Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Mariology, Psalms 69:30-34, Exodus 2:1-15, John 19: 25-27, Pope Francis World Youth Day Events - Pope visits Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, Feast Day of our Lady of Mount Carmel, Catholic Catechism, Lazio Italy, Part Three: Life In Christ - Chapter 3 Gods Salvation Law and Grace Article1:1 Moral Law

Tuesday,  July 16, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Mariology, Psalms 69:30-34, Exodus 2:1-15 John 19: 25-27, Pope Francis World Youth Day Events - Pope visits Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo Feast Day of our Lady of Mount Carmel, Catholic Catechism, Lazio Italy, Part Three: Life  In Christ - Chapter 3 Gods Salvation Law and Grace Article1:1 Moral Law

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: Tuesday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Sorrowful Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis July 16 World Youth Day Events :

  Pope visits Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo

(2013-07-16 Vatican Radio)
“We announce with joy that Pope Francis has had lunch with the Jesuit community of the Vatican Observatory. We are deeply moved!” This was the first of a series of messages posted on Twitter on Sunday by Jesuit astronomers of Castel Gandolfo – first in Italian and then in English, Spanish and French. The Vatican Observatory has its headquarters in the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo, while the Pontifical Palace, directly above the apartment of the Pope, continues to host the domes with telescopes. But the observations for some time have been being made at the new research centre, the Vatican Observatory Research Group (VORG), located in the United States, in Tucson, at the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona.

Vatican Radio’s Fausta Speranza spoke with the director of the Vatican Observatory, Father José Gabriel Funes, about Pope Francis’ visit to one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world.

Father José Gabriel Funes(JF): It was a very beautiful day for the us Jesuits who work at the Vatican Observatory. We greeted the Pope, then we took him to see some of the places we have here at Castel Gandalfo. The Pope saw some ancient books – the most precious ones we have – such as, for example, a copy of Copernicus’ De revolutionibus, the Principia of Isaac Newton, and La riforma del calendario gregoriano [“The Reform of the Gregorian Calendar”] and the Tabelle [“The Tables”] of Father Clavio, who took part in that reform. He visited the meteorite laboratory, where he looked in the microscope at a meteorite that had fallen at Buenos Aires. Brother Consolmagno, the curator, had prepared this little surprise. At the end of lunch, the Pope signed the parchment we have with the signatures of all the Popes from Pius XI up to today, to Pope Francis. It was truly very beautiful, and we are very happy.

Fausta Speranza: Father Funes, no one at the Vatican Observatory must have been happier than you to look at the skies with Pope Francis . . .
JFG: Absolutely, absolutely! It was a very beautiful moment, because during lunch we were able to talk about the activities and projects of the Observatory, and then about what we do, about our mission.

FS: What does it mean to look at the skies with the gaze of faith, but also from the scientific point of view?
JFG: This logical or scientific perspective helps even a better religious understanding of the universe; but from the other side, a purely scientific understanding is limited, if it is not open to other modes of understanding, such as philosophic and religious.

FS: Father Funes, Pope Francis at the Vatican Observatory was also a Jesuit among Jesuits?
JFG: Exactly. He was one of our brothers. So it was a double joy: to have the Pope with us, the Jesuit Pope. Then, it was the first time that a Pope had lunch with the Jesuit community of the Observatory: this too was something extraordinary. They’ve told me that during the first year of the Pontificate of John Paul II, after Mass with the community, on the feast of Saint Ignatius, the Pope joined the community of the fathers and stayed for breakfast with the Jesuits and the employees. . . That visit, too, was very familiar. But this was the first time that a Pope had lunch with the community of the Jesuit fathers.

FS: Of the words Pope Francis has said up till now, what teachings have meant the most for your work?
JGF: I think it is that which the Pope has insisted on from the beginning: go to the boundaries, and not only geographical, but also existential [boundaries]. Our mission is part of this going to the farthest boundaries - if I can say it like that - because it has to do with the universe: we go back, in the sense that we also explore the beginning of the universe from the point of view of science, but we also go far away, because we also study the farthest, the most distant galaxies ... And this brings up the questions that we all should ask about the relationship between science and faith. I think this is the mission of the Observatory: go out to the truly most distant boundaries, the boundaries of the universe, that is always a gift of God.


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:

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.

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 07/06/2013.


