Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Perpetual, Psalms 106:1-5, Genesis 16:1-12, Matthew 7:21-29, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Superficial Christians, St. Emma, Gurt Austria, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ Section 1 The Dignity of the Human Person Article 8:4 Sin - The Gravity of Sins

Thursday,  June 27, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Perpetual, Psalms 106:1-5, Genesis 16:1-12, Matthew 7:21-29, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Superficial Christians, St. Emma, Gurt Austria, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life  In Christ Section 1 The Dignity of the Human Person Article 8:4 Sin - The Gravity of Sins

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'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: Thursday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Luminous Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis June 27 General Audience Address :

  Superficial Christians

(2013-06-27 Vatican Radio)
There are people who "masquerade as Christians," and sin by being excessively superficial or overly rigid, forgetting that a true Christian is a person of joy who rests their faith on the rock of Christ. Some think they can be Christian without Christ; others think being Christian means being in a perpetual state mourning. This was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at morning Mass on Thursday.

Rigid and sad. Or happy but with no idea of ​​Christian joy. These are two - in a sense opposite - "houses", in which two categories of believers live and which are both seriously flawed: they are grounded in a Christianity made of words and fail to rely on the "rock" of the Word of Christ. Pope Francis identified both groups in his comments on the Gospel of the day, the famous passage from Matthew of the houses built on sand and rock.

"In the history of the Church there have been two classes of Christians: Christians of words - those" Lord, Lord, Lord "- and Christians of action, in truth. There has always been the temptation to live our Christianity not on the rock that is Christ. The only one who gives us the freedom to say 'Father' to God is Christ, our rock. He is the only one who sustains us in difficult times, no? As Jesus said: the rain falls, rivers overflow, winds blow, but the rock is safe, words, the words take flight, they are not needed. But this is the temptation of these Christians of words, of a Christianity without Jesus, a Christianity without Christ. And this has happened and is happening today in the Church: being Christians without Christ. "

Pope Francis went on to analyze these "Christians of words," revealing their specific characteristics. There is a first type – which he defined as "gnostic -"who instead of loving the rock, loves beautiful words "and therefore lives floating on the surface of the Christian life. And then there's the other, who Pope Francis called "pelagian", who leads a staid and starched lifestyle. Christians, the Pope ironically added, who “stare at their feet” :

"And this temptation exists today. Superficial Christians who believe, yes, God, yes Christ, but not ‘everywhere’: Jesus Christ is not the one who gives them their foundation. They are the modern gnostics. The temptation of gnosticism. A 'liquid' Christianity. On the other hand, there are those who believe that the Christian life should be taken so seriously that they end up confusing solidity, firmness, with rigidity. They are rigid! This think that being Christian means being in perpetual mourning. "

Pope Francis continued that the fact is that there “are so many” of these Christians. But, he argued, "they are not Christians, they disguise themselves as Christians." "They do not know – he added - what the Lord is, they do not know what the rock is, do not have the freedom of Christians. To put it simply ‘they have no joy'.

"The former have a ‘superficial’ happiness. The others live in perpetual state of mourning, but do not know what Christian joy is. They do not know how to enjoy the life that Jesus gives us, for they know not to talk to Jesus. They do not feel that they rest on Jesus, with that firmness which the presence of Jesus gives. And they not only have no joy, they have no freedom either. They are the slaves of superficiality, of this life widespread, and the slaves of rigidity, they are not free. The Holy Spirit has no place in their lives,. It is the Spirit who gives us the freedom! Today, the Lord calls us to build our Christian life on Him, the rock, the One who gives us freedom, the One who sends us the Spirit, that keeps us going with joy, on His journey, following His proposals. " 


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 06/27/2013.


June 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World on the 32nd Anniversary of the apparitions: “Dear children! With joy in the heart I love you all and call you to draw closer to my Immaculate Heart so I can draw you still closer to my Son Jesus, and that He can give you His peace and love, which are nourishment for each one of you. Open yourselves, little children, to prayer – open yourselves to my love. I am your mother and cannot leave you alone in wandering and sin. You are called, little children, to be my children, my beloved children, so I can present you all to my Son. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

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.”


