Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Chaste, Psalms 62:2-9, Zechariah 12:10-11, Luke 9:18-24, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Those who Serve the Truth Serve God, St. Agrippina, Mineo Sicily, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ Section 1 The Dignity of the Human Person Article 7:3 The Virtues - The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Sunday,  June 23, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Chaste, Psalms 62:2-9, Zechariah 12:10-11Luke 9:18-24, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Those who Serve the Truth Serve God, St. Agrippina, Mineo Sicily, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life  In Christ Section 1 The Dignity of the Human Person Article 7:3 The Virtues - The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit

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, reason and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and 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 the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our Soul...it's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

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


Prayers for Today: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Glorious Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis June 23 General Audience Address :

  Those who Serve the Truth, Serve God

(2013-06-23 Vatican Radio)
On a hot sunny day in Rome, Pope Francis greeted thousands of pilgrims and tourists from the window of the Papal apartments above St Peter’s Square who had come to hear the recitation of the Sunday Angelus.

Reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel the Pope recalled some of the most incisive words that Jesus spoke, “"Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it" The Holy Father said that this phrase is really a summary of Christ’s message which almost makes us hear his voice.

Explaining the meaning of Jesus’ words Pope Francis said that the martyrs offer the best example of losing one's life for Christ. Both in the past and today, he continued, in many parts of the world, there are martyrs both men and women who are imprisoned, or killed for the sole reason of being Christian. But the Pope also noted that there is also the daily martyrdom, which do not result in death but is also as he put it, a "loss of life" for Christ, people doing their duty with love, according to the logic of Jesus.

These people the Holy Father said are the fathers and mothers who every day put into practice their faith by devoting their lives for the good of the family. Pope Francis also recalled the “many priests, monks, nuns who give generously their service to the kingdom of God”. And the young people who give up their interests to devote their time to children, the disabled, and the elderly.

The Pope then spoke of the Christians and non-Christians who "lose their life" for the truth, adding “those who serve the truth serve Christ.”

Before reciting the Marian prayer the Holy Father focused his attention on one great man who gave his life for the truth, John the Baptist whose feast day is celebrated on June 24th.

He said John was chosen by God to prepare the way before Jesus. John devoted himself entirely to God and his messenger. But it was Jesus who eventually died for the cause of truth. During the Angelus the Pope also stressed ,especially to the young people present, the importance of having the courage to go against the tide of current values that do not conform to the path of Jesus.


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: Summer

Vatican City, Summer2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father for the Summer of 2013:

29 Saturday, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul: 9:30am, Mass and imposition of the pallium upon new metropolitans in the papal chapel.

The Prefecture of the Papal Household has released Pope Francis' agenda for the summer period, from July through to the end of August. Briefing journalists, Holy See Press Office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Pope will remain 'based ' at the Casa Santa Marta residence in Vatican City State for the duration of the summer.

As per tradition, all private and special audiences are suspended for the duration of the summer. The Holy Father's private Masses with employees will end July 7 and resume in September. The Wednesday general audiences are suspended for the month of July to resume August 7 at the Vatican.

7 July, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 9:30am, Mass with seminarians and novices in the Vatican Basilica.

14 July Sunday , Pope Francis will lead the Angelus prayer from the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Francis will travel to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro from Monday July 22 to Monday July 29.  


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 06/23/2013.


June 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, in this restless time, anew I am calling you to set out after my Son - to follow Him. I know of the pain, suffering and difficulties, but in my Son you will find rest; in Him you will find peace and salvation. My children, do not forget that my Son redeemed you by His Cross and enabled you, anew, to be children of God; to be able to, anew, call the Heavenly Father, "Father". To be worthy of the Father, love and forgive, because your Father is love and forgiveness. Pray and fast, because that is the way to your purification, it is the way of coming to know and becoming cognizant of the Heavenly Father. When you become cognizant of the Father, you will comprehend that He is all you need. I, as a mother, desire my children to be in a community of one single people where the Word of God is listened to and carried out.* Therefore, my children, set out after my Son. Be one with Him. Be God's children. Love your shepherds as my Son loved them when He called them to serve you. Thank you." *Our Lady said this resolutely and with emphasis.