July 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, with a motherly love I am imploring you to give me the gift of your hearts, so I can present them to my Son and free you – free you from all the evil enslaving and distancing you all the more from the only Good – my Son – from everything which is leading you on the wrong way and is taking peace away from you. I desire to lead you to the freedom of the promise of my Son, because I desire for God's will to be fulfilled completely here; and that through reconciliation with the Heavenly Father, through fasting and prayer, apostles of God's love may be born – apostles who will freely, and with love, spread the love of God to all my children – apostles who will spread the love of the trust in the Heavenly Father and who will keep opening the gates of Heaven. Dear children, extend the joy of love and support to your shepherds, just as my Son has asked them to extend it to you. Thank you."

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.


Today's Word:  Mariology  Mar·i·ol·o·gy [mair-ee-ol-uh-jee]  

Origin:  1855–60; Mary + -o- + -logy

1. the body of belief, doctrine, and opinion concerning the Virgin Mary.
2. the study of the person and nature of the Virgin Mary, especially in reference to her role in the incarnation of God in Christ.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 69:3, 14, 30-34

3 I am exhausted with calling out, my throat is hoarse, my eyes are worn out with searching for my God.
14 Rescue me from the mire before I sink in; so I shall be saved from those who hate me, from the watery depths.
30 I will praise God's name in song, I will extol him by thanksgiving,
31 for this will please Yahweh more than an ox, than a bullock horned and hoofed.
33 For God listens to the poor, he has never scorned his captive people.
34 Let heaven and earth and seas, and all that stirs in them, acclaim him!


Today's Epistle -  Exodus 2:1-15

1 There was a man descended from Levi who had taken a woman of Levi as his wife.
2 She conceived and gave birth to a son and, seeing what a fine child he was, she kept him hidden for three months.
3 When she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him; coating it with bitumen and pitch, she put the child inside and laid it among the reeds at the River's edge.
4 His sister took up position some distance away to see what would happen to him.
5 Now Pharaoh's daughter went down to bathe in the river, while her maids walked along the riverside. Among the reeds she noticed the basket, and she sent her maid to fetch it.
6 She opened it and saw the child: the baby was crying. Feeling sorry for it, she said, 'This is one of the little Hebrews.'
7 The child's sister then said to Pharaoh's daughter, 'Shall I go and find you a nurse among the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?'
8 'Yes,' said Pharaoh's daughter, and the girl went and called the child's own mother.
9 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, 'Take this child away and nurse it for me. I shall pay you myself for doing so.' So the woman took the child away and nursed it.
10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter who treated him like a son; she named him Moses 'because', she said, 'I drew him out of the water.'
11 It happened one day, when Moses was grown up, that he went to see his kinsmen. While he was watching their forced labour he also saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his kinsmen.
12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one in sight, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
13 On the following day he came back, and there were two Hebrews, fighting. He said to the man who was in the wrong, 'What do you mean by hitting your kinsman?'
14 'And who appointed you', the man retorted, 'to be prince over us and judge? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?' Moses was frightened. 'Clearly that business has come to light,' he thought.
15 When Pharaoh heard of the matter, he tried to put Moses to death, but Moses fled from Pharaoh. He went into Midianite territory and sat down beside a well.


Today's Gospel Reading -  John 19: 25-27

Woman, this is your son!
Behold this is your mother! 

1. Let us recollect ourselves in prayer - Statio
Come, Holy Spirit, fill our minds with your light so that we can understand the true sense of your Word.
Come, Holy Spirit, enkindle in our hearts the fire of your love to inflame our faith.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill our being with your force to strengthen what is weak in us, in our service to God.
Come, Holy Spirit, with the gift of prudence to control our enthusiasm which prevents us from loving God and our neighbour.

2. Prayerful Reading of the Word – Lectio
From the Gospel according to John 19: 25-27
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, 'Woman, this is your son.' Then to the disciple he said, 'This is your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

3. Ponder the Word - Meditatio
3.1. To understand the Reading
- With your spirit go up to Calvary up to the Cross of Jesus and try to understand what is happening.
- From the passage that you have read, ask yourself what has struck you the most and why.
- Which are the sentiments that this brief passage has aroused in you?

