Monthly Archives: March 2013

Turin Shroud ‘is not a medieval forgery’

Turin Shroud ‘is not a medieval forgery’

The Turin Shroud is not a medieval forgery, as has long been claimed, but could in fact date from the time of Christ’s death, a new book claims.

The Turin Shroud is not a medieval forgery, as has long been claimed, but could in fact date from the time of Christ's death, a new book claims.

Many Catholics believe that the 14ft-long linen cloth was used to cover Christ’s body when he was lifted down from the cross after being crucified Photo: EPA
Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ.
Many Catholics believe that the 14ft-long linen cloth, which bears the imprint of the face and body of a bearded man, was used to bury Christ’s body when he was lifted down from the cross after being crucified 2,000 years ago.
The analysis is published in a new book, “Il Mistero della Sindone” or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, and Saverio Gaeta, a journalist.
The tests will revive the debate about the true origins of one of Christianity’s most prized but mysterious relics and are likely to be hotly contested by sceptics.
Scientists, including Prof Fanti, used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyse fibres from the shroud, which is kept in a special climate-controlled case in Turin.
The tests dated the age of the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.
The experiments were carried out on fibres taken from the Shroud during a previous study, in 1988, when they were subjected to carbon-14 dating.
Those tests, conducted by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona, appeared to back up the theory that the shroud was a clever medieval fake, suggesting that it dated from 1260 to 1390.
But those results were in turn disputed on the basis that they may have been skewed by contamination by fibres from cloth that was used to repair the relic when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages.
Mr Fanti, a Catholic, said his results were the fruit of 15 years of research.
He said the carbon-14 dating tests carried out in 1988 were “false” because of laboratory contamination.
The mystery of the shroud has baffled people for centuries and has spawned not only religious devotion but also books, documentaries and conspiracy theories.
The linen cloth appears to show the imprint of a man with long hair and a beard whose body bears wounds consistent with having been crucified.
Each year it lures hundreds of thousands of faithful to Turin Cathedral, where it is kept in a specially designed, climate-controlled case.
Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man’s body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Mr Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle.
He said his tests backed up earlier results which claimed to have found on the shroud traces of dust and pollen which could only have come from the Holy Land.
Mr Gaeta is also a committed Catholic – he worked for L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, and now works for Famiglia Cristiana, a Catholic weekly.
The Vatican has never said whether it believes the shroud to be authentic or not, although Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once said that the enigmatic image imprinted on the cloth “reminds us always” of Christ’s suffering.
His newly-elected successor, Pope Francis, will provide an introduction when images of the shroud appear on television on Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday, which commemorates the resurrection.
The Pope has recorded a voice-over introduction for the broadcast on RAI, the state television channel.
“It will be a message of intense spiritual scope, charged with positivity, which will help (people) never to lose hope,” said Cesare Nosiglia, the Archbishop of Turin, who also has the title “pontifical custodian of the shroud”.
“The display of the shroud on a day as special as Holy Saturday means that it represents a very important testimony to the Passion and the resurrection of the Lord,” he said.
For the first time, an app has been created to enable people to explore the holy relic in detail on their smart phones and tablets.
The app, sanctioned by the Catholic Church and called “Shroud 2.0”, features high definition photographs of the cloth and enables users to see details that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.
“For the first time in history the most detailed image of the shroud ever achieved becomes available to the whole world, thanks to a streaming system which allows a close-up view of the cloth. Each detail of the cloth can be magnified and visualised in a way which would otherwise not be possible,” Haltadefinizione, the makers of the app, said.

‘I do this with my heart,’ Pope says before washing inmates’ feet :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

‘I do this with my heart,’ Pope says before washing inmates’ feet :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Good Friday- A Message of Thanks, and of Love


  Brothers and Sisters.  Truly today is a day of reflection and sorrow, but like life, joy will come to our lives at the end of this tridium, this most holy three last days of Lent.  I do not have much of a reflection today- only a request.  Pray.  Pray for me, as I take the Body and Blood of Our most precious Savior tomorrow evening for the first time, at Easter Vigil.  Pray for me that I continue to do God’s work through my actions and my words.  Pray that this blog will be never-ending, so that we all can share in God’s Love, knowing full-heartily that the weight of all our sins are forgiven, and that we never, ever forget to take up the Cross and carry it with Him.  Thank you to all that have thus far watched, listened, and read my spiritual journey, as I truly hope that it has been a joyful, informational, and place for reflection– you all have a very special place in my heart, and in my prayers– from China, to Germany, to Austria, to South Africa, to Vietnam, to Russia, to Costa Rica, to Malaysia, the UK, the Phillipines, to the Czech Republic, Canada,  all the way to the United States, and any other readers from any Country I may have missed.  May we all continue to pray for all those Countries and many more, particularly those in the Middle East, Africa,  and elsewhere, where our Brothers and Sisters are persecuted and matyred.  May this be an inspiration, and a place of refuge– you are never alone, for we, and our prayers are with you!   May we continue our journey together, knowing that we are never alone with Christ at our helm. .  The Lord has risen! Let us always keep Him in the center of our lives. I love you all!  See you Monday!  God Bless! ~CJA