May 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:“Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God’s love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

May 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children; Anew, I am calling you to love and not to judge. My Son, according to the will of the Heavenly Father, was among you to show you the way of salvation, to save you and not to judge you. If you desire to follow my Son, you will not judge but love like your Heavenly Father loves you. And when it is the most difficult for you, when you are falling under the weight of the cross do not despair, do not judge, instead remember that you are loved and praise the Heavenly Father because of His love. My children, do not deviate from the way on which I am leading you. Do not recklessly walk into perdition. May prayer and fasting strengthen you so that you can live as the Heavenly Father would desire; that you may be my apostles of faith and love; that your life may bless those whom you meet; that you may be one with the Heavenly Father and my Son. My children, that is the only truth, the truth that leads to your conversion, and then to the conversion of all those whom you meet - those who have not come to know my Son - all those who do not know what it means to love. My children, my Son gave you a gift of the shepherds. Take good care of them. Pray for them. Thank you."


Today's Word:  chaste  chaste  [eth-i-kuhl]  

Origin:  1175–1225; Middle English  < Old French  < Latin castus  clean, pure, chaste
adjective, chast·er, chast·est.
1.  refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion; virtuous.
2. virgin.
3. not engaging in sexual relations; celibate.
4. free from obscenity; decent: chaste conversation.
5. undefiled or stainless: chaste, white snow.
6. pure in style; not excessively ornamented; simple.
7. Obsolete , unmarried.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 62:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

2 he alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold so that I stand unshaken.
3 How much longer will you set on a victim, all together, intent on murder, like a rampart already leaning over, a wall already damaged?
4 Trickery is their only plan, deception their only pleasure, with lies on their lips they pronounce a blessing, with a curse in their hearts.Pause
5 Rest in God alone, my soul! He is the source of my hope.
6 He alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold, so that I stand unwavering.
8 trust in him, you people, at all times. Pour out your hearts to him, God is a refuge for us.Pause
9 Ordinary people are a mere puff of wind, important people a delusion; set both on the scales together, and they are lighter than a puff of wind.


Today's Epistle -  Zechariah 12:10-11

10 But over the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem I shall pour out a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look to me. They will mourn for the one whom they have pierced as though for an only child, and weep for him as people weep for a first-born child.
11 When that day comes, the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad Rimmon in the Plain of Megiddo.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Luke 9:18-24

The profession of Peter "who do you say that I am?"

1. Opening prayer
“O Holy Spirit, you who unite my soul to God: move it with ardent desires and enkindle it with the fire of your love.  How good you are with me, O Holy Spirit of God: may you be praised and blessed for the great love that you pour out upon me!  My God and my Creator, is it ever possible that there would be someone who would not love you?  For so long I have not loved you!  Forgive me, Lord.  O Holy Spirit, grant that my soul may be completely God’s, and that I may serve Him without any personal interest, but only because He is my Father and because He loves me.  My God and my all, is there perhaps any other thing that I could possibly desire?  Only You would satisfy me.  Amen.”  (St. Teresa of Jesus)

2. Gospel Reading - Luke 9:18-24
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" They said in reply, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, 'One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'" Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter said in reply, "The Messiah of God." He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. He said, "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised." Then he said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

3. A moment of prayerful silence so that the Word of God may penetrate and enlighten our life.

4. Some questions
• We all believe in Jesus. But there are some who understand him in one way and others in another way. Today, which is the more common Jesus in the way of thinking of people?
• How does propaganda interfere in my way of seeing Jesus? What do I do so as not to allow myself to be drawn by the propaganda? What prevents us today from recognizing and assuming the project of Jesus?
• We are waiting for the messiah, each in our own way. What is the messiah that I look for and expect for?
• The requirement to follow Jesus is the cross. How do I  react with the cross of my life?

5. For those who wish to go deeper into the theme
• The Gospel today follows the same theme as that of the previous verses: the opinion of the people on Jesus. The previous versese of chapter 9, beginning with Herod, today it is Jesus who asks what do people think, the public opinion and the Apostles respond giving the same opinion which was given yesterday. Immediately follows the first announcement of the Passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus.