3.2. Key for the Reading
Jesus holds his own destiny in His hand
We are in the middle of chapter 19 of John’s Gospel which begins with the scourging, the crowing of Jesus with a crown of thorns, the presentation of Jesus by Pilate to the crowds: “Behold the man” (Jn 19, 5), the condemnation to the death on the cross, the Way of the Cross and the crucifixion. In the account of the passion according to John, Jesus has the control in His hand of His life and of everything which is taking place around Him. And for this reason, for example, we find phrases such as: “Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and a purple robe” (v. 5), or the words said to Pilate: “You would have no power over me at all if it had not been given you from above.” (v. 11). The text presented in the daily Liturgy also shows that Jesus not only has control over everything which is happening to Him but also on what is taking place around Him. What the Evangelist describes is very important: “Jesus then, seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved, said…” (v. 26). The words of Jesus in their simplicity are words of revelation, words with which He wants to express His will: “Behold your son” (v. 26), “Behold your mother” (v. 27). These words of Jesus recall to mind the words of Pilate with which he presented the person of Jesus to the crowds: “Behold the man” (v. 5). Jesus from his throne, the Cross, with His words not only pronounces his will, but also that it is truly his love for us and which is the fruit of this love. He is the Lamb of God, the Shepherd who gives his life in order to gather all in one only flock, in the Church.

Near the Cross
In this passage we also find a very important word which is repeated twice when the Evangelist speaks about the Mother of Jesus and of the disciple whom He loved. The Evangelist says that the mother of Jesus was “near the Cross” (v. 25) and the disciple whom He loves was “standing near her” (v. 26). This important detail has a very deep Biblical significance. Only the fourth Evangelist says that the Mother of Jesus was near the cross. The other Evangelists do not specify this. Luke says that “All his friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had accompanied Him from Galilee and saw all this happen” (Lk 23, 49). Matthew has written: “And many women were there, watching from a distance; the same women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and looked after him. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.” (Mt 27, 55-56). Mark says that “There were also some women, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary who was the mother of James the younger and Joset, and Salome. They used to follow him and look after him when he was in Galilee. And many other women were there who had come up to Jerusalem with him.” (Mk 15, 40-41). Therefore, only John stresses that the Mother of Jesus was present, not following him from a distance, but was near the cross together with the other women. Standing up, like a strong woman who has continued to believe, to hope and to have trust in God, even in that most difficult moment. The Mother of Jesus is present in the important moment in which “Everything is fulfilled” (v. 30) in Jesus’ mission. Besides, the Evangelist stresses the presence of the Mother of Jesus from the beginning of his mission, in the wedding at Cana, where John uses almost the same expression: “The Mother of Jesus was there”. (Jn 2, 1).

The Woman and the Disciple
In the wedding at Cana and on the Cross, Jesus shows his glory and his Mother is present in an active way. In the wedding in Cana it is made evident, in a symbolical way, that which took place on the cross. During the feast of the wedding Jesus changed the water contained in six jars (Jn 2, 6). Number six symbolizes imperfection. The perfect number is seven. For this reason Jesus responds to his Mother: “My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2, 4). The hour in which Jesus has renewed everything, has been the hour of the cross. The Disciples asked him: “Lord, has the time come for you to restore the kingdom of Israel?” (Acts 1, 6). On the cross, with the water and blood, Jesus gives birth to the Church and at the same time the Church becomes His spouse. It is the beginning of the new time. Both at the wedding in Cana and at the foot of the cross, Jesus does not call his mother with her proper name, but calls her with the beautiful title of “Woman” (Jn 2, 19, 26). On the cross He is not speaking with His Mother moved only by a natural sentiment, of a son toward his mother. The title of “Woman” is an evidence that in that moment Jesus was opening his Mother’s heart to the spiritual maternity of his disciples, represented in the person of the disciple whom He loved who is always near Jesus, the Disciple who at the Last Supper reclined his head on Jesus’ chest (Jn 13, 23-26), the Disciple who understood the mystery of Jesus and always remains faithful to his Master up to the time of His crucifixion, and later on was the first disciple to believe that Christ is risen in seeing the empty tomb and the linen cloths on the ground (Jn 20, 4-8), while Mary of Magdala believed that they had taken away the body of Jesus (Jn 20, 2). Then, Jesus’ beloved Disciple is the one who believes and remains faithful to His Master in all the trials of his life. The Disciple whom Jesus loved has no name, because he represents you and me, and all those who are his true disciples. The woman becomes the mother of the Disciple. The woman is never called by the Evangelist by her proper name, she is not only the Mother of Jesus, but she is also the Church. John, the Evangelist likes to call the Church “woman” or “lady”. This title is found in the Second Letter of John (2 Jn 1, 5) and in the Apocalypses: “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, robed with the sun, standing on the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth”. (Apoc 12, 1-2). Therefore, the woman is the image of the Mother Church which is in labour to generate new sons for God. The Mother of Jesus is the perfect image of the Church, spouse of Christ who is in labour to generate new children for her spouse Jesus.

