Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Advent, Psalms 122:1-9, Isaiah 2:1-5, Matthew24:27-44, Pope Francis Daily - Knowledge is a Gift, Saint Andrew the Apostle, Explanation of Liturgical Calendar Year 2014 Cycle A, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ - Part 2: The Ten Commandments - Chapter 1:1 First Commandment

Sunday,  December 1, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Advent, Psalms 122:1-9, Isaiah 2:1-5, Matthew24:27-44, Pope Francis Daily - Knowledge is a Gift, Saint Andrew the Apostle, Explanation of Liturgical Calendar Year 2014 Cycle A, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ - Part 2: The Ten Commandments - Chapter 1:1 First Commandment

Advent 2013 - Remember Christmas is the Birth of Jesus Christ 

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: (A) First Sunday in Advent

Rosary - Glorious Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis December 1 Daily:

  Knowledge is a Gift

(2013-12-01 Vatican Radio)

The Christian conforms his way of thinking to God’s, and for this reason rejects ways of thinking that are weak and restricted.

This was the central theme of Pope Francis’ homily during Mass on Friday morning in the Casa Sanctae Martha. The Lord taught his disciples to be attentive to the signs of the times, signs which the Pharisees failed to comprehend.

The Pope said that, in order to understand the signs of the times, a Christian must think not only with his head, but also with his heart and spirit. Otherwise, he cannot understand the “way of God in history”:“In the Gospel, Jesus does become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him. At Emmaus he says: ‘How foolish and slow of heart’. ‘How foolish and slow of heart’… He who does not understand the things of God is such a person. The Lord wants us to understand what happens, what happens in my heart, what happens in my life, what happens in the world, in history… What is the meaning of what is happening now? These are the signs of the times! On the other hand, the spirit of the world gives us other propositions, because the spirit of the world does not want a community: it wants a mob, thoughtless, without freedom.”

While the spirit of the world wants us to take a “restricted path,” Saint Paul warns that the “spirit of the world treats us as thought we lack the ability to think for ourselves; it treats us like people who are not free”: “Restricted thought, equal thought, weak thought, a thought so widespread. The spirit of the world does not want us to ask ourselves before God: ‘But why, why this other, why did this happen?’. Or it also offers a prêt-à-porter [‘ready to wear’] way of thinking, according to personal taste: ‘I think as I like!’. This is okay, they say…. But what the spirit of the world does not want is what Jesus asks of us: free thought, the thought of a man and a women who are part of the people of God, and salvation is exactly this! Think of the prophets… ‘You were not my people, now I say my people’: so says the Lord. And this is salvation: to make us people, God’s people, to have freedom.”

Pope Francis added that Jesus asks us “to think freely… in order to understand what happens.” The truth is that “we are not alone! We need the Lord’s help”. We need to “understand the signs of the times”: the Holy Spirit, he said, “gives us this present, a gift: the intelligence to understand”:"What path does the Lord want? Always with the spirit of intelligence with which to understand the signs of the times. It is beautiful to ask the Lord for this grace, who sends us this spirit of intelligence, because we do not have a weak thought, we do not have a restricted thought and we do not have a thought according to personal preference: we only have a thought according to God. With this thought, which is a thought of the mind, of heart, and of soul. With this thought, which is the gift of the Spirit, [we] look for the meaning of things, and to understand the signs of the time well."

The Pope concluded: This is therefore the grace for which we must ask the Lord: “the ability which gives us the spirit” to “understand the signs of the time.”


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope:  Winter

Vatican City, Winter 2013 (VIS)

Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for December 2013

Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.

Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.

The Vatican has issued the calendar of liturgical celebrations due to be presided over by the Holy Father through January 2014:

Sunday 1 December, first Sunday of Advent: pastoral visit to the Roman parish of “San Cirillo Alessandrino”; Mass at 6 p.m.

Sunday 8 December, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Homage to Mary Immaculate, at 4 p.m. at Piazza di Spagna.

Tuesday 24 December, Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord: Midnight Mass at 21.30 p.m. in the Papal Chapel of the Vatican Basilica.

Wednesday 25 December, Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord: “Urbi et Orbi” blessing at 12 p.m. from the central loggia of the Vatican Basilica.

Tuesday 31 December: celebration of the first Vespers and Te Deum for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, thanksgiving for the past year, 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica.

Wednesday 1 January, Solemnity of Mary Mother of God: and 47th World Day of Peace, Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m.

Monday 6 January, Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord: Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m.

Sunday 12 January, First Sunday after the Epiphany, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord: Mass and baptism of newborns in the Sistine Chapel at 9.45 a.m.


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 12/01/2013.


November 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children; Anew, in a motherly way, I am calling you to love; to continually pray for the gift of love; to love the Heavenly Father above everything. When you love Him you will love yourself and your neighbor. This cannot be separated. The Heavenly Father is in each person. He loves each person and calls each person by his name. Therefore, my children, through prayer hearken to the will of the Heavenly Father. Converse with Him. Have a personal relationship with the Father which will deepen even more your relationship as a community of my children – of my apostles. As a mother I desire that, through the love for the Heavenly Father, you may be raised above earthly vanities and may help others to gradually come to know and come closer to the Heavenly Father. My children, pray, pray, pray for the gift of love because 'love' is my Son. Pray for your shepherds that they may always have love for you as my Son had and showed by giving His life for your salvation. Thank you."

October 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:  “Dear children! Today I call you to open yourselves to prayer. Prayer works miracles in you and through you. Therefore, little children, in the simplicity of heart seek of the Most High to give you the strength to be God’s children and for Satan not to shake you like the wind shakes the branches. Little children, decide for God anew and seek only His will – and then you will find joy and peace in Him. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

October 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, I love you with a motherly love and with a motherly patience I wait for your love and unity. I pray that you may be a community of God’s children, of my children. I pray that as a community you may joyfully come back to life in the faith and in the love of my Son. My children, I am gathering you as my apostles and am teaching you how to bring others to come to know the love of my Son; how to bring to them the Good News, which is my Son. Give me your open, purified hearts and I will fill them with the love for my Son. His love will give meaning to your life and I will walk with you. I will be with you until the meeting with the Heavenly Father. My children, it is those who walk towards the Heavenly Father with love and faith who will be saved. Do not be afraid, I am with you. Put your trust in your shepherds as my Son trusted when he chose them, and pray that they may have the strength and the love to lead you. Thank you." - See more at:

Today's Word:  advent  ad·vent  [ad-vent]  

Origin:  1125–75; Middle English  < Latin adventus  arrival, approach, equivalent to ad- ad- + ven-  (stem of venīre  to come) + -tus  suffix of verbal action

1. a coming into place, view, or being; arrival: the advent of the holiday season.
2. ( usually initial capital letter ) the coming of Christ into the world.
3. ( initial capital letter ) the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world.


