Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015 - Litany Lane Blog: Consecrate, Ezekiel 2:2-5, Psalms 123:1-4, Mark 6:1-6, Pope Francis's, Apostolic Journey to Ecuador Bolivia and Paraguay, Our Lady of Medjugorje Monthly Messages, Hymn of the Week, Feast of the Saint Anthony Zacharia, Cremona Cathedral, Order of Barnibites, Institutes of Consecrated Life in the Roman Catholic Church , Featured Read - Mystical City of God Book 1 Chapter 2-4, Catholic Catechism - The Profession of Faith Chapter Two - I Believe In Jesus Christ, The Only Son of God: Article 5 Paragraph 2 On the Third Day He Arose From The Dead and In Brief, RECHARGE: Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

Sunday,  July 5, 2015 - Litany Lane Blog:

Consecrate, Ezekiel 2:2-5, Psalms 123:1-4, Mark 6:1-6, Pope Francis's, Apostolic Journey to Ecuador Bolivia and Paraguay, Our Lady of Medjugorje Monthly Messages, Hymn of the Week, Feast of the Saint Anthony Zacharia, Cremona Cathedral, Order of Barnibites, Institutes of Consecrated Life in the Roman Catholic Church , Featured Read - Mystical City of God Book 1 Chapter 2-4, Catholic Catechism - The Profession of Faith Chapter Two - I Believe In Jesus Christ, The Only Son of God: Article 5 Paragraph 2 On the Third Day He Arose From The Dead and In Brief,  RECHARGE: Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). A remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience, tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7. ~ Zarya Parx 2015

"Where there is a Will, With God, There is a Way", "There is always a ray of sunshine amongst the darkest Clouds, the name of that ray is Jesus" ~ Zarya Parx 2014

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:  14th Sunday In Ordinary Time

Rosary - Glorious Mysteries


Hymn of the Week

Prayer of Saint Francis

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord
And where there's doubt, true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there's sadness, ever joy.
Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we're born to eternal life.
Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we're born to eternal life.

~2 Samuel 14:25; 1 Corinthians 14:9; 2 Peter 3:16; 2 Corinthians 12:15; Psalm 108:1; 1 Corinthians 9:22; 2 John 1:8; 1 Chronicles 2:9;

Our Lady of Medjugorje Monthly Messages

July 2, 2015 message form our Lady of Medjugorje:

Dear children, I am calling you to spread the faith in my Son - your faith. You, my children illuminated by the Holy Spirit, my apostles, transmit it to others - to those who do not believe, who do not know, who do not want to know - but for that you must pray a lot for the gift of love, because love is the mark of true faith - and you will be apostles of my love. Love always, anew, revives the pain and the joy of the Eucharist, it revives the pain of the Passion of my Son, by which He showed you what it means to love immeasurably; it revives the joy for having left you His body and blood to feed you with Himself - and in this way, to be one with you. Looking at you with tenderness, I feel immeasurable love which strengthens me in my desire to bring you to a firm faith. Firm faith will give you joy and happiness on earth and in the end the encounter with my Son. This is His desire. Therefore, live Him, live love, live the light that always illuminates you in the Eucharist. I implore you to pray a lot for your shepherds, to pray so as to have all the more love for them because my Son gave them to you to feed you with His body and to teach you love. Therefore, also you are to love them. But, my children, remember, love means to endure and to give, and never, ever to judge. I love you with immeasurable love. Thank you for having responded to my call.” ~ Blessed Mother Mary


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis Daily Catechesis:

(5-13 JULY 2015)

(5-13 JULY 2015)

Time Difference
Rome: +2h UTC
Quito/Guayaquil: -5h UTC
La Paz/Santa Cruz/Asunción: -4h UTC

Sunday, 5 July 2015
9:00 Departure from Rome's Fiumicino airport for Quito (Ecuador)
15:00 Arrival at “Mariscal Sucre” International Airport of Quito
Welcoming ceremony
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]

Monday, 6 July 2015
9:00 Departure by plane for Guayaquil
Arrival at “José J. de Olmedo” International Airport of Guayaquil
10:30 Visit to the Shrine of Divine Mercy
11:45 Holy Mass at Los Samanes Park
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
14:00 Luncheon at Javier College with the Jesuit Community and the Papal Entourage
17:10 Departure by plane for Quito
18:00 Arrival at “Mariscal Sucre” International Airport of Quito
19:00 Courtesy Visit to the President of the Republic at “Carondelet” Presidential Palace
20:10 Visit to the Cathedral of Quito
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]

Tuesday, 7 July 2015
9:00 Meeting with the Bishops of Ecuador at the Convention Center of the Bicentennial Park
10:30 Holy Mass at the Bicentennial Park
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
16:30 Meeting with the representatives of schools and universities at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
18:00 Meeting with the civil society at San Francisco Church
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
19:15 Private visit to the “Iglesia de la Compañia”

Wednesday, 8 July 2015
9:30 Visit to the Nursing Home of the Missionaries of Charity
10:30 Meeting with the Clergy, Men and Women Religious and Seminarians at the Marian National Shrine of “El Quinche”
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
12:00 Departure by plane from Quito for La Paz (Bolivia)
16:15 Arrival at the International Airport of El Alto in La Paz
Welcoming ceremony
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
18:00 Courtesy Visit to the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia at the Palace of Government
19:00 Meeting with the civil authorities at the Cathedral of La Paz
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
20:00 Departure by plane for Santa Cruz de la Sierra
21:15 Arrival at Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Thursday, 9 July 2015
10:00 Holy Mass in the square of Christ the Redeemer
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
16:00 Meeting with Priests, Men and Woman Religious and Seminarians at Don Bosco school
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
17:30 Participation at the Second World Meeting of the Popular Movements at the Expo Feria
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]

Friday, 10 July 2015
9:30 Visit at Santa Cruz Rehabilitation Center – Palmasola
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]

Meeting with the Bishops of Bolivia at de La Santa Cruz parish church

12:45 Farewell ceremony at Viru Viru International Airport
13:00 Departure by plane for Asunción (Paraguay)
15:00 Arrival at “Silvio Pettirossi” International Airport of Asunción
Welcoming ceremony
18:00 Courtesy Visit to the President of the Republic at Lopez Palace
18:45 Meeting with authorities in the gardens of Lopez Palace
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]

Saturday, 11 July 2015
8:30 Visit to the “Niños de Acosta Ñu” General Paediatric Hospital
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
10:30 Holy Mass in the square of the Marian Shrine of Caacupé
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
16:30 Meeting with representatives of the civil society at León Condou stadium of San José school
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
18:15 Vespers with Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Men and Women Religious, Seminarians and Catholic Movements at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]

Sunday, 12 July 2015
8:15 Visit to the people of Bañado Norte (Chapel of Juan Bautista)
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
10:00 Holy Mass in the Ñu Guazú field
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
13:00 Meeting with the Bishops of Paraguay in the Apostolic Nunciature
13:30 Luncheon with the Bishops of Paraguay and the Papal Entourage
17:00 Meeting with the young people at the “Costanera”
[Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]
19:00 Departure for Rome

Monday, 13 July 2015
13:45 Arrival at Ciampino Airport in Rome

(2015-07-05 Vatican Radio) 

Reference: Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2015 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed - 07/05/2015


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope:  2015

Vatican City, Spring 2015 (VIS)

The following is the English text of the intentions – both universal and for evangelization – that, as is customary, the Pope entrusted to the Apostleship of Prayer for 2015. 

Universal: That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will work together for peace.
Evangelization: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.

Universal: That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.

Universal: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.

Universal: That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God.
Evangelization: That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church.

Universal: That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary’s intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.

Universal: That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.

Universal: That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.

Universal: That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy.
Evangelization: That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbours to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society.

Universal: That opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people.
Evangelization: That catechists may give witness by living in a way consistent with the faith they proclaim.

Universal: That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.

Universal: That we may be open to personal encounter and dialogue with all, even those whose convictions differ from our own.
Evangelization: That pastors of the Church, with profound love for their flocks, may accompany them and enliven their hope.

Universal: That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving.
Evangelization: That families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.

  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2015 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 06/14/2015.


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:  consecrate  [kon-si-kreyt]  

Origin:  1325-75; Middle English consecraten < Latin consecrātus (past participle of consecrāre), equivalent to con- con- + -secr- (variant, in non-initial syllables, of sacer) sacred, holy + -ātus -ate1

verb (used with object), consecrated, consecrating.
1. to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of a deity:

to consecrate a new church building.
2. to make (something) an object of honor or veneration; hallow:

a custom consecrated by time.
3. to devote or dedicate to some purpose:

a life consecrated to science.
4. to admit or ordain to a sacred office, especially to the episcopate.
5. to change (bread and wine) into the Eucharist.

6. consecrated; sacred.


    Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 123:1-4

    1 [Song of Ascents] I lift up my eyes to you who are enthroned in heaven.
    2 Just as the eyes of slaves are on their masters' hand, or the eyes of a slave-girl on the hand of her mistress, so our eyes are on Yahweh our God, for him to take pity on us.
    3 Have pity on us, Yahweh, have pity, for we have had our full share of scorn,
    4 more than our share of jeers from the complacent. (Scorn is for the proud.)


    Today's Epistle -   Ezekiel 2:2-5

    2 As he said these words the spirit came into me and put me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
    3 He said, 'Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to the rebels who have rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have been in revolt against me up to the present day.
    4 Because they are stubborn and obstinate children, I am sending you to them, to say, "Lord Yahweh says this."
    5 Whether they listen or not, this tribe of rebels will know there is a prophet among them.


    Today's Gospel Reading -  Mark 6, 1-6

    In Nazareth, where there was no faith,
    Jesus could work no miracles!
    Everybody’s Mission: to recreate the community
    Mark 6, 1-6

    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) A key to the reading:
    In this 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Church places us before the rejection of Jesus on the part of the people of Nazareth. Passing through Nazareth was painful for Jesus. That which was his first community, now it is not longer such. Something has changed. Those who first accepted him, now reject him. As we will see later, this experience of rejection led Jesus to go ahead and to change his way of acting.
    Has something changed in your relationship with your family or with your friends, since you began to participate in the community? Has participation in the community helped you to accept and to have greater trust in persons, especially in the simplest and poorest persons?

    b) A division of the text to help in the reading:
    Mark 6,1: Jesus arrives to Nazareth, his community of origin
    Mark 6, 2-3: The reaction of the people of Nazareth before Jesus
    Mark 6, 4: The way in which Jesus accepts the criticism
    Mark 6, 5-6: The lack of faith prevents him from working the miracle

    c) The text:
    1 Leaving that district, he went to his home town, and his disciples accompanied him. 2 With the coming of the Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, 'Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him? 3 This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?' And they would not accept him. 4 And Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is despised only in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house'; 5 and he could work no miracle there, except that he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. He made a tour round the villages, teaching.