The Disciples takes the woman to his house
If Jesus has left in the hands of the Woman (His Mother and the Church) his Disciples represented in the person of the beloved Disciple, in the same way, He has left in the hands of his disciples, the Woman (His Mother and the Church). The Evangelist says that Jesus had just seen the Disciple whom he loved next to His Mother he told him: “Behold your mother!” (v. 27). The Evangelist continues: “And from that hour the Disciple took her into his home.” (v. 27). That means that the Disciple took the woman as a very dear and valuable person. This, again reminds us all that John says in his letter when he calls himself the Elder who loves the Lady in truth (2 Jn 1) who prays for her (2 Jn, 5) so that he takes care of her and defends her against the Antichrist, that is all those who do not know Christ and seek to trouble the children of the Church, the Disciples of Jesus (2 Jn 7, 10). The words of verse 27 “And from that hour he took her into his home”, reminds us what we also find in the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew. The Evangelist opens his account telling about the vision of the angel which Joseph, the spouse of Mary, had in his dream. In this vision the angel tells Joseph: “”Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit”. (Mt 1, 20). Matthew begins his Gospel with entrusting Mary and Jesus to Joseph, while John concludes his account with Jesus entrusting His Mother and the Church in the hands of his beloved Disciple!

3.3. Questions to orientate the meditation and the putting it into practice.
- What has struck you most in this passage and in the reflection?
- On the Cross Jesus has given us everything: His life and His Mother. And you, are you ready to sacrifice something for the Lord? Are you capable to renounce your possessions, your likes, desires, etc., to serve God and to help your neighbour?
- “From that hour the disciple took her to his home”. Do you believe that the families today continue to follow the example of the disciple whom Jesus loved? What meaning do these words have for your Christian life?

4. Oratio
Canticle of the Blessed Virgin: Luke 1, 46-55
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
because he has looked upon the humiliation of his servant.
Yes, from now onwards all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his faithful love extends age after age to those who fear him.
He has used the power of his arm,
he has routed the arrogant of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones
and raised high the lowly.
He has filled the starving with good things,
sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant,
mindful of his faithful love
-according to the promise he made to our ancestors --
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.

5. Contemplatio
Let us adore together the goodness of God who has given us Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as our Mother, and let us repeat in silence:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be
world without end. Amen

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


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel  

Feast Day: July 16 
Birthday: August 5th, 16 BC* (Celebrated as Feast Day on Sept 8)

Assumption: August 13, 54 AD* (Celebrated as a Feast Day on August 15)
Patron Saint: Order of the Carmelites

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid 13th centuries. They built a chapel in the midst of their hermitages which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the "Lady of the place."

Since the 15th century, popular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel also known as the Brown Scapular, a sacramental associated with promises of Mary's special aid for the salvation of the devoted wearer. Traditionally, Mary is said to have given the Scapular to an early Carmelite named Saint Simon Stock. The liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on 16 July.

The solemn liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was probably first celebrated in England in the later part of the 14th century. Its object was thanksgiving to Mary, the patroness of the Carmelite Order, for the benefits she had accorded to it through its rocky early existence. The institution of the feast may have come in the wake of the vindication of their title "Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary" at Cambridge, England in 1374. The date chosen was 17 July; on the European mainland this date conflicted with the feast of St. Alexis, necessitating a shift to 16 July, which remains the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel throughout the Catholic Church. The Latin poem Flos Carmeli (meaning "Flower of Carmel") first appears as the sequence for this Mass.

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is known to many Catholic faithful as the "scapular feast," associated with the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a devotional sacramental signifiying the wearer's consecration to Mary and affiliation with the Carmelite Order. A tradition first attested to in the late 14th century says that Saint Simon Stock, an early prior general of the Carmelite Order, had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in which she gave him the Brown Scapular which formed part of the Carmelite habit, promising that those who died wearing the scapular would be saved.

That there should be a connection in people's minds between the scapular, the widely popular devotion originating with the Carmelites, and this central Carmelite feast day, is surely not unnatural or unreasonable. But the liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel did not originally have a specific association with the Brown Scapular or the tradition of a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1642, a Carmelite named Fr. John Cheron, responding to scholarly criticism that Saint Simon Stock's vision may not have historically occurred (these doubts are echoed by historians today ), published a document which he said was a letter written in the 13th century by Saint Simon Stock's secretary, "Peter Swanington". Historians conclude that this letter was forged, likely by Cheron himself. It was nevertheless uncritically embraced by many promoters of the scapular devotion. The forged document's claim of 16 July 1251 as the date of the vision (16 July being the date of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel) subsequently led to a strong association between this feast day, and the scapular devotion, and in the intervening years until the late 1970s, this association with the scapular was also reflected in the liturgy for that day. The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as well as that of Saint Simon Stock came under scrutiny after Vatican II due to historical uncertainties, and today neither of these liturgies, even in the Carmelite proper, make reference to the scapular.

The Prophet Elijah

As we attempt to follow Christ more closely, we Carmelites find inspiration in the Old Testament Prophet, Elijah, and in the Blessed Virgin Mary . Elijah's memory was kept alive especially on Mount Carmel where he challenged the people to stop hobbling first on one foot and then on the other but to choose who is God in Israel - Yahweh or Baal. According to the story, which can be found in the First Book of Kings, chapter 18, Elijah's sacrifice was consumed by fire from heaven which proved to the people that Yahweh was the true God. Elijah made himself available for God's work and was sent into various situations to proclaim God's word. Elijah undertook a long journey through the desert where he began to despair. He sat down under a bush and wished he were dead but God would not allow him to die and prodded him to continue his journey to Mount Horeb. When he arrived there, God became present to Elijah. God came not with the signs usual in the Old Testament of fire, earthquake and mighty wind but in the sound of a gentle breeze. Elijah was sent back to his people to carry out God's will. From Elijah, Carmelites learn to listen for the voice of God in the unexpected and in silence. We seek to allow the Word of God to shape our minds and our hearts so that the way we live and the things we do may be prophetic and therefore faithful to the memory of our father Elijah.

The Blessed Virgin Mary

The first hermits on Mount Carmel built a church in the middle of their cells. This was the centre of their lives where they converged each day to celebrate Mass together. This little church they named in honour of Our Lady. By this fact the first group of Carmelites took her as their patroness, promising her their faithful service and expecting her protection and favour. They were proud to bear the title of "Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel" and they defended this title with vigour when their right to it was challenged.

Mary consented to God's will when she was asked to be the mother of the Saviour. She pondered on the events of her life and was able to see in them the hand of God at work. Mary did not become proud about her unique vocation but instead praised God for looking on her lowliness and doing great things in her. She was with Jesus at the beginning of his public ministry when, at the marriage feast at Cana, she made known to him the simple need, "They have no wine". She was with him as he died and there she became the mother of all believers. At the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles we find Mary gathered in the upper room praying with the other disciples waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. For us Carmelites, Mary is a constant presence in our lives, guiding us and protecting us as we seek to follow Christ.

The brown scapular has for many centuries summed up the Carmelite's relationship with Our Lady. The scapular is a piece of cloth based on the traditional Carmelite friar's garb. Wearing the scapular is a sign of consecration to Mary, the Mother of God, and is a symbol showing that the person is putting on the virtues of Mary and is being protected by her. Mary symbolises for the Carmelite everything that we hope for - to enter into an intimate relationship with Christ, being totally open to God's will and having our lives transformed by the Word of God. Carmelites have always thought of Mary as the Patroness of the Order, its Mother and Splendour. We seek to live in spiritual intimacy with her so that we can learn from her how to live as God's children.

Elijah and Mary are inspirational figures for all Carmelites. They play a very important part in the life and spirituality of the Order which sees itself as belonging to Mary and looks to Elijah as our spiritual father.

Carmelite Devotion to Mary

The Carmelites see in the Blessed Virgin Mary a perfect model of the interior life of [prayer] and contemplation to which Carmelites aspire, a model of virtue, as well as the person who was closest in life to Jesus Christ. She is seen as the one who points Christians most surely to Christ, saying to all what she says to the servants at the wedding at Cana, "Do whatever he [Jesus] tells you." Carmelites look to Mary as both a Spiritual Mother and Sister in Christ. The Stella Maris Monastery on Mount Carmel, named after a traditional title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is considered the spiritual headquarters of the order.

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, OCD, a revered authority on Carmelite spirituality, wrote that devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel means:

a special call to the interior life, which is preeminently a Marian life. Our Lady wants us to resemble her not only in our outward vesture but, far more, in heart and spirit. If we gaze into Mary's soul, we shall see that grace in her has flowered into a spiritual life of incalcuable wealth: a life of recollection, prayer, uninterrupted oblation to God, continual contact, and intimate union with him. Mary's soul is a sanctuary reserved for God alone, where no human creature has ever left its trace, where love and zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of mankind reign supreme. [...] Those who want to live their devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to the full must follow Mary into the depths of her interior life. Carmel is the symbol of the contemplative life, the life wholly dedicated to the quest for God, wholly orientated towards intimacy with God; and the one who has best realized this highest of ideals is Our Lady herself, 'Queen and Splendor of Carmel'."


  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Benedict of Nursia". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.
  • Gardner, Edmund G. (editor) (1911. Reprinted 2010). The Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great. Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 978-1-889758-94-7. http://www.evolpub.com/CRE/CREseries.html#CRE9.
  • "The Life of St Benedict," by St. Gregory the Great, Rockford, IL: TAN Books and Publishers, ISBN 0-89555-512-3


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Today's Snippet I:  Lazio Italy

Panorama of the Aniene Valley.
Lazio (pronounced [ˈlattsjo], Latin: Latium) is one of the 20 administrative regions of Italy, situated in the central peninsular section of the country.

With about 5.7 million residents and a GDP of more than 170 billion euros, Lazio is the third most populated region of Italy, and has the second largest economy of the nation. Its capital is Rome, capital and largest city of Italy.

Central Italy (Italian: Italia centrale or just Centro) is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy used by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), a first level NUTS region and a European Parliament constituency.


Relief map of Lazio.
Lazio comprises a land area of 17,236 km2 (6,655 sq mi) and it has borders with Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche to the north, Abruzzo and Molise to the east, Campania to the south, and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. The region is mainly flat and hilly, with small mountainous areas in the most eastern and southern districts.

The coast of Lazio is mainly composed of sandy beaches, punctuated by the headlands of Circeo (541 m) and Gaeta (171 m). The Pontine Islands, which are part of Lazio, lie opposite the southern coast. Behind the coastal strip, to the north, lies the Maremma Laziale (the continuation of Tuscan Maremma), a costal plain interrupted at Civitavecchia by the Tolfa Mountains (616 m). The central section of the region is occupied by the Roman Campagna, a vast alluvial plain surrounding the city of Rome, with an area of approximately 2,100 km2 (811 sq mi). The southern districts are characterized by the flatlands of Agro Pontino, a once swampy and malarial area, that was reclaimed over the centuries.

The Preapennines of Latium, marked by the Tiber valley and the Liri with the Sacco tributary, include on the right of the Tiber, three groups of mountains of volcanic origin: the Volsini, Cimini and Sabatini, whose largest former craters are occupied by the Bolsena, Vico and Bracciano lakes. To the south of the Tiber, other mountain groups form part of the Preapennines: the Alban Hills, also of volcanic origin, and the calcareous Lepini, Ausoni and Aurunci Mountains. The Apennines of Latium are a continuation of the Apennines of Abruzzo: the Reatini Mountains with Terminillo (2,213 m), Mounts Sabini, Prenestini, Simbruini and Ernici which continue east of the Liri into the Mainarde Mountains. The highest peak is Mount Gorzano (2,458 m) on the border with Abruzzo.


The Appian Way (Via Appia), a road connecting Ancient Rome to the southern parts of Italy, remains usable even today.
The Italian word Lazio descends from the Latin word Latium. The name of the region also survives in the tribal designation of the ancient population of Latins, Latini in the Latin language spoken by them and passed on to the city-state of Ancient Rome. Although the demography of ancient Rome was multi-ethnic, including, for example, Etruscans and other Italics besides the Latini, the latter were the dominant constituent. In Roman mythology, the tribe of the Latini took their name from king Latinus. Apart from the mythical derivation of Lazio given by the ancients as the place where Jupiter "lay hidden" from his father seeking to kill him, a major modern etymology is that Lazio comes from the Latin word "latus", meaning "wide", expressing the idea of "flat land" meaning the Roman Campagna. Much of Lazio is in fact flat or rolling. The lands originally inhabited by the Latini were extended into the territories of the Samnites, the Marsi, the Hernici, the Aequi, the Aurunci and the Volsci, all surrounding Italic tribes. This larger territory was still called Latium, but it was divided into Latium adiectum or Latium Novum, the added lands or New Latium, and Latium Vetus, or Old Latium, the older, smaller region.

The northern border of Lazio was the Tiber river, which divided it from Etruria.

The emperor Augustus officially united almost all of present-day Italy into a single geo-political entity, Italia, dividing it into eleven regions. Lazio – together with the present region of Campania immediately to the southeast of Lazio and the seat of Neapolis – became Region I.

After the Gothic War (535-554) and the Byzantine conquest, this region regained its freedom, because the "Roman Duchy" became the property of the Eastern Emperor. However, the long wars against the barbarian Longobards weakened the region, which was seized by the Roman Bishop who already had several properties in those territories.

The strengthening of the religious and ecclesiastical aristocracy led to continuous power struggles between lords and the Roman bishop until the middle of the 16th century. Innocent III tried to strengthen his own territorial power, wishing to assert his authority in the provincial administrations of Tuscia, Campagna and Marittima through the Church's representatives, in order to reduce the power of the Colonna family. Other popes tried to do the same.

During the period when the papacy resided in Avignon, France (1309–1377), the feudal lords' power increased due to the absence of the Pope from Rome. Small communes, and Rome above all, opposed the lords' increasing power, and with Cola di Rienzo, they tried to present themselves as antagonists of the ecclesiastical power. However, between 1353 and 1367, the papacy regained control of Lazio and the rest of the Papal States.

From the middle of the 16th century, the papacy politically unified Lazio with the Papal States, so that these territories became provincial administrations of St. Peter's estate; governors in Viterbo, in Marittima and Campagna, and in Frosinone administered them for the papacy.

Lazio comprised the short-lived Roman Republic, in which it became a puppet state of the First French Republic under the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Republic existed from 15 February 1798 until Lazio was returned to the Papal States in October 1799. In 1809, Lazio was annexed to the French Empire, but returned under the Pope in 1815.

On 20 September 1870 the capture of Rome, during the reign of Pope Pius IX, and France's defeat at Sedan, completed Italian unification, and Lazio was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy.


Agriculture, crafts, animal husbandry and fishery are the main traditional sources of income. Agriculture is characterized by the cultivation of wine grapes, fruit, vegetables and olives.

Industrial development in Lazio is limited to the areas south of Rome. Communications and - above all - the setting of the border of the Cassa del Mezzogiorno some kilometers south of Rome, have influenced the position of industry, favouring the areas with the best links to Rome and those near the Autostrada del Sole (motorway), especially around Frosinone. Firms are often small to medium in size and operate in the building and building materials (Rome, Civitavecchia), paper (Sora), petrochemical (Gaeta, Rome), textile (Frosinone), engineering (Rieti, Anagni), automobile (Cassino), electronic and electrotechnical (Viterbo) sectors.

Approximately 73% of the working population are employed in the services sector; this is a considerable proportion, but is justified by the presence of Rome, which is the core of public administration, banking, tourism, insurance and other sectors. Many national and multinational corporations, public and private, have their headquarters in Rome (ENI, Enel, Finmeccanica, Alitalia, RAI).

Lazio's limited industrial sector and highly developed service industries allowed the region to well outperform the Italian economy in 2009.


Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1861 356,000 —    
1871 1,173,000 +229.5%
1881 1,257,000 +7.2%
1901 1,586,000 +26.2%
1911 1,771,000 +11.7%
1921 1,997,000 +12.8%
1931 2,349,000 +17.6%
1936 2,655,000 +13.0%
1951 3,341,000 +25.8%
1961 3,959,000 +18.5%
1971 4,689,000 +18.4%
1981 5,002,000 +6.7%
1991 5,140,000 +2.8%
2001 5,112,000 −0.5%
2011 5,732,000 +12.1%
Source: ISTAT 2001
With a population of about 5.7 million, Lazio is the third most populated region of Italy. The overall population density in the region is 332 inhabitants per km2. However, the population density widely ranges from almost 800 inhabitants per km2 in the highly urbanized Province of Rome to less than 60 inhabitants per km2 in the mountainous and rural Province of Rieti. As of January 2010, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 497,940 foreign-born immigrants live in Lazio, equal to 8.8% of the total regional population.[3]

Government and politics

Rome is center-left politically oriented by tradition, while the rest of Lazio is center-right oriented. In the 2008 general election, Lazio gave 44.2% of its vote to the centre-right coalition, while the centre-left block took 41.4% of vote. In the 2013 general election, Lazio gave 40.7% of its vote to the center-left block coalition, 29.3% to the center-right coalition and 20.2 to the Five Star Movement.

Administrative divisions

Lazio is divided into five provinces:
Latium Provinces.png

The Province of Frosinone (Italian: Provincia di Frosinone) is a province in the Lazio region of Italy, with 91 comuni (singular: comune; see Comuni of the Province of Frosinone). Its capital is the city of Frosinone. It has an area of 3,244 km², and a total population of 489,042 (2005). The Province was established by Royal Decree on 6 December 1926 with territories belonging to Lazio and to Campania. The Campania areas were the left valley of the Liri-Garigliano river, the district of Sora, the Comino Valley, the district of Cassino, the Gulf of Formia and Gaeta, the Pontine islands, which until then had been for centuries included in the Province called Terra di Lavoro, of the Kingdom of Naples (or of the Two Sicilies).