FRIDAY HOMILY: Good Friday – Behold the Wood of the Cross – Year Of Faith – Catholic Online

FRIDAY HOMILY: Good Friday – Behold the Wood of the Cross – Year Of Faith – Catholic Online

Pope Francis to offer hope by washing young inmates’ feet :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pope Francis to offer hope by washing young inmates’ feet :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

I WILL- "Go Out" and Proclaim the Gospel



“We need to “go out,” then, in order to experience our own anointing, its power and its redemptive efficacy: to the “outskirts” where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters. It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord: self-help courses can be useful in life, but to live by going from one course to another, from one method to another, leads us to become pelagians and to minimize the power of grace, which comes alive and flourishes to the extent that we, in faith, go out and give ourselves and the Gospel to others, giving what little ointment we have to those who have nothing, nothing at all.”- Pope Francis

Reflection.  How many of us are afraid to “go out” of our comfort zone, to face tribulations and evil head on?  How many of us go out and proclaim the Gospel as is said at the ending of each Mass.  How often do we want to face the fact that we say we will, but we don’t.  I myself will tell you that I fail often.  I have the want, and the need, but do not follow through like I should.  Why should the above quote from the Holy Father be just a priestly task, indeed, we all can learn from this request, and “go out” and proclaim the Gospel.  As my hour comes near this Easter Vigil when I will partake of Our Lord’s most precious Body and Blood, and confirm and renew my dedication to him, taken on the very name of my patron Saint Pio, I will also make the commitment to “go out” of my comfort zone, here locally and serve the poor, the sick, the prisoners, and the dying.  Instead of saying I will, and saying I want to do more for the Church, I will make the commitment in which to do so.  To live and have Christ in the center of our lives, we must have no fear, we must confront evil and suffering head on, knowing that not only Christ did this for us, but that he willed us to do it for others.  Never forget Christ’s love, and never forget that there is NOTHING that we cannot do with Him at the center of our lives.  God Bless! ~CJA

Pope Francis’ Holy Thursday Homily- A transcript

Dear Brothers and Sisters

This morning I have the joy of celebrating my first Chrism Mass as the Bishop of Rome. I greet all of you with affection, especially you, dear priests, who, like myself, today recall the day of your ordination.
The readings of our Mass speak of God’s “anointed ones”: the suffering Servant of Isaiah, King David and Jesus our Lord. All three have this in common: the anointing that they receive is meant in turn to anoint God’s faithful people, whose servants they are; they are anointed for the poor, for prisoners, for the oppressed. A fine image of this “being for” others can be found in the Psalm: “It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down upon the collar of his robe” (Ps 133:2). The image of spreading oil, flowing down from the beard of Aaron upon the collar of his sacred robe, is an image of the priestly anointing which, through Christ, the Anointed One, reaches the ends of the earth, represented by the robe.
The sacred robes of the High Priest are rich in symbolism. One such symbol is that the names of the children of Israel were engraved on the onyx stones mounted on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, the ancestor of our present-day chasuble: six on the stone of the right shoulder-piece and six on that of the left (cf. Ex 28:6-14). The names of the twelve tribes of Israel were also engraved on the breastplate (cf. Es 28:21). This means that the priest celebrates by carrying on his shoulders the people entrusted to his care and bearing their names written in his heart. When we put on our simple chasuble, it might well make us feel, upon our shoulders and in our hearts, the burdens and the faces of our faithful people, our saints and martyrs of whom there are many in these times.
From the beauty of all these liturgical things, which is not so much about trappings and fine fabrics than about the glory of our God resplendent in his people, alive and strengthened, we turn to a consideration of activity, action. The precious oil which anoints the head of Aaron does more than simply lend fragrance to his person; it overflows down to “the edges”. The Lord will say this clearly: his anointing is meant for the poor, prisoners and the sick, for those who are sorrowing and alone. The ointment is not intended just to make us fragrant, much less to be kept in a jar, for then it would become rancid . and the heart bitter.
A good priest can be recognized by the way his people are anointed. This is a clear test. When our people are anointed with the oil of gladness, it is obvious: for example, when they leave Mass looking as if they have heard good news. Our people like to hear the Gospel preached with “unction”, they like it when the Gospel we preach touches their daily lives, when it runs down like the oil of Aaron to the edges of reality, when it brings light to moments of extreme darkness, to the “outskirts” where people of faith are most exposed to the onslaught of those who want to tear down their faith.
People thank us because they feel that we have prayed over the realities of their everyday lives, their troubles, their joys, their burdens and their hopes. And when they feel that the fragrance of the Anointed One, of Christ, has come to them through us, they feel encouraged to entrust to us everything they want to bring before the Lord: “Pray for me, Father, because I have this problem”, “Bless me”, “Pray for me” – these words are the sign that the anointing has flowed down to the edges of the robe, for it has turned into prayer. The prayers of the people of God. When we have this relationship with God and with his people, and grace passes through us, then we are priests, mediators between God and men.
What I want to emphasize is that we need constantly to stir up God’s grace and perceive in every request, even those requests that are inconvenient and at times purely material or downright banal – but only apparently so – the desire of our people to be anointed with fragrant oil, since they know that we have it. To perceive and to sense, even as the Lord sensed the hope-filled anguish of the woman suffering from hemorrhages when she touched the hem of his garment. At that moment, Jesus, surrounded by people on every side, embodies all the beauty of Aaron vested in priestly raiment, with the oil running down upon his robes. It is a hidden beauty, one which shines forth only for those faith-filled eyes of the woman troubled with an issue of blood. But not even the disciples – future priests – see or understand: on the “existential outskirts”, they see only what is on the surface: the crowd pressing in on Jesus from all sides (cf. Lk 8:42). The Lord, on the other hand, feels the power of the divine anointing which runs down to the edge of his cloak.
We need to “go out,” then, in order to experience our own anointing, its power and its redemptive efficacy: to the “outskirts” where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters. It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord: self-help courses can be useful in life, but to live by going from one course to another, from one method to another, leads us to become pelagians and to minimize the power of grace, which comes alive and flourishes to the extent that we, in faith, go out and give ourselves and the Gospel to others, giving what little ointment we have to those who have nothing, nothing at all.
A priest who seldom goes out of himself, who anoints little – I won’t say “not at all” because, thank God, our people take our oil from us anyway – misses out on the best of our people, on what can stir the depths of his priestly heart. Those who do not go out of themselves, instead of being mediators, gradually become intermediaries, managers. We know the difference: the intermediary, the manager, “has already received his reward”, and since he doesn’t put his own skin and his own heart on the line, he never hears a warm, heartfelt word of thanks. This is precisely the reason why some priests grow dissatisfied, become sad priests, lose heart and become in some sense collectors of antiques or novelties – instead of being shepherds living with “the smell of the sheep”, shepherds in the midst of their flock, fishers of men.
True enough, the so-called crisis of priestly identity threatens us all and adds to the broader cultural crisis; but if we can resist its onslaught, we will be able to put out in the name of the Lord and cast our nets. It is not a bad thing that reality itself forces us to “put out into the deep”, where what we are by grace is clearly seen as pure grace, out into the deep of the contemporary world, where the only thing that counts is “unction” – not function – and the nets which overflow with fish are those cast solely in the name of the One in whom we have put our trust: Jesus.
Dear lay faithful, be close to your priests with affection and with your prayers, that they may always be shepherds according to God’s heart.
Dear priests, may God the Father renew in us the Spirit of holiness with whom we have been anointed. May he renew his Spirit in our hearts, that this anointing may spread to everyone, even to those “outskirts” where our faithful people most look for it and most appreciate it. May our people sense that we are the Lord’s disciples; may they feel that their names are written upon our priestly vestments and that we seek no other identity; and may they receive through our words and deeds the oil of gladness which Jesus, the Anointed One, came to bring us. Amen.

The Last Supper

The Last Supper (courtesy of Catholic.org)

The
During Lent, we should; live as children of the light, performing actions good, just and true – (see Ep 5:1-9).
Nos autem gloriari oportet in cruce Domini nostri Iesu Christi, 
in quo est salus, vita et resurrectio nostra per quem salvati et liberati sumus. 