    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.
    a) Which is the part of this text which you have liked the most and what impressed you most? Why?
    b) Which is the attitude of Nazareth before Jesus? Why do they not believe in him?
    c) Because of the lack of faith of the people, Jesus cannot work many miracles in Nazareth. Why is faith so important? Would it be that Jesus cannot work miracles without the faith of persons?
    d) Which are the elements which have to characterize the mission of the disciples?
    e) Which is the point of the mission of the apostles which today has greatest importance for us? Why?

    5. For those who wish to deepen more into the theme

    a) Context of yesterday and of today:
    i) Throughout the pages of his Gospel, Mark indicates that the presence and actions of Jesus constitute a growing source of joy for some and a reason of rejection for others. The conflict grows, the mystery of God appears which envelopes the person of Jesus. With chapter 6 of the narrative we find ourselves before a curve. The people of Nazareth close themselves up before Jesus (Mk 6, 1-6). And Jesus, before this closing up of the people of his community, opens himself to the people of another community. He directs himself toward the people of Galilee and sends his disciples on mission, teaching them how the relationship should be with the persons, so that it will be a true community relationship, which does not exclude as it happens among the people of Nazareth (Mk 6, 7-13).

    ii) When Mark writes his Gospel, the Christian communities lived in a difficult situation, without horizons. Humanly speaking there was no future for them. The description of the conflict which Jesus lives in Nazareth and in the sending out of the disciples, which extends the mission, makes it creative. For those who believe in Jesus there can be no situation without a horizon.

    b) Commentary on the text
    Mark 6, 1-3. Reactions of the people of Nazareth before Jesus
    It is always good to go back to our own land. After a long absence, Jesus also goes back and, as usual, on Saturday he goes to a meeting of the community. Jesus was not the coordinator, but just the same he speaks. This is a sign that the persons could participate and express their opinion. But the people did not like the words pronounced by Jesus, they were scandalized. Jesus, who was known to them since he was a child, how is it that now he is so different? The people of Capernaum had accepted the teaching of Jesus (Mark 1, 22), but the people of Nazareth remained scandalized and had not accepted it. Which was the reason for this rejection? “Is this not the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary?” They did not accept God’s mystery present in such a common person, one like themselves! In order to be able to speak of God, he would have to be different from them!

    The expression “brothers of Jesus” causes much polemics between Catholics and Protestants. Basing themselves on this and in other texts, the Protestants say that Jesus had more brothers and sisters and that Mary had more children! We Catholics say that Mary did not have other children. What can we think about this? In the first place, the two positions, that of Catholics and that of the Protestants, take arguments from the Bible and from the ancient Tradition from their respective Churches. For this reason, it is not convenient to discuss these questions using rational arguments, which are the fruit of our own ideas. It is a question of deep convictions which have something to do with faith and the sentiment of the people.

    The argument supported by ideas alone does not succeed to bring about a conviction of faith the roots of which are found in the heart! It only irritates and disturbs! But even if I do not agree with the opinion of the other one, I must always respect it. In the second place, instead of discussing around the texts, all of us, Catholics and Protestants, should unite much more to fight in the defence of life, created by God, a life which is so transfigured by poverty, injustice, the lack of faith. We should remember other words of Jesus: “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance” (Jn 10, 10). “So that all may be one, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me” (Jn 17, 21). “You must not stop him. Anyone who is not against us is for us” (Mk 9, 39, 40).

    Mark 6, 4-6b. Reactions of Jesus before the attitude of the people of Nazareth
    Jesus knows very well that “the saint of the house does not work miracles”. And he says: “A prophet is despised only in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house!” In fact, there where faith is not accepted, people can do nothing. The prejudice prevents it. Jesus, even if he wanted, can do nothing and remains surprised before their lack of faith.

    c) Information on the Gospel of Mark:
    This year the Liturgy presents us in a particular way the Gospel of Mark. Because of this it is worth while to give some information which will help us to discover better the message which Mark wants to communicate to us.

    · The design of the face of God on the wall of the Gospel of Mark
    Jesus dies approximately in the year 33. When Mark writes his Gospel about the year 70, the Christian communities lived already dispersed in the Roman Empire. Some say that Mark writes for the community of Italy. Others say that he does it for those of Syria. It is difficult to know it with certainty. Nevertheless, one thing is certain. The problems were not lacking: the Roman Empire persecuted the Christians, the propaganda of the Empire infiltrated itself in the communities, the Jews from Palestine rebelled against the Roman invasion, there were internal tensions due to a diverse tendency, doctrine and heads…

    Mark writes his Gospel to help the communities to find a response to the problems and concerns they have. He collects various episodes and parables of Jesus and joins them together as bricks on a wall. The bricks were already ancient and known. They came from the community, where they were transmitted orally in the meetings and celebrations. The design formed by the bricks was new. It came from Mark, from his experience of Jesus. He wanted that the community, reading what Jesus did and said, would find a response to these questions: “Who is Jesus for us and who are we for Jesus? How can we be his disciples? How can we proclaim the Good News of God, that he has revealed? How can we travel on the path that he traced?

    · Three keys to understand the division of the Gospel of Mark
    1st Key: The Gospel of Mark was written to be read and listened to in community. When a book is read alone, one can always turn back, to join one thing to another, but when one is in community and a person is reading the Gospel before us, it is not possible to say: “Stop! Read again once more! I did not understand well!” As we shall see, a book written to be listened to in the community celebrations has a different way of dividing the theme from a book written to be read by one alone.

    2nd Key: The Gospel of Mark is a narrative. A narrative is like a river. Going through the river in a boat, one is not aware of the divisions in the water. The river has no divisions! It is constituted by one flow alone, from the beginning to the end. In the river, the divisions, are made beginning from the bank of the river. For example it is said: “ What a beautiful part which goes from that house up to the curve where there is a palm, three curves after that”. But in the water no divisions can be seen. The narrative of Mark runs like a river. Its divisions, those who listen, find them on the margin, that is to say, in the places through which Jesus passed by, in the geography, in the persons whom he meets, along the roads through which he goes by. These indications on the margin help those who listen not to get lost in the midst of so many words and actions of Jesus and on Jesus. The geographic framework helps the reader to walk with Jesus, step after step, from Galilee to Jerusalem, from the lake to Calvary.

    3rd Key: the Gospel of Mark was written to be read in one only time. This is what the Jews did with the brief books of the Old Testament. For example, in the night of Easter, they read all the book of the Song of Songs. Some scholars affirm that the Gospel of Mark was written to be read, completely, in the course of the night in the long Paschal vigil. Or, in order not to get the people who listened tired, the reading had to be divided and to have some pauses. Besides, when a narrative is long, as that of the Gospel of Mark, its reading has to be interrupted quite often. In certain moments there is need for a pause, otherwise the listeners would be lost. These pauses were foreseen by the author of the narrative himself . And these pauses were marked by short summaries, between two long readings. Practically, the same thing that happens in television. Every day, at the beginning of the news are repeated some scenes of the preceding transmission. When they end, some scenes of the next day are presented. These summaries are like the hinges which collect what has been read and open to what will follow. They allow one to stop and to begin anew, without interrupting or disturbing the sequence of the narrative. They help those who listen to place themselves in the river of the narrative which flows. In the Gospel of Mark there are diverse summaries of this type or pauses, which allow us to discover and follow the thread of the Good News of God which Jesus has revealed to us and that Mark tells us. In the whole there is a question of seven blocks or longer readings, intermingled with short summaries or hinges, where it is possible to make a pause.

    · A division of the Gospel of Mark
    Below we give a possible division of the Gospel of Mark. Others divide it in a different way. The importance of a division is that it opens one of the many windows inside the text, and that it helps us to discover the direction of the road which Jesus opened for us toward the Father and the brothers and sisters.

    In this division the titles are important. They indicate the path of the Spirit, of inspiration, which the Gospel follows from the beginning until the end. When an artist has an inspiration, he tries to express it in a work of art. A poem or an image which is produced encloses in itself this inspiration. Inspiration is like an electric force which runs invisibly through the wires and lights the lamp in our houses. In the same way also the inspiration runs invisibly through the letters of the poem or the form of the image to reveal or light in us a light similar or almost similar to that which shone in the soul of the artist. This is the reason why artistic works attract and shake persons so much. The same thing happens when we read and meditate on the Gospel of Mark. The same Spirit or Inspiration which impelled Mark to write the text, continues to be present in the words of his Gospel. Through an attentive and prayerful reading, this Spirit acts and begins to act in us. And thus, little by little, we discover the face of God who has revealed Himself in Jesus and which Mark communicates to us in his book.

    6. Prayer of Psalm 145
    Always give thanks for everything!
    I shall praise you to the heights,
    God my King,
    I shall bless your name for ever and ever.
    Day after day I shall bless you,
    I shall praise your name for ever and ever.
    Great is Yahweh and worthy of all praise,
    his greatness beyond all reckoning.
    Each age will praise your deeds to the next,
    proclaiming your mighty works.
    Your renown is the splendour of your glory,
    I will ponder the story of your wonders.
    They will speak of your awesome power,
    and I shall recount your greatness.
    They will bring out the memory of your great generosity,
    and joyfully acclaim your saving justice.
    Yahweh is tenderness and pity,
    slow to anger, full of faithful love.
    Yahweh is generous to all,
    his tenderness embraces all his creatures.
    All your creatures shall thank you,
    Yahweh, and your faithful shall bless you.
    They shall speak of the glory of your kingship
    and tell of your might,
    making known your mighty deeds to the children of Adam,
    the glory and majesty of your kingship.
    Your kingship is a kingship for ever,
    your reign lasts from age to age.
    Yahweh is trustworthy in all his words,
    and upright in all his deeds.
    Yahweh supports all who stumble,
    lifts up those who are bowed down.
    All look to you in hope
    and you feed them with the food of the season.
    And, with generous hand,
    you satisfy the desires of every living creature.
    Upright in all that he does,
    Yahweh acts only in faithful love.
    He is close to all who call upon him,
    all who call on him from the heart.
    He fulfils the desires of all who fear him,
    he hears their cry and he saves them.
    Yahweh guards all who love him,
    but all the wicked he destroys.
    My mouth shall always praise Yahweh,
    let every creature bless his holy name for ever and ever.