• Luke 9, 18: The question of Jesus after his prayer. “One day, while Jesus was praying alone, his disciples came to him and he put this question to them: “Who do the crowds say I am?” In Luke’s Gospel, on several important and decisive occasions, Jesus is presented in prayer: in his Baptism when he assumes his mission (Lk 3, 21); in the 40 days in the desert, when, he overcame the temptations presented by the devil Lk 4, 1-13); the night before choosing the twelve apostles (Lk 6, 12); in the Transfiguration, when, with Moses and Elijah he spoke about his passion in Jerusalem (Lc 9, 29); in the Garden when he suffers his agony (Lk 22, 39-46); on the Cross, when he asks pardon for the soldier (Lk 23, 34) and when he commits his spirit to God (Lk 23, 46).

• Luke 9, 19: The opinion of the people on Jesus. “They answered: “For some John the Baptist; others Elijah, but others think that you are one of the ancient prophets who has risen from the dead”. Like Herod, many thought that John the Baptist had risen in Jesus. It was a common belief that the prophet Elijah had to return (Mt 17, 10-13; Mk 9, 11-12; Ml 3, 23-24; Eclo 48, 10). And all nourished the hope of the coming of the Prophet promised by Moses (Dt 18,15). This was an insufficient response.

• Luke 9, 20: The question of Jesus to the disciples. After having heard the opinion of others, Jesus asks: “And you, who do you say I am?” Peter answers: “The Messiah of God!” Peter recognizes that Jesus is the one whom the people are waiting for and that he comes to fulfil the promise. Luke omits the reaction of Peter who tries to dissuade Jesus to follow the way of the cross and omits also the harsh criticism of Jesus to Peter (Mk 8, 32-33; Mt 16, 22-23).

• Luke 9, 21: The prohibition to reveal that Jesus is the Messiah of God. “Then Jesus gave them strict orders and charged them not to say this to anyone”. It was forbidden to them to reveal to the people that Jesus is the Messiah of God. Why does Jesus prohibit this? At that time, as we have already seen, everybody was expecting the coming of the Messiah, but, each one in his own way: some expected a king, others a priest, others a doctor, a warrior, a judge or a prophet! Nobody seemed to expect the Messiah Servant, announced by Isaiah (Is 42, 1-9). Anyone who insists in maintaining Peter’s idea, that is, of a glorious Messiah, without the cross, understands nothing and will never be able to assume the attitude of a true disciple. He will continue to be blind, exchanging people for trees (cf. Mk 8, 24). Because without the cross it is impossible to understand who Jesus is and what it means to follow Jesus. Because of this, Jesus insists again on the Cross and makes the second announcement of his passion, death and resurrection.

•  Luke 9:22-24:  Following Jesus. ‘Then he said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”’ The full understanding of the following of Jesus is not obtained through theoretical instruction, but through practical commitment, walking with him along the way of service, from Galilee to Jerusalem.  The way of following is the way of self-giving, of abandonment, of service, of availability, of acceptance of conflict, knowing that there will be resurrection.  The cross is not an incidental event, but is rather part of this way, because in a world organized on selfish principles, love and service can only exist as crucified!  He or she who makes of his or her life a service to others, disturbs those who live grasping at privileges, and suffers…

6. Prayer: Psalm 1
Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked,
Nor go the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.
Rather, the law of the LORD is their joy;
God's law they study day and night.
They are like a tree planted near streams of water,
that yields its fruit in season;
Its leaves never wither;
whatever they do prospers.
But not the wicked!
They are like chaff driven by the wind.
Therefore the wicked will not survive judgment,
nor will sinners in the assembly of the just.
The LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

7. Final Prayer
Lord Jesus, thank you for your word that we can see better the will of the Father. May your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to follow your Word that revealed to us. Make us, like Mary, your mother, not only to listen but also to practice the Word. You who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

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


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Agrippina

Feast DayJune 23

Patron Saint:  Mineo; invoked against evil spirits, leprosy, thunderstorms, bacterial diseases and infections
Attributes:  palm of martyrdom

Saint Agrippina
Agrippina of Mineo, also known as Saint Agrippina (flourished 3rd century, died 262) was venerated as a Virginity martyr in the Catholic Church and Orthodox Christianity. Nothing is known of her true identity, and there is no evidence of any worship of an early date.