The Province of Latina (Italian: Provincia di Latina) is a province in the Lazio region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Latina. It has an area of 2,251 km², and a total population of 561,189 (2012). There are 33 comuni (singular: comune) in the province [1], see Comuni of the Province of Latina.

The Province of Rieti (Italian: Provincia di Rieti) is a province in the Lazio region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Rieti. It has an area of 2,749 km², and a total population of 153,258 (2005). There are 73 comuni (singular: comune) in the province[1], see Comuni of the Province of Rieti. It was founded in 1927.

The Province of Rome (Italian: Provincia di Roma) is one of the five provinces of Lazio, Italy. The province of Rome is the most populous of Italy, hosting the metropolitan area of Rome. The Province of Rome covers almost one-third of the territory of Lazio. It occupies the flat area of the Roman and the Tiber Valley to the mountains and dell'Aniene Lucretili Sabini and, in addition to the mountainous regions of the Tolfa and Monti Sabatini to the north-west, the area of the mountains Tiburtini Prenestini Simbruini and east, the area of the Colli Albani and the northern foothills of the mountains, and high Lepine Sacco valley to the south-east. The western boundary of the province is represented by the Tyrrhenian Sea on which spread to about 130 km from the coast near Rome from Civitavecchia to Torre Astura. In the territory there are several lakes, almost all of volcanic origin, which are concentrated in the north-west of the mountains and Sabatini in the south-east of the Colli Albani.

The Province of Viterbo (Italian: Provincia di Viterbo) is a province in the Lazio region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Viterbo. It is bordered to the north by the Province of Grosseto and Siena, by the north-east with the Province of Terni and Rieti, in the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea and south by the Province of Rome. This province is often unofficially (but commonly) called "Tuscia", from the name of the larger roman region of Etruria. It has an area of 3,612 km², and a total population of 299,830 (2005). There are 60 comuni (singular: comune) in the province, see Comuni of the Province of Viterbo. At May 31, 2005, the main comuni by population are:


  1. ^ "Eurostat - Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  2. ^ EUROPA - Press Releases - Regional GDP per inhabitant in 2008 GDP per inhabitant ranged from 28% of the EU27 average in Severozapaden in Bulgaria to 343% in Inner London
  3. ^ "Foreign-born population in Italy, 1 January 2010". Istat. Retrieved 13 September 2011.


 Catechism of the Catholic Church

Part Three: Life in Christ  


Section One: Man's Vocation Life in The Spirit


Article 1 The Moral Law

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).

1949 Called to beatitude but wounded by sin, man stands in need of salvation from God. Divine help comes to him in Christ through the law that guides him and the grace that sustains him:
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.Phil 2:12-13

Article 1
1950 The moral law is the work of divine Wisdom. Its biblical meaning can be defined as fatherly instruction, God's pedagogy. It prescribes for man the ways, the rules of conduct that lead to the promised beatitude; it proscribes the ways of evil which turn him away from God and his love. It is at once firm in its precepts and, in its promises, worthy of love.

1951 Law is a rule of conduct enacted by competent authority for the sake of the common good. the moral law presupposes the rational order, established among creatures for their good and to serve their final end, by the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Creator. All law finds its first and ultimate truth in the eternal law. Law is declared and established by reason as a participation in the providence of the living God, Creator and Redeemer of all. "Such an ordinance of reason is what one calls law."Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum: AAS 20 (1887/88), 597; cf. St.
   Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 90, 1

Alone among all animate beings, man can boast of having been counted worthy to receive a law from God: as an animal endowed with reason, capable of understanding and discernment, he is to govern his conduct by using his freedom and reason, in obedience to the One who has entrusted everything to him.Cf. Tertullian, Adv. Marc, 2, 4: PL 2, 288-289

1952 There are different expressions of the moral law, all of them interrelated: eternal law - the source, in God, of all law; natural law; revealed law, comprising the Old Law and the New Law, or Law of the Gospel; finally, civil and ecclesiastical laws.

1953 The moral law finds its fullness and its unity in Christ. Jesus Christ is in person the way of perfection. He is the end of the law, for only he teaches and bestows the justice of God: "For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified."Rom 10:4