Today's Word:  perpetual  per·pet·u·al  [per-pech-oo-uhl]  

Origin:  1300–50; late Middle English perpetuall  < Latin perpetuālis  permanent, equivalent to perpetu ( us ) uninterrupted ( per- per- + pet-,  base of petere  to seek, reach for + -uus  deverbal adj. suffix) + -ālis -al1 ; replacing Middle English perpetuel  < Middle French  < Latin  as above
1. continuing or enduring forever; everlasting.
2. lasting an indefinitely long time: perpetual snow.
3. continuing or continued without intermission or interruption; ceaseless: a perpetual stream of visitors all day.
4. blooming almost continuously throughout the season or the year.
5. a hybrid rose that is perpetual.
6. a perennial plant.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 106:1-5

1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, his faithful love is everlasting!
2 Who can recount all Yahweh's triumphs, who can fully voice his praise?
3 How blessed are those who keep to what is just, whose conduct is always upright!
4 Remember me, Yahweh, in your love for your people. Come near to me with your saving power,
5 let me share the happiness of your chosen ones, let me share the joy of your people, the pride of your heritage.


Today's Epistle -  Genesis 16:1-16

1 Abram's wife Sarai had borne him no child, but she had an Egyptian slave-girl called Hagar.
2 So Sarai said to Abram, 'Listen, now! Since Yahweh has kept me from having children, go to my slave-girl. Perhaps I shall get children through her.' And Abram took Sarai's advice.
3 Thus, after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan for ten years, Sarai took Hagar her Egyptian slave-girl and gave her to Abram as his wife.
4 He went to Hagar and she conceived. And once she knew she had conceived, her mistress counted for nothing in her eyes.
5 Then Sarai said to Abram, 'This outrage done to me is your fault! It was I who put my slave-girl into your arms but, now she knows that she has conceived, I count for nothing in her eyes. Yahweh judge between me and you!'
6 'Very well,' Abram said to Sarai, 'your slave-girl is at your disposal. Treat her as you think fit.' Sarai accordingly treated her so badly that she ran away from her.
7 The angel of Yahweh found her by a spring in the desert, the spring on the road to Shur.
8 He said, 'Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?' 'I am running away from my mistress Sarai,' she replied.
9 The angel of Yahweh said to her, 'Go back to your mistress and submit to her.'
10 The angel of Yahweh further said to her, 'I shall make your descendants too numerous to be counted.'
11 Then the angel of Yahweh said to her: Now, you have conceived and will bear a son, and you shall name him Ishmael, for Yahweh has heard your cries of distress.
12 A wild donkey of a man he will be, his hand against every man, and every man's hand against him, living his life in defiance of all his kinsmen.
15 Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave his son borne by Hagar the name Ishmael.
16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Matthew 7:21-29

Jesus said to his disciples: 'It is not anyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?" Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, all evil doers! 

'Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!' 

Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and his teaching made a deep impression on the people because he taught them with authority, unlike their own scribes.

• Today’s Gospel presents the last part of the Sermon on the Mountain: (a) it is not sufficient to talk and sing, it is necessary to live and to practice (Mt 7, 21-23). (b) The community constructed on the foundation of the new Law of the Discourse of the Mountain will remain standing at the moment of the storm (Mt 7, 24-27). (c) The result of the words of Jesus in persons is a more critical conscience, concerning the religious leaders, the Scribes (Mt 7, 28-29).

• The end of the Sermon on the Mountain presents some opposition and contradictions which exist even in our time: (a) Persons who continually speak of God, but who do not do God’s will; they use the name of Jesus, but do not practice in their life the relationship with the Lord (Mt 7, 21). (b) There are persons who live in the illusion of working for the Lord, but on the day of the definitive encounter with Him, they will discover, tragically, that they have never known Him (Mt 7, 22-23). The two last words of the Sermon on the Mountain, of the house built on the rock (Mt 7, 24-25) and of the house built on sand (Mt 7, 26-27), illustrate these contradictions. By means of these Matthew denounces and, at the same time, tries to correct the separation between faith and life, between speaking and doing, between teaching and practicing.

• Matthew 7, 21: It is not sufficient to speak, it is necessary to practice. What is important is not to speak of God in a beautiful way or to know how to explain the Bible well to others, but rather to do the will of the Father and, in this way be a revelation of his face and of his presence in the world. Jesus made the same recommendation to the woman who praised Mary, His Mother. Jesus answered: “Blessed rather those who listen to the Word of God and put it into practice” (Lk 11, 28).

• Matthew 7, 22-23: The gifts should be at the service of the Kingdom, of the community. There were persons with extraordinary gifts, for example the gift of prophecy, of exorcism, of healing, but they used these gifts for themselves, outside the context of the community. In the Day of Judgment, they will hear a hard sentence from Jesus: “Away from me all evil doers”. Evil, iniquity is the opposite to justice. It is to do with Jesus what the Doctors did with the law: to teach and not to practice (Mt 23, 3). Paul will say the same thing with other words and arguments: “Though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains, if I am without love, I am nothing. Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned, if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever”. (1Cor 13,2-3).