    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 practice 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 Anthony Maria Zaccaria 

    Feast Day: July 5
    Patron Saint:  The Barnabite Order

    Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria
    (Italian: Antonio Maria Zaccaria) (1502 – 5 July 1539) Cofounder of the Barnabites. Born in 1502 in Cremona, Italy, Anthony became a medical doctor. In 1528 he was ordained a priest and cofounded the Barnabites, the religious congregation so called because it was headquartered in St. Barnabas Monastery in Milan. The Barnabites occupied the monastery in 1538, having been approved in 1533. Anthony popularized the forty-hour prayer ceremony, promoted the use of altar sacraments, and introduced the ringing of church bells on Friday. He is depicted in liturgical art in habit

    Anthony was born in the city of Cremona, Italy in 1502 to noble parents. When he was two his father died and he was brought up as an only child by his mother. At an early age, he took a private vow of chastity. He studied philosophy at the University of Pavia, and, from 1520, medicine at the University of Padua. After completing studies in 1524, he practised as a doctor in Cremona for three years.
    In 1527, he started studying for the priesthood. Because of his already extensive studies and his Christian upbringing, he was ordained in 1528. Having explored his calling for two years, mainly working in hospitals and institutions for the poor, he became the spiritual advisor to Countess Ludovica Torelli of Guastalla (then the tiny County of Guastalla) in 1530, and followed her to Milan. While there, he laid the foundations of three religious orders: one for men (the Clerics Regular of St Paul, commonly known as the Barnabites); a female branch of uncloistered nuns, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul; and a lay congregation for married people, the Laity of St. Paul, originally called the Married of St. Paul, and sometimes referred to in North America as the Oblates of St. Paul. The three foundations met regularly and engaged together in various forms of apostolic action. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy and religious.
    The Barnabites' main devotions were the teachings of Saint Paul and emphasis on love for the Eucharist and Christ crucified. Since the order criticized what they saw as abuses in the Roman Catholic Church, Zaccaria soon gained a number of enemies, and as the order's founder, he was twice investigated for heresy, in 1534 and 1537. He was acquitted both times. In 1536, he stepped down as general of the order and went to Vicenza, where he reformed two convents and founded the order's second house.
    While in Vincenza, he popularized for the laity the Forty-hour devotion--solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for the adoration of the faithful—accompanied by preaching. He also revived the custom of ringing church bells at 3 p.m. on Fridays, in remembrance of the Crucifixion. He left only a few writings: twelve letters, six sermons, and the constitution of the Barnabites.
    While on a mission to Guastalla, Italy, in 1539, he caught a fever. Combined with the strict penances he performed, his health waned and he died on 5 July 1539, at the age of 37.
    He was buried in the convent of the Angelics of St Paul, the female branch of the Barnabites, in Milan. 27 years after his death, his body was found to be incorrupt. His mortal remains are now enshrined at the Church of St. Barnabas in Milan, Italy. He was honored as a saint by the Barnabites and others, but his cult was not confirmed until 3 January 1890, when Pope Leo XIII beatified him. The same pontiff canonized him on 27 May 1897. His feast day is celebrated on 5 July.
    In art, he is depicted wearing the black cassock of the order and holding a lily, cross, chalice and/or host.


    1. Marcello Landi, La presenza della Summa Theologiae di Tommaso d'Aquino nei primi due Sermoni di Antonio Maria Zaccaria in Barnabiti Studi 20 (2003), pp. 69–81
    2. Marcello Landi, Sant'Antonio Maria Zaccaria. Contesto storico-culturale e presenza della Summa Theologiae di san Tommaso d'Aquino nei suoi primi tre sermoni, in Sacra Doctrina. Studi e ricerche n. 52 (3/2006), pp. 46–81


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        Today's Snippet I:  Cremona Cathedral,  Italy

        Cremona Cathedral,  Cremona Italy
        Cremona Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Cremona, Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta), dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Cremona, Lombardy, northern Italy. It is the seat of the Bishop of Cremona. Its bell tower is the famous Torrazzo, symbol of the city and tallest pre-modern tower in Italy.

        Also adjoining is the baptistery, another important medieval monument.

        Originally built in Romanesque style, the cathedral has been restored and extended several times, with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. Construction began in 1107, but the works were damaged and halted after an earthquake in 1117. Construction resumed in 1129, and the building was probably finished in 1160-1170. The main altar, dedicated to the city's patron saints Archelaus and Himerius, was consecrated in 1196.

        The current façade was probably built in the 13th and the early 14th century. In the same period the arms of the transept were also added: the northern in 1288 and the southern in 1348.


        The main façade, together with the adjoining baptistery, is one of the most important monuments of Romanesque art in Europe. It has a portico with a narthex in the middle, to which a Renaissance loggia with three niches was added in 1491. This is surmounted by a large rose window, flanked by two orders of loggette ("small loggias").

        The portal is probably from the early 12th century. On its side are the figures of the Four Major Prophets, each bearing a roll with the text of their prophecies. The narthex was made by masters from Campione in the following century: it incorporates an older frieze portraying the Labours of the Months (late 12th century, inspired by that in the Baptistery of Parma). The four statues on the upper loggia, portraying the Madonna with Child and two bishops, are of the Tuscan school (1310). The columns of the narthex stand on two lions in Verona marble. The left one is holding a dragon, symbol of Evil, in his paws, while the right one is holding a bear, which in turn is biting a bird's neck.

        On the façade are also two tombs: the more recent one (mid-14th century) is by Bonino da Campione.

        The façade of the northern arm of the transept (late 13th century) also has a narthex; and its columns also have two lions at the base. It is characterized by a sequence of mullioned windows and rose windows. The façade of the southern arm of the transept dates from 1342, and is in brickwork, as is typical in Lombard Gothic architecture. Its structure is similar to the northern arm, but has slightly more detailed decoration.

        The three apses are all surmounted by loggias with small columns, each having a human face stretching out from the capital. The central apse is much higher than the flanking ones.


        The Crucifixion by Il Pordenone,
        The interior houses important works of art.

        The oldest are the frescoes of the Stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph in the southern and northern transept vaults (late 14th-early 15th century).

        Also from the Renaissance are the arch of the Stories of the Martyrs Marius and Marta, Audifax and Habakkuk, martyrs in Persia (best known as Arch of the Persian Martyrs, 1482), and the relief of Saint Himerius (1481-1484), both works by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo. Also notable is the urn of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, sculpted mostly by Benedetto Briosco (1506-1513), in the crypt.

        The wooden choir, with inlay work by Platina (1482-1490), and the contemporary large altar cross in silver and gold, by Ambrogio Pozzi and Agostino Sacchi (1478), in the right aisle of the northern transept, are also notable.

        The most important figurative complex of the cathedral is the fresco decoration on the side walls of the nave (early 16th century), portraying the Life of Mary and Christ. Different painters collaborated to its execution: the first was Boccaccio Boccaccino (with Annunciation to Joachim and Jesus with the Doctors), who, in 1506, had already painted a Redemeer with Cremona's Patron Saints in the apse vault. He was succeeded by Giovan Francesco Bembo (Epiphany and Presentation at the Temple) and Altobello Melone (Flight to Egypt, Massacre of the Innocents and the first four panels of the Passion of Christ), who both adopted a less classicist style. Next came Girolamo Romanino, author of the scenes from Jesus before Pilatus to Ecce Homo, who painted some of his masterworks here.

        The last scenes of the Passion were executed by Il Pordenone, who was also responsible of the large Crucifixion (1521), the Deposition (1521, counterfaçade) and the Schizzi Altarpiece (before 1523, on the first altar in the right aisles), the latter inspired by Giorgione's style. The complex was completed by Bernardino Gatti with the Resurrection (1529).

        Other frescoes were added in the mid-16th century by Mannerist painters, including Gatti himself, Bernardino Campi and others. In the 17th century Il Genovesino added the Life of St. Roch in the northern transept.


        • Edward Hutton (1912), "Cremona", The Cities of Lombardy, New York: Macmillan Co. 
        • "Cremona", Northern Italy (14th ed.), Leipzig: Karl Baedeker, 1913 
        • Egerton R. Williams Jr. (1914), "Cremona (etc.)", Lombard Towns of Italy, London: Smith, Elder & Co.


        Snippet II:   The Order of Barnibites

        The Barnabites are Catholic priests and Religious Brothers belonging to the Roman Catholic religious order of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Latin: Clerici Regulares Sancti Pauli), founded in 1530. While in the past, they used the postnominal initials of simply "B.", they currently use C.R.S.P. Associated to the members of the Order are the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul and the lay members of the Barnabite lay movement.

        Establishment of the Order

        Second in seniority of the orders of regular clerics (the Theatines being first), the Barnabites were founded in Milan, Italy in 1530 by three Italian noblemen: St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Bartholomeo Ferrari and Cardinal Jacopo Antonio Morigia. The region was then suffering severely from the wars between Charles V and Francis I, and Zaccaria saw the need for radical reform of the Church in Lombardy, afflicted by problems typical for that era: dioceses without a bishop, clergy with inadequate theological formation, a decrease in religious practice, and monasteries and convents in decline.

        It was approved by Pope Clement VII in the brief Vota per quae vos in 1533. Later approvals gave it the status of a Religious Order, but it is still normally referred to as a congregation. Both the date and the vocation place it among the Orders associated with the Counter-Reformation. Zaccaria's holiness moved many to reform their lives but it also moved many to oppose him. Twice his community had to undergo official religious investigation, and twice it was exonerated.

        The order was given the name of "Regular Clerics of St. Paul" (Clerici Regulares Sancti Pauli). In 1538 the grand old monastery of St. Barnabas by the city wall of Milan was given to the congregation as their main seat, and thenceforth they were known the popular name of Barnabites. After the death of Zaccaria in 1539, the congregation was favored and protected by Archbishop Charles Borromeo of Milan and later by Francis de Sales because of their successful missionary work in Upper Italy. Charles Borromeo presided, in 1579, as Cardinal Protector, over the commission which wrote the Constitutions of the Order. The General Chapters of the Order were regularly held at Milan until the reign of Pope Alexander VII (1655–67), who ordered them to convene in Rome. Pope Innocent XI (1676–89), however, finally decreed that they should be held in Rome and Milan alternately.

        These assemblies of the Provincial Superiors were held every three years for the election of a new Superior General, whose term of office was limited to that period, only one re-election being allowed to each incumbent of the office.

        The Society started pastoral activity among the working classes and in monasteries.In the early 17th century, the Barnabites gradually entered the field of education – work which was to remain a mark of their apostolate. They entered France under Henry IV in 1608, and Austria under Ferdinand II in 1626.

        The present Constitution is an updated version dated 1983, which takes into account the changes from the Second Vatican Council. There is a female branch of Religious Sisters, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, found by Anthony Mary Zaccaria, and an organization for lay people, the Laity of St. Paul, originally called the Married of St. Paul and sometimes referred to in North America as the Oblates of St. Paul.

        As of July 24, 2012, the new Superior General is a Brazilian, the Very Rev. Francisco Chagas Santos da Silva.

        Character of the Order

        As indicated by the official name, the work of the Barnabites is inspired by St. Paul the Apostle. In an address in 2000, to the institutes General Chapter, Pope John Paul II noted, "[I]n pointing out the ideal of religious and apostolic life to his spiritual sons, St Anthony Mary Zaccaria emphasized charity."

        The members of the Order make, in addition to the three standard religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, a fourth vow never to strive for any office or position of dignity, or to accept such otherwise than under a command of the Holy See.

        The focus of the goals of the Barnabite Order, besides preaching in general, catechizing, hearing confessions, giving missions, ministrations in hospitals and prisons, and the education of youth, includes also a particular devotion to the thorough study and exposition of St. Paul's Epistles. Their habit is the black soutane which formed the usual garb of Milanese secular priests in the time of Borromeo. He himself was not himself a member, but is venerated by the Barnabites as a secondary patron saint of their Order.

        The first missions undertaken by the Order were in Italy, France, the former Duchy of Savoy, Austria and Bohemia. In the 18th century they started missions in China and Brazil. Today, they serve in 16 countries. Among these is Afghanistan, where they have run the Afghan Catholic Mission since 1933, interrupted only while the Taliban regime was in power.

        Barnabite Saints

        Three Barnabites are counted among the canonized saints: Anthony Maria Zaccaria, Alexander Sauli and Francis Bianchi, while some others are being investigated for possible canonization, including the Venerable Karl Schilling, the only post-Reformation Norwegian to be officially considered for sainthood, and the Italian physician and priest Vittorio De Marino. Vincenzo Sangermano was a Barnabite who was a missionary in Burma and wrote multiple books about the Burmese people

        The Order has also numbered several cardinals, the first of these being Giacomo Antonio Morigia, one of its founders, raised to the cardinalate in 1699.

        John Bellarini, who was the Visitor of the Order and twice held to office of Assistant Superior General, was also a noted theologian who wrote a number of works including an influential commentary on the Council of Trent


        • Tondini di Quarenghi, Cesario. "Barnabites." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 12 Jan. 2014
        • "Barnabite Fathers", Barnabite Fathers USA
        • Schaff, Philip. "Barnabites", The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I: Aachen - Basilians, p.488, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1951
        • Barnabiti.It
        • Pope John Paul II. "Address of the Holy Father John Paul II to the Barnabites", Vatican website
        • "The Burmese Empire a Hundred Years Ago, as Described by Father Sangermano, with an Introduction and Notes by John Jardine". World Digital Library. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
        •  "John Bellarini". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.


        Snippet III:  Institutes of Roman Catholic Consecrated Life

        Institutes of consecrated life are canonically erected institutes in the Roman Catholic Church whose members profess the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience by vows or other sacred bonds. They are defined in the Code of Canon Law under canons 573–730.

        The more numerous form of these are religious institutes, which are characterized by the public profession of vows, life in common as brothers or sisters, and separation from the world. They are defined in the Code of Canon Law under canons 607–709. The other form is that of secular institutes, in which the members live in the world, and work for the sanctification of the world from within.

        Institutes of consecrated life need the written approval of a bishop to operate within his diocese, and a diocesan Bishop can erect an institute of consecrated life in his own territory, after consulting the Apostolic See.

        The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has ecclesial oversight of institutes of consecrated life.


        Some canonical terms associated with consecrated life are frequently misused in common speech.
        • Institutes of consecrated life are canonically erected by competent church authority to enable men or women who publicly profess the evangelical counsels by religious vows or other sacred bonds, "through the charity to which these counsels lead to be joined to the Church and its mystery in a special way" (cf. canon 573 §2 of the Code of Canon Law), without this making them members of the Church hierarchy.
        • Although the state of consecrated life is neither clerical nor lay, institutes of consecrated life are clerical if, with recognition from the Church, they are directed by clerics and exercise sacred orders, and they are lay if recognized by the Church as not exercising sacred orders. For instance, the Order of Friars Preachers (O.P.) is a clerical institute of consecrated life, and the Sisters of Charity a lay institute of consecrated life.
        • A religious institute is an institute of consecrated life whose members take public vows, lead a life in common and are in some way separated from the world. A secular institute is an institute of consecrated life whose members living in the world, striving for the perfection of charity and seeking to help to sanctify the world, especially from within. The current Code of Canon Law has not maintained the distinction that the earlier Code (1917) made between orders (religious institutes in which the members took solemn vows) and congregations (those in which simple vows were taken).
        • A monk (Greek: monachos, Latin: monachus) is a person that leads the "monastic life" in a "monastery". Nowadays it tends to be wrongly assumed that it signifies someone living in community. From early Church times there has been a lively discussion of the meaning of this term (Greek: monos alone), namely whether it denotes someone living alone/away from the rest of society, or someone celibate/focused on God alone. St Benedict understood it as meaning the latter, namely a celibate dedicated to God, as becomes clear from his consideration of a hermit to be a kind of monk (Rule of St Benedict, ch. 1).
        • A monastery (Greek: monasterion) is a place where a monk lives and works, and may be home to any number of monks, one or many. Often a monastery of one is, however, called a "hermitage", and the person living there, a "hermit". "Convent" is the generic term for the community house of other religious, male or female. "Friary", "priory" and the like are other terms in use.
        • The term "religious" (as in, "he/she is a religious") means a member of a religious institute, a person in religious vows.
        • A friar is a male member of a mendicant order, principally, the religious families of Franciscans, Dominicans and Carmelites.
        • Priests in vows retain their usual title of "Father", and "Reverend Father". With a few exceptions, all men in vows who are not priests and would therefore not be addressed as "Father" are addressed as "Brother". That is to say, all monks are brothers, but not all brothers are "fathers".
        • Women religious are addressed as "Sister". The 1917 Code of Canon Law reserved the term "nun" (Latin: monialis) for women religious who took solemn vows or who, while being allowed in some places to take simple vows, belonged to institutes whose vows were normally solemn. It used the word "sister" (Latin: soror) exclusively for members of institutes for women that it classified as "congregations"; and for "nuns" and "sisters" jointly it used the Latin word religiosae (women religious). The current Code of Canon Law has dropped those distinctions. Some women superiors are properly addressed as "Mother" or "Reverend Mother". Benedictines have traditionally used the form of address "Dom" for men and "Dame" for solemnly professed nuns.

        Historical-juridical list in the Annuario Pontificio

        The Annuario Pontificio lists for both men and women the institutes of consecrated life and the like that are "of pontifical right" (those that the Holy See has erected or approved by formal decree).[10] For the men, it gives what it now calls the Historical-Juridical List of Precedence.[11] The arrangement of the institutes for men of Latin Rite in this list dates back many decades. It is found, for instance, in the 1964 edition of the Annuario Pontificio, pp. 807-870, where the heading is "States of Perfection (of pontifical right for men)". In the 1969 edition the heading has become "Religious and Secular Institutes of Pontifical Right for Men", a form it kept until 1975 inclusive. Since 1976, when work was already advanced on revising the Code of Canon Law, the list has been qualified as "historical-juridical" and still distinguishes "orders" from "congregations" in the case of Latin-Rite men, while not separating out "orders" and "congregations" in the case of the Eastern Catholic Churches and Latin-Rite women.
        It arranges the institutes for men as follows:
        A. Institutes of consecrated life
        a. Religious institutes
        I. Orders
        1. Canons regular
        2. Monks
        3. Mendicant orders
        4. Clerks regular
        II. Clerical religious congregations
        III. Lay religious congregations
        IV. Eastern orders, religious congregations and societies of apostolic life
        b. Secular institutes
        I. Clerical secular institutes
        II. Lay secular institutes
        B. Societies of apostolic life
        The institutes for women are arranged alphabetically in the following categories:
        A. Institutes of consecrated life
        a. Religious institutes
        I. Orders and institutes with autonomous houses
        II. Centralized institutes
        B. Societies of apostolic life
        These lists are followed by a list of 6 institutes under the heading "Other Institutes of Consecrated Life", a reference to new forms of consecrated life established in accordance with canons 604 §2 and 605 of the Code of Canon Law. Some of these have both male and female members, and one is open to married couples.


        • Annuario Pontificio 2012 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2012 ISBN 978-88-209-8722-0), pp. 1411-1480




        Mystical City of God, the miracle of His omnipotence and the abyss of His grace the divine history and life of the
        Virgin Mother of God our Queen and our Lady, most holy Mary expiatrix of the fault of eve and mediatrix of grace.
        Manifested to Sister Mary of Jesus, Prioress of the convent of the Immaculate Conception in Agreda, Spain. For new
        enlightenment of the world, for rejoicing of the Catholic Church, and encouragement of men. Completed in 1665.

        Venerable Mary of Agreda
        Translated from the Spanish by  Reverend George J. Blatter
        1914, So. Chicago, Ill., The Theopolitan; Hammond, Ind., W.B. Conkey Co., US..
        IMPRIMATUR:  +H.J. Alerding Bishop of Fort Wayne
        Translation from the Original Authorized Spanish Edition by Fiscar Marison
        (George J. Blatter). Begun on the Feast of the Assumption 1902, completed 1912.

        This work is published for the greater Glory of Jesus Christ through His most
        Holy Mother Mary and for the sanctification of the Church and her members.


        Book 1, Chapter 2


        O King, most high and wise Lord; How incomprehensible are thy judgments, and inscrutable thy ways (Rom. 11, 24)! Invincible God, enduring forever and whose beginning is unknown (Eccli. 18, 1)! Who can understand thy greatness and who can be worthy of thy most magnificent works, or who can tell Thee why Thou hast created them (Rom. 9, 20)? For Thou art exalted above all of them and our vision cannot reach Thee and our understanding cannot comprehend Thee. Mayest Thou be blest, magnificent King, because Thou hast deigned to show me, thy slave and a vile worm of the earth, great sacraments and most sublime mysteries.

        I saw the Most High, at the same time understanding how his Majesty is in Himself; I received a clear intelligence and a true perception of what is meant by a God, infinite in his substance and attributes, eternal, exalted above all, being three in Person, and one true God. Three in Person, because of the three activities of knowing, comprehending and loving each other; one, so as to secure the boon of eternal unity. It is the trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The Father is not made, nor created, nor begotten, nor can He be generated or have a beginning. I perceived, that the Son derives His origin from the Father alone by eternal generation; and that they are equal in their duration from eternity; and that He is begotten by the fecundity of the intelligence of the Father. The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son through love. In their indivisible Trinity there is nothing which can be called first or last, greater or smaller; all three Persons are equally eternal and eternally equal; there is unity of essence in a trinity of persons. Nor are the persons mingled in order to form one God, nor the divine substance separated or divided in order to form three Persons, being distinct as the Father, as the Son and as the Holy Ghost. They are nevertheless one and the same Divinity, equal in Each is the glory and majesty, the power, the eternity, the immensity, the wisdom and sanctity, and all the attributes. And though there are three Persons, in whom these infinite perfections subsist, He is the one and true God, the Holy, the Just, the Powerful, the Eternal and the Measureless.

        I also obtained an understanding of the manner in which this Trinity comprehends Itself by simple vision, so that no new or distinct cognition is necessary: the father knows that, which is known to the Son, and the Son and the Holy Ghost know that which is in the intelligence of the Father. I understood how they love One another with one and the same immense and eternal love; how there is a single, indivisible and equal oneness of intelligence, love and action, how there is one simple, incorporeal and indivisible nature, a divine essence of the true God, in which are joined and united all the perfections in their highest and in an infinite degree.

        I learnt also to understand the quality of these perfections of the highest Lord: that He is beautiful without a blemish, great without quantity, good without need of qualification, eternal without the duration of time, strong without any weakness, living without touch of decay, true without deceit, present in all places, filling them without occupying them, existing in all things without occupying any space. There is no contradiction in his kindness, nor any defect in his wisdom. In his wisdom He is inscrutable, in his decrees He is terrible, in his judgments just, in his thoughts most hidden, in his words most true, in his works holy, in his riches affluent. To Him no space is too wide, no narrowness causes restraint, his will does not vary, the sorrowful does not cause Him pain, the past has not passed for Him, nor does the future happen in regard to Him. O eternal Immensity, what illimitable expansion have I seen in Thee? What vastness do I see in thy infinite Being? Vision does not terminate, nor ever exhaust itself in thy abyss of being. This is the unchangeable Essence, the Being above all other beings, the most perfect sanctity, the most constant truth; this is the infinite, the length, the breadth, the height and the depth, the glory and its cause, rest without fatigue, goodness immeasurable.

        I understood, that the Most High was in the quiescent state of his own being, when the three Persons (according to our way of understanding things), decreed to communicate his perfections as a free gift. For greater clearness, I must remark, that God comprehends in Himself all things by one indivisible, most simple and instantaneous act. He does not go on from the understanding of one thing to the understanding of another like we do, distinguishing and perceiving first one thing by an act of the understanding, and after that proceeding to the knowledge of others by their connection with those already known. God knows them conjointly all at once, without before or after, since all are together and at once contained in the divine and uncreated knowledge and science, just as they are comprehended and enclosed in his infinite Being, as in their first beginning.

        Although, this divine knowledge is one, most simple and indivisible, nevertheless since the things which I see are many, and since there is a certain order, by which some are first and some come after, it is necessary to divide the knowledge of God’s intelligence and the knowledge of his will into many instants, or into many different acts, according as they correspond to the diverse orders of created things. For as some of the creatures hold their existence because of others, there is a dependence of one upon the other. Accordingly we say that God intended and decreed this before that, the one on account of the other; and that if He had not desired or included in the science of vision the one, He would not have desired the other. But by this way of speaking, we must not try to convey the meaning that God placed many acts of intelligence, or of the will; rather we must intend merely to indicate, that the creatures are dependent on each other and that they succeed one another. In order to be able to comprehend the manner of creation more easily, we apply the order of things as we see them objectively, to the acts of the divine intelligence and will in creating them.

        I understood, that this order comprises the following instants. The first instant is: God recognizing his infinite attributes and perfections together with the propensity and the ineffable inclination to communicate Himself outwardly. This knowledge of God as being communicative ad extra comes first. The majesty of God, beholding the nature of his infinite perfections, their virtue and efficacy operating with magnificence, saw, that it was just and most proper, and, as it were, a duty and a necessity, to communicate Himself and to follow that inclination of imparting and exercising his liberality and mercy, by distributing outside of Himself with magnificence the plenitude of the infinite treasures, contained in the Divinity. For, being infinite in all things, it is much more natural that He communicate gifts and graces than that fire should ascend, or the stone should gravitate towards its center, or that the sun should diffuse its light. This unfathomable depth of perfections, this affluence of treasures, this impetuous infinity of riches, is set in motion by its own inclinations to communicate itself. At the same time God is in Himself conscious that to distribute gifts and graces, is not to diminish his riches, but to increase them in the only possible way, by giving an outlet to the inexhaustible fountain of his riches.

        In this enlightenment and knowledge which I possess, two things hold my lukewarm heart in wonder and inflame it unto annihilation. The first is the inclination and urgent desire, which I see in God, and the strong will, to communicate his Divinity and the treasures of his grace. The second is the unspeakable and incomprehensible immensity of the good gifts, which I see He wishes to distribute according to this degree, assigning them for this purpose and yet remaining infinite, as if He had not yet given nothing. In this desire and inclination, which fills his Majesty I see Him prepared to sanctify, justify, overwhelm with gifts and perfections all creatures together and each one in particular for itself. He would be ready to give to each of the creatures more than what is held by all the angels and seraphim together; even if all the drops in the ocean and the grains of sand on their shores, all the stars, the planets and the elements, and all creatures were capable of reason and of his gifts, they would receive them without measure, provided they would dispose themselves and place no obstacle toward receiving them. O fearful malice of sin, which alone is capable of holding up the impetuous stream of such great and eternal gifts!

        The second instant was to confirm and determine the object and intention of this communication of the Divinity ad extra, namely, that it should redound to his greater glory and to the exaltation of his Majesty and the manifestation of his greatness. This his own exaltation God saw as the end, for which he would communicate Himself, make Himself known by his liberality in the distribution of his attributes, and set in motion his Omnipotence in order that He might be known, praised and glorified.

        The third instant consisted in selecting and determining the order and arrangement, or the mode of this communication, so as to realize in an adequate manner the most exalted ends. The order namely, which it is proper should be maintained in regard to the communications of the Godhead and its divine attributes; so that this activity of the Lord may have its proper reasons and objects, and so that it might proceed with the most beautiful and admirable sequence, harmony and subordination. In this instant was decreed first of all, that the Divine Word should assume flesh and should become visible. The perfection and the composition of the most holy humanity of Christ our Lord was decreed and modeled in divine intelligence. Secondarily, also were formed the ideals of the rest of men in imitation of the First. The divine mind prearranged the harmony and adornment of the human nature composed of an organic body and a vivifying soul, endowed with faculties to know and enjoy its Creator, to discern between good and evil, and with a free will to love that same Lord.

        The fourth instant was to determine the gifts and graces, which were to be conferred upon the humanity of Christ, our Lord, in union with the Divinity. Here the Most High opened the liberal hands of his Omnipotence and his other attributes, in order to enrich the most sacred humanity and the soul of Christ with the highest possible plenitude of his gifts and graces. Then was fulfilled what afterward David said: “The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful” (Ps. 45, 5). When the stream of his gifts flowed toward the humanity of the Word, communicating to it all the infused science, the grace and goodness of which his blessed soul was capable of grace and glory, in order that from this impetuous stream they might partake in the manner in which it afterwards really happened.

        To this instant also, and, as it were, in natural sequence, pertain the decree and predestination of the Mother of the Divine Word incarnate; for here, I understand, was ordained that pure Creature before aught else whatever. Thus, before all other creatures, was She conceived in the divine mind, in such manner and such state as befitted and became the dignity, excellence and gifts of the humanity of her most holy Son. To her flowed over, at once and immediately, the river of the Divinity and its attributes with all its impetuosity, in as far as a mere creature is capable and as is due to the dignity of the Mother of God.

        In the knowledge of these exalted mysteries and decrees, I confess myself ravished in admiration and transported beyond my proper self. Perceiving this most holy and pure Creature formed and conceived in the divine mind from the beginning and before all the ages, I joyously and exultingly magnify the Omnipotent for the admirable and mysterious decree, by which He formed for us such a pure and grand, such a mysterious and godlike Creature, worthy rather to be admired and praised by all beings, than to be described by any one. In my admiration I can say with St. Dionysius the Areopagite: “If faith would not instruct me, and if the understanding of what I see would not teach me, that it is God, who has conceived her in his mind, and who alone could and can in his Omnipotence form such an image of his Divinity, if this all were not present to my mind, I might begin to doubt, whether the Virgin Mother contain not in Herself Divinity.”

        O what tears flowed from my eyes, and what sorrowful astonishment possessed my soul, to see that divine prodigy not acknowledged and that wonder of the Most High not manifest to all the mortals. Much is known of it, but much more is unknown, as this sealed book has not been opened. I am ravished in the perception of this tabernacle of God, and I perceive that the Author of it is more admirable in her creation, than in that of all the rest of the world, although the diversity of the creatures manifests the wonderful power of their Creator. In this Queen alone are comprehended and contained more treasures than in all the rest of things joined together, and the variety and preciousness of her riches honor the Lord above all the multitudes of the other creatures.

        Here (according to our way of understanding) the promise and, as it were, the contract was made with the Word as to the degree of sanctity, and perfection and the gifts and graces, which were to be possessed by Mary his Mother. Also as to the protection, support and defense, which was to be provided for this true City of God, in which his Majesty contemplated the graces and merits, which She earned for Herself, as well as the fruits to be gathered for his people by the loving returns, which She was to make to his Majesty. In the same instant, and as it were in the third and last place, God determined to create a locality and an abode, where the incarnate Word and his Mother should converse and dwell. For them primarily did He create the heaven and earth with its stars and elements and all that is contained in them. Secondarily the intention and decree included the creation of the members, of which Jesus was to be the Head, and of whom He would be the King; in order that with kingly providence, all the necessary and befitting arrangements might be made beforehand.

        I pass over to the fifth instant, although in reality I have found that, which I sought. In this fifth decree the creation of the angelic nature which is more excellent and more like unto the spiritual being of the Divinity, was determined upon, and at the same time the division or arrangement of the angelic hosts into nine choirs and three hierarchies, was provided and decreed. As they are created first of all for the glory of God, to assist before his divine Majesty and to know and love Him, so secondarily they are ordained to assist, glorify and honor, reverence and serve the deified humanity of the eternal Word, recognizing Him as Head, and honoring Him also in his Mother, the most holy Mary, Queen of these same angels. Commission was given to these angels, “to bear them up in their hands” in all their ways (Ps. 90, 12). In this instant Christ our Lord earned for them by his infinite merits, present and foreseen, all the grace, which they were to receive. He was constituted as their Head, Exemplar and supreme King, of whom they should be subjects. Even of the number of angels had been infinite, the merits of Christ our highest Good, would be abundantly sufficient to supply them all with grace.

        To this instant belongs also the predestination of the good, and the reprobation of the bad angels. God saw in it, by means of his infinite science, all the works of the former and of the latter and the propriety of predestinating, by his free will and by his merciful liberality, those that would obey and give honor, and of reprobating by his justice those who would rise up against his Majesty in pride and disobedience on account of their disordered selflove. In the same instant also was decreed the creation of the empyrean heaven, for the manifestation of his glory and the reward of the good; also the earth and the heavenly bodies for the other creatures; moreover also in the center or depth of the earth, hell, for the punishment of the bad angels.

        In the sixth instant was decreed the creation of a people and the congregation of men for Christ, who was already formed in the divine mind and will, and according to his image and likeness man was to be made, in order, that the incarnate Word might find brethren, similar but inferior to Himself and a people of his own nature, of whom He might be the Head. In this instant was determined the order of creation of the whole human race, which was to begin from one man and woman and propagate itself, until the Virgin and her Son should be born in the predestined order. On account of the merits of Christ our Savior, the graces and gifts were prearranged, and also original justice, if they would only preserve it. The fall of Adam was foreseen and in him that of all others, except of the Queen, who did not enter into this decree. As a remedy, it was ordained that the most holy humanity should be capable of suffering. The predestined were chosen by free grace, and the foreknown were reprobated with exact justice. All that was convenient and necessary for the conservation of the human race and for obtaining the end of the Redemption and the Predestination, was preordained, without interfering with the free will of men; for such ordainment was more conformable to God’s nature and to divine equity. There was no injustice done to them, for if with their free will they could sin, so also could they abstain from sin by means of grace and the light of reason. God violated the right of no one, since He forsook no one nor denied to any one that which is necessary. Since his law is written in the hearts of men, nobody is excused for not knowing and loving Him as the highest Good of all creation.

        In the perception of these mysteries I saw with great clearness and force the high motives which caused God to manifest and magnify Himself and which should induce men to praise and adore the greatness of the Creator and Redeemer of all. I also saw how tardy they are in the acknowledgment of these obligations and in making return for these benefits; and I was made aware of the complaints and the indignation of the Most High on account of this forgetfulness. His majesty commanded and exhorted me not to be guilty of such ingratitude, but to offer Him a sacrifice of praise, and a new song, and that I magnify Him in the name of all creatures.

        O most high and incomprehensible Lord! Would that I had the love and perfections of all the angels and the just in order to confess and praise worthily thy greatness! I acknowledge, great and mighty Lord, that such a vile creature as I cannot merit the memorable benefit of receiving this clear and exalted knowledge and light concerning thy exalted Majesty. At the sight of thy greatness I perceive my littleness, which before that happy hour was unknown to me; and I was ignorant of the greatness and excellence of the virtue of humility, which is learnt in this science. I do not wish to say that I now possess that virtue, but neither can I deny that I have been shown the certain path which leads to it. Thy light, O most high Lord, illumines me and thy lamp shows me the paths (Ps. 118, 105), so that I see what I have been and what I am, and fear what I may become to be. Thou hast lighted up, most high King, my understanding and inflamed my will with its most exalted object.

        Book 1, Chapter 3


        The Cause of all causes is God, who created all things that have being. His powerful arm gave existence to all his wonderful works ad extra when and how He chose. The beginning and succession of the work of Creation is described by Moses in the opening chapter of Genesis. Since the Lord has given me an understanding thereof, I will mention what I think useful for elucidating the mysterious origin of the Incarnation of the Word and of our Redemption.

        The words of the first chapter of Genesis are as follows:
        1.”In the beginning God created heaven and earth.”
        2.”And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.”
        3.”And God said: Be light made. And light was made.”
        4.”And God saw the light that it was good; and be divided the light from the darkness.”
        5. “And he called the light day, and the darkness night; and there was evening and morning one day,” etc.
        Of the first day Moses says that “In the beginning God created heaven and earth.” He created heaven for angels and men; and the earth as a place of pilgrimage for mortals. These places are so adapted to their end and so perfect, that as David says of them, the heavens publish the glory of the Lord, the firmament and the earth announce the glory of the work of his hands (Ps. 18, 2).

        The angels were created in the empyrean heavens and in the state of grace by which they might be first to merit the reward of glory. For although they were in the midst of glory, the Divinity itself was not to be made manifest to them face to face and unveiled, until they should have merited such a favor by obeying the divine will. The holy angels, as well as the bad ones, remained only a very short time in the state of probation; for their creation and probation with its result were three distinct instants or moments, separated by short intermissions. In the first instant they were all created and endowed with graces and gifts, coming into existence as most beautiful and perfect creatures. Then followed a short pause, during which the will of the Creator was propounded and intimated, and the law and command was given to them, to acknowledge Him as their Maker and supreme Lord, and to fulfill the end for which they have been created. During this pause, instant or interval, Saint Michael and his angels fought that great battle with the dragon and his followers, which is described by the apostle Saint John in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse. The good angels, persevering in grace, merited eternal happiness and the disobedient ones, rebelling against God, merited the punishment, which they now suffer.

        At first they received a more explicit intelligence of the being of God, one in substance, trine in person, and that they were commanded to adore and reverence Him as their Creator and highest Lord, infinite in his essence and attributes. All subjected themselves to this command and obeyed it, but with a certain difference; the good angels obeyed through love and on account of the justice of it, offering their love and good will, freely and admitting and believing what was above their intelligence, and obeying with joy. Lucifer, on the other hand, submitted himself, because the opposite seemed to him impossible. He did not do it with perfect charity, for he, as it were, was divided in his will between himself and the infallible truth of the Lord. In consequence it happened that the precept appeared to him in a measure difficult and violent, and his fulfilling of it was wanting in love and in the desire to do justice. Thus he exposed himself beforehand to the danger of not persevering. Although grace did not leave him on account of this remissness and slowness in the accomplishment of these first acts, nevertheless his bad disposition began with them; for there remained with him a certain weakness and laxity of virtue and spirit, and the perfection of his nature did not shine forth as it should. It appears to me that the effect of this remissness in Lucifer, is similar to that which is caused in the soul by a deliberate venial sin. I do not say that he sinned mortally, nor even venially at that time, since he fulfilled the precept of God; but this fulfillment was remiss and imperfect, springing more from a sense of overwhelming compulsion, than from a loving willingness to obey. Thus he put himself in danger of falling.

        In the second place, the angels were informed that God was to create a human nature and reasoning creatures lower than themselves, in order that they too should love, fear and reverence God, as their Author and eternal Good. They were informed that these were to stand in high favor, and that the second Person of the blessed Trinity was to become incarnate and assume their nature, raising it to the hypostatic union and to divine Personality; that therefore they were to acknowledge Him as their Head, not only as God, but as God and man, adoring Him and reverencing Him as God–man. Moreover, these same angels were to be his inferiors in dignity and grace and were to be his servants. God gave them an intelligence of the propriety and equity, of the justice and reasonableness of such a position. For the acceptation of the merits foreseen of this Mangod was exhibited to them as the source of the grace which they now possessed and of the glory which they were to obtain. They understood also that they themselves had been, and all the rest of the creatures should be created for his glory, and that He was to be their Head. All those that were capable of knowing and enjoying God, were to be the people of the Son of God, to know and reverence Him as their Chief. These commands were at once given to the angels.

        To this command all the obedient and holy angels submitted themselves and they gave their full assent and acknowledgment with an humble and loving subjection of the will. But Lucifer, full of envy and pride, resisted and induced his followers to resist likewise, as they in reality did, preferring to follow him and disobey the divine command. This wicked prince persuaded them, that he would be their chief and that he would set up a government independent and separate from Christ. So great was the blindness which envy and pride could cause in an angel, and so pernicious was the infection that the contagion of sin spread among innumerable other angels.

        Then happened that great battle in heaven, which St. John describes (Apoc. 12). For the obedient and holy angels, filled with an ardent desire of hastening the glory of the Most High and the honor of the incarnate Word, to resist and contradict the dragon, and the permission was granted. But also another mystery was concealed in all this: When it was revealed to the angels that they would have to obey the incarnate Word, another, a third precept was given them, namely, that they were to admit as a superior conjointly with Him, a Woman, in whose womb the Only begotten of the Father was to assume flesh and that this Woman was to be the Queen and Mistress of all the creatures. The good angels by obeying this command of the Lord, with still increasing and more alert humility, freely subjected themselves, praising the power and the mysteries of the Most High. Lucifer, however, and his confederates, rose to a higher pitch of pride and boastful insolence. In disorderly fury he aspired to be himself the head of all the human race and of the angelic orders, and if there was to be a hypostatic union, he demanded that it be consummated in him.

        The decree constituting him inferior to the Mother of the Incarnate Word, our Mistress, he opposed with horrible blasphemies. Turning against the Author of these great wonders in unbridled indignation and calling upon the other angels, he exhorted them, saying: “Unjust are these commands and injury is done to my greatness; this human nature which Thou, Lord, lookest upon with so much love and which thou favorest so highly, I will persecute and destroy. To this end I will direct all my power and all my aspirations. And this Woman, Mother of the Word, I will hurl from the position in which Thou hast proposed to place Her, and at my hands, the plan, which Thou settest up, shall come to naught.”

        This proud boast so aroused the indignation of the Lord that in order to humble it, He spoke to Lucifer: “This Woman whom thou refusest to honor, shall crush thy head and by Her shalt thou be vanquished and annihilated (Gen. 3, 15). And if, through thy pride, death enters into the world (Wis. 2, 24), life and salvation of mortals shall enter through the humility of this Woman. Those that are of the nature and likeness of that Man and Woman, shall enjoy the gifts and the crowns, which thou and thy followers have lost.” To all this the dragon, filled with indignation against whatever he understood of the divine will and decrees, answered only with pride and by threatening destruction to the whole human race. The good angels saw the just indignation of the Most High againstevile one and his apostates and they combated them with the arms of the understanding, reason and truth.

        The Almighty at this conjuncture worked another wonderful mystery. Having given to all the angels a sufficiently clear intelligence of the hypostatic Union, He showed them the image of the most holy Virgin by means of an imaginary vision (I speak here according to our way of understanding such things). They were shown the perfection of the human nature in the revelation of an image representing a most perfect Woman, in whom the almighty arm of the Most High would work more wonderfully than in all the rest of the creatures. For therein He was to deposit the graces and gifts of his right hand in a higher and more eminent manner. This sign or vision of the Queen of heaven and of the Mother of the incarnate Word was made known and manifest to all the angels, good and bad. The good ones at the sign of it broke forth in admiration and in canticles of praise and from that time on began to defend the honor of the God incarnate and of his holy Mother, being armed with ardent zeal and with the invincible shield of that vision. The dragon and his allies on the contrary conceived implacable hatred and fury against Christ and his most holy Mother. Then happened all that which is described in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse, which I will explain, as far as it has been given me.

        The literal version of that chapter of the Apocalypse is as follows:
        1. “And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars:
        2. And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.
        3. And there was seen another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns; and on his head seven diadems.
        4. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth and the dragon stood before the woman, who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.
        5. And she brought forth a man–child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod; and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne.
        6. And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred and sixty days.
        7. And there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels.
        8. And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.
        9. And the dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
        10. And I heard a loud voice saying: Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ; because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night.
        11. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death.
        12. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having a great wrath and knowing that he hath but a short time.
        13. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man–child:
        14. And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
        15. And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman, water as if it were a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the river.
        16. And the earth helped the woman and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed the river, which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
        17. And the dragon was angry against the woman and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
        18. And he stood upon the sands of the sea.”

        Book 1, Chapter 4


        On the sixth day he formed and created Adam, as it were of the age of thirty–three years. This was the age in which Christ was to suffer death, and Adam with regard to his body was so like unto Christ, that scarcely any difference existed. Also according to the soul Adam was similar to Christ. From Adam God formed Eve so similar to the Blessed Virgin, that she was like unto Her in personal appearance and in figure. God looked upon these two images of the great Originals with the highest pleasure and benevolence, and on account of the Originals He heaped many blessings upon them, as if He wanted to entertain Himself with them and their descendants until the time should arrive for forming Christ and Mary.

        But the happy state in which God had created the parents of the human race lasted only a very short while. The envy of the serpent was immediately aroused against them, for satan was patiently awaiting their creation, and no sooner were they created, than his hatred became active against them. However, he was not permitted to witness the formation of Adam and Eve, as he had witnessed the creation of all other things: for the Lord did not choose to manifest to him the creation of man, nor the formation of Eve from a rib; all these things were concealed from him for a space of time until both of them were joined. But when the demon saw the admirable composition of the human nature, perfect beyond that of any creature, the beauty of the souls and also of the bodies of Adam and Eve; when he saw the paternal love with which the Lord regarded them, and how He made them the lords of all creation, and that He gave them hope of eternal life: the wrath of the dragon was lashed to fury, and no tongue can describe the rage with which that beast was filled, nor how great was his envy and his desire to take the life of these two beings. Like an enraged lion he certainly would have done so, if he had not known, that a superior force would prevent him. Nevertheless he studied and plotted out some means, which would suffice to deprive them of the grace of the Most High and make them God’s enemies.

        Here Lucifer was deceived; for the Lord had from the beginning mysteriously manifested to him, that the Word was to assume human nature in the womb of the most holy Mary, but not how and when; and thus He had also concealed the creation of Adam and the formation of Eve, in order that Lucifer might from the beginning labor under his ignorance concerning the mystery and the time of the Incarnation. As his wrath and his watchfulness had thus been so signally forestalled in regard to Christ and Mary, he suspected that Adam had come forth from Eve, and that She was the Mother and Adam the incarnate Word. His suspicions grew, when he felt the divine power, which prevented him from harming the life of these creatures. On the other hand, he soon became aware of the precepts of God, for these did not remain concealed from him, since he heard their conversation in regard to them. Being freed more and more from his doubt as he listened to the words of the first parents and sized up their natural gifts, he began to follow them like a roaring lion (I Pet. 5, 8), seeking an entrance through those inclinations, which he found in each of them. Nevertheless, until he was undeceived in the course of the Redemption, he continued to hesitate between his wrath against Christ and Mary and the dread of being overcome by Them. Most of all he dreaded the confusion of being conquered by the Queen of heaven, who was to be a mere creature and not God.

        Taking courage therefore in the precept, which was given to Adam and Eve, and having prepared the snare, Lucifer entered with all his energy upon the work of entrapping them and of opposing and hindering the execution of the divine Will. He first approached the woman, and not the man, because he knew her to be by nature more frail and weak, and because in tempting her he would be more certain that it was not Christ whom he was encountering. Against her also he was more enraged ever since he had seen the sign in the heaven and since the threat, which God had made in it against him. On these accounts his wrath was greater against Eve than against Adam. Before he showed himself to her, however, he aroused her in many disturbing thoughts or imaginations, in order to approach her in a state of excitement and pre–occupation. But because I have written this in another place, I will not enlarge here upon the violence and inhumanity of this temptation; it is enough for my purpose to mention what Scripture says: that he took the form of a serpent (Gen. 2, 1), and thus speaking to Eve drew her into a conversation, which she should not have permitted. Listening to him and answering, she began to believe him; then she violated the command of God, and finally persuaded her husband likewise to transgress the precept. Thus ruin overtook them and all the rest: for themselves and for us they lost the happy position, in which God had placed them.

        When Lucifer saw the two fallen and their interior beauty and grace and original justice changed into the ugliness of sin, he celebrated his triumph with incredible joy and vaunting in the company of his demons. But he soon fell from his proud boasting, when he saw, contrary to his expectations, how kindly the merciful love of God dealt with the delinquents, and how He offered them a chance of doing penance by giving them hope of pardon and return of grace. Moreover he saw how they were disposing themselves toward this forgiveness by sorrow and contrition, and how the beauty of grace was restored to them. When the demons perceived the effect of contrition, all hell was again in confusion. His consternation grew, when he heard the sentence, which God pronounced against the guilty ones, in which he himself was implicated. More especially and above all was he tormented by the repetition of that threat: The Woman shall crush thy head (Gen. 3, 15), which he had already heard in heaven.

        The offspring of Eve multiplied after the fall and so arose the distinction and the multiplication of the good and the bad, the elect and the reprobate, the ones following Christ the Redeemer, and the others following satan. The elect cling to their Leader by faith, humility, charity, patience and all the virtues and in order to obtain victory, they are assisted, helped and beautified by the divine grace and the gifts, which the Redeemer and Lord of all merited for them. But the reprobate, without receiving any such benefits from their false leader, or earning any other reward than the eternal pain and the confusion of hell, follow him in pride, presumption, obscenity and wickedness, being led into these disorders by the father of lies and the originator of sin.

        Notwithstanding all this the Most High, in his ineffable kindness, gave our first parents his benediction, in order that the human race might grow and multiply (Gen. 4, 3). The most high Providence permitted, that Eve, in the unjust Cain, should bring forth a type of the evil fruits of sin, and in the innocent Abel, both in figure and in imitation, the type of Christ our Lord. For in the just one the law and doctrine of Christ began to exert its effects. All the rest of the just were to follow it, suffering for justice sake (Matth. 10, 22), hated and persecuted by the sinners and the reprobate and by their own brothers. Accordingly, patience, humility and meekness began to appear in Abel, and in Cain, envy and all wickedness, for the benefit of the just and for his own perdition. The wicked triumph and the good suffer, exhibiting the spectacle, which the world in its progress shows to this day, namely, the Jerusalem of the godfearing and the Babylon of the godforsaken, each with its own leader and head.

        The Most High also wished that the first Adam should be the type of the second in the manner of their creation; for, just as before the creation of the first, He created and ordered for him the republic of all the beings, of which he was to be the lord and head; so before the appearance of his Onlybegotten, He allowed many ages to pass by, in order that his Son might, in the multiplied manners of the human race, find prepared for Himself a people, of which He was to be the Head, the Teacher, and the King. He was not to be even for a moment without a people and without followers: such is the wonderful harmony and order, in which the divine wisdom disposed all things, making that later in the execution, which was first in the intention.

        As the world progressed in course, in order that the Word might descend from the bosom of the Father and clothe Itself in our mortality, God selected and prepared a chosen and most noble people, the most admirable of past and future times. Within it also He constituted a most illustrious and holy race, from which He was to descend according to the flesh. I will not linger in detailing the genealogy of Christ our Lord, for the account of the holy Evangelists has made that unnecessary. I will only say, in praise of the Most High, that He has shown to me many times the incomparable love, which He bore toward his people, the favors shown to it, and the mysteries and holy Sacraments, which He entrusted to it, as was afterwards made manifest through his holy Church. For at no time has slept nor slumbered He, who has constituted Himself the watcher of Israel (Ps. 120, 4).

        He reared most holy Prophets and Patriarchs, who in figures and prophecies announced to us from far off, that, which we have now in possession. He wishes us to venerate them, knowing how they esteemed the law of grace and how earnestly they yearned and prayed for it. To this people God manifested his immutable Essence by many revelations, and they again transmitted these revelations to us by the holy Scriptures, containing immense mysteries, which we grasp and learn to know by faith. All of them, however, are brought to perfection and are made certain by the incarnate Word, who transmitted to us the secure rule of faith and the nourishment of the sacred Scriptures in his Church. Although the Prophets and the just ones of that people were not so far favored as to see Christ in his body, they nevertheless experienced the liberality of the Lord, who manifested Himself to them by prophecies and who moved their hearts to pray for his coming and for the Redemption of the whole human race. The consonance and harmony of all these prophecies, mysteries and aspirations of the ancient fathers, were a sweet music to the Most High, which resounded in the secret recesses of the Divinity and which regarded and shortened the time (to speak in a human manner) until He should descend to converse with man.