We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he is our salvation, 
our life and our resurrection; through Him we are saved and made free. (cf. Galations 6:14)

Entrance Antiphon for Holy Thursday

HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances, saving only the Easter Vigil. It celebrates both the institution by Christ himself of the Eucharist and of the institution of the sacerdotal priesthood (as distinct from the ‘priesthood of all believers’) for in this, His last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover, He is the self-offered Passover Victim, and every ordained priest to this day presents this same sacrifice, by Christ’s authority and command, in exactly the same way. The Last Supper was also Christ’s farewell to His assembled disciples, some of whom would betray, desert or deny Him before the sun rose again.
On Holy Thursday there is a special Mass in Cathedral Churches, attended by as many priests of the diocese as can attend, because it is a solemn observance of Christ’s institution of the priesthood. At this ‘Chrism Mass’ the bishop blesses the Oil of Chrism used for Baptism and Confirmation. The bishop may wash the feet of twelve of the priests, to symbolize Christ’s washing the feet of his Apostles, the first priests.
The Holy Thursday liturgy, celebrated in the evening because Passover began at sundown, also shows both the worth God ascribes to the humility of service, and the need for cleansing with water (a symbol of baptism) in the Mandatum, or washing in Jesus’ washing the feet of His disciples, and in the priest’s stripping and washing of the altar. Cleansing, in fact, gave this day of Holy Week the name Maundy Thursday.
The action of the Church on this night also witnesses to the Church’s esteem for Christ’s Body present in the consecrated Host in the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, carried in solemn procession to the flower-bedecked Altar of Repose, where it will remain ‘entombed’ until the communion service on Good Friday. No Mass will be celebrated again in the Church until the Easter Vigil proclaims the Resurrection.
And finally, there is the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by the people during the night, just as the disciples stayed with the Lord during His agony on the Mount of Olives before the betrayal by Judas.
There is such an abundance of symbolism in the solemn celebration of the events of Holy Thursday layer upon layer, in fact that we can no more than hint at it in these few words. For many centuries, the Last Supper of Our Lord has inspired great works of art and literature, such as the glorious stained glass window in Chartres cathedral (above), Leonardo’s ever popular (and much imitated) Last Supper in the 16th century, and the reminiscence called Holy Thursday, by the French novelist, Franasois Mauriac, written in the 1930s. (A chapter of Mauriac’s meditation was reprinted in Voices, Lent-Easter 2002, with permission from Sophia Institute Press).

Let us be Rebels! A reflection.

1 Peter 1:18-19
18 Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled,


A reflection.  Let us not forget that we must help others less fortunate, those that need our prayers, and our help.  Let us turn a blind eye towards materialism, and earthly possessions.  I will tell you that this, for me, and others in America- this is very hard to do.  We live in a world and society, at least within the United States where materialism, possessions, and greed are often glorified.   Do I think that our Lord was telling us to embrace poverty?  No, not necessarily, although I do understand at times why our Brothers and Sisters in Christ choose to do so.  No, I think our Lord was reminding us, that our reward is in Heaven, not here on earth.  You see, I believe that if we continue to embrace the “status-quo” of society, particularly here in America, we are doomed for failure.  Greed, and worldly possessions  quite honestly lead us to sin, and in my case an feeling of fulfillment at first, but then a lifetime of regret and emptiness.  But there is one thing, in my life, that does not do this- and that is the love and grace of Christ.  Let us always put Christ in the center of our lives, knowing that his Love is eternal, that is never-ending.  Let us give more than we receive, let us turn away our selfish habits and replace them with giving, with charity, with love.  Let us never be afraid to stand for the Word of God, for His Church, and for what is morally set forth.  Let us never fear persecution or get caught up in the “flow” of society.  Let us be rebels against all that is “normal” and embraced in our material world, and stand firm for our spiritual beliefs and for our most precious Lord, by utilizing to the utmost extent the Blessed Sacraments that he has given us to use.  Let us constantly ask for forgiveness and help in turning away from sin, and let us never be afraid to confront evil, standing ever-lasting with our Lord.  Let us sacrifice our earthly desires as He sacrificed for us. Let us use the example of St. Michael the Archangel, and ask for his intercession in our daily spiritual battles!   I hpoe that your Holy Week is going well, and God Bless You! ~CJA 

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
by the Divine Power of God –
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen.

As he did while cardinal, Pope Francis chooses simple apartment – Living Faith – Home & Family – Catholic Online

As he did while cardinal, Pope Francis chooses simple apartment – Living Faith – Home & Family – Catholic Online