Today's Old Testament Reading - Psalms 122:1-9

1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of Yahweh.'
2 At last our feet are standing at your gates, Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem, built as a city, in one united whole,
4 there the tribes go up, the tribes of Yahweh, a sign for Israel to give thanks to the name of Yahweh.
5 For there are set the thrones of judgement, the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, prosperity for your homes!
7 Peace within your walls, prosperity in your palaces!
8 For love of my brothers and my friends I will say, 'Peace upon you!'
9 For love of the house of Yahweh our God I will pray for your well-being


Today's Epistle -  Isaiah 2:1-5

1 The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 It will happen in the final days that the mountain of Yahweh's house will rise higher than the mountains and tower above the heights. Then all the nations will stream to it,
3 many peoples will come to it and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the God of Jacob that he may teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths.' For the Law will issue from Zion and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.
4 Then he will judge between the nations and arbitrate between many peoples. They will hammer their swords into ploughshares and their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, no longer will they learn how to make war.
5 House of Jacob, come, let us walk in Yahweh's light.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Matthew 24: 37-44


Always be ready
God can come to us at any moment
Matthew 24, 37-44

1. Opening prayer
 Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind that you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your sentence and death. Thus, the cross that seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the source of life and of resurrection.

Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.

2. Reading

a) Key for reading:
In the Liturgy of the first Sunday of Advent, the Church places us before an extract of the discourse of Jesus on the end of the world. Advent means Coming. It is the time of preparation for the coming of the Son of Man into our life. Jesus exhorts us to be vigilant. He asks us to be attentive to the events in order to discover in them the hour of the coming of the Son of Man.

At the beginning of Advent, it is important to purify our look and to learn anew how to read the events in the light of the Word of God. And this in order not to be surprised, because God comes without telling us, when we less expect him. To show how we should be attentive to the events, Jesus goes back to the episode of the deluge in the time of Noah.

During the reading of the text, let us pay attention to the comparisons which Jesus uses to transmit his message.

b) A division of the text to help in the reading:
Matthew 24, 37-39: The coming of the Son of Man will arrive as in the days of Noah
Matthew 24, 40-41: Jesus applies the comparison to those who listen
Matthew 24, 42: The conclusion: “Stay awake”; be “Vigilant”.
Matthew 24, 43-44: A comparison to recommend vigilance.

c) The Gospel:
37 'As it was in Noah's day, so will it be when the Son of man comes. 38 For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, 39 and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept them all away. This is what it will be like when the Son of man comes. 40 Then of two men in the fields, one is taken, one left; 41 of two women grinding at the mill, one is taken, one left. 42 'So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. 43 You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. 44 Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

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

4. Some questions to help us in our personal reflection. 

i) Which part of the text struck you most? Why?
ii) Where, when and why did Jesus pronounce this discourse?
iii) In what exactly does this vigilance consist, to which Jesus exhorts us?
iv) “One is taken, one left”. What does Jesus want to teach with this affirmation?
v) At the time of Matthew, the Christian community, in a certain sense, expected the coming of the Son of Man. And today, which is our way of waiting for the coming of Jesus?
vi) According to you, which is the centre or origin of this teaching of Jesus?

5. For those who desire to go deeper into the theme

a) Context of the discourse of Jesus:
The Gospel of Matthew -
 In the Gospel of Matthew there are five great discourses, as if it were a new edition of the five books of the Law of Moses. The text on which we are meditating this Sunday forms part of the fifth Discourse of this New Law, Each one of the preceding four discourses enlightens a determinate aspect of the Kingdom of God announced by Jesus. The first one: the justice of the Kingdom and the conditions to enter into the Kingdom (Mt from 5 to 7). The second one: the mission of the citizens of the Kingdom (Mt 10). The third one: the mysterious presence of the Kingdom in the life of the people (Mt 13). The fourth one: to live the Kingdom in community (Mt 18). The fifth Sermon speaks of vigilance in view of the definitive coming of the Kingdom. In this last discourse, Matthew continues the outline of Mark (cf. Mk 13, 5-37), but adds some parables which speak about the need of vigilance and of service, of solidarity and of fraternity.

Waiting for the coming of the Son of Man -
At the end of the first century, the communities lived expecting the immediate coming of Jesus (I Th 5, 1-11). Basing themselves on some words of Paul (I Th 4, 15-18), there were some persons who had ceased to work thinking that Jesus was about to arrive (2 Th 2, 1-2; 3, 11-12). They asked themselves: When Jesus comes, will we be taken up to Heaven as he was? (cfr. I Th 4, 17). Will we be taken or left behind? (cfr. Mt 24, 40-41). There was an atmosphere similar to that of today, in which many ask themselves: “Is this terrorism a sign that the end of the world is close at hand?” What should we do in order not to be surprised?” An answer to this question and concern comes to us from the words of Jesus which Matthew transmits to us in the Gospel of this Sunday.

b) Comment on the text:
Matthew 24, 37-39: Jesus compares the coming of the Son of Man to the days of the deluge
“As it was in Noah’s day, so it will be when the Son of Man comes”. Here, in order to clarify his call to vigilance, Jesus refers to two episodes of the Old Testament: Noah and the Son of Man. The “days of Noah” refer to the description of the deluge (Gen 6,5 to 8,14).
The image of the “Son of Man” comes from a vision of the prophet Daniel (Dan 7, 13). In the days of Noah the majority of persons lived without any concern, without being aware that in the events the hour of God was getting near. Life continued “and they were not aware of anything until the deluge came and drowned them all”. And Jesus concludes: “Thus it will be when the Son of Man comes”. In the vision of Daniel, the Son of Man will come on the clouds unexpectedly and his coming will decree the end of the oppressing empires, which will have no future.

Matthew 24, 40-41: Jesus applies the comparison to those who listen to him.
“Two men will be in the fields: one is taken, one left”. These phrases should not be taken literally. It is a way to indicate the diverse destiny that persons will receive according to the justice of the works they did. Some will be taken, that is, will receive salvation, and others will not receive it. This is what happened in the deluge: “You alone of your contemporaries do I see before me as an upright man” (Gen 7, 1). And Noah and his family were saved.

Matthew 24, 42: Jesus draws the conclusion: “So stay awake”, be vigilant.
God is the one who determines the hour of the coming of the Son. But God’s time is not measured by our clock or calendar. For God one day can be equal to a thousand years, and a thousand years equal to one day (Ps 90; 2 Pt 3, 8). God’s time (kairos) is independent from our time (cronos). We cannot interfere in God’s time, but we should be prepared for the moment in which God’s hour becomes present in our time. It can be today, it can be from now in one thousand years.

Matthew 24, 43-44: comparison: the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
God comes when we less expect him. It can also happen that He comes and people are not aware of the hour of his arrival. Jesus asks for two things: an always attentive vigilance and at the same time, a peaceful dedication of the one who is in peace. This attitude is a sign of much maturity, in which are mixed the vigilant concern and the serene tranquillity. The maturity which succeeds to combine the seriousness of the moment with the awareness that everything is relative.

c) Broadening the information in order to better understand the text:
How should we be vigilant to prepare ourselves? - Our text is preceded by the parable of the fig tree (Mt 24, 32-33). The fig tree was a symbol of the people of Israel (Os 9, 10; Mt 21, 18). In asking to look at the fig tree, Jesus asks to look and to analyze the facts that are taking place. It is as if Jesus would say to us: “You should learn from the fig tree to read the signs of the times, and in this way you would discover where and when God breaks into our history!”
The certainty communicated to us by Jesus - Jesus leaves us a twofold certainty to orientate our journey in life: (1) surely the end will come; (2) certainly, nobody knows anything about the day or hour of the end of the world. “But as for that day and hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels in Heaven nor the Son, no one but the Father alone!” (Mt 24, 36). In spite of all the estimates or calculations that men can do on the date of the end of the world, nobody can calculate with certainty. What gives security is not the knowledge of the hour of the end, but the Word of Jesus present in life. the world will pass but his Word will never pass. (cfr. Is 40, 7-8).