          Catholic Catechism 





          Paragraph 2. On the Third Day He Rose from the Dead 
          638 "We bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this day he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus."489 The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross:
          Christ is risen from the dead! Dying, he conquered death; To the dead, he has given life.490

          639 The mystery of Christ's resurrection is a real event, with manifestations that were historically verified, as the New Testament bears witness. In about A.D. 56 St. Paul could already write to the Corinthians: "I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. . ."491 The Apostle speaks here of the living tradition of the Resurrection which he had learned after his conversion at the gates of Damascus.492

          The empty tomb
          640 "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen."493 The first element we encounter in the framework of the Easter events is the empty tomb. In itself it is not a direct proof of Resurrection; the absence of Christ's body from the tomb could be explained otherwise.494 Nonetheless the empty tomb was still an essential sign for all. Its discovery by the disciples was the first step toward recognizing the very fact of the Resurrection. This was the case, first with the holy women, and then with Peter.495 The disciple "whom Jesus loved" affirmed that when he entered the empty tomb and discovered "the linen cloths lying there", "he saw and believed".496 This suggests that he realized from the empty tomb's condition that the absence of Jesus' body could not have been of human doing and that Jesus had not simply returned to earthly life as had been the case with Lazarus.497

          The appearances of the Risen One
          641 Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus, which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday, were the first to encounter the Risen One.498 Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ's Resurrection for the apostles themselves.499 They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers,500 and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims: "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"501

          642 Everything that happened during those Paschal days involves each of the apostles - and Peter in particular - in the building of the new era begun on Easter morning. As witnesses of the Risen One, they remain the foundation stones of his Church. The faith of the first community of believers is based on the witness of concrete men known to the Christians and for the most part still living among them. Peter and the Twelve are the primary "witnesses to his Resurrection", but they are not the only ones - Paul speaks clearly of more than five hundred persons to whom Jesus appeared on a single occasion and also of James and of all the apostles.502
          643 Given all these testimonies, Christ's Resurrection cannot be interpreted as something outside the physical order, and it is impossible not to acknowledge it as an historical fact. It is clear from the facts that the disciples' faith was drastically put to the test by their master's Passion and death on the cross, which he had foretold.503 The shock provoked by the Passion was so great that at least some of the disciples did not at once believe in the news of the Resurrection. Far from showing us a community seized by a mystical exaltation, the Gospels present us with disciples demoralized ("looking sad"504) and frightened. For they had not believed the holy women returning from the tomb and had regarded their words as an "idle tale".505 When Jesus reveals himself to the Eleven on Easter evening, "he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen."506
          644 Even when faced with the reality of the risen Jesus the disciples are still doubtful, so impossible did the thing seem: they thought they were seeing a ghost. "In their joy they were still disbelieving and still wondering."507 Thomas will also experience the test of doubt and St. Matthew relates that during the risen Lord's last appearance in Galilee "some doubted."508 Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles' faith (or credulity) will not hold up. On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under the action of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus.

          The condition of Christ's risen humanity
          645 By means of touch and the sharing of a meal, the risen Jesus establishes direct contact with his disciples. He invites them in this way to recognize that he is not a ghost and above all to verify that the risen body in which he appears to them is the same body that had been tortured and crucified, for it still bears the traces of his Passion.509 Yet at the same time this authentic, real body possesses the new properties of a glorious body: not limited by space and time but able to be present how and when he wills; for Christ's humanity can no longer be confined to earth, and belongs henceforth only to the Father's divine realm.510 For this reason too the risen Jesus enjoys the sovereign freedom of appearing as he wishes: in the guise of a gardener or in other forms familiar to his disciples, precisely to awaken their faith.511
          646 Christ's Resurrection was not a return to earthly life, as was the case with the raisings from the dead that he had performed before Easter: Jairus' daughter, the young man of Naim, Lazarus. These actions were miraculous events, but the persons miraculously raised returned by Jesus' power to ordinary earthly life. At some particular moment they would die again. Christ's Resurrection is essentially different. In his risen body he passes from the state of death to another life beyond time and space. At Jesus' Resurrection his body is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit: he shares the divine life in his glorious state, so that St. Paul can say that Christ is "the man of heaven".512

          The Resurrection as transcendent event
          647 O truly blessed Night, sings the Exultet of the Easter Vigil, which alone deserved to know the time and the hour when Christ rose from the realm of the dead!513 But no one was an eyewitness to Christ's Resurrection and no evangelist describes it. No one can say how it came about physically. Still less was its innermost essence, his passing over to another life, perceptible to the senses. Although the Resurrection was an historical event that could be verified by the sign of the empty tomb and by the reality of the apostles' encounters with the risen Christ, still it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith as something that transcends and surpasses history. This is why the risen Christ does not reveal himself to the world, but to his disciples, "to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people."514

          648 Christ's Resurrection is an object of faith in that it is a transcendent intervention of God himself in creation and history. In it the three divine persons act together as one, and manifest their own proper characteristics. The Father's power "raised up" Christ his Son and by doing so perfectly introduced his Son's humanity, including his body, into the Trinity. Jesus is conclusively revealed as "Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead".515 St. Paul insists on the manifestation of God's power516 through the working of the Spirit who gave life to Jesus' dead humanity and called it to the glorious state of Lordship.

          649 As for the Son, he effects his own Resurrection by virtue of his divine power. Jesus announces that the Son of man will have to suffer much, die, and then rise.517 Elsewhere he affirms explicitly: "I lay down my life, that I may take it again. . . I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."518 "We believe that Jesus died and rose again."519
          650 The Fathers contemplate the Resurrection from the perspective of the divine person of Christ who remained united to his soul and body, even when these were separated from each other by death: "By the unity of the divine nature, which remains present in each of the two components of man, these are reunited. For as death is produced by the separation of the human components, so Resurrection is achieved by the union of the two."520

          651 "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."521 The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ's works and teachings. All truths, even those most inaccessible to human reason, find their justification if Christ by his Resurrection has given the definitive proof of his divine authority, which he had promised.

          652 Christ's Resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life.522 The phrase "in accordance with the Scriptures"523 indicates that Christ's Resurrection fulfilled these predictions.

          653 The truth of Jesus' divinity is confirmed by his Resurrection. He had said: "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he."524 The Resurrection of the crucified one shows that he was truly "I AM", the Son of God and God himself. So St. Paul could declare to the Jews: "What God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, 'You are my Son, today I have begotten you.'"525 Christ's Resurrection is closely linked to the Incarnation of God's Son, and is its fulfillment in accordance with God's eternal plan.

          654 The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God's grace, "so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."526 Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace.527 It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ's brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: "Go and tell my brethren."528 We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fully revealed in his Resurrection.

          655 Finally, Christ's Resurrection - and the risen Christ himself is the principle and source of our future resurrection: "Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. . . For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."529 The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfillment . In Christ, Christians "have tasted. . . the powers of the age to come"530 and their lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life, so that they may "live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."530

          IN BRIEF
          656 Faith in the Resurrection has as its object an event which as historically attested to by the disciples, who really encountered the Risen One. At the same time, this event is mysteriously transcendent insofar as it is the entry of Christ's humanity into the glory of God.

          657 The empty tomb and the linen cloths lying there signify in themselves that by God's power Christ's body had escaped the bonds of death and corruption. They prepared the disciples to encounter the Risen Lord.

          658 Christ, "the first-born from the dead" (Col 1:18), is the principle of our own resurrection, even now by the justification of our souls (cf. Rom 6:4), and one day by the new life he will impart to our bodies (cf.: Rom 8:11).

          489 Acts 13:32-33.
          490 Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion of Easter.
          491 1 Cor 15:3-4.
          492 Cf. Acts 9:3-18.
          493 Lk 24:5-6.
          494 Cf. Jn 20:13; Mt 28:11-15.
          495 Cf. Lk 24:3,12,22-23.
          496 Jn 20:2, 6, 8.
          497 Cf. Jn 11:44; 20:5-7.
          498 Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1; Jn 19:31,42.
          499 Cf Lk 24:9-10; Mt 28:9-10; Jn 20:11-18.
          500 Cf 1 Cor 15:5; Lk 22:31-32.
          501 Lk 24:34,36.
          502 1 Cor 15:4-8; cf. Acts 1:22.
          503 Cf. Lk 22:31-32.
          504 Lk 24:17; cf. Jn 20:19.
          505 Lk 24:11; cf. Mk 16:11,13.
          506 Mk 16:14.
          507 Lk 24:38-41.
          508 Cf. Jn 20:24-27; Mt 28:17.
          509 Cf. Lk 24:30,39-40,41-43; Jn 20:20,27; 21:9,13-15.
          510 Cf. Mt 28:9, 16-17; Lk 24:15,36; Jn 20:14,17,19,26; 21:4.
          511 Cf. Mk 16:12; Jn 20:14-16; 21:4,7.
          512 Cf. 1 Cor 15:35-50.
          513 "O vere beata nox, quae sola meruit scire tempus et horam, in qua Christus ab inferis resurrexit!"
          514 Acts 13:31; cf. Jn 14:22.
          515 Rom 1:3-4; cf. Acts 2:24.
          516 Cf. Rom 6:4; 2 Cor 13:4; Phil 3:10; Eph 1:19-22; Heb 7:16.
          517 Cf. Mk 8:31; 9:9-31; 10:34.
          518 Jn 10:17-18.
          519 1 Thess 4:14.
          520 St. Gregory of Nyssa, In Christi res. orat. 1:PG 46,617B; cf. also DS 325; 359; 369.
          521 1 Cor 15:14.
          522 Cf. Mt 28:6; Mk 16:7; Lk 24:6-7,26-27,44-48.
          523 Cf. 1 Cor 15:3-4; cf. the Nicene Creed.
          524 Jn 8:28.
          525 Acts 13:32-33; cf. Ps 2:7.
          526 Rom 6:4; cf. 4:25.
          527 Cf. Eph 2:4-5; 1 Pet 1:3.
          528 Mt 28:10; Jn 20:17.
          529 1 Cor 15:20-22.
          530 Heb 6:5.
          531 2 Cor 5:15; cf. Col 3:1-3.


          RE-CHARGE:  Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

          To all tween, teens and young adults, A Message from Jesus: "Through you I will flow powerful conversion graces to draw other young souls from darkness. My plan for young men and women is immense. Truly, the renewal will leap forward with the assistance of these individuals. Am I calling you? Yes. I am calling you. You feel the stirring in your soul as you read these words. I am with you. I will never leave you. Join My band of young apostles and I will give you joy and peace that you have never known. All courage, all strength will be yours. Together, we will reclaim this world for the Father. I will bless your families and all of your relationships. I will lead you to your place in the Kingdom. Only you can complete the tasks I have set out for you. Do not reject Me. I am your Jesus. I love you...Read this book, upload to your phones/ipads.computers and read a few pages everyday...and then Pay It Forward...


          •   Recharge: Directions For Our Times. Heaven Speaks to Young Adults.