Tuesday, December 22, 2015

O Emmanuel: O Antiphon

Christmas away from home


Advent: a season of war and longing

Advent concludes with the celebration of Christmas, it is true: but all through this season of expectation the Church reminds us that we are awaiting the Second Coming of Him, who was born in Bethlehem twenty centuries ago. She tells us that, as quiet as His first coming was in a manger, so great and glorious shall be His coming this second time, that it shall break the Earth.
Advent is a privileged season, in which the Church prayerfully reflects and longingly sighs for her Spouse, who is the Christ, the Glorious King, coming soon to judge the world.
The Church in Advent waits in joyful hope for the coming of her Savior, doing penance and making acts of reparation for past sins – her members’, and the sins of the world.....
Read more:

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jacob A. Riis | Museum of the City of New York

Jacob A. Riis | Museum of the City of New York



Jacob Riis (1849-1914) was a pioneering newspaper reporter and social reformer in New York at the turn of the 20th century. His then-novel idea of using photographs of the city’s slums to illustrate the plight of impoverished residents established Riis as forerunner of modern photojournalism. Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half features photographs by Riis and his contemporaries, as well as his handwritten journals and personal correspondence.
This is the first major retrospective of Riis’s photographic work in the U.S. since the City Museum’s seminal 1947 exhibition, The Battle with the Slum, and for the first time unites his photographs and his archive, which belongs to the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Interview: What Can Louis and Zélie Martin Tell the Synod?. Published 10/15/2015. World.

Interview: What Can Louis and Zélie Martin Tell the Synod?. Published 10/15/2015. World.



This Sunday, Pope Francis will be making history again, this time by canonizing the first married couple to ever be canonized together by the Church.

Louis and Zélie Martin are most known as the parents of St. Thérèse, but their canonization this weekend verifies that they are themselves models for the Church and their fruitfulness goes beyond their saintly daughters....

Holiness begins in the Family - A reflection on Louis Martin and Marie A...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

CARMELITAS DESCALZOS

CARMELITAS DESCALZOS



Homily of Fr General at the occasion of the end of the Vth Centenary of the birth of Saint Teresa
 (Ávila, 14  october 2015)


«We have reached the end of the year during which we commemorated the fifth centenary of the birth of holy Mother Teresa – a rich, intense year filled with events, encounters, and emotions. Additionally, for those of us who are members of the Teresian family, today is the conclusion not only of a year of celebrations but of a veritable journey of preparation spanning six years, during which we have run through the works and message that Mother has left us». These are the words from the homily of Fr Cannistrà at the occasion of the end of the Vth Centenary of the birth of Saint Teresa.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Synod on the Family | Cardinal Donald Wuerl: October 9 Reflection

Interview with +Blase Cupich

Interview with +Daniel Hurley

Interview with +Matthew Ma-oso Ndagoso

Inside the Synod - Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015

Inside the Synod - Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015

Synod on the Family | Cardinal Donald Wuerl: October 8 Reflection

Carmelite hermitage in the Washington woods, where ‘prayer is friendship with God’ - Global Sisters Report

Carmelite hermitage in the Washington woods, where ‘prayer is friendship with God’ - Global Sisters Report

 “The Teresian charism is really that Christ is the center of our lives, our prayer is friendship with God.” In praying for the world’s transformation, she said, “We have a great concern for the need and suffering in the world. It’s not a flight from it. We think we are at the heart and root of the world . . . not through one specific ministry, but through our prayers.”

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cardinal: Synod under time pressure

The challenge of accompaniment

Pastor Says Hero Saved His Daughter from Oregon Shooter

Pastor Says Hero Saved His Daughter from Oregon Shooter



During this past Sunday's sermon, Randy Scroggins, pastor of New Beginnings Church of God, told the story of his daughter's horrifying experience being in a writing class at the local community college when 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer walked in, armed with a gun, and began shooting students....

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"God's Mercy is Greater!" 