Her legend states that she was a blonde princess born of a noble Roman family, and that she was martyred either during the reign of Roman Emperors Valerian or Diocletian. She was either beheaded or scourged.

Her body was said to have been taken to Mineo, Sicily, by three devout Christian women named Bassa, Paula, and Agathonice (Agatonica). Her tomb became a popular pilgrimage destination, and she was invoked as a patron saint against evil spirits, leprosy, thunderstorm, bacteria diseases, and bacterial infections.

Agrippina was venerated in Greece, as it was claimed that her relics were translated from Sicily to Constantinople. Her feast day is no longer celebrated in the Catholic Church, however her feast day is celebrated in the Orthodox Church on June 23.

There are two Catholic Churches named after Saint Agrippina. One church called Church of Saint Agrippina is located in Mineo and the other church Chapel of Saint Agrippina di Mineo is located in Boston.

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:  Mineo Sicily

    Village of Mineo, with Mount Etna in background
    Mineo (Sicilian: Minìu, Greek: Menaion and Menai, Latin: Menaeum and Menaenum) is a town[1] and comune in the Province of Catania, part of the Sicily region in southern Italy. It lies 64 km southwest of Catania, 56 km from Ragusa, 54 km from Gela, and 22 km from Caltagirone. There are approximately 5600 citizens living there.

    It serves as the center of the cult of Saint Agrippina of Mineo and the church Church of Sant’ Agrippina.

    It is also a site of literary interest since Luigi Capuana, one of Italy's most famous writers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, hailed from Mineo and was at one time the town's mayor. Mineo now houses a small library and museum dedicated to Capuana.

    Church of Saint Agrippina

    Church of Saint Agrippina
    Church of Saint Agrippina, is one of two Catholic Churches, dedicated to the Christian Saint of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, Agrippina of Mineo or sometimes known as Saint Agrippina.

    The church is also the cult centre dedicated to the Saint. Agrippina is the Patron Saint of Mineo. Mineo, is a town located in the Province of Catania, in the Sicily region in Southern Italy. The Church of Sant’ Agrippina is one of three Catholic Churches located in Mineo.

    The church of Saint Agrippina was original built in Mineo, because that is where the Saint’s body was taken after her death. Her body later became a popular pilgrimage destination with the known miracles she had performed.

    The church of Saint Agrippina, is a distinguished architectural monument. The original structure of the church dates back to 1300. Only three semicircular apses of the calcareous stone have remained, while the interiors reflect the decorating from the 18th century.

    From 1593, at the high altar there is a bronze candelabrum. In the 16th century, a wooden colored statue of Saint Agrippina was placed in the right chapel on a stern marble portal in the church.

    The church of Saint Agrippina was rebuilt after an earthquake struck Mineo in 1693. People can still admire the battlemented towers. Since the earthquake, much restoration work has been completed on the church and this includes:
    • From the 17th century, in the dome of the church, there are four hexagonal columns that are covered in an embossed silver leaf
    • From the 18th century, a wooden status of the Nativity scene was placed there. Numerous stuccoes adorn the ceiling to make an impression to represent scenes from the Old Testament and in the direction of the right there is a precious crib made from wood.


    • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Mineo". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

       Mineo, Catina Sicily tourism.  http://sicilia.indettaglio.it/eng/comuni/ct/mineo/turismo/turismo.html 


     Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Three: Life in Christ

    Section One: Man's Vocation Life in The Spirit


    Article 7:3  The Virtues- The Fruits and Gifts of the Holy Spirit

    1699 Life in the Holy Spirit fulfills the vocation of man (chapter one). This life is made up of divine charity and human solidarity (chapter two). It is graciously offered as salvation (chapter three).

    1700 The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son Lk 15:11-32 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.

    Article 7
    1803 "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."Phil 4:8  A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. the virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions. The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.St. Gregory of Nyssa, De beatitudinibus, 1: PG 44, 1200D

    III. The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit
    1830 The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
    1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David.Isa 11:1-2 They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.
    Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.PS 143:10
    For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God . . . If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.Rom 8:14 17
    1832 The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. the tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity."Gal 5:22-23