• Matthew 7, 24-27: The parable of the house built on the rock. The final conclusion of the Sermon of the Mountain is to open oneself and to practice. Many people searched their security in extraordinary gifts or in observance. But the true security does not come from prestige or from observance. It comes from God! It comes from the love of God who has loved us first (1 Jn 4, 19). His love for us, manifested in Jesus exceeds everything (Rm 8, 38-39). God becomes source of security when we seek to do his will. There he will be the rock which supports us in the moments of difficulty and storm.
• Matthew 7, 28-29: To teach with authority. The Evangelist closes the Sermon of the Mountain saying that the crowds were admired with the teaching of Jesus, “because he taught with authority, and not like the Scribes”. The result of the teaching of Jesus is a more critical conscience of the people in regard to the religious authority of the time. His simple and clear words resulted from his experience of God, from his life dedicated to the Father’s Project. People remained admired and approved the teaching of Jesus.

Community: the house built on the rock. In the Book of Psalms, frequently, we find the expression: “God is my rock and my fortress…My God, my rock, my refuge, my stronghold, my saving strength…” (Ps 18, 3). He is the defence and the strength of the one who seeks justice (Ps 18, 21. 24). The persons who trust in this God, become, in turn, a rock for others. Thus, the Prophet Isaiah invites people in the exile saying: “Listen to me you who pursue saving justice, you who seek Yahweh! Consider the rock from which you were hewn, the quarry from which you were dug. Consider Abraham your father and Sarah who gave you birth” (Is 51, 1-2). The prophet asks people not to forget the past. The people should remember that Abraham and Sarah, because of their faith in God, became rock, the beginning of the People of God. Looking toward this rock, the people should acquire courage to struggle and to get out from slavery. And Matthew also exhorts the community this way to have as foundation the same rock (Mt 7, 24-25) and thus, they themselves can be rock to strengthen their brothers and sisters in their faith. This is the sense of the name which Jesus gave to Peter: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church” (Mt 16, 18). This was the vocation of the first community, called to unite itself with God, the living rock, so as to become also a living rock, because they listen and put into practice the Word. (P 2,4-10; 2,5; Ep 2,19-22).

Personal questions
• How does our community seek to balance prayer and action, prayer and practice, to speak and to do, to teach and to practice? What should improve in our community, so that it will be a rock, a secure and welcoming house for all?
• Which is the rock which supports our community? Which is the point on which Jesus insists the most?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St  Emma

Feast DayJune 27

Patron Saint:  Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt; state of Carinthia; childbirth and against diseases of the eye
Attributes: Depicted as a noble lady with either a model of a church, a legal deed or a rose, or distributing alms.

St Emma of Gurk
Hemma of Gurk (c. 980 – 27 June 1045),[1] also called Emma of Gurk, was a founder of religious houses in Carinthia, Austria. She is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church.


Hemma was born Countess of Zeltschach to a noble family called Peilenstein in present-day Pilštanj, Slovenia. They were related to the Liutpoldings of Bavaria and thus to Emperor Henry II. She was brought up at the Imperial court in Bamberg by the Empress Saint Cunigunde. She married Count Wilhelm of Friesach and of the Sanngau, by whom she had two sons, Hartwig and Wilhelm. Both of her sons and her husband were murdered, the latest of them probably in 1036. Hemma became wealthy through inheritance upon the death of her husband and sons.

Countess Hemma used her great wealth for the benefit of the poor and was already venerated as a saint during her lifetime. In addition, she founded ten churches throughout present-day Carinthia, Austria. In 1043 she founded the Benedictine double monastery of Gurk Abbey, where she withdrew during the last years of her life.

After her death, Gurk Abbey was dissolved by the Archbishop of Salzburg, Gebhard, who instead used the funds to set up the Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt in 1072. Admont Abbey, another Benedictine foundation in Austria, was founded in 1074 by the same Gebhard, and also owes its existence to Hemma's wealth.

Since 1174 Hemma has been buried in the crypt of Gurk Cathedral, of which she is accounted the founder. She was beatified on 21 November 1287 and canonised on 5 January 1938 by Pope Pius XI. Her feast day is 27 June.[1]

Hemma is the patron saint of the Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt as well as of the Austrian state of Carinthia, and her intercession is sought for childbirth and diseases of the eye.

Emma Pilgrimage

Saint Emma is venerated not only in Austria but also in Slovenia and Styria. From about 300 years ago, the pious and those seeking assistance have been coming to her tomb in Gurk Cathedral (Krška katedrala), travelling from Carniola over the Loibl Pass. This pilgrimage took place every year on the fourth Sunday after Easter, but fell out of use as a result of the political circumstances of the 20th century.

In recent years, however, the routes of pilgrimage from Slovenia and Styria to Gurk (Krka) have gradually reopened and are becoming increasingly used.


  • Messner, Sepp, 1995: Hemma von Gurk. Wesentliches kurz gefaßt. Kolbnitz: S. Messner.
  • Prenner-Walzl, Irene Maria, 1987: Das Leben der Heiligen Hemma von Gurk und dessen künstlerische Ausdeutung im Laufe der Geschichte. (Thesis) University of Graz.
  • Till, Josef, 1999: Hemmas Welt. Hemma von Gurk - ein Frauenschicksal im Mittelalter. Klagenfurt/Celovec: Hermagoras/Mohorjeva. ISBN 3-85013-634-5
  • Tropper, Peter Günther (ed.), 1988: Hemma von Gurk. (Exhibition catalogue) Carinthia, Klagenfurt. ISBN 3-85378-315-5
  • Vieser, Dolores, 1999: Hemma von Gurk. Carinthia, Klagenfurt. ISBN 3-85378-505-0
  • Biography, Catholic Online
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz (1990). "Hemma (Emma) von Gurk, Heilige". In Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German) 2. Hamm: Bautz. col. 709. ISBN 3-88309-032-8.
  • (German) Biography, Gurk Cathedral website
  • (German) Biography, Catholic Church of Carinthia website
  • (German) Hemma Pilgrimage Route

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:  Carinthia, Austria

    Heiligenblut with Grossglockner.
    Carinthia (German: Kärnten, Slovene: Koroška,  Croatian: Koruška, Italian: Carinzia) is the southernmost Austrian state or Land. Situated within the Eastern Alps it is noted for its mountains and lakes. The main language is German. Its regional dialects belong to the Southern Austro-Bavarian group. Carinthian Slovene dialects, which predominated in the southern part of the region up to the first half of the 20th century, are now spoken by a small minority.

    Carinthia's main industries are tourism, electronics, engineering, forestry, and agriculture. The multinational corporations Philips and Siemens have large operations there.


    The name is thought to be Celtic in origin, though two roots have been proposed:
    • Carant – meaning "friend" or "relation", giving the meaning "land of friends", which may refer to an Illyrian tribe of the Bronze Age.
    • Karanto – meaning "stone, rock" (pre-Indo-European root); if this is the case, the name shares its root with others such as Karnburg and the Karawanken
    Carantania is also related to the Old Slavic Korotan, from which the modern name Koroška arose, and it derives from pre-Slavic "carantia".


    Faaker See and Karawanken
    Carinthia consists mostly of the Klagenfurt basin and the mountain ranges of Upper Carinthia. The Carnic Alps and the Karawanken/Karavanke make up the border to the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Slovenia. The Hohe Tauern mountain range with mount Grossglockner 3,797 m (12,457.35 ft) separates it from the northern state of Salzburg. To the northeast and east beyond the Packsattel mountain pass is the state of Styria (German: Steiermark, Slovenian: Štajerska). The main river is the Drau (Drava), it makes up a continuous valley with the East Tyrol to the west. Tributaries to the Drau are the Gurk, the Glan, the Lavant, and the Gail rivers. Carinthia's lakes including Wörther See, Millstätter See, Ossiacher See, and Faaker See are a major tourist attraction.

    The capital city is Klagenfurt, which in Slovenian language is called Celovec. The next important town is Villach (Beljak), both strongly linked economically. Other towns are Althofen, Bad Sankt Leonhard im Lavanttal, Bleiburg (Pliberk), Feldkirchen (Trg), Ferlach (Borovlje), Friesach (Breže), Gmünd, Hermagor (Šmohor), Radenthein, Sankt Andrä, Sankt Veit an der Glan (Šentvid na Glini), Spittal an der Drau, Straßburg, Völkermarkt (Velikovec), Wolfsberg (Volšperk). Some of these Slovene place names are official designations, the majority are Slovene colloquial usage.

    Carinthia has a continental climate, with hot and moderately wet summers and long harsh winters. In recent decades winters have been exceptionally arid. The average amount of sunshine hours is the highest in Austria. In autumn and winter temperature inversion often dominates the climate, characterized by air stillness, a dense fog covering the frosty valleys and trapping pollution to form smog, while mild sunny weather is recorded higher up in the foothills and mountains.


    The Duchy

    In A.D. 745 the former Slavic principality of Carantania became a margraviate of the Bavarian stem duchy under Duke Odilo, whose son Duke Tassilo III was finally deposed by Charlemagne and his territories were incorporated into the Frankish Empire. By the 843 Treaty of Verdun, the former Carantanian lands fell to the kingdom of East Francia ruled by Charlemagne's grandson Louis the German. The ritual of installation of the Carantanian dukes at the Prince's Stone near Karnburg in Slovenian language was preserved until 1414, when Ernest the Iron was enthroned as Duke of Carinthia.

    The March of Carinthia arose in 889 from the territory bequested by Louis's son Carloman, king of Bavaria from 865 to 880, to his natural son Arnulf of Carinthia. Arnulf had already assumed the title of a Carinthian duke in 880 and followed his uncle Charles the Fat as King of Bavaria and East Francia in 887. The Duchy of Carinthia was finally split from the vast Bavarian duchy in 976 by Emperor Otto II, having come out victorious from his quarrels with Duke Henry II the Wrangler. Carinthia therefore was the first newly created duchy of the Holy Roman Empire and for a short while comprised lands stretching from the Adriatic Sea almost to the Danube. In 1040 the March of Carniola was separated from it and c. 1180 Styria, the "Carinthian March", became a duchy in its own right. After the death of Duke Henry VI of Gorizia-Tyrol in 1335, Carinthia passed to Otto IV, a member of the House of Habsburg, and was ruled by this dynasty until 1918. After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire 1806, Carinthia was incorporated in the Austrian Empire's Kingdom of Illyria which succeeded Napoleon's Illyrian Provinces, but recovered its previous status in 1849 and in 1867 became one of the Cisleithanian "crown lands" of Austria-Hungary.

    Formation of the state

    In late 1918 it became obvious that the breakup of the crumbling Habsburg monarchy was imminent, and on 21 October 1918 the members of the Reichsrat for the German speaking territories of Austria met in Vienna to constitute a "Provisional National Council for German-Austria". Prior to the meeting the delegates agreed that German-Austria should not include "Yugoslav areas of settlement", which referred to Lower Styria and the two Slovene-speaking Carinthian valleys south of the Karawanken range, Seeland (Slovenian: Jezersko) and Mießtal (the valley of the Meža River). On 12 Nov. 1918, when the Act concerning the foundation of the State of German-Austria was formally passed by the Provisional National Assembly in Vienna this was worded by the State Chancellor, Karl Renner, " encounter the prejudices of the world as though we wanted to annex alien national property" The day before, on 11 Nov. 1918 the Provisional Diet of Carinthia had formally declared Carinthia's accession to the State of German-Austria. The Federal Act concerning the Extent, the Borders and the Relations of the State Territories of 22 Nov. 1918 then clearly stated in article 1: "...the duchies of Styria and Carinthia with the exclusion of the homogenous Yugoslav areas of settlement". Apart from one Social-Democrat, Florian Gröger, all the other delegates from Carinthia—Hans Hofer, Jakob Lutschounig, Josef Nagele, Alois Pirker, Leopold Pongratz, Otto Steinwender, Viktor Waldner—were members of German national parties and organizations.

    Disputed frontiers

    After the end of the World War I, however, Carinthia became a contested region. On 5 Nov. 1918 the first armed militia units led by the Slovene volunteer Franjo Malgaj invaded Carinthia and were then joined by Slovene troops under Rudolf Maister. With the subsequent assistance of the regular Yugoslav army they occupied southern Carinthia claiming the area for the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca, or SHS) also known as Yugoslavia. The provisional state government of Carinthia had fled to Spittal an der Drau and in view of the ongoing fighting between local volunteers and invaders on 5 December decided to declare armed resistance. The resistance encountered by the Yugoslav forces especially north of the Drava river around the town of Völkermarkt with its violent fighting alarmed the victorious Allies at the Paris Peace Conference.

    An Allied Commission headed by U.S. Lt.Col. Sherman Miles inspected the situation in situ and recommended the Karawanken main ridge as a natural border to keep the Klagenfurt basin intact but, in agreement with item no. 10 of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, suggested a referendum in the disputed area. An armistice was agreed upon on 14 January and by 7 May 1919 the Yugoslav forces had left the state, but regular troops under Rudolf Maister returned occupying Klagenfurt on 6 June. Upon the intervention of the Allied Supreme Council in Paris they retreated from the city but remained in the disputed part of Carinthia until 13 September 1920.

    In the Treaty of Saint-Germain of 10 Sept.1919 the two smaller Slovene-speaking Carinthian valleys south of the Karawanken range, Jezersko and the valley around the Meža River (Mežiška dolina) together with the town of Dravograd—together 128 square miles[6] or 331 km2 (127.80 sq mi)—were attached to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as Kingdom of Yugoslavia): These areas are today part of Koroška in the Republic of Slovenia, a traditional region also referred to as Carinthia. The Kanaltal (Italian: Val Canale) as far south as Pontebba, at that time an ethnically mixed German-Slovene area, with the border town of Tarvisio (German: Tarvis, Slovene: Trbiž) and its holy place of pilgrimage of Maria Luschari (172 square miles or 445 km²), was ceded to Italy and included in the Province of Udine.

    According to the same treaty a referendum was to be held in southern Carinthia as suggested by the Allied Commission, which was to determine whether the area claimed by the SHS-State was to remain part of Austria or go to Yugoslavia. Much of southern Carinthia was divided into two zones. Zone A was formed out of predominantly Slovene-inhabited zones (approximately corresponding to today's District of Völkermarkt, the district of Klagenfurt-Land south of lake Wörthersee, and the south-eastern part of the present district of Villach-Land), while Zone B included the City of Klagenfurt, Velden am Wörthersee and the immediately surrounding rural areas where German speakers formed a vast majority. If the population in Zone A had decided for Yugoslavia, another referendum in Zone B would have followed. On October 10, 1920 the Carinthian Plebiscite was held in Zone A, with almost 60% of the population voting to remain in Austria, which means that about 40% of the Slovene-speaking population must have voted against a division of Carinthia. In view of the close supervision of the referendum by foreign observers, as well as the Yugoslav occupation of the area until four weeks prior to the referendum, irregularities alleged by the deeply disappointed Yugoslav supporters would not have substantially altered the overall decision. Yet after the plebiscite the SHS-State again made attempts to occupy the area, but owing to demarches by Great Britain, France, and Italy removed its troops from Austria so that by 22 November 1920 the State Diet of Carinthia was at last able to exercise its sovereignty over the entire state.

    After World War I to present

    Carinthian Flag with the Coat of Arms
    Originally an agrarian country, Carinthia made efforts to establish a touristic infrastructure such as the Grossglockner High Alpine Road and Klagenfurt Airport as well as the opening up of the Alps through the Austrian Alpine Club in the 1920s. It was, however, hard hit by the Great Depression around 1930, which pushed the political system in Austria more and more towards extremism. This phenomenon culminated at first in the years of Austrofascism and then in 1938 in the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany (Anschluss). At the same time the Nazi Party took power everywhere in Carinthia, which became, together with East Tyrol, a Reichsgau. and Nazi leaders such as Franz Kutschera, Hubert Klausner, and Friedrich Rainer held the office of Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter.

    During World War II, Slovene Partisan resistance was active in the southern areas of the region, reaching around 3,000 armed men. The cities of Klagenfurt and Villach suffered from air raids, but the Allied forces did not reach Carinthia before May 8, 1945. Toward the end of the war, Gauleiter Rainer tried to implement a Nazi plan for Carinthia to become part of the projected Nazi National Redoubt (Alpenfestung); these efforts failed and the forces under Rainer's control surrendered to the forces of the British Army. Once again as at the end of World War I, Yugoslav troops occupied parts of Carinthia, including the capital city of Klagenfurt, but were soon forced to withdraw by the British forces with the consent of the Soviet Union.

    Carinthia, East Tyrol, and Styria then formed the UK occupation zone of Allied-administered Austria. The area was witness to the turnover of German-allied Cossacks to the Red Army in 1945. The Allied occupation was terminated in 1955 by the Austrian State Treaty, which restored Austria's sovereignty. The relations between the German- and the Slovene-speaking Carinthians remained somehow problematic. Divergent views over the implementation of minority protection rights guaranteed by Article 7 of the Austrian State Treaty have created numerous tensions between the two groups in the past fifty years.


    Austrian German is the official language. The people are predominantly German-speaking with a unique (and easily recognizable) Southern Austro-Bavarian dialect typical of which is that all short German vowels before double consonants have been lengthened ("Carinthian vowel stretching").

    A Slovene-speaking minority, known as the Carinthian Slovenes, is concentrated in the southern and southeastern parts of the state. Its size cannot be determined precisely because the representatives of the ethnic group reject a count. Recommendations for a boycott of the 2001 census, which asked for the language used in everyday communication, reduced the count of Slovene speakers to 12,554 people, 2.38% of a total population of 527,333.

    Main Sights

    Major sights include the cities of Klagenfurt and Villach and mediaeval towns like Friesach or Gmünd. Carinthia features numerous monasteries and churches such as the Romanesque Gurk Cathedral or Maria Saal in the Zollfeld plain, the abbeys of St. Paul's, Ossiach, Millstatt, and Viktring as well as castles and palaces like large-scale Hochosterwitz, Griffen, or Porcia.

    Scenic highlights are the main bathing lakes Wörthersee, Millstätter See, Ossiacher See and Faaker See as well as a variety of smaller lakes and ponds. In winter Carinthia offers ski resorts such as the Nassfeld near Hermagor, Gerlitzen mountain, Bad Kleinkirchheim, Flattach, and Heiligenblut at Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner as well as the Hohe Tauern and Nock Mountains national parks for all kind of alpine sports and mountaineering.

    Township of  Gurk

    Gurk Carinthia Austria
    Gurk (Slovene: Krka) is an Austrian market town and former episcopal see in the District of Sankt Veit an der Glan, Carinthia.  The community of Gurk is surrounded by alpine meadows and vast high forests. It marks the center of the sparsely populated Gurk Valley. Downstream on the Gurk, lies the small town of Straßburg, from whose fortress the Prince-Bishops of Gurk reigned.


    The name Gurk ("die Gurgelnde" or "the Gurgling one") comes from the river of the same name. The area was settled around 2000 years ago, but it only achieved any importance after Carinthia was incorporated by Bavaria.

    After the death of her husband and her sons, Saint Hemma of Gurk founded a religious house on the market place of what is now Gurk. However, Gurk Abbey did not have a long existence: its site was used in 1072 for the cathedral and bishop's palace of the newly-founded diocese of Gurk by the Archbishop of Salzburg, whose seat was in the northern part of Carinthia. Gurk was the bishop's seat until 1787; his residence is now located in Klagenfurt.

    On June 25, 1988, Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral and prayed in the crypt at the grave of Saint Hemma. The first papal visit in the history of Carinthia was a big media event and brought a thousand men to an open-air mass in front of the cathedral.

    Gurk was named a "European Municipality" by the Council of Europe in 1998.

    Roman Catholic Diocese of Gurk

    The Maria Saal Cathedral
    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gurk (Latin: Dioecesis Gurcensis, German: Diözese Gurk, Slovene: Krška Škofija) is a diocese comprising the Austrian state of Carinthia and is part of the Ecclesiastical province of Salzburg. Due to the presence of Carinthian Slovenes the Slovenian language is, together with Latin and German, the language of the liturgy in the Southern parts of the diocese. The organizational structures of the diocese are bilingual.

    A prince-bishopric of Carinthia, suffragan to the Prince-Archbishopric of Salzburg, erected by Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg, with the authorization of Pope Alexander II (21 March 1070) and Emperor Henry IV (4 February 1072). The first bishop installed was Günther von Krapffeld (1072–90). The right of appointment, consecration, and investiture of the Bishop of Gurk was reserved to the Archbishop of Salzburg. The episcopal residence was not at Gurk, but in the neighbouring castle at Strasburg.

    The boundaries of the diocese were only defined in 1131, by Archbishop Konrad I of Salzburg. Originally the territory embraced was small, but the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Gurk extended beyond the limits of his diocese, inasmuch as he was also vicar-general of that part of Carinthia under the Archbishop of Salzburg.

    Under Bishop Roman I (1132–67) the cathedral chapter obtained the right to elect the bishop, and only after a contest of a hundred years the metropolitan regained the right of appointment. Dissensions did not cease, for later the Austrian sovereign claimed the right of investiture. Finally, on 25 October 1535, the Archbishop of Salzburg, Matthäus Lang, concluded with the Habsburg house of Austria a long-lasting agreement, according to which the nomination of the Bishop of Gurk is to rest twice in succession with the Sovereign and every third time with the Archbishop of Salzburg; under all circumstances the archbishop was to retain the right of confirmation, consecration and investiture.

    The diocese received an accession of territory under Emperor Joseph II in 1775, and again in 1786. The present extent of the diocese, embracing the whole of Carinthia, dates only from the reconstitution of the diocese in 1859. The episcopal residence was transferred in 1787 to the capital of Carinthia, Klagenfurt. A prominent modern prince-bishop was Valentin Wiery (1858–80).

    According to the census of 1906, the Catholic population of the diocese was 369,000, of whom three-fourths German and the rest Slovenes. The 24 deaneries embraced 345 parishes. The cathedral chapter at Klagenfurt consisted of three mitred dignitaries; five honorary and five stipendiary canons. Among the institutions of religious orders the Benedictine Abbey of St. Paul (founded in 1091; suppressed in 1782; restored in 1807) holds first place. There were also Jesuits at Klagenfurt and St. Andrä; Dominicans at Friesach; Capuchins at Klagenfurt and Wolfsberg; Franciscans at Villach; Olivetans at Tanzenberg; Servites at Kötsehach; Brothers of Mercy at St. Veit on the Glan (in charge of an immense hospital founded in 1877); and a number of religious communities of women for the care of the sick and the instruction of youth.

    The clergy are trained in the episcopal seminary at Klagenfurt, which has been, since 1887, under the direction of the Jesuits. The professors are Benedictines from the Abbey of St. Paul and Jesuits. The education of aspirants to the priesthood is provided for at Klagenfurt, in a preparatory seminary established by Bishop Wiery in 1860 and enlarged by Bishop Kahn. At St. Paul's the Benedictines conduct a private gymnasium with the privileges of a government school. At Klagenfurt there is also a Catholic teachers' seminary under ecclesiastical supervision.

    Chief among the examples of ecclesiastical architecture, both in point of age and artistic interest, is the cathedral at Gurk, which dates back to the beginnings of the diocese, having been completed about 1220. Also worthy of note are the Gothic cloister of the church at Milstadt and, as monuments of Gothic architecture, the parish churches at St. Leonard in the Lavant-Thal, Heiligenblut, Villach, Völkermarkt, Grades (St. Wolfgang), and Waitschach. One of the largest and most beautiful churches of Carinthia is the recently renovated (1884–90) Dominican church at Friesach. The present cathedral at Klagenfurt was built in 1591 by the Protestants; in 1604 it was acquired by the Jesuits, and consecrated in honour of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul.

    Prominent among the places of pilgrimage in the diocese is Maria Saal, visited annually by from 15,000 to 20,000 pilgrims. Among Catholic associations special mention should be made of those for the advancement of the Catholic Press and for the diffusion of good books: for the German population, the St. Joseph's Verein founded at Klagenfurt in 1893, and the St. Joseph's Book Confraternity; for the Slovenes, the St. Hermagoras Verein, established in 1852 (1860), with its headquarters at Klagenfurt, and widely established among Slovenes in other dioceses.

    Gurk Cathedral

    Gurk Cathedral
    Gurk Cathedral (German: Dom zu Gurk, Slovene: Krška stolnica) is an Austrian basilica in Gurk (Slovene: Krka), Carinthia, that was built in the high Romanesque style from 1140 to 1200. It is one of the most important Romanesque buildings in Austria. The long building has a west front with two towers, a gallery, a crypt, and three apses.

    The crypt, with its 100 columns, is the oldest part of the cathedral. In 1174, the grave of Saint Hemma of Gurk was relocated there from the short-lived Gurk Abbey, which she had founded and which was dissolved by her executor, Blessed Gebhard of Salzburg, in order to fund the construction of the cathedral and its diocese.

    In the middle of the rural Gurktal, the imposing 60-meter-tall twin towers of the cathedral can be seen from a very great distance.

    Gurk Abbey

    Floorplan and crypt of Gurk Cathedral
    Gurk Abbey was a short-lived Benedictine double monastery in Gurk, Austria, founded in 1043 by Saint Hemma of Gurk. It was dissolved in 1072 by her executor, Blessed Gebhard, Archbishop of Salzburg, who used the assets so realised to found Gurk Cathedral and the Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt.

    A double monastery (also double house) is a monastery combining a separate community of monks and one of nuns, joined in one institution. More common in the monasticism of Eastern Christianity, where they are found since the 4th century, in the West the establishment of double monasteries became popular after Columbanus and were found in Anglo-Saxon England and Gaul. Double monasteries were forbidden by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, though it took many years for the decree to be enforced. In a significantly different way, double monasteries were revived again after the 12th century, when again a number of religious houses were established on this pattern, among Benedictines and possibly the Dominicans. The 14th-century Bridgittines were consciously founded using this form of community.

    Examples include the original Coldingham Monastery in Scotland, and Einsiedeln Abbey and Fahr Abbey in Switzerland, controlled by the abbot of Einsiedeln. In general, monks and nuns lived in separate buildings but were usually united under an Abbess as head of the entire household, and would have chanted the Liturgy of the Hours and attended Mass together in the Chapel. Either an abbess or an abbot would normally have control over both houses, and it was only in exceptional circumstances that each would have its own superior.


    •   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 Three: Life in Christ

    Section One: Man's Vocation Life in The Spirit


    Article 8:4  Sin- The Gravity of Sins

    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 8

    IV. The Gravity of Sin: Mortal and Venial Sin
    1854 Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. the distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture,Jn 16-17 became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.
    1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.
    Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.
    1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God's mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:
    When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery.... But when the sinner's will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 88, 2, corp. art
    1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."RP 17 # 12
    1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother."Mk 10:19 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.
    1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heartMk 3:5-6; Lk 16:19-31 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
    1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. the promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.
    1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
    1862 One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.
    1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul's progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God; it does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness."John Paul II, RP 17 # 9
    While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call "light": if you take them for light when you weigh them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all, confession.St. Augustine, In ep. Jo. 1, 6: PL 35, 1982
    1864 "Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin."Mk 3:29; cf. Mt 12:32; Lk 12:10 There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit.John Paul II, DeV 46 Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.