THE TEACHING OF ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX
ON PURGATORY
by Father Dr. Hubert van Dijk, ORC¹


Doctor of the Church for the third millennium
St Therese of Lisieux, who was declared Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 1997, felt the calling in the monastery to teach others and wanted to be a teacher (docteur)1  Early on, God revealed the mysteries of His Love to her. She writes about this: "Ah! Had the learned who spent their life in study come to me, undoubtedly they would have been astonished to see a child of fourteen understand perfection's secrets, secrets all their knowledge cannot reveal because to possess them one has to be poor in spirit!" 2
 
In his apostolic letter, Divini Amoris Scientia published when St Therese was declared Doctor of the Church, the Holy Father says that one should not look for a scientific revelation of God's mysteries. "Thus we can rightly recognize in the Saint of Lisieux the charism of a Doctor of the Church, because of the gift of the Holy Spirit she received for living and expressing her experience faith, and because of her particular understanding of the mystery of Christ... That assimilation was certainly favored by the most singular natural gifts, but it was also evidently something prodigious, due to a charism of wisdom from the Holy Spirit."3
Her writings offer an abundance of ideas concerning practically every field in theology and spirituality, a multitude which even a hundred years after her death bas been far from exhausted. As the popes repeatedly express: Therese of Lisieux is a gift to the Church. Before the year 2000, she was declared Doctor of the Church, becoming the third woman amongst the thirty-three recognized Doctors of the Church. She died young. Not only is she the youngest of all, but also the best known, loved, and read! Already she has given the Church a lot, and in the dawn of a new millennium, she will continue to bless the faithful with her many gifts. Thus, she is also known as "Doctor of the Church of the third millennium."



"One does not need to go to Purgatory"
Little Therese's theology is a theology that springs from life, a theology of experience. She received a fervent Catholic upbringing at home, in her parish community, as well as at the school of the Benedictine nuns in Lisieux, and thus, she was familiar with the teaching of Purgatory. Being lead by the Holy Spirit, thoughts, notions, and ideas developed which finally became, "The teaching of the Little Flower on Purgatory."4

The common teaching within the Church is that Purgatory can hardly be avoided. While still only a novice, the saint commented about this with one of the sisters,  Sr. Maria Philomena, who believed in the near impossibility of going to heaven without passing through purgatory:

You do not have enough trust. You have too much fear before the good God. I can assure you that He is grieved over this. You should not fear Purgatory because of the suffering there, but should instead ask that you not deserve to go there in order to please God, Who so reluctantly imposes this punishment. As soon as you try to please Him in everything and have an unshakable trust He purifies you every moment in His love and He lets no sin remain. And then you can be sure that you will not have to go to Purgatory.5

She even said that we would offend God if we didn't trust enough that we would get to heaven right after dying. When she found out that her novices talked occasionally that they would probably have to expect to be in Purgatory, she corrected them saying: "Oh! How you grieve me! You do a great injury to God in believing you're going to Purgatory. When we love, we can't go there."6 Now, this is a new doctrine, but only for those who don't know God, who are not childlike, who don't trust. It is so correct to see things this way. It is true that God will judge us at one point, but He is always and first our Father Who... suffers when He has to punish His child and sees its suffering. The child should do His will just out of love, and not to avoid punishment. And this really means that God does not want Purgatory! He allows that His children suffer, but only as if He had to look away.7

   If St. Therese is correct that one does not need to be in Purgatory because God Himself does not want this and would love to help us, the thought that Purgatory can be avoided is suddenly not so far-fetched anymore. But first there is the problem of the
 aforementioned opinion which says that only few will avoid Purgatory. This is confirmed by great saints and mystics like St. John of the Cross who says, "Only a small number of souls achieve perfect love"8 (perfect love is necessary to go straight to heaven). St. Teresa of Avila also had the experience that only few will be able to avoid Purgatory.9 St. John Vianney said, "It is definite that only a few chosen ones do not go to Purgatory and the suffering there that one must. endure, exceeds our imagination."10

One also has to take into consideration that even practicing Christians are convinced that even the good and faithful and those consecrated to God will have to be 
exposed to purification in Purgatory for a certain amount of time. The reason for this is always the same: "It is not easy to avoid Purgatory. No one is a saint, and I will certainly have to spend some time there myself." They add to this that "God is just" or "we certainly deserve this."

Therefore, it is even more amazing what St. Therese has to say. Once she encouraged her novice, Sr. Marie de la Trinité to have the faith that it was possible even for her to get to heaven right away. She wondered "If I fail even in the smallest things, " may I still hope to get straight to heaven?" St Therese, who knew well the weaknesses of her novice, replied: "Yes! God is so good. He will know how He can come and get you. But despite this, try to be faithful, so that He does not wait in vain for your love."11


God is Father rather than Judge.
Once St. Therese had a confrontation regarding this topic with Sr. Marie Febronia, who not only was sixty-seven years old but also was sub-prioress. She had heard that St. Therese encouraged the novices to believe that they could go straight to heaven. She did not like this as she considered this kind of confidence presumptuous, and thus she reproached St Therese. St Therese tried lovingly and calmly to explain to Sr. Febronia her point of view but with no success as Sr. Febronia clung to belief. For St. Therese God was more Father than Judge, and she took the liberty of finally responding, "My sister, if you look for the justice of God you will get it. The soul will receive from God exactly what she desires."

The year had not passed when, in January 1892, Sr. M. Febronia together with other sisters fell prey to the flu and died. Three months later Sr. Therese had a dream which she related to her Mother Prioress and which was then documented: "O my Mother, my Sr. M Febronia came to me last night and asked that we should pray for het:. She is in Purgatory, surely because she had trusted too little in the mercy of the good Lord. Through her imploring behavior and her profound looks, it seemed she wanted to say, You were right. I am now delivered up to the full justice of God, but it is my fault. If I had listened to you I would not be here now."12
St. Therese's "doctrine" in 7 key words

1. Purgatory became a rule rather than the exception.
An infinite number of souls who suffer in Purgatory and for whom the Church prays daily after consecration did not need to go there. If we think in human terms, God does not wish for us to need Purgatory. God does not put us here on earth, where we are tested and are suffering after the fall, only to let us suffer again--and much worse--in Purgatory. Everyone receives enough graces in order to go straight to God after passing the trials on earth. However, Purgatory is an emergency entry to Heaven for those who have wasted their time. However, what God considered the exception became the rule and the rule--to go straight to heaven--became the exception.

2. To cope with the "inevitable" is a grave error.
Since God does not really want Purgatory, He does not want it for me either! But then I also have to not want it! Nobody would expose themselves to the danger of Purgatory by living a mediocre and--as is the case so often today--a sinful life. If they only thought of the intense sufferings in Purgatory. In this regard, the mystics unanimously say that the least suffering in Purgatory is much greater than the greatest suffering here on earth! The reason for this is that once in Purgatory, one does not go through the time of God's Mercy but of God's Justice. Here, the Lord's word applies: "1 tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the very last copper' (Lk 12:59). The many who carelessly say, "I will probably spend some time there," are gravelywrong. Nobody just spends some time there, one has to suffer there like one has never suffered nor could have suffered while on earth. One often even suffers a long time there also. If the Poor Souls in Purgatory had known on earth what to expect in eternity, Purgatory would have remained empty.

3. Purgatory is a waste of time.
   This is what St. Therese says, "I know that of myself I would not merit even to enter that place of expiation since only holy souls can have an entrance there. But I also know that the Fire of Love is more sanctifying than is the fire of Purgatory. I know that Jesus cannot desire useless sufferings for us and that He would not inspire the longings I feel unless He wanted to grant them."13 It is true that Purgatory is a wonderful grace, for if needed, without the purification in Purgatory we would not go to Heaven, and the work of art which God intended and created us to be would not be completed. But St. Therese is right: at the moment of our death we already have our place in Heaven. Afterward, there is no growing in grace anymore. Whoever does not go through Purgatory does not miss anything.

4. We need a more positive image of God.
We already know that St. Therese told her novices that they offended God when they thought they would go to Purgatory. That is a very shocking statement: for if this is correct millions of Christians are offending God or at least hurt Him. And yet this is the case. They are focused only on themselves, thinking--not without reason--that they deserve Purgatory. They do not notice God Who is by their side and would love to help them so much. The fact that we fear Purgatory so much also has to do with a rather negative image that we have of God. We, Christians of the 20th [or 21st] Century, were like so many, raised with the image of a strict God, anxious to punish us as often as we deserve it. This thinking goes back to heresies like Jansenism, Quietism, or Calvinism14

5. Love banishes fear
The question of whether Heaven will follow right after death is a question of trust. God does not need our merits in order to take us straight to Him, but He needs all of our trust. Or the other way around--it is not our sins that can prevent God from giving us this grace but rather our lack of trust. Therefore, we must draw the conclusion that everything depends solely on trust. There is no trust without perfect love. And vice versa, there is no love without trust.
And this is exactly what the Apostle John writes in his first letter, "In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment because as He is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love" (1 Jn. 4:17-18).

