Monday, September 30, 2013

Pope: Joy of children and elders is the true sign of God's presence in the Church

Pope: Joy of children and elders is the true sign of God's presence in the Church

The future of the people is right here…in the elderly and in the children. A people who does not take care of the elderly and children has no future because it will have no memory and it will have no promise! The elderly and children are the future of a people!  it is all too easy to shoo a child away or make them calm down with a candy or a game – or to tune out the elderly and ignore their advice with the excuse that “they’re old, poor people.” 

"I understand, the disciples wanted to be efficient, they wanted the Church to move ahead without problems and this can be a temptation for the Church: the Church of functionalism! The well organized Church! Which is fine, but without memory and without promise! The Church cannot go on like this: it will be a Church of power struggles, a Church of jealousies among the baptized and many other things that exist when there is no memory and no promise."

“It is beautiful what the profet says about the vitality of the Church. He doesn't say I will be here with you and every week you'll have a document to meditate on. Each month we will gather to plan and do things right, that is not the sign. It's necessary but it's not the sign of God's presence.The sign of God’s presence is this, so says the Lord: ‘Old men and old women will sit again in the squares of Jerusalem, each with a cane in hand for their age. And the squares of the city will swarm with young boys and girls playing…Playing makes us think of joy: it is the Lord’s joy. And these elderly people sitting with a cane in hand, calm: they make us think of peace. Peace and joy. This is the air of the Church!”

From Popes to Saints: The canonization process of John Paul II and John XXIII

From Popes to Saints: The canonization process of John Paul II and John XXIII

Meet The Little Sisters Of The Poor

Blesseds John Paul II, John XXIII to be canonized

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Daily Mass With Pope Francis, 28 September 2013

“They were afraid of the Cross – they were afraid of the Cross. Peter himself, after that solemn confession in the region of Caesarea Philippi, when Jesus again said the same thing, reproaches the Lord: ‘No, Lord! Never! Not this!” [said Peter]. He was afraid of the Cross. Not only the disciples, however, not only Peter: Jesus Himself was afraid of the Cross! He could not fool Himself, He knew. So great was Jesus’ own fear that, on that Thursday evening He did sweat blood. So great was Jesus’ fear that He almost said the same as Peter – almost: ‘Father, take this chalice from me. Thy will be done!’ This was the difference.”

“Perhaps we think – each one of us can wonder: ‘And to me, what shall happen? How will my Cross be?’ We do not know. We do not know, but there will be one. We must pray for the grace not to fly from the Cross when it comes: with fear, eh! That is true. That scares us. Nevertheless, that is where following Jesus leads. The last words that Jesus spoke to Peter come to mind – in that Pontifical coronation at Tiberias: ‘Do you love me? Peace! Do you love me? Peace!’…but the final words were these: ‘They shall take you where you do not want to go!’ The promise of the Cross.”

“Nearest to Jesus, on the Cross, was His mother – His dear mother. Perhaps today, this day in which we pray to her, it would be good to ask her not for the grace to take away our fear – that must come, that fear of the Cross… but the grace we need not to fly from the Cross in fear. She was there and she knows how to be near the Cross.”

Read more...

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/09/28/pope_francis:_saturday_morning_mass_in_santa_marta/en1-732598


Friday, September 27, 2013

Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga - Witness

Pope to Catechists: Want to be a good Catechist? Follow these three points

Pope to Catechists: Want to be a good Catechist? Follow these three points

Despite having a prepared speech, the Pope improvised quite a bit during the Friday meeting. He explained that to be a good catechist, there are three main points one should follow. The first is to be familiar with Jesus, the second is to imitate Christ, which means reaching out to others to share the Gospel. Lastly, he said one cannot be afraid of going beyond one's comfort zone.  

Pope welcomes leader of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Pope welcomes leader of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Pope Francis welcomed the director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the leading group in charge of enforcing the worldwide ban on the use of chemical weapons.

The audience between the Pope and Ahmet Üzümcü, from Turkey, lasted a few minutes. The two leaders briefly spoke about the organization's goals. They then exchanged gifts.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was established in 1997, when the treaty from the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into effect. Syria will become the newest member when it ratifies the treaty, leaving only four other countries to sign it: Angola, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan.

Pope Francis: Carry your Cross with strength, even in challenging times

Pope Francis: Carry your Cross with strength, even in challenging times

“It was the Holy Spirit that touched Peter's heart and inspired him to say who Jesus was. 'You are Christ, the son of God... it's a mystery. Who can explain this?... But he said it himself. And if each and everyone of us, when we pray, look towards the tabernacle, and say to the Lord: 'You are Christ, the son of God on earth'...first we cannot say that by our own inspiration, it must be the Holy Spirit who inspire us, and second, be ready, because He will answer: 'It's true.' 

"And that is the temptation of falling into a state of 'spiritual well being'. We've got everything: the Church, Jesus Christ, the Sacraments, the Virgin Mary: everything. A good job from the Kingdom of Heaven. We are good, all of us. At least we must believe this, otherwise it would be a sin! But 'spiritual well being' isn't enough. Like the parable of the young rich man: he wanted to follow Jesus, but only up to a certain point. To be a real Christian you must receive the last anointment: the cross anointment, the anointment of true humiliation. He humiliated himself to the point of death. Even death on a cross. That is the cornerstone, the proof of our Christian reality: Am I a 'well being' Christian or am I a Christian that walks with Jesus towards the cross? It consists on being able to endure every single humiliation. 