When will the end of the world come? - When the bible speaks about the “end of the World”, it refers not to the end of the world, but to the end of a world. It refers to the end of this world, where injustice and the power of evil reign; these which embitter life. This world of injustice will come to an end and in its place there will be “a new heavens and a new earth”, announced by Isaiah (Is 65, 15–17) and foreseen in the Apocalypse (Ap 21, 1). Nobody knows when nor how the end of this world will be (Mt 24, 36), because nobody can imagine what God has prepared for those who love him (I Co 2, 9). The new world of life without death exceeds everything, just like the tree exceeds the seed (I Co 15, 35-38). The first Christians were anxious to be present in this end (2 Th 2,2). They continued to look up at heaven, waiting for the coming of Christ (Acts 1, 11). Some no longer worked (2 Th 3, 11). But “It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority” (Acts 1, 7). The only way to contribute to the coming of the end “in order that the Lord may send the time of comfort” (Acts 3, 20), and give witness of the Gospel everywhere, to the earth’s remotest end (Acts 1, 8).
6. Prayer: Psalm 46 (45)

“God is our refuge! We shall not be afraid!”
God is both refuge and strength for us,
a help always ready in trouble;
so we shall not be afraid though the earth be in turmoil,
though mountains tumble into the depths of the sea,
and its waters roar and seethe,
and the mountains totter as it heaves.

There is a river whose streams bring joy to God's city,
it sanctifies the dwelling of the Most High.
God is in the city, it cannot fall;
at break of day God comes to its rescue.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms are tumbling,
when he raises his voice the earth crumbles away.
Yahweh Sabaoth is with us, our citadel,
the God of Jacob.

Come, consider the wonders of Yahweh,
the astounding deeds he has done on the earth;
he puts an end to wars over the whole wide world,
he breaks the bow,
he snaps the spear,
shields he burns in the fire.
'Be still and acknowledge that I am God,
supreme over nations, supreme over the world.'
Yahweh Sabaoth is with us, our citadel, the God of Jacob.

7. Final Prayer
Lord Jesus, we thank for the word that has enabled us to understand better the will of the Father. May your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to practice that which your Word has revealed to us. May we, like Mary, your mother, not only listen to but also practise the Word. You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Andrew, the Apostle

Feast Day: November 30

Saint Andrew the Apostle
Andrew the Apostle (Greek: Ἀνδρέας, Andreas; from the early 1st century – mid to late 1st century AD; known by some as Saint Andrew), called in the Orthodox tradition Prōtoklētos, or the First-called, was a Christian Apostle and the brother of Saint Peter.[2] The name "Andrew" (Greek: manly, brave, from ἀνδρεία, Andreia, "manhood, valour"), like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews, Christians, and other Hellenized people of the region. No Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him. He is considered the founder and the first bishop of the Church of Byzantium and is consequently the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The New Testament states that Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter,[3] by which it is inferred that he was likewise a son of John, or Jonah. He was born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Both he and his brother Peter were fishermen by trade, hence the tradition that Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that he will make them "fishers of men" (Greek: ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων, halieĩs anthrōpōn).[4] At the beginning of Jesus' public life, they were said to have occupied the same house at Capernaum.

The Gospel of John states that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him, and another unnamed disciple of John the Baptist to follow Jesus. Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and hastened to introduce him to his brother.[5] Thenceforth, the two brothers were disciples of Christ. On a subsequent occasion, prior to the final call to the Apostolate, they were called to a closer companionship, and then they left all things to follow Jesus.

In the gospels, Andrew is referred to as being present on some important occasions as one of the disciples more closely attached to Jesus.[6] Andrew told Jesus about the boy with the loaves and fishes (John 6:8), with Philip told Jesus about the Greeks seeking Him, and was present at the Last Supper.[7]

Eusebius in his church history 3,1 quotes Origen as saying Andrew preached in Scythia. The Chronicle of Nestor adds that he preached along the Black Sea and the Dnieper river as far as Kiev, and from there he traveled to Novgorod. Hence he became a patron saint of Ukraine, Romania and Russia. According to tradition, he founded the See of Byzantium (Constantinople) in AD 38, installing Stachys as bishop. According to Hippolytus of Rome, he preached in Thrace, and his presence in Byzantium is also mentioned in the apocryphal Acts of Andrew, written in the 2nd century; Basil of Seleucia also knew of Apostle Andrew's mission in Thrace, as well as Scythia and Achaia.[8] This diocese would later develop into the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Andrew is recognized as its patron saint.

Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras (Patræ) in Achaea, on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. Early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew known to Gregory of Tours,[9] describe Andrew as bound, not nailed, to a Latin cross of the kind on which Jesus is said to have been crucified; yet a tradition developed that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross, or "saltire"), now commonly known as a "Saint Andrew's Cross" — supposedly at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been.[10] "The familiar iconography of his martyrdom, showing the apostle bound to an X-shaped cross, does not seem to have been standardized before the later Middle Ages," Judith Calvert concluded after re-examining the materials studied by Louis Réau.[11]

The Acts of Andrew

The apocryphal Acts of Andrew, mentioned by Eusebius, Epiphanius and others, is among a disparate group of Acts of the Apostles that were traditionally attributed to Leucius Charinus. "These Acts (...) belong to the third century: ca. A.D. 260," was the opinion of M. R. James, who edited them in 1924. The Acts, as well as a Gospel of St Andrew, appear among rejected books in the Decretum Gelasianum connected with the name of Pope Gelasius I. The Acts of Andrew was edited and published by Constantin von Tischendorf in the Acta Apostolorum apocrypha (Leipzig, 1821), putting it for the first time into the hands of a critical professional readership. Another version of the Andrew legend is found in the Passio Andreae, published by Max Bonnet (Supplementum II Codicis apocryphi, Paris, 1895).


Saint Andrew of Patras basilica, where St. Andrew's relics are kept
Relics of the Apostle Andrew are kept at the Basilica of St Andrew in Patras, Greece; the Duomo di Sant'Andrea, Amalfi, Italy; St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland;[5] and the Church of St Andrew and St Albert, Warsaw, Poland. There are also numerous smaller reliquaries throughout the world.

St Jerome wrote that the relics of St Andrew were taken from Patras to Constantinople by order of the Roman emperor Constantius II around 357 and deposited in the Church of the Holy Apostles. The head of Andrew was given by the Byzantine despot Thomas Palaeologus to Pope Pius II in 1461. It was enshrined in one of the four central piers of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

In 1208, following the sack of Constantinople, those relics of St. Andrew and St. Peter which remained in the imperial city were taken to Amalfi, Italy,[12] by Cardinal Peter of Capua, a native of Amalfi. The Amalfi cathedral (Duomo), dedicated to St. Andrew (as is the town itself), contains a tomb in its crypt that it maintains still contains the rest of the relics of the apostle. On 8 May 2008, the relic believed to be Andrew's head was returned to Amalfi Cathedral.

In September 1964, Pope Paul VI, as a gesture of goodwill toward the Greek Orthodox Church, ordered that all of the relics of St. Andrew that were in Vatican City be sent back to Patras. Cardinal Augustin Bea along with many other cardinals presented the skull to Bishop Constantine of Patras on 24 September 1964.[13][14][15] The cross of St. Andrew was taken from Greece during the Crusades by the Duke of Burgundy.[16][17] It was kept in the church of St. Victor in Marseilles[18][19] until it returned to Patras on 19 January 1980. The cross of the apostle was presented to the Bishop of Patras Nicodemus by a Catholic delegation led by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray.[20] All the relics, which consist of the small finger, the skull (part of the top of the cranium of Saint Andrew), and the cross on which he was martyred, have been kept in the Church of St. Andrew at Patras in a special shrine and are revered in a special ceremony every November 30, his feast day.

In 2006, the Catholic Church, again through Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, gave the Greek Orthodox Church another relic of St. Andrew.[21]

Traditions and legends


The church tradition of Georgia regards St. Andrew as the first preacher of Christianity in the territory of Georgia and as the founder of the Georgian church. This tradition was apparently derived from the Byzantine sources, particularly Nicetas of Paphlagonia (died c. 890) who asserts that "Andrew preached to the Iberians, Sauromatians, Taurians, and Scythians and to every region and city, on the Black Sea, both north and south."[22] The version was adopted by the 10th-11th-century Georgian ecclesiastics and, refurbished with more details, was inserted in the Georgian Chronicles. The story of St. Andrew’s mission in the Georgian lands endowed the Georgian church with apostolic origin and served as a defense argument to George the Hagiorite against the encroachments from the Antiochian church authorities on autocephaly of the Georgian church. Another Georgian monk, Ephraim the Minor, produced a thesis, reconciling St. Andrew’s story with an earlier evidence of the 4th-century conversion of Georgians by St. Nino and explaining the necessity of the "second Christening" by Nino. The thesis was made canonical by the Georgian church council in 1103.[23][24]


Cypriot tradition holds that a ship which was transporting Saint Andrew went off course and ran aground. Upon coming ashore, Andrew struck the rocks with his staff at which point a spring of healing waters gushed forth. Using it, the sight of the ship's captain, who had been blind in one eye, was restored. Thereafter, the site became a place of pilgrimage and a fortified monastery stood there in the 12th century, from which Isaac Comnenus negotiated his surrender to Richard the Lionheart. In the 15th century, a small chapel was built close to the shore. The main monastery of the current church dates to the 18th century.

Other pilgrimages are more recent. The story is told that in 1895, the son of a Maria Georgiou was kidnapped. Seventeen years later, Saint Andrew appeared to her in a dream, telling her to pray for her son's return at the monastery. Living in Anatolia, she embarked on the crossing to Cyprus on a very crowded boat. Telling her story during the journey, one of the passengers, a young Dervish priest became more and more interested. Asking if her son had any distinguishing marks, he stripped off his cloths to reveal the same marks and mother and son were thus reunited.[25]

Apostolos Andreas Monastery (Greek: Απόστολος Ανδρέας) is a monastery dedicated to Saint Andrew situated just south of Cape Apostolos Andreas, which is the north-easternmost point of the island of Cyprus, in Rizokarpason in the Karpass Peninsula. The monastery is an important site to the Cypriot Orthodox Church. It was once known as 'the Lourdes of Cyprus', served not by an organized community of monks but by a changing group of volunteer priests and laymen. Both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities consider the monastery a holy place. As such it is visited by many people for votive prayers.


The first reference regarding the first small chapel at Luqa dedicated to Andrew dates to 1497. This chapel contained three altars, one of them dedicated to Andrew. The painting showing "Mary with Saints Andrew and Paul" was painted by the Maltese artist Filippo Dingli. At one time, many fishermen lived in the village of Luqa, and this may be the main reason behind choosing Andrew as patron saint. The statue of Andrew was sculpted in wood by Giuseppe Scolaro in 1779. This statue underwent several restoration works including that of 1913 performed by the Maltese artist Abraham Gatt. The Martyrdom of Saint Andrew on the main altar of the church was painted by Mattia Preti in 1687.


The official stance of the Romanian Orthodox Church is that Andrew preached the Gospel in the province of Dobruja (Scythia Minor) to the Daco-Romans, whom he is said to have converted to Christianity. This theory is based on some ancient Christian symbols found carved in a cave near Murfatlar. According to some modern Romanian scholars, the idea of early Christianisation is unsustainable, being used for propaganda purposes in the communist era as part of the ideology of protochronism, which purports that the Orthodox Church has been a companion and defender of the Romanian people for its entire history.[26]

Another Romanian researcher, George Alexandrou [19], although he denies this theory, he maintains that St. Andrew spent 20 years in the territories of the Daco-Romans, preaching and teaching. Alexandrou also supposes that St. Andrews felt very close to the Dacians because they were monotheists. During that period St. Andrew traveled around the Lower Danube territories and along the coast of the Black Sea, but mostly he stayed in and around his cave in Dobruja (located in the vicinity of the Ion Corvin village). St. Andrew’s cave is still kept as a holy place. Later, John Cassian (360-435), Dionysius Exiguus (470-574) and Joannes Maxentius (leader of the so-called Scythian Monks) lived in the same area, known as Scythia Minor or Dobruja, in South East Romania.[27]

There are a few pre-Christian traditions connected to St. Andrew's day, some of them having their origin in the Roman celebrations of Saturn.[28][29][30] The Dacian New Year took place from 14 November until 7 December; this was considered the interval when time began its course.[31] One of the elements that came from the Roman and Thracian celebrations concerned wolves. During this night, wolves are allowed to eat all the animals they want. It is said that they can speak, too, but anyone that hears them will soon die. Early on St. Andrew’s day, the mothers go into the garden and gather tree branches, especially from apple, pear and cherry trees, and also rosebush branches. They make a bunch of branches for each family member. The one whose bunch blooms by New Year's Day will be lucky and healthy the next year.

The best known tradition connected to this night concerns matrimony and premonitory dreams. Single girls must put under their pillow a branch of sweet basil. If someone takes the plants in their dreams, that means the girl will marry soon. They can also plant wheat in a dish and water it until New Year’s Day. The nicer the wheat looks that day, the better the year to come. Saint Andrew's name is known in Romania under diverse forms: Sfântul Andrei, Sânt Andrei, Sânedru [28]

Ukraine and Russia

Early Christian History in Ukraine holds that the apostle Andrew is said to have preached on the southern borders of modern-day Ukraine, along the Black Sea. Legend has it that he travelled up the Dnieper River and reached the future location of Kiev, where he erected a cross on the site where the St. Andrew's Church of Kiev currently stands, and prophesied the foundation of a great Christian city, Jerusalem of the Russian/Ukrainian land.

It was in the obvious interest of Kievan Rus' and its later Russian and Ukraninian successors, striving in numerous ways to link themselves with the political and religious heritage of Byzantium, to claim such a direct visit from the famous. Claiming direct lineage from St. Andrew also had the effect of disregarding any theological leanings of Greek Orthodoxy over which disagreement arose, since the actual "indirect" proselytising via Byzantium was bypassed altogether. Still, as the same source quotes, Andrew only preached to the southern shore of the Black Sea (current Turkey).


The Saltire (or "St. Andrew's Cross") is the national flag of Scotland
About the middle of the 10th century, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. Several legends state that the relics of Andrew were brought by divine guidance from Constantinople to the place where the modern town of St Andrews stands today (Gaelic, Cill Rìmhinn).

The oldest surviving manuscripts are two: one is among the manuscripts collected by Jean-Baptiste Colbert and willed to Louis XIV of France, now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, the other in the Harleian Mss in the British Library, London. They state that the relics of Andrew were brought by one Regulus to the Pictish king Óengus mac Fergusa (729–761). The only historical Regulus (Riagail or Rule) whose name is preserved in the tower of St Rule was an Irish monk expelled from Ireland with Saint Columba; his dates, however, are c 573 – 600. There are good reasons for supposing that the relics were originally in the collection of Acca, bishop of Hexham, who took them into Pictish country when he was driven from Hexham (c. 732), and founded a see, not, according to tradition, in Galloway, but on the site of St Andrews. The connection made with Regulus is, therefore, due in all probability to the desire to date the foundation of the church at St Andrews as early as possible.

St. Andrew, carving c.1500 in the National Museum of Scotland
According to legend, in 832 AD, Óengus II led an army of Picts and Scots into battle against the Angles, led by Æthelstan, near modern-day Athelstaneford, East Lothian. The legend states that he was heavily outnumbered and hence whilst engaged in prayer on the eve of battle, Óengus vowed that if granted victory he would appoint Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. On the morning of battle white clouds forming an X shape in the sky were said to have appeared. Óengus and his combined force, emboldened by this apparent divine intervention, took to the field and despite being inferior in numbers were victorious. Having interpreted the cloud phenomenon as representing the crux decussata upon which Saint Andrew was crucified, Óengus honoured his pre-battle pledge and duly appointed Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. The white saltire set against a celestial blue background is said to have been adopted as the design of the flag of Scotland on the basis of this legend.[32] However, there is evidence that Andrew was venerated in Scotland before this.

 Andrew's connection with Scotland may have been reinforced following the Synod of Whitby, when the Celtic Church felt that Columba had been "outranked" by Peter and that Peter's brother would make a higher ranking patron. The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath cites Scotland's conversion to Christianity by Andrew, "the first to be an Apostle". Numerous parish churches in the Church of Scotland and congregations of other Christian churches in Scotland are named after Andrew. The national church of the Scottish people in Rome, Sant'Andrea degli Scozzesi is dedicated to St Andrew.

A local superstition uses the cross of Saint Andrew as a hex sign on the fireplaces in northern England and Scotland to prevent witches from flying down the chimney and entering the house to do mischief. By placing the St Andrew's cross on one of the fireplace posts or lintels, witches are prevented from entering through this opening. In this case, it is similar to the use of a witch ball, although the cross will actively prevent witches from entering, and the witch ball will passively delay or entice the witch, and perhaps entrap it.


Andrew is the patron saint of several cities and countries including: Barbados, Scotland, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Patras in Greece, Amalfi in Italy, Luqa in Malta, and Esgueira in Portugal. He was also the patron saint of Prussia and of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The flag of Scotland (and consequently the Union Flag and that of its commonwealth countries) feature St Andrew's saltire cross. The saltire is also the flag of Tenerife, the former flag of Galicia and the naval jack of Russia. The Confederate flag also features a saltire commonly referred to as a St Andrew's cross, although its designer, William Porcher Miles, said he changed it from an upright cross to a saltire so that it would not be a religious symbol but merely a heraldic device. The Florida and Alabama flags also show that device.

The feast of Andrew is observed on November 30 in both the Eastern and Western churches, and is the national day of Scotland. In the traditional liturgical books of the Catholic Church, the feast of St. Andrew is the first feast day in the Proper of Saints.


    1.  Etravel Pilipinas. "Philippine Heroes: Gat Andres Bonifacio y de Castro". Etravel Pilipinas. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
    2. "St Andrew".
    3.  John 1:40; John 6:8
    4.  Metzger & Coogan (1993) Oxford Companion to the Bible, p 27.
    5. "National Shrine to St Andrew in Edinburgh Scotland". Retrieved 2013-09-06.
    6.  Mark 13:3; John 6:8, 12:22; but in Acts there is only one mention of him. 1:13
    7. "MacRory, Joseph. "St. Andrew." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 29 Oct. 2012". 1907-03-01. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
    8. Encyclopedia of early Christianity by Everett Ferguson, p. 51.
    9. In Monumenta Germaniae Historica II, cols. 821-847, translated in M.R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford) reprinted 1963:369.
    10. The legends surrounding Andrew are discussed in F. Dvornik, "The Idea of Apostolicity in Byzantium and the Legend of the Apostle Andrew", Dumbarton Oaks Studies, IV (Cambridge) 1958.
    11. Judith Calvert, "The Iconography of the St. Andrew Auckland Cross", The Art Bulletin 66.4 (December 1984:543-555) p. 545, note 12; according to Louis Réau, Iconographie de l'art chrétien III.1 (Paris) 1958:79, St. Andrew's Cross appeared for the first time in the tenth century, but did not become an iconographic standard before the seventeenth. Calvert was unable to find a sculptural representation of Andrew on the saltire cross earlier than an architectural capital from Quercy, of the early twelfth century.
    12. National Archives of Scotland (2011-11-23). "St. Andrew in the National Archives of Scotland". Retrieved 2013-09-06.
    13.  "Catholic Herald 2 October 1964". Retrieved 2013-09-06.
    14. Reception of the precious skull of St. Andrew (in Greek)
    15. Video of the reception ceremony from the Hellenic National AudioVisual Archive site
    16.  "La croix de Saint André". Retrieved 2013-09-06.
    17. Charlotte Denoël. Saint And
    18. Charlotte Denoël. Saint André: culte et iconographie en France (Ve -XVe siècles). Paris : École nationale des chartes, 2004
    19. "Abbaye Saint-Victor de Marseille, monuments historiques en France (in French)". Retrieved 2013-09-06.
    20. George Alexandrou, THE ASTONISHING MISSIONARY JOURNEYS OF THE APOSTLE ANDREW, Road to Emmaus,Vol. V, No. 4, pp.43-45
    21. Historical note on the reception of the cross of St. Andrew (in Greek)
    22. Relic of St. Andrew Given to Greek Orthodox Church. Zenit News Agency (via Published: 27 February 2006.
    23. Peterson, Peter Megill (1958), Andrew, Brother of Simon Peter: His History and Legends, p. 20. E. J. Brill
    24. Rapp, Stephen H. (2003), Studies in Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts And Eurasian Contexts, p. 433. Peeters Publishers, ISBN 90-429-1318-5
    25. Djobadze, Wachtang Z., "Materials for the Study of Georgian Monasteries in the Western Environs of Antioch on the Orontes", pp. 82-83. Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, vol. 372, subsidia 48. Louvain, 1976.
    26.  "Apostolos Andreas Monastery, Karpaz, North Cyprus". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
    27.  Lavinia Stan, Lucian Turcescu, Religion and Politics in Post-Communist Romania, , 2007, p.48
    28. Mircea Păcurariu- Sfinţi daco-români şi români, EDITURA MITROPOLIEI MOLDOVEI ŞI BUCOVINEI, IAŞI – 1994
    29. Tudor Pamfil, Mitologia poporului roman, Editura Saeculum, 2007
    30. Maria Filipoiu, Traditii crestine si ritualuri populare romanesti, Ed. Paideia, 2009
    31.  "St. Andrew's Day in Romania". 2008-11-25. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
    32. Tudor Pamfil, Sărbătorile de toamnă şi postul Crăciunului - Bucureşti, 1914, p.127-128
    33.  Parker Lawson, John (1848). History of the Abbey and Palace of Holyroodhouse. p. 169.

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:   Liturgical Calendar Year 2014 Cycle A

    The liturgical year begins with First Sunday of Advent, which starts four Sundays before Christmas (December 25). In this Liturgical year, 2014, Circle A, the Church meditates on the Gospel of Matthew and uses it for most of Sunday readings  (St. Luke for Circle B and St. Mark for Circle C). St. John, who appears several times in the Liturgy of the Word of almost all three years, is offered in a special way during the time of the Lord's Passion.

    Year A -Meditating on the Gospel of Matthew*

    About Matthew and his Gospel
    Jesus chose one of the unlikeliest of men to be his apostle, Matthew the much hated tax-collector who worked for the Roman Empire (Matthew 9:9).  Unlike most of the other apostles who were skillful fishermen, Matthew was skilled with the pen and with giving an account of facts and figures.  Matthew the evangelist wrote some 1068 verses while the evangelist Mark wrote some 661 verses.  Matthew wrote his gospel sometime in the last quarter of the first century, likely between 85 and 105 AD. 

    Matthew's gospel is placed first in the canon of the New Testament, not because it was written first, some of Paul's letters and the Gospel of Mark were written before, but because it is a bridge between the Old and New Testament. 

    Main Points
    Matthew focuses on the substance of Jesus' teaching.  His account of Jesus' teaching is arranged in five sections which focus on the kingdom of God: (1) the Sermon on the Mount or the Law of the Kingdom comprise chapters 5-7; (2) his missionary instructions to his disciples on the duties of the leaders of the kingdom in chapter 10;  (3) the Parables of the Kingdom in chapter 13; (4) the themes of "greatness" and "forgiveness" in the kingdom in chapter 18; and (5) the "coming of the King" in chapters 24-25.

    Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew
    In his Gospel, Matthew convinced the Jews that Jesus is their Messiah King, the Anointed One, the Christ, the Son of God and founder of the kingdom of God.  Matthew's account uses the word "kingdom" 50 times, and the "kingdom of heaven" 32 times.  Matthew also shows Jesus' authority over nature by his miracles, his authority over sin by forgiving sins, and his authority over death by his resurrection.

    The Gospel of the Jews
    Matthew writes as a Jew to his fellow Jews to present to them the evidence for Jesus' claim to be the King of the Jews.  He quotes extensively from the Old Testament prophets to show how Jesus fulfilled all that was spoken about the Messiah who would come to establish the reign [or kingdom] of God.  He frequently writes, "as it is written in the prophet..." or "this was done to fulfill what was spoken by the prophets..."  Nine times Matthew refers to Jesus as the "son of David".  The prophets had fortold that the Messiah would be a direct descent of David.  Matthew's gospel begins with the genealogy of Jesus, tracing him back to David, King of Israel, and then to Abraham, the first Jew.  Matthew traces Jesus' lineage through Joseph, his foster father, rather than through Mary, his biological mother [as Luke's account does].  Matthew, the observant Jew, notes that according to Jewish genealogy, the father's lineage counted legally for royalty.

    The Meaning of the Liturgical Year

    The Liturgical Year celebrates the Mystery of Christ

    liturgical yearBy preaching the Church “announces” “the whole mystery of Christ” (CD 12) and with the Liturgy it “celebrates it presenting the sacred memory (SC 102).  In such a way it makes present today “the unfathomable treasure of Christ” (Eph 3, 8 ff; cf. 1, 18; 2, 7): his signs of salvation, with which the faithful come into contact in order to draw from it the grace of salvation.  The Liturgical Year which has its “source” and its “summit” in the Paschal Mystery is articulated into five “periods of time” which have a special relationship with the diverse moments of the Mystery of Christ (SC 10; LG 11).  Therefore, they follow a progressive order: Advent and Christmas; Lent and the Passover or Easter; Ordinary Time.

    • Time of Advent and of Christmas
     Advent is a time of preparation with a twofold characteristic: it recalls the first coming of the Son of God in humility and pre- announces the second coming in glory: it is a time of active waiting, of expectation, of desire, of prayer, of evangelization, of joy.  Christmas is a time of joyful contemplation of the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God and of his first manifestations, who has come for our salvation “man among men”. During this time Mary is particularly celebrated as “Mother of God”.

    • Time of Lent and of Passover or Easter
     Lent is a time of preparation the purpose of which is to guide to a more intense and gradual participation in the Paschal Mystery.  During this time the catechumens are accompanied through the various degrees of Christian initiation, and the faithful through the living memory of Baptism and Penance. The Passover or Easter is the summit of the Liturgical Year, from which all the other parts draw their efficacy of salvation, it is the fulfilment of the redemption of humanity and of perfect glorification of God: it is the destruction of sin and of death, communication of resurrection and of life.

    • Ordinary Time
    During this long period of time, which has a first stage between Christmas Time and Lent, and develops more extensively from Pentecost to the following Advent, is a global celebration of the mystery of Christ, which is taken up again and deepened in many of its particular aspects.

    Already, we can say that Sundays – “The Day of the Lord” – are the “Weekly Passover or Easter” and therefore, a living grafting into the central nucleus of the mystery of Christ throughout the whole year; but then the Weeks (33 and 34) develop through an intense and continued recourse to the Bible the deepening of small cycles of the mystery of Christ, offering these to the meditation of the faithful in order that this may become a stimulus to the action in the Church and in the world.

    Liturgical Colors

    Liturgies celebrated during the different seasons of the liturgical year have distinctive music and specific readings, prayers, and rituals. All of these work together to reflect the spirit of the particular season. The colors of the vestments that the priest wears during the liturgy also help express the character of the mysteries being celebrated.

    White, the color of joy and victory, is used for the seasons of Easter and Christmas. It is also used for the feasts of Our Lord, for feasts of Mary, the angels, and for saints who are not martyrs. Gold may also be used on solemn occasions.

    Red (the color of blood) is used on days when we celebrate the passion of Jesus on Passion Sunday and Good Friday. It is also used for the birthday feasts of the apostles and evangelists and for the celebrations of martyrs. Red (the color of fire) recalls the Holy Spirit and is used on Pentecost and for the sacrament of Confirmation.

    Green, seen everywhere in plants and trees, symbolizes life and hope and is used during Ordinary Time.

    The colors violet or purple in Advent help us to remember that we are preparing for the coming of Christ. Lent, the season of penance and renewal, also uses the colors violet or purple.

    Rose may be used on the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, and on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday. It expresses the joy of anticipation for Christmas and Easter, respectively.

    Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Three: Life in Christ 

    SECTION TWO:  The Ten Commandments


    Article 1:1 First Commandment , "You Shall Worship the Lord Your God and Him Only Shall You Serve"


    "Teacher, what must I do . . .?"

    2052 "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" To the young man who asked this question,
    Jesus answers first by invoking the necessity to recognize God as the "One there is who is good," as the
    supreme Good and the source of all good. Then Jesus tells him: "If you would enter life, keep the
    commandments." and he cites for his questioner the precepts that concern love of neighbor: "You shall not
    kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father
    and mother." Finally Jesus sums up these commandments positively: "You shall love your neighbor as
    yourself." Mt 19:16-19

    2053 To this first reply Jesus adds a second: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."Mt 19:21 This reply does not do away with the first: following Jesus Christ involves keeping the Commandments. the Law has not been abolished,Mt 5:17 but rather man is invited to rediscover it in the person of his Master who is its perfect fulfillment. In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus' call to the rich young man to follow him, in the obedience of a disciple and in the observance of the Commandments, is joined to the call to poverty and chastity.Mt 19:6-12, 21, 23-29 The evangelical counsels are inseparable from the Commandments.

    2054 Jesus acknowledged the Ten Commandments, but he also showed the power of the Spirit at work in
    their letter. He preached a "righteousness [which] exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees"Mt 5:20 as well as that of the Gentiles.Mt 5:46-47 He unfolded all the demands of the Commandments. "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill.' . . . But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment."Mt 5:21-22
    2055 When someone asks him, "Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?"Mt 22:36 Jesus replies: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. and a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets."Mt 22:37-40; cf. Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18 The Decalogue must be interpreted in light of this twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law:

    the commandments: "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.Rom 13:9-10

    The Decalogue in Sacred Scripture
    2056 The word "Decalogue" means literally "ten words."Rom Ex 34:28; Deut 4:13; 10:4 God revealed these "ten words" to his people on the holy mountain. They were written "with the finger of God,"Ex 31:18; Deut 5:22 unlike the other commandments written by Moses.Deut 31:9. 24 They are pre-eminently the words of God. They are handed on to us in the books of Exodus Ex 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy.Deut 5:6-22 Beginning with the Old Testament, the sacred books refer to the "ten words,"Hos 4:2; Jer 7:9; Ezek 18:5-9 but it is in the New Covenant in Jesus Christ that their full meaning will be revealed.

    2057 The Decalogue must first be understood in the context of the Exodus, God's great liberating event at
    the center of the Old Covenant. Whether formulated as negative commandments, prohibitions, or as
    positive precepts such as: "Honor your father and mother," the "ten words" point out the conditions of a life
    freed from the slavery of sin. the Decalogue is a path of life:
    If you love the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live andmultiply.Deut 30:16
    This liberating power of the Decalogue appears, for example, in the commandment about the
    sabbath rest, directed also to foreigners and slaves:
    You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.Deut 5:15

    2058 The "ten words" sum up and proclaim God's law: "These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. and he wrote them upon two tables of stone, and gave them to me."Deut 5:22 For this reason these two tables are called "the Testimony." In fact, they contain the terms of the covenant concluded between God and his people. These "tables of the Testimony" were to be deposited in "the ark."Ex 25:16; 31:18; 32:15; 34:29; 40:1-2

    2059 The "ten words" are pronounced by God in the midst of a theophany (“The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire."Deut 5:4). They belong to God's revelation of himself and his glory. the gift of the Commandments is the gift of God himself and his holy will. In making his will known, God reveals himself to his people.

    2060 The gift of the commandments and of the Law is part of the covenant God sealed with his own. In Exodus, the revelation of the "ten words" is granted between the proposal of the covenant Ex 19 and its conclusion - after the people had committed themselves to "do" all that the Lord had said, and to "obey" it.Ex 24:7 The Decalogue is never handed on without first recalling the covenant (“The LORD our God made
    a covenant with us in Horeb.").Deut 5:2

    2061 The Commandments take on their full meaning within the covenant. According to Scripture, man's
    moral life has all its meaning in and through the covenant. the first of the "ten words" recalls that God loved
    his people first:
    Since there was a passing from the paradise of freedom to the slavery of this world, in punishment for sin, the first phrase of the Decalogue, the first word of God's commandments, bears on freedom "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery."Origen, Hom. in Ex. 8,1: PG 12, 350; cf. Ex 20:2; Deut 5:6

    2062 The Commandments properly so-called come in the second place: they express the implications of
    belonging to God through the establishment of the covenant. Moral existence is a response to the Lord's
    loving initiative. It is the acknowledgement and homage given to God and a worship of thanksgiving. It is
    cooperation with the plan God pursues in history.

    2063 The covenant and dialogue between God and man are also attested to by the fact that all the obligations are stated in the first person (“I am the Lord.") and addressed by God to another personal subject (“you"). In all God's commandments, the singular personal pronoun designates the recipient. God makes his will known to each person in particular, at the same time as he makes it known to the whole people:
    The Lord prescribed love towards God and taught justice towards neighbor, so that man would be neither unjust, nor unworthy of God. Thus, through the Decalogue, God prepared man to become his friend and to live in harmony with his neighbor.... the words of the Decalogue remain likewise for us Christians. Far from being abolished, they have received amplification and development from the fact of the coming of the Lord in the flesh.St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres., 4, 16, 3-4: PG 7/1, 1017-1018

    The Decalogue in the Church's Tradition

    2064 In fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with the example of Jesus, the tradition of the Church has
    acknowledged the primordial importance and significance of the Decalogue.

    2065 Ever since St. Augustine, the Ten Commandments have occupied a predominant place in the catechesis of baptismal candidates and the faithful. In the fifteenth century, the custom arose of expressing the commandments of the Decalogue in rhymed formulae, easy to memorize and in positive form. They are still in use today.  The catechisms of the Church have often expounded Christian morality by following the order of the Ten Commandments.

    2066 The division and numbering of the Commandments have varied in the course of history. the present catechism follows the division of the Commandments established by St. Augustine, which has become traditional in the Catholic Church. It is also that of the Lutheran confessions. the Greek Fathers worked out a slightly different division, which is found in the Orthodox Churches and Reformed communities.

    2067 The Ten Commandments state what is required in the love of God and love of neighbor. the first three concern love of God, and the other seven love of neighbor.
    As charity comprises the two commandments to which the Lord related the whole Law and the prophets . . . so the Ten Commandments were themselves given on two tablets. Three were written on one tablet and seven on the other.St. Augustine, Sermo 33, 2, 2: PL 38, 208

    2068 The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the
    justified man is still bound to keep them;Cf. DS 1569-1570 The Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments."LG 24

    The Unity of the Decalogue
    2069 The Decalogue forms a coherent whole. Each "word" refers to each of the others and to all of them; they reciprocally condition one another. the two tables shed light on one another; they form an organic unity.
    To transgress one commandment is to infringe all the others.Jas 2:10-11 One cannot honor another person without blessing God his Creator. One cannot adore God without loving all men, his creatures. the Decalogue brings man's religious and social life into unity.

    The Decalogue ant the natural law
    2070 The Ten Commandments belong to God's revelation. At the same time they teach us the true humanity
    of man. They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore, indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent
    in the nature of the human person. the Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law:
    From the beginning, God had implanted in the heart of man the precepts of the natural law. Then he was content to remind him of them. This was the Decalogue.St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 15, 1: PG 7/l, 1012

    2071 The commandments of the Decalogue, although accessible to reason alone, have been revealed. To
    attain a complete and certain understanding of the requirements of the natural law, sinful humanity needed
    this revelation:
    A full explanation of the commandments of the Decalogue became necessary in the state of sin because the light of reason was obscured and the will had gone astray.St. Bonaventure, Comm. sent. 4, 37, 1, 3
    We know God's commandments through the divine revelation proposed to us in the Church, and through the voice of moral conscience. 

    The Obligation of the Decalogue
    2072 Since they express man's fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbor, the Ten
    Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They are fundamentally immutable,
    and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can dispense from them. the Ten Commandments are
    engraved by God in the human heart.

    2073 Obedience to the Commandments also implies obligations in matter which is, in itself, light. Thus
    abusive language is forbidden by the fifth commandment, but would be a grave offense only as a result of
    circumstances or the offender's intention. "Apart from me you can do nothing"

    2074 Jesus says: "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears
    much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."Jn 15:5 The fruit referred to in this saying is the holiness of
    a life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ, partake of his mysteries, and keep
    his commandments, the Savior himself comes to love, in us, his Father and his brethren, our Father and our
    brethren. His person becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity. "This is my
    commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."Jn 15:12

    2075 "What good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" - "If you would enter into life, keep the
    commandments" ( Mt 19:16-17).
    2076 By his life and by his preaching Jesus attested to the permanent validity of the Decalogue. 2077 The
    gift of the Decalogue is bestowed from within the covenant concluded by God with his people. God's
    commandments take on their true meaning in and through this covenant.
    2078 In fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with Jesus' example, the tradition of the Church has always
    acknowledged the primordial importance and significance of the Decalogue.
    2079 The Decalogue forms an organic unity in which each "word" or "commandment" refers to all the others
    taken together. To transgress one commandment is to infringe the whole Law (cf Jas 2:10-11).
    2080 The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law. It is made known to us by divine
    revelation and by human reason.
    2081 The Ten Commandments, in their fundamental content, state grave obligations. However, obedience
    to these precepts also implies obligations in matter which is, in itself, light.
    2082 What God commands he makes possible by his grace.


    2083 Jesus summed up man's duties toward God in this saying: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."Mt 22:37; cf. Lk 10:27:". . . and with all your strength."
     This immediately echoes the solemn call: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD."Deut 6:4
    God has loved us first. the love of the One God is recalled in the first of the "ten words." the commandments then make explicit the response of love that man is called to give to his God.

    Article 1
    I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.Ex 20:2-5; cf. Deut 5:6-9
    It is written: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."Mt 4:10

    I. "You Shall Worship the Lord Your God and Him Only Shall You Serve"
    2084 God makes himself known by recalling his all-powerful loving, and liberating action in the history of the one he addresses: "I brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." the first word contains the first commandment of the Law: "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him.... You shall not go after other gods."Deut 6:13-14 God's first call and just demand is that man accept him and worship him.
    2085 The one and true God first reveals his glory to Israel.Ex 19:16-25; 24:15-18 The revelation of the vocation and truth of man is linked to the revelation of God. Man's vocation is to make God manifest by acting in conformity with his creation "in the image and likeness of God":
    There will never be another God, Trypho, and there has been no other since the world began . . . than he who made and ordered the universe. We do not think that our God is different from yours. He is the same who brought your fathers out of Egypt "by his powerful hand and his outstretched arm." We do not place our hope in some other god, for there is none, but in the same God as you do: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.St. Justin, Dial. cum Tryphone Judaeo 11, 1: PG 6, 497

    2086 "The first commandment embraces faith, hope, and charity. When we say 'God' we confess a constant, unchangeable being, always the same, faithful and just, without any evil. It follows that we must necessarily accept his words and have complete faith in him and acknowledge his authority. He is almighty, merciful, and infinitely beneficent. Who could not place all hope in him? Who could not love him when contemplating the treasures of goodness and love he has poured out on us? Hence the formula God employs in the Scripture at the beginning and end of his commandments: 'I am the LORD.'"Roman Catechism 3, 2,4

    2087 Our moral life has its source in faith in God who reveals his love to us. St. Paul speaks of the "obedience of faith"Rom 1:5; 16:26 as our first obligation. He shows that "ignorance of God" is the principle and explanation of all moral deviations.Rom 1:18-32 Our duty toward God is to believe in him and to bear witness to him.
    2088 The first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith:
    Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness.
    2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. "Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."CIC, can. 751: emphasis added

    2090 When God reveals Himself and calls him, man cannot fully respond to the divine love by his own powers. He must hope that God will give him the capacity to love Him in return and to act in conformity with the commandments of charity. Hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God's love and of incurring punishment.
    2091 The first commandment is also concerned with sins against hope, namely, despair and presumption:
    By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God's goodness, to his justice - for the Lord is faithful to his promises - and to his mercy.
    2092 There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit).

    2093 Faith in God's love encompasses the call and the obligation to respond with sincere love to divine charity. the first commandment enjoins us to love God above everything and all creatures for him and because of him.Deut 6:4-5
    2094 One can sin against God's love in various ways:
    - indifference neglects or refuses to reflect on divine charity; it fails to consider its prevenient goodness and denies its power.
    - ingratitude fails or refuses to acknowledge divine charity and to return him love for love.
    - lukewarmness is hesitation or negligence in responding to divine love; it can imply refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity.
    - acedia or spiritual sloth goes so far as to refuse the joy that comes from God and to be repelled by divine goodness.
    - hatred of God comes from pride. It is contrary to love of God, whose goodness it denies, and whom it presumes to curse as the one who forbids sins and inflicts punishments.