This text enlightens our topic very much. Judgment Day is the day of our death. Whoever achieves perfect love at the moment of their death sees God as so merciful and generous that they cannot believe in punishment in Purgatory. We are dealing with the same kind of grace in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that this Sacrament has as its real fruit the wiping out of punishment due to our sins.15 After those who have received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, others present often notice that the sick enter a period of growing peace and trust, together with a great surrender to the Will of God, and even serenity and desire for Heaven. This also applies to those who up to that point did not believe or even lived in mortal sin. Even these people, as the great theologians or the scholastics say--for example, St. Albert the Great or St. Bonaventure--go straight to Heaven without having to go through Purgatory first. This shows the wonderful grace coming from the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.16

6. The last will be the first.
While many Christians do receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, experience tells us that they do not go straight to Heaven. The mystics often relate that many priests and religious suffer a long time and have to wait for their release. However, all of them or almost all of them have received the Sacrament of the Anointing. What is the reason for this? The answer is certainly that they did not receive the Sacrament with the necessary repentance or surrender to the Will of God, or that they did not want to change their flaws and vices a long time before their death.

St. Therese of Lisieux tells us that she heard that sometimes great saints with 
many merits come before the Judgment of God but have to go to Purgatory because our justice before God is often unclean. That is why she recommends giving away immediately all the merits of our good deeds, and that it is better to appear before God empty-handed.17 She recommends to her oldest sister and godmother Marie, to be given Heaven free of charge by God.18

While on the one hand the first ones don't always get to Heaven first, on the other hand, there are enough examples that the last ones become the first. Therese refers in her writings to the Lord's mercy towards the good thief,19 and wishes that the story from the "desert fathers," about how a great sinner called Paesie died out of love and is being taken straight to heaven, should be added to her autobiography, "Souls will understand immediately, for it is a striking example of what I'm trying to say."20 

When our great hour comes, as St. Therese writes to Abbé Roullandmissionary in China, if only we trust, the Blessed Virgin will obtain "the grace of making an act of perfect love" should we have "some trace of human weakness" and so will we reach heaven immediately after death.21

7. St. Therese's teaching, a great message for the third millennium
One can rightfully say that Therese is turning all common opinions on Purgatory upside down.22 She wants to appear before God empty-handed and explains why it can be easier for sinners who have nothing to rely upon, to reach Heaven than the great saints with all their merits. She emphasizes that trust alone is enough, that merits are no guarantee but often an obstacle for the straight way to Heaven, and that sins do not need to be an obstacle. After a 'messed-up' life, God can still take one straight to Heaven if the dying person only has trust. And how easy it can be to trust if there are no merits but only one's misery! Through trust, she shows the shorter way to Heaven to the small and humble. And so many can and will go that way. She writes about this to her sister Marie: "... what pleases Him (God) is that He sees me loving my littleness and my poverty, the blind hope that I have in His mercy... That is my only treasure, dear Godmother, why should this treasure not be yours?..."23

As has been said, she has made sanctity available for everyone through her little way, and this is also true for the straight way to Heaven... This will no longer be an exception. Those who are smart enough to gather from the treasures of our new Doctor of the Church will walk this way easily, especially those who want to be part of the legion of little souls which St. Therese asked God for at the end of her manuscript B, "I beg You to cast Your Divine Glance upon a great number of little souls. I beg You to choose a legion of little Victims worthy of YourLOVE!"24 Yes, by listening to her wonderful message there will be many, many souls... and with that, Purgatory stops being the unavoidable detour to Heaven!




Conclusion
    St. Therese of the Child Jesus gave us a lot to think about. There are yet many new thoughts to be understood in terms of theology. For us, however, the most important, even existentially significant of everything she wrote is the message on Purgatory. The question of what happens to us after death should move us deeply. Let us just remember Sr. Febronia and her suffering in Purgatory; her silent message from the next world should move us. "It seemed," says Therese, "as if she wanted to say: If I had listened to you I would not be here now." This is actually shocking when you think about it. One has to admit that Sr. Febronia entered the next world through the wrong door. And with her, thousands and millions who would have managed to avoid Purgatory. And why did they not achieve this? The simple reason is that nobody showed them the correct way. Considering this, one does understand that Therese is a true gift to the Church. God gave her to us as leader and comforter for the apocalyptic days in which we very obviously live. Her message concerning Purgatory is a true grace of God' s merciful love for the moment of our death. One can apply the urgent exhortation of our LORD: "'He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (Lk. 8:8).
Father Dr. Hubert van Dijk, ORC

Footnotes:
1. I would like to enlighten souls - as did the Prophets and the Doctors.' St Therese of Lisieux. Story of a Soul. ICS. Washington
    DC, 1996, Ms B, 2v, pg. 192.
2. St. Therese of Lisieux. Story of a Soul, ICS, Washington DC, 1996, Ms. A, 49r. Jig. 105.
3. Divini Amoris, I.c., Nr. 7.
4. Philippe de la Trinite, La Doctrine de Sainte Therese sur Ie Purgatoire. Editions du Parvis, CH-1648 Hauteville/Suisse 1992,
    pg. 16. .
5. Annales de Sainte Therese, Lisieux. No. 610, Feb. 1982. Translated from the German.
6. Last Conversations, ICS. Washington DC. 1971, pg 273.7. La Doctrine, l.c. pg 16. Translated from the German.
8. St. John of the Cross, The Dark Night, IT. ch. XX.
9. Ferdinand Holbőck. Das Fegefeuer, Salzburg 1977, page 94f. Translated from the German.
10. La Doctrine, I.c.page 22f. Translated from the German.
11. Lucien Regnault, La Pensee de Ste. Therese de 1'Enfant Jesus sur Ie Purgatoire in Annales de Sainte 
Therese, 1986, Suppl. No
    
101, pages 21-29, quote on page 26. Translated from the German.
12. Annales de Sainte Therese, No. 610. Feb. 1983, page 5Translated from the German.
13. 
Story of a Soul, Ms. A, 84v, pg.181.14. La Pensee, l.c., page 23. Translated from the German.
15. St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Suppl. Qu. 30art. 1. Translated from the German.
16
P. Philippon. Vie Spirituelle, Jan./Feb. 1945, pages 21-23; 16-17. Translated from the German.
17. La Doctrine, l.c. page 13. Translated from the German.
18. St. Therese of Lisieux, Letters St. Therese of Lisieux, ICS, Washington DC, 1913, Vol. II, pg 998, LT 197.
19. Pious Recreations, RP 6, 9v, translated from the German.
20. Last Conversations. pg. 89. CJ, 11.7.6
21. Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux. Vol. II, pg. 1093, LT 226.
22. La Pensee, l.c., pg. 28. Translated from the German.
23. Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux, Vol. II, pg. 999, LT 197.
24. Story of a Soul, pg. 200. Ms. B, 5v.

(1) Note: This article, in German, appears in the December 2001, and the January 2002 issue of "Der Fels" (A German Catholic Publication) - see www.der-fels.de/2001/12-2001.pdf  and www.der-fels.de/2002/01-2002.pdf respectively. It was translated into English by  Père (Father) de la Trinité, ocd. Fr. Van Dijk confirmed the authenticity of his writing. It was originally published on the internet by the Divine Mercy Secular Franciscan Fraternity of Vero Beach, Florida.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Cross and the Confederate Flag | Moore to the Point

The Cross and the Confederate Flag | Moore to the Point



The Apostle Paul says that we should not prize our freedom to the point of destroying those for whom Christ died. We should instead “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom. 14:19). The Confederate Battle Flag may mean many things, but with those things it represents a defiance against abolition and against civil rights. The symbol was used to enslave the little brothers and sisters of Jesus, to bomb little girls in church buildings, to terrorize preachers of the gospel and their families with burning crosses on front lawns by night.
That sort of symbolism is out of step with the justice of Jesus Christ. The cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire. White Christians, let’s listen to our African-American brothers and sisters. Let’s care not just about our own history, but also about our shared history with them. In Christ, we were slaves in Egypt—and as part of the Body of Christ we were all slaves too in Mississippi. Let’s watch our hearts, pray for wisdom, work for justice, love our neighbors. Let’s take down that flag.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

St. John of the Cross: Romance on Creation




Poetry of St. John of the Cross

IX. The Romances










3. On creation.


"My Son, I wish to give you
a bride who will love you.
Because of you she will deserve
to share our company,
and eat at our table,
the same bread I eat,
that she may know the good
I have in such a Son;
and rejoice with me
in your grace and fullness."
"I am very grateful,"
the Son answered;
"I will show my brightness
to the bride you give me,
so that by it she may see
how great my Father is,
and how I have received
my being from your being.
I will hold her in my arms
and she will burn with your love,
and with eternal delight
she will exalt your goodness."
 






4. Continues

"Let it be done, then," said the Father,
for your love has deserved it.
And by these words
the world was created,
a palace for the bride
made with great wisdom
and divided into rooms,
one above, the other below.
The lower was furnished
with infinite variety,
while the higher was made beautiful
with marvelous jewels,
that the bride might know
the Bridegroom she had.
The orders of angels
were placed in the higher,
but humanity was given
the lower place,
for it was, in its being,
a lesser thing.
And though beings and places
were divided in this way,
yet all form one,
who is called the bride;
for love of the same Bridegroom
made one bride of them.
Those higher ones possessed
the Bridegroom in gladness;
the lower in hope, founded
on the faith that he infused in them,
telling them that one day
he would exalt them,
and that he would lift them
up from their lowness
so that no one
could mock it any more;
for he would make himself
wholly like them,
and he would come to them
and dwell with them;
and God would be man
and man would be God,
and he would walk with them
and eat and drink with them;
and he himself would be
with them continually
until the consummation
of this world,
when, joined, they would rejoice
in eternal song;
for he was the Head
of this bride of his
to whom all the members
of the just would be joined,
who form the body of the bride.
He would take her
tenderly in his arms
and there give her his love;
and when they were thus one,
he would lift her to the Father
where God's very joy
would be her joy.
For as the Father and the Son
and he who proceeds from them
live in one another,
so it would be with the bride;
for, taken wholly into God,
she will live the life of God.     






St. John of the Cross Poetry: Romances      
Copyright © 1991 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
Photography by StockSnap 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Archbishop Nienstedt resigns, week after diocese charged with failing children | National Catholic Reporter

Archbishop Nienstedt resigns, week after diocese charged with failing children | National Catholic Reporter



VATICAN CITY

U.S. Archbishop John Nienstedt, a Catholic prelate in the American Midwest whose mismanagement of clergy sexual abuse cases led to his chancellor reporting the archdiocese to authorities nearly two years ago, has resigned.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

MOVIES: 'MAD MAX: FURY ROAD'

MOVIES: 'MAD MAX: FURY ROAD'



Oftentimes I am sure I'm going to like a movie and am very disappointed. Rarely am I sure I will detest a movie and turn out liking it. "Mad Max: Fury Road" is one of those latter films.

Read more from film critic Sr. Helena Burns...

Monday, June 1, 2015

CARMELITAS DESCALZOS

CARMELITAS DESCALZOS



28//05//2015
Interview with the ocd Superior General, Father Saverio Cannistrà


This past May 7, the General Chapter reelected you to the office of Superior General. At the moment of election, what did you feel?
Saint Paul says that the desires of the flesh are opposed to the desires of the Spirit. I have lived some of that within myself. I do not hide the desire I had of fleeing tiredness, the fear of not having enough strength for another six years of service, the temptation to take my life back into my own hands. But above all that, a basic logic prevailed: if six years ago I said "yes" because I saw in the election by the brothers, an expression of the will of God, I cannot behave in a different way now. Therefore, I ended up by accepting this new call with much peace.
After six years of governance of the Order, I imagine you face this challenge in a different way than six years ago. How can the experience you have gained help you?
In effect, today I see the work that awaits me from a different perspective. The point is to try to continue the work already begun with a better understanding of the difficulties that will arise as well as the reasons that motivate us to carry it out.