“The sign of a true Christian is his ability to withstand humiliations with joy and patience; and this is something we don't like... But there are many Christians that looking towards the Lord, they ask for more humiliations to be more like Him. This is the choice. Whether to be a Christian of well being -and you'll go to heaven, I'm sure you'll be saved- or a Christian close to Jesus, through His way.” 

Check out how Gaudi's 'Sagrada Familia' will look in 2026

Goosebumps!!  View the video:

Check out how Gaudi's 'Sagrada Familia' will look in 2026

Nobel prize winner Oscar Arias criticizes hawkish foreign policy, pushes for ceasefire in Syria

Dr. Arias also supported the recent diplomatic breakthrough that would place Syria's chemical weapons under international control. But he added that he wants to see the United Nations take further steps to stop the violence.

ARIAS: “I hope that the resolution will not just focus on having the Syrian government give up their chemical weapons, but also to reach a ceasefire that will put an end to the civil war as soon as possible.”

Whether that will happens remains to be seen. But Arias added that the task will remain very difficult as long weapons keep making their way to the Syrian government and the rebels.

He noted that the five permanent Security Council members are also the top weapon makers and dealers.

View video:
Nobel prize winner Oscar Arias criticizes hawkish foreign policy, pushes for ceasefire in Syria

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Israel Footage, Inspirational Stock Video Footage of Israel

Cardinal Boutros Rai: The behaviour of Western countries is shameful

The way the International Community is tackling the Syrian crisis is disappointing, that's the opinion ofLebanese Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai. The Maronite Patriarch of Antioch said that only the Pope has made a solid statement against war. He believes that the profitable weapons trade explains the silence of most countries.
View the video:

Cardinal Boutros Rai: The behaviour of Western countries is shameful

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NGO Carmel | Central Africa is not at peace

On Sunday I went to visit a sick person in the neighbourhood. On my way back, people called me to see a young man of 25 years arrested by the Seleka rebels in the Bocaranga area, over a dispute of money (in which he was not involved at all), and then brought to Bozoum. The rebels kept him for 11 days, tied him up and tortured him. As a result of the beating, he lost an eye and his arms and hands are paralyzed... To get him out and take him to the hospital, his family had to pay 90,000 CFA f.

On Monday morning, a mother, a widow of a pastor who lost his life lately because of the wild shots during the festival of Ramadan (had hypertension) came to see me to intervene for her son. He had a rifle craft; he submitted it to the local chief but still he was arrested, tied up and tortured. He also lost an eye and his arms are paralyzed. Still, the Seleka rebels were asking for 150,000 f. At this point, I decided to go to see the Seleka rebels. When I arrived at their base, there was only one armed gate keeper. Plenty of prisoners...

I began to ask when they would finish torturing people and keep them in jail. Then other rebels showed up. I asked where the boss was. They told me that he was one of the houses across the street, where the "Colonel" of the Seleka rebels resides. I went there. As I was waiting to meet him, other Seleka rebels arrived. They threatened to kill me. The "Colonel" arrived. We sat down and we started talking. I told him that I had come because of abuses and I explained what happened. His answer was that it is their job. I told him that it is not their job to arrest peoples and beat them. He answered saying that they are soldiers and they can do what they want. I then asked for the release of one detainee who was serious sick but he refused.
Read more...

NGO Carmel | Central Africa is not at peace

Pope during General Audience: Our Church unity and diversity is a God-given gift

Summary of Pope Francis' catechesis in English (VIDEO)

Pope during General Audience: Our Church unity and diversity is a God-given gift

Pope's General Audience: Embrace unity within the Church. Don't give in to gossip

“I will ask you all a question. Everyone answer in silence, in your hearts. How many of you pray for persecuted Christians? Do you? Respond to your heart. Do I pray for my brothers and sisters who cannot openly practice or defend their faith?" 

View the video:

Pope's General Audience: Embrace unity within the Church. Don't give in to gossip

Pope sounds alarm on anti-Christian persecution | National Catholic Reporter





Three days after an attack on an Anglican church in Peshawar, Pakistan, left at least 85 people dead, Pope Francis today urged Christians to an examination of conscience about their response to such acts of anti-Christian persecution.
“So many Christians in the world are suffering,” the pope said during his general audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square. “Am I indifferent to that, or does it affect me like it’s a member of the family?”

“Does it touch my heart, or doesn’t it really affect me, [to know that] so many brothers and sisters in the family are giving their lives for Jesus Christ?”

Read more...
Pope sounds alarm on anti-Christian persecution | National Catholic Reporter


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pope says immigrants not pawns on global chessboard | National Catholic Reporter

Pope says immigrants not pawns on global chessboard | National Catholic Reporter

"Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity."

Pope Francis: the Sacrament is not a 'magic rite,' but an encounter with...

Pope improvises prayer asking for work for the unemployed

Pope improvises prayer asking for work for the unemployed

"Lord, God, look at us! Look at this city, this island. Look at our families. 
Lord, You have never lacked work. You were a carpenter, you were happy. 
Lord, we are lacking work. 

Idols want to rob us of dignity. The unfair system wants to rob us of hope. 

Lord, do not leave us alone. Help us help each other; so that we may forget selfishness, and so that we hear within our hearts 'our,' our people that needs to move forward. 

Lord Jesus Christ, to You that never lacked work, give us work and teach us to fight for work, and bless us all. 

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” 

Pope condemns church attack on Pakistani Christians

Pope condemns church attack on Pakistani Christians

“Today, in Pakistan, because of a wrong choice, a decision of hatred, of war, there was an attack in which over 70 people died. This choice cannot stand. It serves nothing. Only the path of peace can build a better world. But if you all will not build it, no one else will. This is the problem, and this is the questions I leave you with: 'Am I willing to take on the path to build a better world?'

Pope in Sardinia: When there's no work, there's no dignity!

Pope in Sardinia: When there's no work, there's no dignity!

Deeply impressed with the testimonies from the unemployed, the Pope left aside his prepared speech

POPE FRANCIS 
“I had written something for you, but now these words came to me. I will give my speech afterward to the Bishops, as if I had read it. But I have preferred to say aloud what my heart feels right now.” 

The Pope encouraged all workers to have hope and to let no one take it away. Francis asked them to fight together so that men, women and their families are in the center of life, and not money. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pope Francis on the spirit of true charity



Oh.my.goodness. Papa Francesco did not mess around. If I serve the poor just to make me look good it "is a grave sin" - a peccato - and watch how clearly he enunciates that word...

Online Chapel — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Online Chapel — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

September 24 - Happy Feastday of Saint Silouan of Mount Athos!

From Benedict to Francis, the perils of papal interviews | National Catholic Reporter

From Benedict to Francis, the perils of papal interviews | National Catholic Reporter

Though discussion about how best to roll these things out will continue, one thing seems clear: Whatever the blowback, and however many noses may be out of joint, it’s doubtful that Civiltà Cattolica has ever had a better week in its 163-year history in terms of stirring global interest.

Pope Francis: "Like Mary, may we see one another as brothers



Link to full text at ZENIT:

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-homily-at-mass-during-visit-to-the-shrine-of-our-lady-of-bonaria


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pope on defending life: It's not just about religion, it's about science and reason

Pope on defending life: It's not just about religion, it's about science and reason

“A general mentality of what's useful, the 'throwaway culture,' that today enslaves the hearts and the intelligence of so many, comes at a great price. It demands the elimination of human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weak. Our response to this mentality is a 'yes' to life, directly and without hesitation.” 

Pope gets ready to visit Sardinia. Explains island's direct connection to 'Buenos Aires'

Pope gets ready to visit Sardinia. Explains island's direct connection to 'Buenos Aires'

“When it was time for the city of Buenos Aires to be founded, it's founder wanted to name it'City of the Most Holy Trinity.' But the sailors who had brought him there were Sardinian and they wanted the city to be called 'City of Our Lady of Bonaria. They argued, but in the end they compromised. So, the city's name turned out to be rather long. They named it the City of the Most Holy Trinity and Port of Our Lady of Bonaria'. Since it was so long, only the last word remained: Bonaria, meaning Buenos Aires, in memory of Our Lady of Bonaria”

Middle East Latin bishops thank Pope for peace efforts, push for dialogue in Syria

Middle East Latin bishops thank Pope for peace efforts, push for dialogue in Syria

Pray for peace!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Parable of the Papal Interview

The Parable of the Papal Interview

A pope went out to give an interview. And as he talked, some of his words fell to the media, and those birds gobbled them up before they could even be heard....

Interviewer: Pope’s adherence to Church abortion teaching is clear :: EWTN News

Interviewer: Pope’s adherence to Church abortion teaching is clear :: EWTN News

Pope Francis is “absolutely clear” about Catholic teaching on abortion, but his first focus is to bring God’s salvation to everyone, “most of all sinners,” says the Jesuit priest whose lengthy papal interview was published yesterday.

“The message of the Church is a message of mercy,” said Father Antonio Spadaro, S.J., who is editor in chief of the Jesuit-run Italian newspaper La Civiltà Cattolica and who conducted the wide-ranging interview which has already garnered international attention.

“When he talked about these kind of topics, he said (that) what the Church has to spread is the message of the Gospel. This is the first one, the message of salvation. This message can reach anyone, most of all sinners. This is a different vision,” Fr. Spadaro told EWTN News Sept. 20.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Vatican.php?id=8469#ixzz2fTMVH3em

A Jesuit reflects on the Jesuit pope's interview by Jesuits | National Catholic Reporter

A Jesuit reflects on the Jesuit pope's interview by Jesuits | National Catholic Reporter

If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal 'security,' those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists -- they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Anointing His Feet #2

Anointing His Feet #2

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/091913.cfm

beautiful.

Pope asks Catholics to join in prayer to UN's International Day of Peace

Pope asks Catholics to join in prayer to UN's International Day of Peace

“My thoughts go especially to the dear people of Syria, whose human tragedy can only be resolved through dialogue and negotiation, with respect for justice and the dignity of every person, specially the weakest and most defenseless.”

Pope's Audience: The Church instills values in Her children, just like any mother would

Pope's Audience: The Church instills values in Her children, just like any mother would

During Wednesday's general audience, the Pope compared the Church to a mother. With thousands of people in St. Peter's Square, the Pope explained that through the 10 commandments, the Church tries to instill values in Her children, just like any mother would. He also added that the Church is always at Her children's side, vowing to pray and protect them throughout life. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ethnic Cleansing of Christians in the Middle East Goes Hand in Hand With Islam's Advance

This is a must read... the author speaks the truth!

Jerusalem

Cuban bishops to Castro government: Cuba called to be a plural society

Cuban bishops to Castro government: Cuba called to be a plural society

Limited economic freedoms are not enough. Cuban bishops expressed their criticisms in a letter to Raul Castro asking for deeper changes in the island nation. The letter is titled, “Hope does not let down.” It states that “there must be a right to diversity, with tolerance for different thinking.” It added that, “hopes for a better future include a new political order,” because Cuba is called to be a “plural society.”       

The letter ends saying, “a collaborative State must definitively replace the paternalist State.”  Cuban parishes read out the letter throughout the island this past Sunday

The text also criticizes the poverty forced on Cubans by the lack of opportunity, and the frailty of salaries which, “are not enough to respectably raise a family.” 

To achieve these changes, the bishops proposed the creation of dialogue between Cubans, and between Cubans and the rest of the world, especially the United States. 

Bishops issued the letter 20 years after they published another titled, “Love can conquer all.” At that time, they asked Fidel Castro for greater reforms and freedom in Cuba.

Pope Francis: Mother Church speaks to her children



Mother Church knows how to look ahead and how to protect her children. The Pope underlined this concept during his homily at morning Mass.

Prayer valued as anti-war tool



A Catholic scholar says prayer is a productive measure in minimizing or avoiding violence and war.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Two Christians Murdered in Egypt for Refusing to Pay Jizya to Muslims

Two Christians Murdered in Egypt for Refusing to Pay Jizya to Muslims

My Jesus mercy!  Jizya is the Muslim poll tax

Pope Francis: The mercy of God saves man



The Mercy and forgiveness of God was at the heart of Pope Francis' Angelus address on Sunday.
The Pope taking his inspiration from the Gospel of St Luke said that Chapter 15 contains three parables of mercy, those of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the story of the prodigal son.
He said that all three parables speak of the joy of God, which is the joy of forgiving. The Holy Father went on to say that this Gospel shows Christianity at work, adding that mercy is the true force that can save man and the world from the "cancer" that is the sin, evil, moral, and spiritual. 
After the Angelus the Pope also recalled yesterday's beatification in Argentina of the priest José Gabriel Brochero.

A campaign will send Benedict XVI a pencil case 'so that he doesn't give up writing'

A campaign will send Benedict XVI a pencil case 'so that he doesn't give up writing'

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI always used a pencil to write his texts. Now an online campaign called Pencils for Benedict collects testimonies on how  his handwritten teachings have influenced people worldwide. 

Its creators explain they came up with the idea while listening to Pope Francis' answers to journalists on the return flight from WYD.


Francis then compared living with Benedict XVI to “having grandpa at home”. And so they thought about editing a book with testimonies from people all around the world.

Testimonies cand be sent by e-mail before September 30th at info@georgganswein.com

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pope Francis: Be ambassadors of peace



The Middle East needs peace, the land of Jesus needs peace. That was the message of Pope Francis Friday afternoon, as he met with 3500 members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. The Pope then returned to three basic elements of Christian life: journeying, building, professing. Along the journey of life, the Holy Father said, each one can be a "wanderer" or a "pilgrim." Many people are wandering "because they lack an ideal of life." Pilgrimage, on the other hand, is not wandering about aimlessly, but is an experience in order to build with charity, compassion and love. And the path for building is born from "confessing the faith ever more deeply." The Pope exhorted the members of the Order to be "ambassadors for peace."

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pope Francis' outreach to atheists not as controversial as it seems | National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis' outreach to atheists not as controversial as it seems | National Catholic Reporter

Six Months Into Papacy, Large Majority of Catholics Continue To Express Favorable View of Pope Francis

Six Months Into Papacy, Large Majority of Catholics Continue To Express Favorable View of Pope Francis

Francis at the six-month mark seems a force of nature | National Catholic Reporter

Francis at the six-month mark seems a force of nature | National Catholic Reporter

Six months? "Miserando atque eligendo"

New approach characterizes Pope Francis' first six months

New approach characterizes Pope Francis' first six months

Pope to Knights of Holy Sepulchre: believe in the redemptive power of the Cross

Pope to Knights of Holy Sepulchre: believe in the redemptive power of the Cross

Addressing the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, Pope Francis said, “Believe in the redemptive power of the Cross and the Resurrection, in order to offer hope and peace. In a particular way, the Land of Jesus has so much need of it! Faith does not distance us from the responsibilities that we all are called to assume – on the contrary, it provokes and pushes us toward a concrete commitment to work with a view to a better society.”

Six month anniversary of Pope Francis' election: We take stock

Six month anniversary of Pope Francis' election: We take stock

When asked what we can expect from his second 6 months in office, Monsignor Kennedy replies “more of the same, more surprises” and advises people “to watch this space!”

From poor to pope, 1984 Renault has seen it all | National Catholic Reporter

From poor to pope, 1984 Renault has seen it all | National Catholic Reporter

The car's donor, Padre Zocca had the honor of driving Pope Francis in the Renault for the first time.
"Four of us got into the car: I sat in the driver's seat, the Pope in the passenger's seat, and Stefano, my mechanic, and my assistant, Luigi, sat in the back. 'Go slowly, we're in the Vatican!,' Stefano said. The speedometer read 30 Km/hr [18 mph]. I cannot tell you how excited those fifty parishioners were to see the R4 arrive and the Holy Father get out," said Zocca, according to Vatican Insider.
When it was time to leave, Fr. Zocca's parishioners were thrilled to see Francis hop in the driver's seat, but he admitted to Famiglia Cristiana magazine, "Those security agents next to me were very concerned because they had realized that from then on he would go around the Vatican in my car. However, I left snow chains in the trunk."

Francis Cartoon: Liberation Theology | National Catholic Reporter

Francis Cartoon: Liberation Theology | National Catholic Reporter

Who will you liberate today?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tears of joy during Pope's audience with Slovak ambassador to Holy See

Tears of joy during Pope's audience with Slovak ambassador to Holy See

Check out the video link above to see how Pope Francis squeezes the two
grannies real close in for a photo op. How sweet!

Pope Francis: Learn to forgive, think of Jesus' sacrifice

Pope Francis: Learn to forgive, think of Jesus' sacrifice

EXCERPTS FROM POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)

Even today, we stand in need of this sweetness of the Madonna, in order to understand the things that Jesus requests of us, no? Because this list [of things] is not easy to live. Love the enemy, do good, lend without hoping for anything… to those who strike you on the cheek, offer the other; to those who rip your cloak, don’t refuse the tunic… But these are tough things, no? But the Madonna, in her own way, lived all these things: it is the grace of meekness, the grace of mildness.

Fix your thoughts on Jesus alone. If our heart, if our mind is with Jesus, the Victor who has conquered death, sin, the devil, all things, we can do what Jesus Himself asks of us, and what the Apostle asks of us: meekness, humility, kindness, heartfelt compassion, gentleness, magnanimity. If we do not look to Jesus, if we are not with Jesus, we cannot do this. It is a grace: it is the grace that comes from the contemplation of Jesus.”

To think about His meek silence: this will be your endeavor. He will do the rest. He will do everything that is lacking. But you must do that: hiding your life in God with Christ. This is done through contemplation of the humanity of Jesus, of the suffering humanity. There is no other path – there’s none. It is the only way. To be good Christians, contemplating the humanity of Jesus, the suffering humanity. In order to witness, in order to be able to give this witness. In order not to hate the neighbor, contemplate Jesus suffering. To not gossip against the neighbor, contemplate Jesus suffering. It is the only way. Hide your life with Christ in God: this is the counsel the Apostle gives. It is the counsel to become humble, meek and good, magnanimous, kind.

Call to Prayer from US Bishops

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pope addresses Christian faith, in open letter to Italian newspaper



The Pope stuns once again. Italian newspaper 'La Repubblica' published an extensive letter by Pope Francis, where he addresses journalist and newspaper founder, Eugenio Scalfari. The letter responds to an article where the journalist expressed his doubts about the Christian faith after reading the Pope's first encyclical, 'Lumen Fidei.'

Pope gives homework: Look for your Baptism date!

New Secretary of State Parolin on celibacy, democracy | National Catholic Reporter

New Secretary of State Parolin on celibacy, democracy | National Catholic Reporter

From the interview:

You have said that changes must be made without dividing the church. Don't you think that a way to decide on its application would be by consulting the whole church, its bishops? Wouldn't it be a democratization?
Certainly. It has always been said that the church is not a democracy. But it would be good during these times that there could be a more democratic spirit, in the sense of listening carefully, and I believe the pope has made of this one of his pontificate's objectives. A collegial movement of the church, where all the issues can be brought up, and afterward he can make a decision.

Pope Francis visits refugees

ASIA/SYRIA - Patriarch Gregory III to Obama: "Great leaders are those who know how to make peace" - Fides News Agency

ASIA/SYRIA - Patriarch Gregory III to Obama: "Great leaders are those who know how to make peace" - Fides News Agency

Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - "The greatness of a leader is to seek peace and make peace, not to wage war and create destruction. A superpower is such if it is a power of peace": with these words, the Melkite Patriarch (Greek-Catholic) of Damascus, Gregory III Laham comments with relief the present moment, after U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech to the nation, which seems to roll back the specter of a military intervention in Syria. "The logic of violence is never the logic of wise people", he says. "We call on all political leaders of the world to return to the Word of Jesus in the Gospel: this is enough to build a world of civilization, liberty, dignity, love and mercy"........

Pope gives friendly welcome to Poland's new ambassador to the Holy See

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pope Francis: Hope is not simply optimism or good mood, hope is based in Jesus

Pope Francis: Hope is not simply optimism or good mood, hope is based in Jesus

“Jesus, the hope, renews everything. It's a constant miracle. He has not only done miracles of healings: those were only signs, signals of what He's now doing in the Church. The miracle of making everything new: what he does in my life, in your life, in our life. He rebuilds. And what He builds again is precisely the reason of our hope. Christ is the one who renews every wonderful thing of the Creation, He's the reason of our hope. And this hope does not delude because He is faithful. He can't renounce Himself. This is the virtue of hope.” 

But hope is something else. It's not optimism. Hope is a present, it's a gift from the Holy Spirit ant that is why Paul says: 'Never disappoint yourself'- Hope never lets you down. Why? Because it's a gift from the Holy Spirit. But Paul tells us that hope has a name. Hope is Christ. We can't say: 'I have hope in God', no. If you don't say: 'I have hope in Jesus Christ, a person that's alive, that lives in the Eucharist, that is present in His word', that is not hope. It could be good mood, optimism... 

Jesus, the hope, renews everything. It's a constant miracle. He has not only done miracles of healings: those were only signs, signals of what He's now doing in the Church. The miracle of making everything new: what he does in my life, in your life, in our life. He rebuilds. And what He builds again is precisely the reason of our hope. Christ is the one who renews every wonderful thing of the Creation, He's the reason of our hope. And this hope does not delude because He is faithful. He can't renounce Himself. This is the virtue of hope. 

May the Lord, who is the hope of glory, who is the center, the whole, help us in this path: to give hope, to have passion for hope. And, as I've said, it's not always optimism but what Mary, Mother of God, sheltered in her heart during the darkest time of her life: since Friday afternoon until Sunday morning. That is hope: she had it. And that hope has renewed everything. May God grant us that grace.” 

Various religious faiths join Pope during prayer vigil for Syrian peace

Video:

Various religious faiths join Pope during prayer vigil for Syrian peace

 Nearly 100,000 people prayed for peace alongside Pope Francis during Saturday's vigil. The same number as the victims killed during two and a half years of violence in Syria. The large crowds gathered at St. Peter's Square included worshipers of non-Christian faiths, who also condemned violence and expressed their wishes for a peaceful solution to the conflict.   

Protest & prayer for Syria

Silence in the Square: Pope prays for Syria




Pope Francis led a vigil for peace in Syria and the Middle East at the Vatican, September 9.

PRAY FOR PEACE

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pope Francis: the good Christian follows the path of Jesus

Pope Francis: rebuild peace and harmony with encounter, not conflict

Pope Francis: rebuild peace and harmony with encounter, not conflict

“When man thinks only of himself, of his own interests and places himself in the center, when he permits himself to be captivated by the idols of dominion and power, when he puts himself in God's place, then all relationships are broken and everything is ruined; then the door opens to violence, indifference and conflict.” 

“Look upon your brother’s sorrow and do not add to it, stay your hand, rebuild the harmony that has been shattered; and all this achieved not by conflict but by encounter!” 

“Forgiveness, dialogue, reconciliation – these are the words of peace, in beloved Syria, in the Middle East, in all the world” 

Pope Francis' homily during peace vigil: War is a defeat for humankind

Thousands heed Pope's call to prayer vigil at St. Peter's Square

Thousands heed Pope's call to prayer vigil at St. Peter's Square

Video of the beginning moments of the prayer vigil for peace...

Pray. Fast. #Syria. Today.

Pray. Fast. #Syria. Today.: Pray. Fast. #Syria. Today.

Italian artists create Pope Francis portrait measuring five acres as sym...

ASIA/TURKEY - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I: let us pray for peace in Syria, together with Pope Francis

ASIA/TURKEY - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I: let us pray for peace in Syria, together with Pope Francis

"The Ecumenical Patriarchate and us personally - says a note sent to Fides Agency - are anxiously following the developments of the situation in Syria and, more generally, throughout the Middle East. Let us pray that peace prevails. Only peace will also allow the Christians of the Middle East to continue to live without any impediment in those lands where they were born". The Ecumenical Patriarch, to the participants at the G20 summit being held in St. Petersburg, hopes "that the decisions taken there help promote a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict".

Friday, September 6, 2013

Obama, church differ on Syria

ASIA/SYRIA - The Melkite Patriarch: appeal to save Maaloula, a holy place for the Syrians

ASIA/SYRIA - The Melkite Patriarch: appeal to save Maaloula, a holy place for the Syrians

Damascus - The cross that towered on the dome of the monastery of Saints Sergius and Bacchus does not exist any more. Armed groups of the jihadist Galaxy removed it, who on Wednesday attacked and invaded Maaloula, the small Christian village in the north of Damascus, a sacred place for all Syrians, where Aramaic is still spoken, the original language of Jesus. Even the Church of St. Leontius and that of Saints Cosmas and Damian were damaged. As Fides learns, armed groups, that for three months have been stationed on a hill overlooking the village, attacked the military checkpoint at the entrance of the village, killing the soldiers who were there. Then they entered the village and fired on houses, injuring three civilians. Asked by Fides Agency, the Melkite Patriarch Gregory III Laham, embittered by what he calls "the great tragedy of this war", launches an urgent appeal "to the international community, to the conscience of the whole world, to save the small village of Maaloula", which is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Damascus, "which is a very important Christian symbol in the history of Syria", he explains.

Keepers of the keys to peace

Vatican's full-court press on Syria a remembrance of things past | National Catholic Reporter

Vatican's full-court press on Syria a remembrance of things past | National Catholic Reporter

For anyone who recalls the buildup to the U.S.-led war in Iraq 10 years ago, the Vatican's reaction in recent days to the prospect of a Western military campaign in Syria can't help but feel like a remembrance of things past.
Once again, the Vatican has launched a full-court diplomatic press against a potential strike on a Middle Eastern dictatorship, one ostensibly justified by human rights abuses and the threat of nefarious weapons but also clearly calculated to promote regime change. Once again, Vatican spokesmen are warning that such an offensive could trigger a wider regional conflict, promote extremism, and make life worse for minority groups, especially Christians.
The parallel isn't exact, given that Iraq was a full-fledged ground war while President Barack Obama has pledged there will be no boots on the ground in Syria. Nonetheless, both the sequence of events and even the language being used by the Vatican today provoke a dizzying sense of déjà vu.

Going forward, the question is whether history will repeat itself in at least four other senses as well....

Pope Francis' indications for peace vigil: confessions, rosary and Eucharistic adoration



Video link to learn more about the prayer vigil:

Pope Francis' indications for peace vigil: confessions, rosary and Eucharistic adoration

Vigil of Prayer for Peace

The Vatican’s Office of Liturgical Celebrations has published the booklet for the Vigil of Prayer for Peace and has posted it online to the Vatican website.

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2013/20130907-libretto-veglia-pace.pdf

The Vigil begins with the Schola and Assembly singing the Veni, creator Spiritus. The icon of Mary, Salus Populi Romani will be enthroned while everyone sings the Lourdes hymn. Then, all will join together in praying the joyful mysteries of the rosary. Each mystery will be introduced by the corresponding passage from the Gospel, and by a stanza from Saint Thérèse’s poem, Why I Love You, O Mary.

To assist us in preparing for the Vigil of Prayer for Peace, and in praying with the Holy Father and with St. Thérèse, here are the stanzas that will be included in the recitation of the rosary.

First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation of the Angel to the Virgin Mary

Gospel: Luke 1:30-38

And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Reading: Why I Love You, O Mary; Stanza 4

Oh! I love you, Mary, saying you are the servant
Of the God whom you charm by your humility.
This hidden virtue makes you all-powerful.
It attracts the Holy Trinity into your heart.
Then the Spirit of Love covering you with his shadow,
The Son equal to the Father became incarnate in you,
There will be a great many of his sinner brothers,
Since he will be called : Jesus, your first-born !…

Second Joyful Mystery: The Visit of Mary Most Holy to Saint Elizabeth

Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

Reading: Why I Love You, O Mary; Stanza 7

There, Sweet Queen of angels, I listen, delighted,
To the sacred canticle springing forth from your heart.
You teach me to sing divine praises,
To glory in Jesus my Savior.
Your words of love are mystical roses
Destined to perfume the centuries to come.
In you the Almighty has done great things.
I want to ponder them to bless him for them.

Third Joyful Mystery: The Birth of Jesus in the Grotto of Bethlehem

Gospel: Luke 2:1-7

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirin'i-us was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Reading: Why I Love You, O Mary; Stanza 10

When I see the Eternal God wrapped in swaddling clothes,
When I hear the poor cry of the Divine Word,
O my dearest Mother, I no longer envy the angels,
For their Powerful Lord is my dearest Brother !…
How I love you, Mary, you who made
This Divine Flower blossom on our shores !…
How I love you listening to the shepherds and wisemen
And keeping it all in your heart with care !…

Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

Gospel: Luke 2:22-23, 25-32

And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord")  Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.  And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."

Reading: Why I Love You, O Mary; Stanza 11

I love you mingling with the other women
Walking toward the holy temple.
I love you presenting the Savior of our souls
To the blessed Old Man who pressed Him to his heart.
At first I smile as I listen to his canticle,
But soon his tone makes me shed tears.
Plunging a prophetic glance into the future,
Simeon presents you with a sword of sorrows.

Fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Gospel: Luke 2:41-47

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.


Reading: Why I Love You, O Mary; Stanza 13

O Mary, it seems to me that in the land of Egypt
Your heart remains joyful in poverty,
For is not Jesus the fairest Homeland,
What does exile matter to you ? You hold Heaven…
But in Jerusalem a bitter sadness
Comes to flood your heart like a vast ocean.
For three days, Jesus hides from your tenderness.
That is indeed exile in all its harshness !…


The rosary will conclude with the Salve Regina and the Litany of Loretto. There will be a Meditation – I assume that the His Holiness Pope Francis will preach – and then there will be ample time for silence for personal reflection.



Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament follows. During this time there will be biblical readings, sung invocations, and hymns; also, there will be prayers written by Popes Piux XII, Blessed John XXIII, Paul VI, Blessed John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. Again, there will be silence for adoration and personal prayer.

Everyone will join the Holy Father in praying the Office of Readings before the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The booklet indicates that there will be a “prolonged time of silence for adoration and personal prayer.”  During the reposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, the assembly will sing Psalm 116, Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes.



To read the entire poem, Why I Love You, O Mary, visit the website of the Basilica Saint Therese of Lisieux:

http://www.therese-de-lisieux.catholique.fr/Why-I-love-you-o-Mary.html

Daily Mass with Pope Francis: Christians must have joyful attitude

Pope Francis: Christians must have joyful attitude

Excerpts from Pope Francis' homily:

The Christian is fundamentally joyful. For this reason, at the end of the Gospel, when they bring the wine, when he speaks of wine, it makes me think of the wedding at Cana – and for this reason Jesus works His miracle – this is why Our Lady, when she realized that there was no more wine… but if there is no wine there is no party ... imagining that the wedding feast might therefore end with the drinking of tea or juice: it would not do ... it is a feast, and Our Lady asks for the miracle. Such is the Christian life. The Christian life has this joyfulness of spirit, a joyfulness of heart. 

It occurs to us: ‘But, Father, how? These were found on street corners, and you ask of them a wedding garment? This is wrong ... What does this mean? It is very simple! God asks only one thing of us in order that we gain admittance to the feast: our all. The Bridegroom is the most important. The Bridegroom fills all! This brings us to the first reading, which speaks so powerfully of Jesus as the all - the firstborn of all creation. In Him were created all things, through Him and with a view to Him were they created. He is the center: the all. 

Jesus is also the Head of the Body of the Church: He is the principle. God gave to him fullness, totality, in order that, in Him, all things might be reconciled. The second attitude is [that of] recognizing Him as the One. The Lord asks us only this: to recognize Him as the One Bridegroom. He is always faithful, and asks fidelity of us. This is why when we desire, to have a little party of our own, which is not that great feast, it does not do. The Lord tells us that we cannot serve two masters: one either serves God, or the world. 

This is the second Christian attitude: to recognize Jesus as the whole, the center, the totality. But we will always be tempted to cast this newness of the Gospel, this new wine, into old attitudes ... It is sin, we are all sinners. Only recognize it: ‘This is a sin.’ Do not say this goes with this. No! The old wineskins cannot hold the new wine. This is the novelty of the Gospel. Jesus is the bridegroom, the bridegroom who weds the Church, the groom who loves the Church, who gives his life for the Church. Jesus is the one who makes this wedding feast! Jesus asks us the joy of festivity, the joy of being Christians. He also asks of us the all: it’s all Him. If we have something that is not of Him, repent, ask for forgiveness and move on. May the Lord give us, to all of us, the grace always to have this joy, as if we were attending a wedding. And also have this faithfulness to the only bridegroom, who is the Lord. 

[Source: Vatican Radio]

What is fasting?

What is fasting?

Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria. This call was well received among other religious traditions, some of which will join the Catholics in this particular day of fasting. 


Throughout human history, thousands of people have fasted for political, civil, religious and medical reasons. Even Gandhi said that fasting was as old as Adam. Other relevant people who have fasted are Confucius, Aristotle and Martin Luther King Jr. 

For most religions, fasting means remorse, openness of the soul and prayer. It's a sign ofpenitence and union as brothers.

For Catholics, fasting means to cut down the main meal of the day, and reduce the others.

Catholic Patriarch of Syria: U.S. Attack on Syria Would Be ‘Criminal Act’ | CNS News

Catholic Patriarch of Syria: U.S. Attack on Syria Would Be ‘Criminal Act’ | CNS News

H.B. Gregorios III Laham tells the truth...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

ASIA/SYRIA - Prayer and fasting in Maaloula, a village symbol of coexistence, threatened by armed groups

ASIA/SYRIA - Prayer and fasting in Maaloula, a village symbol of coexistence, threatened by armed groups

They're already praying and fasting for peace in Maaloula, a small Christian village in the north of Damascus, where Aramaic is spoken, the language of Jesus. The shrines of Maaloula - such as the monastery of St. Tecla, inhabited by Orthodox nuns, and the convent of St. Sergius which houses Greek - Catholic priests - are a place of pilgrimage for Christians and Muslims: the place has become a symbol of religious coexistence.

Wednesday 4 September the Free Syrian Army rebels terrorized the town and have set up a military base overlooking the village. Click on the link to read more from FIDES...

Pope Francis writes letter to President Putin of Russia ahead of G20 summit

Pope Francis writes letter to President Putin of Russia ahead of G20 summit

"[T]he meeting will surely not forget the situation in the Middle East and particularly in Syria. It is regrettable that, from the very beginning of the conflict in Syria, one-sided interests have prevailed and in fact hindered the search for a solution that would have avoided the senseless massacre now unfolding. The leaders of the G20 cannot remain indifferent to the dramatic situation of the beloved Syrian people which has lasted far too long, and even risks bringing greater suffering to a region bitterly tested by strife and needful of peace. To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution. Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community. Moreover, all governments have the moral duty to do everything possible to ensure humanitarian assistance to those suffering because of the conflict, both within and beyond the country’s borders."

Daily Mass with Pope Francis: Jesus has a promise and a mission for every Christian.

Pope Francis: Jesus has a promise and a mission for every Christian.

At his morning mass on Thursday, Pope Francis reflected on the different ways in which Christ reveals himself in the life of a Christian, offering support and giving each one a mission.

Peace: the priority for the Vatican's diplomatic action



An information meeting for the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, intended to explain the initiatives and appeals made in recent weeks by the Pope for peace and for the situation in Syria, took place this morning in the Vatican. The briefing was organized by the Secretariat of State. Last Sunday, the Pope prayed for peace and emphasized that war is never a solution. On that occasion Pope Francis announced a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, set to take place next Saturday in St. Peter's Square, which will conclude with an evening Vigil of reflection and prayer.

FSA Invade ancient city Ma'loula Maaloula Syria لحظة اقتحام الجيش السوري...




Sen. John McCain's "Free Syrian Army" FSA is seen here invading and attempting to destroy churches, monasteries and other properties in Maaloula, an ancient Christian town in Syria. This is one of the very last towns anywhere in the world where the main language of the people is Aramaic, the language of Christ. Catholic Near East Welfare Assn reported on this, too!!

Why are we supporting the FSA??

Salt + Light Perspectives: Church response to Syria; interview with Lino Rulli



An in depth look at the Catholic Church's response to the crisis in Syria and a conversation with the "The Catholic Guy," Lino Rulli from Sirius XM Satellite Radio about his new book.

To the Faithful in Iraq, Jordan And Egypt: Faith is a Force for Justice in the World

To the Faithful in Iraq, Jordan And Egypt: Faith is a Force for Justice in the World

In his greeting in various languages, the Pope addressed the Arabic-speaking faithful, especially those from Iraq, Jordan and Egypt, encouraging them to “be always united with Christ, building his Kingdom with fraternity, sharing and merciful works. Faith is a potent force capable of making the world a more just and beautiful place! Be an example of God's mercy and demonstrate to the world that trials and tribulations, difficulties, violence and evil can never defeat He Who has vanquished death: Jesus Christ”.

Pope Francis invites world to take part in day of fasting and prayer

English Summary of the September 4 General Audience

Caritas Internationalis: the only humanitarian solution is a negotiated one




This week, Pope Francis has been very vocal about the conflict in Syria in every way possible. And he's not the only one. Other Church and humanitarian organizations are also speaking up. Caritas Internationalis has urged the international community to avoid an armed intervention that would only result on more violence in the Middle East.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

US Bishops urge government to push for ceasefire, not intervention



After drafting a letter pushing for the protection of religious freedom in Egypt, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops once again reached out to American Secretary of State John Kerry, this time on the on-going violence in Syria.

What moral theologians say about getting involved in Syria | National Catholic Reporter

What moral theologians say about getting involved in Syria | National Catholic Reporter

Links, links, and more links to articles and opinion pieces by moral theologians