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Pope Benedict: Without the Lord's Day, Sunday, Life Does Not Flourish...
"One day of your earthly week-time will be given to the Father in prayer and meditation. It is the Day of the Lord. Know now that this is but a small penance and sacrifice for what lies ahead." - Our Lady of the Roses, August 5, 1973
The Vatican Information Service reported on September 10, 2007:
This morning the Pope celebrated Mass in Vienna's cathedral of St. Stephen, a Gothic structure with a campanile 136 meters high and a frontage incorporating two Roman towers more than 60 meters high.
A procession prior to the ceremony led the Pope 100 meters to the cathedral entrance.
In his homily, Benedict XVI reflected upon the meaning of Sunday, the day of the Lord. "In the word 'dominico' [Sunday]," he said, "two meanings are inextricably intertwined, and we must once more learn to recognize their unity. First of all there is the gift of the Lord, this gift is the Lord himself: the Risen One, Whom Christians simply need to have close and accessible to them, if they are to be themselves. ... The encounter with the Lord is inscribed in time on a specific day."
"We need this encounter which brings us together, which gives us space for freedom, which lets us see beyond the bustle of everyday life to God's creative love, from which we come and towards which we are travelling."
"Without the Lord and without the day that belongs to Him," the Holy Father insisted, "life does not flourish. Sunday has been transformed in our Western societies into the weekend, into leisure time. Leisure time is certainly something good and necessary, especially amid the mad rush of the modern world. Yet if leisure time lacks an inner focus, an overall sense of direction, then ultimately it becomes wasted time that neither strengthens nor builds us up. Leisure time requires a focus, the encounter with Him who is our origin and goal."
"The early Christians celebrated the first day of the week as the Lord's day, because it was the day of the resurrection. Yet very soon, the Church also came to realize that the first day of the week is the day of the dawning of creation, the day on which God said: 'Let there be light.' Therefore Sunday is also the Church's weekly feast of creation, the feast of thanksgiving and joy over God's creation. At a time when creation seems to be endangered in so many ways through human activity, we should consciously welcome this dimension of Sunday too."
"In this Sunday's Opening Prayer we call to mind firstly that through His Son God has redeemed us and made us His beloved children. ... To be someone's child," the Holy Father concluded, "means to be a free person, not a slave but a member of the family. And it means being an heir. If we belong to God, Who is the power above all powers, then we are fearless and free. And we are heirs. The inheritance He has bequeathed to us is Himself, His love."
At the conclusion of Mass, the Pope went out into the adjoining square where he climbed a podium to pray the Angelus. Before the Marian prayer he said: "Just as Mary bore Him in her womb - a defenseless little Child, totally dependent on the love of His Mother - so Jesus Christ, under the species of bread, has entrusted Himself to you, dear brothers and sisters. Love Him as Mary loved Him! Bring Him to others, just as Mary brought Him to Elizabeth as the source of joyful exultation! The Virgin gave the Word of God a human body, and thus enabled Him to come into the world as a man. Give your own bodies to the Lord, and let them become ever more fully instruments of God's love, temples of the Holy Spirit! Bring Sunday, and its immense gift, into the world!"
Following the Angelus, Benedict XVI presented a Letter he has written to children who participate in the initiatives of the Pontifical Work of the Holy Childhood. "In you I see young collaborators in the service that the Pope renders to the Church and to the world," the Holy Father writes in his Letter. "You support me with your prayers and with your commitment to spread the Gospel."
There are many children, the Letter proceeds, who do not know Jesus, and many more who lack the basic necessities of life. "The Church gives them her special attention, especially through the work of missionaries. And you too feel called to offer your contribution both individually and in groups. Friendship with Jesus is such a beautiful gift that we cannot keep it to ourselves."
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Directives from Heaven...
D84 - Commandments PDF
Phoenix Bishop says "No Sunday shopping" - A wedge issue in the culture wars
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