Christian schools demonstrate for the right to education

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Senators vote to repeal death penalty : Politics

Senators vote to repeal death penalty : Politics



The death penalty has been repealed in Nebraska.
In a historic vote Wednesday, senators voted 30-19 to override a veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts.
The bill (LB268) had passed a week ago on a 32-15 vote. Ricketts had worked hard in the last week to get senators to flip their votes. He needed three to change their minds, but only two -- Sens. Jerry Johnson of Wahoo and John Murante of Gretna -- changed their votes to sustain the veto.
"This is it," said Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha as he entered the legislative chamber to begin the debate on a motion to override the veto. Chambers has offered a bill to repeal the death penalty 40 times in his tenure in the Legislature.
In 1979, Chambers won legislative approval of death penalty repeal, but the bill fell victim to a veto by Gov. Charles Thone.
Nebraska lawmakers debated more than two hours Wednesday on the motion to override Ricketts' veto.
"Once we take this step, there is not going to be a falling apart of this state," Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers said at the start of discussion on the floor of the Legislature. "This building will not implode."
The historic significance of the event attracted a large group of onlookers, legislative staffers and media watched as debate began at 1:30 p.m......

Marriage is too important to rush

Manifestazione di protesta delle scuole cristiane contro le politiche discriminatorie - Agenzia Fides

Manifestazione di protesta delle scuole cristiane contro le politiche discriminatorie - Agenzia Fides



Le scuole cristiane d'Israele hanno organizzato una manifestazione senza precedenti per denunciare le politiche discriminatorie di cui si sentono fatte oggetto da parte del governo. Quasi 700 tra insegnanti, genitori con i figli, e religiosi si sono ritrovati alle 11 di mercoledì 27 maggio nella piazza davanti al palazzo Lev Ram, sede del Ministero dell'educazione, esponendo ampi pannelli e distribuendo volantini in cui sono condensate le ragioni dell'inedita protesta. “Si tratta di una manifestazione pacifica e rispettosa, per dire che vogliamo essere trattati come gli altri, sia dal punto di vista economico che su quello della libertà di educazione” riferisce all'Agenzia Fides padre Abdel Masih Fahim, direttore dell'Ufficio delle scuole cristiane. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Angel of the Resurrection, Tiffany Studios





Samuel H. Kress Interpretive Fellow Leslie Anderson-Perkins reveals the man behind the design of Angel of the Resurrection and describes his role as part of the Tiffany team.

Louis Comfort Tiffany, the dominant figure in American decorative arts for more than half a century, founded several firms to satisfy the strong demand for his metalwork, pottery, and furniture. But his zeal for sensuous materials and striking colors found its fullest expression in his stained-glass windows. Angel of the Resurrection, the lower half of which appears here, was commissioned by Mary Lord Harrison, second wife and widow of President Benjamin Harrison, upon her husband's death in 1901. It was installed at the First Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, where the president had served as an elder for more than forty years. Perhaps because he carries a trumpet, the figure is often mistaken for Gabriel, Angel of the Annunciation, but it is actually Michael, Angel of the Resurrection, who signals the dead to rise.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Martyr Heroes ISIS Gave Us | The Gregorian Blog | The Gregorian Institute at Benedictine College

The Martyr Heroes ISIS Gave Us | The Gregorian Blog | The Gregorian Institute at Benedictine College

From Tom Hoopes:

I gave a talk last night in Bendena, Kansas, about martyrs of the 21st century, starting with the Coptic Christians of Egypt and working backwards to some of those killed in the 9/11 attacks on America. Here is some of what I shared of the martyrs we learned about Feb. 15 in ISIS beheading video.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

PASTORAL CARE WORKERS KILLED IN 2014 - Fides News Agency

PASTORAL CARE WORKERS KILLED IN 2014 - Fides News Agency



"The provisional list compiled annually by Fides, must therefore be added to the long list of many of whom there may never be news, who in every corner of the world suffer and even pay with their lives for their faith in Christ."