription known as the Cippus Abellanus (from Abella, the modern Avella) and some Latin inscriptions relating to a treaty with Nola regarding a joint temple of Hercules.
  • Castle of Cicala, in the neighbourhood.

In the days of its independence Nola issued an important series of coins, and in luxury it vied with Capua. A large number of vases of Greek style were manufactured here and have been found in the neighbourhood. Their material is of pale yellow clay with shining black glaze, and they are decorated with skillfully drawn red figures. Of the ancient city, which occupied the same site as the modern town, hardly any thing is now visible, and the discoveries of the ancient street pavement have not been noted with sufficient care to enable us to recover the plan.

Numerous ruins, an amphitheatre, still recognizable, a theatre, a temple of Augustus, etc., existed in the 16th century, and were then used for building material. A few tombs of the Roman period are preserved. The neighbourhood was divided into pagi, the names of some of which are preserved to us (Pagus Agrifanus, Capriculanus, Lanitanus). Prehistoric findings are also housed in the Archaeological Museum.

There is also a monument to Giordano Bruno, who was born at Castelcicala, a locality near Nola, in 1548.

Notable people

Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, died in Nola on 19 August 14 AD.

Nola was the birthplace of Luigi Tansillo, Giovanni Merliano, whose work is well represented in the cathedral, of the physician Ambrogio Leo, and of the philosopher Nicola Antonio Stigliola. Nola is, however, best known as the hometown of the philosopher Giordano Bruno, who often referred to himself as the "Nolano," and his philosophy as the "Nolana filosofia".

Nola was the home of Saint Felix of Nola. The city was also the episcopal see of Saint Paulinus of Nola, a major theologian and writer of the late Western Roman Empire, and who is also credited with inventing the church bell (campana in Italian, taking its name from Campania). The church erected by him in honour of St. Felix in the 4th century is extant in part.


Two fairs are held in Nola, on 14 June and 12 November. 22 June or the first Sunday after is devoted to a great festival ("La Festa Dei Gigli" or "The Festival of the Lillies") in honor of St. Paulinus. The festival lasts seven days, starting from the last Sunday before 22 June. In honor of St. Paulinus, eight lilies and a boat are made of wood, covered with papier-mâché from art shops of the city. The highlight of the festival is the last day, when the lilies, 25 meters high, are shoulder carried through the city's historical center, along a route that has been repeated for more than a thousand years. Each lily is a corporation of workers in the area of Nola. The order of lilies is as follows, respecting the tradition of the old order: Greengrocer - Ortolano. Pork butcher - Salumiere. Innkeeper - Bettoliere. Baker - Panettiere. Boat - Barca. Butcher - Beccaio. Shoemaker - Calzolaio. Smith - Fabbro. Dressmaker - Sarto. For seven days, the city relives its full historical and folklore of his faith to St. Paul's. Throughout the week each lily organizes evenings where you can dance, drink and have fun. The festival of 2010 was nominated along with other similar festivals, on the Italian territory, to become a Unesco world heritage site.


    •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
    •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.


    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part One: Profession of Faith, Chapter 2:2-II

    II. The Relationship Between Tradition and Sacred Scripture

    One common source. . .
    80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal."DV 9. Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age".Mt 28:20

    . . . two distinct modes of transmission

    81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."DV 9. "and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."DV 9.
    82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."DV 9.

    Apostolic Tradition and ecclesiastical traditions

    83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.
    Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium.